I have a '94 Mark VIII (you know, the only one in the 24 Hours Of LeMons racing series). I am doing some suspension work, including replacing the lower 'control arms' (strut rods). The strut rod to frame bushings are shot, the strut rod to control arm bushings are MISSING altogether (like 1-2 inches of fore/aft movement in BOTH front wheels, was like that for both LeMons events), and the ball joints have 133k on them. My local Advance sell the TRW ones for a SC (#10771 and 10772) for $56.99 each, and according to the picture, they come with the strut rod to lower arm bushings. I just ordered them today, they should be here Thursday. I've searched extensively on this forum for tips, and I know about the lousy Moog bushings. I'm hoping the TRW ones will last long enough for a car that will see 1-2k miles a year on the road course. I'm wondering though, why are the SC parts all listed SC only? Even some springs say NON-SC ONLY! I thought the SC cars mainly just had stiffer spring rates and thicker sway bars? Will the parts I ordered work?
I'm also trying to figure out the best shock/spring combo. Right now, the car has stock T-bird coils and shocks (unknown what they came off of), and it handles terribly, with tons of body roll. I have to do all this on a tight budget, to keep the car under the $500 limit. The KYB GR2's are pretty affordable at $149 shipped on Ebay, but there are differing opinions on here as to their performance. It seems pretty clear everyone likes the Vogtland springs, but I'm unsure how much drop to go with, and if the GR2s are valved properly to work well on a race course with drop springs. I was gonna go with Tokico blues, but I talked to some suppliers who thought I'd be unhappy with them. I can't do Konis, they are way over the budget. Right now, I plan to order these springs
, but I don't want to mismatch them if I do the GR2's. Should I just go 3/4", instead of lower?
I can get a pair of low mileage Cobra IRS rear Bilsteins for $100 to my door, but I'd still need fronts. I doubt the GR2s would be as stiff as the Bilsteins, and they don't sell the sports anymore. What to use? Remember, this is a HEAVILY GUTTED track-only road race car, not a street car. I need it to handle, not ride smoothly. I already have new Energy Suspension rear sway bar links, and as they are shorter than stock, they should work well when I lower the car.
I managed to pull 300 unnecessary pounds out of it so far this week (trunk, rear deck, seatbelt retractors, bumper covers, inner door panels, etc. Unfortunately, most of that was at/near the rear. Weight has been our enemy, and I'm getting crazy with the plasma cutter yanking it all out. I even unbolted the 20 lb. non-working ABS, and I plan to reconfigure it as a conventional non-ABS system. The healthy diet will help our performance, as will the switch to a T45 5 speed. It's also getting a whole new look (think urban assault vehicle). I really want to see how far we can take this platform. So far we finished 10th out of 56 in New England (fastest American car), and 36th out of 94 in South Carolina (first outing, spent two hours in the penalty box). We feel that there's a whole lot more in the car, once we finally get the suspension fixed up, you know, with actual bushings and all. We are also gonna switch to Falken Azenis RT-615 tires for more grip, and try to add some camber.
Basically, I really need to know what drop to order the Vogtlands in, and what shocks will work best with them for racing. Some tracks are smooth, some (like Nelson Ledges) are ROUGH. I have two sets of stock Mark VIII sway bars. Has anyone ever considered doubling them up? I can fab almost anything, I just don't know if it would be TOO stiff. Any real-world-experience-based advice would be appreciated.