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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Live Axle Swap or Not

I'm planning to eventually supercharge my bird and hopefully make 600+ horsepower and there is NO way my stock suspension will handle that. 03/04 Cobras aren't exactly easy to find wrecked to take suspension from so would I just be better off switching to a live axle?

I don't even know of anyone that sells really good suspension parts other than Bill at supercoupe, but I don't know if he sells FULL suspension setups.

Thanks all.

1996 "Talladega" T-Bird - Full PI Swap with custom Comp Cams, dyno tuned, SCP CAI, Underdrive Pulleys, Professional Products 75mm Throttle Body and Intake Plenum, 3.73 gears, JBA Shorties, Screamin' Demon Coil Packs, Livewires, 2.5" Mandrel Bent True Dual Exhaust, O/R X, electric exhaust cutouts, built 4R70W with Shift Kit, Cobra R Hood, Custom Spoiler.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mcmoore0693 View Post
I'm planning to eventually supercharge my bird and hopefully make 600+ horsepower and there is NO way my stock suspension will handle that. 03/04 Cobras aren't exactly easy to find wrecked to take suspension from so would I just be better off switching to a live axle?

I don't even know of anyone that sells really good suspension parts other than Bill at supercoupe, but I don't know if he sells FULL suspension setups.

Thanks all.
You may want to rethink that.

There's SCs running with modded IRSes in the 600+HP range.

DLF's delrin rear bushings (to help kill the deflection) and running an auto (to keep from splitting half shafts), combined with Mark VIII or early SC half shafts, and you'll be there from that standpoint.

A fresh build on the factory traclok, or an upgrade to one of Detroit Locker or Auburn's units, and that will be in good shape.

The second would be required for a solid axle ANYWAY ...

This may not be much cheaper than a solid axle, but it'd be a LOT easier to do

RwP
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 01:19 PM
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Well considering 3 people in the whole world have successfully done a SRA conversion to an MN12 chassis (note I said conversion. Swap implies that it wouldn't be a complete re-engineering effort to put an axle into a chassis that not only has no provisions in the rear frame rails or floor but doesn't have any mounting areas for any kind of supporting suspension), This probably isn't the best or most realistic route to take.

And "NO way" the stock IRS can handle it? I think Robert P, CobraRThunder, Mike Siska or David Neibert would disagree.

-Matt
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 02:42 PM
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I can't speak for the others, but Robert P. is making 660 RWHP with an IRS. I think with this new setup he has, he's looking for 700 or so at the wheels. He has run a 10.75 with it, I think the IRS holds up pretty well imo.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 09:52 PM
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Agreed with those above. Heck, Neibert's '93 is knocking on the 9's (10.04 currently) with a bone stock IRS setup.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Okay. Well that makes me feel better about my IRS. I guess I'll just have to look at their cars and see what they've done to the suspension. I just heard our axles go at 400 RWHP. Is that correct?

1996 "Talladega" T-Bird - Full PI Swap with custom Comp Cams, dyno tuned, SCP CAI, Underdrive Pulleys, Professional Products 75mm Throttle Body and Intake Plenum, 3.73 gears, JBA Shorties, Screamin' Demon Coil Packs, Livewires, 2.5" Mandrel Bent True Dual Exhaust, O/R X, electric exhaust cutouts, built 4R70W with Shift Kit, Cobra R Hood, Custom Spoiler.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 08:25 AM
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Okay. Well that makes me feel better about my IRS. I guess I'll just have to look at their cars and see what they've done to the suspension. I just heard our axles go at 400 RWHP. Is that correct?
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Agreed with those above. Heck, Neibert's '93 is knocking on the 9's (10.04 currently) with a bone stock IRS setup.
Don't know about that 400hp mark, since to be knocking on 9's your pushing a lot more than that I think you will be fine.

The only time I've heard of the IRS system being in doubt is when the car is a manual doing launches at @5K RPM with a lot of HP behind them. Then the axles might need to be swapped for stronger units or a solid axle swap might be in order.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 08:28 AM
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also, these guys listed above are around (give or take a 100) stock weight.

which puts even more stress on the componets. but they are doing it.

makes me feel more confident about my settup, as I will be roughly 800 lbs lighter.

Nick......................I'm back!!!
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rest in peace JL
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 08:52 AM
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Okay. Well that makes me feel better about my IRS. I guess I'll just have to look at their cars and see what they've done to the suspension. I just heard our axles go at 400 RWHP. Is that correct?
Yes,and no.

Like anything, you really mistreat the half shafts, they'll go.

As pointed out elsewhere, the biggest problem is really hard launches with a standard. The torque converter has enough give that you can feed an auto setup a lot more power.

A GIGANTIC suggestion - FIX THE RUBBER.

If you're running 20 year old rubber back there, then yes, a hard launch can damage everything. Which is no surprise ...

Again, DLF makes some nice Delrin parts. Energy Suspension has poly available (although you have to do some work to make it all fit - and it's not just "I have a 1997 TBird, what fits?" from the catalog. Search here and be educated, young padewan). There's even people making aluminum bushings, but for a street car, I'd HIGHLY recommend not on those.

Past that, find a 1997/1998 Mark VIII in the U-Pull-It and get the LCAs and half shafts out of it. There's articles here on what the LCAs take to fit and work properly, the half-shafts just fit in and work.

Don't be too cheap. I understand price shopping for X (if you pick Tokiko blues, then it's better to pay $200 than $500 for the pair for the back), but don't confuse Brand Xpesive parts cheap vis Brand Crap parts even cheaper ...

Do NOT buy just on price. Consider the reputation and quality of the company making the parts first. Then the rep etc. of the company SELLING the parts.

I'd go ahead and get a cast iron pumpkin built up with the gears you want - there's possibly someone local to you, or you can contact Alan (Dirtyd0g) and see what he wants to rebuild one with the gears you want. I mean, if you're redoing the rear, you'll end up with the half shafts out ANYWAY.

DO pay attention to the U-joints! I did greasable on my car, but I'm running the factory 200HP 5.0HO ... for your consideration, there's stronger and better U-joints to put in the driveshaft. DO IT. Don't argue, just do it.

While the shaft's out, if you drop the gas tank, redo the pump while you're there.

Don't forget the tranny mount and the two motor mounts before you start beefing up the motor any.

Last but not least, don't ignore the front end - yes, a wobbly front end won't toss the half shafts. But if you're laying 600HP down to the ground, you'll need to keep the front end pointed the right way ...

RwP
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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also, these guys listed above are around (give or take a 100) stock weight.

which puts even more stress on the componets. but they are doing it.

makes me feel more confident about my settup, as I will be roughly 800 lbs lighter.
How are you 800 lbs lighter? That's awesome! I take it you have no interior? haha

1996 "Talladega" T-Bird - Full PI Swap with custom Comp Cams, dyno tuned, SCP CAI, Underdrive Pulleys, Professional Products 75mm Throttle Body and Intake Plenum, 3.73 gears, JBA Shorties, Screamin' Demon Coil Packs, Livewires, 2.5" Mandrel Bent True Dual Exhaust, O/R X, electric exhaust cutouts, built 4R70W with Shift Kit, Cobra R Hood, Custom Spoiler.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yes,and no.

Like anything, you really mistreat the half shafts, they'll go.

As pointed out elsewhere, the biggest problem is really hard launches with a standard. The torque converter has enough give that you can feed an auto setup a lot more power.

A GIGANTIC suggestion - FIX THE RUBBER.

If you're running 20 year old rubber back there, then yes, a hard launch can damage everything. Which is no surprise ...

Again, DLF makes some nice Delrin parts. Energy Suspension has poly available (although you have to do some work to make it all fit - and it's not just "I have a 1997 TBird, what fits?" from the catalog. Search here and be educated, young padewan). There's even people making aluminum bushings, but for a street car, I'd HIGHLY recommend not on those.

Past that, find a 1997/1998 Mark VIII in the U-Pull-It and get the LCAs and half shafts out of it. There's articles here on what the LCAs take to fit and work properly, the half-shafts just fit in and work.

Don't be too cheap. I understand price shopping for X (if you pick Tokiko blues, then it's better to pay $200 than $500 for the pair for the back), but don't confuse Brand Xpesive parts cheap vis Brand Crap parts even cheaper ...

Do NOT buy just on price. Consider the reputation and quality of the company making the parts first. Then the rep etc. of the company SELLING the parts.

I'd go ahead and get a cast iron pumpkin built up with the gears you want - there's possibly someone local to you, or you can contact Alan (Dirtyd0g) and see what he wants to rebuild one with the gears you want. I mean, if you're redoing the rear, you'll end up with the half shafts out ANYWAY.

DO pay attention to the U-joints! I did greasable on my car, but I'm running the factory 200HP 5.0HO ... for your consideration, there's stronger and better U-joints to put in the driveshaft. DO IT. Don't argue, just do it.

While the shaft's out, if you drop the gas tank, redo the pump while you're there.

Don't forget the tranny mount and the two motor mounts before you start beefing up the motor any.

Last but not least, don't ignore the front end - yes, a wobbly front end won't toss the half shafts. But if you're laying 600HP down to the ground, you'll need to keep the front end pointed the right way ...

RwP
Thank you for all your knowledge and advice. I already have a built pumpkin with the gears so that's done at least but thank you for offering. My plan in the long run is a t-45 (built of course) and a fuel cell so I can move my mufflers to where they are closer to the x in the pipe and have some subframe connectors installed. I will definitely take a look at the places you have recommended. One question though...I know american muscle is a mustang website, but do you think their suspension products for their 03/04 cobras (IRS) will fit our birds? Thank you so much.

1996 "Talladega" T-Bird - Full PI Swap with custom Comp Cams, dyno tuned, SCP CAI, Underdrive Pulleys, Professional Products 75mm Throttle Body and Intake Plenum, 3.73 gears, JBA Shorties, Screamin' Demon Coil Packs, Livewires, 2.5" Mandrel Bent True Dual Exhaust, O/R X, electric exhaust cutouts, built 4R70W with Shift Kit, Cobra R Hood, Custom Spoiler.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 03:56 PM
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 04:12 PM
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How are you 800 lbs lighter? That's awesome! I take it you have no interior? haha
i have a build thread in general tech, titled more weight removal. http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=116661
I have personally dropped over 1,000 lbs from stock weight(i had a system in the car).
the car was orginally 3,940 lbs fully loaded with me out of the car.
The thread i told you about, i was already down to 2,960 lbs before i started with more weight removal.
i will more than likely weigh even less that the 800 i said, but not everyone's car weighs the exact same.

but as someone pointed it out once about my car, "he took it down to the bare bones, then took some of those out too!"

Nick......................I'm back!!!
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rest in peace JL
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 05:03 PM
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I just heard our axles go at 400 RWHP. Is that correct?
Not at all. As said, a manual trans will be harder on the halfshafts than a auto, but there is no set-in-stone limit. I'd definitely recommend a bias-ply slick over a drag radial, as it will lessen the shock on the halfshafts.

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My plan in the long run is a t-45 (built of course) and a fuel cell so I can move my mufflers to where they are closer to the x in the pipe and have some subframe connectors installed.
Bolt-in subframe connectors do not necessitate a fuel cell, though weld in connectors do (unless you never plan on removing the fuel tank after welding them in).

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 09:13 PM
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Bolt-in subframe connectors do not necessitate a fuel cell, though weld in connectors do (unless you never plan on removing the fuel tank after welding them in).
Is anyone making connectors?

Will

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 09:52 PM
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You'll have an answer in a week or so.

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2004 Mustang GT-The Driver-Intake/Exhaust/3.73's
1995 F150 4x4-The Mud Toy-5.0L/4R70W/33's/Warn 8274 Winch
94 LX w/Splitport 3.8L from 2000 Mustang - SOLD
2 - 90 35th Anny Ed SC's
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 08:20 AM
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You'll have an answer in a week or so.

Let me know

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