Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsHow To Chassis Suspension
Kenny Brown Performance Suspension Install
1985 LX Coyote Coupe—Reengineered
If you've been following this build for the past year or so, you've seen what we started out with when we brought home our 1985 coupe. When the LX first rolled into the shop, it was basically a shell with wheels—and the task of rebuilding it was a little daunting, to say the least.
As of today, we've given it an entire new identity with the installation of a Ford Racing Performance Parts Coyote 5.0L, new paint, Scott Rod Fabrications rear-seat delete, and American Powertrain Tremec T-56 Magnum six-speed transmission, and dyed our interior with help from National Parts Depot. Finally, everything is starting to come together.
Kenny Brown was actually in town when we first brought the coupe home, so he saw our Fox first-hand and wanted to be involved in the project. Upon returning to his home base, Kenny sent us his Advance Geometry System (AGS) 5.0 suspension kit, which includes an Extreme Matrix chassis-stiffening brace, subframe connectors, front tubular K-member, caster camber plates, front control arms, rear upper and lower control arms, and front and rear coilovers (a variety of shock/struts are also available).
To lend us a hand, Brad Grissom from Kenny Brown made his way to our Tampa headquarters. With his help, we installed our new suspension. Grissom is an expert in suspension geometry and has had his hands in many Foxes, so we were confident we would get the parts bolted up with little hassle.
According to Grissom, the first thing any Mustang enthusiast should do to improve the handling on their vehicle is to start with the chassis. “The biggest cost versus value is the money you put into the chassis,” Grissom said. “By strengthening the chassis, in theory you are stealing back horsepower and handling performance that is robbed by the chassis due to a weak design.”
If you look at a bare Fox chassis compared to the newer S-197, you'll find the new car is robust in the important areas, such as the rockers, suspension mounting points, plus the floor, tunnel, and overall frame structure. This adds to rigidity and prevents flexing of the unibody, which is a big problem in the Fox vehicles. That's why any unibody strengthening will enhance the performance of your suspension.
In other words, how can you expect good, consistent handling if the chassis (and thus the suspension pick-up points) is moving under load? And that's why we installed not only the KB Matrix system, but also a KB Street Cage first.
Now, follow along as we get the suspension in place, and in short order we'll have the Chris Alston/Strange rear buttoned up and we'll also have our Wilwood brakes installed. We're itching to get the coupe back on the ground so we can plumb in the fuel and cooling systems and then hit the road.