Pete Epple Technical Editor
April 11, 2011
Photos By: Team MM&FF

Over the previous months, we have highlighted the basic concepts of swapping a Hot Rod Three-Valve crate engine from Ford Racing Performance Parts into a Fox-body Mustang. Until this point, what we've covered has been fairly nonspecific in regards to the car's usage, but that's about to change.

Throughout the early stages of the build, we have gone back and forth about the direction our '88 LX should take. There is no doubt that taking the handling route would equate to loads of on-track fun, but we knew whatever direction it took, it had to be street-friendly. With Bradenton Motorsports Park located close to MM&FF Command Central (about 45 minutes), weekly trips to the dragstrip are an easy way to get our speed fix. This also helped us decide to take the street/strip direction with our modular swap project.

The Fox chassis has always been able to hold its own on the quarter-mile. The factory triangulated four-link rear suspension has no problem planting the rear hides when power is applied. Swap out a few of the factory components (stamped-steel control arms, shocks, and so on) and you can have a serious 60-foot machine. When we started planning the rear suspension of our '88 LX, we took an overall look at the project for direction. For MM&FF, a Three-Valve-powered Fox is outside the norm, so we decided to think outside the box for our rear suspension as well.

Maximum Motorsports is no stranger to high-end suspension components. The San Luis Obispo, California-based company has been producing suspension products to improve the handling characteristics of the Mustang since 1992. Its success on track has lead to product lines for street-performance, full-blown road-race applications, and now the drag-race market. Maximum Motorsports' new and slightly non-traditional look at straight-line performance played right into the outside-the-box thinking we've applied to the rest of this build.

Once we talked the crew at Maximum Motorsports about our newest build, they were very excited to jump onboard. We were supplied with one of the company's Launch Boxes for the hard-top Fox-body Mustang. The kit included the tubular K-member, A-arms, and coilovers, which were installed in "Modular Makeover" (Jan. '11). For the rear suspension, Maximum sent us one of its heavy-duty torque arm assemblies, as well as a set of full-length subframe connectors, adjustable lower control arms, three-piece adjustable rear sway bar, and Panhard bar assembly. The rear suspension was finished off with a set of H&R progressive-rate rear springs, and Tokico D-Spec adjustable shocks.

The installation was intense-each component could essentially be its own story. We are going to highlight the important parts of each component here, but check out www.musclemustangfastfords.com for loads of installation photos and more information on Maximum Motorsports' Launch Box. And don't forget to check back in a month or two for a full on-track test of this project Fox.

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