I just recently lowered the front end of my 2002 Mustang GT Convertible. I was originally thinking about getting some eibach lowering springs, but after speaking to some of the MF members and reading a couple of forums, I decided to take it Olā€™ School and lower the car by cutting some coils. I have to give a big shout out to 99shadowGT for the support and info on his car and how he lowered it. I took his advice on how many coils to cut, and I am very happy I did. I was going to lower both the front and the back, but I like the rake plus I plan on buying some bigger rims/tires for the rear sometime down the line, so I figure I might end up needing the well space later. Sooo here it is. Keep in mind that I am not a professional and this article is for information only.
This is the stance on my Stang before the cuts were made. Although I was happy with the handling, as I am not into racing, I definitely thought the appearance was a bit too high.
This is a shot of the undercarriage before the cuts were made. Notice the angle of the lower control arm and the angle of the tie rods.
This is a shot of all the tools that I needed to get this done. Some of these you could do with out. The list includes:
2- car jacks
Cross Wrench for the lug nuts
Small flat blade screw driver
12mm socket and ratchet
I used a torque wrench for tightening the lug nuts back on (most probably donā€™t do this)
A bucket of cold water
Piece of rope
Small plastic brush (used for cleaning dirt on suspension components)
And a jack stand (not pictured)
Above and below... here are some shots of the tool I used to cut my springs. I originally bought it because it was marketed as a polisher at low speeds and a grinder at high speeds (I bought it a long time ago and quickly found outā€¦ this is waay too fast to polish car paint). Other alternatives would be an air powered cut off wheel, a portable band saw that is typically rented at hardware rental stores, but DEFENITELY NEVER A TORCH.
So this is where I started at: right about 28ā€ inches off the ground. 1 Ā¾ inches too high.
First things first, I used the masking tape to mark the location of the plate before I started loosening anything. I could have done it on the paint, but why would I want that reminder every time I pop the hood? I will be removing the 2 nuts and one bolt later on. I looked around the net, and it seems like most prefer to loosen up the one main bolt with the slot in the middle, but then they always complain about how hard it is to take off cuz the strut rod starts to spin. I to avoid all that and I never had to even touch that bolt.
Itā€™s common sense, but some forget, engage your hand brake/e brake before you lift the car.
Before lifting the car, I loosened the lug nuts to make the removal easier once the car was lifted. I then lifted the car by supporting the jack under the lower control arm and then I used the jack stand at the factory lift point to support the weight of the car, then proceeded to remove the wheel.
Once the wheel was removed and I had a better view of the suspension, I jacked the lower arm higher to put the majority of the weight on the jack and so that the link would not be under pressure as it would be the first thing to get loosened up.
As I started to loosen up the link (15mm) the roll bar started to separate from the lower bushing. I simply jacked the lower a arm up a little more, and by the time the nut was completely loosened I could tell the pressure on the upper bushing had decrease and the bar would not make any sudden forceful movements (fyi=bad)
By jacking up the lower a arm and putting the majority of the weight of the car on the front suspension, the link was disconnected easily.
Some internet articles I read recommended that the ABS sensor be removed in order to give you more downward movement when the lower a arm will need to be swung down, but I found that simply disengaging the wire at these 3 points gave me enough slack to swing the arm down and not put strain on the wire or the sensor.
Above and below I used the flat blade screwdriver to undo the clip that retains the ABS wire to the bracket. The other two points where easily pulled out from the brackets by pulling and directing the grommet along the path of the u-shaped bracket
Next was the removal of the caliper. I used the 12mm to loosen up the lower bolt, swing the caliper up exposing the brake pads, and then finally sliding the last pin out of the hinge/pivot point (picture below). The caliper was then hung to the side supported by the rope to prevent stress on the brake line.
At this point, the suspension is still preloaded, and I can tell it is safe to completely remove the nuts and bolts from the strut tower because the nuts and bolts are lifting up from the tower, instead of down flat as if it where still keeping the strut from falling.
Slowly lower the jack supporting the lower arm a little bit and then compress the strut by hand and swing it out towards you and out of the wheel well. There really wasnā€™t too much pressure wanting to pull the shock back towards the fender and all I needed to keep my paint safe was an old towel.
This is how it should look once it is all disassembled. At this point the jack has already been lowered all the way down (slowly) and the arm is completely swung down. Notice that there really isnā€™t too much pressure on the ABS wire. Next will be the removal of the spring. I found it was very easy to pull the spring out by pushing down on the arm a bit (no need to overdo it) and using my pry bar on the edge of the spring where the arrow is pointing at. At this point there was no stored energy in my spring and it was removed rather easily and safely.
*Look further down into the thread for the last half*