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How To Install Fox Body Mustang Team Z K-Member (1979-1993)
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Published on 2017-08-14
Fox Body K-Member Install.
In this video, Landan explains the detailed steps on how you go about installing a Team Z k-member in a 1979-1993 Fox Body Mustang. While the process is fairly involved, a little help from someone else can make this process very quick and straightforward.
Give your Fox Body an ultimate front suspension upgrade with a 1979-93 Mustang k-member & coil over kit. Tubular k-members save weight and stiffen the front end of your Mustang. Choose a coil over kit to get a lightweight k-member, tubular control arms, and your choice of several spring rate options. These kits reduce weight, give you better handling, and have adjustable ride height capabilities. Add one to your Fox Body Mustang for a rigid suspension setup that outperforms the competition.
What’s up everyone? Landan with Late Model Restoration. One of the age old questions surrounding the Fox platform is, “How do I install a k-member?” Well, I think it’s about time I show everyone a general understanding on how you go about installing a k-member into a Fox Mustang.
In the aftermarket world, k-members offer several important benefits for your Mustang such as their light weight characteristics which provides serious weight savings. The majority of all high end k-members will share similar features as well; such as high quality materials, a bolt in design, and there are even versions available for popular engine swaps.
K-members are usually sold in complete kits that include the k-member itself, tubular lower control arms, coil over hardware with multiple spring rate options, and installation hardware. Often times the only additional parts required for these kits are front struts that are compatible with the provided coil over hardware.
Here at LMR.com we make it very clear on the product page what the k-member kit will need in addition to what comes in the kit. From caster/camber plates, offset rack bushings, a bump steer kit and even ball joint spacers for kits that include Fox style ball joints for any of you guys running a 94 to 04 SN95 spindle.
For this install, I am going to be using a Team Z k-member, a set of our SVE caster/camber plates, and a pair of Strange 10-way adjustable front struts. Later on down the road this car will be getting an aftermarket bump steer kit, which is also something to consider when swapping to a tubular k-member.
I’ve already removed the factory components from the car, and if you would like to see my detailed removal process, be sure and check out the link in the video description.
When installing aftermarket k-members, there may be a few factory components that will need to be rerouted or modified. In my case, the only thing I had to do was tweak the fuel lines to clear the k-member, grind the locating dowel off of the passenger side motor mount and pull the steering column out approximately an inch in order for the steering shaft to reconnect to the rack.
Installing an aftermarket k-member can be managed by yourself, but it is in your best interest to have a friend available so they can help you hold and lift components.
Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s get started.
With the factory k-member and its associated components out of the way, check to see if your new k-member has provisions for the factory locating dowels on the motor mounts.
In our case, the driver side mount was right on the money.
However, the passenger side tab needed to be removed.
Grind the tab off and then paint the exposed bare metal with a rust preventative paint.
Prep the k-member hardware and make sure that there is a washer on each bolt.
Have a friend help you hold the k-member and begin threading the two front bolts on each side.
Now, install the two rear bolts on each side.
Fully tighten the hardware.
Reinstall the two motor mount nuts and fully tighten.
Remove the balancer or oil pan support if it was used.
Apply a thin film of poly urethane bushing grease to the outside of the control arms if applicable.
Position the control arm into place.
Slide the provided bolts through the k-member and arm in the same orientation as the factory hardware.
Thread on the nuts and loosely tighten.
Go ahead and do the same for the other control arm.
Now you can go ahead and disassemble your engine support bar.
Lay out the strut and coil over hardware on a work bench.
For this particular the components will be installed in the following order: strut, threaded sleeve, lock collar, lower spring collar, spring, top spring mount, bearing race, bearing assembly, bearing race, thrust cone, and then one of the 15mm spacers from the SVE caster/camber plate kit.
Do the same for the other strut and coil over hardware.
Layout the caster/camber plate parts on a work bench.
The only two pieces that will be side specific are the upper plates.
The single mounting hole that is furthest from the center bearing plate opening will be installed on the passenger side.
The single mounting hole that is closest to the center bearing plate opening will be installed on the driver side.
Also, the long slanted edge on each upper plate will be closest to the fender.
The lower plates and bearing plates are not side specific.
The larger offset on the bearing plate will be positioned underneath the upper plate and be positioned in a way that it faces the larger offset on the upper plate.
Make note of the provided spacers. The six spacers with the smaller inner diameter will properly space the upper plate between the strut tower.
Before installing the plates, place the small washers over the provided Allen head cap screw.
Position the upper plate over the bearing plate in the correct orientation.
Install the cap screws into the outer-most holes in the bearing plate. There will be two per side.
Now, position the lower plate into place.
Install the three provided spacers with the smaller inner diameter.
Next, position the upper plate followed by three washers over each stud, and then finger tighten three of the nuts.
Tighten the nuts just enough so you can still move the upper plate.
Before installing the coil over assembly, be sure and adjust your Strange 10-way adjustable struts.
Further adjustments can be made at the track.
Position the strut through the bearing plate, install one of the 8mm spacers and then loosely tighten the factory retaining nut.
Repeat these steps for the other side.
If you would like, take this time to clean up your factory spindle, and regrease the ball joint opening.
Remove the cotter pin and castle nut from the new ball joint.
Place the spindle over the ball joint.
Reposition the spindle into the strut and reinstall the factory strut to spindle retaining bolts.
Loosely thread the castle nut and strut to spindle retaining nuts.
Torque the castle nut to 129 lb-ft and reinstall the cotter pin.
Regrease the spindle shaft if you took the time to clean your spindle.
Torque the strut to spindle retaining nuts to 148 lb-ft.
Reinstall the brake rotor, outer bearing, and washer.
Followed by the spindle retaining nut.
Retighten the nut, reposition the nut retainer and then reinstall the cotter pin.
Now you can lightly tap the dust cap to properly seat it back into the rotor.
Cut the brake caliper zip tie and position it back onto the rotor.
Regrease the slide pins, resinstall them back into the caliper and tighten them down.
To properly set spring preload, run the spring collar all the way until the spring has zero up and down movement.
Run up the lock collar, but not tighten.
Use a spanner wrench to turn the spring collar up until a distance of 5mm is achieved between the two collars.
Run up the lock collar and tighten the two collars together.
Jack up on the lower control arm to establish some suspension preload.
Once preload is achieved, tighten down the control arm hardware.
Go ahead and repeat these steps for the other side.
If the rear steering rack bushings stayed on the factory k-member, slide them off and reinstall them into the steering rack.
Install the steering rack onto the new k-member.
The factory hardware will not work, so I had to source two new bolts, two new nuts, and four washers.
This will vary depending on the k-member you’re installing.
Install the hardware in the same orientation as the factory and tighten down the nuts.
Reinstall the outer tie rods into the spindle and torque the nuts to 23-32 lb-ft.
Take this time to grease the new ball joints if applicable.
Since I reused factory style rack bushings, are steering shaft was approximately one inch to short from reconnecting to the rack itself.
I simply pulled out on the steering column to address the short length and then reinstalled the steering shaft retaining hardware.
Then, make sure all of the wiring harnesses are nicely secured and away from any moving or hot parts.
Go ahead and get the car on the ground and check the front ride height.
More than likely your coil over setup will need some fine tuning.
Jack up the car again and remove the wheels.
Thread the lock collar away from the spring collar.
Place a mark on the spring collar and begin turning the collar up to raise the vehicle.
Do this until proper ride height is achieved.
Retighten the lock collar and reinstall the wheels.
Set the caster/camber plates in a way that the studs on the bottom plate are centered in the upper plate openings.
Torque the upper plate nuts to 65 lb-ft and the Allen head cap screws to 32 lb-ft.
Fully tighten the strut shaft nut.
Reinstall the serpentine drive belt and reconnect the negative battery cable.
Be sure and run the car down to your local alignment shop if you plan on driving the car on the street.
That will complete the steps needed to install a k-member into your Fox Mustang.
As far as installation time is concerned, I would honestly set aside an afternoon to get this done. There really isn’t a set time because skill level will vary from person to person.
You’re probably wondering what all of the stock components weigh; the factory k-member, control arms, struts, springs, and caster camber plates weighed in at a very heavy one hundred thirty-five point five pounds.
Now, the Team Z k-member, control arms, Strange struts, coil overs and the SVE caster/camber plates came in at sixty-six point five pounds. Do the math and that’s sixty-five pounds or over fifty percent in overall weight savings.
That’s going to wrap things up on the k-member removal process. Be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see more videos like this one. All of the components I used in this video are currently available from the real Fox Mustang enthusiasts, LMR.com!