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Thread: Three 3-link conversion questions

  1. #1
    FF6602's Avatar
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    Three 3-link conversion questions

    I started the conversion from 4-link to 3-link rear suspension on my Mk 3.1 roadster yesterday. I'm using the FFR 13181 3-link retrofit kit plus Breeze 70742 3-link Suspension Handling Pack.

    QUESTION ONE: The FFR retrofit instructions clearly state that, on the passenger side, to use two 0.375" and one 0.25" spacer on the front side of the rod end and one thin 0.0625" shim on the rear side. But the instructions don't talk about what spacers to use onthe driver's side of the panhard rod, so I used one 0.375" thick spacer and one 0.25" spacer from the parts bag that came with the kit. Does this sound correct?


    QUESTION TWO: The instructions say "Warning: Do not put a washer on the inside of the axle mount bracket under the shock mount". I'm not sure what this is referring to ... I assume "axle mount bracket" means the "competition Traction-Lok bracket" to which both the panhard rod and shock are attached? Are they saying, "use the thin shim, not a thick washer that will interfere with the shock's rod end"?


    QUESTION THREE: When it comes to mounting the new rear Upper Control Arm, on page 9 of the FFR instructions, a new "Upper Mount" and backing plate, are referenced & pictured. That picture doesn't look like this piece that came in the retrofit kit...





    I haven't removed the old upper control arms yet, so perhaps it will make sense when I hold the pictured piece up to the horizontal 2"x3" tube behind the seats, but I'm curious to know if this is an upgraded piece or even the correct piece at all? Your advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Craig

    10/2018 -- acquired Mk 3.1 #6602, unfinished, go-kart stage; still in original black gel-coat; 347 Stroker w/ Holley 650 carb, roller cam; T5 and donor stock 2.73 rear diff (for now); my Build Thread -- https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...ished-Business

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    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    1- Sounds good to me. looking down from a top view the stock type LCAs angle inward at the front. Installing the rod end style, you can make them closer to parallel using different spacers. I 'think' that is what they are trying to do w/ the staggered spacers. Use the same but opposite spacer setup on both sides.
    2- I am not sure
    3- That looks correct to me. there have been a couple of changes over the years. In the first picture the top left w/ two holes will bolt to the underside of the crosswise 2x3. The lower right end will bolt to the inner surface of the 2x3 that penetrates the 4 inch tube and runs upward at an angle toward the outside.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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    FF6602's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    1- Sounds good to me. looking down from a top view the stock type LCAs angle inward at the front. Installing the rod end style, you can make them closer to parallel using different spacers. I 'think' that is what they are trying to do w/ the staggered spacers. Use the same but opposite spacer setup on both sides.
    2- I am not sure
    3- That looks correct to me. there have been a couple of changes over the years. In the first picture the top left w/ two holes will bolt to the underside of the crosswise 2x3. The lower right end will bolt to the inner surface of the 2x3 that penetrates the 4 inch tube and runs upward at an angle toward the outside.
    Thanks for the reply, CraigS! I like your idea about using spacers to make the rear LCAs closer to parallel and will experiment with that. My question actually referred to the panhard rod and which spacers to use on the driver's side end. Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks also for the input on the UCA bracket - that's helpful. As I said, I haven't removed the stock Mustang UCAs yet so it will probably make more sense when I can hold the FFR bracket in place.

    Got your PM reply too -- it's great to reconnect after 35 years!
    Craig

    10/2018 -- acquired Mk 3.1 #6602, unfinished, go-kart stage; still in original black gel-coat; 347 Stroker w/ Holley 650 carb, roller cam; T5 and donor stock 2.73 rear diff (for now); my Build Thread -- https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...ished-Business

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    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Cool, now I know who I am posting to. Panhard doesn't really matter since it moves so little and it is all straight line up/down so just fill up the space w/ washers. When I did a 3 link conversion, I made a bolt plate for the top mount of the 3rd link. Make a 1/8 to 3/16 steel plate w/ holes w/ the same spacing as the bracket. Take the bolts you will use and drop them in through the plate. Weld the bolt heads to the plate and make it a good weld. Now you can use a yard stick or similar to push it in from the end of the tube and wiggle around until the bolts drop though the holes. I mention a strong weld because it will keep the bolts from turning while you tighten them. Your plate also becomes a doubler to reinforce the bottom of the 2x3 tube which is not a real thick wall dimension.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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    FF6602's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    Cool, now I know who I am posting to. Panhard doesn't really matter since it moves so little and it is all straight line up/down so just fill up the space w/ washers. When I did a 3 link conversion, I made a bolt plate for the top mount of the 3rd link. Make a 1/8 to 3/16 steel plate w/ holes w/ the same spacing as the bracket. Take the bolts you will use and drop them in through the plate. Weld the bolt heads to the plate and make it a good weld. Now you can use a yard stick or similar to push it in from the end of the tube and wiggle around until the bolts drop though the holes. I mention a strong weld because it will keep the bolts from turning while you tighten them. Your plate also becomes a doubler to reinforce the bottom of the 2x3 tube which is not a real thick wall dimension.

    Thanks for the idea on 3rd link mount. That's today's project and I'll let you know how it goes.
    Craig

    10/2018 -- acquired Mk 3.1 #6602, unfinished, go-kart stage; still in original black gel-coat; 347 Stroker w/ Holley 650 carb, roller cam; T5 and donor stock 2.73 rear diff (for now); my Build Thread -- https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...ished-Business

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    FF6602's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    1- Sounds good to me. looking down from a top view the stock type LCAs angle inward at the front. Installing the rod end style, you can make them closer to parallel using different spacers. I 'think' that is what they are trying to do w/ the staggered spacers. Use the same but opposite spacer setup on both sides.
    2- I am not sure
    3- That looks correct to me. there have been a couple of changes over the years. In the first picture the top left w/ two holes will bolt to the underside of the crosswise 2x3. The lower right end will bolt to the inner surface of the 2x3 that penetrates the 4 inch tube and runs upward at an angle toward the outside.
    CraigS - I re-read your reply to my question #3 and it's starting to make sense now. So, because the old mount will be between the new mount and "the inner surface of the 2x3 that penetrates the 4 inch tube and runs upward at an angle toward the outside", that means that I'll have to remove the original 4-link UCA bracket completely. Correct?
    Craig

    10/2018 -- acquired Mk 3.1 #6602, unfinished, go-kart stage; still in original black gel-coat; 347 Stroker w/ Holley 650 carb, roller cam; T5 and donor stock 2.73 rear diff (for now); my Build Thread -- https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...ished-Business

  7. #7
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    It's been 10 yrs since I did this on my MkII and I did have to remove the 4 link bracket. However, I 'think' since then FFR has found a way to have them both on the frame. Look here at the 2 pics on page 9 where you can see 3 link is snug against the 4 link
    http://www.factoryfiveparts.com/cont...-retro-fit.pdf
    This is showing the old bracket w/o the lower reinforcing leg. So, yep, a long way around to finally find you will need to remove at least part of the 4 link bracket. If you have a welder, you could cut those 4 link brackets to just fit the leg of the 3 link bracket and weld them all together.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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    FF6602's Avatar
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    4-link mount "trim"

    I mocked up the install of the 3-link upper mount yesterday. After moving some wiring, and the fuel line/filter(!), out of the way, I have a better view of what needs to be "trimmed" from the old 4-link mount. The cut line is marked with tape in the photo below...

    2019-06-12 19.52.32.jpg

    After trimming, I plan to bolt it all into place using your tip about make a bolt plate, inserted through the open end of the horizontal 2"x3" box tube. I am not a welder but there's a fab business close by and I may ask them to weld the old and new brackets together. That would make the mount stronger, I assume.
    Craig

    10/2018 -- acquired Mk 3.1 #6602, unfinished, go-kart stage; still in original black gel-coat; 347 Stroker w/ Holley 650 carb, roller cam; T5 and donor stock 2.73 rear diff (for now); my Build Thread -- https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...ished-Business

  9. #9
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    looks like that will work fine.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  10. #10
    Tool Baron frankeeski's Avatar
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    Remove the upper 4-link mount all together. You are going to be in there cutting already and if you dont remove most or all of it, you're going to be cussing at yourself when you try to install the nut in that tiny recess. Did a retro for a customer last year on a MK2 leaving the 4-link mount, I'll never do that again
    Frank
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  12. #11
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Frank, that is a great point on the nut. Mine is an older MkII so slightly different than current frames. BTW, I threw out the provided nuts since they were the deformed metal lock nut style. I use two standard nuts as nut and jam nut. It's nice to be able to run the nut on by hand and only need to wrench about 2 turns.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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