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Thread: MK4 front Koni ride height? and many random newbie owner observations and a pic

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    MK4 front Koni ride height? and many random newbie owner observations and a pic

    hi all, complete newbie here, so please don't laugh if this is a stupid question.

    i bought a beautiful recent turnkey MK4 build, all FFR new parts, Coyote, Tremec (see vehicles for sale section on forum if you're interested).

    I noticed the ride height was about 3/4" high on the passenger side front vs. the driver side front. I took the wheels off last night and used a spanner wrench and by holding the plastic collar with my hand and using the wrench I finally got them perfectly even....both about 3/4" of space between the top of the tire (17" wheels) and bottom of the wheel well. I lowered the passenger side and raised the drivers side. After a quick drive today I got home and it's significantly off again. The driver's side dropped about 1/2". Am I losing my mind here?

    And a few random new owner observations:

    1) I went to put on my new llicense plate and encountered the rear license plate fitment issue which I was completely ignorant of. Doh! I got disgusted after researching options online and I cut a 4" by 1" section of the plate with tin snips and folded it back perfectly even . It actually looks pretty good!

    2) I left the key in the ignition accessory position and was surprised at how fast this drained the battery completely dead. Lesson learned. And I was so relieved to see that the battery can be dropped from the bottom!

    3) Very surprised at how light the FFR power steering rack feels.... Reasonably precise, but super light. I would actually like it if it was a little heavier I think.

    4) After 4-5 drives i'm finally getting used to the heavy cable clutch (Tremec TKO 600). I hated it at first but now I actually like it.

    5) I'm driving with a temp inspection sticker (NYS). I need to bring it in for inspection and assume they just plug the computer into the OBD port and I should be good.... fingers crossed.

    6) Car has front and rear bumpers which I intend to replace (just don't like them). I bought the quick jacks from FFR and will take them to my local body shop to be chromed or painted in matching black. Still trying to figure out how to get at the rear bolts.

    7) I was very intimidated by the car initially.... I still am.... but I have gotten much more comfortable with it over the last 5 days. Thank God, I really thought I was in over my head with it. Learning curve for sure.

    8) Peoples reactions to this car are so unique relative to other exotics. It really is just a car that makes people happy to see it. That is the best way I can describe it. The smiles it seems to produce are awesome. Huge, genuinely happy smiles.

    9) Took the wife in it down to the local farmstand for dinner where they have a Wednesday night little car show..... .the staff absolutely insisted that I park it right at the entrance. Some nice cars there but clearly it was the star and hands down fan-favorite. I opened the hood so I wouldn't have to answer the "what's in it?" question 100x.

    Lots to learn! I hope Summer doesn't end too soon.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new car. Pretty sure I know which one you purchased and it's a beauty. Couple of comments:

    Ride height: Be very careful. You're doing it wrong. Don't want to scare you, but you could be creating a dangerous handling condition there. First, ride height is measured from the ground to the frame rails. Not by measuring the tires in the body opening. Second, you never use the coilovers to fix side-to-side alignment. Coilover adjustment should always be done in pairs, e.g. both fronts at the same time, both rears at the same time and always adjusted exactly the same amount. The only exception would be if you're corner weighting the car. But that requires special equipment and isn't really necessary for a street cruiser. Google "how to corner weight a car" if you want to see/learn more. For manual adjustment, the process I was taught and follow is: With the suspension hanging (on a lift, on jack stands, etc.) loosen the adjuster until the spring is loose. Then tighten until the adjuster just touches and holds the spring from moving. Do the same on both sides, or all four if you're doing the whole car. Then drop the car to the ground. Roll back and forth a bit and bounce it up and down. All to settle the suspension. Then measure the ride height. Under the 4-inch frame tubes basically in line with the front and rear wheels. It will be too high at that point, but note the measurement. Now raise the car back up, and turn the adjusters on each side the exact amount. One turn, two turns, whatever. Looser to lower the car, tighter to raise it. Now back down, roll and bounce, measure again. Note the change and you'll soon figure out how much you need to keep adjusting. But always the same on both sides. For a newer car with low miles, probably around 4-1/2 inches in the back and 4 inches in the front would be a good starting point. It will settle. But if you adjust, again always the same on both sides in the front, both sides in the rear. When done, you can do a sanity check and see where the adjustment sleeve is located on the shock on each side. They should be roughly the same. But if not, don't change anything. Setting ride height is a good learning experience, and it's not hard. But if you get it out of whack, your car could get squirrelly or worse.

    3. There are ways to maybe lower the boost. But without knowing what the power steering setup is, can't give specific instructions.

    4. Your TKO has nothing to do with the clutch "feel." That's strictly a function of the pedal box, clutch cable (assuming it's cable, not hydraulic), and clutch itself. Yes, these cars tend to have a bit of a heavy clutch compared to some daily drivers.

    6. Front bolts come out easy enough. Rear bolts need to have the tank dropped if installed in the stock manner. Bumpers vs. quick jacks is a matter of taste, I realize. I personally prefer the look of the bumpers. Plus they're more functional. They will actually do something if not hit too hard. Quick jacks not so much. And you haven't lived until you've worked around/under the car and tangled with a quick jack with your head or some other body part. Leaves a mark. But to each his own.

    Good luck and continue to have fun with it.
    Last edited by edwardb; 07-10-2019 at 10:18 PM.
    Build 1: Mk3 Roadster #5125. Sold 11/08/2014.
    Build 2: Mk4 Roadster #7750. Sold 04/10/2017. #7750 Build Thread
    Build 3: Mk4 Roadster 20th Anniversary #8674. 03 of 20. 2015 crate Coyote, 2015 IRS. Legal 04/18/2017. #8674 Build Thread
    Build 4: Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe #59. Gen 3 crate Coyote. Delivered 12/2/2017. #59 Coupe Build Thread

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    thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
    Congrats on your new car. Pretty sure I know which one you purchased and it's a beauty. Couple of comments:

    Ride height: Be very careful. You're doing it wrong. Don't want to scare you, but you could be creating a dangerous handling condition there. First, ride height is measured from the ground to the frame rails. Not by measuring the tires in the body opening. Second, you never use the coilovers to fix side-to-side alignment. Coilover adjustment should always be done in pairs, e.g. both fronts at the same time, both rears at the same time and always adjusted exactly the same amount. The only exception would be if you're corner weighting the car. But that requires special equipment and isn't really necessary for a street cruiser. Google "how to corner weight a car" if you want to see/learn more. For manual adjustment, the process I was taught and follow is: With the suspension hanging (on a lift, on jack stands, etc.) loosen the adjuster until the spring is loose. Then tighten until the adjuster just touches and holds the spring from moving. Do the same on both sides, or all four if you're doing the whole car. Then drop the car to the ground. Roll back and forth a bit and bounce it up and down. All to settle the suspension. Then measure the ride height. Under the 4-inch frame tubes basically in line with the front and rear wheels. It will be too high at that point, but note the measurement. Now raise the car back up, and turn the adjusters on each side the exact amount. One turn, two turns, whatever. Looser to lower the car, tighter to raise it. Now back down, roll and bounce, measure again. Note the change and you'll soon figure out how much you need to keep adjusting. But always the same on both sides. For a newer car with low miles, probably around 4-1/2 inches in the back and 4 inches in the front would be a good starting point. It will settle. But if you adjust, again always the same on both sides in the front, both sides in the rear. When done, you can do a sanity check and see where the adjustment sleeve is located on the shock on each side. They should be roughly the same. But if not, don't change anything. Setting ride height is a good learning experience, and it's not hard. But if you get it out of whack, your car could get squirrelly or worse.

    3. There are ways to maybe lower the boost. But without knowing what the power steering setup is, can't give specific instructions.

    4. Your TKO has nothing to do with the clutch "feel." That's strictly a function of the pedal box, clutch cable (assuming it's cable, not hydraulic), and clutch itself. Yes, these cars tend to have a bit of a heavy clutch compared to some daily drivers.

    6. Front bolts come out easy enough. Rear bolts need to have the tank dropped if installed in the stock manner. Bumpers vs. quick jacks is a matter of taste, I realize. I personally prefer the look of the bumpers. Plus they're more functional. They will actually do something if not hit too hard. Quick jacks not so much. And you haven't lived until you've worked around/under the car and tangled with a quick jack with your head or some other body part. Leaves a mark. But to each his own.

    Good luck and continue to have fun with it.
    thank you! that does make perfect sense. I'm not going to be hooning anytime soon so not much of a danger factor but i will get the car on jack stands with both wheels off and give it another go with your advice in mind. Yes, it is a cable clutch. I realize that the weight of it is not a circumstance of the transmission. It was just a bit of an initial shock after a lifetime of driving cars with "modern" hydraulic clutches.

  5. #4
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CASCADE1 View Post
    thank you! that does make perfect sense. I'm not going to be hooning anytime soon so not much of a danger factor but i will get the car on jack stands with both wheels off and give it another go with your advice in mind. Yes, it is a cable clutch. I realize that the weight of it is not a circumstance of the transmission. It was just a bit of an initial shock after a lifetime of driving cars with "modern" hydraulic clutches.
    You're certainly welcome. You can't set ride height with the wheels off. Personally I wouldn't drive the car until you set the ride height the proper way. With what you described before you could have created a dangerously out of balance condition. These cars can be converted to hydraulic clutch actuation. Lots of us do it. It helps a little, but not a night and day difference. Current modern clutch setups typically are hydraulic throw-out bearings, not common in these cars. Plus often have spring assist.
    Build 1: Mk3 Roadster #5125. Sold 11/08/2014.
    Build 2: Mk4 Roadster #7750. Sold 04/10/2017. #7750 Build Thread
    Build 3: Mk4 Roadster 20th Anniversary #8674. 03 of 20. 2015 crate Coyote, 2015 IRS. Legal 04/18/2017. #8674 Build Thread
    Build 4: Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe #59. Gen 3 crate Coyote. Delivered 12/2/2017. #59 Coupe Build Thread

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    Member CFranks's Avatar
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    Welcome to the madness. I’m by no means the definitive expert, but I just went through ride height / alignment adjustments. You’re supposed to do ride height first, then aligment. If youre re-adjusting the front ride height now, you’re going to throw your alignment a bit out of whack in the process (if it’s already been done) given they’re related. You may want to get a professional alignment once you’re done adjusting the ride height before you do much driving.

  7. #6
    Not a waxer Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    No offense intended but I suggest you put it back where it was...after building 100 cars Mike knows what he's doing

    Enjoy the car; it's a nice one!

    Jeff

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    absolutely

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kleiner View Post
    No offense intended but I suggest you put it back where it was...after building 100 cars Mike knows what he's doing

    Enjoy the car; it's a nice one!

    Jeff
    absolutely none taken! I am a babe in the woods and well aware of it.

    I am trying to put a filter on my questions to Mike as I could keep him busy all day long and I don't think that is fair. if every owner of one of his cars called him with every question that came up he'd have to hire call center reps to handle the volume.

    I did however ask him about loosening one of the shocks to make the gap between tire and wheel well consistent on both sides. My takeaway was that it wasn't a problem to do that.....but I do understand the other points made in this thread about balance and alignment.

  9. #8
    Senior Member rich grsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFranks View Post
    Welcome to the madness. I’m by no means the definitive expert, but I just went through ride height / alignment adjustments. You’re supposed to do ride height first, then aligment. If youre re-adjusting the front ride height now, you’re going to throw your alignment a bit out of whack in the process (if it’s already been done) given they’re related. You may want to get a professional alignment once you’re done adjusting the ride height before you do much driving.
    Sorry, but minor tweaking of ride high will not change the alignment

  10. #9
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CASCADE1 View Post
    I did however ask him about loosening one of the shocks to make the gap between tire and wheel well consistent on both sides. My takeaway was that it wasn't a problem to do that.....but I do understand the other points made in this thread about balance and alignment.
    I wouldn't normally respond any further because I don't want to be argumentative. But going to post one more time because (1) This is a safety related issue, (2) You admitted you were a beginner at this, and (3) You described a process that was bad practice, e.g. adjusting a single coilover with what sounded like a pretty significant amount without the benefit of a corner scale and for the wrong reason, e.g. body alignment. You don't know me, and we've all suspected that not everything we read on the internet is true. But anyone who has experience with setting these up, and probably especially at higher performance levels, would not agree with what you did. Don't pass this off as my personal opinion. Do your homework and learn how to do things right. Some things are trivial and don't affect the operation of the vehicle. Adjusting the suspension (and alignment) isn't one of them. The best advice you've received so far at this stage IMO is from Jeff. Put it back the way it was. Mike knows what he's doing. Again, good luck and enjoy.
    Last edited by edwardb; 07-11-2019 at 09:05 PM.
    Build 1: Mk3 Roadster #5125. Sold 11/08/2014.
    Build 2: Mk4 Roadster #7750. Sold 04/10/2017. #7750 Build Thread
    Build 3: Mk4 Roadster 20th Anniversary #8674. 03 of 20. 2015 crate Coyote, 2015 IRS. Legal 04/18/2017. #8674 Build Thread
    Build 4: Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe #59. Gen 3 crate Coyote. Delivered 12/2/2017. #59 Coupe Build Thread

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    problem solved! just spoke to Mark Dougherty and he is going to take a ride over here and spend the day with me getting it right and addressing a few other dogs and cats. thank you Mark! i'm really looking forward to it.

  12. #11
    Not a waxer Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CASCADE1 View Post
    problem solved! just spoke to Mark Dougherty and he is going to take a ride over here and spend the day with me getting it right and addressing a few other dogs and cats. thank you Mark! i'm really looking forward to it.
    Excellent plan!

    Jeff

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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Congrats on your purchase. You will find these cars exciting, fun, and temperamental all at the same time. They do require some care and feeding.

    1. Modding the license plate light is a tried and true thing. I guess you got it done. However, cutting a license plate is technically illegal. But, a cop would have to be having a pretty bad day to call you on it.

    3. As mentioned, a standard Ford pump just needs a simple mod where you shorten the relief valve spring. A Heidts valve is also an option and gives you adjust-ability.

    6. Bumpers (actually nudge-bars), Quick jacks, or over-riders are personal preference. I will say that I have fried a cone or two at autocross with my nudge bar, so glad to have them. Also if someone bumps me in a parking lot, it gives a little protection. Wait until you catch your shin on a quick jack......ouch.

    7. Ramp up slowly. I highly recommend that you find your local SCCA chapter and do a few autocross events. Even if you are "only a cruiser", you are going to get on it sooner or later. On the street, after it breaks loose, is not the time to discover what trailing throttle oversteer is. There are hundreds of Youtube videos of it in action.

    8. It never gets old. Lots of questions, pictures, thumbs up, and car discussions.

    9. It is nice to be treated like a rock star. I have had special parking and restaurants, hotels, and even cars and coffee.

    As far a ride height and anything else like that. Never get a tape measure near the body or you will drive yourself crazy. These cars are not even close to symmetrical. You can't see both sides at the same time anyway.

    Good luck with your inspection

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    Quote Originally Posted by CASCADE1 View Post

    4) After 4-5 drives i'm finally getting used to the heavy cable clutch (Tremec TKO 600). I hated it at first but now I actually like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by CASCADE1 View Post
    problem solved! just spoke to Mark Dougherty and he is going to take a ride over here and spend the day with me getting it right and addressing a few other dogs and cats. thank you Mark! i'm really looking forward to it.
    While he's there have him look about the clutch cable / oem pedal box / clutch release lever (fork) / pivot ball / clutch cable routing / etc.

    I think I saw a charge in the billing on the bringatrailer ad for an oem pedal box (hopefully sn95 - I don't know anything about the fox body pedal boxes).


    Every ffr builder I've offered to check my clutch pedal action has been amazed at how soft + easy it operates.

    There is absolutely no reason - that an oem sn95 pedal box / cable / *aftermarket quadrant* / release fork / with a reasonably oem mustang clutch (you don't need more than that - you just took 1000 lbs off the chassis / system) - should be "a heavy cable clutch".


    No shade on Mike Everson - I have no idea how he sets them up.

    The traveling builder should absolutely know more about it than me...


    But *one of those guys* should be able to *easily* get it set up to work without "a heavy cable clutch pedal" - assuming you don't have "a hell of a lot more clutch than you need in a 2300# car" ("the tires spin" - not - "the clutch slips").

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