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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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My winter will be busy

Got a 2015 Mustang IRS on Tuesday to start my upgrade of my MkII.

Ordered the needed parts from FFR yesterday and should have them in 2 weeks. Going to be a ton of work but I think it will be worth it.


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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 02:03 PM
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Subscribed, this is one of the things I couldn't fit in my budget that I really want to do in the future. It'll be nice to have you as a guinea pig for this lol. Is the center section an 8.8? It would be nice if you (and I as well) would be able to swap the gears and TruTrac over from the solid axle...


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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This is a 315 gear. Not my favorite but i lived w/ a 308 for many years w/ my 351. Went to a 331 3 yrs ago and then to a 408 engine this spring. My understanding is that a lot of the guts of these diffs, sometimes referred to as 'Super 8.8', are different than the old 8.8s. Also heard an unconfirmed thought that, to change to a 355, I would need to change lim slip unit. We will see about all that next year IF I can't stand the 315. BTW, about 7 weeks ago I took the TrueTrac out of my axle and installed a ford unit w/ the carbon fiber clutches. I had ended up w/ terrible wheel freeplay and it turned out to be the spider gears were quite loose in the housing. Sure is nice to also be rid of all the drive line slop that the TrueTrac had.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-11-2016, 06:35 PM
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Wow! should be interesting!

How do you deal with the driveline connection? (I read that it will only work with the 2015 trans center section), new 18" wheels? It would be pretty nice but expensive. I know you probably got a smoking deal on the IRS though...!

Good luck.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-12-2016, 02:04 AM
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It will be well worth it. trust me.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-12-2016, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! should be interesting!

How do you deal with the driveline connection? (I read that it will only work with the 2015 trans center section), new 18" wheels? It would be pretty nice but expensive. I know you probably got a smoking deal on the IRS though...!

Good luck.

Sean
Good question. I think I saw that FFR has an adapter. Maybe I will need a different driveshaft but I hope not. Probably not changing wheels so maybe those brakes won't work. The other option was to buy new complete differential and spindles/hubs. those would be more than I paid for the salvage parts so....I have wanted to do IRS for at least 3 yrs when I helped a friend build an FFR w/ the T-bird IRS. But that system hasn't worked out to well in competition so I didn't do that. The 15 IRS works fine for everything and it has taken a year to decide to spend the $. Some how, some way, this will all work out.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-12-2016, 11:55 PM
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That is going to be a nice winter project for sure. If there's a will there's a way all going to work out perfect only thing is it may put your patience level to the test

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Got a box of frame parts from FFR this week.

Waiting on axles and control arms etc.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 01:28 PM
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Got a box of frame parts from FFR this week.

Waiting on axles and control arms etc.
Do those frame parts have the finished welds or will you need to complete welding them? They appear to me to be only tack welded but I haven't seen the new IRS frame parts before so maybe that's the way they are supposed to be.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Yep tack welds only. Yesterday I took that big piece over to a friends who is is building a 33 hotrod to compare. I will be finishing the welds.


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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 01:55 PM
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Cool! I had heard FF wasn't selling a retrofit kit, but clearly they're willing to sell the parts for a DIY installation. That's good information. Someone asked me about that yesterday. Apparently they just tack weld the pieces during initial fab and then finish weld them during chassis assembly. Makes sense.

Just looking at the pieces... You mentioned axles and control arms. I assume you also ordered the necessary bolts. Also there are bushings, sleeves, and bolts that are used to mount the center section. You'll need wheel studs to change out the ones in the Mustang hubs. Also, if you're interested in adding a sway bar now or in the future, there are additional brackets that get added. Don't see those in the box. They're just bolt on, so that's easy enough. But go under the bolts for the LCA and toe arm. Would be easier to install the first time.

For the new IRS, Ford used a Guibo Joint between the driveshaft and differential flange. One of the first things the performance guys take out. The adapter FF sells (and I think it's actually an available commercial product) adapts the non-standard flange on the new center section to the standard setup we've been using all along with the old 8.8. Likely you will need to adjust the length of your driveshaft.

Good luck! Will be interested in seeing your progress.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-08-2016, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Just looking at the pieces... You mentioned axles and control arms. I assume you also ordered the necessary bolts. Also there are bushings, sleeves, and bolts that are used to mount the center section. You'll need wheel studs to change out the ones in the Mustang hubs. Also, if you're interested in adding a sway bar now or in the future, there are additional brackets that get added. Don't see those in the box. They're just bolt on, so that's easy enough. But go under the bolts for the LCA and toe arm. Would be easier to install the first time.
Good luck! Will be interested in seeing your progress.
My understanding was that I will get all of those large and small pieces. I am a bit surprised I haven't gotten a second box yet but will wait until next week to contact FFR. thanks for the info on the swaybar mounts. I will be sure to add them even if I don't end up using one. On my 3 link I have the VPM bar but it has been disconnected for most of this summer when I increased the rear spring rate.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-02-2016, 02:39 PM
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I some how missed this. I am glad you are taking this on it has crossed my mind as well. Are you planning on posting progress pics, especially the removal of 3 link components and the hanging of the IRS?

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-03-2016, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Got started on Monday. Pulled the 3 link pieces and then the axle itself

I also pulled the gas tank and fuel filter. I removed the hose that feeds the mechanical pump and blew air through so I would be sure there is no gas anywhere near where I will be doing a ton of welding.
Tacked the front diff/LCA mount in position.

and then needed to figure how to locate the rear mount. Decided to bolt up the LCAs and, since they are plastic bushings rather than rod ends, they really locate the rear mount quite well. It sags maybe a 1/4 inch so I just push upward a little until the LCA moves freely.


Today I need to get the car higher off the floor. Yesterday, tacking the rear mount in was tough. Laying on the floor I have my arms nearly fully extended to get the tig torch into position. So I am not very steady and can't see so well at that distance. I will try to get it so I can sit up under the car. The key to nice tig welds is having a very comfortable position and I usually have my face within about 8 inches of the weld.
All the 3 link stuff unbolts except the chassis mount for the 3rd link. Back in 2007 I had initially bolted it but later had welded some extra bracing in. So now it is kind of permanent. I hope I can leave it cause I would need to rent a torch to remove it.

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 01:17 AM
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Today I finished welding the rear mount in and wanted to verify that the diff fits. That was fun by myself but doable. Got it into position to verify my spacing is correct and than took it back out.

Started looking at the UCA front mount and how that will work. Realized I will need to remove the OE 4 link mounts as well as the 3 link which I had welded in. Going to rent a torch tomorrow.

FFR 5353K, 408W, TKO 500, 2015 IRS w/ 315 gear, Breeze QA1 DA coilovers front and rear, APE hardtop, Forte front swaybar
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 02:49 PM
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This is awesome I'm very interested in doing the same. I will be watching closely.

Ed.

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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 07:44 PM
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looking great Craig

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2016, 08:07 PM
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Just stumbled onto this.



These kinds of threads have been becoming fewer and fewer, since the Mk IV.

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2016, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Rented a plasma cutter and got all the 4 link and 3 link stuff out of the way and then welded in all the brackets for the front UCA mounts. Quick install of all the control arms to make sure they fit and took a pic after the other side was back out for paint. ooops.

Rattle can Rustoleum etching primer and 'Hammered" black. And now the diff is in, hopefully permanently. Had to oval the hole in the front right ear of the diff. This is what I have been worrying about this whole time-that I could get all this welded into proper position w/o the jig FFR certainly uses. This small amount of ovaling says the diff is within 1/16 inch of where it should be.

Now I can measure to get the driveshaft shortened, run new brake lines and re-locate the fuel filter and hoses.

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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-17-2016, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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New brake and fuel lines have been run. I pick up my shorter driveshaft this AM. Waiting for some bolts from McMaster that may be here today. I don't like the threaded portion of the bolt to be in the mounting ear so I ordered the next longer length. Also some of the supplied bolts are metric. I have no problem w/ metric normally but prefer to keep the cobra all fractional. Too much trouble to worry about needing a 15, 16 or 18MM wrench in addition to the fractionals already in the tool box. Pictures later if photobucket ever works again.

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Last edited by CraigS; 11-18-2016 at 05:45 PM.
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-18-2016, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Diff is in, control arms in, axles in but I realized I have the wrong driveshaft adapter. That will teach me not to ask questions. When FFR asked if I was using a stick or auto, I said stick. Well apparently that is a reference to what car the diff came from rather than my trans choice. So my adapter is too large an OD. I know my salvage yard stuff came from a V8 because it has vented rotors but I didn't realize it was an auto trans source. FFR is sending me the other choice. They said just send back which ever one you don't use.

I also found out that I can't get the drive shaft into the trans because the pinion flange is too close to my welded in drive shaft hoop. So I will need to remove the front diff mount bolts, loosen the rear diff diff mounts, and hope I can push the pinion up maybe 1 1/2 inches. BTW, this is a funny looking driveshaft. Only about 2.5 inches of tube in the center.

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Last edited by CraigS; 11-18-2016 at 05:37 PM.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-24-2016, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Got the driveshaft adapter piece and it fits on to the diff flange. Yeah.

But, it bolts to the diff w/ six 10MM bolts and there are 4 threaded holes for the driveshaft but they are also 10mm. The OE driveshaft bolts are 12MM and I was not happy about a downgrade. So I took the adapter to a machine shop and had it drilled and tapped for 12MM. Then my stupidity showed up. The bolt pattern on the adapter is maybe 1/4 inch larger than the driveshaft. Crap this will never end. So I emailed FFR at about 6PM and will go to the driveshaft shop Fri AM if they are open. I think the easiest thing is a different end for the shaft. I hope one exists.
In the mean time I will get ride height and alignment done. I worked out that I can use my 3 link rear DA QA1s after I drilled a hole for the top mount that is higher to make up for the longer shocks.

I want to stay w/ these shocks for two reasons. 1- I love the quick adjustment, 2- The next shorter shock also gives up nearly an inch of available travel. I like extra travel available so I am not locked I into a narrow range of ride height.
Also need to swap back to my 5/8 MC for the rear brakes.

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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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While reading through FFRs parts offerings I found that the adapter requires a Spicer #2-2-489 flange. Ordered it Friday and hope to have it tomorrow Tuesday. Also ordered a u-joint since it's been maybe 30 yrs since I last replaced one. I am used to cutting the cross out w/ a torch which saves a lot of hammer work but I don't have a torch.
Dennys Driveshafts > DANA SPICER 2-2-489 Flange Yoke 1330 Series

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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-03-2016, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Got the driveshaft straightened out late Thursday. I had had the FFR adapter drilled and tapped to use 12mm bolts for the drive shaft since that is what the solid axle has used. I just couldn't get myself to be happy to down grade to four 10mm bolts. That meant that I needed to drill out the new flange but that was easy to do. Got the car on the ground and did an alignment Friday but had other stuff to do so no drive that day. Had a few fuel system problems that took too long for my brain to figure out and finally got to drive the car today. I am quite pleased. Will keep trying different shock settings but so far, my initial guess is within a couple of clicks I think. The ride is better, but the best thing is that a bump in the middle of a turn doesn't upset the car nearly as much as it did w/ the 3 link. I did find that my 3 sets of 17 inch Bullitts are not all equal. Not sure why although they were bought at different times over a 10 year period. The newer sets clear the calipers fine w/ a 1/2 inch spacer. The older one won't clear the caliper even w/ a 35mm spacer. I will get tires swapped around Monday.

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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-04-2016, 03:38 PM
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My winter will be busy

Got the driveshaft straightened out late Thursday. I had had the FFR adapter drilled and tapped to use 12mm bolts for the drive shaft since that is what the solid axle has used. I just couldn't get myself to be happy to down grade to four 10mm bolts. That meant that I needed to drill out the new flange but that was easy to do. Got the car on the ground and did an alignment Friday but had other stuff to do so no drive that day. Had a few fuel system problems that took too long for my brain to figure out and finally got to drive the car today. I am quite pleased. Will keep trying different shock settings but so far, my initial guess is within a couple of clicks I think. The ride is better, but the best thing is that a bump in the middle of a turn doesn't upset the car nearly as much as it did w/ the 3 link. I did find that my 3 sets of 17 inch Bullitts are not all equal. Not sure why although they were bought at different times over a 10 year period. The newer sets clear the calipers fine w/ a 1/2 inch spacer. The older one won't clear the caliper even w/ a 35mm spacer. I will get tires swapped around Monday.
Either you got done a lot faster than you thought, or winter where you are is really short lol. What are you going to do for the rest of the winter?

Also it's great to see someone has done this swap successfully, it looks like it's fairly straightforward as long as you can take accurate measurements and weld the new components in accurately. All the other times I've seen someone ask about doing an IRS upgrade the answer has basically been "it's almost impossible, don't bother".
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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Either you got done a lot faster than you thought, or winter where you are is really short lol. What are you going to do for the rest of the winter?

Also it's great to see someone has done this swap successfully, it looks like it's fairly straightforward as long as you can take accurate measurements and weld the new components in accurately. All the other times I've seen someone ask about doing an IRS upgrade the answer has basically been "it's almost impossible, don't bother".
Yes, it is a lot of work but in reality it isn't that difficult. The most difficult for me is my 68 yr old non-athletic body doesn't really like laying on my back and contorting into all the positions I needed to get the welding done. Also there were times where I was sitting up w/ my head and shoulders in where the diff is, but my tallest jack stands had the car about 2 inches too low to be able to have my neck straight. So I would take breaks and either go in the house for a while or work on some other part of the job for a while. The rest of the winter may be used to upgrade the front suspension. I have a pair of the FFR spindles that I want to install but that also requires new hubs, rotors, calipers, and brake lines so may be put off for a while. My wife asks if I will ever be done working on the Cobra and my answer is, "I sure hope not."

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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-07-2016, 01:39 PM
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Also there were times where I was sitting up w/ my head and shoulders in where the diff is, but my tallest jack stands had the car about 2 inches too low to be able to have my neck straight.

My wife asks if I will ever be done working on the Cobra and my answer is, "I sure hope not."
I use 4 2x8's, securely fastened together in a stack about 12" long as bases for my jack stands to get that extra lift. Depending on the size of the stands I will also use some under the jack to lift the car that high. It is a slow process jacking the car up that high.

My car also wont ever be done way too much fun tweaking and upgrading. That was one of the reasons why I bought a Factory Five, the performance upgrades are endless.

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
FFCobra Craftsman
 
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Manassas, Va
Posts: 17,698
I thought about 2by's or plywood but it made me too nervous. Also figured by the time I got the materials and made them, I would be done w/ that part of the welding. Of course that was a way off time estimate. If I ever need height again I will have to spend some time building some that I am comfortable with.

FFR 5353K, 408W, TKO 500, 2015 IRS w/ 315 gear, Breeze QA1 DA coilovers front and rear, APE hardtop, Forte front swaybar
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-23-2016, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Manassas, Va
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More driving in the last few weeks and I am very happy. The ride w/ the FFR 400# springs is definitely better than I could get w/ the same shocks on the solid axle. I may try some 350s after the holidays just because. The other huge plus is the brakes. I am using them exactly as they came off the salvage car w/ the OE pads. My last brake experiment on the solid axle was 3/4 MC w/ GM Metric calipers w/ 2.5 inch pistons. That was a good setup except in autocross the pedal would fade a bit the last half of the run. Pad knock back caused by axle end play and flex that I just couldn't entirely eliminate. W/ the 2015 brakes I went back to a 5/8 MC and am very happy w/ the power available. AX will tell for sure but I expect that the knock back will be gone. This is good news as I am running my same 10.5x17 wheels which barely clear (18s are the smallest wheels available on the 2015s) so there is no room to go to larger brakes. This is not a cheap upgrade but I think it is definitely worth the time and $.

FFR 5353K, 408W, TKO 500, 2015 IRS w/ 315 gear, Breeze QA1 DA coilovers front and rear, APE hardtop, Forte front swaybar
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