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Maintenance, Troubleshooting and Diagnosis Need help? Having troubles with your GT? Need some maintenance tips? Ask your questions here.

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Old 03-26-2014, 04:17 PM   #1
fb93
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Default Foxbody Strut Towers

I Googled but havent found a soild answer. What exactly is the difference between the 79-89 and 90-93 strut towers? Is it just the holes for the strut plate, or is the tower shaped differently as well? I know the strut plates are different as Ford revised the suspension a bit, but thats about it. So really my main concern is the shape of the strut tower. Is it the same as a 90-93 with the only difference being the holes?

The reason i ask is that im looking for a complete frame rail/strut tower assembly for my 93 and have access to an 89. If the only difference between them are the holes for strut plate, i can just swap the brace on the backside of mine to the 89 and redrill. But if its the entire strut tower thats shaped differently on top of that, i wont bother. Im still looking for a good but cheap 90-93 as a donor, which is really what i want, but if all the 89 needs are new holes, im game.

The number of possible donors would go up quite a bit if the only difference was hole placement.
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:12 PM   #2
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This would explain why I had so much trouble getting my '88 brake booster removed, when everyone says it just comes out. I had to make a special tool to remove the master cylinder nut nearest the shock tower. This would also explain why Ford could have changed it. I pulled some parts from a '93 & the shock tower did appear smaller, i.e. mine looks fatter. I didn't measure them, so can't tell you for sure. The difference, if it exists, is no more than 1/2".

In your case, you said you need a "...complete frame rail/strut tower assembly for my 93..." How do you plan on swapping these? Can they actually be removed from the rest of the unibody?

Anyway, I think all the centerline dimensions are the same. Get some string, take some measurements & go to a junkyard. Specifically, look at the brake booster stud & master cylinder nut clearance.

Maybe you'll be the first one to clarify this for all.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:01 AM   #3
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Brake boosters shouldnt need much. If anything you may need to beat the fender apron a bit for, IIRC, the 93 Cobra booster. Elongating the holes in the firewall will help should it ever need to come back out. The master cylinder shouldnt be an issue at all.

Can the frame rail/strut tower assembly be removed from the vehicle?

Yes, you can remove them from the rest of the unibody. You just have to drill a hundred or so spot welds out. Thats all the unibody is held together with, spot welds. There are a couple at the rad support along the leading edges of the fender aprons, including the upper L and R corners of the rad support, a couple more at the frame rails where the rad support passes, about 12 or so per side at the rear of the frame rails, a couple along the back edge of the fender aprons up the firewall, and a bunch more starting from the cowl area leading out towards the end of the fender apron. And there is a brace on the backside of the strut tower that ties into that. LOTS of spot welds. VERY time consuming.

I already have an NOS 90-93 driver side frame rail/strut tower assembly ready to go, from NPD. But no one seems to have the passenger side. Used is it. I bought a RH OEM style frame rail kit from LRS, but its not quite correct for 86-93. The sway bar brackets are the 79-85 style and there are a couple oval holes punched out in the rail that my 93 doesnt have, so they will need filled to be factory correct. Easy fix. There is a brace at the rad support for the frame rail but does come with the kit so thats more spot welds to drill. If youre picky with your baby like me, the kit will need some modification to look 100% correct for 86-93. Other than that is a solid well made kit. Not sure i will use it to be honest, but im holding onto it as a last resort.

Just to replace a rail im looking at close to 2 grand. Engine has to come out, all that crap. If i can find a complete assembly im looking at closer to 900 and there is a good chance the engine can stay where it is. Less labor, but a bit more measuring.

As for checking the different years concerning the shock tower and other stuff, im stuck shopping ebay and the like for what im after. The only GOOD yard is 45 minutes to an hour off and i rarely, if ever, have the time. If the older towers are infact smaller, i dont think id like that. That 1/2" difference, should that be the case, would bug me to no end. I want everything to match. Hole placements however are not an issue.

Last edited by fb93; 03-31-2014 at 01:08 AM..
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fb93
Brake boosters shouldnt need much. If anything you may need to beat the fender apron a bit for, IIRC, the 93 Cobra booster. Elongating the holes in the firewall will help should it ever need to come back out. The master cylinder shouldnt be an issue at all.
...
As for checking the different years concerning the shock tower and other stuff, im stuck shopping ebay and the like for what im after. The only GOOD yard is 45 minutes to an hour off and i rarely, if ever, have the time. If the older towers are infact smaller, i dont think id like that. That 1/2" difference, should that be the case, would bug me to no end. I want everything to match. Hole placements however are not an issue.
You have misunderstood, the older towers could be larger not smaller. The clearance from the nut & stud to the shock tower was the issue. Standard socket too short, deep well socket too long (back would hit shock tower). Could find no mid length sockets. Took a Craftsman 14mm 1/4" deep well & turned it shorter on a lathe. Needed wobble extensions, too.

After getting it out, 2 of the 4 holes were not clear, ran the step drill through to 1/2"Dia., same as the other 2 holes. You could see Ford had trouble getting it in at the factory, one of the holes has a small hole next to it, like the tool missed & jumped off alignment. If they had moved the entire assembly 1/2" to the right (looking from inside the car), there would have been no problem. Who knows, mine might be off 1/2" to the left?
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