header image
RestoMod Futura
Twin Turbo 460
Project Red GT
Members: 20
News: 74
Web Links: 15
Visitors: 36000
Home arrow RestoMod Futura arrow Restomod Futura arrow Restomod Fairmont 5-Lug Upgrade
Restomod Fairmont 5-Lug Upgrade PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 12
Written by Trever   
Nov 18, 2006 at 10:48 PM
Article Index
Restomod Fairmont 5-Lug Upgrade
Page 2

 5-Lug Restomod Fairmont 







One of the bad things about 78-93 Fox chassis cars is that most of them only had 4-lugs. When I wanted to upgrade to a set of aftermarket rims or bolt on a newer style factory rim, my selection was severly limited. I wanted to get new rims/tires for the Fairmont, but I didn't like what was out there in 4-lug, so I decided to swap over to 5-lug. Check out the article for all the details.

There are simpler, cheaper, less-involved ways out there to do this. Through my research and desire to have a good handling car, the stock 10" disc brakes/9" drum brakes didn't fit into the formula. After evaluating my options (reading articles, searching the internet), I decided to shop around for a '94 or newer Mustang front-end. In 94, Ford switched to a hub-style spindle, and moved back to a 5-lug bolt pattern and 11" brakes. In '99, the Mustang GT came with similar spindles and PBR 2-piston aluminum calipers. The '94 and up spindles are also revised to improving steering geometry and handling.

Do you see where this is going? The PBR brakes fit my requirements, the spindles improve handling, the brakes help stoppage, and they're 5-lug. So I bought a complete spindle set for the 99-up Mustang off of stangparts.com. They don't exactly fit the low-buck route, but they're way cheaper than buying a set of aftermarket brakes. Besides, they are OEM quality and are sure to require low-maintenance.

For the rear-end of the car, I took a slightly different approach. I hopped on eBay and quickly found a rear 11" disc brake set that came off of an '86 Mustang SVO that came complete with 5-lug 28-spline axles from an 8.8" rear. I plan to eventually upgrade to an 8.8" rear in the future, but the 8.8" 28-spline axles will fit into the stock 7.5" rear that I already have. So I can swap over to 5-lug and disc brakes now and not have to spend money on an 8.8" housing. Since for now I'm sticking with the stock six-pickle motor, I don't need the increased strength and weight of the 8.8.

If you're saying to yourself that all this is overkill for a car that only made about 90HP from the factory and has achieved a top speed of 89 MPH only while going down-hill with a tail-wind, you're probably right. But I plan to modify this car beyond most people's imaginations. So that's what I was thinking of when deciding what to buy for this car. Understand?

Now, onto the technical requirements and caveats.

Here's a rundown of the parts I purchased to make this upgrade:

22-207Napa - High Performance Rack/Pinion$79.99
269-2594Napa - Heavy Duty Rod-Ends (two)$91.54
10-1897Napa - Master Cylinder 1 1/8" bore$24.88
7913Napa/Weatherhead Brass fitting


FA2201AutoZone/Perfect Circle Ball Joints (two)$60.00


Front Conversion:

For the most part, the front suspension was a direct bolt-on, but there was some massaging require.

Ball Joints

If the newer control arms are mounted onto the older style ball joint, you will need to machine a spacer to take up the slack between the threads and the control arm. That's an option, but my ball joints were worn so I just replaced them with the newer style ball joints (94-up) which have a shorter "shaft". The new ball joints press right into the older Fox control arms. I purchased mine for about $30 from AutoZone (Perfect Circle P/N FA2201).
94-up Fox Ball Joint

Strut Mounting Holes

Fairmont Restomod Strut Mounting Holes

The struts also required some modification. The bolt hole spacing on the with grinding the bottom of the lower bolt hole to increase the bolt spacing. This is the low-buck approach. In the future I'll be upgrading to a set of aftermarket adjustable struts that should have the correct mounting holes. Be careful here since you're potentially messing with the car's alignment.

Brake Lines 

Fairmont Restomod Brake Lines 

The new PBR brakes use different brake lines and are metric. Fortunately Mustang Parts Specialties snipped the hard brake line and gave me the inverted flaring pieces of the tubing. From there, I had to cut the flares off of the Fairmont brake lines, slide on the new metric flare nut from the new brakes, and re-double flare the Fairmont brake line. The brake line bracket also had to be enlarged to accept the new brake line. This was easily done with a step drill bit. I enlarged the bracket hole just large enough so it still required some effort to push the brake line through. That should ensure the brake line won't rotate in the bracket and potentially contact the tire.


I upgraded to a remanufactured "high-performance" steering rack from Napa (P/N 22-207). After much thought, I decided to stick with power steering since I am running quite large tires on this car (245 section width). The rack mentioned above is almost identical to the stock rack, but is a little wider. It uses the same rack mounts as any Mustang rack. Any Fox tie-rod end will work on this rack.

This rack wasn't a complete bolt-in. The '78/'79 Fairmonts came with a "Saginaw" power steering pump. In '80, the power steering pumps were switched to the Ford pump. This affected my rack swap because the hose fittings are totally different. The stock hoses wouldn't work, and I couldn't find a hose that would work in the parts catalog.


So, I ended up getting a few Aeroquip fittings to solve my hose problem. I used an Aeroquip Saginaw to -6A/N fitting on the pump. I found two fittings at a local industrial supply store that converted the racks' pipe style fittings to -6AN. I make a couple custom hoses using stainless braded hose. The result is a leak-free power steering hose assembly. The rack works flawlessly and is extremely responsive.

Last Updated ( Nov 22, 2006 at 02:19 PM )
Help Support Us