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H&R Mustang Sport Springs, 1996-2004 Hardtop
Actual product may differ from photo.

$249.96

  • Item # 51652
  • Manufacturer: H&R Springs

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H&R Sport springs for 1996-2004 Ford Mustang hardtop with solid rear axle:

  • Lower your Mustang for better appearance
  • Increase the spring rate to reduce brake dive and body roll when cornering
  • Lower center of gravity aids handling
  • Quicken steering response

On the street and on the track, H&R has consistently shown the high-performance abilities of their suspension parts, making them an industry leader.

To order

  • Choose a full set of 4 springs, or a front pair or rear pair
  • Select the discounted MMT-8 to make the install much easier
  • Choose front and/or rear spring isolators for reduced NVH
  • Click the Add To Cart button

Sport springs

These are a moderate-rate lowering spring. Slightly higher than the stock spring rate, they provide a modest reduction in body roll and brake dive. (For a significant improvement in handling, choose a higher spring rate.) Very good ride quality. Excellent for daily driving.

Approximate lowering:

  • 1.6" front
  • 1.5" rear

Note
Bullitt and Mach 1 models will be lowered slightly less than the amounts listed above because those models were originally slightly lower than the standard GT.

For best performance and ride quality these springs should be matched with an appropriate set of struts and shocks. Read the Installation tab.

Related products:

H&R Sport springs will:

  • Lower your Mustang, improving appearance
  • Reduce body roll when cornering and nose-dive when braking, because the spring rate is higher than stock springs
  • Quicken steering response because the spring rate is higher
  • Lower the center of gravity, improving handling
  • Progressive spring rate
  • Powder-coated for long-lasting protection and great looks

Fits

  • 1996-2004 Mustang hardtop with solid rear axle

Does NOT fit

  • 1984-1986 SVO Mustang because the unique SVO front control arm has the spring pocket in a much lower position than the other Mustang control arms
  • Rear of Mustang Cobra IRS

Note
While 1979-2004 Mustang front and rear springs can be physically installed in all 1979-2004 solid axle Mustangs (except SVO front), the amount of lowering in non-listed applications will not be as expected because of the differences in car weight and initial ride height between years and models.

Installing aftermarket springs involves more than just the spring installation itself. To get the full benefit from your spring purchase, there are several related factors to consider:

Alignment
Lowering a Mustang will change the front alignment. The relative lack of adjustment features can sometimes make it difficult to restore the vehicle to Ford camber specifications without using an aftermarket solution. MM Caster Camber Plates greatly extend the range of camber and caster adjustment, allowing alignment to factory specs.

Spring Isolators
Ford installed rubber isolators on both ends of the springs to reduce NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness). The original rubber isolators deteriorate with age, and compress enough over time to noticeably lower your Mustang. Whenever installing springs, it's the best practice to install new spring isolators. Urethane isolators are more durable than rubber, and do not compress appreciably over time.

Struts and Shocks
Ford matched the valving in the original struts and shocks to the original stock spring rates. Most aftermarket springs are stiffer than the stock springs--enough to cause an underdamped situation, meaning that the struts and shocks (the dampers) can't control the springs. That makes the car feel floaty, disconnected from the road, and harder to control. The solution is to install dampers matched to the new, higher spring rates. MM offers a wide variety of quality high performance dampers. If you'd like help choosing the most appropriate damper for your Mustang, please contact us.

Pinion Snubber
"What's that?" you ask. Ford installed a rubber block above the pinion bearing of the rear end of 8.8" solid axle equipped 1986-2004 Mustangs. The pinion snubber limited how high the front of the differential could climb as the rear axle rotated during hard acceleration. When hitting large bumps, the axle will typically hit the pinion snubber before it hit the bumpstops. MM created a pinion snubber which is slightly shorter, and has a progressive increase in stiffness, to improve ride quality. With the MM pinion snubber the axle hits it less frequently, and when it does, the impact is much less harsh than with the stock snubber. MM includes this pinion snubber with each set of 4 H&R springs.

Making the Install Easier
Installing front springs in a Mustang used to be a battle. Then MM designed a nifty little tool to ease the spring installation struggle. Works with aftermarket springs, which have a much shorter free length than stock springs. Fits 1979-2004 Mustangs with stock front control arms. It doesn't work with stock springs because they're too long.

Read the instructions for the spring installation tool.

Do I need to do an alignment after I install springs?
You should always check the alignment after changing your Mustang's ride height. For the stock alignment specs, see your Mustang's factory service manual. For high-performance alignment specs, see the MM caster camber plate instructions, or contact an MM Tech Associate.

Which are the front and rear springs?
H&R front springs are commonly marked (F), Front, or VA. H&R rear springs are usually marked (R), Rear, or HA.

Which end of the spring is the top?
H&R springs fit just like stock springs. The end of the spring that has been ground flat will be the top for all 1979-2004 Mustang springs, both front and rear, solid axle and IRS.

Do I need to get new isolators?
All aftermarket springs for Mustangs are designed to reuse the factory isolators to prevent premature wear and excessive noise. Look for any protective tubing on the factory springs and take note of its location.

Do I need to modify the bumpstops?
Not unless the information that came with your spring purchase specifies this step.

Do springs ever wear out?
The term "wear out" isn't accurate when applied to springs. The spring rate will never change over time because rate is determined by the spring wire diameter and the length of the wire before it is wound into a coil. The rate cannot change without physically changing either the wire diameter or its length.

On the other hand, "spring sag" may occur. This means that the spring's free length has changed because its coils are closer together than they were when manufactured. However, this is very unusual with the newest spring steel alloys and modern manufacturing processes used by reputable spring manufacturers. Spring sag has no effect on spring rate, because sag (change in free length) does not change the dimensions of the wire itself. However, the reduced ride height can adversely affect the suspension geometry, and cause the suspension to bottom out more frequently.

The majority of ride-height reduction over time is caused by degradation of the spring isolators located at each end of the spring, not from spring sag.

Springs can also break. This is usually due to stress risers on the spring wire, such as pitting caused by corrosion. This is one reason to use spring isolators, as they protect the springs' coating from corrosion.

Will the ride height change if I remove the spring isolators?
Yes.

I have the MM adjustable rear lower control arms. When I turn the bolt to raise the car, isn't the spring going to compress and change the spring rate?
No. Raising the lower spring perch does not change the diameter or length of the spring wire. It simply pushes the spring up, which in turn pushes the car's chassis up. The spring is already compressed from the weight of the car-when you raise the lower spring perch, the car's weight does not change enough to affect how much the spring deflects. The spring moves up relative to the ground, which raises the upper spring perch, and therefore the car body.

Where should the bottom end of the front spring be located?
Between the two holes in the control arm spring pocket.

Where should the bottom end of the rear spring be located?
Clock each rear spring so the end of the pigtail is pointing to the left.

Why is there a rubber tube-like thing inside my stock springs?
It's there to reduce NVH (noise-vibration-harshness).

Are H&R springs progressive?
All H&R springs are progressive when the application allows it.

How do I know the amount that H&R springs lowered my Mustang?
Measure your Mustang's ride height before and after installation.

There are several ways to measure ride height. One procedure is in the "Lowering Measurements" section in the H&R Technical Information sheet that came with your H&R springs (the bright-orange paper).

The most important thing is to be consistent in your technique. Have the same amount of fuel on board. At MM we always fill up the tank immediately before measuring ride height, and check the tires' air pressure. Park your Mustang in the same level spot. Always measure between the same two points, such as from the ground to the top of the fender opening, or from the wheel lip to the top of the fender opening. Counting how many of your fingers fit into the gap between the top of the tire and the fender lip does not qualify as measuring.

Do I need to get new isolators and tubing?
All aftermarket springs for Mustangs are designed to reuse factory tubing and isolators to prevent premature wear and excessive noise. Notice any protective tubing on the factory springs and take note of its location for reinstallation.

Why aren't the H&R part numbers on the spring box the same as what's on the springs?
The product part number on the box is the actual part number for the complete set of springs. The number on the springs themselves is a component part number. If you want to verify these, please call H&R at (888) 827-8881. Please provide the year, make, and model of your vehicle, the individual spring component part numbers, and the box's product part number.

If the H&R springs are red, does it mean they're race springs?
No. Color has no relation to which springs you've bought. The part numbers on the springs and/or the box indicate whether you have a race spring kit or otherwise. If you're unsure which springs you have, please call H&R at (888) 827-8881.

General Notes

  • Measure your Mustang's ride height before and after installation. The most important thing is to be consistent in your technique. Have the same amount of fuel on board and the same tire pressures. Park your Mustang in the same level spot. Always measure between the same two points. We suggest measuring from the wheel lip to the top of the fender opening. Counting how many of your fingers fit into the gap between the top of the tire and the fender lip is not measuring.
  • With rubber control arm bushings it is important to pre-load the suspension before tightening the suspension pivot bolts. The easiest way to do this is by allowing the full weight of the vehicle to rest on its tires on an alignment rack or ramps. You can also use a lift or jack stands, lifting each suspension corner and tightening all pivot bolts. Correct suspension preload while tightening pivot bolts will result in more consistent lowering, and will greatly extend the life of the rubber pivot bushings. Unlike rubber bushings that twist rather than rotate, urethane bushings and spherical bearings do rotate, and therefore do not require preloading the suspension while tightening the pivot bolts.
  • Use the proper spring compressor to remove springs from your car or when disassembling a coil-over strut. Springs store a lot of energy, and can cause serious injury and/or damage if suddenly released.
  • Take note of the routing and mounting positions of all brake lines, wires, and cables before modifying your suspension. Failing to reinstall the lines in the factory position can cause damage or brake failure.
  • Before removing springs, label every component from top to bottom with sequential numbers. This will help you reassemble the new and existing parts in their correct order.
  • Before taking the strut assembly apart, use a marker to draw a vertical line across each component to indicate its original factory orientation. This will help you reinstall all the OE parts correctly.
  • Mark the position of all alignment-related mounting bolts, to provide a good starting point for the post-installation alignment.
  • Work on one corner of the car at a time. Strut assemblies have parts that must be assembled exactly in factory order. If you make a mistake or lose track, you can refer to the other assembly.
  • Reinstall all bolts in the same orientation (i.e., up or down) as they originally were installed.
  • All aftermarket replacement springs for Mustangs are designed to reuse factory tubing and isolators to prevent premature wear and excessive noise. Notice any protective tubing on the factory springs and take note of its location.
  • Don't let the spindle or brake caliper hang from the brake line, as it can damage the line and cause premature wear or even failure.
  • To help prevent spring noise on rough roads, leave a 1/4" - 1/2" space between the end of the coil and the end of the spring seat pocket.
  • To isolate the passenger compartment from road noise, spring isolators are used. Age alone will deteriorate rubber isolators as much or more than mileage does. Replace the isolators whenever installing new springs. All new springs for Mustangs are designed for use with new isolator pads. Using worn pads could cause increased noise and improper ride height.
  • Always use a torque wrench for final tightening to factory specs. Never use an impact gun for final tightening of any bolts or nuts, as they tend to over-tighten small bolts and under-tighten large bolts.
  • After the first 500 miles on new springs, and after each track event, re-torque all mounting bolts.

You can read Maximum Motorsports' highly detailed Solid Axle Mustang springs installation instructions before purchase.

You can read Maximum Motorsports' highly detailed IRS Mustang Cobra springs installation instructions before purchase.