There is no lack of aftermarket options when it comes to tubular front K-members for your late-model Mustang, and sorting out the differences and fitments can be a long, tedious process involving hours of Internet searches, phone calls and more. Maximum Motorsports has been in the late-model Mustang game since it began and the company’s high quality of research, design, and manufacturing has created a reputation for strong parts that work and that fit as expected. It should come as no surprise then that the company has expanded its tubular K-member product line to include the surge in popularity of engine swaps, be it the Coyote 5.0 in the Fox Body Mustang, or the push rod-based small-block Ford engine into the newer, formerly Modular-powered Mustang bodies such as those from 1996-2004.
The Maximum Motorsports K-member for engine swaps in 1979-1995 Mustangs is a bolt-in piece that has the engine mounting pads and steering rack location to allow fitment of 5.0L Coyote (2011-2014 and 2015+), 4.6L/5.4L Modular, 3.8L V-6s, and even LSX engines.
Weight savings has probably been the number one factor for swapping out the stamped steel stock K-member in a Mustang and the Maximum Motorsports offerings weigh just 39 lbs, which according to Maximum Motorsports is 22 percent lighter than the OEM K-member. Its design was recently updated for better fitment with 2015+ Coyote engines (All MMKM-2.1 K-members shipped after 8/1/18 are of the new design).
While weight saving is a great benefit of a tubular K-member, Maximum Motorsports’ focus on designing an aftermarket one has largely been aimed at optimizing the suspension geometry to increase cornering grip and produce a better-handling Mustang. While suspension geometry and pickup points are an important parts of the equation, making sure the suspension is bolted to a sturdy and stiff chassis allows the suspension to be more effective in its function and Maximum Motorsports incorporated advanced cross-bracing and triangulation of tube intersections to ensure the strength and durability for just this reason. Thicker-gauge metal is used, as are larger-sized tubes, both of which ensure the K-members can handle the harshest road course and drag strip situations.
What might be surprising to most enthusiasts who are taking a look at the Maximum Motorsports K-member and associated components are the amount of details the company offers in regard to options and fitment. The company has obviously done a lot of research during product development to ensure the accuracy of its information.
And even with all of the work put in during the initial development phase of the product line, Maximum Motorsports continues to review its product design and make changes on the fly to provide additional and/or better fitment. A perfect example of this is the change Maximum made as a result of the 2015 Coyote engines and the Charge Motion Control Valves located at the back of the intake manifold. They interfered with the Fox-Body firewall, and since this would be the Coyote 5.0 engine going forward, the company made changes to its K-member to re-position the engine forward. This, in turn, necessitated another change to allow clearance for the engine’s oil pan since it would be moving forward as well.
In addition to fitting a variety of engines, the Maximum Motorsports K-members are available with a variety of engine mount and control arm options, as well as control arm mounting locations, to dial in the suspension setup just the way you need it to be. There are three different control arm options for the Fox-Body platform and two for the SN95 platform.
A couple of other things to note about these K-members is that Maximum designed them for easier steering rack removal, and there are precisely located holes to hang plumb bobs from to ensure the K-member is square in the chassis.
In addition to doing its homework before producing the K-members, Maximum Motorsports also put them in a bunch of American Iron road-racing cars to make sure they can hold up against the harshest of situations. Once that was completed, it was time to manufacture—which is done right at the company’s San Luis Obispo, California, facility.