Tempo - Topaz Car Club of North America FAQs (frequently-asked questions)
Category: Main -> Ford Tempo / Mercury Topaz FAQ -> Brakes, Wheels, and Suspension|
What kind of brakes does the Tempo/Topaz use?
The Tempo/Topaz uses a front-disc, rear-drum hydraulic braking setup. It is a power-assisted vacuum-boosted system.Back to top
Are there brake upgrades for the Tempo/Topaz? Can I convert to an all-disc setup?
While there are no factory or aftermarket kits to do this to a Tempo / Topaz, several of our members have done this on their own. Further information can be found in the forums.Back to top
My Tempo looks like its back end is sagging, but it still drives fine. What is wrong?
You may need new rear springs. The aerodynamic design of the Tempo/Topaz places extra stress and airflow on the rear of the car, which weakens the springs over time. The solution is to get stiffer (or just plain new) rear springs.Back to top
What kinds of rims are available for the T/T?
The T/T shares its rim bolt pattern with quite a few other Ford cars, including the early (1983-1990) Ford Escort/EXP/Mercury LN7, the Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique, and the Ford Focus. Any rim that will fit those cars should be able to fit the T/T, but you should double-check to make sure the width and (most importantly) offset is acceptable before buying them.
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For a complete list of factory available rims on the Tempo and Topaz, check the Tech Center.
Will a set of rims for one of the compact Japanese cars, such as the Civic, Corolla, or Sentra fit?
Outside of having to consider the bolt spacing, one also has to consider the offset of the wheels in question. Another factor that many overlook is the diameter of hub. Even if the bolt pattern and offset are correct, many foreign vehicles use a smaller hub. As such, the larger diameter Tempo / Topaz hub will not fit through the smaller center hole.Back to top
What kinds of tires can I put on my Tempo/Topaz?
Technically, you can use any tire that fits your wheel and is roadworthy. Specific types of tread design and tire compound may work better than others under certain driving conditions, terrain and temperatures. Back to top
What can I do to tighten up the handling on my T/T?
Tightening up your suspension and handling is probably one of the best performance mods you can do for your car. Power improvements, except for forced induction, often give horsepower and torque only in small increments, and are usually expensive and require your car to be out of commission. For much less time and money, you can install suspension improvements that will make your car handle much better and more fun to drive. Back to top
The installation of a factory or aftermarket rear sway bar really seems to improve the road-holding capacity of these vehicles. Further stiffening, such as by installing front and / or rear strut tower braces can also be done. While many find this to make a world of difference, others seeking an even firmer ride replace their front factory anti-roll bar with a larger diameter unit. This can be an aftermarket piece OR a FoMoCo unit from another Tempo / Topaz that was more heavily optioned. More info about anti-roll bars can be found in the Tech Center.
Are the tire bolt patterns the same for all year Tempo's / Topaz's?
Yes, all years of the Tempo and Topaz featured a 4 x 108mm ( 4 x 4.25" ) bolt pattern. This is true of both the 2.3 HSC 4 cylinder cars and 3.0 V6 equipped cars. Wheel diameters did change over the years with some cars getting either 13", 14" or 15" tires. Back to top