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Discussion Starter #1
1996 tbirdm V8, 110k. Car has been fine. Riding well. Here in Cincy it has been cold, low 10'ish high;s around 20 to 25, snow yesterday. Today I get in car, driving along notice a very bouncy rear end. Get out and look at it today on lunch and note the rear end is sitting low. Got a bad bouncy ride on any bad surface. This car as far as I know is not a air bad suspension. Did both back shocks or struts, what ever it has both go at the same time???? Seems kinda odd to me!
 

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Voice/Data Guru
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Sounds like that the very cold air there busted the seals in the shocks Just a guess
 

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Take a closer look and see if the springs are broken; a bunch if people in the north seem to break springs.

The seals would definitely do that, but I've personally never seen that happen without a pothole or ditch being involved. :)

I'd crawl under there and look closely; if the seals died recently, there should be oil everywhere down the shock. I've split a shock all the way down the side, but not on one of these cars, thankfully.

The springs should be obvious if they're broken...

Also check the upper inner control arm bushing; I found those bad suddenly in my black Cougar.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the damn thing was fine last night. Got in today and immediately noticed it was done, dead feeling in rear, bouncy over any crack in the road, like a frigging low rider. Seems like it is on both sides in back.
 

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Probably broken springs. Shocks shouldn't affect ride height at all, unless they were seized, in which case the rear would be higher, not lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
looks like both sides of back are sitting at the same low point. Both springs would go at the same time? Seeeeeems so unlikely. Next. do I hurt the car riding it this way, what ever is broke. I know when I push down on rear end it is bouncy, much more then front.
 

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Well the cold does make them more brittle, and once one goes it puts more stress on the other, so it could be. Really the springs are the only thing that could affect ride height like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ha ha ha. Never heard of this one. I have owned DOZENS of cars, 20, 30, 40 years old that were all orig and did not do this. ha ha ha ha.
How much will this set me back?
 

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PostSlut
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How much will this set me back?
depends on what it is.
did you take a look and see what the problem might be?
If its rear shocks, I'm sure you could get some cheap replacements for around 50 60 bucks....if its springs, I bet you could get some used ones shipped cheap from someone on here.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i have not had a chance to look at it. work now, got to get a jack back from bro to get it up so I CAN see, ha ha ha.
 

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Well if you do it yourself, it will be cheap. You can usually pick up SC/sport springs for around $100 shipped for all 4, or find someone who already upgraded and has some stockers and pick them up even cheaper. To replace the rear springs, just unbolt the spindle from both control arms, unbolt the bottom end of the shock from the lower control arm, then pry the lower arm down until you can get the spring out. For going back, reverse the process except that you will probably need to get a jack under the LCA to compress the spring and get everything back together.
 

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I noticed a lot of broken springs up north in the past here in these threads.

I'm 56 this month, have owned a lot of coil spring cars and some trucks, and went through 14 assigned police cars over 31 years of police career ...
... and I never saw or suffered a broken spring except a few broken truck springs on large tractor trailers in wrecks or during inspections.

I think it's the cold coupled with the potholes and hard ice with cracks, etc in the roadways.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The car was fine the night before when I parked it in the garage. Next worning I notices about 5 min into drive the harsh ride from rear end. At lunch noticed the back end was sitting low, tires up further in wheel wells then typical.
Well today the car seems to be riding better. rear end is back up, tires riding normal height it seems. The rear end does not have that GO CART ride feel to it nearly as bad as it was.
Coudl the shocks have been FROZEN? This is really odd.
 

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Yea broken springs are fairly common in older vehicles at least around here (Maine). IDK if its the cold, rust, or crappy roads; probably all three. My T-bird had 2 broken front springs when I bought it:


Also I think my old Ford ranger had a broken front spring before I took it off the road, I just kept driving it like that lol. Was leaning to one side near the end.
 

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Yea broken springs are fairly common in older vehicles at least around here (Maine). IDK if its the cold, rust, or crappy roads; probably all three. My T-bird had 2 broken front springs when I bought it:


Also I think my old Ford ranger had a broken front spring before I took it off the road, I just kept driving it like that lol. Was leaning to one side near the end.
I've seen that same issue on 3 birds. Has to be the salt and potholes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update:

Well the rear end has went back up to normal height and the harsh low rider/gocart bouncy ride is gone. I looked at the springs, appeared not to be broken and the shocks showed no sign of a recent leak, nothing on the floor under the car in the garage. VERY ODD!!!! Funny thing is that the temps have not changed all that much.
 
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