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on my Mark, the front air suspension was removed and the and standard shock installed. At 130K miles i now need to replace the upper arm on the passsenger side. I'm getting conflicting info on removal of shock/strut. to change the upper and lower arms does the shock need to come out? can i do the upper and reaatched to spindle then do the lower and leave it in place? Can the shock be taken out with out a special tool. just floor jack under the arm loosen everything and lower till the tension is gone?

Next question is can I do the passenger side now and the drivers side in a couple of weeks with out an alignment? what should I keep track off as i disassemble to get the alignement "close".

I only drive once a week or so to work and that's about 12 mile round trip.
 

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on my Mark, the front air suspension was removed and the and standard shock installed. At 130K miles i now need to replace the upper arm on the passsenger side. I'm getting conflicting info on removal of shock/strut. to change the upper and lower arms does the shock need to come out? can i do the upper and reaatched to spindle then do the lower and leave it in place? Can the shock be taken out with out a special tool. just floor jack under the arm loosen everything and lower till the tension is gone?

Next question is can I do the passenger side now and the drivers side in a couple of weeks with out an alignment? what should I keep track off as i disassemble to get the alignement "close".

I only drive once a week or so to work and that's about 12 mile round trip.
I may be mistaken, but the upper arms on the coil spring kit for the Mark VIII uses standard MN-12 arms. If that's the case, and it basically has an MN-12 front suspension, then the spring does not need to come out. Support the lower control arm, unbolt the upper, pull it, put in the new, and put it down. Takes a few hours because the 18mm nut has very very little room to work the ratcheting wrench (go and buy one if you don't have one, you'll appreciate it).

While I would go ahead and get it aligned asap, I did mine one at a time and I was daily driving mine at the time, and it didn't hurt my tires any. Since you don't drive it much, I wouldn't be overly concerned.
 

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One more note - torque down the 18mm nuts BEFORE you attach the ball joint to the spindle; that way, you can do it with the arm level to keep the bushings from getting wound up.

RwP
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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The only difference between the MN12 and FN10 UCAs is the presence of the mounting point for the air ride sensors. Since you don't have it anymore, you can use the MN12 UCAs. And no, the shock assembly does not need to be removed (it is also identical to the MN12 shock assembly).

If you replace the UCAs you do not need an alignment. Only if you mess around with the tie rods or lower control arm to frame bolts or strut rod bolts do you need an alignment.

If you replace the lowers (not sure based on your post if you are, it sounds like it but it's not in the title :)) then yeah, you need an alignment. Snap a pic of the camber alignment cam bolt so you can get it close when you reassemble.

As far as getting the shock out - you will probably need to undo the UCA at the spindle as well as unhook one end of the sway bar endlink to be able to lower the LCA far enough to be able to get enough clearance to get the assembly out. But otherwise, no special tools. The shock assembly keeps the spring compressed - it comes out as a complete assembly (just don't loosen the center bolt that sticks out of the center of the shock mount - that's what keeps it all together).
 
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