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I was wondering how hard is it to change out the front shocks, i called a shop about it and they wanted 400 to just change the front shocks but the rear one are easier. so is it pretty simple?
 

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:search: There's plenty of information here! :D

Usually with the front shocks you have two difficulties. 1) Getting the shock out. Seeing you live in California, rust shouldn't be a problem. The bottom bolt can rust and virtually seize itself to the sleeve in the bushing of the lower control arm. 2) Then you need to break the shock assembly down once it's out of the car. You need a spring compressor to do this, safely! Find a shop in your area, maybe they can swap your new shocks over.

It would be a good idea to get new shock mounts and you might need new bottom bolts, depends on how hard they were to get out.

Joe
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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You won't need a spring compressor to remove the shock assembly from the car, but if you want to remove the springs from the shocks after you get them out you will. The hardest part of getting it out will be like Joe said - the lower control arm bolt. I've had 50/50 success with these; on the Mark 8 and on my fiancee's dad's T-bird they came out like they were brand new. On my T-bird however they're a royal pain every time.

The trick to getting them out is to unbolt the UCA from the spindle. Once you knock the ball joint out of the spindle, the lower control arm can drop an extra couple inches (unhook the sway bar endlink if you need more room) once you have the lower control arm mounting bolt out. This way you have enough clearance to get it out from under the shock tower and over the lower control arm.
 

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I was wondering how hard is it to change out the front shocks, i called a shop about it and they wanted 400 to just change the front shocks but the rear one are easier. so is it pretty simple?
Even with the high labor rate in CA (~$100/hr), 4 hours of labor to swap out the front shocks seems a bit high to me.

It's still work but its fairly straightforward -- esp if you are using a wall mounted spring compressor (which most shops will have) vs. autozone spring compressors + a carpet remnant (what I used to secure and gradually relieve the pressure to seperate the shock from the spring).

-g
 

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