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Discussion Starter #1
It is apparent that some parts for the 94-97 TB are now becoming more difficult to locate. O'R warehouses and stores are not stocking many parts like they used to even 6 months ago. Suspension parts are an example of this issue. Front struts are disappearing from stock in many areas. I was fortunate to locate two front struts for my 96 TB: Monroe Quick-Struts (they have the springs with them). My TB has 121,000 miles and the front struts seem fine - I can barely push down the front of the car. But, I decided to buy these struts because they are basically no longer available and I can get them at a discount.

My question is can you drop the old strut down and remove it from the suspension with the car just jacked up on the floor or do you need a lift to have enough room to fully remove the strut? Also, are their any strut removal instructions in the forum - I could not find them anywhere.

Thanks,

Glenn
 

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You don't need a lift.
I've done it plenty of times with the car on jackstands. Depending on if the spring is shorter or not, you might not even need spring compressors for the removal aprt.

- put car on stands and remove wheel.
- It's slightly easier with the front brake out of the way if you have a place to hang the brake caliper (so you don't have to disconnect it and rebleed the system)
- loosen the the shock to LCA bolt and the three nuts holding the shock assembly to the top of the car. DO NOT mess with the big nut holding the shaft of the shock. If your car is rusty the shock to LCA bolt will be fun. If not, all the botls will only take a few min.
- If needed, use a hydraulic jack to press up on the bottom of the shock to compress the shock assembly and add the mcpherson spring compressors to each side. This will make the whole assembly a little bulkier but shorter (as the compressors will prevent the spring to expand to its full length).
- remove the bolt holding the spindle to the UCA to allow for max droop. knock out the shock to LCA bolt and you can work the whole assembly off. Just make sure you don't damage your ABS sensor or tweak the brake fluid line.



IIRC, the last time I removed my blown shocks w/ SC springs w/ 1.5 coils cut off (few weeks ago), I didn't even need the spring compressors until it was time to loosen the big top nut and relieve the pressure from the spring.

-g
 

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the only shock and strut i like is Gabriel ultra. I have tried Monroe and kyb, both to bouncy. Tokico blue would be best if you can find some. Every auto zone had ultra and life time warranty. Ultra have a firmer ride for cornering and less bottoming out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your comments. Is there any installation instructions with pictures on installing the shocks/struts?

Glenn
 

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There are just 4 bolts holding this onto your car. I'd be surprised if someone bothered with a DIY.
Go search youtube. The replacement procedure will be very similar across all mcpherson strut/shock setups.

You might want to invest in a Ford shop manual for your model year tbird (+/- $10 used on eBay) but I don't think they get that detailed for such a simple and straightforward procedure.
-g
 

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Might want to pick up a set of bolts, the ones that go through the lower control arm. Over time the bolts can seize to the sleeve of the lower control arm. Use a lot of PB Blaster on them.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks - very informative. Why do you have to separate the sway bar from the link?

Can you explain this statement a little more - "------- Remove the bolt that holds the bracket assembly for the brakes."

Why remove the brake line bolt?

Glenn
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Might want to pick up a set of bolts, the ones that go through the lower control arm. Over time the bolts can seize to the sleeve of the lower control arm. Use a lot of PB Blaster on them.

Joe
I've looked everywhere for these bolts and no luck. Do you have a source? Perhaps my bolts may be OK - my Southern car has never even seen snow or much rain for that matter and in a garage all its life when not on the road.

Thanks,

Glenn
 

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Thanks - very informative. Why do you have to separate the sway bar from the link?

Can you explain this statement a little more - "------- Remove the bolt that holds the bracket assembly for the brakes."

Why remove the brake line bolt?

Glenn
That bracket bolts to the inner fender, and if you don't unbolt it, you can't move the line far enough out of the way to get the spring/shock assembly out.

This becomes a LOT more obvious when you're under there looking at it, BTW.

RwP
 

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I've looked everywhere for these bolts and no luck. Do you have a source? Perhaps my bolts may be OK - my Southern car has never even seen snow or much rain for that matter and in a garage all its life when not on the road.

Thanks,

Glenn
It took a while but I found them! Part number N808998-S436.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is it necessary to unbolt the top of the spindle from the UCA and also disconnect the sway bar link?

Glenn
 

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Glenn,
I just bought a new bolt and nut from a vendor on ebay for a lower control arm job I was doing. The nut is N620604-S100. Vendors didn't have it listed, Source for the bolt that I bought loaded up an auction for the nut for me. First time I replaced the lower control arms five years ago the shock to LCA bolts were royal pains. When I replaced the LCA last week the bolts came out easy.
Per S4gunn above, yes, the Ford Service Manual that you should get says unbolt and remove the upper control arm to spindle bolt (also says discard and replace with new) and separate the stabilizer bar link from the spindle (replace if the ball joint seal gets damaged.)
Good luck with the repair.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK, one more question. Do you really need a spring compressor to shorten the strut or can you remove it without one?

Also, must you detach the sway bar link to remove the strut? Does it take much force to undo the link - will a ball joint tool do the job?

Thanks,

Glenn
 

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If you remove the coilover as an assembly you don't need a spring compressor. You definitely need to undo the sway bar links from the spindle though. I've always been able to tap them out by hitting the spindle and hitting the stud with a hammer, every time I try to use a ball joint remover I trash the boots, worst tool ever. The LCA will never be able to drop low enough to get the shock out with the links attached, they pull up on the spindle since they're linked to the other side.

To answer your earlier question, yes, the UCA needs to be unbolted from the spindle as well, you wouldn't need to do this if these cars had struts ;)
 

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If you remove the coilover as an assembly you don't need a spring compressor. You definitely need to undo the sway bar links from the spindle though. I've always been able to tap them out by hitting the spindle and hitting the stud with a hammer, every time I try to use a ball joint remover I trash the boots, worst tool ever. The LCA will never be able to drop low enough to get the shock out with the links attached, they pull up on the spindle since they're linked to the other side.

To answer your earlier question, yes, the UCA needs to be unbolted from the spindle as well, you wouldn't need to do this if these cars had struts ;)
You remove the sway bar link from the spindle? On the front?
I always just removed the spindle from the UCA and there was just enough room to work it off rearwards.
-g
 
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