TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm afraid the air bags are in a terminal phase. Front goes down randomly while the car sits. Sometimes it happens in one night, sometimes two or three. Valves are already replaced, so I can't think any other option, but the bags or valve seats. Any other thoughts / experiences?

RockAuto has two brands of front struts; Ultra-Power and Westar. These brands say nothing to me. Are either of these fine or even adequate? Where else should I search for struts? Please, no coil conversion just yet.

Second thing, steering gear. Has anyone overhauled it? RockAuto has both, remanufactured steering gears and overhaul kits. My plan is to replace my leaking gear with a reman. unit and later overhaul the old one and have it as a spare. Is overhauling a) doable w/ ordinary tools b) doable with special tools and immeasurable skill and experience c) futile d) abandon hope and will to live.
 

·
Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
Joined
·
10,264 Posts
When I got my 98, it had a pair of front Westar air bags on the front. I do not know when they were installed, but they lasted me about 1.5 years after getting the car in the spring of 2018 - the rubber for the air bags was very thin and one side went bad about 6 months before the other. I went about a year juggling between used OEM ones trying to find a decent set that wouldn't leak down after a day and/or have shot shocks, then eventually just got the cheapest pair I could find on eBay. The rubber on the ones I just got is much thicker than it was on the Westar air bags and also seems to be reinforced with Kevlar or similar. I left the car outside in the cold for a long last weekend and it stayed in the air. Between these, the new compressor and the new rear air bags, I hope to be set for another hundred thousand miles. :)

It seems there's only 2 or 3 different manufacturers of these anymore and from what I've seen, it's 6 of one or half a dozen of the other I'd say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, bags on Westar struts even look suspicious in pictures. Though that's the more expensive of those two.

Earlier today I stumbled on this. $954.75 a piece, before shipping ($200) and import fees. I thought new OEM struts were nowhere around. Could that actually be genuine? Well, just a curiosity. I suppose I'll try those Ultra-Power things. Who makes these brand names, btw? "ULTRA-POWER!, Yup, that'll build confidence."

Any thoughts about the steering gear? Anyone?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,518 Posts
Yep, bags on Westar struts even look suspicious in pictures. Though that's the more expensive of those two.

Earlier today I stumbled on this. $954.75 a piece, before shipping ($200) and import fees. I thought new OEM struts were nowhere around. Could that actually be genuine? Well, just a curiosity. I suppose I'll try those Ultra-Power things. Who makes these brand names, btw? "ULTRA-POWER!, Yup, that'll build confidence."

Any thoughts about the steering gear? Anyone?
I'd opt for a RackDoctor.NET reman'ed rack; the other parts - I'm trying Proforged ball joints on my 1988 Dakota, so far they are doing good. They have a good reputation in the Chevy forums (Camaro and Corvette). For a Mark VIII, I'd try the ACDelco Professional control arms up front. You MAY have to hit Bill up at SCP for the upper rear inner control arm bushing; there's a PSA on the crap ones and the good ones, but some of the "good" ones have gone to the crap design also since that posting in the forum.

For the spindle bushings - Delrin is the top ticket, but I'm happy so far with the poly bushings in my 1991 Cougar.

I also have a set of Delrin bushings to put into a set of Mark VIII LCAs I have here, but haven't done it yet. When I have time, I'm like that R2 unit on Star Wars - my motivator is busted! 😈

RwP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd opt for a RackDoctor.NET reman'ed rack; the other parts
Thanks for the tip, but.. "At this time, RACK DOCTOR - Quality Rack and Pinion Remanufacturing ships merchandise only to locations within the continental United States and not to international locations."

In an old conversation somewhere here I noticed pretty strong wording about Cardone reman. steering gears. Maybe better to stay clear of those too.
 

·
Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
Joined
·
10,264 Posts
Ouch! At $2500 a pair for those "new OEM" air bags, I'd rather get the "junky" aftermarket air bags at 1/6 the price and replace them once every 4-5 years!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,518 Posts
Drats. Yah, the Cardones I tried (one in my Cougar, one in my 1988 Dakota) lasted maybe 10,000 miles before they started ... well, one leaked. One spouted like "Thar she blows!" oil drilling :mad:

Shame RackDoctor.NET won't ship to you.

RwP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update. Left strut was a DOA. Bad air leak at top end. Sent it back and a replacement is on it's way. Should've been delivered by Friday, but it appears that courier company didn't get the info about release from customs.

There's a new brand of remanufactured steering gears. Maval. At the moment it's also the only available. Way more expensive than Cardone or PPP. Any thoughts about this Maval? Does price compare to quality?
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top