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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

after a lot of code-checking, and spring-tag checking on my car, I've come to the conclusion that I've one of those sports with only SOME of the sport-stuff.

for example, I have the sport springs(JJ code, tag: FOSC-5310-JA which is for the "sport" springs) on the front, but NO sport shocks(front) or brakes.

My question is: now that I know for sure that I do have the sport spring(according to the tag), can I replace my non-sport shocks (front) with sport shocks?

can there be any problem with this?

Thanks.
 

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Yes, you can replace them with sport shocks, I have sport shocks on the front of my non-sport. Have you owned your car since it was new? If not, it's possible that the front shocks were replaced, and they didn't know there was a difference, they both externally look pretty much the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rich95XR7 said:
Yes, you can replace them with sport shocks, I have sport shocks on the front of my non-sport. Have you owned your car since it was new? If not, it's possible that the front shocks were replaced, and they didn't know there was a difference, they both externally look pretty much the same.
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Thanks for the reply, Rick.

No, I bought the car with 70k miles on it. Most of the stuff on the car lookes original, and as far as I'm know, these shocks are original.
There are a few 97 T-bird owners here with the JJGG spring code, and I'm beginning to believe that Ford really made some of these semi-sports 97's.

As you said, when they look similar from outside, it's possible the guy who looked at my shocks made a mistake; perhaps I do have the sport shocks.
Right now, I'm searching for my build-sheet, so that I can know (hopefully) which exact shocks came on the car originally.

[So, the sport shocks can be installed without any special adjustments/modifications? if not, what is needed to replace the regualrs with sport ones?]

I think i'll get them from Dan; I'm only replacing the front shocks. There rear "sport" shocks are the regulars anymore, anyway(rear sport shocks are obsolete, it seems)

What do you think of the ride quality/handling of the sport shocks compared to the regular shocks?

Thanks again.
 

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ortbird said:

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Thanks for the reply, Rick.

No, I bought the car with 70k miles on it. Most of the stuff on the car lookes original, and as far as I'm know, these shocks are original.
There are a few 97 T-bird owners here with the JJGG spring code, and I'm beginning to believe that Ford really made some of these semi-sports 97's.

As you said, when they look similar from outside, it's possible the guy who looked at my shocks made a mistake; perhaps I do have the sport shocks.
Right now, I'm searching for my build-sheet, so that I can know (hopefully) which exact shocks came on the car originally.

[So, the sport shocks can be installed without any special adjustments/modifications? if not, what is needed to replace the regualrs with sport ones?]

I think i'll get them from Dan; I'm only replacing the front shocks. There rear "sport" shocks are the regulars anymore, anyway(rear sport shocks are obsolete, it seems)

What do you think of the ride quality/handling of the sport shocks compared to the regular shocks?

Thanks again.
I KNOW for a fact I have a sport with the JJGG springs. From what I recently read, the front springs were the same on all Birds that year - the rears were the difference. If you don't have the brakes, or shocks, or 3rd brake light delete, chances are you don't have the sport option.

The front shocks are interchangeable - you can use non sport, sport, Monroe, Gabriel, Bilstein, Tokico, KYB, etc - they will all be functionally the same. The difference in the sport shock is the internal valving - it will be firmer than the non sport shock. I drove a '95 Cougar for 2 years then test drove a '97 sport. The difference is night and day. Get the sport shocks in the front and then measure the diameter of your rear sway bar. As far as I know all sports have the larger rear bar. Then find a stock used non sport car to drive - if you truly do have the sport option, you'll notice the difference.
 

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I agree about the difference is night and day, I went from my car being lowered 4" to the sport combo, so I really didn't notice, I just knew it rode a lot nicer. Then I rode in a LX with factory suspension, and it seemed like it was floating down the road compared to mine, I can feel every bump, his was like a Caddy. Cloverleafs at 55mph on 225/60/16's are easy now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Embalmer said:


I KNOW for a fact I have a sport with the JJGG springs. From what I recently read, the front springs were the same on all Birds that year - the rears were the difference. If you don't have the brakes, or shocks, or 3rd brake light delete, chances are you don't have the sport option.
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Embalmer,

Thanks for the reply.

So, it's interesting that you also have a JJGG sport...
Do you have the bigger front brake rotors?

I do have the 3rd brake delete, factory spoiler with led brake light, 16" wheels etc. don't know about the rear sway bar; never measured it.
My car was built on 07/22/97...by that time, the rear sport shock was probably already obsolete, I think.

I just got a part of build-sheet from a Ford tech at flatratetech.com, and it lists my suspension as"special suspension" and these data for springs:

RH front FOSC-5310-J
LH Front -same_
RH rear FOSC-5560-E
LH rear -same-

it didn't list anything about shocks; just springs.

I'm now 100% decided to get the front sports shocks from Dan (costs the same as non-sport).
When they remove the old shocks, I'll check the Part-no and see what I had till now...
If I find the complete build-sheet under the trunk carpet, I'll be able to see what the car really came with...(haven't tried it yet).
 

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Embalmer,

Thanks for the reply.

So, it's interesting that you also have a JJGG sport...
Do you have the bigger front brake rotors?

I do have the 3rd brake delete, factory spoiler with led brake light, 16" wheels etc. don't know about the rear sway bar; never measured it.
My car was built on 07/22/97...by that time, the rear sport shock was probably already obsolete, I think.

I just got a part of build-sheet from a Ford tech at flatratetech.com, and it lists my suspension as"special suspension" and these data for springs:

RH front FOSC-5310-J
LH Front -same_
RH rear FOSC-5560-E
LH rear -same-

it didn't list anything about shocks; just springs.

I'm now 100% decided to get the front sports shocks from Dan (costs the same as non-sport).
When they remove the old shocks, I'll check the Part-no and see what I had till now...
If I find the complete build-sheet under the trunk carpet, I'll be able to see what the car really came with...(haven't tried it yet).
You can get a micrometer and measure the rear bar. I would assume since your car was built toward the end of the model year that you do have the sport option. The ones built between early 96 to mid 97 seem to be in question. It is also possible if the front shocks were replaced they were replaced with the non sport ones.

I do have the larger front rotors (calipers have 16 stamped in them). I wouldn't say by th end of July the rear sport shocks were gone by then, especially if Bryan Miller just got some brand new from Dan. They may be gone now, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Embalmer said:


You can get a micrometer and measure the rear bar. I would assume since your car was built toward the end of the model year that you do have the sport option. The ones built between early 96 to mid 97 seem to be in question. It is also possible if the front shocks were replaced they were replaced with the non sport ones.

I do have the larger front rotors (calipers have 16 stamped in them). I wouldn't say by th end of July the rear sport shocks were gone by then, especially if Bryan Miller just got some brand new from Dan. They may be gone now, though.
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Where on the caliper is this "16" stamped? on the side facing outside or is it on the side towards the wheel well? I tried to peeek throught the wheel but it's difficult, not a good angle.
also: is it part of another number, or is it just the "16" stamped on it?

I'll be able to check it when my wheels are reoved for the balance/rotate next week....

about the rear sport shocks:
the quote Dan gave me was about 6 months ago; he just listed the same part no(reg) for rears and said "the rear sport shocks are the same as regulars now"....that's all I know.

But like you said, if somebody just got them from him, they should be still availabel(although I only want the fronts for now)

Thanks again.
 

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Sport rear shocks don't exist anymore, you have to get the LX rears, but they ride really well with the sport fronts and springs.
 

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ortbird said:

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Where on the caliper is this "16" stamped? on the side facing outside or is it on the side towards the wheel well? I tried to peeek throught the wheel but it's difficult, not a good angle.
also: is it part of another number, or is it just the "16" stamped on it?

I'll be able to check it when my wheels are reoved for the balance/rotate next week....

about the rear sport shocks:
the quote Dan gave me was about 6 months ago; he just listed the same part no(reg) for rears and said "the rear sport shocks are the same as regulars now"....that's all I know.

But like you said, if somebody just got them from him, they should be still availabel(although I only want the fronts for now)

Thanks again.
PM Miller1995 with your rear sport shock question. He knows the answer.

The "16" is cast into the top of the caliper looking down on it. I believe is also has "LH" or "RH" desigating the specific side it is for.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Embalmer said:


PM Miller1995 with your rear sport shock question. He knows the answer.

The "16" is cast into the top of the caliper looking down on it. I believe is also has "LH" or "RH" desigating the specific side it is for.
Thanks, Embalmer, and also you, Rich.
I'll be ordering sport front shocks soon.
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PS: Embalmer, did you get the Build-sheet info from Quest on flatratetech.com?
I found my whole build-sheet today.
If you did find the full paper build-sheet, I'd like to compare some codes, pls PM or e-mail me if you can. Thanks.
 

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ortbird said:


Thanks, Embalmer, and also you, Rich.
I'll be ordering sport front shocks soon.
------------------------------------------------
PS: Embalmer, did you get the Build-sheet info from Quest on flatratetech.com?
I found my whole build-sheet today.
If you did find the full paper build-sheet, I'd like to compare some codes, pls PM or e-mail me if you can. Thanks.
I looked for mine years ago and it doesn't exist on the car. I did get the info sent to me from Quest at flatratetech.com - not much there, though as you know.
 

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Has everyone forgotten most if not all of the 97s had spoilers with LEDs because they ran out of 3rd brake lights? :2huh: That was always my understanding.

I've got a JJJJ 97 Sport, havent checked the shock part #. Gotta get rid of those shocks anyway when my Bilsteins arrive.
 

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ortbird, check and see if you got the tracloc rearend. My door code and window sticker (bought the bird new) don't show it, but i leave two nice solid black marks whenever I feel like turning over the tires. never could figure out why i couldn't get good rubber until I got my chip from Reinhart. Now i know. Tracloc + factory tuning= no spinny spinny.
My car was also built in July of '97 and I bought it with the Sport option. i don't know about my spring and shock codes, just that when test driving, I drove a regular Lx and it felt like a boat on the ocean- back and forth and side to side. The regular Lx had terrible body lean in slight corners. I drove the Sport and it was perfect handling- flat and crisp. Night and day difference in handling as stated in the post above.

B
 

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I understand how the sport suspension will give better handling. My question is, how is the ride (comfort wise) over potholes and all the other roadblocks we travel over every day. I know this is a subjective question but can anyone compare the ride between and LX and a sport? I use my bird mainly as my luxury car, but I do find it lacking in the body roll department. I would love to tighten it up but dont want to turn it into something to harsh for what I use it for. Thanks for any help.
 

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With the factory 15" tires on mine, it rode really smooth, and handled reasonably well. When I switched to the 16" Mark wheels and tires is when I really noticed the difference in ride quality. It's not bad at all, still nicer than most cars, but noticeably stiffer than the LX springs/shocks.
 
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