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Discussion Starter #1
My 94 Mark 8 has rear ARC shocks. I replaced the factory rear shock mounts and rear bags less than a week ago. I used Westar bags and OE Ford mounts and the shock mounts blew out again. My guess is the previous owner driving around with the rear air ride collapsed blew the the rear shocks out and now when I hit a bump they're ripping the rubber right out of the new mount.

From what I have found searching ARC shocks are not available except for original fords, or Tokiko Shocks. If Im lucky enough to find them are the Tokiko shocks worth buying? Should I just bight the bullet and buy New Fords off eBay for almost 300?

This is my second mark, my last one was a 93. So both had the ARC shocks and the ride was great just in between the soft Lincoln and a firm sports car. From what Im reading we can use Mustang shocks, 97 or 98 Mark shocks, Suncore, and Arnott shocks. What gives the best ride similar to the stock, maybe being just slightly firmer.
 

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You don't have ARC shocks on that car, and neither did your 93. They are regular shocks on both. I would suggest getting the tokico blues for the rear, they are a good shock and will preserve the Lincoln quality ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Then what are the things attached to the tops of my shocks that are wired to my car? are the hard and soft ride relays for the air ride?
 

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As far as I know, there are just some appearance covers on top of the front shocks, and nothing on top of the rears. All the MarkVIIIs got air ride, but none of them got auto adjustable shocks, that was only on the SCs.
 

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SCs and the earlier XR7s - and it was listed as an option for the LX/LS.

(Dunno if it was ever INSTALLED as an option.)

RwP
 

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I don't know where you're getting that from but that's not the case, I've got the brochures sitting right by me.
I got that from the owner's manual, but then again, that doesn't mean they actually offered it.

I'll grab it while out driving today, when I get home, and scan the relevant page.

RwP
 

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The only Mark VIII that got the Shock Absorber Actuators were the 93-94 models..

Even though you could find the Shock Absorber Actuators on the 93-94 Mark VIII's..They didn't use (ARC) Automatic Ride Control..

They used (SDC) Shock Damping Control..

What you may ask is the difference??

Like the (ARC) system found on the early SC/XR7 MN12 models..An electronic module controls 2 relays that provide power to the Shock Absorber Actuators..

These actuators vary the shock absorber's internal damping valve size..

However, unlike the MN12 system..Only the rear shocks are variable, and the brake pressure is the only input signal used to trigger the system into firm damping mode..

The MN12 (ARC) system can be manually adjusted from "soft" to "firm" mode with the push of a button..Both the front, and rear shocks are adjustable as well..(not indepently)

Tokico was the original manufacturer of the Shock Absorber Actuators found on the MN12, and 93-94 Mark VIII models..

They also manufactured the rear shocks that were found on the 93-94 Mark VIII..As well as the front/rear shocks that were found on all MN12 that used (ARC)..

Whether you replace the rear shocks with factory replacements, or Tokico Illumina's..
You probably won't notice much of a difference between the two..Considering how the (SDC) system works on the Mark VIII.. :zdunno:






Rayo..
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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I do recall actuators on the rear shocks on my old 93, but they had already been removed by the time I ended up with the car. Interesting to know what they were actually for...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow I assumed the car was constantly adjusting the shocks to give me the best ride possible. Seems kind of pointless to only have them on during braking. Although if you played with valving I guess you could make it so the rears dont extend as fast and keep the front end from nose diving? Maybe it was an expensive bandaid?

So if I stay away from electronic shocks, what is the best choice? Should I just put newer mark shocks in it? Or get something for a Mustang like a kyb or billstein or something? What are you guys running?
 

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I've got run-of-the-mill Monroe Sensa-Trac (now OESpectrum IIRC) on mine as well as on the T-bird. The T-bird is quite noticeably stiffer than the Mark is, although the Mark had a coil conversion done before I bought it (no idea on spring rates). Either way - the Sensa-Tracs are a better/more firm ride than the Strutmasters stuff that was on there before!

Most here don't like the Monroes, but I've got no qualms with them personally - esp. considering price and the fact that I've yet to see one die. As a matter of fact, I had lightly used Tokico HP "Blues" on the rear of the Mark for a few months before I put the Sensa-Tracs on all corners, and when I removed them one was blown. The Blues tend to be regarded as the only currently available shocks that are comparable to the OE sport shocks, and when I went from them to the Sensa-Tracs I honestly didn't notice a difference in how the rear end felt (admittedly going from one blown to two good may have skewed the judgment).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Honestly I have used them before too but on my 75 Cadillac Coupe Deville, and 79 Trans Am. The road nice on most roads and arent too floaty. My only complaint with them was when I hit a larger bump or pot hole they seemed to collapse kind of quick and sometimes make the rear of the car hop. Do you have any issues like that?
 

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ALso, the SDC rear shocks that came on the Marks use a different mount - they have two bolts .. so you'll need to replace them with something similar or figure out a mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Going back about 7 or 8 years ago I remember something about guys using the factory shock mounts and burning the bushings out then using the rubber donuts that come with the shocks, or buying some poly ones from SCP. Also I think someone was using T-Bird shock mounts. Its honestly a very fuzzy memory. I figured once I decided what shocks to go with Id just see what works.

Its weird how every time I look at a catalog for a shock manufacturer they seem dont list rear shocks for the mark. But I read the Mustang shocks fit and so do Thunderbird is that true?

I apologize for asking so many questions, in the past I used to just buy a pair of shocks and see what happens, and if I didnt like them Id change them. But now that Im older and have a real job and depend on the car I find my self tinkering a lot less. So id like to just put in a set and be happy.
 

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93mark8rules said:
Wow I assumed the car was constantly adjusting the shocks to give me the best ride possible. Seems kind of pointless to only have them on during braking. Although if you played with valving I guess you could make it so the rears dont extend as fast and keep the front end from nose diving? Maybe it was an expensive bandaid?
The (SDC) system was added in response to the way the Mark VIII was behaving during the experimental stages..

Apparently during hard braking..The rear end of the car would act like a pogo stick..Causing an excessive amount of rear end lift..

The (SDC) system was able to firm things up electronically, and keep the rear end planted..

If you decide to use regular MN12 rear shocks, or even Cobra IRS rear shocks..Instead of the electronically adjusted one you're using now..

Jay, 98mark8lsc makes some nice Stainless Steel Rear Shock Mount Kits..








Rayo..
 

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I don't know how I missed this thread. Thanks Rayo!

The damping module on the early Mark VIII's were there as a way of dive control. Basically, the intention was that if you're braking hard, the rear shocks would firm up and help keep the back end of the car from coming up so high, and front end from diving so much. Supposedly, it didn't really help all that much, so they got rid of them in subsequent years.

In my opinion, the factory shock mounts are trash. The rubber wears out in them way too quickly--especially for their price...

My shock mounts as pictured above, and below, are 100% stainless steel, and use Energy suspension poly bushings, with included stainless steel washers. They allow you to use any 89-97 Tbird or 99-04 Cobra rear shocks. They really open up your options for performance or ride comfort. The Monroe Sensatrac 5965's for the Tbird, as mentioned above are a great economical choice with very similar ride quality to the factory shocks. I used them in the daily driver 97 Mark VIII that I used to have, for over 4 years and thought they were great.

Here's another picture with the mounts installed on a set of Koni's:
 

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