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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 96 Thunderbird lx with all stock suspension and i would like for it to ride a little bit stiffer what would you recommend to get like new shocks? struts? spring? and i don't want to spend a fortune on it and any brands that you recommend would help.Thanks!
 

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For a stiffer suspension i would suggest getting a spring/shock combination. Spring's all by themselves (i have Eibach 1.5" lowering springs) did NOT stiffen the ride much more if any at all. What i suggest is to get a stiffer shock absorber. Although i do not have a "perofrmance" type shockabosorber on my tbird, on my other cars i run Tokico D Spec's (06 mustang GT) and Bilstein's (02 Lexus IS300) both stiffened up the suspension significantly. The Tokico D spec's that i have are an adjustable shock which enable's you to stiffen the ride or soften it. I'm not sure if the specific line of Tokico "Dspecs" are available for the tbird but i do know that many members use Tokico Illumina's i believe, and they are happy with them. I also run 18" wheels with a 245/45/18 tire, this also stiffens up the ride quite a bit. Good luck
 

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A word of advice would be to get the best shocks that you can afford. I would buy the Koni shocks. If you search around a bit you can get some good info on upgrading the suspension. Just look in my sig for some ideas.

Russ
 

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First thing to do is make sure nothing is worn out. Perhaps new shocks front and rear would suffice. Add braces before stiffening other things. I added homemade rear shock brace and front k-frame braces first. That alone made a huge difference. You would be suprised how much the flexi-flier chassis contributes to ride softness.

Going with all poly bushings in the rear also made a difference. I'm using a lighter hollow swaybar and the car corners alot flatter. Used one poly spring spacer and cut one coil from the stock LX springs to acheive a stock height. The harshness has increased slightly.

Sometimes on wet pavement the car actually seems TOO tight in the rear. My rear tires are worn more now but the back end will try to slide out where it hooked before. With dry roads the lack of roll makes for a controllable drift. The car actually seemed to hook better at the track with the softer stock rubber bushings.

I'm not sure about long term durability of the poly bushings. Now I'm scared to drive in foul weather because of the bushings. They are grooved to accept silicone grease. There is a possibility of dirt, salt, and water getting in those grooves. The factory rubber bushings are well made and will last a long time.
 

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The Great Obucina said:
neither. go koni or go home.
Now that's a biased opinion. By the way, Konis are one of the most expensive. I know there's that old saying that you get what you pay for but that's not always the case.

Another OPTION would be to run the 03/04 Cobra Bilsteins in the rear and the 96-97 Sport Shocks pn#AST-135 in the front. The Sport Shocks are the same shocks that are used on the Super Coupes.

Our cars have SHOCKS you won't need to buy any Struts.:D

For more information to think about see HERE, HERE, and HERE.

I recently put the Bilstein/Sport Shock setup on my car and am very pleased with it. Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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Trunk Monkey said:
Now that's a biased opinion. By the way, Konis are one of the most expensive. I know there's that old saying that you get what you pay for but that's not always the case.

Another OPTION would be to run the 03/04 Cobra Bilsteins in the rear and the 96-97 Sport Shocks pn#AST-135 in the front. The Sport Shocks are the same shocks that are used on the Super Coupes.

Our cars have SHOCKS you won't need to buy any Struts.:D

For more information to think about see HERE, HERE, and HERE.

I recently put the Bilstein/Sport Shock setup on my car and am very pleased with it. Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.


maybe because they are the ONLY shock designed and valved for performance and lowered applications. KYB are asian subcontracted crap, Tokicos soften prematurely, and I cooked a set of Ford Sport shocks with my Eibachs in just over a year. So, lower your car and replace shocks every few years or put in Konis and dont worry about it. You get what you pay for.
 

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Trunk Monkey said:
Another OPTION would be to run the 03/04 Cobra Bilsteins in the rear and the 96-97 Sport Shocks pn#AST-135 in the front. The Sport Shocks are the same shocks that are used on the Super Coupes.
No, the Sport Shocks are NOT the same as the SC shocks. The SC's had electronically controlled, adjustable shocks. The Sports just had revalved standard shocks.
 

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Traveler said:
No, the Sport Shocks are NOT the same as the SC shocks. The SC's had electronically controlled, adjustable shocks. The Sports just had revalved standard shocks.

Sorry, I misread the article. The SPRINGS are the same not the shocks.

From: http://www.tccoa.com/articles/suspension/shocks.html

Quote: "The springs of the SC bird are plenty stiff, as stiff as any aftermarket job,as they ride under all 96-7 sports, and will do a nice job over the stock ones."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If i got sc springs would the car stay at stock driving height or would it be lower to the ground? Didnt the article say that sc springs are all around stiffer than the sports and lx.
 

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Stiffer yes. But I don't think they're any lower. Maybe someone else can confirm.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks i will probably try to find a set of sc springs to stiffen up the suspension a little and maybe some shocks not koni because those things are way too expensive but thanks for the replies.
 

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hey, I work at a dealership and i just ordered a pair of rear sport shcocks and front sport shocks. No problem. and they cost 160 for all 4!
 

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You found Ford Motorcraft "Sport" front shocks? I wasn't aware they were still available. Are you certain they are sport shocks?
 

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That's what i thought. My ford parts guy said that those were no longer available?
 

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To Stiffen

Hello

To stiffen this chassis you Will Need to install spring tower braces. To get even better you will be installing better or newer Bushings.

I race this chassis on a 1/2 mile asphalt oval, Stock car, 90 t-bird. When I Xed & added a cross brace to the rear shock towers, The car changed greatly. She acted more like she was supposed too. Front spring lb. went up & rear spring lb. went down.

We are currently building a 96 T-bird to replace the 90. Going to change some of my roll bars for better stiffness(less-flex).

Paul
 

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Do you have a picture of this cross brace? I was thining about making my own or getting one from Rod. Does anyone know if Rod still makes these cross braces? Thanks
 

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Okay, scratch my last comment, they cost me $190.53, with my employee discount. yes, they are for a 96 LX with the Sport option. Luckily my Parts guy also drives a tbird. wouldn't you know it, he needed shocks for his sport and couldn't find them, til he made some calls. He got some for his car a few months ago, and he knew exactly what the number was. There are only a few left in the country, and I presume, the world?

Fronts-
3U2Z*18124*CB FOR 89.62/EA.

Rear-
F7AZ*18125*KA FOR 37.12 EA.

So $253.48 + $9.95 for freight from I think Wisconsin.

Total for y'all= $263.43

Good luck, and I really hope they will slide right in on my car!!!

-Roger
 
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