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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Front Struts

Already did a search and can't find anything specific to what I need to do..

Anyhow, I believe the front struts on my '97 Thunderbird are totally shot.. Given that it has sit for 3+ years, I can understand, so I wanna replace them..

What's the general difficulty 'level' I can expect, and how do you even do it in the first place?

'97 Thunderbird LX - 4.6L
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 03:42 AM
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Easiest thing might be to get a "quick strut" from Monroe; it's a new shock and spring ready to bolt up. Provided no bolts give you too much trouble, you could have both sides done in the space of maybe 2-3 hours.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 08:07 AM
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Definately. 93 is on the money. You don't want to tackle the strut springs without a spring compressor. Although you could probably get a local shop to install the springs on your new struts for a nominal fee.
They make some cheap compressor kits , so watch what you buy if you go that route. They (the springs) can be deadly if they get loose under compression.

Larry
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 02:27 PM
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They're not struts...


There are ways of doing it without a compressor: get the front of the car on stands and put a jack under the LCA, undo the center bolt from the upper shock mount and SLOWLY lower the jack until the spring is loose. Then remove the lower shock bolt on the LCA and pull both out. Repeat for install.

-Matt
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 07:49 PM
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Strange.... that's what all the parts stores and even Ford refer to them as. New one on me.

Larry
1990 T bird LX 3.8L working on 393 stroker conversion
2000 F150 XLT 4x4 Supercab 5.4L
2002 Eddie Bauer 4x4 Expedition 5.4L(wifes)

Last edited by 90birdlover1; 12-20-2010 at 07:59 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90birdlover1 View Post
Strange.... that's what all the parts stores and even Ford refer to them as. New one on me.
From the Technical Articles of this Website - Suspension Section:

Quote:
Do MN12's have Shocks or Struts?

Our cars have SHOCKS.

The difference is subtle, but I'll explain it the way I understand it.

Struts are typically if not always an integral part of the suspension. Meaning they not only support weight, but control both castor and camber. A car that uses struts will have a lower control arm with a ball joint at the spindle mount. But at the top of the spindle mount there will be two bolts that attach firmly to the bottom of the strut. The top of the strut then mounts inside the strut tower. By moving that top mounting point forward, backward, inward and outward, you can alter the castor and camber to adjust the car to your particular needs.

Our cars on the other hand have a SLA (Short/Long Arm) front suspension. There is a lower and an upper control arm with a ball joint on each for the spindle. The shock then simply mounts to the lower control arm and the top of the shock tower.

Because our cars are of a unibody design, there is some inherent flex between the tops of the shock towers. The STB locks the tops of towers together to help make sure everything stays parallel. Hopefully this clears up some misconceptions.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 08:28 PM
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All be dang! Just goes to show you can learn something new everyday. Better relay it to my Napa store and my local Ford dealer.

Larry
1990 T bird LX 3.8L working on 393 stroker conversion
2000 F150 XLT 4x4 Supercab 5.4L
2002 Eddie Bauer 4x4 Expedition 5.4L(wifes)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 10:18 PM
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Factory manuals and sales literature referred to them as shocks as well.

-Matt
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 04:25 PM
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When you buy your parts get the shocks for the sport suspension, they are stiffer and will bolt in the same as your non-sport ones.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 04:36 PM
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OEM sport shocks have been sold out for a long time.

Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. FusionŽ Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto
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