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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Coil Conversion Homemade

Ok, so I have these J springs from the Sport I'm parting out and I have bad air ride on my Mark VIII (rear goes down overnight).

So, today I tore out the air bags and put in the springs. Now, I had to come up with some way to mount the top. Here is what I did...

1) Went to the shop to find a big diesel pipe in the junk heap that I could cut a couple of 2" long pieces from. Fortunately, the very first pipe I found was the perfect size to fit inside the spring and I cut these two pieces:


2) Now I had to find a piece of plate steel to weld the two pieces of pipe to and I found an old flywheel in the junk pile and cut out a couple of squares:


3) After I pounded the plates flat, found a couple of bolts that I cut off short, & drilled a couple of holes, I was ready to start welding (well, actually Chris welded them - he does it for a living):


4) Then the plates were welded to the pipe pieces and I had my two completed units:



5) I set them into the top of the springs, placed them in place on the car and here is my completed installation:


Tomorrow the front needs to be done!

~Rick

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:06 PM
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Wanna send me the front right air shock?

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wanna send me the front right air shock?
If you need it, why not? The fronts I think were good because it would stay up a few weeks in the front! But I didn't think I could run a hybrid system - air front, spring rear - so I'm just gonna do the whole car.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:41 PM
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I did something similar on my MarkVIII. I just cut the perches off a tbird and welded them in place on the Lincoln, then for the lower perches, I cut a set out of a pair of 89 stamped steel control arms, found a piece of exhaust pipe the exact same size as the hole in the bottom of the MarkVIII control arm, welded the exhaust pipe to the inside of the stamped steel perch to locate it in place on the MarkVIII arm, then once everything was installed, I cut the piece of pipe off with about 1/4" sticking out, and then peened that over on the control arm.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
I did something similar on my MarkVIII. I just cut the perches off a tbird and welded them in place on the Lincoln, then for the lower perches, I cut a set out of a pair of 89 stamped steel control arms, found a piece of exhaust pipe the exact same size as the hole in the bottom of the MarkVIII control arm, welded the exhaust pipe to the inside of the stamped steel perch to locate it in place on the MarkVIII arm, then once everything was installed, I cut the piece of pipe off with about 1/4" sticking out, and then peened that over on the control arm.
That sounds like a lot more work! I didn't do anything on the bottom because I have a Mark VIII rear in my '95 Bird and just set the springs in the LCA's. It's been like that for well over a year, rides fine with no squeeks or any noise at all.

Now I've read that some people feel that rear rides too low without some sort of 1/2" or so perch under the rear spring. So far, it looks like the Mark sits fine, but if I have an issue with height, I'll deal with it then.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 08:19 PM
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For the upper perches, it was probably less work than what you did cause all I had to do was cut the bird perches right where they are flat, then weld them to the Mark's air ride perches. The lower perches were more involved, and I did it more worrying about the spring moving around in there than for ride height or squeaks or anything like that, but it is good to hear that there are no issues with it.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 08:45 PM
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Awesome that looks way better than the crappy little plate that comes with the kit. I liked the Thunderbird upper perch Idea too but I keep finding them rusted out. Good to see some pictures, really hoping to get mine coverted by fall.

Please post up a couple pictures when you get the front swapped, I'd really like to see how the car sits with the rear at it's current height and the springs swapped in the front. Even if it does squat a little. I'd like to see what I'm up against.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 12:33 PM
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Looks like an excellent way to locate the upper part of the spring! My cousin used a little wheel with a solid rubber tire on it. We cut off the tire, broke the rim in half and tacked it to the body so it would sit still. Perhaps later on he can upgrade to something like this! I think your way is MUCH better

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Well, more issues. I changed the front air bags to the spring/shock unit, added some new boots to the upper ball joint and sway bar link, and when I was tightening my tire lug nuts, I noticed the tire was moving back and forth a couple inches.
Nice, so I need new strut rod bushings - went and picked those up today.

Also, I'm tightening up a lug nut with a 4-way and one snaps off.
Are you freaking kidding me? Can anything else go wrong! Dang!!!!!
So I tapped out one of the studs from the parts car and tapped in into the hub on the Mark.

At the very least, I'll know my front end is in excellent shape when I'm done! lol

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-16-2012, 09:18 PM
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I bet it will feel like a whole new car when finished, with new strut rods and getting rid of that mushy air ride.

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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I bet it will feel like a whole new car when finished, with new strut rods and getting rid of that mushy air ride.
I certainly hope so. I bought the car, drove it home (it handled absolutely HORRIBLE) and am finally able to go through it. It has definitely been neglected.

So, come to find out, the kit I bought comes with only the strut rod to LCA bushings, NOT the strut rod to FRAME bushings so I just ordered those from rockauto.

I also have to change the driver's side upper control arm/ball joint because it is completely trashed. I still haven't figured out how to get that back bolt out - I think I'm gonna have to remove the master cylinder and booster to get to it! The passenger UCA is fine - I just put a new boot on it cause the old one was ripped.

The sway bar links are in good shape, just needed new boots. I am going to check out the lower ball joints and the LCA to frame bushings real good next and that is IT - there is nothing else to go bad on the front suspension (well, maybe sway bar bushings)!

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 08:20 AM
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Here's a couple options on that drivers side upper uca,
http://lincolnsofdistinction.org/vbu...ad.php?t=34174
http://www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00097.html

I have no personal experience with this. Honestly I haven't tried either way, but I work outside on ramps and it's winter, so it's either muddy or cold. I pussed out, loaded my parts in the car and paid a shop to do it.

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a couple options on that drivers side upper uca,
http://lincolnsofdistinction.org/vbu...ad.php?t=34174
http://www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00097.html

I have no personal experience with this. Honestly I haven't tried either way, but I work outside on ramps and it's winter, so it's either muddy or cold. I pussed out, loaded my parts in the car and paid a shop to do it.
Thank YOU druggles85 & Mad1stGen! I didn't know there was an access hole under the fender liner!

That makes life totally easier!

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, got the new Strut Rod Bushing, Inner Tie Rod, and New Boots on. Turned out the strut rod to frame bushings were ok, so I just needed the strut rod to LCA bushings. The boots I used are the Dorman universal dust boot packs 13566 & 13567.

Here is a pic with the new strut rod bushing & old lower sway bar link boot (to show how badly the boots replacing):


Here is a pic of the new UCA boot:


Back together with the new inner tie rod end:


Here it is put together AGAIN hopefully for awhile!

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 01:58 PM
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looks good! taller than I expected I guess the sc/sport did sit a little higher though. And mine's sensor lowered right now too. Had it out for a drive yet? How does it sit front to rear?
Looks like a major improvement to me, Congrats.

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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looks good! taller than I expected I guess the sc/sport did sit a little higher though. And mine's sensor lowered right now too. Had it out for a drive yet? How does it sit front to rear?
Looks like a major improvement to me, Congrats.
It looks tall because the other side is still up on a jack stand!

So no, it hasn't been driven yet. The other side I have to change the UCA, strut rod bushings, and dust boots.

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the car sitting on level ground; it sits pretty good!


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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 04:03 PM
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Nice job Rick! Looks real good, take it out for a spin and enjoy all your hard work imo.

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Nice job Rick! Looks real good, take it out for a spin and enjoy all your hard work imo.
That's what I TRIED to do today only to find something is popping like crazy from the driver's side front. I'm like WTF?!? I just had that all taken apart!

Well, it has new strut rod bushings and I used the UCA off the Sport (looked almost new), so I know those are fine. I also checked out the sway bar link and it was good.

Soooooo, it must be the Lower Ball Joint. I'll tear it all apart AGAIN tomorrow and swap over the one from the Sport.

The rotors get hot and warped pretty quickly. Unfortunately, the rotors that were on the Sport were the incorrect ones, so I will have to buy those new (probably better that way, anyways).

What a pisser! I thought I was going to move on to the next project - change that oil filter adapter gasket that leaks like a sieve.

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 07:35 PM
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Well just as long as you have parts cars laying around, I will keep giving you the money you need to fix your cars

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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 11:22 AM
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Wow, that sits nice.

I expected it to be sitting higher than that, and the back to be lower than the front.
Do you happen to know the outside diameter of the pipe you used for your rear perches?

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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, that sits nice.

I expected it to be sitting higher than that, and the back to be lower than the front.
Do you happen to know the outside diameter of the pipe you used for your rear perches?
No, but I can find out! There is a whole bunch of it out back! lol

Here is a POP QUIZ!

What is wrong with this LCA (it's hard to see because the picture sucks)?


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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 06:30 PM
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Looks like maybe the ball joint wasn't pressed in all the way?

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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like maybe the ball joint wasn't pressed in all the way?
No, that's not it. I'll give it awhile to see if anyone can see it (I didn't even notice when it was on the car, but because I'm working on the ground - if it had been on a lift, I think I would have noticed it).

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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 07:24 PM
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I dunno, it almost looks like there was supposed to be a zerk fitting in there, which doesn't appear to be present. It is hard to see.

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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 08:07 PM
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Bad guess.

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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 08:13 PM
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Another horrible guess.

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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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I dunno, it almost looks like there was supposed to be a zerk fitting in there, which doesn't appear to be present. It is hard to see.
We have a winner. There is SUPPOSED to be a grease fitting in there, but there wasn't. Guys at the shop said it probably got knocked out, but it didn't look to me like it was ever installed in the first place!

No wonder it was so worn out! The other side didn't have a fitting either, but it wasn't SUPPOSED TO! lol

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