New Suspension: How Hard? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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New Suspension: How Hard?

Since the bird is getting up there in her miles, and has had crap suspension since I bought it I think it's time for a replacement job. My only worry is "how hard is it to do this". Right now my tools are limited to basically a socket set, with some other odds and ends. Is there any thing more than thsi that I'd need to complete the job. Generally speaking is it easy to reaplce the struts/shocks. Right now I am only looking at the front strust/springs because they seem to be the worst right now. Would springs need to be replaced in the process?

Additionaly if anyone knows of a place that seems decent to good shocks for cheap, please let me know.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 11:14 AM
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A complete suspension rebuild requires a few special tools, but they are cheap and readily available. You'll need a 30mm wrench for the front strut rod nut. I think the rear nut is 24mm. You'll need a balljoint seperator or crowsfoot to get the lower balljoint loose from the spindle. As far as shocks/spring combos go, it's a matter of preference on how you want the car to ride. I have sport shocks and springs, and it maintains a pretty nice ride, but handles well. However, my car does ride about 3/4" higher than stock. There are so many combos on shocks/springs that it'll make your head hurt. What it mostly depends on is your budget, how low you want the car, and ride quality.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 02:08 PM
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i wouldnt do it without air tools, especially for the nut on the strut rod. that one was on there. but it can be done with hand tools, you'll just need a couple of deep 1-2" drive sockets for the strut rod and ball joint. a pickle fork to seperate the ball joint and tie rod, and a spring compressor to when you swap out the strut. i like to have a nice pry bar too, makes persuading parts easier. another good thing to have will be some pb blaster to help loosen any stubborn nuts, and some anti-seize to put on all the bolts when you put it back together. after that its off to the alignment shop. shouldnt take more than 4hrs to do both sides (took me 6hrs to swap a pumpkin and put in a lowering spring set for my buddy).
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Will the ball joint HAVE to be removed when I install to front struts? I have heard that it's not very easy to do that without special tools.

As for the setup I want. I am really just going for a "better than I have right now" setup . Right now the hard is HARSH, barely any dampening left in the struts, I just want something that wont rattle my teeth out when I dirve the car. It handles okay right now, I am sure that new suspension would help greatly.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 04:09 PM
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If that's all you are looking for, I'd call Dan Newman and just order some replacement Motorcraft Shocks. Shocks, not struts. Mustangs have struts, we have a spring on shock arrangement. Motorcraft are durable and ride nicely, and if you want to get fancy, but the sport springs in the For Sale Forum, and order a set of Sport shocks for about 180.00
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 05:51 PM
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yeah the ball joints have to come out to give the strut (shock whatever) enough room to drop out of there. you might be able to get buy with only unbolting the cam bolt and strut rod then using a nice pry bar to get the control arm out. i did it that way on ollies9d6 when i put in his lowering springs. just make sure to mark the cam bolt before unbolting it so you can get your alignment kinda close when you put it back together. right ollie.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 09:10 PM
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I believe you can take the upper joint loose instead of the lower. That should allow the lower control arm to drop down enough to get the shock/spring assembly out. You may also want to disconnect the end link from the spindle, a fairly painless proceedure. I'm getting ready to do mine also. I got the stock shocks from my local Ford dealer for $61 each. I also got a pair of lower control arms, $89 each.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Right now I am looking at a Tokico kit. It's $410, but includes 1.50" loweing springs for the front and 1.25" for the rear. Also includes 2 front struts, and 2 back shocks plus springs. Is that a pretty straight deal there? Perhaps has a better price?

Also, how much "on average" would to cost to get a mechanic to install this crap? That'd be new suspension all around (which is what I really need). I'm not sure I want to get into the hassle of this.

Edit: What exactaly does the "Tokico Adv. Handling Susp. Kit" from include. Is that shocks+springs, or just springs or just shocks? Might to be a better idea to go with something like the KYB kit, as I am not really looking for insane handling prowess, I just want a smooth ride and decent handling. Hell the car handles pretty damn well with my worn-the-hell-out suspension.

Last edited by Liquid_Table; 06-08-2004 at 03:12 AM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 03:30 AM
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You will need a 36 MM socket for the rear axle nuts if you plan on taking them out.You dont really have to, you could just unbolt the rear spindles and pull the whole axle assebly out of the rear, but them you risk the chance of a leaking seal.So if you go that route get new seals for the rear.A 24 MM wrench and an 18 MM wrench are needed for the rear also.A 15 MM wrench and socket along with a 13 MM wrench and socket for the rear also.
For the front you need an 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 and a 24 MM wrench and sockets (varies).If you take the hub off which you shouldnt have to you will need that 36 MM socket again.A big hammer and a place to compress your front springs onto your new shocks.You will need to reuse your old hardware from the front shocks for your new ones, like the mount up top of the shock.When you put the new springs on the new shocks "DONT" tighten up that top nut on the shock yet.Get it set in the car and rotate the shock where it needs to be and then tighten up that nut.Reason is that you arent really gonna know where that bottom mounting flange is gonna be facing when you put that shock in.
I just put Bilsteins,Eibachs and Cobra brakes the whole way around my car.It took me a day to do all of that but I wasnt in a hurry either.I also put a different rar in it and did a Mustang hub swap.
Just take your time, it is easy.Good Luck,

Edit: I have the 1 3/8 front sway bar and I can take a corner like its on rails and I havent noticed any harsh rideness.

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