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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 48714
Experience:  16 years experience
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replacing the springs in a 1997 Ford Thunderbird

Resolved Question:

I'm replacing the factory springs with stiffer ones that are also shorter. I need detail instructions on replacement procedure.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 10 years ago.
Are you changing the front or rear coil springs
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
front and rear
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
both front and rear
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 10 years ago.

Spring Rear

Coil

Removal

  1. Raise vehicle on hoist.

  1. Remove rear wheel and tire assembly. Refer to Section 04-04.

  1. Remove rear stabilizer bar link and bushing link nuts at both ends of rear stabilizer bar (5A772). Rotate rear stabilizer bar up and out of the way.

  1. Disconnect parking brake rear cable and conduit (2A635) at rear disc brake caliper (2553).

  1. Install three Rotunda Spring Cages 164-R3555 or equivalent torear spring (5560) as follows:

    1. Install one spring cage without an adjuster link to the inboard side (the innermost bend of the rear spring).
    1. Install two more spring cages, with adjusters, at 120 degree angles to the previously installed cage.

      Spring, Rear

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Place a transmission jack or suitable stand under the rear suspension arm and bushing (5500) as far outboard as possible

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Support the rear wheel knuckle (5A969) assembly by wiring the rear suspension arm and bushing to the body.

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Remove lower rear shock absorber mounting bolt, washer and nut

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  1. NOTE: Rear suspension arm and bushing must not be lowered until pivot bolts are loose. Do not attempt to remove plastic cap on front pivot nut.

     

     

    Loosen both inboard pivot bolts on rear suspension arm and bushing.

  1. Remove two bolts and nuts retaining rear suspension arm and bushing to rear wheel knuckle.

  1. Lower the rear suspension arm and bushing by lowering jack. Make sure spring cages are properly seated on rear spring as rear suspension arm and bushing is dropped

  2. graphic

  3. Remove jack, lowerrear suspension arm and bushing fully by hand and remove rear spring with cages in place.

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Remove rear spring center mounting insulators (5741) if necessary.

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If spring cages are to be removed for installation of rear spring, use Coil Spring Compressor D78P-5310-A or equivalent to compress rear spring and remove cages. Rear spring center mounting insulator should be installed on rear spring before installing rear spring in tool to prevent slippage of plates.

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Spring and Shock Assembly Front

 

Removal

  1. Remove plastic front shock absorber strut cover cup (18A179) at front shock absorber mounting bracket (18183).

  1. Remove three upper shock retaining nuts and shock absorber housing seal (18T003) from mounting studs in engine compartment.

  1. Raise vehicle on a hoist.

  1. Remove tire and wheel assembly.

  1. Remove lower shock mounting bolt and nut.

  1. Remove nut at stabilizer bar link upper mounting stud.

  1. CAUTION: Use extreme care to avoid damage to the ball joint seal. If seal is damaged, replace the stabilizer bar link (5K484) assembly.

    Separate stabilizer bar link from front wheel spindle (3105) using Ball Joint Remover D88L-3006-A or equivalent.

  1. Support front suspension lower arm (3079) assembly with HI-Lift Jack 014-00210 or equivalent.

  2. graphic

  3.  

    1. Raise front suspension lower arm and front wheel spindle with jack until stabilizer bar link can be completely separated from front wheel spindle. Position stabilizer bar link out of the way.

    1. Remove front wheel spindle to upper front suspension arm ball joint retaining nut and bolt. Discard nut and bolt.

    1. Lower jack to separate front wheel spindle from upper front suspension lower arm ball joint (3050). Do not allow front wheel spindle to hang free. Support it with wire or other means.

    1. Lower support for front suspension lower arm and remove front shock absorber mount and spring assembly from vehicle.

  4.  

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Spring and Shock Assembly

 

Disassembly

NOTE: The upper front shock absorber mounting bracket (18183) cannot be rotated when the front shock absorber (18124) and front coil spring (5310) are assembled. Mark position of upper front shock absorber to front shock absorber mounting bracket with chalk, paint or grease pencil prior to disassembly. If upper front shock absorber mounting bracket is not properly positioned during assembly it will not install in the vehicle.

 

 

  1. Remove front coil spring, front shock absorber and upper front shock absorber mounting bracket assembly as described.

  1. Position front shock absorber assembly in Rotunda Spring Compressor 164-R3571 or equivalent

graphic

graphic

  1. Compress front coil spring and remove shock absorber nut and washer and remove upper front shock absorber mounting bracket.

  1. Release spring compressor to remove front coil spring.

Assembly

  1. If installing new front coil spring or upper front shock absorber mounting bracket, transfer reference marks from removed part(s) to new part(s).

  1. Position front shock absorber and front coil spring in Rotunda Spring Compressor 164-R3571 or equivalent and compress front coil spring to install upper front shock absorber mounting bracket.

  1. NOTE: If reference marks were omitted or removed during disassembly, refer to illustration for upper front shock absorber mounting bracket positioning. RH and LH front shock absorber mounting bracket-to-front shock absorber orientation is identical.

     

     

    Install upper front shock absorber mounting bracket, aligning reference marks.

  2. graphic

    1. Install washer and nut. Hold front shock absorber rod at hex on the end during tightening to prevent front shock absorber rod from rotating. Tighten to 50-71 Nm (37-52 lb-ft).

    1. Release spring compressor, making surefront coil spring is properly seated at top and bottom.

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