TESTING & INSPECTION
Each shock absorber can be tested by bouncing the corner of the vehicle until maximum up and down movement is obtained. Let go of the vehicle and watch. It should stop bouncing in 1-2 bounces. If not, the shock should be inspected for damage and possibly replaced.Shock Mounts
Check the shock mountings for worn or defective grommets, loose mounting nuts, interference or missing bump stops. If no apparent defects are noted, check the shock for hydraulic leaks.Checking for Hydraulic Leaks
Disconnect each shock lower mount and pull down on the shock until it is fully extended. inspect for leaks in the seal area. Shock absorber fluid is very thin and has a characteristic odor and dark brown color. Don't confuse the glossy paint on some shocks with leaking fluid. A slight trace of fluid is a normal condition; they are designed to seep a certain amount of fluid past the seals for lubrication. If you are in doubt as to whether the fluid on the shock is coming from the shock itself or from some other source, wipe the seal area clean and manually operate the shock (refer to that procedure later in this section). Fluid will appear if the unit is leaking.Manually Operating the Shocks
It may be necessary to fabricate a holding fixture for certain types of shock absorbers. If a suspected problem is in the front shocks, disconnect both front shock lower mountings.
Grip the lower end of the shock and pull down (rebound stroke) and then push up (compression stroke). The control arms will limit the movement of front shocks during the compression stroke. Compare the rebound resistance of both shocks and compare the compression resistance. Usually any shock showing a noticeable difference will be the one at fault.
If the shock has internal noises, extend the shock fully then exert an extra pull. If a small additional movement is felt, this usually means a loose piston and the shock should be replaced. Other noises that are cause for replacing shocks are a squeal after a full stroke in both directions, a clicking noise on fast reverse and a lag at reversal near mid-stroke.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 through 5
Some Ford Mustangs use Torx® head bolts to retain the shocks at the lower mounts. Check to make sure you have the proper drivers before beginning this procedure.
- Raise the vehicle and support it safely using jackstands under the rear axle housing.
- Open the luggage compartment, or on Mustang 3-door models, open the hatch door.
- Remove the trim panels, as necessary, to gain access to the shock absorber.
- Remove the shock absorber retaining nut washer and insulator.
- Remove the shock absorber bolt, washer and nut at the lower arm and remove the shock absorber.
Vehicles are equipped with gas pressurized shock absorbers which will extend unassisted.To install:
Prime the new shock absorber as follows:
- With the shock absorber right side up, extend it fully.
- Turn the shock upside down and fully compress it.
- Repeat the previous two steps at least three times to make sure any trapped air has been expelled.
- Place the inner washer and insulator on the upper retaining stud and position the stud through the shock tower mounting hole.
- Attach the lower end of the shock absorber with the retaining bolt and nut. Tighten the bolt to 55-70 ft. lbs. (75-95 Nm).
- Install the upper insulator, washer and retaining nut and tighten to 27 ft. lbs. (37-47 Nm).
- Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.