REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 through 9
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.
- Open the luggage compartment (trunk) lid.
- Remove the trim panels, as necessary, to gain access to the upper shock absorber mount.
- Remove the shock absorber retaining nut washer and insulator.
- Raise the vehicle and support it safely using jackstands under the rear axle housing.
- From under the vehicle, remove the shock absorber bolt, washer and nut at the lower arm and remove the shock absorber.
These vehicles are equipped with gas pressurized shock absorbers which will extend unassisted.
Prime the new shock absorber as follows:
- With the shock absorber right side up, extend it fully.
- Turn the shock absorber upside down and fully compress it.
- Repeat the previous two steps at least three times to make sure any trapped air has been expelled.
- From under the vehicle, 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 the figures given in the torque specifications chart.
- Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
- Install the upper insulator, washer and retaining nut, then tighten the nut to the figures given in the torque specifications chart.
See Figure 10
The purpose of the shock absorber is simply to limit the motion of the spring during compression and rebound cycles. If the vehicle is not equipped with these motion dampers, the up and down motion would multiply until the vehicle was alternately trying to leap off the ground and pound itself into the pavement.
Contrary to popular rumor, shock absorbers do not affect the ride height of the vehicle. This is controlled by other suspension components, such as springs, and tires. Worn shock absorbers can affect handling; if the front of the vehicle is rising or falling excessively, the "footprint" of the tires changes on the pavement and steering is affected.
The simplest test of the shock absorber is to simply push down on one corner of the unladen vehicle and release it. Observe the motion of the body as it is released. In most cases, it will come up beyond its original resting position, dip back below it, and settle quickly to rest. This shows that the damper is controlling the spring action. Any tendency toward excessive pitch (up-and-down) motion or failure to return to rest within 2-3 cycles is a sign of poor function within the shock absorber. Oil-filled shock absorbers may have a light film of oil around the seal, resulting from normal breathing and air exchange. This should NOT be taken as a sign of failure, but any sign of thick or running oil definitely indicates failure. Gas filled shock absorbers may also show some film at the shaft; if the gas has leaked out, the shock will have almost no resistance to motion.
While each shock absorber can be replaced individually, it is recommended that they be changed as a pair (both front or both rear) to maintain equal response on both sides of the vehicle. Chances are quite good that if one has failed, its mate is also weak.