REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Purge a new shock of air by repeatedly extending it in its normal position and compressing it while inverted.1983-88 Vehicles
See Figures 1 and 2SPRING BETWEEN LOWER CONTROL ARM AND FRAME
For Thunderbird Turbo Coupes, perform the following:
- Remove the luggage compartment side trim panel.
- Detach the actuator wiring connector from the harness connector.
- Squeeze the two actuator retaining tabs firmly inward with one hand and lift the actuator off the mounting bracket with the other hand.
- Grasp the mounting bracket with water pump pliers and hold firmly.
- While holding the mounting bracket, loosen the bracket attaching nut.
- Remove the mounting bracket.
- Install the mounting bracket retaining nut.
- Remove the upper attaching nut, washer, and insulator. Access is through the trunk on sedans or side panel trim covers on station wagons and hatchbacks. Sedan studs have rubber caps.
- Raise the car. Compress the shock to clear the upper tower. Remove the lower nut and washer; remove the shock.
- Purge the shock of air and compress. Place the lower mounting eye over the lower stud and install the washer and a new locking nut. Do not tighten the nut yet.
- Place the insulator and washer on the upper stud. Extend the shock, install the stud through the upper mounting hole.
- Tighten the lower mounting nut to 45-60 ft. lbs. (61-81 Nm).
- Carefully lower the car. Install the outer insulator and washer on the upper stud, and install a new nut. Tighten to 19-27 ft. lbs. (26-37 Nm).
For Thunderbird Turbo Coupes, perform the following:
- Align the flats on the mounting bracket with the flats on the shock stud. Install the mounting bracket.
- Install the nut on the shock absorber, if not already done.
- Grasp the mounting bracket with water pump pliers and tighten the bracket retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 15-21 ft. lbs. (20-28 Nm).
- Grasp the actuator by the retaining tabs, then install the actuator on the mounting bracket by pushing down on the plastic retainer tabs.
- Attach the actuator wiring connector.
- Install the trim panel on station wagons and hatchbacks or the rubber cap on sedans.
- Raise the vehicle and install jackstands.
- Remove the shock absorber outer attaching nut, washer and insulator from the stud at the top side of the spring upper seat. Compress the shock sufficiently to clear the spring seat hole, and remove the inner insulator and washer from the upper attaching stud.
- Remove the locknut and disconnect the shock absorber lower stud at the mounting bracket on the axle housing. Remove the shock absorber.
- Position a new inner washer and insulator on the upper attaching stud. Place the upper stud in the hole in the upper spring seat. While maintaining the shock in this position, install a new outer insulator, washer, and nut on the stud from the top side of the spring upper seat.
- Extend the shock absorber. Locate the lower stud in the mounting bracket hole on the axle housing and install the locknut.
See Figure 3
- Position the vehicle safely on a pit, hoist or ramps.
- Remove the side trim panels from inside luggage compartment.
If equipped with an Automatic Ride Control, perform the following:
- Detach the actuator wiring connector from harness connector.
- Squeeze the two actuator retaining tabs firmly inward with one hand and lift actuator off with the other hand, if so equipped.
- Using water pump pliers, grasp the mounting bracket and hold firmly. loosen attaching nut and remove mounting bracket, if so equipped.
- Remove top attaching nut washer and insulator.
- Remove the lower shock/strut mounting bolt and remove shock/strut.
- Properly prime the new shock/strut by inverting and collapsing, then releasing the shock/strut to its fully extended position.
When replacing shock/strut on an Automatic Ride Control equipped vehicle, an exact replacement automatic adjustable shock/strut must be used. Failure to do so will result in a vehicle that will handle poorly, and could lead to a potentially dangerous situation.
- Place the inner washer and insulator on the upper retaining stud. Place the shock/strut up into position in upper mounting hole. Compress shock enough to install the lower mounting bolt and nut, then tighten the nut to 83-113 ft. lbs. (113-153 Nm).
- With the upper end of the shock absorber protruding through the body shock tower hole, install the insulator, washer and nut on top of shock/strut, inside luggage compartment.
Automatic ride control shock absorbers (Super Coupe and XR7) use a separate nut whereas the base vehicles use the assembly consisting of the crimped on nut. For the ride control assembly, hold one of the tags on the washer securing the joint to prevent the shock rod from rotating during installation. Base vehicle shock absorbers have a hex on the end of the piston rod to prevent the rod from turning while the nut is being torqued. Tighten the nuts to 27-40 ft. lbs. (37-54 Nm) on the ride control shock absorber or to 44-58 ft. lbs. (60-80 Nm) on base vehicles.
If equipped with Automatic Ride Control, perform the following:
- Align the flats on mounting bracket with flats on the shock stud, and install mounting bracket.
- Install nut onto stud. Tabs on mounting bracket must be aligned in a fore and aft direction before tightening of nut.
- Using water pump pliers, grasp the mounting bracket firmly (if so equipped) and tighten the bracket retaining nut to 27-35 ft. lbs. (37-47 Nm).
- Grasp the actuator by the retaining tabs, install onto mounting bracket by pushing down on the retainer tabs.
- Connect the actuator wiring connector, and harness mating connector. Slide the connector onto the rail and push into secured position.
The actuator assembly may be difficult to install if the plastic becomes eccentric to actuator driving shaft. If this happens; loosen the two mounting screws, allowing the actuator to float with respect to the locator and install onto the shock. Tighten the two screws, if so equipped.
- Install luggage compartment, and lower vehicle.