Below are some notes on replacing the front shock absorbers on
1995-2002 ford crown victorias, mercury grand marquis, and lincoln town
A gabriel ultra front shock absorber with the hardware on the left
The hardware out of the bag
And the hardware installed on the shock absorber
Replacing the front shock absorbers in these cars is relatively
straight forward. But around here, the top stud and nut which retain
the shock absorber to the vehicle's frame are often rusted together.
There are a few methods to dealing with this issue:
-cut off the top shock absorber fastener using abrasives
-use an acetylene torch to cut off the nut and a portion of the shock
-snap off the top shock absorber stud by rocking back/forth repeatedly
with a long extension bar and socket
On the passenger's side of the car, be careful not to damage the air
conditioning evaporator lower liquid line when
removing the top shock absorber nut
On the driver's side of the car, you'll have to work around the
antilock brake lines
Unless you have a stripped crown vic without antilock brakes
For installation, a ratcheting gear wrench with flexhead is useful for
installing the top nut.
A pneumatic air ratchet speeds up the installation of the bolts which
retain the shock absorber to the lower control arm. Do not use a
pneumatic air impact wrench as this tool can easily strip the threads
out of the shock absorber mounting area in the control arm.
A 1997 crown victoria with the drivers side shock absorber removed
And the shock absorber to be installed
The self tapping bolts that retain the shock absorber to the lower
The shock absorber installed into the car waiting for the top mounting
hardware to be installed
The top nut of the shock absorber being tightened using a ratcheting
Here's a 1998 crownvic with the lower control arm removed
Here's where the spring would normally be located. The shock absorber
top stud would normally pass through the circular hole in the center of
the spring seat
Here's a new driver's side control arm for a 1998 crown victoria. The
new control arm came with the holes for the shock absorber mounting
Here's a shock absorber to install
A closeup of the self tapping bolts which retain the shock absorber to
the lower control arm
The control arm from the bottom with the shock absorber installed
The control arm from the top with the shock installed
A closeup of the bolts which would normally retain the control arm to
the frame of the vehicle
Here is a passenger's side control arm from a ~2 year old 2002 crown
victoria that had around 20k miles on it when it was wrecked. Ford
stopped painting the lower control arms sometime in the 1998-1999 model
years as a result a noticeable amount of surface rust is present.
On high mileage vehicles and on vehicles driven on really rough roads,
watch for hairline fractures around the shock absorber mounting points
in the lower control arm.
Some mechanics have been known to strip the threads out of the control
arms by overtightening the shock absorber mounting bolts with air
impact wrenches too.
Here's the driver's side of a 1998 crown victoria with the lower
control arm removed
Here's where the top of the spring would normally be seated and where
the shock absorber stud would pass through the frame
Here's the driver's side of the car with the with the shock absorber
And with the top shock absorber nut cut away
And the whole shock absorber removed from the car
Here's the new shock absorber installed waiting for the top nut and
Now lets move on to the passenger's side shock absorber in a 1998
The old shock absorber top nut cut off and the shock removed entirely.
Be careful not to damage the a/c evaporator lower liquid line during
shock absorber removal.
The new shock absorber installed
And the top nut being tightened down using a swivel head ratcheting
Raising a jack under the lower control arm will wedge the shock
absorber rubber bushing against the frame so that the stud doesn't spin
around when the top shock nut is tightened.
There is a lot of space to access the top shock nut if the a/c
evaporator lower liquid line is removed. But discharging the a/c system
in your car to change your shock absorbers is not recommended.
A 1997 crown victoria, note that different curvature to the evaporator
lower liquid line and also the different radiator degas bottle location
The 1979-1994 crown victorias had a different frame in the front shock
absorber mount area than the 1995-2002 cars did. This was a carryover
from the 79-91 model years when these cars had stamped steel upper
control arms and the camber/caster settings were adjusted by moving the
front control arm in relation to the frame during a frontend alignment.
1993 crown victoria with the upper control arms and shock absorbers
removed. Take note of the elliptical cutouts in the frame where the
upper control arms would mount.
The upper control arm cross-shafts that the 92-94 crownvics used
1995-2002 crown victorias with the later revision of the frame in the
control arm mount area.