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Old 04-23-2009, 11:47 PM   #1
Kalos
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DIY Replacing SVT Shocks/Struts?

I went to a tire dealer to investigate wheel/tire noise. He says I need new struts/shocks and tires. Fair enough — the currents struts/shocks are originals and have ~96K miles. The tires (Nitto Neo Gen) are unevenly worn front and back. Now that I notice it, the back end seems to slide out too easily going over bumps in the road.

The dealer wants $1,000+ to replace front struts and rear shocks!!

I have access to a garage and lift, so I think I can replace the rear shocks. So how difficult it is? I've seen to procedure details. Looks pretty simple, but am I going to be surprised by something nasty - such as difficulty getting the shocks out, or bushings that need replacement and I can't get them Sunday afternoon? Is this a one-person job? Anything else likely need replacing while I'm replacing the rear shocks? Do the rear wheels need "alignment" after I replace the shocks?

Looks like I should go to a pro shop to replace the front struts (?).

Where can I buy stock struts and shocks cheap? Who makes the Ford OEM shocks? Can I get them cheaper under another part number?



Last edited by Kalos; 04-24-2009 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:09 AM   #2
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remove the struts yourself and take them somewhere.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:14 AM   #3
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You might check in the marketplace here to see what you may find, however, you might kill two birds with one stone. Check out the KYB AGX adjustable dampers. A Full set will run you about 350-450$, iirc, but you'll get an even better ride control, and the ability to customize the handling a bit. I used 'em on my old Zetec sedan with some H&R race springs, and they worked beautifully.

In response to how to do it, I know there's a how-to around here somewhere, I'll see if I can't dig it up for you. Its not overly difficult, and there're no really nasty surprises a bit of elbow grease won't solve, but you'll need a set of spring compressors (Autozone may still rent them out, if not, Sears sells Craftsman ones for about 50$), and about 4-5 hours time if you're by yourself and its your first time through. I would also suggest finding a way to get access to an impact wrench, it speeds up the job and will make your life a helluva lot easier. One final bit, you will need an alignment once you are done (you should get one anytime you change things in the suspension, with the exception of changing swaybars.)

(Here's the aforementioned How-To's)
http://jason.hodges.cc/suspension.htm
http://www.focushacks.com/index.php?modid=54
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Last edited by Honorsystem; 04-24-2009 at 12:23 AM. Reason: Added How-To URL's
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honorsystem View Post
Check out the KYB AGX adjustable dampers. A Full set will run you about 350-450$, iirc, but you'll get an even better ride control, and the ability to customize the handling a bit.

In response to how to do it, I know there's a how-to around here somewhere, I'll see if I can't dig it up for you. Its not overly difficult, and there're no really nasty surprises a bit of elbow grease won't solve, but you'll need a set of spring compressors (Autozone may still rent them out, if not, Sears sells Craftsman ones for about 50$), and about 4-5 hours time if you're by yourself and its your first time through. (Here's the aforementioned How-To's)
http://jason.hodges.cc/suspension.htm
http://www.focushacks.com/index.php?modid=54
4-5 hours? Spring compressors? Seems to me too much hassle to do a DIY front struts replacement. Rear shocks replacement should be easy though, right? I just need cheap stock struts and shocks to get me through the next 25K miles.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:47 AM   #5
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You have a lift and say it's too much trouble? Wow, dang a lift would make sooo many things a lot less of a hassle.

HOWEVER, don't go cheap on the struts! Lots of places (like Midas etc.) like to push struts and shocks because the parts don't cost much but it is somewhat labor intensive; and they can always pay their people lousy but still charge a lot.

Struts and shocks are a DYI proposition, I did a set with a mechanic once and it's not terribly hard but you WILL need a spring compressor or, like someone else suggested, yank the struts off your car (since you have a lift, this is really no big deal) take them to Midas with the struts you bought from tirerack.com or wherever and have them swap the struts. Then throw them back on your car, buzz down to Midas or Discount Tire and get a four-wheel alignment and you're done.

Now that I've taken a look at tirerack.com, maybe your Stealership isn't ripping you off as badly as you thought. Tire rack wants $163 x2 for the fronts and $144 for the rears. That's over $600 in parts alone then throw in labor, an alignment and hooking your car up to the machine that goes "Bing!" $1000 isn't far off; plus you've got a "warranty" (depending on your stealership) on the parts and labor for a year or so (or that 25,000 miles).

Sorry bro, you're just going to have to pony up the pesos.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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for instructions, go to google, type in svt suspension install. Detailed instructions for install a full suspension.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:05 AM   #7
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A new set of SVT struts can be purchased for less than 200.00 from several FF vendors. As you found out they can last a long time and are very well matched to the SVT and its stock springs. The only problems you may experience are rusted bolts. Start applying PB Blaster several days before you do the work. Access to a lift (and hopefully air tools) WILL make it a lot easier. Don't screw around with rusted bolts if they can't be removed. Break or cut them off. I suggest getting an alignment after install if no other reason than to protect the new tires.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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I know this thread has been inactive for a while but I found these just searching online:
SVT Focus Replacement Shocks/Struts
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