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#3855249 - 01/23/18 08:10 PM shocks/struts, stabilizer bar
JPGUY Offline
n00b

Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 21
Loc: CA
Hello all. I have a '04 MGM LS and it does NOT have the handling package. Just a basic LS trim MGM. The factory shocks probably need replacing and I am considering buying the factory struts/shocks and stabilizer bar that was offered with the handling package. Does anyone have any experience with this? How do the two compare (stock vs handling package)?

The car is only used for out-of-town trips with the family. I'm not looking to make a street racer out of it, I like a smooth and mostly quiet ride, but I do enjoy performance and like to throw it around a bit - I know these two ideas are at odds with each other. So what parts should I order to stiffen up the factory soft suspension, help control roll and leaning, without making the ride uncomfortable for long trips?
_________________________
2004 MGM

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#3855409 - 01/23/18 09:43 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19868
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
Police shocks with stock LX/LS springs always seems to work out well on these boats. Along with a police front sway bar and adding a rear bar if it doesn't have one.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#3857481 - 01/25/18 07:17 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
soxx35 Offline
Rookie

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 80
Loc: USA
I second using police/maruader spec shocks/struts. Kyb sells both of those. I'm going to be installing the Monroe complete strut assembly (strut with spring)spec'd for police. I'll let you know how that goes. As for the sway bars find your local pick and pull and look for any 03+ police car they have a 29mm front sway bar that you can pick up cheap. For the rear sway the 17mm bar is pretty common. Just watch out some of the newer P71's have 15mm bars. And if you are lucky try to find a marauder in a junk yard they have the 21mm rear bar. Also some pre 03 cars came with the same 21mm bar.

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#3857577 - 01/25/18 09:43 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: soxx35]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19868
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
Originally Posted By soxx35
And if you are lucky try to find a marauder in a junk yard they have the 21mm rear bar. Also some pre 03 cars came with the same 21mm bar.
Yep. The 21mm rear bar was the largest factory rear bar Ford used. It was used on any '93+ car with the factory handling package (HPP) or Touring package Town Cars (basically HPP Townie). They are getting tough to find, but if you find a civilian car with factory dual exhaust and air suspension, check the rear bar, it'll probably be the big one. The reasoning behind the handling package cars getting a larger rear bar than the P71s is that they had the relatively soft rear air springs (even though they were stiffer than standard LS/LX/TC air springs), P71s had stiffer coil springs so they didn't need as large of a bar to keep them steady. Marauders have essentially the same suspension as any other '03+ HPP car, so they had the large rear bar as well.

The rear bars interchange '92-11. Almost all '92-'99 cars had at least the 17mm rear bar, along with all P71s, so that is by far the most common one to find and is still much better than no bar at all.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#3857721 - 01/26/18 12:15 AM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
olschoolsteel Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/17
Posts: 157
Loc: So. Ill.
Been swapping out parts on my 02. You can order everything in from Rock Auto. I got 4 KYB gas adjust shocks and their rear sway bar with mount kit.
If you set aside an entire day you can get it done in a days' work.

One rear shock took me 2 hours, the other 1.5 hrs.
Each front shock took about 45 minutes.
The rear sway bar, it took me longer to cut off the plastic and lay out the parts that it did to install it. about half an hour. Literally 2 bolts and 4 nuts.

I installed the sway bar today. I am disappointed at its diameter. (CV and MGMs are picked over pretty good here)But it handles much better. There a few more things I want to check out but the new tires, shocks, and sway bar mack my car ride much more solid and it doesnt drift near as bad. Check out Rock Auto. They have what you need.
_________________________
Proud owner of a 2002 MGM w/ 125k miles.
Mercury Marauder--61k
New 2000 MGM for the daughter 177k

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#3857801 - 01/26/18 03:47 AM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
TwoBelugas Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/16
Posts: 146
Loc: Livermore, CA
I put in the heavier of the KYB Gas Adjusts and a 17mm sway bar on mine and kept the stock springs, and it rides a lot harsher than it used to be on anything smaller than a huge bump, which it then handles like boss.

I would say start with the sway bar and see how it works first before committing to the more aggressive shocks. If I had to do it all over again I would have put in the 17mm bar and called it a day. :/
_________________________
'06 Grand Marquis LS, ~34k miles. KYBs+Rear Sway being the only additions to stock. - Little Beluga

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#3861129 - 01/29/18 02:38 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
JPGUY Offline
n00b

Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 21
Loc: CA
I'm new to the panther cars and this one has 81,000 miles on the factory struts/shocks so they will need to be replaced. It rides smooth on smooth roads currently, but handles and rides like [censored] on rough roads and corners. We are taking a cross country trip (2,600 miles) this June and I want to have a good riding, good handling vehicle.

It seems the consensus is a 17+ mm sway bar in the rear. I take it this 15.3mm Dorman unit wouldn't be worth the cash? https://www.carid.com/dorman/rear-sway-b...50#applications

Would the Marauder/CVPI front springs/struts make it too harsh?
_________________________
2004 MGM

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#3861521 - 01/29/18 07:44 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
JPGUY Offline
n00b

Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 21
Loc: CA
_________________________
2004 MGM

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#3861817 - 01/30/18 04:13 AM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
TwoBelugas Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/16
Posts: 146
Loc: Livermore, CA
You might have some luck posting in the SW section
https://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=28&page=1
and see who has those parts installed, either Bay Area or LA/SoCal area has quite a few people with ADTR parts installed that you could ask to check out or attend a meet up to ride in person before you make up your mind. Heck I think ADTR may be based out of SoCal and you could just email the owner and ask what he thinks is appropriate for your use.

I would say any bar is better than no bar and for maintaining ride comfort some of the more performance oriented bars/shocks are a bit overkill.
_________________________
'06 Grand Marquis LS, ~34k miles. KYBs+Rear Sway being the only additions to stock. - Little Beluga

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#3862057 - 01/30/18 11:48 AM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
Accumulator Offline
Climber

Registered: 05/13/07
Posts: 756
JPGUY- What's to stiff/too soft/just right will vary between different people and it's hard to predict what others will/won't like. FWIW, even when stiffened to "track day special" levels, my wife and I both find these cars plenty comfortable for daily driver duty.

I would caution you against using a large rear bar (large = bigger than 29mm/HPP/MM) without a matching front bar. I generally prefer my cars set up "loose" in that manner, but driving a Crown Vic that was set up that way quickly proved that it was a terrible combination, especially with the stock springs/shocks.

The suspension is a system, and all its components need to work together in the right way. I like everything about as stiff as you can get, and that works great for us on these cars...but you might want something different.

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#3862449 - 01/30/18 04:50 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
JPGUY Offline
n00b

Registered: 08/11/17
Posts: 21
Loc: CA
Thanks all for your two cents. Accumulator, what you said about it being a system is correct, thanks for the reminder.

At this time, since my car doesn't have a rear bar at all, I think I'll go for a low cost 15mm or 17mm factory replacement bar and see how that goes. I'm still uncertain on what shocks I'll get.
_________________________
2004 MGM

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#3863409 - 01/31/18 01:01 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
Accumulator Offline
Climber

Registered: 05/13/07
Posts: 756
JPGUY- Assuming you're gonna hit salvage yards, you might luck out and find the 21mm one from a Marauder or CV Sport. Otherwise it should be easy enough to find the slightly larger P71 bar.

For the minimal additional cost, I'd get some new end links with polyurethane bushings (not, IME prone to constant squeaking in this application, at least not the black graphite impregnated ones, though my blue ones don't squeak either).

Poly bushings for the bar's mounts on the axle can squeak unless you take measures that most might consider a bit much..but the oe rubber ones aren't awful-soft.

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#3863745 - 01/31/18 06:55 PM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
Chaplian Offline
Insert witty title here
Poobah

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 5459
Loc: Chicago, IL
I use copper anti-seize on my poly bushings and haven't had any squeaking issues.

JPGUY, I would go with stock springs, Police-spec shocks, and ADTR.net sway bars. That would probably be around the perfect comfortable level (in my opinion.)

You can also sub out the ADTR sway bars with P71 sway bars to save a bit of cost, but the decrease in ride quality is only noticeable to those who are super ultra picky.
_________________________

2003 Crown Vic HPP- 226,xxx miles. Projector Retrofit. 3.27s. Dual exhaust. 11.25" torque converter. Arnott Limo Duty HPP-rate rear air springs. (Stolen by the old man)
1995 Impala SS- 28,293 miles. The Lovely Lady
2003 BMW 325i Sedan- 138,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Bilstein shocks, polyurethane bushings, Projector Retrofitted lights, 330i brakes, 330i rear-end, 235/45/r17 Sport Comp 2s. Autocross machine.
2003 BMW 325i Wagon- 118,xxx miles. Eibach Springs, Koni Yellow shocks, M3 differential (LSD), M3 rear suspension/brakes, 330i front brakes, M3 6 Speed manual, Alcantara headliner.
2017 Mazda3 GT Hatchback- 57,xxxx miles. 2.5L, fully loaded. The Daily Grind.

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#3864497 - 02/01/18 11:39 AM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
Accumulator Offline
Climber

Registered: 05/13/07
Posts: 756
I wonder if reinforcing the frame is as advisable with the new ADTR rear bars as with the Addcos?

I know it was primarily that one batch (production run?) of cars from...I forget, maybe '03-'04?...that had a significant failure rate, but it's not a big job and on these cars my guy always finds other stuff under there that can stand a little work.

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#3867945 - 02/05/18 08:04 AM Re: shocks/struts, stabilizer bar [Re: JPGUY]
EZlivin11 Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/18/16
Posts: 1132
Loc: Central Coast Of CA USA
I haven't found any cracks, but I do have 2 KYB's that have puked all over the sorta newish paint underneath. That is twice I tried to go lowest price, against all advice. Both with the same result FAILURE! It is surprising the limited availability of middle of the graph shocks. OEM police on the front, or jump to coilovers and Medico wrote that mustang rears will work so adjustable are out there. Mike/EZ
_________________________
The Gray Ghost
AKA: The Murranator
IF It's Not Broke, It Must Be Time For An Upgrade
2008 Ford Crown Victoria P71 4.6-2v
Upgrades /Mo's /1/2ShaftTB /P&PIntake /Steeda /Steering /Brakes /Suspension /Driveline /Rear-Axle3.55TL /BodySuspension-EnergySuspension /Interior /LTC-Leather /200Amp-Powerdistrabution-System /AuxBattery /SonyBluetooth /

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