Suspension Conversion Kit

TonySSM

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Hello,

I am finally getting around to doing larger jobs on my Mark. My first one will be a suspension overhaul. The car currently is sitting on a conversion kit, and sucks (bottoms out constantly even though the ride height it stock). So, I am looking to get a new conversion kit for all 4 corners of the car.

Through my research, I have come to the consensus of getting the Monroe conversion kit (Coil overs in front, shocks & springs in the rear). However, I know there's some Mark veterans here, and I am looking for your opinions.

Is Monroe a good brand for air-to-spring conversion parts?
Are there other brands of the same quality that make bolt-in suspension conversion kits?

As always, any and all feedback is appreciated!
 

howardr

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Try Strutmasters in NC . For around 500. You get front and rear
Conversions. Did my 96 mark two years ago easy to install and makes a big difference in ride.
 

BILLBOATS

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Hello,

I am finally getting around to doing larger jobs on my Mark. My first one will be a suspension overhaul. The car currently is sitting on a conversion kit, and sucks (bottoms out constantly even though the ride height it stock). So, I am looking to get a new conversion kit for all 4 corners of the car.

Through my research, I have come to the consensus of getting the Monroe conversion kit (Coil overs in front, shocks & springs in the rear). However, I know there's some Mark veterans here, and I am looking for your opinions.

Is Monroe a good brand for air-to-spring conversion parts?
Are there other brands of the same quality that make bolt-in suspension conversion kits?

As always, any and all feedback is appreciated!
My mark 96 is been sitting in it unibody frame for 4 years until this Months my friend Craing dug a hole near the middle of rocker. The floor jack then fitted under ht rocker and he was able to lift the car high enough to place 2 jack stands fron and rear of the rocker. Then he did the same thing to rt side. Now car can be off the ground and I am debating of a coil conversion or restore the air ride. The best 2 suppliers of coil and suspension part conversions are Strutmaster, N Carloina, Arnott suspension manufacturers in Florida. They know more about ride and spring conversions as this is their bread and butter . The strut masters co ihas been in the conversion kits business since 1999. Sjiping is free, 1 kit without shocks 540but has a lowering feature. The 670 kit has shock and all the rest of springs, front struts. Arnott is arnott.com I bought from them and they too are sturt and air ride conversion manufactures. I am going to convert to springs.I would like to had a air ride rebuit but money forces me to springs. forget monroeI'de get the conversion with lowering and buy my own shocks for much less than 130.00
 

BILLBOATS

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Try Strutmasters in NC . For around 500. You get front and rear
Conversions. Did my 96 mark two years ago easy to install and makes a big difference in ride.
I finally gave up on air ride unless I replace both air bags, both air struts, a comporessor and the air lines plus selonids (4). Otherwide a leak of air will run the compressor and wear it out. My struts and air bags have been sitting flat for over 4years. Do you guess the rubber may be old by now"
 

BILLBOATS

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Hello,

I am finally getting around to doing larger jobs on my Mark. My first one will be a suspension overhaul. The car currently is sitting on a conversion kit, and sucks (bottoms out constantly even though the ride height it stock). So, I am looking to get a new conversion kit for all 4 corners of the car.

Through my research, I have come to the consensus of getting the Monroe conversion kit (Coil overs in front, shocks & springs in the rear). However, I know there's some Mark veterans here, and I am looking for your opinions.

Is Monroe a good brand for air-to-spring conversion parts?
Are there other brands of the same quality that make bolt-in suspension conversion kits?

As always, any and all feedback is appreciated!
My mark 96 is been sitting in it unibody frame for 4 years until this Months my friend Craing dug a hole near the middle of rocker. The floor jack then fitted under ht rocker and he was able to lift the car high enough to place 2 jack stands fron and rear of the rocker. Then he did the same thing to rt side. Now car can be off the ground and I am debating of a coil conversion or restore the air ride. The best 2 suppliers of coil and suspension part conversions are Strutmaster, N Carloina, Arnott suspension manufacturers in Florida. They know more about ride and spring conversions as this is their bread and butter . The strut masters The Monroe kit is 498.oo without the 2 front struts. They are over 100 each with monroes price Now I have pointed you so go for it. Good luck
 

Rapple1031

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Did the Strut master standard right height in my 97 3 or 4 years ago. Very happy with them.
 

BILLBOATS

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Did the Strut master standard right height in my 97 3 or 4 years ago. Very happy with them.
Encouraging to me your conversion with strutmaster went well. They sell one kit thats about 540 and lower the mark , the 675.00 kit has shocks but says nothing about lower the mark. Write me please if you know anything about lowering. Did your kit have a lowering stated when you bought the conversion lit. I intend to call struts and ask them too
 

BILLBOATS

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My mark 96 is been sitting in it unibody frame for 4 years until this Months my friend Craing dug a hole near the middle of rocker. The floor jack then fitted under ht rocker and he was able to lift the car high enough to place 2 jack stands fron and rear of the rocker. Then he did the same thing to rt side. Now car can be off the ground and I am debating of a coil conversion or restore the air ride. The best 2 suppliers of coil and suspension part conversions are Strutmaster, N Carloina, Arnott suspension manufacturers in Florida. They know more about ride and spring conversions as this is their bread and butter . The strut masters The Monroe kit is 498.oo without the 2 front struts. They are over 100 each with monroes price Now I have pointed you so go for it. Go Look over strut masters before you buy Monroe
 

BILLBOATS

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Try Strutmasters in NC . For around 500. You get front and rear
Conversions. Did my 96 mark two years ago easy to install and makes a big difference in ride.
Hi, struts frieght Charge to Akron Oh is 125. Being in Va how much was your frieght charges. Did you drive down to Nc and avoid the charges?
 

howardr

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Hi, struts frieght Charge to Akron Oh is 125. Being in Va how much was your frieght charges. Did you drive down to Nc and avoid the charges?
Drove down have two brothers on NC. They are coded on Saturday but had security person on site to open up and my parts were ready. I bought the lowering kit which is great. They also have a small museum with some great items . Been two years no problems.
 

TonySSM

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Thank you all for the inputs!

So, I ended up going for Strut master's lowering kit. I've always wanted to lower the car, but well, without fabrication, it was looking grim. Until this kit showed up.

Here's my initial review on the kit upon opening the package:

-The Good
The welds throughout the kit look solid. Not perfect, but decent.

All the press-fit mounting bolts look good, too.

The rubber mounts in the coil overs look to be of polyurethane rather than rubber.

All edges are straight (laser cut almost). Not just hacked up, but professional metal work.

It was packaged well, and all came in good shape and reasonable time (from NC to CA, 6 days during the holiday season).

It comes with very detailed instructions (w/ photos in each step) for removal and installation.

-The Bad
I can tell that a couple items were most likely partially installed and then previously sent back (judging by the scratches), which is a bit concerning.

The instructions are dated late 2013, so hopefully, they are still relevant. Not also to say that they are from the Standard Ride Height conversion kit (couldn't take the time to change a couple things and reprint them?)

Additionally, the dust covers inside the coil overs, over the inner strut assembly, are poor. The rubber itself is fine, but you can tell that someone pulled them open and zip-tied the ends after the coil overs were assembled.

Lastly, the coils on the front conversion kit are slightly bent, as if they are over-stressed sitting in the strut assembly. I do not know if this is bad, but I hope that it'll straighten out once the vehicle's weight is on them.

Summary:
For a cheap, second rate suspension conversion kit, it is as expected, perhaps a bit better. Yes, some of it is concerning, but it is expected since basically each corner of the car's suspension will cost ~$150. And is a bolt-in lowering kit? Sure, it looks properly done in comparison to the standard ride height kit.
(I call Strut master second rate, because I do not think they match the quality of Bilstein, KYB, Koni, etc. Maybe this kit will change my mind).

I will post another review after installing the kit, and then one 6 months after so.
 
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BILLBOATS

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Drove down have two brothers on NC. They are coded on Saturday but had security person on site to open up and my parts were ready. I bought the lowering kit which is great. They also have a small museum with some great items . Been two years no problems.
Thanks for the informative reply, looking forward to for next spring to do springs or remote possible keep air ride with a new compressor providing the bags and struts are Ok, Car has 125,000 orginals so they might be still good. I am on the side of conversion. I would like to drive from Akron to NC in my odyssey, great highway car. it can get 22-23 if tuned right
 

BILLBOATS

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Thank you all for the inputs!

So, I ended up going for Strut master's lowering kit. I've always wanted to lower the car, but well, without fabrication, it was looking grim. Until this kit showed up.

Here's my initial review on the kit upon opening the package:

-The Good
The welds throughout the kit look solid. Not perfect, but decent.

All the press-fit mounting bolts look good, too.

The rubber mounts in the coil overs look to be of polyurethane rather than rubber.

All edges are straight (laser cut almost). Not just hacked up, but professional metal work.

It was packaged well, and all came in good shape and reasonable time (from NC to CA, 6 days during the holiday season).

It comes with very detailed instructions (w/ photos in each step) for removal and installation.

-The Bad
I can tell that a couple items were most likely partially installed and then previously sent back (judging by the scratches), which is a bit concerning.

The instructions are dated late 2013, so hopefully, they are still relevant. Not also to say that they are from the Standard Ride Height conversion kit (couldn't take the time to change a couple things and reprint them?)

Additionally, the dust covers inside the coil overs, over the inner strut assembly, are poor. The rubber itself is fine, but you can tell that someone pulled them open and zip-tied the ends after the coil overs were assembled.

Lastly, the coils on the front conversion kit are slightly bent, as if they are over-stressed sitting in the strut assembly. I do not know if this is bad, but I hope that it'll straighten out once the vehicle's weight is on them.

Summary:
For a cheap, second rate suspension conversion kit, it is as expected, perhaps a bit better. Yes, some of it is concerning, but it is expected since basically each corner of the car's suspension will cost ~$150. And is a bolt-in lowering kit? Sure, it looks properly done in comparison to the standard ride height kit.
(I call Strut master second rate, because I do not think they match the quality of Bilstein, KYB, Koni, etc. Maybe this kit will change my mind).

I will post another review after installing the kit, and then one 6 months after so.
I thank you , I am favoring Arnott, they manufacture the parts . However they don't sell from the factory anymore, so its from summit racing and can cost more. If I go down from Akron, I can see what they want to sell me and I can say no on the spot. Let us know how the car handles and rides.
 

BILLBOATS

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Drove down have two brothers on NC. They are coded on Saturday but had security person on site to open up and my parts were ready. I bought the lowering kit which is great. They also have a small museum with some great items . Been two years no pTell me about the ride and handling now that your lowered. I might drive down from Akron Its a 8 1/2 hr drive . My 2001 Odyssey is one good highway car to drive to n.c I will want a road trip after winter. Odyssey cruses at 2200 rpm doing 75 mph
 

BILLBOATS

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If anyone was in the market to buy a mark 8, 96,97 or 98, would you look for a strut conversion , or air ride. car would be in the 3500 to 5000 range. Would anyone pay extrra to get the air ride, its a risk it might go out 1st year you buy a mark 8
 

TonySSM

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Okay, here are my thoughts about installing the conversion kit and it's first 300 miles of driving.

Installing:
- Very simple, instructions are alright. However, if you are removing a spring conversion kit in the rear, they do not specify that you must also disconnect the upper control arm from the spindle, and remove the brake caliper to give enough slack.
- I had more issues with the installation, not due to instruction or tools, but rather, defects in the kit itself:
- Luckily, the old conversion kit on the rear had rubber mounts for the springs, in which the new Strut master Kit did not have.
- One of the upper mounting studs on the LF coil over was bent, so, I had to beat it with a hammer.
- The lower mount on the RF coil over was welded on at the wrong angle; I had to play around with the strut rod-frame nuts, and a sledge hammer, to get it all to line up enough to push the mounting bolt in.
*Overall, had me pissed after a while, but, as a beginning mechanic, was do-able.

Driving Experience:
- Compared to the incorrectly installed Motorcraft kit that was on the car, this Strutmaster kit feels amazing.
- You do feel more bumps in the road, almost as if you are driving a newer Honda Civic (honestly, it's kinda rough)
- It handles large bumps and (medium-sized) potholes well- you feel them, but they feel harmless, as compared to hitting them with a Honda Civic.
- Handles great in turns; very little body roll, no matter how hard you push it into the corner, and how long/short the corner is
- The car doesn't really "dive" under hard braking; quite the opposite of many fords from the 1990-2000 era.
- When comparing how much lift the front of the car had under hard acceleration from a dig before, it currently doesn't do any of that anymore
*Overall, this kit feels alright. It'll get the job done. It's definitely much tighter, feels like an old sports car. Cushiness and luxurious? No, not even close. Thank god these cars came with soft seats, as that's saving my back on longer cruises.

- Also, the lowering part of the kit, while undoubtedly making this car feel tight, gave this car a great ride height.
- With a 245/45/r18 tire, the car sits level with around 1.5 inches between the tread and edge of wheel well.

I will give one final update once I finish all the suspension work (replaced almost all of it, just need to install the new lower control arms on the front), which will cover how the kit feels at high speeds- there is too much vibration from the poorly lower control arms to give a solid opinion at speed.
 

91 LSC SE

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With new front air struts, new rear bags and even the pump so inexpensive, I'm surprised anyone would consider removing the air ride. I think what isn't considered is that comparisons are being made form the new springs to the 20+ year old air parts. New air struts/bags make a significant difference in ride/handling to the two decade old original parts, which most leak air.

new front air struts and rear air bags: $299.25 Both front and rear!


if you want you can upgrade to the Westar struts which are a bit more $169.95 each for left and right, but have been well tested here with excellent reviews.

rear bags: $85.00 for the pair!


new pump: $165.43

I would bet with out doubt that the aftermarket air parts will last as long as the spring kit and you will have kept your M8 original (increasing resale value - I would not consider buying a M8 on springs) while enjoying the better ride quality! And you have the option to add an ASHAM8/RAYS switch to lower and raise you M8's ride height at will!
 
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