Megan Coilovers arrive tomorrow! Is this a DYI install?

Discussion in 'Generation 4 - Performance Upgrades' started by Citationdoc, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    I get my Megan's tomorrow, SO excited! After prowling the forums quite a bit, either nobody has posted about setting height and preload, or I'm missing it. I've changed many a strut, but have zero experience with coilovers. Is this a DIY install? I have tools and am mechanically inclined (I fix jets lol). Anyone have experience installing and setting up the Megan's? Also...I talked to my local shop about installing, and their price for installing all 4, R&R front wheel bearings , and alignment is north of $700! I'd rather do the Megan's and bearings myself if not outrageously difficult. Any thoughts and/or advice welcome, thanks!
     
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  2. dmbass

    dmbass SHO Member

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    i'd like to know also
     
  3. 6500rpm

    6500rpm Quality Always Shoots Straight

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    You know a good Tech can fix anything. A strut is a strut is a strut and at that point you're pretty much a hub nut away from the front wheel bearings. Keep us posted on how the adjustment's done. I'm in the same boat as you, I do this every day for a living but it's all OEM stuff. If you can tailor the front and rear ride height with these and still keep a fair ride I'm all about that. I need to keep the front drop on mine to a minimum and I'd like to keep just a little rake. The Megan's look to be a solution but like you, I've only seen a few posts on them and not much if anything on adjustments.

    Edit-you inspired me to look on youtube, there's some stuff worth giving a look. Not necessarily SHO specific.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  4. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    So the Megan's arrived today!!! After opening the box and looking everything over, the installation actually looks pretty straightforward. I purchased the set from a seller on eBay for $700.00. They were listed at $749.00 and I offered $700.00 and they accepted the bid! The set is brand new, and comes with spanners (wrenches) to adjust the spring perches (to set spring pre-load) and barrel length (to set ride height), as well as special Allen keys to adjust damping firmness. They were well packaged and arrived in perfect condition. I'll post pics later. SO.... my question to anyone out there who HAS ALREADY INSTALLED THESE on their SHO is, can you recommend a starting point for setting ride height? I figured I'd set damping at 8, which puts it a middle of recommended STREET firmness. 0-5 is suggested for track, 6-10 for street, and 11-15 for comfort. Damping strength can be changed easily without loosening everything up. Not so with ride height, which is why I'm asking for advice on a good starting length. As always....any help appreciated!

    I will be photo documenting the shock/strut R&R as well as the wheel bearing changeout for anyone interested.
     
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  5. SHOinVa

    SHOinVa SHO Member

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    - OK this may sound like a stupid question and YES (There are plenty of stupid questions) this may be one but here it goes. My understanding of the SHO suspension is that there are shocks on back and struts on the front all mounted inside a set of springs. So I understand how you replace the rear shocks with coil overs but how does that work on the front with the struts. Can you just replace struts with shocks on any configuration.

    - Also I have a favor to ask of you Citationdoc could you also post the specifications of the parts you remove (shocks/struts). Almost no one makes shocks/struts for the Taurus platform but a lot of company makes some pretty good general replacement gear that may work if you find the right specs. I've given this a lot of thought and the coil overs just have way more adjustment then I want to deal with BUT it would be nice to get a really good set of shocks/struts under her. As always thanks for your time a guidance.
    Charlie
     
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  6. joe raptor

    joe raptor SHO Member

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    Let us know how did go when you finish :)
     
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  7. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    Hi Charlie,

    You're mostly correct. The Gen 4 SHO has McPhereson struts up front and conventional shocks and springs in the rear. Struts are a bit different than regular shocks in that they are essentially coilovers. The shock (or damper) is inside the load spring. The difference is that coilovers, by definition, are height and damping adjustable, whereas struts are typically not. Front struts attach directly to and are part of the steering mechanism, where a vehicle with traditional shock /spring setup has steering gear separate. The difference between the rear load spring and shock setup with the Megan's is that the damping strength of the shock is adjustable 15 levels. This controls how quickly the shock allows the load spring to compress and relax, and thus the firmness or softness of the ride. The load spring is also adjustable using a seat (or perch) that the top of the spring seats on. The perch can raise or lower the load spring, thus adjusting the height of the rear end. The front coilovers can be adjusted by lengthening or shortening the entire strut to set the height of the front. You can also set the load spring preload on the coilovers, but this should ONLY be done if you fully understand the effect of preloading a spring. You can actually do damage to the suspension by preloading a spring because it effectively shortens travel of the whole system. It's not at all hard to set and make height and ride firmness adjustments with coilovers, that's the attraction of having them vs. simple struts and shocks. There is DEFINITELY a bit of work involved with installing them. I will be posting a step by step with pics soon.

    As for aftermarket shocks and struts, the choices are actually somewhat limited for the SHO platform. Check on RockAuto.com or PartsGeek.com, or your local parts dealer for options. I really agonized over replacing original with upgraded (Monroe Severe Duty) struts and shocks vs. the Megan's. Cost in parts for conventional suspension is actually almost about a third to a half of cost of the coilovers. My local trusted shop quoted me $700 just in labor for either setup. Bit the bullet and went with the Megan's, and decided to save the $700 and install myself. I actually enjoy doing that kind of thing. Going with the Monroe's is a safe bet for sure. I would steer clear of bargain brand for the SHO. IT REALLY NEEDS GOOD UNDERCARRIAGE because it's such a lead sled!

    Hope this helps buddy!
     
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  8. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    Soooooooo....
    After a 4 day journey installing the Megan coilovers, PowerStop drilled/slotted rotors, AND replacing the front hub/bearings; I finally finished. While it's definitely NOT a job for the timid, it really is within the ability of those who are mechanically inclined with decent tools. Initial test drive was IMPRESSIVE! The car now corners nearly flat instead of the rather pronounced body roll when cornering. I set damping right in the middle (level 8) and now feel every little pebble LOL. Might be setting a little softer. Tomorrow will tweak the ride height, but was pleasantly surprised that my best guess turned out to be almost right where I wanted! Go figure. Goes in for alignment tomorrow. The PowerStops are incredible. I'll be posting a full installation documentation with pics in the next few days.
     
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  9. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    Oh yeah...got LaminX tint for head and tail lights, still gotta put it on though.
     
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  10. SHOinVa

    SHOinVa SHO Member

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    Citationdoc
    - Thanks for the information that helps a great deal, I have also given this a lot of thought and I just want to set the suspension and forget it, so coil overs are an overkill for me. You are right finding a good shock/strut for the Taurus is no easy task, the web site you sent me was a lot of help since I could not find Monroe shocks for my car before. I was not going cheap at all in fact the other way, Ride Tech is good stuff but they don't sale shocks specific for the Taurus but they do sale a lot of general use shocks. I've used them before and there good stuff I think Fox makes them BUT I may just take your advice and go with the Monroe all around.
    - Sounds like you had a fun weekend, BUT I would point out there is a big difference in some "Mechanical ability" and a Jet Mechanic so I think I will try and find someone to do the work for me. Thanks again for all the information I look forward to seeing your DIY posts.
    C/
     
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  11. 6500rpm

    6500rpm Quality Always Shoots Straight

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    +1 to the above post. Also, I know some places offer a "lifetime" front end alignment for a bit more. Might be a good option if you plan on making adjustments to the ride height, etc as you find your comfort zone for where you want it.
     
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  12. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    So I took the car to my guy to get it aligned after installing the Megans. I had lowered the car a fair bit, looked cool but dragged the belly almost the whole way down my dirt/gravel driveway. Back up the hill we went and up the car went, not too much. Back down the hill and just a couple of belly rubs! Got to the shop and up on the lift, and come to find the rear camber was all the way to -4 deg! Uh-oh, the SHO DOESNT REALLY HAVE REAR CAMBER ADJUTMENT!!! So with the car still on the lift, I start cranking away on the rear spring adjusters to bring the a$$ end back up and (hopefully) bring some of that camber out. The spec is -.8 nominal and up to -1.5 max (if I'm remembering the numbers right). With the rear springs cranked up as far as I feel comfy with, it's just BARELY in the low end of the spec. This means I'll likely be eating my Conti's until I can find some eccentric bolts for the rear upper control arms . At a Grand a set, this is not appealing! On the bright side, the car looks positively BADA$$, and even at highest setting on the rear springs its lower than stock and looks GOOD. The handling is amazing.

    So question of the day is, does anyone know of a source for camber bolts or shims or any way to get this rear end back in spec? Promise I'll get pics of the build up soon, I just want to get the LaminX tint on the head and tail lights first. Stay tuned!
     
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  13. bpd1151

    bpd1151 Lurking Around

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    Contrary to what some have claimed, the rear adjustable camber bolts are a necessity.

    There is only a slot at the top of the spindle that allows for some degree of adjustment, but it's not enough as you, and many others have discovered, to get you back into alignment specs once lowered.

    They can be bought fairly cheap on the interwebz, H&R made the originals, and LMS I believe sells them as well.



    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Showpiece

    Showpiece SHO Member

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    LMS does sell them it's where I got mine from. At least they did.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    Thank you Sir! I'll give LMS a shout. Much appreciated!
    BTW, did you do the hood vents yourself, or purchase?
     
  16. Citationdoc

    Citationdoc SHO Member

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    AND ....Whereabouts in SHOcagoland do you hail? I'm a Chi-town transplant in KS now, but go home frequently to visit family in the city and northern burbs
     
  17. bpd1151

    bpd1151 Lurking Around

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    Hood vents came to me via a beloved friend, fellow SHO owner, and FMC Employee working at the FRAP in paint & body. That friend was the creator of the now infamous 3 pod gauge pod. Chris (crash712us) Curtis. He recently passed from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

    I had them installed by a local body shop.

    I hail from the general area near I-355 & I-80. At times, I can hear the races from the speedway in Joliet, IL.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Majestic

    Majestic SHO Member

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    There's a guy around here with a blacked-out 2011 that has hood vents. I actually looked at that car when it was for sale last year but the price vs. miles vs. year didn't work for me. If I ever see him out again, I'd like to look at how/where he got them. They looked pretty slick from what I recall.
     
  19. OmaHahn

    OmaHahn SHO Member

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    I installed H&R Springs - it lowered it about 1.5 - 2" Even with this drop I could see with my own eye the rear camber was out of alignment. I bought a set of 81280 camber bolts for like $25.00 on Amazon and had my local shop install them. Make sure to use the Loctite Red 271 just to make sure it stays secure! I've had mine for over a year now and no issues. As bpd mentioned, these are the single bolt at the top of the rears.
     
  20. limited02

    limited02 SHO Member

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    Any new thoughts on the coil-overs? Did you soften the dampers any more? Can the ride be made to be softer/smoother than stock? I'm wanting to do this to my MKS and wouldn't mind a touch smoother ride as I spend most of my time on the highway. I also want to lower it a little, but not as low as most springs provide and this is the only real option worth it IMO due to the adjustability. Also, where are the pictures of how your car sits :waiting:
     
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