'96 Upgrade Procedure for '89 - '93 SHOs

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Special tools needed for 89 to 93 SHO

None of these are required for the 94 and 95 SHO. They can be borrowed from a good parts store like Super Trak or Auto Zone:

  • 30mm hub socket, to remove the hub nut.
  • spring compressor, the type that comes in two pieces and attaches to the outside of the strut spring, one on each side of the spring.
  • gear puller, can use a hammer and a block of wood on the half shaft, but they loan them for free (just have to leave a deposit) and this is just a lot easier and a lot surer.
  • 3 foot pry bar, this has been suggested to pry the ball joint pin on the control arm from the knuckle, but I could find no acceptable place to use as a fulcrum, so I had to use another technique (see below).

Dismantling Procedure

  1. Loosen all lug nuts and loosen hub nut while the wheel is on the ground (you will need the 30mm hub nut socket and maybe a cheater bar to break it loose).
  2. If the welds on the strut plates on the top of the strut towers have been broken or drilled, take a marker and mark around these plates so that you can relocate them later. Loosen the three nuts on the strut tower (dont remove them, just loosen them to where the ends of the studs are even with the top of the nuts).
  3. Unlock the steering column and jack the car up.
  4. Place a jack stand under side rail of car body.
  5. Remove the wheel and then replace the lug nuts (two opposite each other tight against the rotor, the other three screw on backward flush with the end of the studswill explain later).
  6. Spray some Aerokroil penetrating oil on and around the ABS sensor, if so equipped (let it soak while you do the rest of the dismantling, give it a slight tap and a squirt occasionally, while doing everything else).
  7. Place a jack under brake rotor and jack it up to relieve the pressure on the sway bar end link attached to the strut housing and remove and discard the nut from the sway bar end link bolt by holding the bolt end with another wrench and remove the bolt from the strut housing.
  8. Remove brake line from caliper (this requires the removal one hollow, hex-head bolt, retain the bolt) and shove it up the strut tower to keep it from leaking brake fluid.
  9. Remove and discard cotter pin and crown nut from the tie-rod-end, then remove tie rod end from the knuckle (strike the tie-rod-end ball joint once with a hammer, this loosens it so it can be removed--no need for a tie-rod-end removing tool).
  10. Remove and discard pinch bolt and nut holding control arm ball joint in place (use drift pin to push bolt out), remove and discard pinch bolt holding strut to knuckle.
  11. Now remove the small bolt holding in the ABS sensor (wiggle the sensor back and forth until it comes out of the knuckle).
  12. Take a wire and run it through the holes in the strut housing and around the half shaft to support the half shaft so that it does not drop when the knuckle is removed, this technique will avoid the possibility of damaging the CV joints by the half shaft dropping.
  13. Use the gear puller to push the half shaft (or axle) part of the way out of the hub. The CV joint will allow the half shaft to move inward some.
  14. Use the lug nuts that we earlier installed backward on the lugs to give the gear puller something to pull on. (You can remove the brake caliper and rotor to get to the hub if you are very meticulous or you can just pound the end of the half shaft with a hammer (please put a 2X4 or something between the hammer and the half shaft to avoid mushrooming the end) if you are the more Neanderthal type. (Warning, do not press or drive the half shaft so far it jams the CV joint, this is just to break it loose inside the hub, removing it completely comes later.)
  15. Gently drive a screwdriver into the gap in the knuckle to ball joint pin pinch joint. Now here is where you can use the 3 foot pry bar to remove the control arm ball joint pin from the knuckle and then remove the strut housing from the knuckle, as I said I had no luck at this, so if you meet with the same frustration try what I did see E.
  16. Compress coil spring with tool (if you jack the hub up some more it will save a little screwing on the spring compression tool, then remove the jack once the spring compressors are attached and tightened).
  17. Spread the gap in the strut pinch joint with a screwdriver as you did with the control arm and tap on the top of the knuckle with a Ford wrench (hammer, heard that from a Chebbie guy) until the strut comes out of the knuckle (you may need to continue to tighten the spring compressors, and you may need two people, one to push down on the brake and knuckle assembly, thus putting pressure on the control arm, and one to jerk the strut outboard from the knuckle; thus the reason you loosened the nuts on the strut tower).
  18. When the strut is disengaged from the knuckle, be careful to neither pull outward on the knuckle assembly nor let it drop as it will hyper-extend the CV joint. Pick up on the knuckle and brake assembly, (you have the caliper, rotor, and knuckle so it is somewhat heavy) and lift the knuckle off the ball joint pin.
  19. Now slide the knuckle, hub, and brake assembly off the half shaft.

Re-assembly with upgrade

Be sure to clean up the junk yard knuckles and be sure that the any rust where the struts, the ball joint pins, the ABS sensors, or the tie rod ends are to be inserted has been removed (a little penetrating oil on these areas wont hurt, either). Assemble the calipers with brackets and pads (use a rattle and squeak preventative on the back of the pads), then place rotor and appropriate calipers on the correct knuckles, (as in right side calipers with right side knuckles and verse-versa, the knuckles and calipers are side specific). Use lug nuts to hold the rotor on the hub and make sure the brackets attach properly to the knuckle and that the hub and rotor turns freely. The units can be totally assembled on a work bench to confirm you have all parts and the correct parts for each side together. They look rather impressive, as well, sitting there all assembled my neighbor ask what airplane they came off of. You will have to remove the calipers and rotor from the knuckle and hub assembly before installation, this little exercise was just (1) to be sure everything fit together properly and (2) to familiarize yourself with how they assemble.

  1. Take the knuckle for the appropriate side and then start by locating the half shaft partly inside the hub and the strut partly inside its strut pinch joint in the knuckle (basically you have to insert both simultaneously).
  2. Use a new hub nut to pull the half shaft fully into the hub and tighten it snug (you will do the final torque when the wheel is on the ground).
  3. Then shove the knuckle fully up onto the strut housing. (There is a metal tab on the back of the strut housing that slides down inside the slot in the back of the strut pinch joint. This tab has a hole and this hole is to be lined up with the holes that the strut pinch bolt screws into. Insert and tighten the strut pinch bolt (70-95 lb-ft).)
  4. Push down on the control arm and locate the pin inside the knuckle. (Be careful not to damage the rubber boot seal on the ball joint.) To get the pin fully inserted a small amount of persuasion with a hammer (see, it really is a Ford wrench) will probably be called for here. Fully insert the pinch bolt and attach nut (40-55 lb-ft). (If the bolt will not slide into the knuckle, the ball joint pin is probably too deep and needs to be slightly withdrawn.)
  5. Attach the tie rod end and use new crown nut and cotter pin (23-25 ft-lb). (Do not loosen the crown nut to align a slot in the nut with the cotter pin hole in the bolt, continue tightening until alignment is achieved.)
  6. Insert ABS sensor and attach to knuckle with small bolt after applying Blue Locktite (40-60 lb-in). (You may need to use a little steel wool or fine sandpaper on the cylindrical part of the sensor to get the rust off, to allow it to be fully inserted.)
  7. Slide the rotor on the hub. (Use two lug nuts to snug the rotor to the hub.)
  8. Install the caliper by attaching the bracket to the knuckle with the bracket to knuckle bolts and use blue Locktite on these bolts (torque unknown! I would guess 40-55 lb-ft) (The bolts come with a locking compound already on them but it was probably removed it when assembling the units on the bench--a small price to pay to know that you have all the parts and that they fit before you tear down the wheels.)
  9. Next you will attach the brake line as follows. There are two copper washers, which are seals, included with the calipers. Remove the two old copper seals, one on each side of the metal block at the end of the flexible brake line. (You will have to pry them out of the block with a small screwdriver or similar tool.) Place one of the new copper washers over the hollow bolt you removed earlier; place the bolt through the metal block, place the second washer on the bolt (in effect sandwiching the brake hose end between the new washers), then insert the bolt into the caliper body. (Tighten to 30-45 lb-ft).
  10. Place a jack under the brake rotor and jack the wheel up until the bolt hole in the strut lines up with the bolt in the sway bar link assembly. Attach a new nut and tighten holding the bolt with another wrench to keep the ball joint from spinning (tighten to 55-75 lb-ft).
  11. Remove jack and install wheel. Lower car. Tighten the 30mm hub nut (conflicting data on torque specs: one place says 180 - 200 lb-ft, another 195 - 260 lb-ft; another words real, real, real tight.)
  12. Align strut plate and tighten nuts on top of strut tower (20-30 lb-ft).