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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My mechanic says replacement of my wagon's rear coil springs would be a snarl of troubles leading to a wad of cash. The existing springs are not terrible but they are also not coming out. I did install KYB 344432s in 2017 and they have done a good job, but ...

So, how can I boost the wagon's rear ride height by 1.5 to 2 inches? I'm seeing air bag kits but I doubt they raise the vehicle much and they seem more for the increase in load handling. A shocks manufacturer suggested I use a stud extender with an extra spacer beneath the top stud bushing to get some extra height.

This photo shows as-new ride height. Bottom of rear bumper cover lines up with center of rear wheel. If I could get mine back up to within 1/2" of that mark I'd be happy. So, has anyone seen success with this issue?

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Discussion Starter #3
Moog cargo coils for the wagon (CC879)?
Those would be great, but my mechanic says it would be an unreasonable expense to replace the actual springs--he said he'd have to cut out components because of seized bolts. Messy, lengthy, and not cheap.

I've seen Firestone's #4105 air load system but I don't know if that would raise ride height. Another manufacturer says its air assist kit will raise the car by about 1/2". Just asking if anyone had tried these air kits or even lengthening the shock studs.
 

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I have the Firestone airbag kits that fit inside the rear springs on both my 86 Tbird 5.0 and 88 Tbird Turbo Coupe. We use both cars for cross country road trips, and I carry about 100 lbs of tools and spare parts in the trunks in addition to a bunch of luggage, and without the air bags the cars would really sag in the rear. The air bags will raise the rear ride height an inch or more with 15 to 16 psi in the bags. Never ran them up to the max 30 psi to see what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do you use units inflated separately or a single master hose? Where does the air valve mount? I'm thinking the Firestone kit may be best.
 

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On my 86 Tbird I only have 1 fill valve for both sides and on my 88 Turbo Coupe I have a separate fill valve for each side. I have the fill valve(s) mounted inside the trunk. A few years ago I built onboard fill systems for both cars using cheapo Harbor Freight tire pumps, Ebay 30 psi pressure gauges, Ebay momentary push-button switches, a bunch of Ebay air solenoids, and Ebay HD vacuum hose (easily handles 30 psi) so I can add air or remove air at any time or any place. I also built a low pressure warning system with some Ebay oil pressure sensors that turn on a LED on the dashes if the pressures drop under 5 psi, as the instructions state to not let the pressure drop under 5 psi.
 

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Mechanics are notoriously lazy....want the easy, quick buck. None were more rusted than my 96's were at 300k,(I live in the northeast...rust capital of the world) and I got them out with moderate effort (and tons of P Blaster...and time) . Save the money...buy the best parts, and do it yourself.
 

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I just replaced the struts/springs on my 1998 sedan and was going to respond that the job is easy. However, I went and looked to see what the rear suspension on the wagon looks like, and that could possibly be a nightmare. If you cannot get the springs out without removing the lower control arms, then you are going to be in for a tough time. Did the struts and springs on my dad's 2005 Focus in the spring, and the bolts running through the lower control arms were rusted/seized to the metal sleeves in the bushings. It took an entire day to do the repair. Ended up cutting out the bolts with an angle grinder and buying new lower control arms with new bushings in them. That was a mess. If you plan on keeping the car for a long while, then get the repair done the right way, albeit for a good amount of money at that. Not sure what I would do if I was in your shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
That was a mess. If you plan on keeping the car for a long while, then get the repair done the right way, albeit for a good amount of money at that. Not sure what I would do if I was in your shoes.
That's what my mech said when I asked his opinion. Wagon was raised for an oil change and minor exhaust repair so I asked his opinion on R&R for rear springs. Basically he said "not a good expense for you" because he'd have to cut out components then reinstall new ones along with the springs--with other possible headaches.

This is a '97. Not on its last legs but not worth the cash of an all-day or two-day job.

I think I'll try the air springs and then maybe a threaded extension on the top of the strut with added spacers. The shocks should be removable since I had them installed 2017. Also, Gabriel makes the longest wagon shocks available: 15-7/8" when compressed. KYBs are 5/8" shorter.
215301


Come to think of it, though, I may seek a second opinion. Thanks everyone!
 

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That's what my mech said when I asked his opinion. Wagon was raised for an oil change and minor exhaust repair so I asked his opinion on R&R for rear springs. Basically he said "not a good expense for you" because he'd have to cut out components then reinstall new ones along with the springs--with other possible headaches.

This is a '97. Not on its last legs but not worth the cash of an all-day or two-day job.

I think I'll try the air springs and then maybe a threaded extension on the top of the strut with added spacers. The shocks should be removable since I had them installed 2017. Also, Gabriel makes the longest wagon shocks available: 15-7/8" when compressed. KYBs are 5/8" shorter.
View attachment 215301

Come to think of it, though, I may seek a second opinion. Thanks everyone!
 

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FYI: Chassis height is usually measured from the center of the wheel to the bottom of the fender lip. Side to side should be within 1/2" unless specified otherwise.
 
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