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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for suggestions where to look or just a plain slap in the face to leave things be and live with it related to ride height after replacing all 4 struts, sway bar links, inner and outer tie rods.

Late last year I finally decided I had enough of the poor ride quality on my 2003 SEL Sedan. At that time she was 16yrs young with only about 105k, however the struts were in dire need of replacing and I managed to snap a sway bar link on the passenger rear.

Specs for my ride show the following ride height ranges:
Front: 27.89in - 28.27in
Rear: 27.77in - 28.15in

My current measurements sitting in my garage (no luggage and about 3/4 tank of gas)
Front: 28.625in
Rear: 26.875in

The rear is almost 1in too low. I did these myself and I believe I may have torqued the sway bar links more than necessary. I plan to get back in there next weekend now that the weather in eastern PA is getting warmer. Hoping this is the case and if I remove and retorque to the correct specs I'll be a little better off.

I think the front, while a little high, can be attributed to the aftermarket quick strut being just slightly longer than OEM. It is noticeable and at first I was like WTF when I picked it up from a friend who did the fronts for me. He has a lift and it charged me very little to do the front struts, sway bar links, inner and outer tierods and the alignment.

The car rides like new and is straight as an arrow. While I do like that my headlights are hitting farther out, more and more drivers think I have my highs on when I don't.

Beyond rechecking the swaybar links in the rear, is there any other item to look for from the rear which might be compressing the strut? I've thought about loosening the pinch bolt again (man that was a PITA) and attempting to tap the knuckle down a little, though I'd prefer to keep the tab in place for the pinch bolt.

For the fronts, could it be that my friend simply pinched the knuckle before lining up the tab? Any other parts that could cause the height to be that high?

Appreciate the input. I've searched ride height and while there are some posts on here, nothing seemed to fully apply to my situation.

Thanks!
-Kirk
 

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I put OE ready struts on my '03 sedan front and it is 27 3/4". However I had to have a shop do my '03 wagon as I had one broke and had no place to work. They put Monroe units on and that one is 29". Looks too high and will not align. No Monroe for me. I have a set of OE and sway bar links for that car when I get warmer weather.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the confirmation of a similar front height. I’ll check the rears and report back next weekend. I put the rears on before the fronts were done and they were higher than the failed/failing OE struts so I didn’t think about it until the fronts were done.
 

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I have Monroes all round on my 2004 and here are mine vs spec.

Fronts: 28.25. Spec 27.89 - 28.27. So in spec but in the higher range.

Rear Right: 27.25. Spec 27.22 - 27.60. So in spec but in the lower range.

Rear Left: 26.875. Spec 27.22 - 27.60. So out of spec.

But, the rear left was lower than the rear right on the factory originals as well.
 

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Looking for suggestions where to look or just a plain slap in the face to leave things be and live with it related to ride height after replacing all 4 struts, sway bar links, inner and outer tie rods.

Late last year I finally decided I had enough of the poor ride quality on my 2003 SEL Sedan. At that time she was 16yrs young with only about 105k, however the struts were in dire need of replacing and I managed to snap a sway bar link on the passenger rear.

Specs for my ride show the following ride height ranges:
Front: 27.89in - 28.27in
Rear: 27.77in - 28.15in

My current measurements sitting in my garage (no luggage and about 3/4 tank of gas)
Front: 28.625in
Rear: 26.875in

The rear is almost 1in too low. I did these myself and I believe I may have torqued the sway bar links more than necessary. I plan to get back in there next weekend now that the weather in eastern PA is getting warmer. Hoping this is the case and if I remove and retorque to the correct specs I'll be a little better off.

I think the front, while a little high, can be attributed to the aftermarket quick strut being just slightly longer than OEM. It is noticeable and at first I was like WTF when I picked it up from a friend who did the fronts for me. He has a lift and it charged me very little to do the front struts, sway bar links, inner and outer tierods and the alignment.

The car rides like new and is straight as an arrow. While I do like that my headlights are hitting farther out, more and more drivers think I have my highs on when I don't.

Beyond rechecking the swaybar links in the rear, is there any other item to look for from the rear which might be compressing the strut? I've thought about loosening the pinch bolt again (man that was a PITA) and attempting to tap the knuckle down a little, though I'd prefer to keep the tab in place for the pinch bolt.

For the fronts, could it be that my friend simply pinched the knuckle before lining up the tab? Any other parts that could cause the height to be that high?

Appreciate the input. I've searched ride height and while there are some posts on here, nothing seemed to fully apply to my situation.

Thanks!
-Kirk
should of went to rockauto.com and paid for oem motorcraft struts like I did. they are cheaper then aftermarket struts. also I had bought so monroe struts and they only lasted 10 months before i put motorcraft on them. also when ever you try to replace parts on your car try to buy motorcraft first, you might want to check out this web site for genuine ford parts at a great price. ( Tascaparts.com ) check it out
 

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Ride height spec in hundredths of inch? Tenth of inch measure should be good, and then depends on tread depth. Likely the OE spec is new tires. And of course some variation in fender shape and how one measures. For me, tape measure to the 1/16" is adequate. Just old coot practical guy op!
-chart-
 

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I've used both Monroe and Moog and not impressed with either. I did install the cargo coils in my '00 and the ride height was great and it handled better but the ride was noticeably stiffer. My '02 is still on OE struts and will probably need to be replaced soon and I'll go with either Motorcraft or KYB.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone. Before I go and buy new struts that might be closer to OEM size I'm going to take a shot at the strut tab mod. Cutting The Strut Tabs?

Figure, give it a go, if it works then great. If not, I'm buying new struts. Win-Win.

Going for a 1-1.5" overall shift. Bring the fronts down .5-.75 and bring the backs up .5-.75. Doing so should put everything back into normal range or close enough for the remaining life of the car. 17 years of salted winters has done a quite a number. Rebuilt the rocker panels last summer. Hoping the rest holds up another 5-6 years. Duratec still going strong an only very minor trans slip on occasion.
 

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Seeing lots of bad views on the Monroe struts. Replaced all 4 of mine on my 05 SE this past week with monroes (as thats all my parts store had on hand) and so far am having no issues. What about them is the issue? Did I screw myself? lol at least I got the taxi rears which seem to have helped my rear sag ALOT
 

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the Monroe's I've used were fine for a while, my only complaint was that it didn't take long and they were sagging again too
 

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I put OE ready struts on my '03 sedan front and it is 27 3/4". However I had to have a shop do my '03 wagon as I had one broke and had no place to work. They put Monroe units on and that one is 29". Looks too high and will not align. No Monroe for me. I have a set of OE and sway bar links for that car when I get warmer weather.
-chart-
Would not align? A wagon? I've never looked over whatever suspension style they might have, but the ride height should not affect the tire alignment angles on these vehicles, as there's no camber or caster adjustments to make.
 
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