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MadMikeyL
11-26-2006, 01:08 AM
I have a set of shocks and springs off a 90 XR7 I'm parting out that I am thinking about installing in my 91 cougar. I have a couple questions about the shocks on the automatic ride control.

#1, if you install the ARC shocks onto a car that doesn't have ARC, and you don't wire anything up, will they default to stiff or loose, or just whatever they were at last or what?

#2, the actuators on top of the shock that are controlled by the ARC computer, are they just 12V motors that go one way or the other? In other words, would it be possible to wire them up to a switch so that I could have either a soft ride or firm ride? I know I wouldn't have the automatic feature, but if they are just a 12V motor on top it should be pretty easy to wire it up to like a window switch and then I could turn them to stiff for cornering then back to soft when I get on the highway. Has anyone ever tried something like that before?

Mike

CougarXR/7
11-26-2006, 12:10 PM
Without the computer and related wiring, using the arc shocks would be a waste. Try heavy standard shocks, also keep in mind the cost of new ARC shocks....$$$$$$$$$$.

XR7 Dave
11-26-2006, 12:29 PM
The shocks should default to firm. You can switch them manually with a pair of needle nose pliers. You should be able to tell which is which with the shocks on the floor. Notice the orientation of the adjustment blade in relation to the flat spot on the stud. That's what orients the ARC mount.

The motors are simple 12v motors so you could easily connect a momentary rocker switch like a window switch to change them. You might even be able to mount it in the factory location if you want. Simply reverse polarity to change position.

The only thing you wouldn't have is error checking. If one of the shocks sticks on one position you would have no way of knowing for sure. They do this quite often so I could see it being an issue.

MadMikeyL
11-26-2006, 01:16 PM
While replacement auto shocks may be expensive, the ones from my parts car are free, so at the very least it would be worth just swapping them over for the stiffer ride and then when they wear out I could get some aftermarket ones.

Dave, what does the computer do if the shock sticks in the firm position? Would it be something that I could just turn it back to soft, then back to firm and it will move or what? Also I would probably notice it driving down the road if one shock was still on firm and the rest were on soft right?

Mike

XR7 Dave
11-26-2006, 02:33 PM
While replacement auto shocks may be expensive, the ones from my parts car are free, so at the very least it would be worth just swapping them over for the stiffer ride and then when they wear out I could get some aftermarket ones.

Dave, what does the computer do if the shock sticks in the firm position? Would it be something that I could just turn it back to soft, then back to firm and it will move or what? Also I would probably notice it driving down the road if one shock was still on firm and the rest were on soft right?

Mike

The computer makes 3 tries to change the setting. If it doesn't work then the Firm light will flash on the dash indicating which shock is stuck. If you have one shock in one position and 3 in the other you may or may not notice the difference. You can't just automatically tell which one is stuck either. The car will handle weird over bumps but the effects are not necessarily exactly what you would expect them to be.

Go ahead and do it if you want but I think I would just set the shocks on firm and leave it that way permanently. JMO.

MadMikeyL
11-26-2006, 07:29 PM
Go ahead and do it if you want but I think I would just set the shocks on firm and leave it that way permanently. JMO.

That's probably what I will do. Most likely I won't have enough ambition to run all the wires neatly and out of sight, so I'll just leave them on firm. It was just an interesting thought though, so I figured it was worth asking about. If it did work, it would be a pretty cheap and easy way of having adjustable shocks. Just curious, how often do the shocks actually stick? And what causes them to stick? Is it something that maybe a stronger motor could solve, or would that likely just damage the shocks? Or at this point am I making it more complicated than swapping in the whole ARC system the way it's supposed to be?

Mike

fturner
11-26-2006, 07:52 PM
They start sticking like that because they are old and the valving starts sticking. For all the time and effort, you'd be better off buying a set of new shocks. According to some around here a set of KYB's can be had for very cheap.

Those shocks your swapping over have probably had it by now considering they are over 15 years old, and you'd probably be dissapointed in the handling.

MadMikeyL
11-26-2006, 08:32 PM
Well I drove the car before I started ripping it apart, and it handled quite nicely. The mileage on the car was only like 110K, and the car that I will be swapping them onto only has stock 5.0 springs and shocks right now, so it probably will be a significant improvement, and since it is free I can't complain. I'll probably jsut swap them in and leave them on the firm setting, and eventually I'll get some aftermarket shocks for it. Right now though, all my money is going into the 393 I'm building for it, so free shocks are much better than cheap shocks.

Mike