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Thread: Trunk Torsion Bars or Struts and Moonroof Question for 88 XR7

  1. #1
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    Default Trunk Torsion Bars or Struts and Moonroof Question for 88 XR7

    I bought my 1988 XR7 in June - I've replaced the power steering rack and pinion, and had the transmission rebuilt. Now my biggest problems are a trunk that will not pop up or stay open and a rattling moonroof.

    I cannot find trunk torsion bars that fit (need 47-1/2" od)
    I am considering putting in a gas strut, but can't seem to locate the old thread.
    Anyone happen to have/find a link or have specs and/or pics?

    Also - the moonroof will not sit closed quietly - it rattles while driving, any suggestions for stopping the rattle?

  2. #2
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    I might have the torsion bar you need. There must be one still in my parts car.

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    I almost lost my fingers putting these things on lol.. theres directions on the forum somewhere, they show you how to make an installation tool which without it is almost impossible to install.


    ***edit*** here you go post #10 by MB

    http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/...rsion+bar+tool

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    it is hard, i had to get in there and lower the trunk. somehow i dont think ford assembled the units like this having employees jumpin in the trunk to do this task.

    here ya go, check out my diy link,,its in there
    http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/...e-trunk-struts

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpc647 View Post
    I might have the torsion bar you need. There must be one still in my parts car.
    How much to ship to zip code 11720?

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    I'm thinking of following the following method that was written up by rolling-thunder of tccoa.

    http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.p...ighlight=trunk

    I just completed installation of a trunk lid lift strut. This lift strut allows the trunk lid to go up completely. It does not fly up, but rather goes up at a nice rate. It also closes nice, and it minimizes the chances of the lid slamming shut.

    You will need the following parts.

    1. Lift strut - Ford part number is F4ZZ-63406A10-B and is from a 1994 Mustang GT.
    Cost: $20.67 with member discount

    2. Ball mount bracket - McMaster Carr part #9512K91 (Qty. 1) Cost: $1.20

    3. Coupling Nut- McMaster Carr part #93355A105 (Qty.) 8mm x 1.25 pitch x 1 1/2" lg.
    Cost: $2.87

    Note: I use the NJ branch of McMaster Carr, phone 1-732-329-3200

    4. Pan head screw - #10-24 unc x 1" lg, with hex nut.

    To install:

    1. Screw the coupling onto the existing stud, as shown in photo

    2. Attached ball socket fitting included with lift strut, to other end of coupling.

    3. Enlarge top right hole to 1/4" dia. in ball mount bracket, to fit around trunk torsion arm.

    4. Place ball mount bracket in position shown in photo, and drill a 3/16" dia. hole thru trunk arm, to line up with top left hole in ball mount bracket.

    5. De-burr both sides of hole in trunk arm, and install pan head screw.

    6. Attach lift strut to both ball sockets.








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    Ok, so the above is for Birds not Cats.
    Found the following for a 97 cougar, not sure if it'll work on the 88

    http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.p...ht=trunk+strut

    Cougar Trunk Lift Mod
    Well, after a few long, exhaustive searches about the trunk lift support modification, it seemed as though the trunk mod wouldn't work on the Cougar. Turns out, the information was right because the geometry of the Cougar's trunk hinge is different than the Thunderbirds because of the longer trunk opening. This not only caused the Mustang gas lift assist struts to be much too long, but they also wouldn't clear the modified torsion spring when the prescribed method of mounting on the stock stud was used.

    So, I figured that I've been reading these forums since 1998, and it's about time that I posted a "technical article" for a DIY fix. Here was my solution, after trying a lot of of different possibilities and taking a lot of measurements:

    Parts Required
    -2 Mighty Lift 4419 Lift assist shocks
    -4 1/4" x 20 Bolts, 2 1/2" L
    - 4 1/4" x 20 Nuts
    -4 1" Spacers
    -Washers
    -2 Ball mount bracket - McMaster Carr part #9512K91
    -2 Ball Studs - McMaster Carr part #9512K98
    -2 5/16" x 18 Nuts

    Tools Required
    - Drill
    - 1/4" Bit
    - 5/16'' Bit
    - Wrenches / Ratchets
    - Clamp (or a buddy's help to hold and mark)

    Time Required
    - About 1 hour (cobalt bits rock )

    And it all went together like this:


    The ball studs go into that shelf where the backseat hooks into. You can see where the holes were drilled, relative to that factory stud that the Thunderbird guys use. Use a washer on the stud to help keep from deforming the metal under load from the strut.


    Another view of the same.


    The entire driver's side assembly.


    This is how the whole mounting bracket and spacers went together on the hinge. Didn't quite drill the holes straight, pretty tough when the cordless drill wouldn't clear the lip of the trunk...


    Passenger side view of the bracket and spacers.


    Here is a view of the passenger side mount, relative to the stud that the the Thunderbird guys use. The mounts are drilled into the same shelf.

    Hope this helps the other Cougar owners not get decapitated and it works really well. It totally fixed the problem of the electronic trunk release not being able to unlock the trunk, unless somebody pushes down on it. The lifts raise the trunk on their own to about 3/4 the way open and prevent it from shutting. Keep in mind that my trunk has the factory spoiler and Dynamat on it, so a clean trunk will probably open all the way on its own.

    Additionally, the alignment of the trunk and body panels may be a little off. Mine shifted somewhere around 1/8 to 1/16'', but that can be readjusted with the mounting bolts. Either way, the weather stripping still seals all the way around.

    Pete
    The trunk doesn't fly open too fast, even though the Birds' do, since the Cougar's trunk is significantly longer from the roof's abrupt drop. It's heavier and its center of gravity is farther away from the hinge, which requires more force to open it.

    It is possible to do this with shorter spacers if the struts are installed on an angle; however, I wanted to keep everything outboard of the wheel wells to clear my woofer box. Additionally, there is not enough room on the other side of the hinge. These spacers are the perfect length to clear the hinge and spring, while keeping the strut in the plane of motion. The problem you'd have if you mounted them on a shorter spacer is that the hinge will strike the fatter part of the strut as it compresses the lift support, since it's motion is almost straight back. This slightly wider setting with the spacers gives about a pinky finger's space between the hinge and the tube of the lift when everything is closed and locked.

    Pete
    I bought the shocks at Autozone. I just went into their selection, grabbed a bunch that I thought were the right size with 10mm ball sockets. Turns out the 4419 was the one that would do the trick.

    Their length is about 9 1/2 compressed and about 15 extended. I never really measured before, just eyeballed the whole project.

    Pete

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    I'd just fix the torsion bars. It's cheaper. As long as you're careful and pay attention to what you're doing you'll still have all of your fingers .
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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    __________________
    Twin '85 TCs
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    #1 (left): undergoing top-to-bottom rebuild
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderjet302 View Post
    I'd just fix the torsion bars. It's cheaper. As long as you're careful and pay attention to what you're doing you'll still have all of your fingers .
    Therin lies my problem - I do not have the torsion bars. Do you have a source?

    I purchased the car at a police impound auction and the torsion bars were missing - along with the stereo, speakers, and amp - the radio trim was hacked.
    Also, the trunk lock was broke (looked like someone used a screwdriver instead of the key) - also bought without keys.
    Luckily there was a locksmith there who filed some for me - I have some funky looking ignition and door keys.

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