Using CVPI rear shocks on '07 LTC

Nongmin

Active member
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Charlotte, NC
There are a few suspension threads floating around, that are a bit generic in nature, so I'm curious about a specific idea and looking for feedback.

My first '07 was a bit sloppy and I changed the rears out at 100k, using Monroe OE Spectrum shocks. This was an improvement over the originals (leaking), but I wasn't overly impressed. Air bags on this car were okay.

The latest '07 has 146k on the clock and needs new rears. The Monroe Magnum 550018 cop shocks seem to be what I'm leaning towards, which should give me a bit more damping on the rear axle. Air bags are okay, too. I don't mind a firm ride and this is a heavy car. Looks like these will bolt right on a Panther platform with no issues.

I had an '06 MGM and added the Addco rear sway bar, which really helped reduce the "wounded buffalo" lean when cornering and am thinking about eventually doing this on the LTC. But, I don't want to go too far and make a buckboard out of an already comfortable albeit floaty ride. And, the front struts are okay at this time. Anybody tried using the cop shocks?
 

kenSwaizak

Member
35
5
8
what about the Monroe 550055?
Will they fit a non limo non comm vehicle?

im probably going to put the KYBs in the rear. Feedback is mixed but looks like they will be stiffer. the rear is currently just a little measuring ~ 1/4' - <1/2" off spec. on originals which is still acceptable and subjective to the eye but ill do it eventually and getting ready to do 3k miles and another 3k miles in a month w a load.

Rock Auto has a decent reference as to"economy" "orig ride quality", "severe/heavy duty" , "performance upgrade"
the 550018 and the 550055s are listed as severe duty, the KYBs as a "perf upgrade."


07 130k
 
Last edited:

Nongmin

Active member
105
34
28
Charlotte, NC
what about the Monroe 550055?
Will they fit a non limo non comm vehicle?

im probably going to put the KYBs in the rear. Feedback is mixed but looks like they will be stiffer. the rear is currently just a little measuring ~ 1/4' - <1/2" off spec. on originals which is still acceptable and subjective to the eye but ill do it eventually and getting ready to do 3k miles and another 3k miles in a month w a load.

Rock Auto has a decent reference as to"economy" "orig ride quality", "severe/heavy duty" , "performance upgrade"
the 550018 and the 550055s are listed as severe duty, the KYBs as a "perf upgrade."


07 130k
Most comments I've seen about the 550055 shocks have been used by those towing a trailer or inducing a higher than normal load at the rear end of the car. These shocks seem okay for this application.

My car is a cruiser, I have an F-150 for towing and hauling. I just want to firm the rear end up a little bit more and the Spectrum shocks didn't do it. Most of those on the CV/GM forum find the cop shocks okay on rear coil suspensions, but I'm lovin' the air springs on the LTC and want just a little more damping. I think the Marauders used air springs and the 550018 shocks, so this is the reason I'm leaning this direction.
______________________________
 

wolf_walker

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I can tell you the required damping character of a shock is completely different for a coil vs air spring.
That isn't to say a given shock might not be ok-enough on an air car, but odd things happen.
Few years ago I bought a Motorcraft replacement rear shock set for my 04 and they were worlds
softer than the still-good factory ones, which I left on there. They were also Monroe OE Spectrum
or whatever they call em in a motorcraft box with motorcraft stickers, fyi. Dampers for a town car, especially
retaining the air ride, are hard to come by that are truly correct it seems.
 

Nongmin

Active member
105
34
28
Charlotte, NC
I can tell you the required damping character of a shock is completely different for a coil vs air spring.
That isn't to say a given shock might not be ok-enough on an air car, but odd things happen.
Few years ago I bought a Motorcraft replacement rear shock set for my 04 and they were worlds
softer than the still-good factory ones, which I left on there. They were also Monroe OE Spectrum
or whatever they call em in a motorcraft box with motorcraft stickers, fyi. Dampers for a town car, especially
retaining the air ride, are hard to come by that are truly correct it seems.
Yeah, it's become a roll of the dice these days, trying to guess what's really in the box. Branding seems to be whatever the marketing people want to sell to the aftermarket. Trying my best to make a somewhat educated guess and avoid the trial and error method. There are so many combinations available that it gets confusing and what suits one person might not be what another person is seeking.

For what it's worth, the CVPI coil springs and shocks seem a bit stiff and harsh for my tastes, but using the air springs with the CVPI shocks might be just enough. The Marauder guys seem to like it well enough. Guess I need to get off the fence...

Thanks, all
 

Nongmin

Active member
105
34
28
Charlotte, NC
I think trial and error by someone is about the only way to be sure these days. Sure is a pita.
Agreed. How a car rides is a really subjective factor, to each his own. The trial and error method can get expensive, too.

Think I'll go ahead and try the CVPI shocks. I know for certain it'll be a vast improvement on the clapped out shocks onboard now.
______________________________
 

Nongmin

Active member
105
34
28
Charlotte, NC
Update to this thread. Ordered the CVPI shocks 4/20, but didn't receive them until 4/27 (Amazon). Must be the pandemic slowing things down. :censored:

The boxes were factory sealed/glued and the two parts bags in each box were sealed, too. One box - all parts included. The other, not so fortunate. The P/N bag P01136 contains the top mount parts (nut, rubber bushings, metal discs) and I was short the discs and nut. If you have the OE shocks, you won't be able to use the old parts in place of anything missing, different design/threads. (The second parts bag contains thick and thin steel bushings for the lower mount. More on this later.)

I don't fault Amazon on this, the boxes had never been opened. Poor counting and quality control by Monroe is the issue. Called Monroe and they provided ZERO help in providing the missing parts. This was disappointing, so my only choice was to source the missing parts elsewhere. Received the missing parts 5/9.

Top mount was straight-forward, just stack the parts up and put the nut on. The bottom mount, not so much. As noted earlier, Monroe sends two steel bushings with the shock, to fill any gap that exists at the lower mount. They provide a sketch of the assembly stack up for these parts, too. I used them and they did the intended job. One note of caution; I had to slightly grind down the steel bushing INSIDE the lower rubber sleeve in the bottom of the shock, in order to get all the parts to fit the gap. Just ground down to the surface of the rubber sleeve and all went well. Torqued all fasteners with a little blue Loctite and went for a ride.

There is a noticeable difference in the ride. This car had 146,000 miles on the original shocks, so the I expected an improvement. The rear feels more planted in both around town and Interstate driving, and driving through a 45MPH curve also sees improvement. The rear end settles as the weight shifts outboard and stays put, no wallowing or floaty feeling, which is what I was looking for. You do feel a bad road at 35MPH, however, which sort of surprised me. Not an objectionable feeling, but even the air springs didn't seem to dampen the small jitters on slow speed, bad road surfaces.

I've had thoughts about adding a bigger rear sway bar, but I'm gonna wait and get more seat time before I consider the swap. What I DID notice is the performance of the front struts. I'm not surprised. The rear end feels great, but the front now feels a bit mushy. And, after looking at the shop manual, I'm thinking about whether or not I want to handle this in the driveway.

Bottom line, these CVPI shocks gave me the results I was looking for, in a way the Monroe OE Spectrum shocks did not provide on my other LTC. Had I used the Monroe 550055 heavy duty shock with the helper spring, I think this would have been a mistake. Helper springs are good, if you tow, but this is why I have a truck. My height sensor does a good job of keeping me level, even with a load in the rear.
______________________________
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
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Larger rear sway bar good in general, you can over-bar the rear and induce oversteer but I think you'd need a looot more than stock to do it on one of these. I have a slightly later cop car rear bar on mine, just held the car a hair more level in sweeping turns. I've a matching front to use if I ever get around to that.
 

Nongmin

Active member
105
34
28
Charlotte, NC
Yep, I'm trying a step by step approach, without doing a "Frankenstein" exercise on a comfortable vehicle. The rear shocks seem to have met my needs, but revealed some softness in the front end now. The ride height seems okay at the front, and I see no leaks on either front strut shock, so would changing these components help? Probably so. I could just put a bigger sway bar up there, but with what results?

F-150 owners seem to like putting Bilstein 5100 shocks on the rear, with good results. I went the opposite with my truck, the rear shocks were fine, so I put a big Hellwig sway bar on the rear axle, which had had nothing installed at the factory. Again, great results, the truck rides smooth (long wheelbase doesn't hurt, either) and I got the roll out of the truck when cornering.

I'm gonna keep driving the LTC a bit longer and see if I really, REALLY want to monkey around with changes up front. It now rides so nice and the little bit of sloppy in curves is gone. I can live with the jiggles on a slow speed, crappy road surface, because the rest of the ride is fine. I keep telling myself, my Mustang days are over, don't expect a barge to handle like a go-kart.
 

wolf_walker

Junior Member
255
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28
In theory, a way bar won't hurt ride quality at all. Generally.
In practice it depends on how it's implemented and the way the suspension setup is, but it's effect on
outright ride quality in a straight line is pretty minor most times. The really good really big bars are
not super easy to find but larger cop stuff, which varied a bit from year to year, is out there. I can't recall
what I put on mine or what I have on the shelf but the front was a good bit bigger and the rear was I think 3-4mm
over stock size.

If I had to go through the suspension on one of these, I'd go full CVPI and then some. It's a 4200lb full frame car, it's
never going to ride "bad" unless you put 20+ inch wheels on it or something, and it'd be a heck of a lot more engaging
to drive if it felt less like piloting it around vs driving it. I actually find a later CVPI in good order a pretty decent compromise
vs my 04, which is itself a lot closer to a cop car than the previous gen Town Car was. Most of these cars are also rolling around
on whatever the cheapest tires the 4th owner could get to fit on the wheels which isn't helping them either. Mine had nearly new
Bridgestone somethings on them that I don't think are worth a crap really but I can't bring myself to toss perfectly good tires.
And the chronic chrome detaching from the big ole wheels (which I think MAKE the aesthetic of this year model) is going to be an issue
likely as well, so I'm ignoring it for now.
 

kenSwaizak

Member
35
5
8
Hi guys, thanks for the updates in general. Ahead of my WA to MO road trip I put KYBs on. Easy process besides having to cut the top of one of the OEM Gabriels off as the nut had frozen up.

I know 2500 miles of freeway probably isn't the best comparison to previous ride around town but they do feel good and I do think they "tightened up" the rear end a little bit. There was definitely no reduced comfort performance or harder ride noticed. My 7 year old benefited from the upgrade and almost slept through the whole damn trip[, besides a vomit event that went down the seat belt hole which of course I had to remove the seat to clean....for another thread.

I have a set of 550055s sitting in my shop but decided to go w the KYBs.
That being said a previous owner put a full tow bar and hitch on my Lincoln, apparently he towed his motorcycle, and if I were to tow with it I would probably strap on the 550055s. I do have a truck to tow with and am not really interested in stressing the LTCs transmission.
______________________________
 

kenSwaizak

Member
35
5
8
Update to this thread. Ordered the CVPI shocks 4/20, but didn't receive them until 4/27 (Amazon). Must be the pandemic slowing things down. :censored:



The boxes were factory sealed/glued and the two parts bags in each box were sealed, too. One box - all parts included. The other, not so fortunate. The P/N bag P01136 contains the top mount parts (nut, rubber bushings, metal discs) and I was short the discs and nut. If you have the OE shocks, you won't be able to use the old parts in place of anything missing, different design/threads. (The second parts bag contains thick and thin steel bushings for the lower mount. More on this later.)

I don't fault Amazon on this, the boxes had never been opened. Poor counting and quality control by Monroe is the issue. Called Monroe and they provided ZERO help in providing the missing parts. This was disappointing, so my only choice was to source the missing parts elsewhere. Received the missing parts 5/9.

Top mount was straight-forward, just stack the parts up and put the nut on. The bottom mount, not so much. As noted earlier, Monroe sends two steel bushings with the shock, to fill any gap that exists at the lower mount. They provide a sketch of the assembly stack up for these parts, too. I used them and they did the intended job. One note of caution; I had to slightly grind down the steel bushing INSIDE the lower rubber sleeve in the bottom of the shock, in order to get all the parts to fit the gap. Just ground down to the surface of the rubber sleeve and all went well. Torqued all fasteners with a little blue Loctite and went for a ride.

There is a noticeable difference in the ride. This car had 146,000 miles on the original shocks, so the I expected an improvement. The rear feels more planted in both around town and Interstate driving, and driving through a 45MPH curve also sees improvement. The rear end settles as the weight shifts outboard and stays put, no wallowing or floaty feeling, which is what I was looking for. You do feel a bad road at 35MPH, however, which sort of surprised me. Not an objectionable feeling, but even the air springs didn't seem to dampen the small jitters on slow speed, bad road surfaces.

I've had thoughts about adding a bigger rear sway bar, but I'm gonna wait and get more seat time before I consider the swap. What I DID notice is the performance of the front struts. I'm not surprised. The rear end feels great, but the front now feels a bit mushy. And, after looking at the shop manual, I'm thinking about whether or not I want to handle this in the driveway.

Bottom line, these CVPI shocks gave me the results I was looking for, in a way the Monroe OE Spectrum shocks did not provide on my other LTC. Had I used the Monroe 550055 heavy duty shock with the helper spring, I think this would have been a mistake. Helper springs are good, if you tow, but this is why I have a truck. My height sensor does a good job of keeping me level, even with a load in the rear.

Have you been watching the youtube videos about front strut replacement? Apparently there is a "hard way"and an "easy way." The easy way looks pretty straightforward and can be probably be done at home.

hard way:

easy way:
 

Nongmin

Active member
105
34
28
Charlotte, NC
Thanks, Ken. I'll check both YT videos out and then decide what I'm gonna do.

I had a next to impossible top nut situation on one of mine, too. Didn't cut, just a lot of grunting and bad language and it finally gave up!
 

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