Lincoln Suspension Parts and Air Suspension Conversion Kit Reviews - Strutmasters
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- Mark VII
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- Navigator (2003-2006)
- Navigator (2007-2013)
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Read reviews for Strutmasters® Suspension Parts and Air Suspension Conversion Kits:
This is a nicely designed, high quality kit with Eibach springs – one of best made US brands. Installation was straight forward in terms of procedure, but I have some lessons learned as noted below. I have a 2004 Navigator in excellent condition. By all means, watch the Strutmaster YouTube install video.
I’m very satisfied with the ride height after install; if the springs settle a bit after time, will not be an issue. Ride character after install is pretty much same as with air springs – most drivers will feel no difference. Only the most discriminating will note a bit of harshness “at the margin”, ie, abrupt road surface roughness. I count myself as discriminating and am very satisfied with ride. Air springs are softer overall, but this set up is great.
Tools/materials I found useful are a 3/8” or preferably ½” ratcheting wrench with metric socket heads and a hollow tube handle extender bar, penetrating oil, an 18”-24” crow bar to lever the attachment point for the bottom end of the struts during install, a hammer, and of course jack stands for safety.
I found a 30mm socket head necessary for removal and install of the large bolt securing the bottom end of the strut, as well the hammer to pound this pin out and back in during removal and install. I found the 15mm socket head most useful for other bolt heads in the assembly. Most people don’t have the 30mm size head; despite have a great tool set, I did not have this large size and had to purchase it.
I recommend spraying the strut bottom end bolt head and nut with penetrating oil once removing the tires – let that sit for 15-30 min before unbolting, while doing other disassembly work. One of those bolts was particularly difficult to loosen and I struggled with it for some time. An impact wrench would have been useful; I banged on it with a hammer for a bit, which didn’t seem to help. In the end it was just brute force, and using a hollow tube handle extender. (An 18”-24” hollow tube to slip over the ratchet wrench handle, extending it and giving more leverage. Heavy gauge aluminum, steel or even a lead plumbing pipe will do.) My Navigator is a California car with mild weather elements; elsewhere that bolt assembly might have been more difficult.
The strut top end nuts have nylon locking rings, so are not hand turnable to a great extent. For the front shocks, I was able to reach down through the engine bay with about 12” of socket wrench extenders to make removal and install easier. For the rears, with very small working spaced, I had a swivel-head type ratchet wrench which made install easier – either way, securing those nuts took some time and patience.
I did the install as a two-person team and recommend it. Install was 3-1/2 hours start to finish for all 4 corners, including time to run out and purchase the 30mm socket head. We worked both left and right sides of the install in parallel, and helped each other with 4 hands when necessary – particularly when aligning the strut bottom end for install.
The above experience would have been useful for me in preparing for the work. I’m not a mechanic but have good mechanical aptitude. Luckily I have access to an extensive tool set – without that, the above notes would have been essential. Hope this helps future buyers.
Very happy with the Strutmaster kit. High quality components and fit. Great ride as replacement for air suspension. Will last a lifetime with no maintenance. Highly recommend it. And kudos to Strutmaster staff being knowledgeable, friendly and polite.
I had an air bag with a leak in my Navigator and had already replaced the compressor a year or two ago. Rather than spend money on a new air bag, I decided to convert my vehicle with the Strutmasters kit and do all 4 of the springs.
I watched a few videos and read the tutorials and have quite a few tools and luckily enough have an auto lift in my own shop. I am not a mechanic, but am fairly mechanical when it comes to working on vehicles. I know they say, “if you can change brakes, you can install the struts”. I would say that is fairly true.
Overall, it took me a total of 8 hours to convert all 4 shocks and wire the module. While it certainly wasn’t bolt out and back in, the install wasn’t too bad. One of the reasons it took longer was because I needed to go to an auto parts store and get a spring compressor to get the new shocks to fit. I wasn’t expecting that and it certainly wasn’t in the instructions. I ended up having to compress 3 of the 4 springs for install and I would assume others have bumped into the same problem.
Wiring the module to turn off the air suspension warning light was fairly simple. A little awkward because of the wire locations, but it took me about 30 minutes to wire up and now everything works without having a warning light. A GREAT benefit to the Strutmasters product.
Perhaps Strutmasters could consider sending their products already compressed to make installation even easier. I know many coil over products come compressed which makes it much easier to install.
Outside of that, install was pretty simple and just takes some patience.
They’ve been installed for a little over a week now and they have increased the ride height of my Navigator a bit over the air suspension, but not bad and it actually looks better. They ride nice and have seemed to already soften a little from when I first installed. I think they will settle very nicely and improve the ride quality overall.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Strutmasters over comparable products. The quality is great, instructions to install is good and the customer service was also excellent.
Jason did a great job with order! Very friendly and professional.
Jason was more than happy to help me understand how the system works. And also told me about the manufacturing of the springs and struts. Make me feel very comfortable in purchasing. I’m going to recommend to my friends if they are interested in struts or lifting products, to ask for Jason. Thanks again, Jason. I’m going to put you on my Christmas list for next year.
Darrel was very helpful in finding the best option for repair on this vehicle. Thank you for your help.
It’s been about 3 weeks now since I installed the conversion kit on my Navigator. I did it myself in my driveway. It was relatively simple, however I do not recommend doing this without a friend. It was a little difficult to do on my own with *limited* tools. Took me about 7 hours with a few issues that slowed me down. With a friend and the proper tools this can be done in less than four hours I’m sure.
The ride has significantly improved since day 1 of the install now (pretty stiff before they settle). It is a great ride now, it’s not as quiet as the air ride, but I can’t even hardly notice a difference in ride quality. Now I never have to worry about my failing compressor and the time it would take to air up my suspension, or the few times my fronts were riding on the bump stops.
I highly recommend anyone contemplating this kit buy it and get it done before your air ride inevitably fails.
Had my local tire dealer do the replacement for me today and it took roughly 2.5 hours.
Everything was bolt on and instructions were clear and precise even down to the module installation.
There are changes in how the vehicles rides over bumps and the steering is a little stiffer but for me its a fair trade-off than constantly having to worry when your bags are going to fail.
Height will bring it up to a higher setting than you’ve ever seen when on bags. So be prepared. Personally, I prefer the higher stance of the vehicle thus making it a proper SUV.
Great product and great service from the guys here at Strutmasters. Highly recommend.
Got a better deal on the phone rather compared to whats on the website. Its best to give them a call.
Jason was a great help. Get this guy a raise!
The sales staff is excellent. They are friendly and they know their products. My orders are always correct.