Installed Bilstein/Eibach Pro-Kit on my 97

fordtruck696

New Member
Nov 18, 2018
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Illinois
I just finished installing the Bilstein/Eibach Pro-Kit on my 97 GT. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the install and my impressions of the kit. I bought the last kit that TireRack.com had for $790. It seems like most places have this package on backorder now.

First a little background on my car. I ordered this car at the end of 96. I ordered it as soon as Ford started taking orders for the 97's. I had Steeda subframe connectors welded in shortly after I bought it. Until now, that was the only suspension mod. I always thought the car handled pretty good from the factory. Good balance between handling and ride. But, the last couple of years it has seemed like something was off. I suspected the rear shocks were bad, but the car only has 45k miles on it and it seemed to me that it was unlikely.

Two weeks ago I put it up on jackstands and crawled under and sprayed all the bolts with PB Blaster. My car has never been in salt so the bolts are pretty clean. Still, it's almost 22 years old so I wanted to get some penetrating oil on the bolts. I started installing Thursday night. I didn't have any trouble getting bolts out. Of course my electric impact was worth it's weight in gold.

I rented an internal spring compressor to do the fronts. Unfortunately I was never able to get it snaked up into the spring and hooked on. So, I wrapped a chain around the A-arm and thru the spring for safety. When I lowered the A-arm the springs didn't have any tension on them. The chain probably isn't needed, but I went ahead and used it on both sides just to be safe. I used the Maximum Motorsports spring install tool to put the Eibach springs in. That tool is slick! It's well worth the money.

The rears are much easier to do. The only part that's kind of a pain is removing the carpet out of the trunk to get to the shock bolts. I found the rear shocks and quad shocks were completely shot. I had to order quads since they aren't included in the kit. Ordered some Gabriel quad shocks off Amazon since O'reillys didn't have any in stock.

I set the car on 4 ramps after I got done with the install. Then I crawled under and torqued the A-arm bolts, rear control arms, and shocks bolts. I did most of the work by myself. My dad did help some when I found that I needed to replace the front driver's side ball joint. The boot had ripped and the joint was pretty loose. I rented the ball joint install tool from O'reillys. It was still a pain to get the old one out and the new one in.

It took much longer to do this than I expected. I worked a couple of hours on Thursday, about 6 hours on Friday, and about 4 hours yesterday. My old body is sore from being on concrete that long. So, in the end was it worth it? Hell yes! I love the stance. It lowered the front about 1.2 inches and 1 inch in the rear. Gone is the 4x4 look. I took it for a short drive and I'm blown away by it. Yes the ride is a little firmer than stock. But it feels so planted to the road. And gone is the vague, floating feel from the rear. I still can't believe that the rear shocks were that bad. I didn't drive very far because I still have to have an alignment done.
 

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