My Second Mod: Suspension Rebuild - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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My Second Mod: Suspension Rebuild

After I got my T-Bird running last week, I noticed that there was a rattling coming from the front. I was told to lift the front, grab the wheels at 12 and 6 o'clock and shake it to see if it moved / wiggled. The fronts were fine so I moved to the rear. Upon doing the same for the rear driver, it moved and likewise for the passenger rear. This obviously means that I have failed rear hubs which will need replacement. This being a safety issue, I've decided to go ahead and start rebuilding the suspension over the transmission. The transmission just leaks but shifts fine otherwise and I have to add some ATF to it every so often which I can live with for the time being.

All this being said, I've begun doing some searching here in the suspension section of the forum and have found a ton of info. Posting on the FB TCCoA group, I was told by Woodman (Durwood) to go ahead and do all the knuckle bushings since I'll already be there anyways. He's even provided me the link to Energy Suspension for the correct bushings. They're inexpensive, so I'll definitely be doing this. The video I found (below) on YouTube pretty much spells out how to do the job, minus how to put the new hubs on, this job seems to be something I can do in an afternoon. This post by jco1385 (pictures in the quote) makes it seem that I can do press the hubs in myself provided I have the right tools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
Lovely Chinese wheel bearings....
Now that I've mentioned this, I will have to say that the suspension will most definitely take me a long time to get it to where I want it to be at. The rear hubs being replaced is basically my starting point on all this. I'm going to be doing more reading and research on the matter, and of course asking here as questions from me come along.

As far as parts go, I've heard from several people and read in a few threads already that Timken is the way to go in terms of hubs. There has been one person mention a brand called SKF for hubs. Any thoughts on Timken vs SKF?

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 02:34 PM
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Unless you have a hydraulic press, and a 20lb one at that, you're not going to be pressing the old hubs out, new hubs in.

Getting the spindle off is really easy. It's the hub being pressed in that's a pain in the butt. I'm having enough trouble with my rear upper control arm bushings that I've said forget it, I'm taking the arms to a shop to have them done because over the last two weekends I've made zero progress getting the bushing race out.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 05:35 PM
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I second the press statement. You're much less likely to damage your knuckle, which let me remind you is made of Aluminum by using one. I personally use ford racing bearings all day every day for a cobra. They are super cheap, and work great. Timken is my brand of choice...napa sells SKF bearings and seals, which are good quality; but I stick to my ford racing parts, they are trouble free and work right the first time.

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If you get a promo code you can get like 6% off, which helps and shipping is always free.

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 06:17 PM
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Those are Timken SET49 bearings; they're used in a lot of cars going way back.

$25 at Rock Auto.

You won't convince me Ford is better than Timken, as they were and likely are the oem.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Timken parts it is! The Ford Racing ones, while I'm sure they're very qood quality, the wife won't like the cost. If people are swearing by Timken, then I trust you guys on this. I'll place my orders for parts tonight and I'll start looking for a shop in my area that can press in / out the hubs.

I still need to buy the locking nut and the 36mm socket (it's 36mm, right?) And I'll be able to work on her this weekend hopefully.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
Timken parts it is! The Ford Racing ones, while I'm sure they're very qood quality, the wife won't like the cost. If people are swearing by Timken, then I trust you guys on this. I'll place my orders for parts tonight and I'll start looking for a shop in my area that can press in / out the hubs.

I still need to buy the locking nut and the 36mm socket (it's 36mm, right?) And I'll be able to work on her this weekend hopefully.
Yes, 36mm. None of the hardware stores by me had one, but the auto parts stores have them for about $25. I just put Timkin front hub/bearing assemblies in mine, they seem good.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. I'll check out the Sears by my work to see if they have a 36mm socket. I'll also see if the parts store has one they can rent out. Since it's going to pretty much be a one time use tool, I'd rather not have to buy it if possible. If none is available for sale at a brick and mortar store, I'll go online, Amazon most likely.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Those are Timken SET49 bearings; they're used in a lot of cars going way back.

$25 at Rock Auto.

You won't convince me Ford is better than Timken, as they were and likely are the oem.
Umm ford bearings are Timken bearings...I just get ford ones because most distributors sell defective ones or something from a different manufacturer.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
After I got my T-Bird running last week, I noticed that there was a rattling coming from the front.
Front rattling is either a bad balljoint, bad swaybar link/bushing, or a loose UCA bolt - in my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
This post by jco1385 (pictures in the quote) makes it seem that I can do press the hubs in myself provided I have the right tools.
That post shows the hub being pushed OUT of the bearing, not the opposite. The race staying on the hub is not normal with OEM bearings. You will need a shop press for the rest of the hub/bearing procedure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
Unless you have a hydraulic press, and a 20lb one at that, you're not going to be pressing the old hubs out, new hubs in.

Getting the spindle off is really easy. It's the hub being pressed in that's a pain in the butt. I'm having enough trouble with my rear upper control arm bushings that I've said forget it, I'm taking the arms to a shop to have them done because over the last two weekends I've made zero progress getting the bushing race out.
20 lb press is a little small for the job

On the rear UCA/frame bushing, mark the notch and just cave the casing in with a hammer/chisel and remove it. Be sure to support the sides when you install the new one as to not crush the arm in on itself.

The knuckle bushings can be pushed out/in with a piece of all-thread and some washers/spacers and a cup that will fit over them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Cat View Post
Umm ford bearings are Timken bearings...I just get ford ones because most distributors sell defective ones or something from a different manufacturer.
Agreed ^. Get the Timken SET49 bearings and have them pressed in correctly (on the outer race).

FWIW, I have an extra set of disc knuckles here and all of the proper tools to swap bushings/hubs/bearings/etc if you wanted to have it done. PM me if you're interested and we can discuss it. I just swapped all of my rear bushings and bearings this weekend.









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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
Front rattling is either a bad balljoint, bad swaybar link/bushing, or a loose UCA bolt - in my experience.
I didn't say this in my OP, but I should have though; my suspension is pretty much original to the car, all 177k miles of the body are also on the suspension. That said, just about every suspension component is basically shot yet somehow is able to stay together. Since I know my suspension is shot, I plan on rebuilding my suspension and upgrade where possible which basically lead me start this thread.

Most people were telling me originally that the hubs are bad if there is a rattling noise. My experiences with bad sway bar links and bushings have not been rattling, but rather "clunking" noises. However, that experience has been in my Honda, so the experience in this platform may of course be completely different as you have pointed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
That post shows the hub being pushed OUT of the bearing, not the opposite. The race staying on the hub is not normal with OEM bearings. You will need a shop press for the rest of the hub/bearing procedure.

20 lb press is a little small for the job
I've started to look for a shop in my area locally and have been recommended to one already. I'll check them out and continue to look around for the best price.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
On the rear UCA/frame bushing, mark the notch and just cave the casing in with a hammer/chisel and remove it. Be sure to support the sides when you install the new one as to not crush the arm in on itself.

The knuckle bushings can be pushed out/in with a piece of all-thread and some washers/spacers and a cup that will fit over them.
So basically, destroy / deform the old bushings so that I can just pull them out, but gently slide in the new ones?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
Agreed ^. Get the Timken SET49 bearings and have them pressed in correctly (on the outer race).

FWIW, I have an extra set of disc knuckles here and all of the proper tools to swap bushings/hubs/bearings/etc if you wanted to have it done. PM me if you're interested and we can discuss it. I just swapped all of my rear bushings and bearings this weekend.








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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Timken SET49 hub/bearings ordered as well as the ES poly bushings!

This is officially on its way to getting done!!
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-14-2016, 05:21 PM
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Word to the wise:

Always slightly separate the inner races, and look to see "is grease is actually in there".

These days, that QC step is weight driven; So actually look.

I've found them in the past that were dry, but none of the ones I got from RA were; all had lube.

But check!

If they're dry, use Timken bearing grease; it's easy on the seals.

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a question for everyone:

What should I tackle next? Like I've said before, my entire suspension is shot. I WANT to do springs and struts / shocks next, but what I want are Vogtland springs paird with Tokico Blues, but that will run me $650ish or so, which I can't do quite yet.

So, I'm starting to think that maybe I can piece together over my next few weeks and months start getting front UCAs, front UCAs, end / sway bar links (front and rear), do a junk yard run for MK8 rear LCAs, SCP spring perches, and stabilizer bar bushings. Then save my pennies for the springs and struts / shocks at the very end.

I'm just worried that the springs and struts will be discontinued by the time I get to them if I do them at the end, lol.

Also, I'm sure that I missed a few components up there in my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Word to the wise:

Always slightly separate the inner races, and look to see "is grease is actually in there".

These days, that QC step is weight driven; So actually look.

I've found them in the past that were dry, but none of the ones I got from RA were; all had lube.

But check!

If they're dry, use Timken bearing grease; it's easy on the seals.
I guess I won't be able to find out until I actually get them in, but I can ask for now. How are they "slightly separated" to find out if they are lubed up or not?

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
Most people were telling me originally that the hubs are bad if there is a rattling noise. My experiences with bad sway bar links and bushings have not been rattling, but rather "clunking" noises. However, that experience has been in my Honda, so the experience in this platform may of course be completely different as you have pointed out.
If a hub bearing is bad enough to be rattling it would surely move when you did the 'wiggle' test on the wheel. If everything up front is original, I'd bet your balljoints and/or sway bar link are the rattle. Front wheel bearings are fairly cheap and really easy to swap as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
So basically, destroy / deform the old bushings so that I can just pull them out, but gently slide in the new ones?
This applies ONLY to the upper inner bushing. You bend the outer shell until you can free it from the arm. The new one has to be pressed in. When you press the new one in, be sure to put something in the gap between the sides of the arm so it won't collapse. The knuckle bushings should press out cleanly. You can make a tool to push those out if you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
Here's a question for everyone:

What should I tackle next? Like I've said before, my entire suspension is shot. I WANT to do springs and struts / shocks next, but what I want are Vogtland springs paird with Tokico Blues, but that will run me $650ish or so, which I can't do quite yet.

So, I'm starting to think that maybe I can piece together over my next few weeks and months start getting front UCAs, front UCAs, end / sway bar links (front and rear), do a junk yard run for MK8 rear LCAs, SCP spring perches, and stabilizer bar bushings. Then save my pennies for the springs and struts / shocks at the very end.

I'm just worried that the springs and struts will be discontinued by the time I get to them if I do them at the end, lol.

Also, I'm sure that I missed a few components up there in my list.
I would say that getting the front suspension replaced would be most important at this point. Get it safe then look for lowering springs and such. Look closely at the front strut rod bushings and see if they need to be replaced. Those are hardest to come by as far as finding parts. They are also expensive to fix if you have to buy the sleeves. Other than that just piece together the parts and get it done. (UCA, LCA, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, front/rear strut rod bushings)

If you're on a budget you can skip the aluminum control arms for now. That's a couple hundred bucks for arms/perches.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
I guess I won't be able to find out until I actually get them in, but I can ask for now. How are they "slightly separated" to find out if they are lubed up or not?
They are basically 2 bearings inside of one casing. If you look at this picture there is a small gap between the inner races. That is where he is saying to look.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SET49-T__ra_p.jpg (19.8 KB, 113 views)
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 12:22 PM
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Rattling, clunking, whatever you want to call it has always been sway bar end links for me. Doesn't matter if it's front or rear.

Pulling to one side when braking, or creaking when going over a speed bump is lower control arms (ball joints).

Since you have to remove a good bit of the front suspension to do shocks/springs, I would wait to do it all at once, except for sway bar end links, which are easy.

Hope you have air tools! Good luck with it.

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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
If a hub bearing is bad enough to be rattling it would surely move when you did the 'wiggle' test on the wheel. If everything up front is original, I'd bet your balljoints and/or sway bar link are the rattle. Front wheel bearings are fairly cheap and really easy to swap as well.
Well, as I said in my OP, both rear wheels did indeed do "the wiggle" whereas the fronts did not. I'm not sure if it counts as "humming" but when I'm driving, I can hear a rhythmic low sound coming somewhere from the car, I'm not sure where. Perhaps that's the "humming" sound people talk about when the hub bearings start to fail?

Anyway, I'm leaning on replacing anything with a ball joint of some sort first.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
This applies ONLY to the upper inner bushing. You bend the outer shell until you can free it from the arm. The new one has to be pressed in. When you press the new one in, be sure to put something in the gap between the sides of the arm so it won't collapse. The knuckle bushings should press out cleanly. You can make a tool to push those out if you want.
I can search around for said tool that I can make. Or, link me to a thread / website where I can learn how to make said tool, lol.

I'm also wondering if a shop I'd be taking my knuckles to have the bearings pressed in / out can also do the bushings I bought. If so, that's another option available to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
I would say that getting the front suspension replaced would be most important at this point. Get it safe then look for lowering springs and such. Look closely at the front strut rod bushings and see if they need to be replaced. Those are hardest to come by as far as finding parts. They are also expensive to fix if you have to buy the sleeves. Other than that just piece together the parts and get it done. (UCA, LCA, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, front/rear strut rod bushings)
That's what I'm trying to decide which route to go with first. One of my car enthusiast co-workers said that I should go with the springs and struts / shocks first because of how I drive....I drive it like I stole it. To paraphrase what he said, it's better to have better grip with the ground and have a things loosely held in because of their degraded nature, than to have everything held in tight but have poor grip with the ground because of worn springs, struts, and shocks. I'm not sure this merit on his statement, but it makes sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
If you're on a budget you can skip the aluminum control arms for now. That's a couple hundred bucks for arms/perches.
While I agree with the budget part, I'm thinking if I can just piece together these components separately by buying the MK8 rear LCAs, perches, springs, and shocks / struts individually and put all this on at once when I have it all. It'll spread out my cost on this making it easier on the wallet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
They are basically 2 bearings inside of one casing. If you look at this picture there is a small gap between the inner races. That is where he is saying to look.
You're talking about the small gap I've marked here?



Quote:
Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
Rattling, clunking, whatever you want to call it has always been sway bar end links for me. Doesn't matter if it's front or rear.
Between my Honda and my T-Bird, the sounds are distinctively different for the same issue then. The T-Bird gives an obvious rattle whereas my Accord gives an obvious clunk for busted end links.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
Pulling to one side when braking, or creaking when going over a speed bump is lower control arms (ball joints).

Since you have to remove a good bit of the front suspension to do shocks/springs, I would wait to do it all at once, except for sway bar end links, which are easy.
It drives straight as an arrow! Unless my rear hubs both happen to be evenly worn out so that they both create an identical amount of friction so that the pull to one side is cancelled out by the other side, LOL.

And, I'd LOVE to do it all in one shot, but with this being a potential safety issue, I'm thinking I'll have to replace some of these first before I do others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
Hope you have air tools! Good luck with it.

Al
I have a compressor, two different sets of air guns, and a few sockets. Whatever I don't have, I'll have to acquire.

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
Well, as I said in my OP, both rear wheels did indeed do "the wiggle" whereas the fronts did not. I'm not sure if it counts as "humming" but when I'm driving, I can hear a rhythmic low sound coming somewhere from the car, I'm not sure where. Perhaps that's the "humming" sound people talk about when the hub bearings start to fail?

Anyway, I'm leaning on replacing anything with a ball joint of some sort first.
If the fronts didn't move then I'd say they are fine and the rattle is not from the front hubs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
I can search around for said tool that I can make. Or, link me to a thread / website where I can learn how to make said tool, lol.

I'm also wondering if a shop I'd be taking my knuckles to have the bearings pressed in / out can also do the bushings I bought. If so, that's another option available to me.
The tool I use is a piece of all-thread from Lowe's with two nuts locked together on one end, and some washers and spacers. I used a pipe nipple and cap with a hole drilled in it for the 'cup' part. I'll get pics of my rig when I get home to help you see it better.

I'm sure a shop would have no problem removing and installing the bushings. Just make sure they orient them correctly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
That's what I'm trying to decide which route to go with first. One of my car enthusiast co-workers said that I should go with the springs and struts / shocks first because of how I drive....I drive it like I stole it. To paraphrase what he said, it's better to have better grip with the ground and have a things loosely held in because of their degraded nature, than to have everything held in tight but have poor grip with the ground because of worn springs, struts, and shocks. I'm not sure this merit on his statement, but it makes sense to me.
The shocks won't do you a bit of good if the ball joint fails and the wheel falls from under the car. I would hope it doesn't happen on the highway. A ball joint failure could seriously injure or kill yourself or someone else. Especially given the way you drive, I'd make the balljoints priority over just about everything else.

This car doesn't have struts in the traditional sense. These are coil-over shocks, with an upper control arm holding the spindle up. If that upper balljoint fails, the spindle will fall and you will be holding on for the ride at that point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
While I agree with the budget part, I'm thinking if I can just piece together these components separately by buying the MK8 rear LCAs, perches, springs, and shocks / struts individually and put all this on at once when I have it all. It'll spread out my cost on this making it easier on the wallet.
I'm just speaking as the aluminum arms are not a necessity and you could save some money there to put towards other parts for the time being. The spring perches are most of the prohibitive cost here IMO.

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Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
You're talking about the small gap I've marked here?

Nope. The red arrow in the attached pic.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SET49-A__ra_p.jpg (29.4 KB, 112 views)
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 04:34 PM
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Good info, guys!!

Here are good pix of the front strut rod and its bushings; there are good and bad examples, it's a great thread.

How about an official suspension parts list thread



As far as the heavy metal goes:

You want these UCA and LCA's:

ACDELCO 45D1002 {#88911465} Professional $57.79
Front Right Upper


ACDELCO 45D1001 {#88911464} Professional $58.99
Front Left Upper

ACDELCO 45D3464 {#19264307} Professional $59.79
Front Left Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension


ACDELCO 45D3465 {#19264308} Professional $59.79
Front Right Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension



You want these Swaybar endlinks: (you need two)

ACDELCO 45G0102 {#88912252} Professional $37.79
Front; Link With Sockets


Raybestos higher grade parts are now ACDelco; there are some pix of the two side by side here somewhere.

These are way better than even the motorcraft ones I bought for Lazarus.

This is what I did to Lazarus' rear suspension:

NEW! Polyurethane Rear Control Arm Bushings!


I'm still not totally sure about the whole setup; it's stiff as Fuck!!!

I think "DAMN!!" I'm good with, "Fuck!" is a bit much.

The sport springs are wrong for it; I've pulled so much stuff out of the car it's too light for them in the rear for sure.

Maybe it's the Koni's; I think I'll swap them to the Tbird for a while and see.

The Tbird has the Tokico Blues, bought with springs in a kit; I'm not sure who made the springs, but they are light purple, and variable rate, unlike the Ford springs.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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jco,

I'm going to have to agree with you now more than my co-worker, lol. I'll get started on the UCAs and LCAs starting on the front end before moving to the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Good info, guys!!

Here are good pix of the front strut rod and its bushings; there are good and bad examples, it's a great thread.

How about an official suspension parts list thread



As far as the heavy metal goes:

You want these UCA and LCA's:

ACDELCO 45D1002 {#88911465} Professional $57.79
Front Right Upper


ACDELCO 45D1001 {#88911464} Professional $58.99
Front Left Upper

ACDELCO 45D3464 {#19264307} Professional $59.79
Front Left Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension


ACDELCO 45D3465 {#19264308} Professional $59.79
Front Right Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension



You want these Swaybar endlinks: (you need two)

ACDELCO 45G0102 {#88912252} Professional $37.79
Front; Link With Sockets


Raybestos higher grade parts are now ACDelco; there are some pix of the two side by side here somewhere.

These are way better than even the motorcraft ones I bought for Lazarus.

This is what I did to Lazarus' rear suspension:

NEW! Polyurethane Rear Control Arm Bushings!


I'm still not totally sure about the whole setup; it's stiff as Fuck!!!

I think "DAMN!!" I'm good with, "Fuck!" is a bit much.

The sport springs are wrong for it; I've pulled so much stuff out of the car it's too light for them in the rear for sure.

Maybe it's the Koni's; I think I'll swap them to the Tbird for a while and see.

The Tbird has the Tokico Blues, bought with springs in a kit; I'm not sure who made the springs, but they are light purple, and variable rate, unlike the Ford springs.
Grog, you are awesome! Those threads I've glanced at, but I'll have to take the time to read them through. I'll have to probably do it form my phone though as many pictures are blocked for me here at work. I'll just have to post (if necessary) from work as I read them through on my phone, LOL.

Anyways, since starting this, I've been thinking of what parts to buy and there was a thread a few days ago where Woodman posted exactly what you just said about ACDelco now being Raybestos. I've decided to go with the ACDelco stuff since it just looks to be much better quality than anything else. One check at a time, I guess.

I imagine that after I complete one piece of my suspension rebuild, I'll have to take her in to a shop for an alignment, right? Or, what parts don't and do need alignment?

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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
...I imagine that after I complete one piece of my suspension rebuild, I'll have to take her in to a shop for an alignment, right? Or, what parts don't and do need alignment?
Moving any of these bolts:
The rear-most inner lower control arm bolt, the Rear upper inner control arm bolt, and the front lower inner control arm bolt are all Cam-Type adjustable locating bolts.

All of these need alignment. People will tell you that you can mark them, but no two parts are exactly alike...

The Strut rod is adjustable for length at the front; it's a double bolted connection. You shouldn't ever adjust the inner bolt; replace the bushing by removing the front bolt if necessary. Mark the inner...

Replacing the Inner or outer Tie Rods, or steering rack would need alignment as well.

I think that's it; I stock up parts, then replace everything after I have an appointment with the alignment shop.
If you do it at one shot, it's cheaper in the long run.

I'd do the entire front end at one shot, replace the "toe adjusters" in the rear, replace any bad bushings in the rear if they exist, and then build a set of mark arms later, for a similar all at once swap.

Complete front and rear swaps could probably be done in a weekend, if you've done it before, and all the bolts come out.

I'd wait to do poly until the rear bushings are shot.
There are still Moog bushings, if poly is too stiff.

Jay is making Delrin bushing for the Mark rears; he has a thread.
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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 02:54 PM
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Minor thread hijack in progress...

On the subject of suspension, over the last two weeks I've...

Replaced both front hubs, both inner and outer tie rods, and put new brake pads up front because the previous owner didn't grind the caliper/spindle for the PBR swap, and the pads were worn at a distinct angle. I am putting 13" cobra brakes on next month, so these will hold till I do that.

Onto the rear end...

New knuckle bushings (energy suspension poly, all well lubed with the very heavy grease they supply, so far, no squeaking). Pretty easy getting them out with the rent a tool bushing press.

New rear upper control arm to frame bushings.
Those were a NIGHTMARE. Getting the arms out was cake. Hardest part was loosening the bolt. But pushing the bearing was way too much for the auto parts store bushing press. So I took the arms to my alignment shop (who quoted me $600 to do just one side's worth of tie rods and bushings) who pushed them both for $40 since they were out of the car. Now she just needs to get aligned, and she'll be road worthy.
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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
...New rear upper control arm to frame bushings.
Those were a NIGHTMARE. ... But pushing the bearing was way too much for the auto parts store bushing press.
There's an easy way to get these out; I've posted about it before.

Look how it's installed, the new one needs to go in the same; it's an eccentric cam alignment feature.

You take a hammer and chisel, or an air hammer, and put three rows of dents, equally spaced around the circumference, down the side of the bushing. It makes it smaller, and loose.

It will just fall out at some point, if you use an air hammer.

One of my OG mechanic buddies showed me that, after laughing at me for a bit. He's 80ish...

Going back in, you have to support the sides to prevent the press collapsing them; I use two 1/2" pieces I made out of aluminum with a 4" cutoff tool.
One on each side of the bushing, and press back into place.
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Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
There's an easy way to get these out; I've posted about it before.

Look how it's installed, the new one needs to go in the same; it's an eccentric cam alignment feature.

You take a hammer and chisel, or an air hammer, and put three rows of dents, equally spaced around the circumference, down the side of the bushing. It makes it smaller, and loose.

It will just fall out at some point, if you use an air hammer.

One of my OG mechanic buddies showed me that, after laughing at me for a bit. He's 80ish...

Going back in, you have to support the sides to prevent the press collapsing them; I use two 1/2" pieces I made out of aluminum with a 4" cutoff tool.
One on each side of the bushing, and press back into place.

By the time I got to the point where I was going to try that, I ran out of give a damn and just paid the $40 to have them done (which he did with an air hammer as you described).

If I wear them out again, I'll do it that way.
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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Moving any of these bolts:
The rear-most inner lower control arm bolt, the Rear upper inner control arm bolt, and the front lower inner control arm bolt are all Cam-Type adjustable locating bolts.

All of these need alignment. People will tell you that you can mark them, but no two parts are exactly alike...

The Strut rod is adjustable for length at the front; it's a double bolted connection. You shouldn't ever adjust the inner bolt; replace the bushing by removing the front bolt if necessary. Mark the inner...
So basically if any arm is touched, take it in for an alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Replacing the Inner or outer Tie Rods, or steering rack would need alignment as well.
This reminds me that I'll have to replace the outer tie rod. That said, what constitutes the need to replace the inner tie rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
I think that's it; I stock up parts, then replace everything after I have an appointment with the alignment shop.
If you do it at one shot, it's cheaper in the long run.
I'll probably do the upper arms, lower arms, and end / sway bar links first. So probably in about two months I'll be doing the work if I buy it all piece by piece.

After, I'll probably move to the tie rods and sway bar bushings before moving to the springs, struts, and MK8 LCAs.

I might end up doing the rear diff bushings as well since that seems to be worthwhile from what I've read.

Oh, and I bought that lifetime alignment thing from Firestone a few years back. At this point in time, it's already paid itself off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
I'd do the entire front end at one shot, replace the "toe adjusters" in the rear, replace any bad bushings in the rear if they exist, and then build a set of mark arms later, for a similar all at once swap.
Bad bushings will exist. I already know this. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Complete front and rear swaps could probably be done in a weekend, if you've done it before, and all the bolts come out.
Like my engine, this is the first time I'm getting this deep into this part of the car. There will be questions, LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
I'd wait to do poly until the rear bushings are shot.
There are still Moog bushings, if poly is too stiff.
Which bushings in the rear are you speaking of? The ones in the knuckle that I have coming in already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Jay is making Delrin bushing for the Mark rears; he has a thread.
I saw the sticky. While I'm sure they are worthwhile, it'll take me easily 6 months to save for them, LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
New rear upper control arm to frame bushings.
Those were a NIGHTMARE. Getting the arms out was cake. Hardest part was loosening the bolt. But pushing the bearing was way too much for the auto parts store bushing press. So I took the arms to my alignment shop (who quoted me $600 to do just one side's worth of tie rods and bushings) who pushed them both for $40 since they were out of the car. Now she just needs to get aligned, and she'll be road worthy.
Do you have pictures of these bushings?

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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
On the rear UCA/frame bushing, mark the notch and just cave the casing in with a hammer/chisel and remove it. Be sure to support the sides when you install the new one as to not crush the arm in on itself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
This applies ONLY to the upper inner bushing. You bend the outer shell until you can free it from the arm. The new one has to be pressed in. When you press the new one in, be sure to put something in the gap between the sides of the arm so it won't collapse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
There's an easy way to get these out; I've posted about it before.

Look how it's installed, the new one needs to go in the same; it's an eccentric cam alignment feature.

You take a hammer and chisel, or an air hammer, and put three rows of dents, equally spaced around the circumference, down the side of the bushing. It makes it smaller, and loose.

It will just fall out at some point, if you use an air hammer.

One of my OG mechanic buddies showed me that, after laughing at me for a bit. He's 80ish...

Going back in, you have to support the sides to prevent the press collapsing them; I use two 1/2" pieces I made out of aluminum with a 4" cutoff tool.
One on each side of the bushing, and press back into place.
Mark the notch on the shell.


Use a hammer (or air hammer) to collapse the shell to free it from the arm. Once the arm is out, this should be fairly easy to do.


When installing the new, brace the gap in the arm. I used a couple of junk sockets.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
Onto the rear end...

New knuckle bushings (energy suspension poly, all well lubed with the very heavy grease they supply, so far, no squeaking). Pretty easy getting them out with the rent a tool bushing press.

New rear upper control arm to frame bushings.
Those were a NIGHTMARE. Getting the arms out was cake. Hardest part was loosening the bolt. But pushing the bearing was way too much for the auto parts store bushing press. So I took the arms to my alignment shop (who quoted me $600 to do just one side's worth of tie rods and bushings) who pushed them both for $40 since they were out of the car. Now she just needs to get aligned, and she'll be road worthy.
The parts store press must not be very good. The arms are just folded steel and would collapse under my 20 ton HF press. I had no problem installing the new ones either. Everything went together smoothly. $600 for tie rods is a bit excessive. May be time to find another shop.

Replacing these bushings is not in the service manual. It only has the procedure to remove/reinstall the arm and refers to the arm/bushing as a unit. I always mark that notch in the shell before I remove the old one, but is it really necessary? The inner 'cam' rotates 360° and the shell has no real function other than holding the rubber in place.

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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 11:10 AM
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These are the correct AC Delco Bushings.
More Information for ACDELCO 45G11001

Yes, the auto parts store one wasn't very good. Didn't have the right sized press cup to push the old one out. Next time I'll just hammer it out. Pushing one in is MUCH simpler than getting the old one out with a press.

As far as the inner tie rods go, they're cheap enough for genuine Motocraft ones that I just do the inners/outers together. You know it's bad if it has any inner/outer motion (it's just a ball joint essentially).

Outer:
More Information for MOTORCRAFT MES3004

Inner:
More Information for MOTORCRAFT MEOE36

The hardest part is getting the new inners started because they are VERY stiff, so getting the rod out of the way so you can thread it onto the mount is tricky. If you have the inner tie rod tool it's a little simpler, but the auto parts store didn't have it available the day I did it, so I just used a big crescent wrench. Came off with a little bit of force, make sure the car is high enough in the air to lay comfortably under it, and eye protection is good because you're going to knock a lot of dirt in your face.

Should realistically take you longer to get the car on stands than to loosen up the inners. The outers aren't a problem either, but count how many full rotations it takes to unscrew the old outer to get it close to the right alignment. You will still need the alignment, but to have it pretty close to where it was should help.

All told, took my friend and I about two hours to get the car in the air, change the front hubs, unbolt the castle nuts on the outer tie rod, smack one side with a hammer for 10 minutes to loosen it up enough to drop out, unscrew (and count) it, then wrestle with the inner tie rod ends to get them loose, then put it all back together with new parts.

Took about an hour to get the rear upper control arms loose, support the rear lower control arm with a jack (with the car on jack stands preferably) and once the knuckle is unbolted, use your press to get the old knuckle bushing out and replace it. Use the lube Energy Suspension sends with it to keep it squeal free. Then the hardest part of getting the upper control arm out is loosening up the bolt, 18mm and 15mm wrenches, or if you have one an air impact to loosen it up. It's tight, and likely to be rusted if you live in a rusty area. I got lucky, my car is from Kansas, and I don't drive it in the snow, so mine came right out.

Regarding the toe links, if your rear lower control arm to IRS bushings are worn out, you'll just ruin the new toe links in short order. So if you plan on replacing them at the same time, go for it. Mine are in good shape, so I left them alone.
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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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My bushings arrived on Tuesday, I've had the bearings already for about two weeks. This weekend though seems a bit tough in terms of time to do the work as things have already been planned out, so it'll likely have to wait for next weekend. It's best that way anyways though since it'll be my flex weekend (I have a 9/80 schedule) and I can take my hardware in during the week to have the bearings pressed out / in.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
As far as the inner tie rods go, they're cheap enough for genuine Motocraft ones that I just do the inners/outers together. You know it's bad if it has any inner/outer motion (it's just a ball joint essentially).

Outer:
More Information for MOTORCRAFT MES3004

Inner:
More Information for MOTORCRAFT MEOE36

The hardest part is getting the new inners started because they are VERY stiff, so getting the rod out of the way so you can thread it onto the mount is tricky. If you have the inner tie rod tool it's a little simpler, but the auto parts store didn't have it available the day I did it, so I just used a big crescent wrench. Came off with a little bit of force, make sure the car is high enough in the air to lay comfortably under it, and eye protection is good because you're going to knock a lot of dirt in your face.

Should realistically take you longer to get the car on stands than to loosen up the inners. The outers aren't a problem either, but count how many full rotations it takes to unscrew the old outer to get it close to the right alignment. You will still need the alignment, but to have it pretty close to where it was should help.

All told, took my friend and I about two hours to get the car in the air, change the front hubs, unbolt the castle nuts on the outer tie rod, smack one side with a hammer for 10 minutes to loosen it up enough to drop out, unscrew (and count) it, then wrestle with the inner tie rod ends to get them loose, then put it all back together with new parts.
Thanks for this info. If it's cheap insurance to get this part done as well while I'm taking everything else apart, I might as well add this to my "to-do" list of everything else I'm replacing as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
Took about an hour to get the rear upper control arms loose, support the rear lower control arm with a jack (with the car on jack stands preferably) and once the knuckle is unbolted, use your press to get the old knuckle bushing out and replace it. Use the lube Energy Suspension sends with it to keep it squeal free. Then the hardest part of getting the upper control arm out is loosening up the bolt, 18mm and 15mm wrenches, or if you have one an air impact to loosen it up. It's tight, and likely to be rusted if you live in a rusty area. I got lucky, my car is from Kansas, and I don't drive it in the snow, so mine came right out.

Regarding the toe links, if your rear lower control arm to IRS bushings are worn out, you'll just ruin the new toe links in short order. So if you plan on replacing them at the same time, go for it. Mine are in good shape, so I left them alone.
Awesome information on the process. I've also been speaking with jco via FB PM and he's also given me some info on this tool he's made that I can easily replicate as well to get the bushings out / in. I might just try both ways on getting the bushings out / in and use whatever works fastest or easiest for me when the time comes.
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Last edited by CDsDontBurn; 03-31-2017 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Updated pic links
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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
...

This reminds me that I'll have to replace the outer tie rod. That said, what constitutes the need to replace the inner tie rod?
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I might end up doing the rear diff bushings as well since that seems to be worthwhile from what I've read.
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Bad bushings will exist. I already know this. LOL
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Which bushings in the rear are you speaking of? The ones in the knuckle that I have coming in already?
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Inner Tie rods get replaced with the outers, to me. It will make a big difference.
Also, change the fluid in the steering system, if you haven't already.

Diff bushings are easy to change, holding the upper nut is the hard part.

No, The LCA inners are still available from moog for the steel arms.
Quote:
MOOG K8658 Incl. front and rear bushings; Package Quantity As Shown In Image Info One of our most popular parts
Rear To Frame; Contains Front And Rear Bushings


Quote:
Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
... I always mark that notch in the shell before I remove the old one, but is it really necessary? The inner 'cam' rotates 360° and the shell has no real function other than holding the rubber in place.
No, as far as I can tell, the only reason to do it that way is so the off-center part is the same on both wheels, initially.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
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Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.

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Last edited by Grog6; 04-17-2016 at 08:45 PM.
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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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So I know that I have transmission issues and all right now, and that those should be my priority right now in terms of getting Pearl back on the road, but Carlos (RaceBronco2) had a REALLY good deal on a set of MK8 LCAs that I couldn't pass up. $90 later, and they're on their way!

Just thought I'd update the thread with that.
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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 09:52 PM
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Wow, you have given me inspiration, I am going to do this my my tbird, thanks for the pics.

Thanks again for this post, I just ordered bushings and I am going to install them on my tbird
Woody

Last edited by Rodeo Joe; 05-05-2016 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Merged posts
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