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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2005, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Lca R&r

thats a cool article too bad I did this last week both sides springs new brakes and everything
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2005, 01:13 PM
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So to do the UCA's, you do not have to remove the spring?

I have had my SC UCA's repalced, but I can't remember if the entre spring had to be removed or not!

What about when removing the tie-rod? Do you have to remove the spring then?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-04-2005, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gavinl
Nice article, thanks for your efforts! May I ask what brand UCAs you got and where you bought them?

Unit Price: $53.99
Core Value*: $0.00
Part No.: FA1773
Weight: 5.45 lbs.
Warranty: LLT
Availability: Online: Ships within 2 business days
Store: Normally Stocked
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 05:07 PM
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I thought I wrote up a nice step by step install procedure for the LCA's?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 11:50 PM
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you did, it'll be my guide

It's exactly what I needed. But I am a bit more concerned about getting it done so easily after reading the forums about it. I actually was thinking on my way home that I will try to take some pictures of the process along the way to maybe let someone build a guide like the one for UCAs with pictures.

In fact, I was thinking that the "guides" for the common problems of these cars are one of the best assets of this site. The LCA steps you sent, with the UCA guide, and the heater core guide have been great for these problems that many seem to have. It might even be a nice heading for a forum?

So I appreciate it and hopefully if my brother's digital camera is charged I can contribute back some photos to keep up the trend.

note: oh, I think I see your point now, Dr.. I believe that i PM'd you and dropped the request in the forum about the same time, so my statements about no step-by-step guides was before I received your response.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-03-2006, 11:18 PM
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18 mm racheting wrench is a MUST

I just want to reiterate what I had read in another thread about the 18 mm racheting wrench. It is worth every penny of the $12 I spent on it. I got ripped off, but once I got to working on the UCAs, it was a life saver. Driver's side was good for the rear bolt. Passenger's side (rear bolt) would have been impossible without it. One click at a time for that bolt. If I had to flip an open end that many times, it would've taken an hour at least.

So White Lincoln, not sure if you are adding to the guide anymore, but you might STRESS the usefulness of the 18 mm wrench. I bought it thinking that it wasn't that big a deal, but it was. I know it's in the list of tools, but maybe a little extra attention will save someone a trip to the store or the funny farm.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2006, 06:21 PM
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here's what I got...

Dr. FrankenCougie sent me this. Hopefully he doesn't mind if I post it. White Lincoln is hopefully working on an webpage version with a few pictures I sent him of my car.

I gather you are talking about the front lower control arms so I will go over the replacement of those. You will need a ball joint separator to separate the ball joint from the spindle. I would also suggest replacing the strut rod bushings as well since they are prone to wear after a while. Buy the control arms with the ball joints already installed so you don't have to bother with the pressing in/out of those puppies, carries them online.

I'll do the book version (Ford book)

1. Remove the wheels and put the car on stands
2. Loosen ball joint nut three or four turns
3. Rap front wheel spindle to separate front suspension lower arm ball joint. Leave nut attached
4. Support wheel spindle with wire or equiv.
5. Mark position of camber adjustment cam
6. Remove strut rod to lower arm bushing nut. Be careful not to use a wrench on the strut arm where the bend is, Hold it on the flats with a wrench just shy of the turn or you may damage the arm
7. Remove lower shock bolt and nut
8. Remove and mark pivot (camber) bolt and nut. (That would be the bolt closest to the center of the car) [Thanks S Mazza]
9. Remove ball joint nut and lower arm

You may need to use the pickle fork or ball joint separator to get the ball joint bolt off the spindle.


1. Position lower arm inn vehicle. Loosely install and align pivot bolt and new nut
2. Install lower arm strut washer and insulators and loosely install strut arm nut
3. Loosely install ball joint nut
4. Install shock bolt and nut. Do not tighten at this time
5. Tighten ball joint nut to 83-113 lb-ft
6. Tighten strut rod nut to 84-112 lb-ft
7. Remove wire holding spindle
8. Install wheels and tighten lugs to 85-104 lb-ft
9. Lower car
10. Position on a drive on rack or equiv and push on front end a couple times to neutralize suspension. Tighten shock nut to 126-169 lb-ft
11. Align camber marks and tighten pivot nut to 84-112 lb-ft
12. Check alignment

You may want to buy a Ford service manual from Helms inc. if you plan to work on your car.

Last edited by gyroscopic; 02-07-2006 at 10:47 PM.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2006, 04:49 PM
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A quick note:

The tie rod end does not set camber, as is stated in removal step #8. It sets toe. The nut and bolt / cam thingie that connects the LCA to the frame sets the camber.



Owner, 1990 Thunderbird SC, white w/ gray cloth
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 05:05 PM
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check oreilly if you have those around. that's where i got mine. my UCA was in the oreilly generic brand, but was a TRW when the box was opened. my lower was a moog.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2006, 03:43 PM
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Comments on UCA Write-Up

White Lincoln,

I finally got around to trying this repair for myself on my 1990 SC. All told, it took me about 4 hours, but I could probably do it in 1-1/2 to 2 next time. I have a few comments:

1. On my car with the early ABS system, it is a lot harder to get a wrench on the rear nut inside the engine compartment. You can do it, but you just can't see what you are doing. Unplugging some of the harnesses may help you get the wrench on the nut. But be patient and you will get there.

2. On the 89-92 cars, you have to move the windshield washer fluid reservoir, not the power box, to get at the front nut. That is very easy - there are two 8mm bolts holding it on. Don't drop the front bolt as you remove it - there's a heap of wires right there, plus the starter solenoid, which makes it hard to retrieve.

3. You don't need to remove the "flags" from the bolt heads. I did after I got them out of the car, but it wasn't really necessary.

4. You definitely can NOT use a 12 point wrench on those 2 bolts. They have round corners because of the "flagging" process.

4. I had trouble removing the pinch bolt from the spindle. It turns out that it is partially splined, so it doesn't want to slide right out. I used a ball joint press to remove it. That was overkill, but I tried a C-clamp first and that was underkill.

5. I also had trouble getting the UCA back into the spindle at the end of the procedure. I used the jack under the LCA to push the spindle up, but it didn't want to drop into place. What solved the problem was I used a prybar to push the UCA down, using a spring coil for leverage. This problem chewed up about an hour while I moved the jack here and there trying to figure it out.

6. I did the procedure without removing the wheel. It saved me time, but it did make it a little tricky to tighten the bolts at the end. With the car off the jack and sitting on the wheels as normal, it was tricky to snake my arm in there. What I did was to hold the ratchet inside the wheel well stationary and turn the ratcheting wrench inside the engine compartment. Forget about using a torque wrench - I had to guess at it.

Your write-up was very helpful. It made it look pretty easy - which helped me overcome my trepidation abotu suspension work. Thanks again!



Owner, 1990 Thunderbird SC, white w/ gray cloth
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