Now working on the 95, the struts are leaking. It was priorly owned by a relative, and it was serviced at a big local ford dealership (read on why you should take pride in doing your repairs). The tech destroyed the strut bushings - he used heat (I kinda knew this from before) and left out the dust boots on the struts. We all know (and I have done work on other birds) that this is a terrible way to remove the bolt.
I have a feeling that destroyed the struts. I know back when he did it he had to replace one of the mounts cause he overtighented and snapped one of the 3 bolts, so one at least has a new mount.
You can wiggle the bottom of the strut in the bushing. I will most likely get credit for the struts cause they are monroes, but the crap grade, they are about 50ish each. I found out they have a LLT. I told my relative to get monroe since they have a warranty at least, they didn't want anything fancy. The springs were replaced back then and are still good.
I wanted a place to swap my struts on the springs...Forget it..I called one place he said sure, 1 hr labor + your parts I add 50%. He charges 95/hr. So I'm looking at >150 with tax, another said $130, another wont do it. Tried a few others similar results, these are independents, midas, etc. Seems I'm gonna need boots and maybe a mount too, getting expensive. I'm almost thinking quickstrut, like for my 91, but the springs were replaced a few years ago. I'm considering the tokico set for like $200 ish on ebay. Heard good things...I don't think I'm gonna lower this thing, the rust looks like s#$%$. The rear struts were motorcraft, replaced a few years ago, but they are a bit noisy (but seem to function).
So I'm going to use madmikeys method to compress the spring, but I have the tierod off, the stab bar link off, and there is still tension on the lower bolt. I guess I have to take off the uca pinchbolt. can anyone confirm if that is enough to get the spring off?
Now on to the LCA- there is no way I can justify a new strut with no bushing, seems like a leaker waiting to happen. Has anyone here ever pressed in a new bushing? It looks like I would need a 20 ton press, then the shops are gonna charge easy $100 bucks in labor + about 50 for both parts(my price locally). Also, the LCA frame bushing is pretty squashed because of bad strut rod bushings, but those strut rod bushings were replaced, even if I had the press those two bushings cost close to a name brand LCA, and as a bonus you get a new ball joint (shame, because mine are perfect though, but I think I know my options).
So I was looking at Rockauto for LCAs, have a 5% discount, they have moog for 60 and mevotech for 50. I would buy the moogs but they are not greaseable. The mevotech is greasable. I have a feeling the moogs are the Ford replacements. Anyone try that other brand? Looks like a decent brand, but I'm worried its a china special. They have a nice website.
Also, are there any issues with the LCA frame bolt? Do they come out easy? I'm thinking of removing it before I order from rockauto. I know it has to be marked for alignment.
Hate to say it, but with all these issues the ride isn't bad! It rides more like an lincoln though, nice and soft. The struts were leaking for a while. Then I wonder why I'm bothering with a car with 220K or so miles! Maybe I should just put it back together...lol.. as is..there are no safety issues, the car will stop bouncing in less than a cycle.
Just to get an idea, for fun I asked for prices, shops wanted $250-$300 installed per lower control arm(part and labor). Fixing the bushings may have been more or less in some cases! Many did not want to replace the control arm, one shop told me they are $400 bucks!! HOLY S#$%! The front shocks installed were $350 - $400, plus any missing parts with crazy markup. 90 day warranty if they install is pretty much standard. Its crazy how this job could cost over $1000, probably 1/2 the value of the car. This site is so valuable.
ok end rant.
Last edited by tbirdguy; 04-07-2012 at 10:40 AM.