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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Metal on Metal Popping from LF Corner

I was hoping that replacing my UCA's, sway bar links, and tie rods was going to fix this issue but it did not. It's a good thing that I did replace those parts because most of them were rather shot. I'm just not going to feel safe driving the car until I get this sound taken care of.

I noticed that if I jack that corner up I can really hear it pop. While driving it moans and groans mostly when I turn the wheel but it pops during most bumps too. All of my bushings seem ok and I sprayed everything I could with silicone hoping that would help but it didn't. My guess is that it's my lower ball joint but my father still thinks it's a bushing. He sort of knows cars but sometimes I wonder about him. I took pictures of everything while I was working on the car but I doubt they'll help much.


Unless someone here has any better ideas I will just go ahead and replace the lower control arms this week. I was hoping that it could wait until I replaced the shocks and springs but I need this car to be driveable now.

-Randy-
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 07:47 PM
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There aren't any bushings that would moan and groan as a result of turning the wheel. My money's on the lower ball joints; the ones on the Cougar are going south fast and they make an awful racket in turns and while going over bigger bumps.

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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much!!! Logical validation is so hard to find these days.

-Randy-
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 10:57 PM
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If u still have the stock lca ball joins then that's more than likely it.. Look at the bushing around it, if its rotted and torn and you see that the 'ball' is shiny and has dry grease then that's 95% chance of your problem lol.

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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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The boots had looked fine but today I noticed that the inner bottom edge was now flared up. It's too bad that the stockers don't have grease fittings or otherwise I would've greased them to narrow down the causes. I was also considering just replacing the ball joints but I may just go ahead and replace the arms along with strut rod bushings. I've been having a pull to the left for awhile too and the strut rod bushings could be the cause.

-Randy-
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 12:29 AM
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I had an odd sound while turning the steering wheel. Nothing looked out of wack but I did notice the lack of grease fittings on the balljoints so I cut a small hole in the rubber and sprayed in some lube oil. The sound went away, I have since changed the balljoints.

As for the pulling to the left, now forgive because I dont know the proper name, the rod that goes from the a arm to the front of the car. Those bushings had failed and would cause the car to lean left while driving and more so when braking.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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As for the pulling to the left, now forgive because I dont know the proper name, the rod that goes from the a arm to the front of the car. Those bushings had failed and would cause the car to lean left while driving and more so when braking.
Yes, those are the strut rod bushings that I am talking about. I thought OEM was the only way to go but now I see that NAPA is good for some people. If I could find some Ford ones for a good price I'd be extremely happy.

-Randy-
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 06:13 AM
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Im actually on my second set. Can only get MOOG up here, they've last a year before wearing out.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 07:25 AM
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I have Moog for upper and lower ball joints. Haven't had any problems after 4 years so far.. But I'm religious on greasing them when I do full service lol regularly lol

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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cobra R Thunderbird View Post
I have Moog for upper and lower ball joints. Haven't had any problems after 4 years so far.. But I'm religious on greasing them when I do full service lol regularly lol
Those Moogs parts are great but when it comes to the strut rod bushings they don't last long. The material that they are made from is too rigid and end up cracking over time. That's why rubber is better than most materials for these bushings because they have more give.

-Randy-
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8ThunderCat View Post
Yes, those are the strut rod bushings that I am talking about. I thought OEM was the only way to go but now I see that NAPA is good for some people. If I could find some Ford ones for a good price I'd be extremely happy.
Do NOT use NAPA or ANY other aftermarket parts for the strut-rod bushings!!!!! Ford parts are the ONLY ones that work properly!

I had NAPA strut-rod bushings on my 1997 T-Bird sport for a short time last year and, trust me, they are JUNK!! The metal sleeve they give you to slide over the strut rod where it goes through the frame at the front is too long and mushrooms when you tighten the nut on the forward side of the frame side of the strut-rod, preventing you from tightening the nut/bushings to the proper torque/geometry. I had all kinds of steering/handling issues with the NAPA parts, which were all cured by installing Ford OE bushings.

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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8ThunderCat View Post
Those Moogs parts are great but when it comes to the strut rod bushings they don't last long. The material that they are made from is too rigid and end up cracking over time. That's why rubber is better than most materials for these bushings because they have more give.
I rebuilt my ENTIRE front suspension last year, installing KYB shocks, Vogtland 1" drop coil springs, and Moog for ALL the rest of the pieces (well, TRW LCA's because I got the original SuperCoupe spec arms that Ford put on the T-Bird sports) - my 1997 T-Bird (with 163,000 miles) now rides (and handles) WAY better than my wife's 2007 Pontiac G6 GT (which only has 48,000 miles)!

Moog suspension components are VERY high-quality!

Dennis
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Do NOT use NAPA or ANY other aftermarket parts for the strut-rod bushings!!!!! Ford parts are the ONLY ones that work properly!

I had NAPA strut-rod bushings on my 1997 T-Bird sport for a short time last year and, trust me, they are JUNK!! The metal sleeve they give you to slide over the strut rod where it goes through the frame at the front is too long and mushrooms when you tighten the nut on the forward side of the frame side of the strut-rod, preventing you from tightening the nut/bushings to the proper torque/geometry. I had all kinds of steering/handling issues with the NAPA parts, which were all cured by installing Ford OE bushings.

Dennis
Ya know, I had read that but then I also read that master486 has been using them for quite awhile without any issues. Then again I'm not going to go with NAPA anyway. There was some discussion that the NAPA ones are actually made by Raybestos and I was going to get those from Rockauto along with a bunch of other parts. Now if someone can point me to some Ford ones that won't keep me from affording the lower control arms, front sway bar bushings, rear sway bar links, or the shocks that I'm considering then I would go ahead and get the Ford strut rod bushings. If I get the Raybestos maybe by the time they give me trouble I'll already have the Fords. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get the beter parts and not do any job twice but I only make about $1,000 per month and I still have other bills to pay.

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I rebuilt my ENTIRE front suspension last year, installing KYB shocks, Vogtland 1" drop coil springs, and Moog for ALL the rest of the pieces (well, TRW LCA's because I got the original SuperCoupe spec arms that Ford put on the T-Bird sports) - my 1997 T-Bird (with 163,000 miles) now rides (and handles) WAY better than my wife's 2007 Pontiac G6 GT (which only has 48,000 miles)!

Moog suspension components are VERY high-quality!

Dennis
I'm probably going to go the same route but with lower springs. I thought that the UCA's I bought were going to be Moog's but they ended up being something close but not greaseable. The front sway bay links I got are actually Mevotech but I'll replace them with Moog when I have the extra cash or the need. Now the LCA's that I'm about to order are going to be Moog along with the front sway bar bushings and rear sway bar links. Right now unless I can get the shocks for the right price I'll be happy having everything but the shocks, springs, and sway bar replaced.

-Randy-

Last edited by V8ThunderCat; 12-28-2010 at 02:42 PM.
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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:41 PM
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Go to a Ford dealer and have them run a parts locate on the strut-rod bushing kits; they have all the parts you need for both the LCA-side AND the frame-side of the strut-rod. The kits are, I believe, still available from Ford - but, the last time I checked, the retailed for $230.00 EACH!!

I got two kits from dealers that showed they had them already in stock (and, usually had them for some time - that's why they're willing to deal!) and I think I paid about $60 for BOTH, including shipping (it was certainly less than $100 for both)!

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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:43 PM
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The part number for the kits is E9SZ-3A187-A; you'll need (2) kits, (1) for each side.

Dennis
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post #16 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I'll give them a call.

EDIT: Looks like they'll cost around $80 which is still about what the other ones were going to cost. That's only for these parts though;

four E9SZ-3A140-A (Front bushings at control arm end)
two E9SZ-3B271-A (Front bushings at frame end)
two F7SZ-3A225-AA (Rear bushings at frame end)

Wouldn't I need the spacers and washers or do they come with these parts?

EDIT X2: Okay now I see that you posted the part numbers. When I go down there tomorrow to order them I'll check the price on that kit.

-Randy-

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post #17 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 03:01 PM
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The kits are, I believe, still available from Ford -
Last time I talked to Jon he told me they were obsolete! Maybe you can get the parts individually.

V8ThunderCat, you need 2 front bushings at control arm end and 2 rear bushings at control arm end. Two different parts here.

Strut Rod Bushings LCA Side - Front: E9SZ3A140A
Strut Rod Bushings LCA Side - Rear: E9SZ3A140B

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post #18 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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So those numbers are just for the LCA side? The part numbers I listed are the ones I called them with and they were orderable I guess because I was quoted prices. I'll bring all of the numbers with me when I go down there tomorrow.

-Randy-
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post #19 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dmw_4814 View Post
Do NOT use NAPA or ANY other aftermarket parts for the strut-rod bushings!!!!! Ford parts are the ONLY ones that work properly!

I had NAPA strut-rod bushings on my 1997 T-Bird sport for a short time last year and, trust me, they are JUNK!! The metal sleeve they give you to slide over the strut rod where it goes through the frame at the front is too long and mushrooms when you tighten the nut on the forward side of the frame side of the strut-rod, preventing you from tightening the nut/bushings to the proper torque/geometry. I had all kinds of steering/handling issues with the NAPA parts, which were all cured by installing Ford OE bushings.

Dennis
Did you use the NCP or MRC version? There are great differences in quality between the two.

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post #20 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 03:02 AM
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So those numbers are just for the LCA side?
Yes sir.

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post #21 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 03:44 AM
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I was able to get 2 of each of the four parts recently for around $55 total as a preferred buyer at the dealer I just told them it was for my work they didn't question it as I had my work shirt on. When they asked if they should put it on my work's tab and to bill them I said no my manager gave me cash to get these today.

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post #22 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I think I can clarify a few things now.

The kit E9SZ-3A187-A is obsolete and the only way to get one is with luck.

The following bushings;
E9SZ-3A140-A
E9SZ-3A140-B
E9SZ-3B271-A
F7SZ-3A225-AA,
are all available but all of the spacers and washers are not.

I was quoted $18.95, $19.13, $19.61, and $10.78 each respectively but the dealer I had called yesterday was in another town and their prices were a lot lower. His prices were $6.41, $12.50, $12.82, $12.82. So I guess I would be looking at paying either $189.26 or $110.33 including tax. The deal breaker though is that I'm not able to get new washers and spacers unless reusing the old ones is safe. I highly doubt it so it looks like I'm getting the "Premium" Raybestos kits.

That's another point that wasn't cleared up in one of those topics about strut rod bushings. Not only does Napa, (and also Raybestos), carry 2 different kits, (one for the frame and one for the control arm), but they also carry 2 different grades of the kits. They use the same pictures for both grades of the kit for the arm but the pictures for the kit for the frame is different. So, it's hard to tell what the real difference is besides the price. Based on the descriptions, warranty, and price it would appear that the Napa Chassis Parts line is the better grade. With Raybestos it's either Service Grade or Professional Grade and I'd bet my money on the latter being exactly like the Napa Chassis Parts line.

Prices are as follows;
Napa: to frame, Master Ride Chassis $41.49 - Napa Chassis Parts $54.99
to arm, Master Ride Chassis $27.49 - Napa Chasis Parts $35.99

Raybestos: to frame, Service Grade $17.94 - Professional Grade $37.79 (Rockauto)
to arm, Service Grade $12.75 - Professional Grade $24.79 (Rockauto)

I think it's clear what I'm wanting to do. Heck, by going with Rockauto I can get those 2 kits, front sway bar bushings, 2 lower control arms, and 2 rear sway bar links for about $228.79. Since I'm going to wait on replacing the shocks I may get some rear sway bar bushings while I'm at it.

-Randy-
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post #23 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8ThunderCat View Post
Okay, I think I can clarify a few things now.

The kit E9SZ-3A187-A is obsolete and the only way to get one is with luck.

The following bushings;
E9SZ-3A140-A
E9SZ-3A140-B
E9SZ-3B271-A
F7SZ-3A225-AA,
are all available but all of the spacers and washers are not.

I was quoted $18.95, $19.13, $19.61, and $10.78 each respectively but the dealer I had called yesterday was in another town and their prices were a lot lower. His prices were $6.41, $12.50, $12.82, $12.82. So I guess I would be looking at paying either $189.26 or $110.33 including tax. The deal breaker though is that I'm not able to get new washers and spacers unless reusing the old ones is safe. I highly doubt it so it looks like I'm getting the "Premium" Raybestos kits.

That's another point that wasn't cleared up in one of those topics about strut rod bushings. Not only does Napa, (and also Raybestos), carry 2 different kits, (one for the frame and one for the control arm), but they also carry 2 different grades of the kits. They use the same pictures for both grades of the kit for the arm but the pictures for the kit for the frame is different. So, it's hard to tell what the real difference is besides the price. Based on the descriptions, warranty, and price it would appear that the Napa Chassis Parts line is the better grade. With Raybestos it's either Service Grade or Professional Grade and I'd bet my money on the latter being exactly like the Napa Chassis Parts line.

Prices are as follows;
Napa: to frame, Master Ride Chassis $41.49 - Napa Chassis Parts $54.99
to arm, Master Ride Chassis $27.49 - Napa Chasis Parts $35.99

Raybestos: to frame, Service Grade $17.94 - Professional Grade $37.79 (Rockauto)
to arm, Service Grade $12.75 - Professional Grade $24.79 (Rockauto)

I think it's clear what I'm wanting to do. Heck, by going with Rockauto I can get those 2 kits, front sway bar bushings, 2 lower control arms, and 2 rear sway bar links for about $228.79. Since I'm going to wait on replacing the shocks I may get some rear sway bar bushings while I'm at it.
Dude, did you NOT read what I said in my previous posts?!! Why would you NOT listen to someone who's ALREADY gone through the horror and the heartache of using cheap, inferior aftermarket strut-rod bushings?!! NO AFTERMARKET STRUT-ROD BUSHINGS OR BUSHING KITS FIT PROPERLY, AND YOU WILL HAVE NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS IF YOU ATTEMPT TO USE THEM!! I know - I went through this already!

The strut-rod is meant to control fore/aft movement of the lower control arm, and if the bushings do not fit properly, then the lower control arm will have some fore/aft movement while you're driving that it should not have - this will cause steering/handling problems (i.e., your car will feel like it's wandering as you drive), as well possible irregular tire wear.

It does NOT matter if the Ford kit is obsolete or not - you didn't really want to spend $230.00 per side, did you?!! Find a dealer that has them in stock and ask them how much they'd be willing to sell them to you for.

If you really want to use aftermarket, well, all I can say is that you've been warned! I can't remember ANYONE on this forum ever recommending aftermarket strut-rod bushings!

Dennis
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post #24 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 09:52 PM
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Dude, did you NOT read what I said in my previous posts?!! Why would you NOT listen to someone who's ALREADY gone through the horror and the heartache of using cheap, inferior aftermarket strut-rod bushings?!! NO AFTERMARKET STRUT-ROD BUSHINGS OR BUSHING KITS FIT PROPERLY, AND YOU WILL HAVE NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS IF YOU ATTEMPT TO USE THEM!! I know - I went through this already!
Dennis, breathe for a second. Your intentions are honorable, but there's gotta be a nicer way of making your point clear.

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If you really want to use aftermarket, well, all I can say is that you've been warned! I can't remember ANYONE on this forum ever recommending aftermarket strut-rod bushings!
Except master486. Well, sort of:

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Do NOT use Moog strut rud bushings or any other aftermarket ones if you can help it. None will last as long as the OEM Ford ones. If you can manage to get your ferrules out without damaging them (these are the washers on each end of the bushing with a metal tube going out from them), just buy the bushings only from Ford and reuse the washers/ferrules. A fixed-length ferrule that comes in the aftermarket kits is not the best for this suspension design. NAPA sells strut rod bushings that may be TRW. I have them on my car, and they are very much like the OEM bushings. They are rubber, not thermoplastic like Moog which will fail once exposed to certain fluids/chemicals.
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Originally Posted by master486 View Post
I actually used their stuff on both the LCA and K-member side. Yes, one kit does both sides. One word of warning though. The part you linked to is NAPA's MRC line, which is their "value" line of chassis parts. The parts I have are their NCP line and are of significantly different quality for this particular application. Make sure if you get it you get a box with the parts sealed in a bag inside because I had to order 4 different boxes to get one. Customers swapping parts out is a growing problem.
As I remarked earlier, there are two different types of strut rod bushings that can be had from NAPA: the NCP brand and the MRC brand. Is it possible you ended up and had your bad experience with MRC? NCP is apparently the higher quality part, one instance of which has been in use by master486 for at least several years now, and according to him there are no issues. I trust his judgment as he has helped me in the past with a great multitude of problems. The Cougar needs a new set desperately (if it makes it through this winter) and I'll be checking out this NAPA NCP bushing set myself if the time comes.

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Last edited by theterminator93; 12-29-2010 at 09:59 PM.
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post #25 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
Dennis, breathe for a second. Your intentions are honorable, but there's gotta be a nicer way of making your point clear.

As I remarked earlier, there are two different types of strut rod bushings that can be had from NAPA: the NCP brand and the MRC brand. Is it possible you ended up and had your bad experience with NCP? MRC is apparently the higher quality part, one instance of which has been in use by master486 for at least several years now, and according to him there are no issues. I trust his judgment as he has helped me in the past with a great multitude of problems. The Cougar needs a new set desperately (if it makes it through this winter) and I'll be checking out this NAPA MRC bushing set myself if the time comes.
I have never seen an aftermarket strut-rod bushing kit that differs from the parts I got from NAPA, and the problem was mainly in the metal sleeve that they supply in those kits - it's too long and mushrooms when you attempt to tighten the strut-rod nut to it's proper torque, making the entire kit useless. Plus, the OEM bushings are metal reinforced.

Dennis
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post #26 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, but I did read what you posted which is why I tried to go into such detail.

Maybe I forgot to mention that if the Raybestos kit does give me any problems it won't be a big deal because I'll just replace them with Ford bushings and/or spacers when I finally get new shocks and springs.

I can only hope that I can remove the stock spacers but if I screw one up it's going to be hard to find a replacement because there aren't very many junkyards here.

I live in Abilene, aka the middle of nowhere, so there aren't many dealers around here that would be likely to have the old kits.

So far no one has said anything bad about the Raybestos bushings.

Maybe I'll just use the Raybestos bushings but reuse the stock spacers. Will that make you happy.

Still though, unless you used the Napa Chassis Parts grade kit, (Napa's version of Raybestos' higher grade kit), I still think they may work fine.

-Randy-
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post #27 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 05:18 AM
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In the spirit of experimentation, I'm considering using AC Delco for the front bushings (they're rubber, not thermoplastic, and if I reuse the old ferrules, that takes care of the ferrule problem, donnit?)

Even if I have to do it again in a year or so, at least then we'll know how they held up for me.

And a year, if I keep driving the Cougar as a DD, will be easily 36K - 50K, so it's a fair test for others.

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post #28 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmw_4814 View Post
I have never seen an aftermarket strut-rod bushing kit that differs from the parts I got from NAPA, and the problem was mainly in the metal sleeve that they supply in those kits - it's too long and mushrooms when you attempt to tighten the strut-rod nut to it's proper torque, making the entire kit useless. Plus, the OEM bushings are metal reinforced.

Dennis
so shorten the sleeve.

not that hard.

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post #29 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by _95badbird View Post
so shorten the sleeve.

not that hard.
I DID shorten the sleeve - AFTER it was already all f**ked-up! Still didn't work worth a crap.

NOT that hard to understand!

Dennis
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post #30 of 58 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8ThunderCat View Post
I live in Abilene, aka the middle of nowhere, so there aren't many dealers around here that would be likely to have the old kits.
You could have them shipped to you, which is what I did with one of the kits. The other, a local Ford dealer got for me and I picked it up from them.

Dennis
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