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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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TBird Swaybar bushings?

'94 ThunderChicken LX V8, 70k (mostly city) mi.

I've had a 'Clunk' coming from the rear for quit some time. Thought it might be from a bent trunk lid, finally got around to emptying the trunk to test, found nothing.

I am retired and not in good health, and lack skills and tools. Gave it to a local mechanic who said the swaybar bushings were shot. I don't know him well enough to just take him at his word.

Can you tell from the pics if the swaybar bushings need replacement?

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/7...rdswaybar1.jpg
http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/6...rdswaybar2.jpg

Thanks,
P
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 04:44 PM
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Those are not the swaybar bushings.

THOSE - are the swaybar end links.

Which look OK, but are cheap enough that you may want to swap them anyway (from RockAuto, see http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/rafr...&parttype=7580 and look for the Moog entry - $18 each, plus shipping.)

The swaybar BUSHINGS are these: http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/rafr...&parttype=7624 .

I do not know what diameter bar you have offhand. There are others that can tell you, or if you have a caliper (or a cloth tape), you can measure the diameter (or the circumference and divide by 3.14) to get close enough.

RwP
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 05:02 PM
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Yeah usually the end links go first.

1997 Mark 8 LSC

Former owner:
1996 Thunderbird lx 4.6
1994 Thunderbird lx 4.6
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 05:40 PM
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It is the top bushing on the end link that wears out and you get the clunk same thing happenned to me.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
Those are not the swaybar bushings.

THOSE - are the swaybar end links.

Which look OK, but are cheap enough that you may want to swap them anyway (from RockAuto, see http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/rafr...&parttype=7580 and look for the Moog entry - $18 each, plus shipping.)

The swaybar BUSHINGS are these: http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/rafr...&parttype=7624 .

I do not know what diameter bar you have offhand. There are others that can tell you, or if you have a caliper (or a cloth tape), you can measure the diameter (or the circumference and divide by 3.14) to get close enough.

RwP
Not certain I understand ...

You can't see the swaybar bushing all the way on the left in the second pic?

The swaybar is the long bar that spans the gas tank on both sides? Has 2 bushings that fit *around* the bar?

How many think my swaybar end-links look OK (or at least not bad enough to cause the 'Clunk')?

Thx,
P
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 06:16 PM
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I can see one sway bar bushing in the second photo. The first photo is the end link. Yes when these end links go bad they can make a hell of a noise. On my 96 it was so loud I thought it might be in the front. The first photo shows the end link. That link looks bad at the top.

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1996 Thunderbird lx 4.6
1994 Thunderbird lx 4.6
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudding_Man View Post
Not certain I understand ...

You can't see the swaybar bushing all the way on the left in the second pic?

The swaybar is the long bar that spans the gas tank on both sides? Has 2 bushings that fit *around* the bar?

How many think my swaybar end-links look OK (or at least not bad enough to cause the 'Clunk')?

Thx,
P
Not enough to see that's what you're trying to take a picture of. It's mostly cut off on the left side.

I see more of the end link than the bushing.

Again, I'd swap the end links first - see my first link. Get only Moog or Motorcraft unless you just like the thought of doing it again soon.

While you've got them off, might not be a bad idea to swap the bushings also, in case those ARE wasted inside.

On cars I've had in the past, they've turned hard and pulled away from the sway bar just enough to cause it to rattle and clunk. Don't know if these have done that or not, but I'm STILL chasing down a clunk in the front end of the Cougar.

RwP
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Any of my swaybar bushings could well be bad, and any of 'em could cause the 'Clunk'?

Labor (I'll be paying $90/hr) to replace all SB busings is not much more than labor to replace only one set?

Sounds like a No-Brainer: have the mechanic replace all SB busings. No?

I think Moog is the best available around here.

Wish to hell I could do it myself. Between herniated discs in lo back and some other severe health-PITA's, I'd likely land in the hospital.

Y'all are very helpful, and it is ---> Very Much Appreciated! <---

Cheers,
Puddin'
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 10:17 PM
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In order to get a good pic that really shows the state of the end link you would have to take the wheel off. From the angle in the 1st pic you cannot see the bushing. With the 2nd pic you can barely see part of one of the sway bar bushings but it looks ok. Just have the end links replaced and see what happens before dealing with the sway bar bushings. The shocks could be loose too by the way and causing the clunking.

-Randy-
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:30 PM
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Pudding Man, I noticed you're in MO. What part of Missouri are you from? If you'd like, and if you're near enough you're welcome to come by Parsons sometime and I can take a look at them, and replace them for you. Parsons is in Southeast KS, about an hour from Joplin.

edt: at far less than 90 an hour... The rear bushings are a pretty easy cut and dried job. I'd be happy to do it free just to help out a fellow TCCoA Member.


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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
Pudding Man, I noticed you're in MO. What part of Missouri are you from? If you'd like, and if you're near enough you're welcome to come by Parsons sometime and I can take a look at them, and replace them for you. Parsons is in Southeast KS, about an hour from Joplin.

edt: at far less than 90 an hour... The rear bushings are a pretty easy cut and dried job. I'd be happy to do it free just to help out a fellow TCCoA Member.
Traveler,

I hereby proclaim you to be "A Gentleman and A Scholar". And a Nice Guy to boot.

Unfortunately, I'm in St. Louis, likely 350+ miles from you.

If/when I'm in your neck of the woods, I may stop by and offer to buy you a beer (or some-such).

What you might do, if you have time, is give me a short breakdown (just a few sentences and a time estimate) for each of the following chores:

a.) Replace end link bushings.
b.) Replace swaybar bushings.

Many Thanks,
Puddin'

Last edited by Pudding_Man; 02-21-2011 at 12:38 PM. Reason: cosmetic
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:47 PM
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Well thank you, I do try.

The problem with time estimates is if you're going to a professional mechanic they usually don't go by how long a job actually takes, but a book that tells them how many "hours" to charge for any given task. I'm unaware of what the book says is the correct time for the job but the entire job of replacing both the bushings and the endlinks shouldn't take more than an hour if you have a nice flat surface to jack the car up on. (If I remember correctly. Seems all of my troubles have been coming from the front of the car lately.. front endlinks, etc.)

Once the car is up, and the wheels are off (just for easier access) just unbolt the endlinks and bushing brackets, replace the bushings and put everything back together like you found it, finishing with the new endlinks (and wheels of course) Don't think there's any parts you need to remove to get to the bar or anything like that.


1997 Thunderbird Sport
Low Miles
Wifes Car
destined to remain stock

1997 T-Bird GT 4.6
80 MM Mustang GT MAF - P&P'd Mustang GT TB and Intake Plenum - PI Intake manifold - PI Heads
Mark VIII Torque Converter - J-Modded 4R70W transmission - Mark VIII Aluminum Driveshaft - 3.73 gears
PBR Brake Calipers - Eibach Springs - KYB Shocks
'89 SuperCoupe front and rear sway bars
SCT Chip programmed by Lonnie Doll
255/50/16 Falken Ziex ZE-512's
True Dual exhaust with Magnaflow DI/DO muffler
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8ThunderCat View Post
In order to get a good pic that really shows the state of the end link you would have to take the wheel off. From the angle in the 1st pic you cannot see the bushing. With the 2nd pic you can barely see part of one of the sway bar bushings but it looks ok. Just have the end links replaced and see what happens before dealing with the sway bar bushings. The shocks could be loose too by the way and causing the clunking.
Can you nail it down any better with the following pix?

http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/3...rdswaybar3.jpg
http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/9...rdswaybar4.jpg
http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/4131/tbirdswaybar5.jpg

I'll have them check the shocks.

Thanks,
P
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 03:28 PM
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That last pic says it all, the bushing is completely gone from the endlink

-Matt
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
Well thank you, I do try.
And it IS appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
... Don't think there's any parts you need to remove to get to the bar or anything like that.
Never mind the end links. It looks like the swaybar bushings fit -around- the bar. But ya don't need to remove the bar to replace the bushings? This is important relating to the labor that they will charge po' me.

Thx,
P
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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That last pic says it all, the bushing is completely gone from the endlink
The endlink bushing goes on the top?

And the SB bushings they-own-selves don't look all that bad?

P
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Pudding_Man View Post
The endlink bushing goes on the top?

And the SB bushings they-own-selves don't look all that bad?

P
The endlink assembly will include both sets of bushings, and the shaft.

See again my first link in my earlier message.

The bushings don't from here, but a closer exam with the eyeball may turn up compression and/or cracks that don't show here.

RwP
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 02:33 PM
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How difficult is it to replace the front sway bar bushings? What's involved?
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 02:42 PM
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The front bushings aren't too much more difficult. Just a matter of getting your hands/fingers in tight spots to get the bolts out of the brackets. And its easier if you loosen the end links, so you may as well replace those while you're in there (unless of course you recently did).


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Wifes Car
destined to remain stock

1997 T-Bird GT 4.6
80 MM Mustang GT MAF - P&P'd Mustang GT TB and Intake Plenum - PI Intake manifold - PI Heads
Mark VIII Torque Converter - J-Modded 4R70W transmission - Mark VIII Aluminum Driveshaft - 3.73 gears
PBR Brake Calipers - Eibach Springs - KYB Shocks
'89 SuperCoupe front and rear sway bars
SCT Chip programmed by Lonnie Doll
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True Dual exhaust with Magnaflow DI/DO muffler
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 03:03 PM
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The fronts aren't nearly as easy as the rear, I almost always have to deal with them being siezed to the knuckle(which is easily fixed with a BFH) or sway bar (which isn't as easy). Occasionally the nuts freeze halfway up the threads and spin, fixing this makes for a nice balancing act with a C clamp to keep pressure on the endlink


In comparison, I can do the rears without even jacking up the car.

-Matt
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
The fronts aren't nearly as easy as the rear, I almost always have to deal with them being siezed to the knuckle(which is easily fixed with a BFH) or sway bar (which isn't as easy). Occasionally the nuts freeze halfway up the threads and spin, fixing this makes for a nice balancing act with a C clamp to keep pressure on the endlink


In comparison, I can do the rears without even jacking up the car.
+1 I did my back ones in my driveway without even jacking up the car. The fronts, I pulled the front tires off at the shop for easier access.

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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 12:51 PM
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After having already replaced the front sway bar links I went to install sway bar bushing. The link didn't want to seperate easily from the bar so I used a pitman arm puller and it came apart very easily. I love the Moog bushings as they have a slit which helps to get them onto the bar. Moog doesn't make stock sized bushings for the rear so I had to get creative with a c-clamp, silicone spray, and a flat piece of metal to get the solid Raybestos bushing over the flat ends of the bar.

-Randy-
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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My mechanic installed the Moog endlink kits, no problem. The 'Clunk' is mercifully gone.

Many thanks to numerous responders.

I guess I can expect the occasional bushing failure as the years go by. Can live with that.

Cheers,
P
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