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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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rear UCA bushing orientation question

After getting my front suspension fixed, I want to fix the rear.

There seems to be some noise coming from the left rear. On uneven surfaces the rear end sort of seesaws. It seems like one side is a bit stiffer. Sometimes at higher speeds, I hear and feel a loud thunk. It doesn't quite feel right, but it's not terrible. It's hard to tell exactly where the noise comes from.

The first thing I found was worn toe compensators. The rubber on the toe compensators is soft and mushy. But they still sort of function because they aren't loose or down to metal. I will get new ones.

There seems to be an issue with the bushings in the UCA to frame mount. The UCAs didn't mount to the frame in the same way. The bushing on the left was close to the front and the bushing on the right was closer to the rear.

I removed the UCAs and they appear to be identical in every way. I'm thinking a bushing might be mounted from the wrong side. Maybe a control arm was replaced. Something is not symmetrical. I think the right bushing might be correct, but I'm not sure.

There doesn't seem to be any other obvious problems in the rear.

Last edited by 97 V8 Swap; 08-22-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 08:10 AM
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can't hammer the right one down some? The raised section on the left upper arm is built into the part, and the bottom part on the right. So the left bushing had to go in from the top, and the right from the bottom. They appear to almost the same depths, but I'm thinking the right needs a gentle smack do bring it down 1/16"

It MAY have something to do with torque control as well...

Odd though..

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some more pictures. Both left and right rear upper control arms are identical in every detail. The bushings are pressed in exactly the same. The part of the bushing that "sticks out" faces the front on the right and the rear on the left. The bushings are in good condition. There is nothing loose, broken or failed in the bushings.

Is there a different part number for left and right upper rear control arms? Is it possible to press the bushing in from the other side?

I've spent hours looking for pictures and information but little seems to exist. In a few grainy photos, it looks like the rubber part that "sticks out" of the bushing should face the front of the car. So that leaves me with the conclusion that something is wrong on the left side. Either a right control arm is on the left or the bushing was pressed in backward.

Last edited by 97 V8 Swap; 08-22-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 11:09 AM
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I only see the bushing, no L or R

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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I know there is only one bushing. What about the upper rear control arms? It there a difference between the left and right? On most cars they are different as in a mirror image.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 01:07 PM
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Nope. The rear UCA is the exact same on each side just as your pictures show. There is no L/R rear UCA. If you look at the curvature of the metal, it's offset to the 'shorter' side of the bushing. This allows the edges of the bushing to be in-line with the sides of the UCA and prevents the UCA to be offset at the knuckle. It was a way for Ford to stamp out one part to use on both sides.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I was just in the garage re-checking everything. Yes, the control arms are interchangeable and it doesn't matter which way the bushings face. Everything lines up correctly.

There are some questionable things with both front and rear suspensions. I might have been looking too closely at those bushings. I have new ones coming already anyways.

I was hearing noise from the left rear and the lower shock mount rubber is just starting to fail...

I got a 1 5/8 wrench and took off the big lower control arm nuts easily. Not sure if anything in this car is tight enough. I need to replace the toe compensators and the only ones currently available are AC Delco. Wonder if AC Delco can screw these up in some way.

Thanks for the response.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 V8 Swap View Post
I was just in the garage re-checking everything. Yes, the control arms are interchangeable and it doesn't matter which way the bushings face. Everything lines up correctly.

There are some questionable things with both front and rear suspensions. I might have been looking too closely at those bushings. I have new ones coming already anyways.

I was hearing noise from the left rear and the lower shock mount rubber is just starting to fail...

I got a 1 5/8 wrench and took off the big lower control arm nuts easily. Not sure if anything in this car is tight enough. I need to replace the toe compensators and the only ones currently available are AC Delco. Wonder if AC Delco can screw these up in some way.

Thanks for the response.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 04:56 PM
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Ac Delco bought Raybestos parts business, at least for our cars; they're some of the highest quality, if you buy the right ones, lol.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 05:59 PM
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May as well check your sway bar links too while your back there.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 07:11 PM
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I replaced the upper control arm bushings in my Tbird because they were worn out. It was difficult to find the OEM style adjustable ones. IIRC they both pressed in and were even. From your pictures it looks like you have the correct bushings. Most of the ones available now are non adjustable and will cause issues as well as not allowing adjustment of the camber.

Edit: Looking again at your pictures, maybe one was pressed in on the wrong side? Try pressing it out and back in?

If they are tight and line up I would think they are fine. Maybe someone else will know more about it, good luck!

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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I made it through the rear suspension with good results. I got new UCA bushings from Super Coupe Performance. They came on bags with part numbers that trace to Ingalls Engineering, if anyone's ever heard of that. The bushings have grey ends and a slightly different appearance than the picture. They seem to be from BAW. They worked perfectly.

It's possible one of my bushings was almost ready to scrape the side or it might have always been that way. They were still working OK.

My toe compensator links were still functioning but the seals were broken and leaking. Apparently, there's a liquid lubricant. ACDelco seemed like the only ones available at this time. Probably because they call it an "alignment tool". The ACDelco links worked fine. They seem to come from BAW too.

I notched a 2x4 and was able to lift the car by the rear knuckle. It made things much easier once I figured this out. I tightened the big nut this way. I put the wheels on thinking I could tighten the UCA bushings with the car on the ground, but that seemed too difficult. I took the wheels off again and lifted by the knuckle. I had made a mark on the shock to verify that this would get the suspension at ride height. It worked well.


The new Motorcraft shocks looked cheap and wimpy compared to what was on the car. The shocks on the car were larger in diameter and had thicker shafts and better hardware. They must be sport shocks or at least heavy duty shocks. They say Motorcraft and made in Spain and have a green dot.

Whatever those old shocks are, I'm glad to be rid of them! They were stiff as hell. I knew the problem was solved before I drove the car. Now it drives much smoother.

Last edited by 97 V8 Swap; 08-22-2018 at 07:14 PM.
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