replaced upper control arms today-what a waste of time for such an easy job - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2004, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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replaced upper control arms today-what a waste of time for such an easy job

Got up this morning and finally got started around 11 am. took about 1 1/2 hrs on driver side before I decided I needed to go get a new socket set. I had no deep sockets at all...

got back and eventually got the old one off and put the new one on in about 20 minutes including putting the wheel back on and everything.

I remembered people saying 1st one took lots of time second was piece of cake. I was hoping that meant the passenger side would be quick and easy.

wrong...

due to total lack of space to get to the nut I had hell trying to break it loose just like the driver side. I eventually tore off the retaining clip that is one the top side of the bolt by the coil spring and broke it loose from there.

wasted another 1 1/2 hrs....

I went to put on the Oreilly Moog control arm and it was different than the 1st one.

1st one hada clip on the boot top and bottom and was clear. the second had a blue boot-no clip- and no grease fitting either...

I looked at it and it was hard for me to believe that water wasnt going to get up into the boot when the boot wasn't sealed at all on bottom. I didnt trust it.

Since I wanted them both to be the same I went to Oreilly's and expected a person with at least 1 brain cell working to help me. Punk wasn't old enough to buy beer much less explain to me car stuff.
he told me it was self sealing and I told him I didn't care. I wanted them both the same. I didn't want one to wear out way sooner than the other or whatever.

dork at first told me he didnt have any I and told him " how do you know , you have not looked yet..."

apperently he was clueless about the whole thing . he went and brought one back. opened it up and BAM...there it was ......same as my first one ...sealed and all.......

dork.....

so I eventually got released from the line at Oreilly's and was on my way.

got home , put the new one on and assembled everything and cleaned up in 30 minutes....

sometimes I hate FOrd for trying to screw people out of money by poorly designing crap so that you almost have to take it in to get fixed.

It was a easy fix but F**k it took forever to get the crap apart becasue it was impossible to reach it.

what a waste of my 1st Saturday off in over 5 months.

I am a little happy that I got it done and saved a ton of money I don't have. now....


beer time!!!!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-31-2004, 07:36 PM
 
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Agreed, whoever designed that area is an evil SOB. I just changed the arms today, and the passenger side is a sick joke. Note to self/anyone else looking to do this: Invest in an 18mm ratcheting box-end wrench and make your life much easier.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2004, 12:00 AM
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I think you're supposed to break that clip off before you remove the bolt. If I recall correctly, although my memory is fuzzy. (Not all the time, just in this case, lol. ) I had a shop do the job - expensive is right.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2004, 08:20 AM
 
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Yes the passenger side is pure hell. I had to remove the heater core hose so I could get enough movment on my wrench so I could brake the bolt lose, and then I used a stubby tho get it off.

Every time I come up aginst a problem it just makes me want to take the engineers who desighned these cars out back and beat them.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2004, 09:32 AM
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You guys just need to thank goodness you (or your gf/wife) are not Honda owners..... talk about engineers on crack. I've done both and I'd waaaaaaay rather get my hands on that Honda engineer than the Ford one.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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True as mad as I may get about some of the things on our cars we generaly have it pretty easy.

A good example was my moms seabring. I straight up refused to touch anything in the engine compartmant after opening the hood and seeing that the change the back bank of spark plugs I would have to take off the upper intake.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2004, 04:57 PM
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thats not bad to do , removing the upper intake, heck we have to on 24 v taurus and the newer shos, also ever look under a hood a a 97 up full size truck ? you cant even see the back of the engine.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2004, 05:36 PM
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heheheh the v6 eclipse, you need to practically rotate the engine forward (after removing the front motor mount) to reach the back 3.. screw that

changing plugs in the bird was the third easiest to change ever. first being my push mower, second nova, 3rd birdie.. heheheh
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-18-2004, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, you guys are right. Our cars are easy to access.

My previous 2 cars were easier than the Bird. Both RX-7's and changing the plugs on them was like changing the plugs on a lawn mower.

at times I miss the simplicity of the rotary. not many though. the new RX-8. Now that is a sweet engine.....

Unless you have ever been in a blown rotary, you cant imagine how smooth it feels.


MZ.


PS!! I STILL HAVE HEATSHIELD SET FOR SALE!!!!!!!!!!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2004, 12:53 AM
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FWD is the worst. I just changed the plugs in my mom's Windstar. With the cowl and upper intake removed, it was still a pain in the butt. I had to use a stepstool to climb on top of the engine and lie there to get at the things. I used vise-grips to get the boots off, since nothing else seemed to work. And that's probably the best reason to use platinum spark plugs I can think of ... Who wants to go through all that every 30K miles?!

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2004, 08:30 PM
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why did you replace your upper control arms?

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2004, 09:54 PM
 
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Because the balljoints were rotted and you can't change them without changing the arms themselves.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2004, 09:51 PM
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An 18 mm box end ratcheting wrench sounds like it would be a great help here, for both sides. I wonder if there would be enough room to even get it in, and then to swing it enough to make it ratchet, though. I tried getting a sidewinder ratchet on the left rear bolt, but it wouldn't clear the brake booster, and it can take much torque anyway.

I did mine using the open end of an 18 mm combination wrench, flipping it 180 degrees after a tiny little bit of travel. It still only took me about 30 minutes per side, but I already had the spindles undone for changing the springs, anyway. I pulled the intake hose up enough to get an impact wrench on the right front bolt, but the others were all done by hand.

I got TRW's from Advance Auto. Their parts lookup system calls them, "balljoints", FWIW. $70 per side. I also get another 10% off just for being a Sailor. Napa wanted $75 a piece, their brand, and no Sailor discount. Autozone couldn't find them, and I didn't have time to help them look. The right side UCA is about 50 cents cheaper, for some silly reason. Both have non-greasable balljoints.

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Last edited by terraplane8; 03-07-2004 at 09:57 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 07:33 PM
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I think they might give the two pieces different prices to differentiate them, so it's less likely to confuse them.

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Steve

Owner, 1990 Thunderbird SC, white w/ gray cloth
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2004, 07:08 AM
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The 18mm ratcheting wrench is a must, as far as I'm concerned.

I just did the driver's side, and am glad I had that wrench ahead of time.

I bought a Motorcraft upper control arm from a local Motorcraft distributor for $58 bucks, and this one had the blue boot with a right angle grease fitting.

Might want to shop around for best price, or call Dan.

Steve - TCCoA member
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1995 T-Bird LX 4.6 retired at 247,888 miles
Thanks for the ride !
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