The Suspension Nightmare Begins... - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Talking The Suspension Nightmare Begins...

Well, this evening marks the beginning of the nightmare.

For the last few years I’ve been collecting all the necessary parts to upgrade/refresh my driveline and suspension in my 94 LX (267,000 miles…) and I’m finally going to get to install them. (And working on a DOHC 4.6L with T-45, but that will be another nightmare. )

Now that the weather is nice and I can drive the Mark, I’m going to take the plunge into this job. I’ll be working on it in the evenings/weekends and hopefully everything will be done in about two weeks (weather permitting).

I’m working alone, so hopefully I won’t drop something on my head.

Here’s the list of what is to be installed:

Cobra 13”/11” front/rear disc w/slotted/cross drilled rotors (currently have rear drums)
New half shafts
New “Suspension Compensator” links (does everyone know what there are? )
New seals, bearings, Poly bushings and/or OEM bushings on all pivot points
Cobra 3.73 traction lock differential (and correct speedo gear)
Mark VIII aluminum drive shaft
Eibach progressive rate springs
Addco 1 3/8” front/rear sway bars w/new endlinks
ROH ZR6 17 x 8.5 rims (these look just like the Impala SS wheels. Yeah, I know, but I bought these before the Impala had them. )
245 50 17 Pirelli PZero Asimmetrico tires
New rack and pinion rack
New 255 fuel pump (I don’t plan on ever dropping this tank again)

Hopefully, when I’m done, I’ll have a nice handling car, not have to worry about something breaking while spirited driving and finally have some traction at the track.

And I’ll have the satisfaction that I did everything myself.

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!!

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 09:36 AM
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Might want to inspect the rear subframe while you are pulling things apart and see how it looks. Mine was in bad need of repainting so I pulled it out and did it, but I'll tell you, it wasn't fun at all. The bolts were froze in there more than PB Blaster could ever think about handling. The sleeves the bolts slide up into in the subframe bushings were completely rusted to the bolts. The subframe bushings are also kind of pricy and no one makes anything but rubber. I found one place that said something about making Aluminum ones, but they never replied to my e-mail.

Former owner of 94 Bird with DOHC 4.6L swapped from a mark VIII

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1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.

Last edited by 4 Cam Bird; 05-19-2004 at 07:51 AM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 11:18 AM
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I can't wait to do my own suspension nightmare session. Good luck on your work. I'm sure it will be more than worth it.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 07:16 AM
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I'd give you a hand but my hands are full with suspension stuff as well right now. I would suggest a MM driveshaft rather then the MK8 units to keep you happy.

-Scott

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-19-2004, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dr. FrankenCougie
I'd give you a hand but my hands are full with suspension stuff as well right now. I would suggest a MM driveshaft rather then the MK8 units to keep you happy.

-Scott
This must be the official "Suspension Upgrade Month"...

There are about 4 or 5 of us that are doing suspension upgrades!!

I thought about the MM driveshaft, but for now I'll use the MK VIII. I'll go with a MM (or somebody's) when I do the T-45 swap.

I have to keep telling myself that this is my daily driver.... i.e. DON'T DROP $1,000'S OF DOLLARS ON IT!!!

Sweet (and way too clean) front suspension!! Wanna trade?

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 08:06 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by 94 Daily Driven 4.6L
[B]

This must be the official "Suspension Upgrade Month"...

Must be, did mine this week.Bilsteins, Eibachs, Cobra Brakes all 4 corners and 94-95 Cobra wheels.
Thanks,
Chris

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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And you didn't post photo's?!? Geez!! j/k

Let's see them.

How do you like the Eibachs?

I'm taking my upgrade sloooooowww and only working on it after work. I'll have the whole rear suspension/differential out by this afternoon, and I'll drop the gas tank over the weekend and start putting everything back together. I’m waiting for some longer studs and I still have to do the grinding on the rear knuckles for the cobra brakes, but this is about it.

I think driving my Mark back and forth to work is growing on (i.e. spoiling) me.

I had tennis matches yesterday and Wed, so I didn't get to work on it. I’m a hurting puppy today (two 3 hour grueling matches will do that!! ), but I’ll be able to knock a lot out this afternoon.

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94 Daily Driven 4.6L
.....and I'll drop the gas tank over the weekend and start putting everything back together....
Just a note of caution in the event you've never lowered the tank before - I found out the hard way about how easy it is to pinch the nylon-plastic fuel lines that run from the pump to the metal lines that run to the front of the car. Fortunately, I was replacing the plastic lines anyway due to leaks that had developed. Despite the fuel tank's size, I found it easy to work with, using a shelf to assist supporting it while lowering it with a hydraulic jack.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by IronChopz
... the nylon-plastic fuel lines that run from the pump to the metal lines that run to the front of the car...
Thanks for the tip!

I've been reading up on it and I'll be careful.

I would like to beat the idiot engineer that decided to use plastic fuel lines (right after I beat the idiot that engineered the blend door "improvement" on the Mark VIII's heating/cooling system).

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94 Daily Driven 4.6L
(right after I beat the idiot that engineered the blend door "improvement" on the Mark VIII's heating/cooling system).
I had to buy one of those for someone.. there is a modification you can do to strengthen that part... If you know someone that needs it, I can get the link (if you don't have it).

-mike

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94 Daily Driven 4.6L
And you didn't post photo's?!? Geez!! j/k

Let's see them.

How do you like the Eibachs?

I'm taking my upgrade sloooooowww and only working on it after work. I'll have the whole rear suspension/differential out by this afternoon, and I'll drop the gas tank over the weekend and start putting everything back together. I’m waiting for some longer studs and I still have to do the grinding on the rear knuckles for the cobra brakes, but this is about it.

I think driving my Mark back and forth to work is growing on (i.e. spoiling) me.

I had tennis matches yesterday and Wed, so I didn't get to work on it. I’m a hurting puppy today (two 3 hour grueling matches will do that!! ), but I’ll be able to knock a lot out this afternoon.
Yeah sorry I dont have pics up but my friend is using my camera for his sons graduation.I will have some up soon though.I like the eibachs.It rides normal, just like from the factory.Handles like its on rails too.I have to get an alighment but other then that I am happy.

When you do the rear Cobra brake swap grind some off of the area that the rotor rides in to.I was unaware of this and the rotor was grinding bad in that area.Didnt mess anything up but put a nice groove in the mounting bracket.It looked to have clearence while up on stands but when I dropped it on the cround for some reason that is when it would make contact.Sounds stupid but thats what heappened.

Thanks,
Chris

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Things are progressing smoothly.

So far, the whole rear suspension is gone, the gas tank has been dropped and a new MN12 Performance fuel pump installed, the Mark VIII drive shaft is in and the gas tank is reinstalled.

I dropped off the A-arms at the sand blaster’s shop this morning and hopefully they will be done by this afternoon.

I have to say that working on a “Southern” car is awesome. I’ve always lived up north and had to worry about cruddy, rusted nuts and bolts. This car looks like new, just dusty. I can’t find any rush anywhere.

One question: Does anyone know how to remove the old inner/lower bushings from the lower A-arms? I have new Moog bushings, but I can’t figure how to remove the old ones since the flanges are the same size as the OD of the bushing bore.

Any thoughts?

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 07:43 AM
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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No, I'm talking about the bushings on the A-arms themselves. Where the A-arm mounts to the frame. The flange on the bushing is the same size as the arm and there’s no way to grab the arm with a gear puller (like in the photo), or install a receiving cup to press it out.

(I already have poly’s in the knuckles.)

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 07:58 AM
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Gotcha, I normally take them to NAPA's machine shop and let that dude attack em.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2004, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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I just thought I would post my solution to getting these bushing out.

I took the A-arms to my machine friend and after about an hour he had one out. Needless to say, he wasn't happy.

So I took them home and took a real close look. The "problem" with just pressing them out is the flanges are the same size as the A-arm boss and you can’t install a receiver cup.

The solution: remove the flange.

I ground a few notches in the flanges and then pried the flange back. The metal is hard and I was able to wiggle the pieces and they broke off.

Then it was just a matter of installing the receiver cups, setting up the C clamp and pressing them out.

Installing the new bushings is easy since they will fit in a press. Something interesting though, on both of my A-arms the large bushing is not seated all the way flush. The flange is a distance away from the A-arm boss. So there may be some "adjustment" that is required to get the to fit correctly in the frame saddles. I measured the distance and just duplicated it but I haven’t tested the fit yet.

I would suggest that if you don't need to replace these bushings, then don't. This has been a huge PITA.

Just thought I'd share.

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Well it's been a while and I thought I would post an update.

Between rain and being out of town for a Tennis tournament, I haven't been able to do much work on the ole T'Bird…

But it is on the ground.

I ran into a huge delay (imagine that ) when I went to install the half shafts. I had purchased remanufactured half shafts and didn’t realize they are turned down to make them “true” until I was installing them.

They were considerably smaller than my OEM ones so I was stuck with no half shafts. I could get OEM’s (which are also remanufactured) from Max, but I decided to go with Raxle’s. So a simple, yet expensive call to Marty and the shafts were on their way. They were waiting for me when I got home from my tournament. I hadn’t planned on the Raxles, but I’m glad I did. Impressive they are!!

So everything is bolted back together and all I need to do now is torque everything to spec with weight on the wheels. I also still have to install the disc brake hardware (calipers, hoses, cables, etc.), sway bar, and exhaust.

Then it’s alignment time and to the track to see if the 3.73 traction lock helps any.

Just thought I'd share my progress.... Yep, I do upgrades slooooooooooowly.

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 03:23 PM
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Sounds like your car is really going to feel different. I'll make sure to call you if I have any problems with my suspension upgrades in a few months.

Russell
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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It's Alive!!! It's Alive!!!

Well at least the rear suspension is done.

I had it aligned and have only put a few miles on it. But all-in-all it seems like a nice upgrade. The jump from 3.08's to 3.73's are going to take some getting used to. I'm not too sure that it might be a little too high for my daily 55 mile commute to work, but I'll have to live with it for now.

One noticeable thing is that with the new rear suspension, Eibach springs, and 1 3/8 sway bar, the car really isn't even close to being balanced from a handling stand point. But that is to be expected. I guess I'll have to get hopping on the front suspension upgrade. But the brakes feel much better with the Cobra disc vs the stock drums!!

Anyway, hopefully I’ll put some miles on it tomorrow and then head to the track Sunday for Test and Tune.

Here are some photo’s: First is a comparison between the OEM V8 half shaft and the Raxles half shaft. The other is a photo of the rear with the 245 50 17’s, and the Eibachs. Disregard the lack of center cap as I’m getting some modifications do the them.




97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
73 Mercury Cougar Convertible w/351C 4V (Partially Restored)
69 F100 LWB w/460 Engine
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-21-2004, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well the upgrade continues....

I just thought I would post my progress. (I'm trying to ignore my "results" from my 3.73 swap... http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.p...threadid=42915 )

The front suspension is about half gone, I just still need to drop the cross member and install the sway bar and then put everything back together.

I ran into a snag with getting the tie rods off, as my pitman arm tool was too big to get a good grip on the spindle. I dropped the shocks off today to have the springs swapped and hopefully I’ll get everything off and ready to be bolted back together by this Friday. I’m also remotely mounting the oil filter to get rid of that nightmare.

However, I’m a little worried that I shouldn’t swap the rack right now. I had purchased a reman’d from AutoZone since mine has 268K on it and I figured that “since I’m there…..”. But if everyone is having problems, I might just as well leave it alone. Any thoughts?

Oh well, wish me luck.

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Well it's about time!!!

My 94 is finally headed to the alignment shop today for the 4 wheel alignment.

I still might have a few wheel/tire clearance “issues” to work out, but hopefully the suspension upgrade will be done.

Lets see, I started this upgrade May 17th and today is Aug 12th... only 88 days.

Constant “delays” due to “things” not fitting… (are you listening ADDCO? ), rain, tennis, business trips, blah, blah, blah (and not the least… me just being lazy ) really made this "upgrade" take a lot longer than planned.

When I get it back and get it washed (which it needs BADLY) I’ll post some pics of the new shoes, stoppers, and stance.

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
73 Mercury Cougar Convertible w/351C 4V (Partially Restored)
69 F100 LWB w/460 Engine
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 06:42 PM
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Hey man, congrats on your progress! Working by yourself can be a big pain too... I replaced my torque converter myself for the first time and took me about a week simply because of rookie mistakes, like, uh, the converter was not in all the way.

Anyway, since it seems I've caught you at an opportune time, I was just curious about your rear cobra disc swap. I have a 95 with rear drums, hoping to swap to disc, and was just wondering did you use the method in the tech articles or one I haven't heard of yet?

I have been reading up on you, Dr. FrankenCougie and 96 GoldBird, and I must say your mods are right up my alley... Do you guys have homepages that gives more detail of your projects? I've got to get going on my Bird, but I'd like some info from the guys with experience first!!!

Thanks

Dave
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

The rear swap was just like the article except instead of fabricating the brackets I bought the ones from "fast Ed N" (Super nice person and very helpful!)

http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.p...hlight=caliper

Sorry, no homepage for me. I wish I had the time, but I have way too much stuff going on to make one. And I love being creative so a webpage could take hours and hours out of my already short day.

But feel free to PM me and I'll help how I can. Dr. FrankenCougie and 96 GoldBird are a lot more up on things than I am. But I've been screwing with cars in general for probably about 20 years so I have "some" experience.

97 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC (Chip'd, 3.73 T/L... so far... )
97 Ford Aspire (Slow, but getting 36 mpg (f'n Ethenol!! )
84 F250 Dually w/6.9L Diesel (7.3L IDI pending)
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-12-2004, 07:33 PM
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Hey man, congrats on your progress! Working by yourself can be a big pain too... I replaced my torque converter myself for the first time and took me about a week simply because of rookie mistakes, like, uh, the converter was not in all the way.

Anyway, since it seems I've caught you at an opportune time, I was just curious about your rear cobra disc swap. I have a 95 with rear drums, hoping to swap to disc, and was just wondering did you use the method in the tech articles or one I haven't heard of yet?

I have been reading up on you, Dr. FrankenCougie and 96 GoldBird, and I must say your mods are right up my alley... Do you guys have homepages that gives more detail of your projects? I've got to get going on my Bird, but I'd like some info from the guys with experience first!!!

Thanks
Dr. Frankencougie's Home Page

No homepage yet for GB, but most everything I had N/A and Scott's got going with GB's new morph has been posted here or at MD. Unfortunately the site we used to host our pix changed addresses and most of the pix are not showing anymore, and I'm not about to go back and change all the links... Most everything up to now has been tear down and prep and gathering parts... Scott is starting to assemble the engine and fab and mock up the blower plumbing, and more pix and descriptions will be coming as that progresses.. He needs to finish Cougie first....

Speaking of which, you might want to check this thread. Scott (Dr. Frankencougie) is in the process of swapping out his rear drums for a 12" KVR disc setup.. He will be installing the same thing on GB in place of my stock rear discs. So Scott will have all the answers on that gig. By the way the Cobra rear disc setup is very cool, but we chose to go with the KVR rear kit because the Corvette rotors are larger than the Cobra's. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Cobra rotors are 11.25" and I know the Corvette's are 12". KVR was gonna develop a Cobra kit, and use us as their test mules, but scrapped the idea based on the smaller rotor size. I was kinda looking forward to having the KVR prototypes, but oh well...





-mike

96 GoldBird

'96 T-Bird LX 4.6L Alive & well & living in S. Florida

N/A:
Renegade NPI heads/Comp Cams; OEM intake manifold; Bolt-ons
245 rwhp; 13.713 @ 99.35 (Commerce, GA - November 2003)


BLOWN: Renegade NPI heads; Renegade shortblock; Intercooled T-Trim; some other stuff
Pump Gas Numbers - 547 rwhp / 525 ft.lbs; Best Time - 11.388 @ 118.68 (Commerce, GA - November 2007)
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