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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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No more vibration!!!

well, just like the title says, i have no more vibration in my car anymore. I just got through replacing the upper control arms, and i can drive again without the wheel vibrating like crazy....it's like a whole new car now.

the only vibration left is when i get the car up to about 80MPH, but it's not very often i get up to that speed, so it's not as evident.....and that's a job for another day.

so for any of you that have a vibration that you can feel in the steering wheel, i highly recommend that you replace the upper control arms (especially if they are still stock, like mine were....9 years old LOL)

i'll have pics of the old ones in a few minutes.....
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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here's the pics of the factory ball joints.....the first one shows you how bad the boots were, and the second one shows you how worn out the ball joints themselves were....the new ball joints were so stiff that the spindle stuck completely vertical from the joint, but the old ones would stay in whatever position you moved them....for that matter, the new ones were so stiff, you couldn't even really move them by hand....



Last edited by 95ThundaChik'n; 06-05-2004 at 05:28 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2004, 08:38 PM
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Usually, wheel "shimmy" is caused by not having true "toe"... go get an alignment too to cure more of the shaking. Those boots are torn up!!! =P good thing you replaced those... when i did my motor mounts, the old one could move freely... but the new one could barely be moved. I love new parts.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-09-2004, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 95ThundaChik'n
here's the pics of the factory ball joints.....the first one shows you how bad the boots were, and the second one shows you how worn out the ball joints themselves were....
Those are lifetime ball joints, according to Ford, remember. You should never have to replace them. EVER.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2004, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnthraxBird
Usually, wheel "shimmy" is caused by not having true "toe"... go get an alignment too to cure more of the shaking. Those boots are torn up!!! =P good thing you replaced those... when i did my motor mounts, the old one could move freely... but the new one could barely be moved. I love new parts.
yeah, i'm just waiting until i have the time and $$$ for the lower control arms and a whole set of new front end suspension bushings before i go get it aligned.....the bottoms are pretty shot, too, and there's no sense in paying more than once for an alignment

and i'm not real worried about the tire wear, cause i'm gonna need to be replacing those before long, too....
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2004, 01:03 PM
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what kind of vibration? i have a weird vibration that i feel under my feet but the exhuast is totally stiff. but both of my joints are torn, i am trying to avoid replacing them.

also how hard is it to replace them? do i need any special tools or its it just removing some bolts? how much do they cost?

Alan

1986 Mercury Cougar GS (RIP Dec 1985-Nov 2002)
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2004, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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a search for "upper control arm" would show you all you need for that....

but all i needed to change the upper control arms (as far as tools go) is an 18mm box-end wrench (i had the ratcheting type, which is EXTREMELY helpful), a regular ratchet/socket set for removing/replacing the bolts that hold the knuckles together, and i used the stock tire tool and a hammer for seperating the knuckle to pull the old ball joint spindle out (i kept pressure in between the 2 sides of the knuckle with the tire tool and banged on each knuckle from the center outwards until it seperated enough). a hammer and a prybar would actually have made it a lot easier, but i didn't have a prybar with me, so i had to make do with what i had on-hand.

oh, and of course, you need to have a jack and jack stands....jack up the front of the car on jack stands, then use the jack to help compress the suspension some in order to get the old ball joint spindle to come out.....once the knuckles were seperated, i had to bang the HELL outta the control arms to get them to come out, while i pried up on them with the tire tool (i had the tire tool between the top of the knuckle and the control arm)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 07:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by 95ThundaChik'n
here's the pics of the factory ball joints.....the first one shows you how bad the boots were, and the second one shows you how worn out the ball joints themselves were....the new ball joints were so stiff that the spindle stuck completely vertical from the joint, but the old ones would stay in whatever position you moved them....for that matter, the new ones were so stiff, you couldn't even really move them by hand....
My passenger side upper control arm / ball joint looked identical to that. I just did mine yesterday. And as far as the new one goes, mine was stiff too. I wasn't sure that it was supposed to be that stiff, but soon as I got it back into the spindle, that was a different story. I occasionally look at my old ball joint and say, "Good God, how did that hold anything together?!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 08:02 PM
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btw.. i never noticed anyone adding this

a 15mm open end wrench (6 point) will be needed to hold the flag bolt while you take the nuts off.

a 12point will not work since the bolts are "special"
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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by "flag bolt", i'm assuming you mean the two bolts at the opposite end of the ball joint where they mount to the frame? i didn't add that, because i didn't need another wrench to hold those while i used the ratcheting 18mm wrench to turn the nuts, i just kept the "flag" pushed in all the way into the fender well the same way they are when the nuts are fully tightened, and it didn't try to turn on me.

now, i can see that may be needed if those nuts are seized up, but mine came off really easy....
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-13-2004, 11:22 PM
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does the steering wheel also feel smoother after you did this? less stiffness?

Alan

1986 Mercury Cougar GS (RIP Dec 1985-Nov 2002)
1993 Ford Thunderbird LX (Jan 2004 - Feb 2005 sold but might be returning to be parted out)
2004 Chevy Monte Carlo LS (the tbird replacement)

I need another thunderbird or cougar....
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-14-2004, 06:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by gopedxr7
does the steering wheel also feel smoother after you did this? less stiffness?

Alan
Are you referring to changing the upper control arm / ball joints? If so, it didn't affect my steering at all, really.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 01:06 PM
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I have been fighting a high speed vibration for months. 80 and up.....

Solved with concentric hub rings. Thunderbirds are hub centered not lug centered.


Big O tire ordered them for me about $22.00 for a set of 4. she is smooth now at least up to 95.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 06:52 PM
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how much do upper control arms go for? i found them for $83.42 at http://www.oemparts4u.com/ is this a good price. because mine are definatly shot. i have ot buy both of them too.

Alan

1986 Mercury Cougar GS (RIP Dec 1985-Nov 2002)
1993 Ford Thunderbird LX (Jan 2004 - Feb 2005 sold but might be returning to be parted out)
2004 Chevy Monte Carlo LS (the tbird replacement)

I need another thunderbird or cougar....
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 08:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by gopedxr7
how much do upper control arms go for? i found them for $83.42 at http://www.oemparts4u.com/ is this a good price. because mine are definatly shot. i have ot buy both of them too.

Alan
$63.99 from AutoZone. No shipping.
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