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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a bunch of parts from a guy on Craigslist for a 97 Mark viii. Among all the goodies was a front end kit and I am sure it's a ebay special. All the bags are marked with original ford part#'s but no markings on the parts themselves. I like the way the boots are done but look at the pitting on this metal compared to a TRW end:

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I thought maybe some of you metal gurus can explain this.
 

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Wow! That looks like a very poor quality casting. Personally, for the little bit more it costs for moogs, I wouldn't run those.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I'm not trusting them, however, one lower control arm was packaged differently and is marked with BAW which is what my a/c Delco arms were marked last year so not a total loss. Hell, I got a reman water pump, starter, a/c compressor and an cold air intake with these for 100 bucks. I've got a set of that ebay crap from 10 years ago and I refuse even to give them to anybody. Wouldn't want it on my conscience.
 

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I'm going to piggyback if it's alright on this thread with my questions being there is some relevance here. :)

...An occasional "pop" or "knock" hailing from the passenger side when I'm turning has prompt me to move on this.

There is some movement in the 9/3 o'clock position -- on both sides -- with the only thing appearing to move being the tie rod connection leading to the steering rack, so I thought I'd replace both the inner and outer tie rods. The car has over 142,000 miles, so they are likely in need of replacement.

I'm also going to replace the lower control arm on the right side.

Okay, the inevitable questions: Keep in mind that other than yours truly occasionally pushing it on a bank or curve, it's a daily driver. I'm not racing it or pushing it daily, in other words.

1) Before pulling the trigger at Parts Geek or RockAuto, etc, what are the brands TO DEFINITELY stay away from? I assume the following are okay for a daily driver? Motorcraft, Moog, AC Delco, and TRW. There are other rods made by Mevotech, Dorman, and MAS, but their lower prices scare me. One generally gets what they pay for, in other words.

2) I haven't gotten in there yet, but what's the deal with the rivet used in the inner tie rod? Do all replacements utilize them? Do you thread the inner tie rod as far as it goes, and it just slips in? If it needs to be pressed in, how does one do that?

3) It will definitely need an alignment after I'm done anyway, but what is the best way in dealing with the camber bolt that secures the lower control arm to the frame ? Assuming the new lower control arm is close to the one it is replacing, should I just tighten it down where the old one was (I'm going to paint the area of the outside notched washer btw)? It's slotted, thus my question. :)

4) The bushings for the strut at the sub frame might need replacement also. If I understood the other thread, these are no longer produced, so what's the consensus on the next best alternative? Is there a "go-to" brand for the daily driver?

5) Will it require an alignment AGAIN if I do the strut bushings on a different/separate day?

Thanks a lot, guys, and I have not forgotten your advice on tightening everything down with the car sitting as it normally would. :)
 

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1) Yes, the cheaper brands generally are lower quality. Hopefully not as low quality as what is pictured above, but they probably would only last a few years, as opposed to the Moog, Motorcraft, etc. which should last another 10+ years

2) Not all inner tie rods will have that rivet. It is there only to act as a thread lock so the inner tie rod can't back off. The inner tie rod threads onto the rack, and yes, you just tighten it as far as it will go. If you want to use a little bit of lock-tite on the threads, that couldn't hurt either.

3) What I usually do for the camber bolts is clean the area very well, and then make 2 marks going across the camber bolt onto the subframe. Make the marks approximately 90 degrees apart with a water marker, and when tightening it back up, make sure both marks are lined back up. This will get it very close so you won't be chewing up tires if it takes you a little while to get the alignment. For the inner and outer tie rod, just count the number of turns it takes to remove the outer tie rod end, and thread the new one on the same number of turns.

4) The frame side strut rod bushings need to be Ford only. If you search, there are still a few out there. What is more difficult to find however are the steel sleeves, which were meant to be one-time use, and likely will not come apart without destroying them. There is a thread where you can purchase stainless steel replacement ones that are re-usable, but they are not cheap, and I believe he makes them to order, so it may take a while before you get them.

5) Most likely, yes.
 

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Thank you very much, Mikey. I'll put my order in for the best available brand at the best price. :)

The only nagging thought I have is on the camber bolt. Maybe I'll figure it out once I remove (Yes, I'll mark the notches first) it, but how exactly does such a design work? That is, how can its camber function work, thus allowed to move, if it also must be torqued down to secure the arm to the body as it does? One has to give, no?

Once the new lower control arm comes in, should I start there first, and can you envision a scenario where a bad strut rod (bushing) could cause the "knock" I mentioned upstream?

Thank you, once again. :)
 

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It's hard to describe exactly how it works, but I think it will make sense when you see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Trw are the OEM parts. TRW was bought out by Moog several years ago. Be careful of the Moog, they have different levels of "Quality". I did find TRW lowers on Amazon but had to wait for shipping (1 week). I have Delco lowers on the Mark and have had no problems.

There's a sticky at the top of this forum that will tell you what to look for when hearing knocks from your suspension. In all honesty I would try to replace front end parts in pairs (budget allowing) and if you can afford it uppers and lowers. Also check the sway bar end links, They make a hell of a racket when they're toasted.
 

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AC Delco bought Raybestos parts.

The best suspention parts I've found in the last few years were all AC Delco professional.





These balljoint's are easily available; I'm going to buy a few.
 

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Thanks, you guys. I went with Moog all the away around, opting for the highest priced Moog LCA. ...Some of those prices for outer and inner tie rods were scary low ($5.00???). ...Who makes them, Mattel?

I will clean and spray paint the heads/surfaces of the camber bolt areas BEFORE I loosen it, but I'm still having trouble understanding how such a bolt can be tightened to specs, and still be free enough to be able to move and adjust it.

:)
 

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It doesn't. You turn the bolt to the right position, then hold it in place while tightening the nut on the other side.
 

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Thanks, you guys. I went with Moog all the away around, opting for the highest priced Moog LCA. ...Some of those prices for outer and inner tie rods were scary low ($5.00???). ...Who makes them, Mattel?

I will clean and spray paint the heads/surfaces of the camber bolt areas BEFORE I loosen it, but I'm still having trouble understanding how such a bolt can be tightened to specs, and still be free enough to be able to move and adjust it.

:)
You DON'T want it to turn after it's torqued down!

It gets loosened enough to shift, is adjusted to the proper location, and then the bolt is held steady while the nut is tightened.

As MadMikeyL said.

RwP
 

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Thanks, Steamer, Grog, Mikey, and Ralph. With advice like yours, I'll keep this bird flying 4-ever.

Some in my circle might wonder about my work on my car, but I still love my Bird, and there is just something rewarding or fulfilling about working on and wanting to keep a car on the road at peak performance the way it was designed to do.

I can go out and buy a new car, but why? The only winner is the dealership and the bank. I played that game way too many times.

I'll call again should I run into any problems. :)

Hmmmm, I wonder how often that inner rear bushing needs replacing? ;)
 
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