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My wife crashed our T-Bird several years ago. She was hit in very front ahead of the passenger wheelwell while crossing a street. The impact was around 10 - 15 mph from the other car and pretty much perpendicular to the car. Well a squeak developed 6 mths ago and has gotten to epic ghetto sounding proportions. Think big door hinge with no oil. The steering effort has also greatly increased. Greased every joint and was about to take it to a suspension place when I experienced the dreaded intake manifold coolant leak (see above in 4.6 engine section). Weighing these two things against each other to decide whether I fix both or sell the car.

I can't see anything wrong while inspecting but don't know what to look for with the wheel off. 110,000+ miles. Suggestions - Comments?
 

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Too bad were soo far away i could use another 4.6L birdie Your hub assembly rotates on two points upper and lower ball joints. I would check them out first I broke one on my thunder bird a couple months after i first got it. whaa that sucked its a bad day popped the tire. ruined the fender and liner. soo in my opinion i would start there unfourtinatly if memory serves the upper and lower ball joints on our cars are non grease-able
 

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The Band, not the Disease!
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Does it squeak while the suspension moves up an down (over bumps, etc)? Also, what condition is the car in? If it's a nice car, find a replacement PI intake or the revised intake with the aluminum crossover. It's not a hard job to replace.
 

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I have an NPI intake with the aluminum crossover in fantastic shape, all boxed up, ready to send out, let me know, make me an offer.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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These cars love to eat lower ball joints and sway bar endlinks (and to a lesser extent the upper ball joints)...

Jack up the car and grab the spindle at the top and try to push it in and out. Watch for any movement at the upper ball joint.

Then wedge a 2x4 or something you can pry up on under the wheel and have some try to lift the wheel (don't try too hard though) as you watch the lower ball joint for movement. If either ball joint moves around that most likely means it's shot.
 

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These cars love to eat lower ball joints and sway bar endlinks (and to a lesser extent the upper ball joints)...
I totally agree; A loud screech is the lower balljoint about to give, IMHO.

I wouldn't drive it until I fix it; there is nothing good that can make that noise there!

The swaybar endlinks rattle at every pebble on the road; more of a nuisance than anything.

The lower ball joint is another matter; if it gives, you are going for a ride, completely without steering, no less!

Since you will need an alignment after replacing the arms, I would do the top arm as well as the strut rod bushings.

Checking the tie rod ends is also a good idea. When the inners went on my red car, the rack was toast, and those come with the rack. Unless you have the hands of a three year old, you want to pay someone to replace the rack if it ever goes bad, lol.
 
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