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Front suspension woes

1008 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Blackkatt
I told my buddies last night that I thought that something was loose in the right front suspension. It makes some clunking noises when I drive over rough pavement at lower speeds (25 mph)

As i was backing it into the driveway, they watched the right front wheel. They said that the whole wheel moves front to back about 1/4". I didn't believe them at first , so I had one of them move my car back and forth. Sure enough, it moves front to back about 1/4" It is really pronounced when shifting from forward to reverse or when braking. When braking, it looks like the wheel stops and then the car stops.

This can't be normal.

Looking at the upper control arm and upper ball joint and all seemed tight. Casual observation at the suspension revealed a possible clue: the front end of the diagonal strut rod (it connects the bottom of the spindle to the chassis and runs at an angle toward the front of the car) bushing looked like it had a little bit of a gap between it and the chassis. If this were loose, it would allow the lower control arm to pivot and possibly allow the wheel to move front to back, like what I'm experiencing.

Anybody else have anything similar like this happen?

Looking for ideas and possible solutions.

Many thanks in advance for all the time people will spend thinking, talking to themselves and typing about this subject.
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Yes, a worn strut rod bushing can cause the wheel to pivot back and forth a little.
Mine did the same thing. The problem with mine was at the lower control arm end of the strut rod. These bushings can be purchased at parts stores locally. TRW makes a good replacement. There is a front and back bushing for each side of the car at the lower control arm. The bushings at the other end of the strut rod can go too, but mine were ok. I am not sure if you have to get the fronts from a Dealer.

It should cost less than $15 per side for the two back bushings. The front ones are a lot more money. Ford wanted $45 per side.

Let us know if you need more info.
How much of a pain were the bushings to install?

And...does this affect alignment?

I don't want to replace the back strut rod bushings and have it aligned and then find out that the the front bushings are bad too.
Yes, it does affect alignment, but if you record the exact position of each nut you remove, and put it back to the same position, then you should be OK. I used Ford OEM bushings on mine.

Some people will say it is an easy job, but I had trouble getting the front nut loose, plus you have to pry the back end of the strut rod out of the lower control arm.
I end up using a porta-power unit to do that. It took me about 1 1/2 hours to do each side.
Many thanks.

I looked at and they had the lower control arm front and back bushings (Moog P/N's K8604 & K8766 respectively) for $13.81 and $16.18.

I can get my hands on a porta-power from here at work, so that might be my solution.

Thanks again.

Albany, NY, eh? Spent a week up there in February a couple years ago. No offense, but I don't want to do that again.
Perhaps you 'mis-spoke', they are not lower control arm bushings, but rather the rear tension arm (strut rod) bushings and there is a front and back one. The price for those bushings should be cheaper They should be closer to $7.00 each.

I hear ya about the Albany area. NY state taxes are too high, and the winters are too long. The wife and I are thinking of relocating to Cocoa Beach, FL in a few years.

Good luck with the bushings
Hey, you're right. Those were the wrong bushings. Maybe I'll just have to go to AutoZone and actually talk to the help behind the counter.

Would the MN12 front suspension kit include these bushings? If so, then it might be my better interest to get the entire set at the same time.
Yea, The MN12 front suspension kit has those bushings in it.
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