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Discussion Starter #1
I started to take the old ones off, and I got one out barely because of the brake cable sitting behind the end link. But, I did get the old one off, but there is not enough room for the new one. :( DO I need to take the brake cable off? I've tried to research this but came up with nothing.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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I just took off the calipers. Don't take off the cable; there's a crush washer to seal it against the caliper and I wouldn't feel comfortable putting the line back on without a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just took off the calipers. Don't take off the cable; there's a crush washer to seal it against the caliper and I wouldn't feel comfortable putting the line back on without a new one.
I did plan on changing my brake pads anyway. Thanks.
 

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I did plan on changing my brake pads anyway. Thanks.
You don't need to remove the brake line from the caliper just to replace your brake pads, unless you're replacing your calipers, too. If the caliper is in your way, just unbolt it and hang it from the upper control arm or coil spring out of your way.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You don't need to remove the brake line from the caliper just to replace your brake pads, unless you're replacing your calipers, too. If the caliper is in your way, just unbolt it and hang it from the upper control arm or coil spring out of your way.

Dennis
I was originally trying to figure out how to replace my sway bar end links because the brake line was in the way of intalling my new end links. I asked if I needed to remove the brake line to replace the end links, not the pads.
 

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I recall unhooking the line from the bracket that holds it in place (not from the caliper), using a pick to pry the old ones out, then with the aid of someone on the other side of the car, slipped them in at the top at the same time.
 

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You may need to use a ball-joint separator or some type of puller in order to replace the sway-bar end-links. Mine were rusted/frozen to the knuckle and sway-bar and would NOT come free (they looked like they were the original ones from when the car was made and were COMPLETELY shot after approx 144,000 miles)! I was unable to use a pry-bar because whenever I tried to pry on it, the sway-bar flexed inward slightly making my prying completely useless! I gave up after only a short time because I already decided to have a shop install my front struts/shocks (due to the lower strut/shock mounting bolt being completely seized to the lower control arm bushing!), so I just decided to let them tackle the sway-bar end-links, too!

I probably could've done all that work myself, however, if I just hadn't given-up so quickly! After all, in the last 4 weeks, I replaced my upper and lower control arms, tension strut bushings and coil springs in front, as well as my rear coil springs!

Dennis
 

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This (pickle fork) and a BFH should knock them out fairly easily, if they are stuck in there just work at them a little bit.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
I already have a ball joint separater which I used to get the old drivers side out. But, it barely came out due to the brake line sitting right behind the end link. Now, for some reason the new ones seem bulkier than the stock ones and they won't fit between the brake line. This is my issue.

Here is what my stock one looks like. The ends where the ball joint is, it is small and flat. These I removed pretty easily.

[/IMG]

This is what my new ones look like. The ends where the ball joint is, it is round, and beefier. These will not slide between the brake line.

[/IMG]


I do appreciate the feedback though, thanks.
 

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The ones you bought are made by Moog, they are the same ones I have on my '97 Thunderbird. I just looked at some pictures I've taken of my front suspension and I can see that my Moog sway-bar end-links clear my front brake lines but only just! My suggestion to you would be to GENTLY and CAREFULLY bend the brake line SLIGHTLY away from the knuckle to allow your new end-links to clear them. Be careful NOT to kink the line!

I just ever so slightly bent mine in towards the center of the car when I replaced my front suspension pieces on Monday to give me some more room to work and I have no problems whatsoever with my brakes now.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The ones you bought are made by Moog, they are the same ones I have on my '97 Thunderbird. I just looked at some pictures I've taken of my front suspension and I can see that my Moog sway-bar end-links clear my front brake lines but only just! My suggestion to you would be to GENTLY and CAREFULLY bend the brake line SLIGHTLY away from the knuckle to allow your new end-links to clear them. Be careful NOT to kink the line!

I just ever so slightly bent mine in towards the center of the car when I replaced my front suspension pieces on Monday to give me some more room to work and I have no problems whatsoever with my brakes now.

Dennis
I thought about doing this, but wanted to see if anyone else have tried it also. And here you are, thanks I am going to try this.
 

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new twist to old thread

Over time I have worked on almost all years of Thunderbirds, Cougars, Marks and Mustangs. This time I came looking for help with the sway bar end link replacement on a 97 Cougar. They are tough, especially working alone. Read the above posts. Two tips I'd like to add for anyone in future years: 1. Dont try to install the links as pictured: that is how they will look in place and most likely how they come out of the box. Straighten them out a bit-both ends-they are ball joints. 2. Install the screw end on the sway bar first but don't completely tighten it. This keeps it away from the big nut at the bottom and helps you twist and align the top bolt with the hole in the arm.

Having 2 people working on both sides to slip the top bolts into the holes at the same time would sure help. But the end link ball joints are tight enough to stay in place with just enough play for one person to go side to side and move the sway link into place. By changing the geometry of the link and snugging the bottom bolt first, you don't run the slim chance of damaging your brake line. Doug
 

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i'm not really a fan of those moog ones. the cup boots don't stay on the joint during turning and let the grease out and road dirt and water in.

as long as you keep them greased their fine, but its messy cuz the stuff wont stay in the boots and oozes out on everything.i find myself greasing them every oil change and wiping everything up with a couple of rags.

it is nice to be able to grease them, but i almost wish i would have got the ACdelco or TRW ones, they have clips zipped around a bellows style boot.



good tie rod boot eh? that's also a 3 month old moog at the time that was taken. got myself a set of energy suspension ones to cure that problem >.>



and the control arm? also a zerkless moog... pretty sure it was a re-boxed or something, otherwise the new ones are coming zerkless.

also had to swap out an upper control arm from moog at that time since the bushing ripped loose from the control arm and was making a horrible rubbing noise with suspension travel.

needless to say, my faith in moog has definitely been shaken. i stock and sell them daily, and i have started to notice their quality dropping quite a bit. you can pull an older box off the shelf and compare it to a brand new one and the boots are different, zerks arnt 90*, etc...
 
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