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Discussion Starter #1
I usually order t-bird suspension parts for the Mark VIII because they are magically 50% cheaper for the same thing (bushing differences allegedly), but one thing I can't wrap my head around is the tie rods.

Rock Auto lists different p/n's for the T-Bird and Mark VIII tie rod ends, apparently they are not interchangeable - even though the inners are the same part.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I can get T-Bird TRW tie rod ends for $6 but a comparable quality Mark VIII one (Moog since TRW isn't available for the Mark) is $24!

Will the T-Bird ends fit? They look identical and I'd like to save some coin.
 

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I've never tried, so I can't say for sure that they will fit, however I know the spindles are the same, so if the inner tie rod ends are the same, the outers should work since they are connecting the same inner tie rod to the same spindle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've never tried, so I can't say for sure that they will fit, however I know the spindles are the same, so if the inner tie rod ends are the same, the outers should work since they are connecting the same inner tie rod to the same spindle.
My thoughts exactly.... shall I be the guinea pig and let you know?
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Let me know too... ;)
 

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Same part numbers in all aftermarket sources, no need to guinea pig, they work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Same part numbers in all aftermarket sources, no need to guinea pig, they work.
Really? All of the Rockauto p/ns aren't interchangeable. Although the part looks identical, I couldn't find a single tie rod end that was listed for both the Mark and Tbird, only inners were the same.
 

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Really? All of the Rockauto p/ns aren't interchangeable. Although the part looks identical, I couldn't find a single tie rod end that was listed for both the Mark and Tbird, only inners were the same.
Sorry I was looking at inners. I don't see why they would be different since they use the same spindle, inners and rack.

My professional opinion is they are likely the same up to the body change in 97 if they are different at all. Just like mark viii upper control arms with coil spring conversions I can't imagine anything important being different.
 

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The only difference I could see would be if the track was different - and what I can Google, they're the same.

Dunno why they'd be different. Unless it's the "Soak the Lincoln Owner!" subtax ...

RwP
 

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"DO they have a lifetime warranty on them?" "Yes, if they fail you die." *grins*

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I ordered the t-bird tie rod ends (TRW) since they were on sale on Rockauto. I will let everyone know if they fit the Mark when they arrive (I'm sure they do).
 

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I just ordered a whole font end for my mark. I noticed the prices higher but didn't want to take the chance. Is there any differance in the lower control arms?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just ordered a whole font end for my mark. I noticed the prices higher but didn't want to take the chance. Is there any differance in the lower control arms?
Zero difference but price. The only thing I can say is 'different' is the p/n for the LCA to subframe bushing. I don't know if it's harder or softer.

Even the shock to LCA bushing p/n is the same, so I guess the only 'difference' is the LCA to subframe bushing.

With that said, I have noticed zero difference with the way the car drives between the mark and t-bird arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Finally took some pics to the T-Bird vs Mark VIII tie rod ends.

Note that the tie rods that are still on the car at the Mark VIII ends and the tie rods that are in my hand are the T-Bird ones.

Side by side



Note the more pronounced bend in the tbird tie rods.



Same length





The threads are the same, and the stud has to be the same (same spindle).

They're the exact same length, width, thread, everything.

The only difference I can see is that the Mark has a less dramatic curve in the tie rod end. The T-Bird tie rod end seems to drop more. I wonder if it's for bump steer characteristics?
 

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I was wondering if it was for bump steer also.

Could also have had to do with clearance required for the air ride suspension, too.

RwP
 

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Maybe for better bump steer control while in the lowered highway cruise condition that marks droop to in factory form.
 
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