TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was hoping that replacing my UCA's, sway bar links, and tie rods was going to fix this issue but it did not. It's a good thing that I did replace those parts because most of them were rather shot. I'm just not going to feel safe driving the car until I get this sound taken care of.

I noticed that if I jack that corner up I can really hear it pop. While driving it moans and groans mostly when I turn the wheel but it pops during most bumps too. All of my bushings seem ok and I sprayed everything I could with silicone hoping that would help but it didn't. My guess is that it's my lower ball joint but my father still thinks it's a bushing. He sort of knows cars but sometimes I wonder about him. I took pictures of everything while I was working on the car but I doubt they'll help much.


Unless someone here has any better ideas I will just go ahead and replace the lower control arms this week. I was hoping that it could wait until I replaced the shocks and springs but I need this car to be driveable now.
 

·
Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
Joined
·
9,569 Posts
There aren't any bushings that would moan and groan as a result of turning the wheel. My money's on the lower ball joints; the ones on the Cougar are going south fast and they make an awful racket in turns and while going over bigger bumps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
If u still have the stock lca ball joins then that's more than likely it.. Look at the bushing around it, if its rotted and torn and you see that the 'ball' is shiny and has dry grease then that's 95% chance of your problem lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The boots had looked fine but today I noticed that the inner bottom edge was now flared up. It's too bad that the stockers don't have grease fittings or otherwise I would've greased them to narrow down the causes. I was also considering just replacing the ball joints but I may just go ahead and replace the arms along with strut rod bushings. I've been having a pull to the left for awhile too and the strut rod bushings could be the cause.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I had an odd sound while turning the steering wheel. Nothing looked out of wack but I did notice the lack of grease fittings on the balljoints so I cut a small hole in the rubber and sprayed in some lube oil. The sound went away, I have since changed the balljoints.

As for the pulling to the left, now forgive because I dont know the proper name, the rod that goes from the a arm to the front of the car. Those bushings had failed and would cause the car to lean left while driving and more so when braking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
As for the pulling to the left, now forgive because I dont know the proper name, the rod that goes from the a arm to the front of the car. Those bushings had failed and would cause the car to lean left while driving and more so when braking.
Yes, those are the strut rod bushings that I am talking about. I thought OEM was the only way to go but now I see that NAPA is good for some people. If I could find some Ford ones for a good price I'd be extremely happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
I have Moog for upper and lower ball joints. Haven't had any problems after 4 years so far.. But I'm religious on greasing them when I do full service lol regularly lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I have Moog for upper and lower ball joints. Haven't had any problems after 4 years so far.. But I'm religious on greasing them when I do full service lol regularly lol
Those Moogs parts are great but when it comes to the strut rod bushings they don't last long. The material that they are made from is too rigid and end up cracking over time. That's why rubber is better than most materials for these bushings because they have more give.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
Yes, those are the strut rod bushings that I am talking about. I thought OEM was the only way to go but now I see that NAPA is good for some people. If I could find some Ford ones for a good price I'd be extremely happy.
Do NOT use NAPA or ANY other aftermarket parts for the strut-rod bushings!!!!! Ford parts are the ONLY ones that work properly!

I had NAPA strut-rod bushings on my 1997 T-Bird sport for a short time last year and, trust me, they are JUNK!! The metal sleeve they give you to slide over the strut rod where it goes through the frame at the front is too long and mushrooms when you tighten the nut on the forward side of the frame side of the strut-rod, preventing you from tightening the nut/bushings to the proper torque/geometry. I had all kinds of steering/handling issues with the NAPA parts, which were all cured by installing Ford OE bushings.

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
Those Moogs parts are great but when it comes to the strut rod bushings they don't last long. The material that they are made from is too rigid and end up cracking over time. That's why rubber is better than most materials for these bushings because they have more give.
I rebuilt my ENTIRE front suspension last year, installing KYB shocks, Vogtland 1" drop coil springs, and Moog for ALL the rest of the pieces (well, TRW LCA's because I got the original SuperCoupe spec arms that Ford put on the T-Bird sports) - my 1997 T-Bird (with 163,000 miles) now rides (and handles) WAY better than my wife's 2007 Pontiac G6 GT (which only has 48,000 miles)!

Moog suspension components are VERY high-quality!

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Do NOT use NAPA or ANY other aftermarket parts for the strut-rod bushings!!!!! Ford parts are the ONLY ones that work properly!

I had NAPA strut-rod bushings on my 1997 T-Bird sport for a short time last year and, trust me, they are JUNK!! The metal sleeve they give you to slide over the strut rod where it goes through the frame at the front is too long and mushrooms when you tighten the nut on the forward side of the frame side of the strut-rod, preventing you from tightening the nut/bushings to the proper torque/geometry. I had all kinds of steering/handling issues with the NAPA parts, which were all cured by installing Ford OE bushings.

Dennis
Ya know, I had read that but then I also read that master486 has been using them for quite awhile without any issues. Then again I'm not going to go with NAPA anyway. There was some discussion that the NAPA ones are actually made by Raybestos and I was going to get those from Rockauto along with a bunch of other parts. Now if someone can point me to some Ford ones that won't keep me from affording the lower control arms, front sway bar bushings, rear sway bar links, or the shocks that I'm considering then I would go ahead and get the Ford strut rod bushings. If I get the Raybestos maybe by the time they give me trouble I'll already have the Fords. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get the beter parts and not do any job twice but I only make about $1,000 per month and I still have other bills to pay.

I rebuilt my ENTIRE front suspension last year, installing KYB shocks, Vogtland 1" drop coil springs, and Moog for ALL the rest of the pieces (well, TRW LCA's because I got the original SuperCoupe spec arms that Ford put on the T-Bird sports) - my 1997 T-Bird (with 163,000 miles) now rides (and handles) WAY better than my wife's 2007 Pontiac G6 GT (which only has 48,000 miles)!

Moog suspension components are VERY high-quality!

Dennis
I'm probably going to go the same route but with lower springs. I thought that the UCA's I bought were going to be Moog's but they ended up being something close but not greaseable. The front sway bay links I got are actually Mevotech but I'll replace them with Moog when I have the extra cash or the need. Now the LCA's that I'm about to order are going to be Moog along with the front sway bar bushings and rear sway bar links. Right now unless I can get the shocks for the right price I'll be happy having everything but the shocks, springs, and sway bar replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
Go to a Ford dealer and have them run a parts locate on the strut-rod bushing kits; they have all the parts you need for both the LCA-side AND the frame-side of the strut-rod. The kits are, I believe, still available from Ford - but, the last time I checked, the retailed for $230.00 EACH!!

I got two kits from dealers that showed they had them already in stock (and, usually had them for some time - that's why they're willing to deal!) and I think I paid about $60 for BOTH, including shipping (it was certainly less than $100 for both)!

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Okay, I'll give them a call.

EDIT: Looks like they'll cost around $80 which is still about what the other ones were going to cost. That's only for these parts though;

four E9SZ-3A140-A (Front bushings at control arm end)
two E9SZ-3B271-A (Front bushings at frame end)
two F7SZ-3A225-AA (Rear bushings at frame end)

Wouldn't I need the spacers and washers or do they come with these parts?

EDIT X2: Okay now I see that you posted the part numbers. When I go down there tomorrow to order them I'll check the price on that kit.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,246 Posts
The kits are, I believe, still available from Ford -
Last time I talked to Jon he told me they were obsolete! Maybe you can get the parts individually.

V8ThunderCat, you need 2 front bushings at control arm end and 2 rear bushings at control arm end. Two different parts here.

Strut Rod Bushings LCA Side - Front: E9SZ3A140A
Strut Rod Bushings LCA Side - Rear: E9SZ3A140B

Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
So those numbers are just for the LCA side? The part numbers I listed are the ones I called them with and they were orderable I guess because I was quoted prices. I'll bring all of the numbers with me when I go down there tomorrow.
 

·
Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
Joined
·
9,569 Posts
Do NOT use NAPA or ANY other aftermarket parts for the strut-rod bushings!!!!! Ford parts are the ONLY ones that work properly!

I had NAPA strut-rod bushings on my 1997 T-Bird sport for a short time last year and, trust me, they are JUNK!! The metal sleeve they give you to slide over the strut rod where it goes through the frame at the front is too long and mushrooms when you tighten the nut on the forward side of the frame side of the strut-rod, preventing you from tightening the nut/bushings to the proper torque/geometry. I had all kinds of steering/handling issues with the NAPA parts, which were all cured by installing Ford OE bushings.

Dennis
Did you use the NCP or MRC version? There are great differences in quality between the two.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top