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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After I got my T-Bird running last week, I noticed that there was a rattling coming from the front. I was told to lift the front, grab the wheels at 12 and 6 o'clock and shake it to see if it moved / wiggled. The fronts were fine so I moved to the rear. Upon doing the same for the rear driver, it moved and likewise for the passenger rear. This obviously means that I have failed rear hubs which will need replacement. This being a safety issue, I've decided to go ahead and start rebuilding the suspension over the transmission. The transmission just leaks but shifts fine otherwise and I have to add some ATF to it every so often which I can live with for the time being.

All this being said, I've begun doing some searching here in the suspension section of the forum and have found a ton of info. Posting on the FB TCCoA group, I was told by Woodman (Durwood) to go ahead and do all the knuckle bushings since I'll already be there anyways. He's even provided me the link to Energy Suspension for the correct bushings. They're inexpensive, so I'll definitely be doing this. The video I found (below) on YouTube pretty much spells out how to do the job, minus how to put the new hubs on, this job seems to be something I can do in an afternoon. This post by jco1385 (pictures in the quote) makes it seem that I can do press the hubs in myself provided I have the right tools.

Lovely Chinese wheel bearings....
Now that I've mentioned this, I will have to say that the suspension will most definitely take me a long time to get it to where I want it to be at. The rear hubs being replaced is basically my starting point on all this. I'm going to be doing more reading and research on the matter, and of course asking here as questions from me come along.

As far as parts go, I've heard from several people and read in a few threads already that Timken is the way to go in terms of hubs. There has been one person mention a brand called SKF for hubs. Any thoughts on Timken vs SKF?

 

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Unless you have a hydraulic press, and a 20lb one at that, you're not going to be pressing the old hubs out, new hubs in.

Getting the spindle off is really easy. It's the hub being pressed in that's a pain in the butt. I'm having enough trouble with my rear upper control arm bushings that I've said forget it, I'm taking the arms to a shop to have them done because over the last two weekends I've made zero progress getting the bushing race out.
 

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I second the press statement. You're much less likely to damage your knuckle, which let me remind you is made of Aluminum by using one. I personally use ford racing bearings all day every day for a cobra. They are super cheap, and work great. Timken is my brand of choice...napa sells SKF bearings and seals, which are good quality; but I stick to my ford racing parts, they are trouble free and work right the first time.

Ford Racing Mustang Rear Hub Bearing - IRS M-1215-A (99-04 Cobra) - Free Shipping

If you get a promo code you can get like 6% off, which helps and shipping is always free.
 

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Those are Timken SET49 bearings; they're used in a lot of cars going way back.

$25 at Rock Auto.

You won't convince me Ford is better than Timken, as they were and likely are the oem. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Timken parts it is! The Ford Racing ones, while I'm sure they're very qood quality, the wife won't like the cost. If people are swearing by Timken, then I trust you guys on this. I'll place my orders for parts tonight and I'll start looking for a shop in my area that can press in / out the hubs.

I still need to buy the locking nut and the 36mm socket (it's 36mm, right?) And I'll be able to work on her this weekend hopefully.
 

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Timken parts it is! The Ford Racing ones, while I'm sure they're very qood quality, the wife won't like the cost. If people are swearing by Timken, then I trust you guys on this. I'll place my orders for parts tonight and I'll start looking for a shop in my area that can press in / out the hubs.

I still need to buy the locking nut and the 36mm socket (it's 36mm, right?) And I'll be able to work on her this weekend hopefully.
Yes, 36mm. None of the hardware stores by me had one, but the auto parts stores have them for about $25. I just put Timkin front hub/bearing assemblies in mine, they seem good.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cool. I'll check out the Sears by my work to see if they have a 36mm socket. I'll also see if the parts store has one they can rent out. Since it's going to pretty much be a one time use tool, I'd rather not have to buy it if possible. If none is available for sale at a brick and mortar store, I'll go online, Amazon most likely.
 

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Those are Timken SET49 bearings; they're used in a lot of cars going way back.

$25 at Rock Auto.

You won't convince me Ford is better than Timken, as they were and likely are the oem. :)
Umm ford bearings are Timken bearings...I just get ford ones because most distributors sell defective ones or something from a different manufacturer.
 

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After I got my T-Bird running last week, I noticed that there was a rattling coming from the front.
Front rattling is either a bad balljoint, bad swaybar link/bushing, or a loose UCA bolt - in my experience.

This post by jco1385 (pictures in the quote) makes it seem that I can do press the hubs in myself provided I have the right tools.
That post shows the hub being pushed OUT of the bearing, not the opposite. The race staying on the hub is not normal with OEM bearings. You will need a shop press for the rest of the hub/bearing procedure.

Unless you have a hydraulic press, and a 20lb one at that, you're not going to be pressing the old hubs out, new hubs in.

Getting the spindle off is really easy. It's the hub being pressed in that's a pain in the butt. I'm having enough trouble with my rear upper control arm bushings that I've said forget it, I'm taking the arms to a shop to have them done because over the last two weekends I've made zero progress getting the bushing race out.
20 lb press is a little small for the job ;)

On the rear UCA/frame bushing, mark the notch and just cave the casing in with a hammer/chisel and remove it. Be sure to support the sides when you install the new one as to not crush the arm in on itself.

The knuckle bushings can be pushed out/in with a piece of all-thread and some washers/spacers and a cup that will fit over them.

Umm ford bearings are Timken bearings...I just get ford ones because most distributors sell defective ones or something from a different manufacturer.
Agreed ^. Get the Timken SET49 bearings and have them pressed in correctly (on the outer race).

FWIW, I have an extra set of disc knuckles here and all of the proper tools to swap bushings/hubs/bearings/etc if you wanted to have it done. PM me if you're interested and we can discuss it. I just swapped all of my rear bushings and bearings this weekend.








 

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Discussion Starter #10
Front rattling is either a bad balljoint, bad swaybar link/bushing, or a loose UCA bolt - in my experience.
I didn't say this in my OP, but I should have though; my suspension is pretty much original to the car, all 177k miles of the body are also on the suspension. That said, just about every suspension component is basically shot yet somehow is able to stay together. Since I know my suspension is shot, I plan on rebuilding my suspension and upgrade where possible which basically lead me start this thread.

Most people were telling me originally that the hubs are bad if there is a rattling noise. My experiences with bad sway bar links and bushings have not been rattling, but rather "clunking" noises. However, that experience has been in my Honda, so the experience in this platform may of course be completely different as you have pointed out.

That post shows the hub being pushed OUT of the bearing, not the opposite. The race staying on the hub is not normal with OEM bearings. You will need a shop press for the rest of the hub/bearing procedure.

20 lb press is a little small for the job ;)
I've started to look for a shop in my area locally and have been recommended to one already. I'll check them out and continue to look around for the best price.


On the rear UCA/frame bushing, mark the notch and just cave the casing in with a hammer/chisel and remove it. Be sure to support the sides when you install the new one as to not crush the arm in on itself.

The knuckle bushings can be pushed out/in with a piece of all-thread and some washers/spacers and a cup that will fit over them.
So basically, destroy / deform the old bushings so that I can just pull them out, but gently slide in the new ones?


Agreed ^. Get the Timken SET49 bearings and have them pressed in correctly (on the outer race).

FWIW, I have an extra set of disc knuckles here and all of the proper tools to swap bushings/hubs/bearings/etc if you wanted to have it done. PM me if you're interested and we can discuss it. I just swapped all of my rear bushings and bearings this weekend.








You found me on Facebook! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Timken SET49 hub/bearings ordered as well as the ES poly bushings!

This is officially on its way to getting done!!
 

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Word to the wise:

Always slightly separate the inner races, and look to see "is grease is actually in there".

These days, that QC step is weight driven; So actually look. :)

I've found them in the past that were dry, but none of the ones I got from RA were; all had lube.

But check!

If they're dry, use Timken bearing grease; it's easy on the seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here's a question for everyone:

What should I tackle next? Like I've said before, my entire suspension is shot. I WANT to do springs and struts / shocks next, but what I want are Vogtland springs paird with Tokico Blues, but that will run me $650ish or so, which I can't do quite yet.

So, I'm starting to think that maybe I can piece together over my next few weeks and months start getting front UCAs, front UCAs, end / sway bar links (front and rear), do a junk yard run for MK8 rear LCAs, SCP spring perches, and stabilizer bar bushings. Then save my pennies for the springs and struts / shocks at the very end.

I'm just worried that the springs and struts will be discontinued by the time I get to them if I do them at the end, lol.

Also, I'm sure that I missed a few components up there in my list.

Word to the wise:

Always slightly separate the inner races, and look to see "is grease is actually in there".

These days, that QC step is weight driven; So actually look. :)

I've found them in the past that were dry, but none of the ones I got from RA were; all had lube.

But check!

If they're dry, use Timken bearing grease; it's easy on the seals.
I guess I won't be able to find out until I actually get them in, but I can ask for now. How are they "slightly separated" to find out if they are lubed up or not?
 

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Most people were telling me originally that the hubs are bad if there is a rattling noise. My experiences with bad sway bar links and bushings have not been rattling, but rather "clunking" noises. However, that experience has been in my Honda, so the experience in this platform may of course be completely different as you have pointed out.
If a hub bearing is bad enough to be rattling it would surely move when you did the 'wiggle' test on the wheel. If everything up front is original, I'd bet your balljoints and/or sway bar link are the rattle. Front wheel bearings are fairly cheap and really easy to swap as well.


So basically, destroy / deform the old bushings so that I can just pull them out, but gently slide in the new ones?
This applies ONLY to the upper inner bushing. You bend the outer shell until you can free it from the arm. The new one has to be pressed in. When you press the new one in, be sure to put something in the gap between the sides of the arm so it won't collapse. The knuckle bushings should press out cleanly. You can make a tool to push those out if you want.

Here's a question for everyone:

What should I tackle next? Like I've said before, my entire suspension is shot. I WANT to do springs and struts / shocks next, but what I want are Vogtland springs paird with Tokico Blues, but that will run me $650ish or so, which I can't do quite yet.

So, I'm starting to think that maybe I can piece together over my next few weeks and months start getting front UCAs, front UCAs, end / sway bar links (front and rear), do a junk yard run for MK8 rear LCAs, SCP spring perches, and stabilizer bar bushings. Then save my pennies for the springs and struts / shocks at the very end.

I'm just worried that the springs and struts will be discontinued by the time I get to them if I do them at the end, lol.

Also, I'm sure that I missed a few components up there in my list.
I would say that getting the front suspension replaced would be most important at this point. Get it safe then look for lowering springs and such. Look closely at the front strut rod bushings and see if they need to be replaced. Those are hardest to come by as far as finding parts. They are also expensive to fix if you have to buy the sleeves. Other than that just piece together the parts and get it done. (UCA, LCA, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, front/rear strut rod bushings)

If you're on a budget you can skip the aluminum control arms for now. That's a couple hundred bucks for arms/perches.


I guess I won't be able to find out until I actually get them in, but I can ask for now. How are they "slightly separated" to find out if they are lubed up or not?
They are basically 2 bearings inside of one casing. If you look at this picture there is a small gap between the inner races. That is where he is saying to look.
 

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Rattling, clunking, whatever you want to call it has always been sway bar end links for me. Doesn't matter if it's front or rear.

Pulling to one side when braking, or creaking when going over a speed bump is lower control arms (ball joints).

Since you have to remove a good bit of the front suspension to do shocks/springs, I would wait to do it all at once, except for sway bar end links, which are easy.

Hope you have air tools! Good luck with it.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
If a hub bearing is bad enough to be rattling it would surely move when you did the 'wiggle' test on the wheel. If everything up front is original, I'd bet your balljoints and/or sway bar link are the rattle. Front wheel bearings are fairly cheap and really easy to swap as well.
Well, as I said in my OP, both rear wheels did indeed do "the wiggle" whereas the fronts did not. I'm not sure if it counts as "humming" but when I'm driving, I can hear a rhythmic low sound coming somewhere from the car, I'm not sure where. Perhaps that's the "humming" sound people talk about when the hub bearings start to fail?

Anyway, I'm leaning on replacing anything with a ball joint of some sort first.


This applies ONLY to the upper inner bushing. You bend the outer shell until you can free it from the arm. The new one has to be pressed in. When you press the new one in, be sure to put something in the gap between the sides of the arm so it won't collapse. The knuckle bushings should press out cleanly. You can make a tool to push those out if you want.
I can search around for said tool that I can make. Or, link me to a thread / website where I can learn how to make said tool, lol.

I'm also wondering if a shop I'd be taking my knuckles to have the bearings pressed in / out can also do the bushings I bought. If so, that's another option available to me.

I would say that getting the front suspension replaced would be most important at this point. Get it safe then look for lowering springs and such. Look closely at the front strut rod bushings and see if they need to be replaced. Those are hardest to come by as far as finding parts. They are also expensive to fix if you have to buy the sleeves. Other than that just piece together the parts and get it done. (UCA, LCA, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, front/rear strut rod bushings)
That's what I'm trying to decide which route to go with first. One of my car enthusiast co-workers said that I should go with the springs and struts / shocks first because of how I drive....I drive it like I stole it. To paraphrase what he said, it's better to have better grip with the ground and have a things loosely held in because of their degraded nature, than to have everything held in tight but have poor grip with the ground because of worn springs, struts, and shocks. I'm not sure this merit on his statement, but it makes sense to me.

If you're on a budget you can skip the aluminum control arms for now. That's a couple hundred bucks for arms/perches.
While I agree with the budget part, I'm thinking if I can just piece together these components separately by buying the MK8 rear LCAs, perches, springs, and shocks / struts individually and put all this on at once when I have it all. It'll spread out my cost on this making it easier on the wallet.

They are basically 2 bearings inside of one casing. If you look at this picture there is a small gap between the inner races. That is where he is saying to look.
You're talking about the small gap I've marked here?



Rattling, clunking, whatever you want to call it has always been sway bar end links for me. Doesn't matter if it's front or rear.
Between my Honda and my T-Bird, the sounds are distinctively different for the same issue then. The T-Bird gives an obvious rattle whereas my Accord gives an obvious clunk for busted end links.

Pulling to one side when braking, or creaking when going over a speed bump is lower control arms (ball joints).

Since you have to remove a good bit of the front suspension to do shocks/springs, I would wait to do it all at once, except for sway bar end links, which are easy.
It drives straight as an arrow! Unless my rear hubs both happen to be evenly worn out so that they both create an identical amount of friction so that the pull to one side is cancelled out by the other side, LOL.

And, I'd LOVE to do it all in one shot, but with this being a potential safety issue, I'm thinking I'll have to replace some of these first before I do others.

Hope you have air tools! Good luck with it.

Al
I have a compressor, two different sets of air guns, and a few sockets. Whatever I don't have, I'll have to acquire.
 

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Well, as I said in my OP, both rear wheels did indeed do "the wiggle" whereas the fronts did not. I'm not sure if it counts as "humming" but when I'm driving, I can hear a rhythmic low sound coming somewhere from the car, I'm not sure where. Perhaps that's the "humming" sound people talk about when the hub bearings start to fail?

Anyway, I'm leaning on replacing anything with a ball joint of some sort first.
If the fronts didn't move then I'd say they are fine and the rattle is not from the front hubs.


I can search around for said tool that I can make. Or, link me to a thread / website where I can learn how to make said tool, lol.

I'm also wondering if a shop I'd be taking my knuckles to have the bearings pressed in / out can also do the bushings I bought. If so, that's another option available to me.
The tool I use is a piece of all-thread from Lowe's with two nuts locked together on one end, and some washers and spacers. I used a pipe nipple and cap with a hole drilled in it for the 'cup' part. I'll get pics of my rig when I get home to help you see it better.

I'm sure a shop would have no problem removing and installing the bushings. Just make sure they orient them correctly.



That's what I'm trying to decide which route to go with first. One of my car enthusiast co-workers said that I should go with the springs and struts / shocks first because of how I drive....I drive it like I stole it. To paraphrase what he said, it's better to have better grip with the ground and have a things loosely held in because of their degraded nature, than to have everything held in tight but have poor grip with the ground because of worn springs, struts, and shocks. I'm not sure this merit on his statement, but it makes sense to me.
The shocks won't do you a bit of good if the ball joint fails and the wheel falls from under the car. I would hope it doesn't happen on the highway. A ball joint failure could seriously injure or kill yourself or someone else. Especially given the way you drive, I'd make the balljoints priority over just about everything else.

This car doesn't have struts in the traditional sense. These are coil-over shocks, with an upper control arm holding the spindle up. If that upper balljoint fails, the spindle will fall and you will be holding on for the ride at that point.

While I agree with the budget part, I'm thinking if I can just piece together these components separately by buying the MK8 rear LCAs, perches, springs, and shocks / struts individually and put all this on at once when I have it all. It'll spread out my cost on this making it easier on the wallet.
I'm just speaking as the aluminum arms are not a necessity and you could save some money there to put towards other parts for the time being. The spring perches are most of the prohibitive cost here IMO.

You're talking about the small gap I've marked here?

Nope. The red arrow in the attached pic.
 

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Good info, guys!!

Here are good pix of the front strut rod and its bushings; there are good and bad examples, it's a great thread. :)

http://forums.tccoa.com/44-suspension/99795-how-about-official-suspension-parts-list-thread.html



As far as the heavy metal goes:

You want these UCA and LCA's:

ACDELCO 45D1002 {#88911465} Professional $57.79
Front Right Upper


ACDELCO 45D1001 {#88911464} Professional $58.99
Front Left Upper

ACDELCO 45D3464 {#19264307} Professional $59.79
Front Left Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension


ACDELCO 45D3465 {#19264308} Professional $59.79
Front Right Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension



You want these Swaybar endlinks: (you need two)

ACDELCO 45G0102 {#88912252} Professional $37.79
Front; Link With Sockets


Raybestos higher grade parts are now ACDelco; there are some pix of the two side by side here somewhere.

These are way better than even the motorcraft ones I bought for Lazarus.

This is what I did to Lazarus' rear suspension:

http://forums.tccoa.com/44-suspension/68894-new-polyurethane-rear-control-arm-bushings.html


I'm still not totally sure about the whole setup; it's stiff as ****!!!

I think "DAMN!!" I'm good with, "****!" is a bit much. :)

The sport springs are wrong for it; I've pulled so much stuff out of the car it's too light for them in the rear for sure.

Maybe it's the Koni's; I think I'll swap them to the Tbird for a while and see.

The Tbird has the Tokico Blues, bought with springs in a kit; I'm not sure who made the springs, but they are light purple, and variable rate, unlike the Ford springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
jco,

I'm going to have to agree with you now more than my co-worker, lol. I'll get started on the UCAs and LCAs starting on the front end before moving to the rear.

Good info, guys!!

Here are good pix of the front strut rod and its bushings; there are good and bad examples, it's a great thread. :)

http://forums.tccoa.com/44-suspension/99795-how-about-official-suspension-parts-list-thread.html



As far as the heavy metal goes:

You want these UCA and LCA's:

ACDELCO 45D1002 {#88911465} Professional $57.79
Front Right Upper


ACDELCO 45D1001 {#88911464} Professional $58.99
Front Left Upper

ACDELCO 45D3464 {#19264307} Professional $59.79
Front Left Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension


ACDELCO 45D3465 {#19264308} Professional $59.79
Front Right Lower; w/o Auto Adjusting Suspension



You want these Swaybar endlinks: (you need two)

ACDELCO 45G0102 {#88912252} Professional $37.79
Front; Link With Sockets


Raybestos higher grade parts are now ACDelco; there are some pix of the two side by side here somewhere.

These are way better than even the motorcraft ones I bought for Lazarus.

This is what I did to Lazarus' rear suspension:

http://forums.tccoa.com/44-suspension/68894-new-polyurethane-rear-control-arm-bushings.html


I'm still not totally sure about the whole setup; it's stiff as ****!!!

I think "DAMN!!" I'm good with, "****!" is a bit much. :)

The sport springs are wrong for it; I've pulled so much stuff out of the car it's too light for them in the rear for sure.

Maybe it's the Koni's; I think I'll swap them to the Tbird for a while and see.

The Tbird has the Tokico Blues, bought with springs in a kit; I'm not sure who made the springs, but they are light purple, and variable rate, unlike the Ford springs.
Grog, you are awesome! Those threads I've glanced at, but I'll have to take the time to read them through. I'll have to probably do it form my phone though as many pictures are blocked for me here at work. I'll just have to post (if necessary) from work as I read them through on my phone, LOL.

Anyways, since starting this, I've been thinking of what parts to buy and there was a thread a few days ago where Woodman posted exactly what you just said about ACDelco now being Raybestos. I've decided to go with the ACDelco stuff since it just looks to be much better quality than anything else. One check at a time, I guess.

I imagine that after I complete one piece of my suspension rebuild, I'll have to take her in to a shop for an alignment, right? Or, what parts don't and do need alignment?
 

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...I imagine that after I complete one piece of my suspension rebuild, I'll have to take her in to a shop for an alignment, right? Or, what parts don't and do need alignment?
Moving any of these bolts:
The rear-most inner lower control arm bolt, the Rear upper inner control arm bolt, and the front lower inner control arm bolt are all Cam-Type adjustable locating bolts.

All of these need alignment. People will tell you that you can mark them, but no two parts are exactly alike...

The Strut rod is adjustable for length at the front; it's a double bolted connection. You shouldn't ever adjust the inner bolt; replace the bushing by removing the front bolt if necessary. Mark the inner...

Replacing the Inner or outer Tie Rods, or steering rack would need alignment as well.

I think that's it; I stock up parts, then replace everything after I have an appointment with the alignment shop.
If you do it at one shot, it's cheaper in the long run.

I'd do the entire front end at one shot, replace the "toe adjusters" in the rear, replace any bad bushings in the rear if they exist, and then build a set of mark arms later, for a similar all at once swap.

Complete front and rear swaps could probably be done in a weekend, if you've done it before, and all the bolts come out. :)

I'd wait to do poly until the rear bushings are shot.
There are still Moog bushings, if poly is too stiff.

Jay is making Delrin bushing for the Mark rears; he has a thread. :)
 
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