1997 Ford Thunderbird LX
Awesome! Thx very much!
So this weekend I was planning to to the upper and lower control arms as well as shocks in order to avoid dealing with the bolt you mentioned that is a hassle to get off. Now I'm looking for the replacement bolts since I'll be leaving the old ones on. I'm having a hard time finding the replacements. Everything I google I get selections and it takes me to an auto parts store and the bolt they showed was for a different vehicle and says it dosent fit the 97 Thunderbird. Could you hook me up with the part number or a link where I could purchase the LCA to shock bolt? Thx.Depending on your location (you mentioned rust) it may be quite a pain to get the lower shock mount out of the LCA when it comes time to replace it - the bolt is thicker at both ends than it is through the sleeve and if it rusted in, it's virtually impossible to get out. In the past I've replaced both the shock/spring and LCA all at once to avoid touching that bolt, and planned ahead by ordering new hardware with the other suspension parts.
Overall I'd say suspension work is not difficult to do but you will need 1/2" sockets and breaker bars; having a good impact will help tremendously. Especially for a beginner, don't do more than one side at a time and be sure you've got a way to get to a parts place if you run into trouble while the car is in pieces. Aside from the shock to LCA bolt I mentioned before, the LCA to spindle bolt is the one that gives most folks difficulty; do a couple searches and you'll see the common pitfalls and how people got around them.
Take pictures of the LCA-K member bolt/cam positions before you loosen anything up so you can get the alignment close when you tighten everything up. You'll need to get a proper alignment after you do LCAs anyway, but having it close helps make sure you can make it to the shop safely.
Quick update. Started work on the suspension and man power tools would have came in handy. I broke a nail getting a bolt off of the lower control arm. No not like "I broke a nail" nail break. I split it right down the middle along with splitting the tip of my finger. Let's just say it didn't tickle lol. Anyway I got rained out so luckily I have off tomorrow off so it's back at it. It's going smooth with no real damage other than the welded ring on the frame that goes around this metal plate that is sits on the bolt broke away so the metal peice spins freely. I don't know how to explain it better than that but idk if that welded peice is detemremental or not. Any info would be appreciated. I'd take a picture but my car is not with me. I'll see if I can find a picture someplace. But yeah the hard part of removing the rusted bolts and nuts is about over so it should be easy from here on.
Well if the whole bracket broke off it can be welded back on.Well after doing a bit of research I found that this is actually a very important peice however it is a common issue with older cars. So hopefully the shop won't charge me crazy prices to weld a new bracket back on. The camber plate adjustment bracket is what I was so poorly trying to describe earlier. Unfortunately due to rain and my buddy who is helping me, not marking where the camber plate sat on his side of the vehicle I have no markings where those plates were befor so an alignment will certainly be needed after this job is done anyway. Buying new camber plates and bolts but that bracket has be a bit concerned now.