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Discussion Starter #1
My 96 LX needs a front end overhaul badly. Upon inspection the mechanic says the car is unsafe to drive, the lower ball joint is so bad on the passenger side. Bushings are bad on that arm too, I knew that. But the thing is I just replaced the control arms about 2 years ago, left, right, upper, and lower. Shortly after that I had a near collision incident where I panic swerved right and then slammed the brakes, barely avoided that one. But my front end has been all screwed up since that. I am guessing this is why the ball joint is bad so I am going to replace that arm again.

Anyone have experience with supercoupeperformance poly bushings? I installed poly bushings on my 300zx, and I absolutely love how that car rides. They are a little expensive, but If I am going to spend $1K plus on my suspension I want it to be DONE and able to hold up well to my hard cornering. I am, of course, going to use Ford Strut Rod Bushings, which are crazy expensive but I don't want more problems anytime soon.

Poly parts planning on ordering:

Inner tie rods x2
Outer tie rods x2
outer boots - poly
poly rack bushings
right lower control arm
poly front lower control arm bushings
poly front upper control arm bushings
front swaybar endlinks x2
poly front swaybar bushings
upper shock mounts x2
shock bump stops
poly rear shock bushings

Ford strut rod bushings left/right front/back
Rear shock x1 (left blown, should I do both anyways??)

I replaced my front shocks/struts about 3 yrs ago so I don't think I will replace them - they work fine and I don't want to lower this car.

All this, if the mechanics parts quote was straight up, comes to about $1000, pending price checks of all front end parts vs. Ford parts, like endlinks, tie rods, control arm, etc.. Could I go with cheaper parts from rockauto like the tie rods, control arm, etc, are those parts equivalent quality?

Any input, especially experiences with supercoupe performance poly parts, or parts I have omitted from the list, would be greatly appreciated. I got my work cut out for me, I think.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Any suspension parts from Moog, Motorcraft or TRW are top quality and can't be beat. RockAuto consistenly has the best prices on parts in my experiences, especially with the 5% discount.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
5% discount?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kinda looking for input on the poly bushings...anyone that has done it, do you like how the cars suspension feels?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Bump

Searched through over 300 threads - And I still have unanswered questions. I need to order all my parts for my front end rebuild today, but not sure which way to go.

For sure:

Ford OEM Strut Rod Bushings

Unsure of:

All other bushings. Rockauto for cheap rubber bushings, or SCP for all poly bushings?

I have found that Poly front swaybar bushings are notorious for squeaking if not properly greased. Should I maybe get Ford swaybar bushings and poly for the rest?

Jury is still not out on poly bushings - Like I posted before, I have poly suspension throughout my 300zx with zero squeaking, and I love the feel of the suspension now. So this is why I am considering poly for the tbird as well - can anyone give me feedback on poly suspension feedback/stiffness/overall ride quality with all poly bushings with the MN12 chassis? Is cornering improved? Problems Long term? Will poly bushings last longer than rubber ones?

Also read a post or too about poly just being too stiff for mustangs, does the the MN12 suspension have same problem?. Any feedback on this?
 

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IMO steer clear of SCP. He hammers you on shipping charges and the bushings can be found elsewhere for much less. Stick with OEM Ford bushings all around. There's not much to be gained from poly bushings. The only poly bushings on my car are the transmission cross-member, the Cobra Bilsteins shocks in the back and the rear anti-swaybar. The rest of the car has stock Ford bushings.

The biggest benefit to suspensions on MN12's is to upgrade the shocks, springs and front and rear anti-swaybars. The Addco anti-swaybars come with their own poly bushings, no need to get them from SCP. The front anti-swaybar is a real PITA to change out so, I'd recommend leaving it alone. Changing the rear swaybar to a 1-1/4" bar is a highly recommended upgrade. The 1-3/8" bar is overkill and isn't compatiable with the stock front bar.
 

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Do NOT use Moog strut rud bushings or any other aftermarket ones if you can help it. None will last as long as the OEM Ford ones. If you can manage to get your ferrules out without damaging them (these are the washers on each end of the bushing with a metal tube going out from them), just buy the bushings only from Ford and reuse the washers/ferrules. A fixed-length ferrule that comes in the aftermarket kits is not the best for this suspension design. NAPA sells strut rod bushings that may be TRW. I have them on my car, and they are very much like the OEM bushings. They are rubber, not thermoplastic like Moog which will fail once exposed to certain fluids/chemicals.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think I am going to have an auto shop do the work for me after all. I can save a bit of money ordering parts myself. Since I am not going to go poly afterall, it will be a lot cheaper because I really only need the Lower right control arm, the swaybar endlinks, rack and pinion bushings, and strut rod bushings. If my math is right, and the mechanics quote prices are final prices, then I should be looking at around $1000-1200, only ??? is the labor for the rack bushings, he did not quote me for that.

So I will only do the ones in bold:

Inner tie rods x2 - don't think it needs these
Outer tie rods x2 - don't think it needs these
outer boots - poly
rack bushings
right lower control arm
poly front lower control arm bushings
poly front upper control arm bushings
front swaybar endlinks x2
poly front swaybar bushings
upper shock mounts x2
shock bump stops
poly rear shock bushings
Ford strut rod bushings left/right front/back
Rear shock x1 (left blown, should I do both anyways??)
 

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There's really no need to replace the rack bushings unless they are totally worn out and I mean totally; as in missing.

I completely rebuilt my suspension and I still have the original bushings in my rack & pinion.

Yes, replace both rear shocks.
 

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In case you haven't seen it there's a thread with a really complete suspension parts list complete with part numbers HERE. Check it out.
 

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I actually used their stuff on both the LCA and K-member side. Yes, one kit does both sides. One word of warning though. The part you linked to is NAPA's MRC line, which is their "value" line of chassis parts. The parts I have are their NCP line and are of significantly different quality for this particular application. Make sure if you get it you get a box with the parts sealed in a bag inside because I had to order 4 different boxes to get one. Customers swapping parts out is a growing problem.
 
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