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Discussion Starter #1
I picked-up my 1997 Thunderbird from Firestone today after getting a 4-wheel alignment (I completely rebuilt my entire front suspension and installed Vogtland springs at all 4 corners), and they told me they were unable to adjust the rear camber because the bolt going through the eccentric that you turn to adjust the camber was frozen to the bushing and they couldn't get it loose. They also told me the camber isn't very far off and the toe was able to be set to almost exactly what was specified for my car, so I'm not real concerned about it at the moment.

However, I was already planning on overhauling the rear suspension soon. I want to replace all the bushings in the rear, as well as the toe-link compensator. Exactly how many bushings are replaceable in the rear? It looks like there are a total of 6 on each side - 2 in the front of the lower arm, 2 in the back of it and then a total of 2 in the upper arm - is that right?

Thanks,

Dennis
 

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Bushings

Hello

Well there are 10 per side:
3 -- rear knuckle bushings
2 -- lower control arm bushings
1 -- toe comp.(complete)
1 -- upper control arm(complete)
sway bar bushing.
front & rear K mount bushings.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello

Well there are 10 per side:
3 -- rear knuckle bushings
2 -- lower control arm bushings
1 -- toe comp.(complete)
1 -- upper control arm(complete)
sway bar bushing.
front & rear K mount bushings.

Paul
O.K., I guess I should've looked at my rear suspension exploded diagram that I got from the Ford dealer before I asked my question!!

What is "1 -- toe comp.(complete)"? Toe-link compensator - the arm with 2 bushings in it, 1 horizontally and 1 vertically inclined?

Thanks,

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How do you get the bushings out of the rear control arms/knuckle? Do you have to have a special tool made to press the bushings in/out?

Thanks,

Dennis
 

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The bolt the shop is referring to is the lower rear aft camber adjusting bolt. The nut usually becomes frozen to the bolt and you cannot loosen or adjust the bolt. You can still get the bolt and eccentric from Ford. Order one for each side. The nut is obsolete, but you can use a high strength 16mm nut. I had to do this when I did suspension work on my car. I have the specs and a source for this nut. If you want, I can look this up and post back.

I should qualify that eccentric adjusts both camber and toe.

Mitch
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The bolt the shop is referring to is the lower rear aft camber adjusting bolt. The nut usually becomes frozen to the bolt and you cannot loosen or adjust the bolt. You can still get the bolt and eccentric from Ford. Order one for each side. The nut is obsolete, but you can use a high strength 16mm nut. I had to do this when I did suspension work on my car. I have the specs and a source for this nut. If you want, I can look this up and post back.

I should qualify that eccentric adjusts both camber and toe.

Mitch
Yes, I would appreciate that! Thank you!

If that eccentric adjusts both toe and camber, what's the toe-link compensator for?

Dennis
 

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The rear bolt on the lower control arm adjusts only toe.

Camber is adjusted by the upper control arm inner bolt.

The toe-link compensator prevents excessive movement due to the stock LCA bushings.
 

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Rear suspension alignment.

The rear bolt on the lower control arm is used to adjusts only the toe. Adjustment here will affect camber somewhat so do it before adjusting camber.

Camber is adjusted by the upper control arm inner bolt after all toe adjustments are finalized. It will not affect toe adjustment, which is why it's adjusted last.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
O.K., those are good things to know but can anyone tell me how you replace the bushings in the control arms? Assuming I'm able to remove the rear lower control arm, how do you get the bushings out? Are they pressed in? Is there a special tool you need to remove them?

Thanks,

Dennis
 

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O.K., those are good things to know but can anyone tell me how you replace the bushings in the control arms? Assuming I'm able to remove the rear lower control arm, how do you get the bushings out? Are they pressed in? Is there a special tool you need to remove them?

Thanks,

Dennis
Removing the bushings is not the question. What are you going to replace then with??

I removed the inner control arm bushings with a large pc. of all thread, some washers & big sockets for spacers.
Place the rod threw both bushings & tighten the outer nut. Pulling the bushing with it.(toward the center).
The second is alittle harder. I just got some bigger washers.

I am still looking for bushings better than stock. Looking at 6-311 from laurel Mountain. Not sure they will fit?

Paul

Oh Yeh I do have a press. also my Knuckel bushings are poly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The stock LCA bushings are rubber in a metal shell and will need to be pressed in and out.
I've never replaced bushings in suspension components before - is that something I can do at home or do I need to have a shop do that for me? Is there a special tool that an auto parts store, like AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts, loans or rents to do that?

I've recently replaced all the bushings in my front suspension, but I did THAT by replacing the entire control arm, both upper and lower (along with the tension strut bushings)!

Thanks,

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Removing the bushings is not the question. What are you going to replace then with??

I removed the inner control arm bushings with a large pc. of all thread, some washers & big sockets for spacers.
Place the rod threw both bushings & tighten the outer nut. Pulling the bushing with it.(toward the center).
The second is alittle harder. I just got some bigger washers.

I am still looking for bushings better than stock. Looking at 6-311 from laurel Mountain. Not sure they will fit?

Paul

Oh Yeh I do have a press. also my Knuckel bushings are poly.
I'm just going to replace them with stock replacements from Moog. All I'm trying to do is to restore the suspension on my car to the state it was in when it was new, and it also bothers me that Firestone was not able to make all the adjustments on the rear suspension that can be made to ensure proper alignment. I'm REAL anal about everything working on my car the way it's intended to!

Dennis
 

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uhh u might wanna double check on that im unaware of moog making ALL the bushings for our rear unibody

IIRC some folks were headed to the JY looking for some good bushings in the rear
 

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Check

Hello

Well check the pricing between Just the Bushings & the complete lower arm.

You will need to replace the upper arm for a New bushing.

The outer rear knuckle, My bushings came from Mn12performance. Now I think its supercoupeperformance now.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #16
uhh u might wanna double check on that im unaware of moog making ALL the bushings for our rear unibody

IIRC some folks were headed to the JY looking for some good bushings in the rear
Yeah, I'm aware of that - it didn't look like Rock Auto had all the rear bushings I need/want in Moog. I wasn't sure if they were just out of stock on them or if Moog didn't make them. I suppose that I'll get what I can in Moog and get the rest from NAPA - they seem to have them all and they seem to be fairly decent quality.

I wouldn't ever put used parts on my car, unless it was something I HAD to replace and it was no longer available anywhere new! I just had to get a used brake proportioning valve from a junked '96 T-Bird for my '97; the valve on my car had a leak.

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hello

Well check the pricing between Just the Bushings & the complete lower arm.

You will need to replace the upper arm for a New bushing.

The outer rear knuckle, My bushings came from Mn12performance. Now I think its supercoupeperformance now.

Paul
Where can you get new rear control arms? I checked Rock Auto, NAPA, Advance, O'Reilly's and AutoZone and I didn't think any of them showed the complete arms!

I'd MUCH rather just buy new arms, just like I did for the front!

Are they still available from Ford?

Dennis
 

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YOu really dont buy new lower control arms because they are big heavy pieces of iron. The bushings are meant to be pressed in and out. If you want some nicer arms get the mark 8 lcas. they are aluminum. And the bushings from a cobra fit there if you want them in poly.
 

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. And the bushings from a cobra fit there if you want them in poly.
Are you saying the cobra bushings only fit the Mark VIII control arms? Or will they fit the stock bird arms too? The only reason I ask is because im needing to rebuild the rear end and scp thinks everything they sell is worth gold.
 

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Are you saying the cobra bushings only fit the Mark VIII control arms? Or will they fit the stock bird arms too? The only reason I ask is because im needing to rebuild the rear end and scp thinks everything they sell is worth gold.
http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=68894

im sure they fit both as the thread says both.

I would start with a set of mark 8 arms though thye wont rust on you.
 
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