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Hey all, now that I'm basically done with the radio and center console bezel, I can finish getting these rear suspension parts. So far I have the cobra pair of shocks. I wanted to know what brand should I get when it comes to lightweight upper control arms for the rear suspension?

Also what would you all suggest as far as diy for the rear suspension when it comes to a relatively easy swap out for new parts? How far could I go to remove each component of the irs until I run into some tough work? I think if I know how much I could remove pretty easy and re install myself, I would know when to bring a extra pair of hands to help me with more time intensive upgrades...
 

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1991 Mercury Cougar LS 5.0 in restoration
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685 Posts
The only option are the tubular and from SCP. That being said what came on the car is fairly light. One can argue they should be more rigid, but unless you're putting down a lot of power, just replace all of the bushings in the rear. If you want to shed a few pounds find Mark VIII lower control arms.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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The factory rear UCAs are light as is, if you want even lighter find a set from a Mark VIII, they’re the same basic stamping but have large holes punched in them. There’s no point upgrading them, the LCA’s 2 pivot design stabilizes the spindle all by itself, all the UCA does is control camber gain. Just rebuild with the correct bushing type(acdelco IIRC), most other aftermarket ones screwed up and molded the eccentric adjuster into the rubber, preventing alignment. Tubular is silly.

Work depends on corrosion. The LCA cam bolts can be a nightmare to free if they’re seized, and the IRS bolts/captured nuts are notorious for their seizing/snapping/spinning/stripping ways
 

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I've seen aftermarket control arms break at the welds, but it was on a Charger making 766 HP. Better off having a one-piece design.

Also, with the exception of sway bar end links, not much is easy on the rear suspension. My mechanic, who knows T-Birds well, said to replace the lower control arm bushings he would have to burn them out.

Al
 
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The Parts Guy
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The factory rear UCAs are light as is, if you want even lighter find a set from a Mark VIII, they’re the same basic stamping but have large holes punched in them. There’s no point upgrading them, the LCA’s 2 pivot design stabilizes the spindle all by itself, all the UCA does is control camber gain. Just rebuild with the correct bushing type(acdelco IIRC), most other aftermarket ones screwed up and molded the eccentric adjuster into the rubber, preventing alignment. Tubular is silly.

Work depends on corrosion. The LCA cam bolts can be a nightmare to free if they’re seized, and the IRS bolts/captured nuts are notorious for their seizing/snapping/spinning/stripping ways
Agreed on all points, with one small point of correction: the design flaw with the majority of the aftermarket replacement inner UCA bushings is that they exhibit severe bushing windup. Ability to set camber during an alignment isn't effected. I wrote a PSA about it many years ago.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Agreed on all points, with one small point of correction: the design flaw with the majority of the aftermarket replacement inner UCA bushings is that they exhibit severe bushing windup. Ability to set camber during an alignment isn't effected. I wrote a PSA about it many years ago.
Gotcha, I haven't had one of the bad bushings in hand thankfully, I misremembered the PSA point.
 

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1994 Black T-Bird 4.6 DOHC TR-3650
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The factory rear UCAs are light as is, if you want even lighter find a set from a Mark VIII, they’re the same basic stamping but have large holes punched in them. There’s no point upgrading them, the LCA’s 2 pivot design stabilizes the spindle all by itself, all the UCA does is control camber gain. Just rebuild with the correct bushing type(acdelco IIRC), most other aftermarket ones screwed up and molded the eccentric adjuster into the rubber, preventing alignment. Tubular is silly.

Work depends on corrosion. The LCA cam bolts can be a nightmare to free if they’re seized, and the IRS bolts/captured nuts are notorious for their seizing/snapping/spinning/stripping ways
I also agree Totally. Each times I have to undo those bolts I clean with a cloth, wire brush and pact with grease to avoid gripping. After a few years, it is not so bad to undo without getting angry...

I also use upper and lower control arms from a MARK VIII on my 94 T-BIRD:)
 
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