TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I want to replace the rear shocks on my 1997 4.6L Tbrd. I peered into the wheel well at the top side of the rear shock but couldn't see the top shock nut fastener so I'm a little unclear as to how to access that for removal. Maybe remove back seat or go thru trunk?? Has anyone done this or know where to get some instructions??
Thanks for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,922 Posts
The harder part will be finding good shocks. Not many available anymore.

Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I pulled the rug back in the trunk per Matt's suggestion and attached what I saw. No problems here. BUT.. the reason I was interested in replacing the shocks was there is an annoying clunking sound from the rear mostly left rear at every little bump. I was expecting to see the rubber fitting (or bushing) at the top of the shock was compromised but the attached pics look pretty good to me. I tried moving the top bolt in the picture but its firm. No problem on the lower side of the shocks either. Also when i press on the rear fender the car comes back steady with no bounce so it doesn't look like I even need shocks. I just replaced both rear sway bar connecting links which were very bad and that quieted things a bit but didn't solve the clunking sound. What I'm looking for now is what to check next on the rear suspension that may be the reason for the clunking sound. Thanks for any suggestions on this.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,922 Posts
Sounds like you need rear sway bar end links. It is very common, and the most audible of any worn suspension pieces.

Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like you need rear sway bar end links. It is very common, and the most audible of any worn suspension pieces.

Al
See my last post #5 above where I said "I just replaced both rear sway bar connecting links which were very bad and that quieted things a bit but didn't solve the clunking sound."
I just replaced those unless the "end links" are different from the "connecting links". What I replaced is seen in the attached picture. I replaced both sides (rear). Other ideas??
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,655 Posts
End links have several different terms which mean the same. The two most common are in fact, end links, followed by sway bar links.

Perhaps the noise is coming from a failing wheel bearing? Lift the car's rear end up in the air and grab the wheel at 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock and shake it back and forth. Do the same at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock. If there is any play in the wheel then you have bad wheel bearings which would be the cause of the noise.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,007 Posts
The harder part will be finding good shocks. Not many available anymore.

Al
Rear ones are still easy, so far, see the Sticky on the rear shocks.

But, then you'll notice how bad the front ones suck.

Using the adjustable konis in the rear at least lets you match the rear to the front somewhat. But are fairly expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
End links have several different terms which mean the same. The two most common are in fact, end links, followed by sway bar links.
Perhaps the noise is coming from a failing wheel bearing? Lift the car's rear end up in the air and grab the wheel at 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock and shake it back and forth. Do the same at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock. If there is any play in the wheel then you have bad wheel bearings which would be the cause of the noise.
Or toe compensator links, which are quite different, and may well be the culprit.
I'll check the bearings and the compensator links. Hopefully i won't have to remove the compensator link to figure if it’s bad. I’ve been under their a lot lately fixing some other stuff and may need to look at something else for a few days.
BTW, is there a place in the middle rear to put my floor jack that will lift both wheels? I’ve always had to do one side at a time. There is a brace that surrounds the rear differential mount but I’m not sure if its beefy enough to support the car.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,007 Posts
Look closely at the rear bushings; the rubber will be sticking out, and look damaged, most likely.

The moog rear bushings are still available, last I checked, but most of us went Poly.

The toe adjusters, alignment tool, whatever that call it, has smaller rubber, but it was sticking out of mine when I looked.

I'd do it all at the same time.

Don't forget to make sure you get the right upper inner bushing. :)

All that's available for the knuckle is poly or delrin. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Look closely at the rear bushings; the rubber will be sticking out, and look damaged, most likely.

The moog rear bushings are still available, last I checked, but most of us went Poly.

The toe adjusters, alignment tool, whatever that call it, has smaller rubber, but it was sticking out of mine when I looked.

I'd do it all at the same time.

Don't forget to make sure you get the right upper inner bushing. :)

All that's available for the knuckle is poly or delrin. :(
Will do and thanks for these pointers.
 

·
Super Moderator
1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
Joined
·
17,477 Posts
I always lift my car from the rear differential mount(frame side, not the differential itself!!!), it’s perfectly safe and strong for the task.


The toe compensators are likely bad(or will be) if the boots are bad, as they’re constructed actually more like ball joints than bushings. You could clamp on a vice grip and try wiggling it around to see if there is play as well, even more if you unbolt them from just the arm side, which is easier than the pivot.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,007 Posts
If they've never been serviced, I'd say they're toast at this point; The 97 tbird was well taken care of, and they are going in it. :(

I just started rebuilding the set I took out of Lazarus, to go into whichever car needs them next.

A piece of all thread, a couple of pieces of steel with a hole in the middle, and some select lengths of Steel or PVC tubing in various sizes (or a 3/4" or 1" drive socket set) will take those out in minutes.

A seal driver set made of thick metal works really well, and won't damage tool or bushing. :)

I have some pieces of ACME thread allthread, which makes it really easy.

1" ACME thread will move anything, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks XR7 and Grog6. Sounds like we’re on to something; I’ll check this out. The car has 230k miles on it and these are original so maybe it’s time. I attached a picture of what I found at Rock. They call it a toe adjuster. I assume this is the same as the toe compensator link we’re talking about, right?? Where do you buy the bushings? Why not just replace the whole link? Is it due to cost or something else?
I don’t think I’ve done anything to the rear suspension though I’ve done nearly everything on the front suspension.
I also looked at the sway bar bushings. There are some little flakes of rubber on the outside but I don’t feel any free play on the bar so I figure this is not the problem.
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,007 Posts
Thanks XR7 and Grog6. Sounds like we’re on to something; I’ll check this out. The car has 230k miles on it and these are original so maybe it’s time. I attached a picture of what I found at Rock. They call it a toe adjuster. I assume this is the same as the toe compensator link we’re talking about, right?? Where do you buy the bushings? Why not just replace the whole link? Is it due to cost or something else?
I don’t think I’ve done anything to the rear suspension though I’ve done nearly everything on the front suspension.
I also looked at the sway bar bushings. There are some little flakes of rubber on the outside but I don’t feel any free play on the bar so I figure this is not the problem.
The rear is likely in the same condition as the front was; on the pic you posted there, the blue rubber was sticking Out of my 'adjuster', lol. :)

Rock auto has the three stock Rear bushings that Are available, "Lower inner bushings, set", "upper inner bushing".

Moog=trw=stock.

ACDelco=raybestos=better, imho.

Make sure the upper inner is two pieces; see TM's sticky. :) They're still out there. apparently.

I would personally buy the parts myself, even if you're taking it somewhere to have someone install them. They charge more, and won't warranty them, but buy good quality parts and that isn't a problem; they buy the cheapest thing available from whoever delivers them parts.

Why don't you take some pix under your car of the offending bushings, and we can do before and after photos.

Accuracy counts; mark how they are aligned going in, and put the new one in the same way.

You have to support the upper arm to put the bushing back in; cut a piece off a 2x4 the right size if nothing else.

**** using a press to remove it, Getting the upper inner bushing out is easy with an air hammer; punch a line of dimples in it from 3 sides, and it will fall out. :)

The knuckle bushings are not available stock, see the thread about poly knuckle bushings if those are bad.

If your wheel bearing is bad, it's a Timken "Set49" at rockauto, they're in everything's front wheels.

Don't buy cheap ebay or amazon.

They won't be the right bearing, as straight axles are different; they are paired rollers, not Opposed paired tapered rollers.

"Same as set49" for $10 is probably not correct. :)

Our wheel location is set and maintained by the preload on that bearing, so it's tight. Search for a thread on replacing it.

It can't really come out if the bearing fails, but the whole load right to left is held by those bearings, same as the front; straight rear axles usually have thrust bearings for the side loading.


Buy new axle nuts from ford, don't use the dorman ones.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CDsDontBurn

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Here's what I found...

Thanks for this information Grog6. I got under the car today and here’s what I found. First lets discuss the wheel bearings. My ears perked up when CDsDontBurn mentioned them in post 8. About two weeks ago I noticed a kind of whirring groan sound from the rear sort of like road noise. I had a 69 Plymouth that had a louder version of that sound for years and I’m pretty sure it was the rear end so I feared the same in this case. I noticed this sound changes a little under load but still makes the sound even when coasting so I wasn’t sure what to think. I pulled the fill plug on the differential and found the oil looked and smelled clean and new so just decided to keep an eye out. The groan sound is not loud and I’m the only one who’s noticed it. Well, I think it’s the bearings but the clunk noise has been going on for years and the bearing noise is new so I’ve got at least two problems. I got the wheels off the ground and found there is about a sixteenth inch play in the vertical direction on both rear wheels. Easy to feel it. I don’t feel any play in the front wheels.
I can probably manage this job but it would be heavier work then I’ve done. I need to decide if I should do it myself or buy the bearings and pay someone to install them or let it die a slow death.
Question: Any idea how long it can be driven like this before the bearings fry?
Next, here’s what I found on the toe compensator links. Looks like they are both bad. Click here for some pics of the left-side link: https://imgur.com/a/Z6A2FgK
and here for some pics of the right-side link: https://imgur.com/a/PZlovJU
I could easily wriggle them about their front to rear axis but not move them perpendicular to that axis. My thought is the links are responsible for the clunking sound and they’ve probably been bad for quite a while.
Question: I could buy the bushings and install them or buy the whole link for about $35 each. Is there a reason to do this one way or the other besides the cost difference?
Question: This car has had an annoying pull to the right for so long I can’t even remember when it started. I gave up on having it aligned since alignments only partially corrected the problem and it would very quickly become worse again. What are the chances the root cause of this pull to the right is due to the bad rear toe compensator links??
Thanks for the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,655 Posts
Question: Any idea how long it can be driven like this before the bearings fry?
That varies on a whole different slew of environmental and driving habits before the bearings completely let loose. Replacing them isn't too difficult....except that you need a press for that. Take the rear knucle(s) to a shop to do that part for you. Check out this YouTube video I found a couple years ago on how to do the job. Pretty easy and straight forward, IMO.


Next, here’s what I found on the toe compensator links. Looks like they are both bad. Click here for some pics of the left-side link: https://imgur.com/a/Z6A2FgK
and here for some pics of the right-side link: https://imgur.com/a/PZlovJU
I could easily wriggle them about their front to rear axis but not move them perpendicular to that axis. My thought is the links are responsible for the clunking sound and they’ve probably been bad for quite a while.
As for the Toe Compensators, yea. They're done. They're also the most likely reason why you're having the clunking noise at this point in time.

Question: I could buy the bushings and install them or buy the whole link for about $35 each. Is there a reason to do this one way or the other besides the cost difference?
Cost difference is the only reason why.

Question: This car has had an annoying pull to the right for so long I can’t even remember when it started. I gave up on having it aligned since alignments only partially corrected the problem and it would very quickly become worse again. What are the chances the root cause of this pull to the right is due to the bad rear toe compensator links???
The more likely reasons why your car pulls to the right even after an alignment is done would be because of failing hub (rotates slower and therefore pulls to the side that's failing), a sticking brake caliper, a defective tire (this happened to my wife's '13 Taurus after getting her the current set of tires she's on right now), or improper tires (mixed tires).

Failed toe compensator(s) could lead to pulling to the left / right, but I wouldn't rule it out as the only possibility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks CDsDontBurn for this great info, very helpful as is the video. You said:
The more likely reasons why your car pulls to the right even after an alignment is done would be because of failing hub (rotates slower and therefore pulls to the side that's failing), a sticking brake caliper, a defective tire (this happened to my wife's '13 Taurus after getting her the current set of tires she's on right now), or improper tires (mixed tires).
Failed toe compensator(s) could lead to pulling to the left / right, but I wouldn't rule it out as the only possibility.
Not sure I have my terms right but I think the hub is what the bearing is pressed into so by hub you probably mean the (front) bearing and or hub. If this were the case wouldn’t the added friction from the bad hub/bearing cause a catastrophic failure before too long? This pulling has been going on for probably 150K miles and persisted through several new tires. Right now, I have Michelin Defenders with less than 5k miles and its still pulling. Yesterday I checked the front bearings for play and gave them a spin and they both spun fine without excessive friction. The rears also spin fine but have the 6 o’clock – 12 o’clock free play. Unless I’m missing something (wouldn’t be a first) I think this rules out wheels and breaks and leaves only suspension stuff. Do you agree?
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top