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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Getting ready to do a full front suspension rebuild on my bird. It's a 94 4.6 with 115,000 miles for reference.
The problem I'm experiencing is that the steering wheel won't return to center on its own.
Pulled both front wheels off and the whole thing looks shot. I've read that it's easier and more cost effective to replace the entire control arm rather than pressing out the individual ball joints and various bushings. While I'm there I will also be replacing the Stabilizer/Sway Bar End Links, Inner and Outer Tie Rods, and the Strut Rod Bushings for the Front to Frame and Front to Arm. The car has relatively new Tokiko Shocks/Struts on it so I won't be touching those.

For the majority of the parts, I have seen recommendations for using Ford/Motorcraft, TRW, or Moog parts.
I am planning to buy Moog for everything from RockAuto with the exception of the Front to Frame Strut Rod Bushings.
I also saw that you should get an 18mm 6-point ratcheting wrench and a pickle fork to do this job.

This is my current Build List:
(x2) K8635 (Front; Link With Sockets) - MOOG
(x2) K8680 (Front To Arm; Contains Thermoplastic Bushing Problem Solver) - MOOG
(x2) K8521 (Front; Plus or Minus 1-1/8 Degree(s)) - MOOG
(x2) ES3004RL (Tie Rod End; Outer) - MOOG
(x2) EV127 (Tie Rod End; Inner) - MOOG
(x1) RK8596 (Control Arm; Complete Arm w/ Ball Joint Front Left Upper) - MOOG
(x1) RK8598 (Control Arm; Complete Arm w/ Ball Joint Front Right Upper) - MOOG
(x1) RK80053 (Control Arm; Complete Arm w/ Ball Joint Front Left Lower without AUTO ADJUSTING Suspension) - MOOG
(x1) RK80055 (Control Arm; Complete Arm w/ Ball Joint Front Right Lower without AUTO ADJUSTING Suspension) - MOOG

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After a significant amount of reading, I have seen multiple comments about how the Moog bushings are made from a poly/thermoplastic material that does not flex under loading causing them to split during hard braking. Additionally, the ferrule/sleeve that encapsulates the bushing is not solid metal and has a seam in the middle which leads to crumpling of the ferrule (otherwise known as mushroomed)

0) P/N: K8659 More Information for MOOG K8659

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It seems that the OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame bushings (E9SZ-3B271-A and F7SZ-3A225-AA) are the way to go because they are made of Rubber.
I would reuse the ferrule from the old stock bushing if am able to salvage it during removal. However this is a northern car and I would say that it's highly unlikely they will be able to be reused.

I'm wondering what the best current option is here when it comes to replacing these bushings and ferrules. I have called multiple ford dealerships and the OEM ones are simply unattainable. Buying something off the shelf would be ideal, but I could also model up the ferrules/sleeves in Solidworks and send it off to a machine shop.

If I were to have it machined I would make it out of some steel tube from McMaster-Carr: McMaster-Carr

I have seen a few alternative "off-the-shelf" options mentioned and I am wondering if any of these will work?

Other Options on RockAuto:

Delphi Technologies TD4589W More Information for DELPHI TD4589W
Mevotech MK8659 More Information for MEVOTECH MK8659
Raybestos 5781057 More Information for RAYBESTOS 5781057
Mevotech GK8659 More Information for MEVOTECH GK8659
Quick Steer K8659 More Information for QUICK STEER K8659
Ultra Power K8659 More Information for ULTRA-POWER K8659

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1) P/N: PTP-6-1205-BL [67-70 Ford Mustang] Prothane Motion Control 6-1205-BL Prothane Strut Rod Bushings | Summit Racing
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2) P/N: 4.7118 [61-69 Lincoln Continental] 4.7118 | Front Strut Arm Bushings - Lincoln Continental
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3) P/N: N/A (Reman Ford OEM Bushings) NEW 1989-1998 Thunderbird Cougar Mark VIII Front Strut Rod Stainless Sleeves Kit

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For reference the original OEM Part Numbers for the Strut Rod to Frame Bushing Assembly are:

4) [Original Ford OEM Bushings] 1989 - 1998 Thunderbird Cougar Mark VIII Strut Rod K-Member SS Sleeves Bushings Kit

OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Inner Nut: N805970-S160 or N805473-S160
OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Inner Ferrule/Sleeve: E9SZ-3B282-B or F3LY-3B282-B
OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Inner Washer: E9SZ-3A141-B
OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Inner Bushing: E9SZ-3B271-A
OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Outer Bushing: F7SZ-3A225-AA
OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Outer Washer: E9SZ-3A141-A
OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Outer Ferrule/Sleeve: E9SZ-3B282-A or F3LY-3B282-A
OEM Ford Strut Rod to Frame Outer Nut: N805836-S160



Detailed Pictures of the Strut Rod Assembly with OEM Part Numbers:


Custom Machined Strut Rod to Frame Ferrules/Sleeves:

Engineering Drawings:

Torque Specifications:


Please Let me know if any of these alternative options will work, or if I should just go about having custom ferrules/sleeves machined.
Also if I am missing anything from my parts list please let me know what else I need to include.
 

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Get away from the moog. Get either the arms from SCP or do like me hit rock auto and buy the AC delco professional line and you won’t be dissatisfied. It’s just beefier stuff.
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Get away from the moog. Get either the arms from SCP or do like me hit rock auto and buy the AC delco professional line and you won’t be dissatisfied. It’s just beefier stuff. View attachment 43666 View attachment 43667
Just be aware you don't always get the beefier one with the replaceable balljoint. I've been around the block with these a couple of times.
 

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Just be aware you don't always get the beefier one with the replaceable balljoint. I've been around the block with these a couple of times.
For real?? They might of sent you a wrong set, I know ACDELCO has 2 different lines of products. The professional being the top dog. Good tip tho, just in case the OP orders and gets a skimpy set he knows how the hood ones look like.
 

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Yeah thats another thing I dont like about RA. Theyll send you what they have. Doesnt really matter if its the exact brand or style you wanted. If it "fits" the application they toss it in the box.
 

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Just be aware you don't always get the beefier one with the replaceable balljoint. I've been around the block with these a couple of times.
For real?? They might of sent you a wrong set, I know ACDELCO has 2 different lines of products. The professional being the top dog. Good tip tho, just in case the OP orders and gets a skimpy set he knows how the hood ones look like.
Yeah thats another thing I dont like about RA. Theyll send you what they have. Doesnt really matter if its the exact brand or style you wanted. If it "fits" the application they toss it in the box.
When I was buying my UCAs, I specifically wanted the ACDelco PRO units. I forget which side it was, but I went through SEVERAL replacements from different vendors until I got it right. Even then, I got it right because I fixed it. I believe that discussion is burred in my suspension thread somewhere. I found out that the UCA design is identical to each other on Left and Right sides, they're just mirrored to each other. The last UCA I received was indeed the ACDelco PRO (I kept receiving ACDelco standards), but for the side I already had. However, because the ball joint on that is removable on the PRO UCA, I ended up flipping the ball joint upside down and therefore making it for the side I kept getting sent wrong items for.

Basically, it's not the vendor's (RA, Amazon, Summit, JEGS, parts store, etc.) fault for whoever at the manufacturing plant put the wrong label on the box the part arrived in.
 

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That's what I ended up doing also. It was easier to get one side over the other, I can't remember which. I finally got one through Summit and ended up finding a couple of n.o.s. Mcquay Norris arms on Ebay and flipped the ball joint. I think I saw your thread about doing that.
 

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That's what I ended up doing also. It was easier to get one side over the other, I can't remember which. I finally got one through Summit and ended up finding a couple of n.o.s. Mcquay Norris arms on Ebay and flipped the ball joint. I think I saw your thread about doing that.
Glad I was able to help someone else out! :)
 

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For the UCA's you can also look at the MKVIII ones. They are a different part number b/c of a clip, I think for air ride or something, don't remember. When I last replaced mine only 1 side was available for a Cougar / Bird, the other side was available for the Mark and I don't think there was a significant price difference if any.
 

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I had replaced my strut rod bushings, washers and sleeves on my '96 4.6L LX about 7 years ago. I had initially replaced them with the Moogs, but they split under pressure pretty quickly, so yes - you will need to get some OEM bushings.

I was able to get the OEM bushings off of eBay at the time, and the washers from Bob Allen Ford. There was a guy on the Lincolns vs Cadillac site who machined the sleeves for me. I had the suspension specialist at my dealer put it all together for me and the car drove fine after that.

For hard to find parts, one of the websites which had been helpful was www.rearcounter.com - that's how I found some of the parts from Bob Allen Ford.

The guy on the Lincoln vs Cadillac site went by the handle 98lincmk7lsc. (See Forward Strut Rod Spacers)
The original guy (handle DLF) passed away, but 98lincmk7lsc was able to make them for me.

Good luck with your repair!
 

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If 98lincmk7lsc is Jay, I wouldn't recommend working with him. Far too many people over the last few years have had bad experiences with Jay (see thread linked below). The strut rod sleeves and bushings are best purchased from TBSC instead.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I posted link for DLFs machined sleeves above. I know some other guy took over his workshop and was making them after he passed.

TBSC is out of stock for the rubber bushings, but they do have a few
sleeves and washers left in stock and I just snagged those.

For the OEM rubber bushings I saw that Tasca Ford has them in stock. Went through with the payment but then the next day they said they were out of stock and cancelled my order.

The only thing I can’t find are those damn OEM bushings. I checked the part descriptions of everything on Rock Auto, Autozone, Advanced, Oreillys, and Napa and the only bushing replacement that looked like it might be made of rubber was made by Delphi Technologies. I went ahead and purchased those just to see for myself. If worse comes to worse, I’ll just use the Delphi bushings with the custom washer and sleeves from TBSC.

I’ll keep you guys updated with the Delphi bushings. I know it probably isn’t the brand of choice, but I’ve searched everywhere and our options are limited.
 

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If 98lincmk7lsc is Jay, I wouldn't recommend working with him. Far too many people over the last few years have had bad experiences with Jay (see thread linked below). The strut rod sleeves and bushings are best purchased from TBSC instead.

Yes, 98lincmk7lsc is Jay. Sorry to hear that people were having trouble getting him to fill their orders – I had him make mine back in 2014, and had a positive experience with him. The suspension specialist at my Ford dealer said that the part looked much more robust than the OEM sleeves.
 

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Yeah thats another thing I dont like about RA. Theyll send you what they have. Doesnt really matter if its the exact brand or style you wanted. If it "fits" the application they toss it in the box.
This is why I've never ordered from RA, heard too many horror stories. I feel good about never going down that rabbit hole.

Amazon is also sketchy for car parts, I ordered the same Moog replacement control arms twice and one set was beefier than the other. Also, I suspect counterfeit Ford parts are sold thru their site, based on a part I bought from them.

Al
 

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Yeah I posted link for DLFs machined sleeves above. I know some other guy took over his workshop and was making them after he passed.

TBSC is out of stock for the rubber bushings, but they do have a few
sleeves and washers left in stock and I just snagged those.

For the OEM rubber bushings I saw that Tasca Ford has them in stock. Went through with the payment but then the next day they said they were out of stock and cancelled my order.

The only thing I can’t find are those damn OEM bushings. I checked the part descriptions of everything on Rock Auto, Autozone, Advanced, Oreillys, and Napa and the only bushing replacement that looked like it might be made of rubber was made by Delphi Technologies. I went ahead and purchased those just to see for myself. If worse comes to worse, I’ll just use the Delphi bushings with the custom washer and sleeves from TBSC.

I’ll keep you guys updated with the Delphi bushings. I know it probably isn’t the brand of choice, but I’ve searched everywhere and our options are limited.
I would also give a shot to SCP polyurethane bushings, but I understand that there is an issue with / when torquing down polyurethane? I'm not sure, TBH.

As for Delphi, I personally like Delphi products as they are a known OEM supplier to various manufacturers like Honda and GM.

Yes, 98lincmk7lsc is Jay. Sorry to hear that people were having trouble getting him to fill their orders – I had him make mine back in 2014, and had a positive experience with him. The suspension specialist at my Ford dealer said that the part looked much more robust than the OEM sleeves.
Jay was good at getting stuff out to people who placed orders with him initially. From my understanding though, a few years after he took over, he began having issues with his personal life and it impacted his work quality. In that same link I posted above, you can see how people went from "Thank you so much, great quality, fast turn around" to "Dude, where's my stuff? You've ghosted me. Get me back my money or get me what I paid you for".

This is why I've never ordered from RA, heard too many horror stories. I feel good about never going down that rabbit hole.

Amazon is also sketchy for car parts, I ordered the same Moog replacement control arms twice and one set was beefier than the other. Also, I suspect counterfeit Ford parts are sold thru their site, based on a part I bought from them.

Al
The few times I've had to return things to RA, I haven't had any issues. When something is broke out of the box, they pay for return shipping. When I order something incorrectly and I need to send it back, I pay for shipping. This is how it has always been with vendors all across the internet, it's nothing new. Now, like in my unique scenario a couple years ago, I kept receiving units that had the right PN on them but the product inside was wrong, that's a manufacturer issue, not a vendor issue. In my scenario, I kept ordering the same UCA - from different vendors, mind you - but kept receiving the wrong part inside the box. The vendor isn't going to know what the part is inside the box, they just work their inventory based on the box's label provided by the manufacturer.
 

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I would also give a shot to SCP polyurethane bushings, but I understand that there is an issue with / when torquing down polyurethane? I'm not sure, TBH.
It’s less of a factor with those but poly doesn’t need(or tolerate) as much preload as rubber, as if the bushings are squeezed way down to the point of bulging out any additional suspension movement will cause them to burst. That said that kit has a beefy solid sleeve that won’t deform and compress under the factory spec like the Moogs with the split sleeve, and the bushings won’t compress further than the sleeve’s length, which should be about .13” shorter than the loose bushings max.
 

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If you're going that route, you can save yourself $80 by buying them from Energy Suspension: Control arm side strut rod bushing
That's the thing I don't like about SCP / Bill. He doesn't advertise the manufacturer and / or part numbers of the parts that can be purchased off the shelf. I'm glad to know that these bushings are available from elsewhere for much cheaper.
 

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That's the thing I don't like about SCP / Bill. He doesn't advertise the manufacturer and / or part numbers of the parts that can be purchased off the shelf. I'm glad to know that these bushings are available from elsewhere for much cheaper.
The funny thing is after Rod mentioned them being an Energy Suspension part but before he verified the part number with his set, I got curious and plugged in "energy suspension strut rod bushings" in a google image search and scrolled until I saw the set that most resembled SCP lol

Seriously, I'm glad he runs a business that caters to these cars, and would gladly support him by buying from him when necessary but not when I'm clearly getting gouged. Rob used to sell repackaged energy suspension parts on his website like the poly ball joint boots but he didn't charge damn near 4x the MSRP for them!
 

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That's the thing I don't like about SCP / Bill. He doesn't advertise the manufacturer and / or part numbers of the parts that can be purchased off the shelf. I'm glad to know that these bushings are available from elsewhere for much cheaper.
Yep, seems like he goes out of his way to avoid doing that, so people don't have the chance to do their research and gravitate towards his stuff.

One thing I found out years ago - if anyone wants any of "his" upholstery kit sets, just go to these guys. They're who he uses: Auto Custom Leathers, Inc. - Home
 
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