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Discussion Starter #1
1994 Tbird LX 4.6, 72k city miles.

Had the clunk in the rear last year. Got the stabilizer bar end-links replaced.

Now I got the clunk in the front. Traced it to the front stabilizer bar end-links (with TCCOA help), got it up on a rack and find the bushings for the lo control arm are shredded, partly hanging loose.

I fear the car may need all new suspension bushings (except the rear end-links). Is it practical to replace "the mess of 'em"?

I am old and infirm and can't do much work on it. I've found several threads on non-Ford bushings including the "Front Bushing Picture Thread with part numbers" thread. I know to use Ford strut rod bushings at the frame side: is it safe to assume the Moog parts in http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=99795&highlight=How+about+an+official+suspension+parts+list+thread are OK for the rest?

Your expert opions are solicited: how should I proceed with this? If I asked a dealer to estimate parts/labor for full replacement of suspension bushings, what ball-park should the estimate fall into? $500? $1500?? More???

I got the car in '97 with 19k mi. on odometer. The 50+k mi. I've put on it were gently nursed (I've got a 2-wheeler on which I do my rip-and-tear stuff). Retired since 2001, I don't put many miles on the machine. Aside from the MLPS and a couple sets of plug wires, I haven't had to repaiir much of anything. I'd sooner fix it than buy a new (used) auto, as long as it is practical to do.

Help me keep an ancient 'Boid on the road. :)

TIA,
P
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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You definitely want the OE Ford bushings on both sides of the tension struts, but aside from that you're okay to use Moog for the rest of the suspension.

I can't fathom a guess to what it would cost to have the work performed, even if you provided the parts.
 

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I would guess the bill will be over $1,000 with labor. I replaced the front strut rod bushings (both ends), outer tie-rod ends, and upper and lower control arms last year. I did it myself though so that saved some $.

It's worth pricing out Ford/Motorcraft parts as they're good obviously. If the price isn't much different, just stick with Ford/Motorcraft IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks go to theterminator93 and Swanny for helpful info.

I walked into the neighborhood (Ford) dealers today and stood around for 20 min., no one even asked if I needed help at the svc. counter. I walked out after getting a quote from the parts guy. All the dealers refuse to install non-Ford parts? If so, I don't need to get a dealer estimate of labor: they won't
do the work without specifying parts I don't need (strut, etc).

I've sorta given up on replacing -all- the bushings. Doesn't look practical.

There's a neighborhood mechanic that sez he'll do front end-links and strut bushings for maybe $120 labor + 40% markup on parts. I can't even find his parts numbers, so I worked up some of my own. Looks like:

'94 Tbird LX V8 (4.6L)

Estimate of parts cost, front suspension bushings:

Rockauto http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
MOOG Part # K8635 End Links 2 @ $40.79 81.58
S/H $8.58
Total $90.16

McMahon Ford
Strut Rod Bushings LCA Side - Front: E9SZ3A140A
Strut Rod Bushings LCA Side - Rear: E9SZ3A140B $94.52
(per Ron @ McMahon)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Total Parts Cost $184.68
+ 40% 73.87
Parts + Markup 258.55

Est. Labor $120.00
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Total $378.55

Most important - do all the part #'s and types (Moog, etc) look OK? I haven't run it by the mechanic yet. Apologies for what the forum software does with columns, spacing, etc (dunno how to get around that). :-(

Thanks,
P
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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You can order the strut rod bushings at the LCA side for about $40+shipping from various online retailers, e.g. fordpartsgiant.com. They come packaged as a pair - one pack of two rears, one pack of two fronts, about $18 a piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can order the strut rod bushings at the LCA side for about $40+shipping from various online retailers, e.g. fordpartsgiant.com. They come packaged as a pair - one pack of two rears, one pack of two fronts, about $18 a piece.
I remember seeing they didn't have the kit (dealer didn't either). They have the bushings (Thanks!).

>As Rodeo Joe points out, bushing KIT.
>You can buy the bushings separate, but you need good ferrules.
>If you've got one-part units, you may need to torch the old bushings off to get to the ferrules.
>In the mean time, I think I will be raiding the local U-Pull-Its for ferrules (and complete strut rods!)...
>----------
>Well, go to your local Ford dealers parts dept. Ask, when they tell you it's discontinued ask them to do a search and see if any other dealers are showing a stock. That's how I got mine last month. $114.30 +shipping (each). They were shipped here from a dealership in Texas.
>There still may be a few kits around but they wont be for long. The next step is get good hardware if yours is bad and buy the bushings separately. Use the diagram at fordpartsgiant to get each individual part number.
>----------

I'm showing the bushings separately (no problem with that).

But they don't have the ferrules? Any ideas??

P
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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The only option for the frame side, if your hardware is shot, is to get in touch with DLF and ask him about his stainless steel, improved design hardware. There is a thread about them here: http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=137104
 

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I bought the frame side bushing kits which include the sleeves and bushings last year. I was told the kits were obsolete for some time but the dealer was able to get me two sets of them. So hunt around there still may be factory Ford sets out there if interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If the old hardware is salvagable, will it be just a "slip-on, slip-off" thing? Or do ya gotta torch it off? Or ???

Thanks,
P
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Ideally, yes. It ultimately depends what shape the bushings/hardware is on that side and unfortunately, it's practically impossible to tell what you'll find until you start ripping it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ideally, yes. It ultimately depends what shape the bushings/hardware is on that side and unfortunately, it's practically impossible to tell what you'll find until you start ripping it apart.
My guess is ... it won't be that bad.

My revised estimates, without shipg/handlg:

'94 Tbird LX V8 (4.6L)

Estimate of parts cost, front suspension bushings:

Rockauto http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
MOOG Part # K8635 End Links 2 @ $40.79 $81.58
Total $81.58

www.fordpartsgiant.com
bushing SZ-3A141-B Front of lower arm $18.88
bushing SZ-3A140-A Rear of lower arm $18.70

Total $37.58

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Parts Cost $119.16
Markup @ 40% 47.66
Parts + Markup 166.82

Est. Labor $120.00
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Total $286.82

Near as I can tell, I've got what I need for now. Many, Many Thanks!

I'll let y'all know how it pans out in a week or 2.

Cheers,
P
 

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To replace all bushings just because of a worn sway bar end link at 74K miles is a wasteful way to spend hard earned dollars IMHO .... but they are your $$$s. I'ld say replace other rubber parts when needed for sure, but the front sway bar end links are ball and socket type joints, and they are easily replaced when worn.

I spent a few $$$ replacing both front sway bar end links on the '95 as they were clunking a little. Now all is tight and she has a bit over 75K on her. As to the rear, I made new rubber bushings using rubber hose and a vise.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
To replace all bushings just because of a worn sway bar end link at 74K miles is a wasteful way to spend hard earned dollars IMHO .... but they are your $$$s. I'ld say replace other rubber parts when needed for sure, but the front sway bar end links are ball and socket type joints, and they are easily replaced when worn.

I spent a few $$$ replacing both front sway bar end links on the '95 as they were clunking a little. Now all is tight and she has a bit over 75K on her. As to the rear, I made new rubber bushings using rubber hose and a vise.
When I took a half-serious look at the undercarriage, I saw more bushings that needed replacement than ones that didn't. That led to consideration of practicality of replacing most/all of 'em.

Obviously wasn't practical, so I'll do what I can, piecemeal. If I could've replaced all bushings for, say, $500 parts/labor, I probably wouldn've done it. Just so I wouldn't hafta worry about it for a long, long time.

Just trying to use common sense, here.

P
 

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I went to the Ford Dealership in my city and asked how much to replace everything? Uppers, lowers, tie rod ends, and sway bar links and if i bring all the parts. And of course go on and knock out the alignment. he said $606 and they could do it in one day if I drop it off before 10AM. SMH. Geuss im gonna have to get my mechanic to do it. Itll be way cheaper but it would take about three days cuz he works two jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I went to the Ford Dealership in my city and asked how much to replace everything? Uppers, lowers, tie rod ends, and sway bar links and if i bring all the parts. And of course go on and knock out the alignment. he said $606 and they could do it in one day if I drop it off before 10AM. SMH. Geuss im gonna have to get my mechanic to do it. Itll be way cheaper but it would take about three days cuz he works two jobs.
Everything? You mean everything in the front suspension. Right?

Thanks for the mention. I didn't know if any dealer would do it.

If/when you get a firm quote from your mech. please post it here.

Cheers,
P
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Remove the tension strut ?

Who can tell me exactly how to remove the tension strut (strut rod)?

Is all this necessary (this is from Haynes)?:

1.) Put it up on jack-stands.
2.) Loosen balljoint retaining nut.
3.) Separate LCA from spindle with balljoint-separator tool.
4.) Remove nut that attaches tension strut to LCA.
5.) Remove shock lower mount nut and bolt.
6.) Remove pivot bolt and nut and detach the LCA.

Thx,
P
 

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Then you need to remove the nut at the front of the strut rod.

Joe

Edit: to answer your second question.....yes
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Then you need to remove the nut at the front of the strut rod.

Joe

Edit: to answer your second question.....yes
At the frame end, yes. Thanks.

How long do you figure it should take a pro mechanic (for 1 side)?

P
 

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Well, that's the book method.

However, if all that you're doing is working on the strut rod bushings, here's a different method.

Jack up the car.
Remove the wheel.
Disconnect the upper sway bar link.
Remove the inner LCA adjusting bolt and nut.
Remove the nuts at both ends of the strut rod.
Disconnect the UCA from the spindle.
Remove the three nuts that hold the upper shock mount to the shock tower.
Swing the LCA, shock and spindle rearward, watching the brake and ABS lines, and remove the strut rod.

Any time I can skip touching the lower ball joint and the lower shock mounting bolt, I will. ;)

If nothing's rusty, I can do it easy in less than a half hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Lost in bushings-land again

I just went over my '94 with a long-time dealer mechanic who tells me I need (in addition to end-link and strut-rod bushings);

LCA bushings
Upper ball-joint bushings (and/or rubber covers)

The suspension parts list thread shows only:
LEFT - INCL BALL JOINT K80053
RIGHT - INCL BALL JOINT K80055

which are the Moog LCA kits (all parts, I think) and about $53 each.

Is it not possible to get only the applicable bushings (and/or rubber covers) by-they-own-selves?
Did I miss something in the thread?

Thx,
P
 
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