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Discussion Starter #1
I just got delivery of my 93 LX today, and I can see the front upper control arm bushing is worn, the rubber boot is gone, it's just open to the air.
Needless to say, she needs some TLC.

I see they have kits on Ebay... you guys think this stuff is any good?

I need to take the wheels off the car and look over the entire suspension to see what she'll need...but a whole kit can just get that done in one swoop.

Not sure on the struts as I've not driven her more than 1 mile (ice in Kansas City)...

Thoughts welcome!
Nate

12pc Brand New Front Suspension Kit For Ford And Mercury LIFETIME WARRANTY | eBay
 

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Nate,

What's your level of experience? Buying the parts is the easy part. Does it really need all the parts in the kit? Do you have the time and facility to work on the car to install all these parts? Do you have the Ford Repair Manual yet? Sorry for all the questions but as you know, evaluation of resources and project timeline goes into all these decisions. Buy and replace the parts you know need to be replaced. I tend to use Rockauto for mail order and better pricing for most parts, local parts store for stuff I need now, and ebay for big stuff for which free shipping is offered. Feedback on that ebay vendor seems to be okay.

Good luck on your project.

Jim
 

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A lot of people will tell you that some of those eBay kits can be a lot of junk. Best to search here then shop around and go with the recommended brands for best quality. Don't need any problems down the road.

Joe
 

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What is the actual price of the ebay kit vs pricing of good stuff from Rock Auto?

On Rock Auto, for upper control arms I'd avoid Raybestos. Yes, they used to be top notch, but quality control is slipping, and bad/wrong product is often in the box that is supposed to have the "good stuff".

Me personally, I'd rather buy my parts from Rock Auto and know I'm getting good stuff than get some cheaply made junk on Ebay and have it fail on the road in half the time it takes the good stuff to fail.
 

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Those ebay kits are about the lowest tier quality you can buy. I would not trust those parts on anything I was driving.

I am not trying to plug them, but Rockauto will have similar prices and much higher quality brand names. A lot of parts for our cars are on clearance at their site for super cheap. TRW, Moog, Mevotech, Raybestos, AcDelco are all good brands to consider. Look for the upper control arms that come with a larger size ball joint, they are better built from what I have heard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't think I'll buy the eBay stuff... That's got to be made in China...aka crap.
Rock Auto..sure.

I'm very mechanically inclined. I put the lowering suspension on my Sonic, had to take the strut off, spring compressor, etc...

I'm going to inspect tonight but how easy is DIY on these?

Upper control arm ball joint is bad, no rubber. Easy to take UCA off?
Sway bar end links, I'd think these would be easy
Lower control arm ball joint same as upper?
Struts, looks like upper bolt, lower bolt, take out, compress and reverse...
Tie rods...here's the fun one! Must count turns when taking off...


Are any of those parts under tension (besides the strut spring), or can I just unbolt, replace, get alignment and good to go?

Thanks buddies!
 

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If you replace all of the worn front suspension parts with quality parts now..
Then you won't be replacing them again for a long long time.. :)

I know it might seem like you're saving some money by buying a whole kit, but trust me you'll regret it..
Especially if you plan on keeping the car for a long time..

There's nothing worse then having to go back and replace parts, because you used cheaply made parts the first time..

My advice is to use Ford/Motorcraft/TRW parts on everything that is still available..

Here's some links for you:

(TRW) Front Driver Side Lower Control Arm
(TRW) Front Passenger Side Lower Control Arm

(TRW) Front Driver Side Upper Control Arm
(TRW) Front Passenger Side Upper Control Arm

(TRW) Outer Tie Rods

(TRW) Front Sway Bar End Links

If money is tight, just buy the good stuff as money becomes available..
Then, once you've collected all the parts..Change them all at the same time..

I wouldn't mess with the Inner Tie Rods, unless you can confirm they are bad..They are a P.I.T.A.
In that case: (TRW) Inner Tie Rods

There are other parts of the front suspension, that could potentially be bad..
You're just gonna have to check them out first though..
I wouldn't blindly replace every part, just because..
Some of them old parts might be fine..






Rayo..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, I'm taking the front wheels off today to inspect.
is that upper control arm easy to replace...it may ONLY be that...

No plans for a broad total replacement. The car has a service history on Carfax, so I assume the big stuffs okay.

We'll see :)
 

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Ratcheting Wrenches are your friend when changing out the Front Upper Control Arms..
Specifically an 18mm ratcheting wrench..

I took a couple pics of how the 5.0L MN12s are set-up..

On the Upper Control Arm Side under the wheel well..Use the Box end of the wrench...Preferably a ratcheting wrench..

Like this:


On the Side closest to the AC Accumulator..Use the Open end of the wrench...

Like this:


Basically use the Open End of the wrench to hold the nut, and use the box end of a ratcheting wrench to remove the bolt...

That AC Accumulator is damn near touching that nut.. :(






Rayo..
 

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Two more notes.

1) You can work the accumulator loose enough to get that ratcheting box wrench in. I'd leave the flags on the bolts so that ONE side is captivated when loosening / tightening.

2) BIG hint on the UCAs: When reassembling, tighten down the shock tower bolts with the UCA held horizontal and level before attaching the spindle; that will properly preload the rubber bushings.

The other choice is to not tighten them down until the car is sitting on the ground; that will just about REQUIRE you leave the flags on and reuse the old bolts. Which I did (reuse the old bolts, that is!) since I don't do autocross or anything like that; YMMV natch.

RwP
 

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Make sure you inspect the lower ball joints. They go bad, usually before the uppers. A lot of people overlook them.

When I got my Cougar all 4 ball joints were shot, no boot was left on them and they were making creaking noises. Car only had 90k when I bought it. The dealer that sold it to me said it was in perfect shape; it had a brand new safety inspection sticker on the car... wasn't happy about that
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have some jackstands and I can put my jack under the lower control arm to force the suspension up to a level position. I can't see the pics here at work, but I'll check out tonight!

Thanks!!!
N

I've closed ended ratcheting wrenches, metric and imperial.
 

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Make sure you inspect the lower ball joints. They go bad, usually before the uppers. A lot of people overlook them.

When I got my Cougar all 4 ball joints were shot, no boot was left on them and they were making creaking noises. Car only had 90k when I bought it. The dealer that sold it to me said it was in perfect shape; it had a brand new safety inspection sticker on the car... wasn't happy about that
I've found the opposite, my car needed new upper ball joints by 70k miles, but at 103k I still have the factory lowers, with no signs of wear. Boots staying in tact is key, I don't know why but the uppers seem to tear the boots easier, leading to premature failure
 

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Discussion Starter #15
she's getting a thorough lookover tonight, the front end. I'll look at the rears later..
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Well good news. It's just the upper control arm ball joint. The rest appears in good shape. The swaybar links appear relatively new. With the wheel up no wobble or such front to back, side to side.
So I'll order the control arms and swap them out.
Tires are almost new. Toya Tourevo.. Struts show no leakage, and it bounces up once on a push down test.
I've yet to drive it on the highway, I won't without my insurance and I've 30 days to register it..considering I got the car yesterday, I've time.

They left the Washington plates on it, with 2017 stickers... Thanks Dealership!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bought MOOG control arms with ball joint. One was defective, so I'll get another Thursday when it arrives. The rubber boot was split right down the side...
WTF! Oh well, it'll get fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
All done!
The passenger side was a *****!! But I moved the accumulator and that helped. Those flags really helped!
I got as close to level as I can in my slanted driveway, then tightened them TIGHT!

This FUZZY pic is the flag, I wasn't sure at first what everyone meant.


As you can see they were worn..both sides looked like this


The new one in, fuzzy pic again!


Drives better. I used MOOG parts so I hope they last.

I do notice the rear seems to hop over bumps? How does everyone's V8 drive? Is it a choppy ride, or I wonder if I have too aggressive shocks in the rear....
 
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