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Topic: Front suspension rebuild (Read 331 times) previous topic - next topic

Front suspension rebuild

Front suspension rebuild.

Any tips or pointers?

My 86 tbird has 220k miles on it now, 100k since I bought it 3 years ago. I drive the crap out of it, pizza delivery and a ton of highway.  Last winter I hit a bad patch of ice/snow and spun out. Straightened it out right before hitting the guard rail. Luckily it pretty much only rubbed on the tire but it bent the tie rod. I adjusted it out a bit just to get by without killong tires.  Before that, the alignment was perfect.

But with all these miles on it, I lost a ball joint on a dirt road a while ago, and really haven't trusted everything else on the car since. I want to pretty much replace everything on there, including struts up front.

I would like to get as much adjustment as possible to fix a bit of caster/camber incase I bent something when I hit that guard rail.

As much as I would like caster/camber plates, I do not plan on lowering the car, just a basic stock rebuild. I was thinking about getting "crash bolts" to make sure everything is as good as I can get it, but I have no experience with them.

Every alignment ive gotten, the steering wheel ends up crooked or even upside down and they refuse to adjust everything as long as it is "in spec". I am going to try to do a drive way alignment after I replace everything to get everything as close as I can before I end up taking it somewhere to make sure its all as straight as I can get it first.

I plan on spending good money on balljoint. That one was pretty scarey. I'm glad I was under 10 mph on a dirt road when that one let go.

Any tips or tricks I need to know before hand?
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

Re: Front suspension rebuild

Reply #1
I want to follow along to hear what others say.  I have read but don't have experience that the SN95 ball joints are better but longer.  Not sure if they will work with the '86 control arms.  I wonder if you could replace your control arms with SN95 also?
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger 3" single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Schneider roller cam,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: Front suspension rebuild

Reply #2
I want to follow along to hear what others say.  I have read but don't have experience that the SN95 ball joints are better but longer.  Not sure if they will work with the '86 control arms.  I wonder if you could replace your control arms with SN95 also?

 SN95 ball joints are better but they are shorter than Fox ones. They won't work with stock Fox spindles.
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.