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Suspension repair and troubleshoot!

 
FreedomStang93
New User
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/12
Posted: 02/18/12 11:50 AM

Is there anyone out there that can lead me in the right direction? My 93 LX has a clunking noise in the rear when I hit small bumps. I also notice them if my shifts are not the smoothest (Havent driven a manual in 10+ yrs). When I go ove uneven bumps, such as RR tracks that cross the road at an angle, the car really rocks back and forth pretty good. I am thinking that the two issues go hand in hand but not positive. Anyone experience this before or have suggestions? Thanks for any help you might have.


Another issue I am having is when im driving down the road, man do I feel everything and the front of the car is very springy. They are very short and fast bounces. Car has not been lowered but I feel like i am riding in a car that has been dropped all the way to ground. Bad shocks or springs?I would like to lower the car just a bit, not much but can I lower it without it riding the same way?  

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waynep7122
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Posts: 194
Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/18/12 10:41 PM

sounds like you have some bad shocks...

when the struts in the front loose their damping ability..  the front of the car will bottom out and rise too much depending last thing driven over..

the rear shocks could and probably bad..

if the shock mounting bushings are loose.. warn.. missing.. the car may make noises when it goes over bumps..

i normally lean heavily on a fender.. push down hard, then release..  the car should rise above center then drop back to center.. without going down again..      


you could also have bad  rear control arm bushings...

the rear control arms .. 2 upper and 2 lower.. position the rear end in the car.. and keep it centered during up and down travel..   the bushings can tear the rubber under some conditions.. so the center bushing may move off center.. and the rear end will shift from its expected position..   making for a weird driving car.. that seems to have rear steering when you change from pushing on the gas to braking..   the rear end may shift back and forth...

a look at the sides of the bushings will usually reveal..  problems..    as will looking under the car from the side.. as somebody holds their foot on the brake and applys slight throttle in drive and then reverse to see if the rear end bushing bolts are moving through the bushings..  

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FreedomStang93
New User
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/12
Posted: 02/19/12 06:40 AM

Thank you. Only thing is, in the front there is almost no travel at all when going over bumps. Almost as if im riding on extremely stiff springs and springs only. I would almost expect it if the car had been lowered, but its still at stock height.  

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waynep7122
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Posts: 194
Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/19/12 11:22 AM

thats strange...

a few questions...

can you see the struts in the front..   what color are they ....     black... blue.. yellow...  white.. red???? or a label with a brand??

some shocks are REALLY stiff...  for performance driving...

once in a while..   ONE will get bent.. and jam ...  its really hard to do with these..  but its NOT impossible..


can you stick an adjustable wrench over the sway bar.. then measure the opening  when you remove it ..    really thick sway bars can make for a rough ride also sometimes..

if the springs look like they were changed.. measure the wire diameter also with your adjustable wrench..   post the size..


if you have a floor jack.. you might want to stick a short section of 2x4 or 4x4 on top of the jack saddle.  out as close as you can to the ball joint.. without touching the inside of the tire..     with the wheel pointed straight ahead.. wiggle a big prybar or big screws driver under the tire while you look at the lower ball joint.. see if there is any lateral or vertical movement.. as you are now supporting the weight of the car on the jack so the spindle should be unloaded.

ball joints have also seized..  .. as the factory versions are NOT equipped with zirc fittings..  

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FreedomStang93
New User
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/12
Posted: 02/19/12 01:05 PM

Actually that makes a little sense about stiffer front shocks for performance driving because the car does seem to handle quite well when I turn even a slower speeds.


Now if I can figure out the rear suspension. It just feels wobbly if that makes any sense. It feels a little unstable. If i drive across uneven pavement the rear of the car moves from side to side like a bowl of jello.  

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waynep7122
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Posts: 194
Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/19/12 07:28 PM

the 4 rear control arms maintain the rear end in alignment..

if the bushings tear.. and they ***   the rear end can shift position...

if the bushings wear.. and they do.. the rear end can shift position..

if the control arms tear...  the rear end can shift position..

check out this article on installing a performance or drag race rear suspension kit...


http://www.mustang50magazine.com/techarticles/m5lp_0308_installing_hardcores_rear_suspension_and_drag_racing_sway_bars/viewall.html


block the FRONT wheels with tapered pieces of wood block.. 4x6.. cut at a 40 degree angle..

OR

you can have somebody who knows how to drive properly.. sit in the drivers seat with their LEFT foot lightly on the brakes.. while they shift from forward to reverse... forward to reverse.. while you look at the rear suspension from the side  without crawling under the car...

if you have a friend with a drive on 4 post lift.. a wheel alignment rack with a drive on deck.. you could with a bright trouble lamp .. be under the car while the driver moves the gear shift from forward to reverse and back to forward again and again...    check to see where the control arms mount to the underbody and to the rear end brackets.. examine the action of each one..  

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waynep7122
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Posts: 194
Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/19/12 07:33 PM

wait a second.. you have a 5 speed..

this takes is a little different...

you will have to have somebody who REALLY knows how to drive.. gently slip the clutch  to load the rear end against the control arm bushings..

load them in the forward and load them in reverse...

WITHOUT DRIVING off the end of the lift...  

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FreedomStang93
New User
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/12
Posted: 02/20/12 05:36 AM

Well, i climbed back under the car to really take another good look at the control arms and they do not look like any control arms that I have seen. I have tried to look them up on here but still cannot find any that resemble them. They look like they are just about as old as the car, they are covered with that much rust. The lowers appear to have been greased fairly recently but all the bushings on upper and lower do not look healthy. I figure if I have to replace every bushing I might as well replace and update the control arms as well and eliminate that issue all together.

Is there a way to post pics on here? I would like to post a pic and get some others input as well.  

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waynep7122
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Posts: 194
Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/20/12 06:50 AM

post your pictures to photobucket  dot com...  its free...

when you have saved them there..    you can put your cursor over the picture and a tool bar will drop.. then click on the 4th link down.. that starts with an img    it will copy the link..

then use your paste command to paste the link here..

the lowers look like this aftermarket version..



the uppers have one bushing in the arm.. the other in the top of the housing...



this is what the bushing thats pressed into the top of the housing looks like...




perhaps i should have posted this first.

0900C152800697a3


you will want to print this one...

please be sure that you only TIGHTEN the control arm bushing bolts with the suspension at RIDE HEIGHT... not hanging..
if you have a drive on rack .. leave them ONE turn loose and drive it on the rack.. or.. what i do is NOT install the springs... i then jack it to ride height..  then tighten the bushings.. lower it .. slip the springs in..   jack it up slightly and then hook up the shocks.. then its ready for the road...    PLEASE>>> be careful TO NOT OVER STRETCH THE BRAKE HOSE...


0900C152800697a4  

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waynep7122
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Posts: 194
Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/20/12 06:52 AM

Upper Arm
For safety, even if only one arm needs to be replaced, the other arm should be replaced as well.

Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands at the rear crossmember.
Remove and discard the upper arm pivot bolts and nuts, then remove the control arm.

To install:
Place the upper arm into the bracket of the body side rail. Install a new pivot bolt and nut with the nut facing outboard. Do not tighten at this time.
Using a jack, raise the suspension until the upper arm-to-axle pivot hole is in position with the hole in the axle bushing. Install a new pivot bolt and nut with the nut facing inboard.
Raise the suspension to curb height. Tighten the front upper arm bolt to 70-100 ft. lbs. (95-135 Nm) and the rear upper arm bolt to 80-105 ft. lbs. (108-142 Nm).
Remove the jackstand and carefully lower the vehicle.

Lower Arm
For safety, even if only one arm needs to be replaced, the other arm should be replaced as well.

Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands at the rear crossmember.
If equipped, remove the stabilizer bar.
Place a jack under the lower arm-to-axle pivot bolt. Remove and discard the bolt and nut. Lower the jack slowly until the coil spring can be removed.
Remove and discard the lower arm-to-frame pivot bolt and nut. Remove the lower arm.

To install:
Position the lower arm assembly into the front arm bracket. Install a new pivot bolt and nut with the nut facing outwards. Do not tighten at this time.
Position the coil spring on the lower arm spring seat, so the pigtail on the lower arm is at the rear of the vehicle and pointing toward the left side of the vehicle.
Slowly raise the jack until the arm is in position. Insert a new rear pivot bolt and nut with the nut facing outward. Do not tighten at this time.
Raise the axle to curb height. Tighten the lower arm front bolt to 80-105 ft. lbs. (108-142 Nm) and the rear bolt to 70-100 ft. lbs. (95-135 Nm).
If equipped, install the stabilizer bar.
Remove the jackstands from the crossmember and carefully lower the vehicle.  

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FreedomStang93
New User
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/12
Posted: 02/20/12 10:43 AM

Thank you Wayne!!! That is very helpful!  

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FreedomStang93
New User
Posts: 10
Joined: 02/12
Posted: 02/20/12 10:58 AM

Ok, this might be a silly question but I want to do this the right. Is "Curb Height" when the car is resting on jack stands positioned under the axle?  

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waynep7122
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Posts: 194
Joined: 02/10
Posted: 02/20/12 05:19 PM

jack stands under the rear axles.. with the cars weight one it.. yep... that will be close enough...


why tighten only at RIDE height...

when you tighten the bushing bolt..   you squeeze the center tube in the bushing and lock it tight to the end pieces.. this prevents it from rotating on the bolt..  this is not a place its designed to rotate...  the  the 20 to 35 degrees range of motion is to be absorbed by twisting the rubber bushing.. without it tearing..    

what happens when its tightened with it hanging...    when you set the car down on the ground..  it puts twist in the bushing..    usually near its one direction limit..   but the car is now at ride height..   when you hit a bump.. and the suspension bottoms out..   you are now moving it past the designed in amount of motion.. so the bushing tears...

this lets it start to move around..    soon it will tear through the rubber and allow movement..


the last chart gives you torque specs..  

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