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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Windstar van (it uses a pretty similar steering setup) that has had quite a bit of front suspension work done, basically everything but the struts. The end links were swapped out last spring and now 8,000 KM later it seems like the seals have come apart from the socket area on each end. The drivers side is worse than the passengers side. I had them (and all the other stuff) installed at my preferred shop so I don't just want to walk back in and bitch. I asked for moog parts and the odd thing is, about 2 months after getting the links put on (there was a ton of other work done at the same time, huge bill) I started hearing them pop and that was the first indication of something being wrong.

The rack was the only part not done at the same time, it was finished about 2 months after all the front end work as both seals blew out. It's an AC Delco rack. When it was getting the alignment after the rack job, I learned that the drivers side camber is now out and I will have to drill the strut towers or something to make the suspension true again. I haven't bothered doing that and had the van aligned with the issue anyway, since I'm planning on doing more work to it in the spring. I don't think the camber issue would have caused the endlink seals to fail. Other than that, I now have a nice pull to the passengers side again.

I hate suspension work.
 

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Wow, Moog component failure! I guess there's a first time for everything. Never seen it...
 

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Iirc, Bullgeek (Nick) had endlink issues shortly after installation. My front end guy at a body shop routinely air-chiseled the strut towers during front end alignments on my gen 2s, but hasnt once when aligning my gen 3s??? Either they dont need it or hes gotten lazy.
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, Moog component failure! I guess there's a first time for everything. Never seen it...
I'm going to take the tires off the front again when the snow melts, hopefully we'll get a warm week sometime soon. I noticed when I was rotating the tires and greasing the suspension parts for the winter. I was wondering if the parts were actually what I asked for, I'm gonna be pretty upset if it turns out they were just cheap crap from china.

sheila, I got very pissed when I heard about the camber issues. I'm guessing it was laziness but I needed it back and wasn't prepared for having to wait any longer, he wasn't very happy about having to correct it anyway. I talked to my buddy (that's a million times more technically inclined than me) right after, he laughed at what they said and told me that I would be better off taking it somewhere else and paying for a realignment.

In the spring, I want to swap new struts in and I'll probably worry about it then, but I shouldn't have to replace endlinks that soon because of noise and seal failure.
 

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I know you can get adjustable camber top plates for the front struts on a Taurus, not sure about a Windstar. Might be worth looking into...
 

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Camber issues are likely the springs. As for the endlinks, were they disconnected/reconnected with the rack job? Ar you sure you got what you asked for? Not all shops will honor those requests, check your shop bill and check the part numbers for what they installed.

Maybe they screwed them up when reattaching them? Bring it back to the shop, if you've been going to them for other work they'll likely replace them for free to keeep you coming back. If not, maybe time to find another shop.
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Camber issues are likely the springs. As for the endlinks, were they disconnected/reconnected with the rack job? Ar you sure you got what you asked for? Not all shops will honor those requests, check your shop bill and check the part numbers for what they installed.

Maybe they screwed them up when reattaching them? Bring it back to the shop, if you've been going to them for other work they'll likely replace them for free to keeep you coming back. If not, maybe time to find another shop.
I wasn't in the shop during the rack job. The garage is a place that I can walk into, borrow tools, use their computers/scanners and chit chat with the mechanics. I know the place and owner pretty well and I really don't want to start any issues over it since I really like having that.

I knew right away that the links were bad after the rack job (but I was wondering before), the popping noise gave it away so I called and asked, he was willing to honour the work if they were bad, I should mention that. I didn't care much at that point because of the fact that I needed the van, like I said. I didn't realize that the seals had been damaged until I pulled the tires off last week for a rotation and suspension lube, in fact I had almost forgot about it entirely.

I won't be trying to change them myself this winter. If they get really bad, I'm going to take it back and ask for them to be changed. If they last through the winter I'll just put new ones on myself and not worry too much about it. I'm gonna put new struts in like I said, I was checking out the strut camber plates on rockauto, that's what I had in mind for that issue. I'm gonna probably put KYBs on it.

Anyone have a personal recommendation for suspension parts brands?
 

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Moog for pieces/parts, NAPA Response for quick struts, Timken or Federal Mogul for hubs. Works for me...
 

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It's highly likely that your camber issues are due to old springs - change out the struts and springs before you go after the camber plates. My camber was out and I let them cut and reposition the plates on top of the strut towers ($39.00), then I replaced the struts/springs and my camber was thrown out again, they cut the welds again and put them back to where they were in the first place to get the camber back into spec.

I've used both Monroe Quickstruts and KYB Strut-Plus assemblies - both are fine. I get them through Amazon and have them shipped for free with the super saver shipping.
 

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I would recommend not using the camber plates for a few reason.
1. you have to remove the strut to adjust the plate (not an easy adjustment)
2. you have to replace the strut mount studs with bolts and members have had the bolts rub, pinch the strut bearings
3. it will increase your ride height 1/2" because the plate sits on top of the strut mount.

Drilling, and spot welding is easy can also allow the shop to increase your caster for free since they are fixing the camber.

Increasing the caster improves the self centering which helps the car/ can track straighter down the road, and increases your camber when you are turning. The only down side is a very slight increase in turning radius, maybe 3".
 

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Cake monster
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I would recommend not using the camber plates for a few reason.
1. you have to remove the strut to adjust the plate (not an easy adjustment)
2. you have to replace the strut mount studs with bolts and members have had the bolts rub, pinch the strut bearings
3. it will increase your ride height 1/2" because the plate sits on top of the strut mount.

Drilling, and spot welding is easy can also allow the shop to increase your caster for free since they are fixing the camber.

Increasing the caster improves the self centering which helps the car/ can track straighter down the road, and increases your camber when you are turning. The only down side is a very slight increase in turning radius, maybe 3".
I looked at the procedure on mitchell and it seems fairly straight forward. I'm probably going to swap the struts, endlinks and then take it to an alignment shop with a good rep and ask for it to be done right. I don't know much about alignments. I'm gonna let a mechanic take on this issue, it's a little out of my realm. The steering still has a pull, the steering wheel went crooked a few weeks back, I'm pretty sure it has to do with the alignment, since there's no play or issues with anything but the end links. I know this is bad for the tires, but they only have another season before they have to be changed so I'm not overly worried about the wear.

My main concern was always about having someone drill and spot weld my car. It's one thing to have a body man do it, but I want to make sure he cleans it up right so it doesn't rust after the fact. I should mention that, other than the pull and clunking the van drives like it's brand new.
 
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