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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
99 SHO

So -- I've been chasing this front end noise for weeks now.

The original diagnosis was the CV axle. I replaced it. Didn't help.

Went by the shop that told me it was the CV and had one of their tech's take another look.

He agreed w/me that it was the front connection of the lower control arm. He said he could see it shifting slightly as I rocked the car back and forth.

I have torn the front susp. down a couple times now for BJ's, tie rods, bearings, cv axle -- that will not be a problem.
What I'm concerned about is the actual removal of the LCA.

Do I need to raise the engine for clearance?
If so, what is the easiest way to get that done?
 

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The hardest part is disengaging the ball joint. Once you get it to pop off the control arm, you don't have enough clearance to get it out of the socket. I usually loosen the engine cradle bolts to get that clearance. Once you get that disengaged, you can remove the front and rear bolts to the control arm (that's on passenger side). On driver's side, you'll have to remove the transmission mount bolts and jack up the transmission to get enough clearance to remove the front control arm bolt.

Thanks Ford
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been able to remove the DS ball joint pretty easily by sliding the knuckle up the strut as far as possible then using a pry bar to press the control arm down. Ball joint will clear pretty easily at that point.

Regarding the trans mount bolts you mentioned. Do you mean the ones right near the lca connection or is are there other mounts that need to be loosened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Update:
It's not the LCA bushing I was certain it was. It's the front DS subframe bushing. It's rusted and in pieces. If I had just taken the splash guard off to look I would have seen it.
I had it all apart though, and replacement parts in hand so I went ahead and pulled the LCA just to be sure. The bushing's not in great shape, but it probably wouldn't have caused any issues for at least a couple more years.
Oh well, I'm going to go ahead and replace the lca front bushing, and the subframe bushing since I have them both and neither are very expensive.

BTW, I used a small floor jack and about a 12x12 piece of mdf to raise the motor in order to get the front lca bolt out.
It wasn't that tricky. There's one large nut on the trans/motor mount that sits right in the middle of the wheel well. That nut comes off and you can lift the trans a couple inches. I also loosened that front sub frame nut to gain another fraction of an inch. I ended up with JUST enough clearance to get that bolt out of the front LCA bushing, seriously, a 1/16" less clearance probably wouldn't have been enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Replacing that LCA bushing was a PAIN. I rented a ball joint press. Getting it out was easy. Getting it in was an hour and a half long head ache. I ended up cooking the CA and freezing the bushing to get it in.
If I did it over again I'd just replace the whole arm. The ~$15 vs ~$70 is worth the hassle saved.

Sub frame bushing wasn't any problem. Once the splash guard is out, and the horizontal "air dam panel" (??) below the radiator it's basically just unbolt, clean, and install the new. You just have to have an extra jack to support the SF while you're working.

Put on new front rotors in the process and removed my intake silencer (saxophone). Very surprised by the difference.
 

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Oh jeeze Liquid, I guess I didn't realize that you were talking about replacing just the bushing. I've done that---once---and never again. Complete control arm from then on. Just not worth the time and trouble-even with a press
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i agree. Not possible w/o a press of some kind.
In hindsight, had i thought of the oven/freezer metod from the start it wouldn't have been nearly as problematic, but still not for the easily deterred.
 
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