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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to do a front end rebuild on my 2001 SE. I want to make sure I have all the parts before I start so want some feedback on where the best prices can be found, what brands to stay away from and any other info that anyone is willing to share. Here is my list of parts that I am going to replace. Am I missing anything?

Front drive axles
Lower ball joints
Tie rod ends
Wheel bearings
Strut bearings
Struts


Thanks in advance for your feedback.
-Chris
 

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Cake monster
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Subframe bushings
All other bushings (like for control arms "if you don't buy new ones", sway bar bushings and etc...)
End Links
Tie Rods, inner and outer
Ball joints
Hubs (wheel bearings)
Strut assemblies
Rotors, pads and other brake stuff
and even the rack if you think it could use it.
 

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hi
are you sure your wheel bearings need to be replaced
same for the strut bearings and the half shafts.
Lot of money to spend on parts that may be fine for
another 50-100K.

I just changed out the struts, shocks (rear wagon),
tie rod ends, inner tie rods, sway link and ball joints.

I used MOOG parts and Monroe struts.
got them on amazon.com and had
free shipping.

the car only has lower ball joints with strut.

don't forget new hub nuts.

If you remove the half shafts you will need to collect
the transmission oil.

regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It has 147k miles on it and to my knowledge none of it has ever been replaced. I jacked up the front of the car and there is movement at the will in and out at 12 and 6 and at 3 and 9. Wheel bearings are cheap so replacing those is not a big cost. My biggest question is which brand of parts to use there are so many.
 

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Timken bearings, I wouldn't buy new axles unless the old CV joints are worn or the boots have rotted. Play at 12 and 6 may just be ball joints, don't mess with the wheel bearings unless you're sure they're bad. Usually they're noisy long before there's movement. Remember you'll need a 4 wheel alignment after it's all done.

Subframe and control arm bushings are likely problems and are unfortunately very difficult to access. This is a big project you're undertaking, don't fool yourself.
 

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Timken bearings, I wouldn't buy new axles unless the old CV joints are worn or the boots have rotted. Play at 12 and 6 may just be ball joints, don't mess with the wheel bearings unless you're sure they're bad. Usually they're noisy long before there's movement. Remember you'll need a 4 wheel alignment after it's all done.

Subframe and control arm bushings are likely problems and are unfortunately very difficult to access. This is a big project you're undertaking, don't fool yourself.


From my experience with the '98/'99's common parts that go bad are, wheel bearings, ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends. And with as many miles as you have on it, strut bearings as well.

As for difficulty, it's not really all that difficult. Somewhat time consuming but not that hard.

Here are the vital tools you will need: pitman arm puller to separate the balljoint from the lower control arm (no a pickle fork wont work, the knuckle is aluminum), inner tie rod tool with the inserts since the ends are rounded.
When separating the balljoint from the lower control arm, as you're tightening it, be sure to give the LCA a whack with a hammer when it starts to get tight. If you don't you're very liable to break the pitman arm puller.
To pop the outer tie rod ends out, simply pull out the cotter pin, undo the 19mm nut, and whack the knuckle with the hammer right next to it fairly hard --it'll pop right out.
NOTE: when dismantling the tie-rods, be sure to count how many turns it took to get the outer one off. Them after you get the inner one off, reassemble them and and measure with a tape measure. Then make sure your new ones are the same length (it's very possible that they'll take more or less turns). That way, the alignment will be close enough to drive it to an alignment shop without wearing out your tires.
NOTE: There is only ONE adjustment in the front end of a Taurus --toe. So when you call around, see how much they'd want to simply "set the toe and let it go". I can usually have them done for ~$30-35.

As for axles, unless they're noisy or have torn boots, don't replace them. It's somewhat atypical for them to wear out. Same with the lower control arm bushings. I have worked on several Tauruses and not one had worn LCA bushings.
One more thing, be sure to torque the axle nut. I believe the torque spec is 174 ft.lbs.

DOH! I almost forgot, you're going to need a balljoint press as well. If you're going to be renting one from O'Reilly's or Autozone or where ever, be sure that it has the cups for the Taurus and Sable in it. Most of these new kits do not. So you will have to rent the press --which is $100, and the Taurus sable cups which are another $85. (you get it all back when you return it).

All in all, it shouldn't take more than 3 to 4 hours to do the inner and outer tierods, balljoints, hub assemblies (wheel bearings) and axles.
If you've never done it before, be ready to spend a lot more time than that.

PS: Tauruses dont have radius arms.

PPS: As for which brand to buy, unless you want to do it all again next year, MOOG for the suspension stuff and either Motocraft or any other American made bearing.
 

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Cake monster
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If you can get the Motorcraft bearings, do that, otherwise I would just get the Timken bearing and hub assembly since it doesn't cost much more.
+1^

I bought mine locally at the ford dealer, they were slightly cheaper than the high end offerings at the rest of the local parts stores. I think it was made in Mexico.
 

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PS: Tauruses dont have radius arms.
I know this, they have strut rods. :rolleyes2: (Go through the control arm and the subframe.)

Problem is, half of the mechanics I have spoken to about it call them radius arms because they grew up working on trucks. Just as a contingency, if you say strut rod at a parts store and they give you a funny look, try calling it a radius arm.;)

Also, make sure to check the price difference between a whole control arm with the ball joint included and just the ball joint itself. My MOOG control arms cost my $65 each and even had all of the bushings included. (As well as a zirc fitting for actually lubing the ball joint.) If I recall, the ball joint cost about $40 by itself and I would have had to press the old one out before I could install it. Much quicker, less stressful, and not that much more expensive.
 

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I know this, they have strut rods. :rolleyes2: (Go through the control arm and the subframe.)
The '86-95's do, the 96-99's (and probably later) do not. They have A shaped control arms. No strut rods/radius arms.

Also, make sure to check the price difference between a whole control arm with the ball joint included and just the ball joint itself. My MOOG control arms cost my $65 each and even had all of the bushings included. (As well as a zirc fitting for actually lubing the ball joint.) If I recall, the ball joint cost about $40 by itself and I would have had to press the old one out before I could install it. Much quicker, less stressful, and not that much more expensive.
Once again, this does not apply to '96 and later vehicles since the lower control arm is completely different. The one that is on your vehicle uses said strut rod to complete triangulation. The control arms on your vehicle are long and narrow, like this:



The '96 and later models use a control arm that looks like this:



Notice, the balljoint isn't even part of the LCA. The balljoint on the newer ones is pressed in to the knuckle.

 

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I am glad I found this thread. I was searching for the word 'knuckle'

I had my usual lifetime alignment check, and this time around firestone had a lot of concerns for my front end of my 1997 Ford Taurus.

I am concerned they are not being 100% honest. I am really concerned about figuring out about this knuckle business, they said they had to call the ford dealer for the part. In addition I am hoping to utilize my warranties with napa parts if possible.

Firestone report 12/17/2010 ---153,484 on the odometer
-tie rod ends---$206.98
-sway bar link kits---$363.36
-lower front left ball joint ---$233.49 parts&labor
-front left half shaft ---$252.48 parts&labor
(ABS reluctor ring on left axle is cracked)
-front left steering knuckle (hub bearing and steering knuckle) ---$864.64
(ball joint loose in steer knuckle, suggest knuckle,balljoint-hub bearing)


Here is work done in these areas by my friend's dad:
4/17/2009 - ~132,000, work done on both sides
-Ball Joint - Lower - Front Susp Product Line: NAPA Chassis Parts Part Number: NCP 2601488 - Limited lifetime warranty
-Hub Assy - Front Wheel Product Line: NAPA Bearings Part Number: BRG BR930179 -Warranty is 36 Months from Date of Purchase, or 45,000 Miles
-Sway Bar Link - Front Susp Product Line: NAPA Chassis Parts Part Number: NCP 2652266 - Limited lifetime warranty
-tie rods
 

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Cake monster
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I am glad I found this thread. I was searching for the word 'knuckle'

I had my usual lifetime alignment check, and this time around firestone had a lot of concerns for my front end of my 1997 Ford Taurus.

I am concerned they are not being 100% honest. I am really concerned about figuring out about this knuckle business, they said they had to call the ford dealer for the part. In addition I am hoping to utilize my warranties with napa parts if possible.

Firestone report 12/17/2010 ---153,484 on the odometer
-tie rod ends---$206.98
-sway bar link kits---$363.36
-lower front left ball joint ---$233.49 parts&labor
-front left half shaft ---$252.48 parts&labor
(ABS reluctor ring on left axle is cracked)
-front left steering knuckle (hub bearing and steering knuckle) ---$864.64
(ball joint loose in steer knuckle, suggest knuckle,balljoint-hub bearing)


Here is work done in these areas by my friend's dad:
4/17/2009 - ~132,000, work done on both sides
-Ball Joint - Lower - Front Susp Product Line: NAPA Chassis Parts Part Number: NCP 2601488 - Limited lifetime warranty
-Hub Assy - Front Wheel Product Line: NAPA Bearings Part Number: BRG BR930179 -Warranty is 36 Months from Date of Purchase, or 45,000 Miles
-Sway Bar Link - Front Susp Product Line: NAPA Chassis Parts Part Number: NCP 2652266 - Limited lifetime warranty
-tie rods
If the knuckle is bad, (doubt it) get a used one from the wreckers. Get that car jacked, take the tires off and check it out. I think they're screwing you. How does the steering feel? I would get a second opinion if you don't know what to look for. If that much was wrong with the suspension, it would drive pretty lousy.
 

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everything seemed OK since the noted repairs. I indeed had bad ball joints and bearings. I got new tires right after that. No noted tire wear.
They also noted my antifreeze and oil were low, but I now that was not true either.
I recently moved across the city. I really trusted my old Pickerington location. I had a flush and fill not too long ago.
I do think I need the clinton flush done though.


Any local taurus mechs in my area?

Any tips on locating this knuckle on car-part?
zip 43123
 

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The car is 150k miles old. The parts may cost about $500. Is the car worth the trouble including many ours of labor (at my skill level)?

I am not making fun of OP. Mine is not too far behind. I am trying to get some realistic projection of driving mine to 150k and beyond from the experts here.
 

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The car is 150k miles old. The parts may cost about $500. Is the car worth the trouble including many ours of labor (at my skill level)?
If there isn't something else seriously wrong and you know that most of these parts are about worn out, it depends on what you are going for.

I personally like to think that when I replace steering/suspension components, I am making my car feel less like a worn-out piece of junk so that it isn't one. (The ride/handling improvement is really noticeable!)

If you are going for just A to B, probably not worth it. If you want to do so more safely and in a less stressed manner, it might be worth looking into.

Also, my car has 225,000 miles on it and it is cheaper to do than buying another car that might have the same/worse problems. (Just something to think about!)
 

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Anybody else notice they quoted a Ball joint and entire knuckle assembly?

The knuckle assembly would have a new Ball joint, hub and possibly ABS sensor.
 
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