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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-15-2003 06:47 PM
PrimeMover adtkart - Ain't that the truth?

When I was a little younger and fresh out of Community College back in 74, with a hot-off-the-press Associate's Degree in Automotive Tech, I was a B&A (brake and alignment) Tech and worked for one of the late great Unionized Firestone stores here in the greater Portland area. I spent a large part of my day down in one of those ol' John Bean alignment pits... I averaged around five MAJOR Pony 'Stang front end jobs a week. Funny, out of all of them I did, I still have to think real hard to remember the particulars about 'em today... This is a Bluehair traight I rekon.. I guess I should be concerned about it, but I'm not.

Life is good these days, the job is much easier now and the pay is one HELUVA lot better!

[ April 15, 2003: Message edited by: PrimeMover ]</p>
04-15-2003 03:23 PM
adtkart Tony... Like has been said, the early Stangs have several parts that are known to go bad. Jacking a front end that has spring over upper control arm by the lower contrl arm is the wrong way to check for bad parts, unless you are checking the jack. If the spring was on the lower control arm, as in the Mustang II it would be the right way. The idea is to remove the spring pressure from the ball joints. What you need to do is replace the bushings that you know are bad and go from there. What I like to do with my Stangs is find a shop with the old "Pit" type of machine. Preferrably with an "Old man" working the pit. They usually have a notebook with settings that work better than OEM. The Stangs were known for eating the tires off if they were set to OEM specs. Not really sure what people were setting them to, but most "old Timers" had their own way of setting them that made them handle and not eat up tires. Good Luck
04-15-2003 05:02 AM
tonylsg yeah, I took it where I did because I work there. Our mechanic did just that he even jacked it by the lower contronl arms so it was impossible to see movement. I lifted it by the frame and you were right the lower control arm bushings are shot. I will just replace both the strut rod bushings and lower control arm bushings and she should be good to go. It is because I work in a shop and see that care that goes into vehicles by some mechanics that I have become a DIY. Largely due to awesome sites like this. I really appreciate the help.
04-14-2003 04:51 PM
PrimeMover Tony - if the front end shop you took it to, to begin with, didn't spot your bad strut rod bushings, they were probably REAL busy and simply gave your 'Stang a quicky... Bad struts can usually be found VISUALLY.

Ya ever think of getting a second opinion? - It's cheap to free.
04-14-2003 04:12 PM
tonylsg thanks PrimeMover, I did take it to a front end shop this past weekend and he could not see anything wrong. I took it home and looked under it today and the strut rod bushings are definantly bad. about a 1/4 inch between back bushing and frame when car has moved forward due to excessive outward toe and just the opposite when car is rolling backwards. I will replace those tomorrow and see what happens. If this does not fix it I will start replacing control arm bushings because I do know that the tie rod ends and upper and lower ball joints are good. If that does not fix it then I have no idea.

Thanks for the help,
04-14-2003 04:02 PM
PrimeMover Tony said; "a bad idler or pitman arm should make the car dart to one side or the other"

That's right, Tony. The reason for this is, with a loose idler you car loses all control over factory toe specs. preferable toe-in is between 1/16th inch to 1/8th inch. With a bad idler, your toe can vary in and out as much as two inches.

Strut rod bushings effect caster angle. This too can be a problem but what we're talking here I believe is toe and the tire wear and handling problems the loss of toe creats... now. Upper and lower control arm bushing affect everything. Toe, caster, camber and the whole works. Early mustangs with the coils ontop of the upper a-arms were notorious for bad upper ball joints, bad control arm bushings, strut rod bushings, tie rod ends, Idler arms etc. etc... It's real easy to diagnose an early mustang's front end if you know a little bit about one. if it were me, I'd take it to one of my local front end shops, if I wasn't sure about it. They will probably give you a list of what's REALLY wrong for next to nothing.
04-14-2003 09:58 AM
tonylsg a bad idler or pitman arm should make the car dart to one side or the other (both tires go same direction). I think it might be the strut rod bushings so I have ordered those and if not that it would almost have to be lower control arm bushings. The car has movement on both wheels but primarily the left front and I can visually see that the outer bushing is just barely even there. If I am wrong please let me know but I can not find anything other than those two parts that could allow both tires to move inward.

[ April 14, 2003: Message edited by: tonylsg ]</p>
04-14-2003 08:28 AM
PrimeMover No, a bad idler arm is real easy to check. Jack up the right front wheel with the left one still on the ground. Vigorously shake the right wheel back and forth. If the idler arm is real bad, you'll be able to move the right side quite a bit without the left side moving at all. Look at the idler while you're shaking the wheel. If it's bad, it'll travel up and down a lot. You'll see it.
04-14-2003 04:53 AM
tonylsg I will check the idler arms. It is very confusing and even more so to watch it happen. Mechanic said he has never seen anything like it. I have shook it down good will you only notice the idler arm under extreme pressure?
04-13-2003 08:42 PM
BstMech I'm confused about the tires toeing IN by themselves. Is this car front wheel drive?
04-13-2003 08:06 PM
PrimeMover Sounds to me like you have an idler arm thats just about ready to fall out. If this is the case, I'd get rid of the old rubber bushing style idler and go with the hard bushing, greasable unit.
04-13-2003 07:12 PM
tonylsg the upper ball joints were replaced but very loose. I tightened those and drove it. This did seem to help with the tire squeel but i have not set the toe back in. I work in a front end shop and our mechanic could not find anything loose or worn. I am trying to avoid throwing money into parts that are not needed. any suggestions as to what might be worn out.
04-13-2003 06:43 PM
milner all i can say, if the front end moves that much, you got some worn parts some where. the steering box won't let it move like that.
04-13-2003 05:55 PM
front end problems

I just bought a 65 mustang. The car had factory power steering but it started leaking, so the pump was removed. However, the gear box was left. The upper ball joints have been replaced and everything else is very tight. The alignment specs for this car call for the toe to be .24 degrees in. The problem is that the front tires will toe way in and camber way out when driving forward which makes the car impossible to drive. When put in reverse the front end relaxes to normal specs. We toed the car way out -.75 and the front seems normal except it is out of spec and squeels front tires around normal corners. Please give suggestions, my only thought is to switch to a manual steer box.

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