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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in process of freshening the front end of my 37 Ford coupe with Speedway econo OEM style upper & lower control arms as well as strut bushings. After assembly I'm noticing that with the suspension unloaded, car on lift & no wheels etc. mounted, the upper control arm is actually touching the top of the spindle casting. Turning the steering results in a grinding between the 2 components. Jacking up the lower control arm immediately creates clearance. I noticed this during disassembly so I don't think it's the result of my work. I bought this car already built and have no Mustang 2 IFS experience so my newbie questions are:
1) Should the upper control arm be touching the spindle casting when car is jacked off the ground?
&
2) If that is not a problem (since I'm sure at ride height there is not a foul) how do you cycle the steering to do things like bleeding the power steering without causing damage?

Thanks in advance for your help!!
 

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Sounds like the front kit is missing any droop bump stops that normally would prevent the arm moving far enough to contact the spindle. If at full droop, tires unloaded is the only time it happens i can't see it making any problem actually on the road.

Support the cars front weight with a jack stand under each lower A-arm, it will compress things a little and eliminate the full extended interference. Then you can bleed the steering.
 

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I've noticed M-2 setups often don't have any obvious stops on the droop side and must originally have depended on the shocks to do so, which they would have then been designed for. The only danger is if there's ever a forceful-enough bind anywhere to damage a ball joint, which would either be cracking or having it tweak its' socket any. If it were me I'd either raise the upper shock mount enough so that the shock became the limiting factor instead of contact between the a-arm and spindle iron, or build a cable strap limiter. I've had three ball joint failures in my time, although for other reasons, and am pretty leery of anything that might invite trouble that way. You might also check that the joint at the end of the tie rod is also not hitting its' limit, another place you don't want damage and eventual failure.

On anything I've ever built, I leave the spring out at first and cycle the suspension up and down to make sure that bump stop bottoming occurs before any ball joint bind happens, including with the steering turned full-lock each way.
 

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The shock will limit the amount of drop. With the car on the ground the lower control arm should be level. All the bushing bolts should be loose until the full weight of the car is on the front suspension. Tightening them up with the suspension full down will cause premature bushing failure. Cycling the rack is much as described in previous post. Of the many MII setups I have installed the upper arm has never touched the spindle with the shocks installed. Never tried testing it without the shocks in place so don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah after assembling the arms & seeing the contact I was thinking the shocks might limit the drop & provide clearance. After installing the new shocks (Monore 32118's) it seems they may have moved/pulled the arms up slightly (1/16") but still allows contact on the back or rearward side. Again, I did notice the contact during disassembly (which I know doesn't make it normal). Had thought about the jackstand under arm trick to bleed steering & will try it if there is no other reprecusions. Is there a "droop" bump stop for Mustang 2's?
 

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There's really not much room for one. Why, I guess, Ford made it the shock absorber's job. Same with the stop for upward travel, they just put a big rubber donut on top of the shock. My own purple car started out w/ M2 stuff, eventually kept only the steering rack, but from the beginning I had to rig up cables for droop as there was really just no other good way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the education folks. Learning a lot real fast. The OEM replacement Monroes are nearly identical dimensionally to the removed shocks (red in color, stamped with no. 733596 that I can't cross identify). No-clearance condition appears to be the same with a new set of A-arms & new shocks, so I guess it's either cable/strap limiter time or live with it & load suspension for power steering bleeding. Appreciate your answers & time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Possiblility of Bad Spindles??
In wrapping up the install, when torquing the ball joint nuts I realized that I was having to do a lot of tightening to achieve spec, & once I did it seems that the nuts are slightly beyond the cotter pin holes (all 4). It's like I really need to use a flat washer to get the nuts to the normal spot. This made me think that perhaps the ball joints are having to go deeper into the tapered holes than normal which could also account for the UCA being down on the spindle. Spindles looks OEM Ford stuff. One of them had a discoloration (brown patch) on taper near inner bearing area. Wondering if worn tapered holes in spindles could be the culprit with both issues.
Anyone ever run into this? Been working on muscle/bracket cars & Corvettes cars all my life & never encountered this. Never worked on much Ford stuff though.
 

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I've run into replacement ball joints over the last couple of years that appear just like as if the hole was worn, the stud taper .005" undersize or a washer was missing or something.
On my 2000 Dodge Dakota, it was just the replacement upper ball joint had about 2 more threads of stud length and that put the drilled hole for th cotter pin just about too high to catch any castellation in the nut.
I chalked it up to offshore manufacturing and lower quality control of everything today, got mysefl a couple grade 8 washers and stuck one under each nut. Hole then lined up with a castellation better and didn't nearly miss the nut by being too high. That was 5 years of daily driver ago, it hasn't given any trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've run into replacement ball joints over the last couple of years that appear just like as if the hole was worn, the stud taper .005" undersize or a washer was missing or something.
On my 2000 Dodge Dakota, it was just the replacement upper ball joint had about 2 more threads of stud length and that put the drilled hole for th cotter pin just about too high to catch any castellation in the nut.
I chalked it up to offshore manufacturing and lower quality control of everything today, got mysefl a couple grade 8 washers and stuck one under each nut. Hole then lined up with a castellation better and didn't nearly miss the nut by being too high. That was 5 years of daily driver ago, it hasn't given any trouble.
Thanks, gonna check it out closer today. Need to check the removed BJs & nuts for comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I took the driver side back apart, reattached the original UCA & LCA with ball joints still attached & still see the cotter pin hole slightly beyond the nut. Hole in bottom joint is near completely above the nut so condition was pre-existing. I'm thinking the taper in the spindle holes are enlarged & letting the BJs sink deeper than normal allowing the UCA to contact the upper elbow of spindle when everything is assembled. Used a digital slide caliper & it appears there are wear mark areas about 1/2" wide approx .010 deep on the shaft nearer the inner bearing areas. Using the dimensions on Speedways site as a guide it looks like I've got 2-inch drop spindles & I'm thinking very seriously about ordering a set.
 
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