Strut rod bushings

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redbird1
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Strut rod bushings

Post by redbird1 »

My neighbor down the block from me has a 65 bird, and asked me yesterday if I would replace the strut rod bushings on his car.
He is not to well versed in mechanics, and I asked why he thinks the bushings need to be replaced.
The car seems to ride well, except on a rough street.
I drove it, and it feels like it is bottoming out when it hits a rut in the road.
He had new shocks installed recently.
I didn't suspect the strut bushings until I noticed the bottoming out ceased when I applied the brakes.
I had him move the car as I watched the front wheel when he applied the brakes.
Everytime he applied the brake pedal, the front wheels moved back and forth about a half inch.
That made me think strut.
I have never replaced strut bushings, and it looks relatively easy.
My questions would be, how tight should the nuts be on the frame end of the rods?
HOW do I get close to correct caster without the aid of alignment equipment.
I just need it close enough so he can take the car in for an alignment after the bushings are installed.
Thanks,
Bob.
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aaronlampi
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strut rod bushings

Post by aaronlampi »

I just installed a complete front end kit last week,was very easy to do,you may have to heat the nuts on the bushing side also do this with the car on the ground, after you get them loose the jack the car up.
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redstangbob
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Post by redstangbob »

My questions would be, how tight should the nuts be on the frame end of the rods?
There's a sleeve in the middle of the bushings/between the washers, go ahead and tighten the nut up.
HOW do I get close to correct caster without the aid of alignment equipment.
You can use a punch mark or some other way to give yourself an index of where they were. I don't remember what brand I used but they gave me the wrong pitch thread on the new nuts ::? Good luck, Bob C
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66_Charly
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Post by 66_Charly »

The caster is adjusted at the LCA, not at the bushing end. (the mounting area at the LCA is slotted with serrated surfaces.
I suggest you measure tire clearance to the front of the fender opening on both sides and use this as your caster reference.

I just tightened the nut at the bushing until the cotterpin fit through the middle of the castellated nut opening. Pay attention to the curved washer orientation. Photo below is "before"

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Here you can see the slotted "adjustable" area at the LCA:
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David

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redbird1
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Post by redbird1 »

Thanks to all of you for the helpful information.
Bob..
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redstangbob
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Post by redstangbob »

The caster is adjusted at the LCA, not at the bushing end. (the mounting area at the LCA is slotted with serrated surfaces.
I should have made things a little clearer, I used a chisel to mark the rod end and the LCA. After changing the bushings I brought the two lines back together. David, the inner washer of the bushing set is on backwards in both of your pictures, in case you weren't sure. Good luck, Bob C
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66_Charly
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Post by 66_Charly »

redstangbob wrote:David, the inner washer of the bushing set is on backwards in both of your pictures, in case you weren't sure.
Bob, Thanks, but I'd be interested in hearing from others if that is really the case. They were both like that on the car, and no indication that the bushings had been changed. Can anyone else comment on that?
David

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redbird1
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Post by redbird1 »

I looked at the rod and bushings on my own car(they were replaced about a month before I got the car) and the washers in your pics are inverted for some reason.
Obviously some where along the line someone slipped up when installing them.
I will be doing the replacement on my neighbor car this weekend.
Again, thanks for your help.
Bob.
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rspreen1
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Post by rspreen1 »

Bob is correct - your inner washers are inverted - I checked mine which were replaced last year.

Ray

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WhiteThunder
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by WhiteThunder »

I know this has been discussed numerous times before (which is why I did not want to start a new thread). I am trying to get to the bottom of the issue regarding the proper direction for strut rod bushing washers. From my searching, this is also a huge topic of contention with many other 1960's era car owners, including Mustangs.

As my car was when I purchased it, the front washer was concave toward the bushing and the rear was facing concave out ('reversed'). This looks wrong, but there are many instructions, including some original Moog instructions, that show this arrangement. Others contest that the correct way is with both washers facing concave toward the rubber. The former group indicates this puts too much bending moment on the strut rod causing it to eventually snap (not good!). Most people agree that the bushings should remain rubber and not poly. Poly, if used, should only go on the front to reduce the caster change during hard braking, but leave rubber on the back to allow for arm movement.

I installed new strut rod bushings a couple years ago with the washers per the attached instructions (I can't remember who the manufacturer is). The original washers with the "this side toward rubber" stampings are long gone so I went with the best available information I had which were the included instructions and the then installed bushings. The rear rubber is now cracked after very little road time (the car spent most of the last few years on jacks while I was working on it though. I believe the bushings were cheap repro's made overseas.)

This time around I have purchased the H/P set of bushings from Rare Parts out of Stockton, CA. I want to ensure I put these on properly to prevent another bushing failure, if that is even what caused this. But more importantly, I do not want to have a strut rod failure while under way! The 1964 shop manual I have access to is not extremely helpful on this topic. Does anyone have any hard evidence on the proper direction of the strut rod washers other than what looks "right" or what was in their car before?

If I have overlooked another thread discussing this issue in my search, please direct me to that.
Attachments
Unknown Strut Rod Bushing Instructions.jpeg
Moog_Strut_Rod_Bushings.jpg
jtschug
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by jtschug »

I've never changed it, it looks pretty old, I doubt it has ever been changed, but I could be wrong.

Both of mine look like this:
Attachments
strut bushing.jpg
WhiteThunder
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by WhiteThunder »

Thanks for the pic. That orientation definitely makes the most common sense from an engineering standpoint as I imagine the curvature of the washers was intended to cup and support the rubber.

The reason I even bring it up is because of these conflicting instructions I have from these parts suppliers. Some Mustang owners claim you will break the strut rod (and die) if you have your washers both cupped in since it strains the rods. Well, obviously yours are oriented that way and it appears your strut rods are in pretty good shape and so are you :smile:

For what's it's worth, I just heard back from Rare Parts and they claim that both washers should be cupped in. I'll go with that!

It sure would be nice if we could fit an adjustable strut rod in a Thunderbird like they have available for Mustangs. If you haven't seen them, they are pretty slick. It eliminates the bushings making it a solid mount. Then there is a heim joint at one end with an adjustable length rod to change the caster angle.

You would be amazed how much the front bushings of the strut rods can compress during hard braking which then drastically changes the caster angle until the brakes are released. Hopefully this "high performance" rubber from Rare Parts makes it feel a little better.
sleeper bird
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by sleeper bird »

to be honest,iv got three t birds a 66 and two 95 supercoupes and iv always questioned myself when i change these,iv had mechanics say they were backwards when i clearly read the directions and did them as stated.reading over this thread again makes me wonder what i did on all three as on my 66 iv got a pulling when applying the brakes hard,iv grown to get used to it.
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paulr
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by paulr »

WhiteThunder wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:00 pm

You would be amazed how much the front bushings of the strut rods can compress during hard braking which then drastically changes the caster angle until the brakes are released. Hopefully this "high performance" rubber from Rare Parts makes it feel a little better.
Now you have me worried all over again. 😉. I put the same Rare Parts bushings on my 64 struts in 2015 along with the full slate of front end RP replacements. Every bit of that rebuild was enjoyable except for the lingering doubt left about this exact question: did I install those washers properly? As I recall there were multiple rationales and many opinions but in the end I did as JT’s photo above. 🤷🏼‍♂️

FWIW, although a front end rebuild with good parts noticeably improved the ride, it was the gearbox rebuild and heavy duty front sway bar upgrade that drastically improved handling (such as handling ever could be described on a 2-ton lead sled :lol:)
Paul
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WhiteThunder
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by WhiteThunder »

Paulr, thanks. It is funny how many opinions there are out there on this topic, each with a compelling reason of why their way is right.

The good news to me is again another real example of a washer setup in your car with both washers curved toward the bushings and, from the sound of it, no strut rods snapping! That is evidence enough to me this orientation will work even with newer rubber compounds. A number of people argue that the washers must curve out with the newer stiffer rubber compounds available, but that may not be the case.

Also, good to know about what it takes for handling improvements! I am definitely due for a gearbox rebuild. I wish I would have done that when I had the engine and trans out :roll:
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