Strut rod bushings

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jtschug
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by jtschug »

I feel like there must be a version of those Heim joint style struts that would work for our cars.

T-birds are such nice driving cars bone stock we are the last to the modifications
sleeper bird
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by sleeper bird »

just went out and looked at mine,they are both opposite cupped washer away from the rubber bushing bushings nice and dry rotted.They were replaced about 8 years ago with birdsnest parts.guess i need to revisit this.iv got a 66
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Alan H. Tast
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by Alan H. Tast »

From Ford's parts books, looks like washers are cupped inward towards the subframe.
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WhiteThunder
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by WhiteThunder »

Alan, that is exactly the diagram I have been hoping to find. That is fairly irrefutable evidence the washers should be curved in toward the bushings and the male bushing goes in front (which makes the most sense).
I am now wondering where these directions that indicate the rear washer should face out came from. Someone had some reason for it I assume. But like I said before, this is a huge topic of contention for Mustang guys also so we aren’t alone.

Thanks for posting and helping to clear this up.
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Richard
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by Richard »

So this post had me crawling under my 65..The Front washers on mine are both curved out away from bushing and the backs are curved in toward the bushing..Is there really a chance the struts can break because of that?
Had a mechanic do some front end work 2 years ago but dont know if he changed the bushings. Though rubber looks pretty new and one side has a new shiny cotter pin on the front nut.. He has since gone out of business,some dentist gave him an offer for his property he couldn't refuse..
I can still call him but dont think he will remember if and why he did it that way..
1965 Hardtop Charcoal Gray Metallic
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WhiteThunder
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by WhiteThunder »

Richard,
I have been obsessing a little over this the last couple of days (nothing better to do in lock down :lol: ).
From what I can tell, when using rubber bushings, the washer orientation does not seem to be the root cause of strut rods snapping. This is especially true if you are not doing road course or autocross type aggressive driving (which I would love to see a flairbird do :eek: ). The use of poly bushings may be a cause of rod failures, but again I think driving style comes into play. The strut rods that have snapped could have been compromised in some other way, such as a crack that propagated until failure which would have happened with washers in, out or whatever. There is no evidence, despite what some will swear by, that a certain orientation will lead to rod failure.

I think the Ford parts manual which shows the washers curved in and the male bushing up front may be the best evidence of the way Ford intended it and would keep the car close to original form. But in this forum, and countless Mustang owners, there are examples of just about every orientation used with some level of success.

I am concerned now because I have partially installed my new Rare Parts "high performance" design bushings and, once torqued to spec, the front bushing is smashed way more than my older 'cheap' bushings. It does not seem that this will hold up in this condition - I guess I will have to test it and report back.
I also test-installed the rod and bushings in a couple different washer orientations and I could not feel an appreciable difference in strut rod movement either way. This was not a scientific test with strain gauges or anything, just what I felt, so take it for what it's worth.

If it was me, I would not be concerned with however your bushings and washers are currently installed. Mine were previously installed with the front washer curved in, the rear washer curved out and the male bushing in the back. My car had been driving, and braking, excellent with no noises or pulling nor weird tire wear. The only reason I got into this mess now was because I was inspecting the bushings and noticed the rear bushing on one side was cracking. Now I have been sucked down the rabbit hole of strut rod bushings... :crazyeyes:
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Richard
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by Richard »

Thanks WhiteThunder for that reply..Looked through my receipts and see that my old mechanic did indeed change the bushings..Makes sense that he did because they look new as I thought....It was 2 years ago and about 2000 miles since..The car has been handling and braking well..Much better after he did some front end work so I will leave it as is..Will do the heavy duty sway bar eventually..All the pros on this forum recommend it and say handling will be even better..Good Luck to you and enjoy this spring weather..Stay safe too..
1965 Hardtop Charcoal Gray Metallic
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sleeper bird
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by sleeper bird »

i decided to go ahead and change my strut rod bushings,and had a senior moment and didnt mark where the rod connected to the lower controll arm.Don't suppose anyone would happen to have the A measurement on page 3-6 of the service manual so i can get it close until i can find someone to align it.
64ZCODE
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by 64ZCODE »

Hello Sleeper. No such luck with my '64 manual. The "A" measurement isn't defined, it just connotes the distance between the strut forward mount and the side of the control arm. I would hazard a guess that as long as the "A" distance on either side is the same, the car will be drive-able to the repair shop. Also wondering if there would be crud marks on the top of the control arms that would indicate where the strut attached in the past? Would be interested in any other input you have as I am about to undertake this repair.

Doug
1964 TBird Hardtop
redthundervert64
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by redthundervert64 »

I just took the struts out of my '64. I didn't measure the" A" distance but rather I counted the number of notches showing on the underside of the struts between the forward upper edge of the LCA and the start of the notches. One side had 8 notches showing and the other side had 7. I assume that the '66 struts are the same length as the '64's, but for reference I just measured my struts and the shortest distance between the rearward washer and the first notch is 11 3/16" on both of them.

Before jacking the car up I had taken a very rough measurement of the castor on each side using a magnetic protractor and found that for both sides it was about +1.5 degrees. The castor for this car is supposed to be negative but as some owners have discussed in other postings, these cars are so easy to turn that positive castor doesn't seem to be an issue and could improve straight line handling.

I hope this is of some help.

Bob
jtschug
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by jtschug »

Unfortunately a measurement from another car isn’t going to help much. This is an adjustment. Bolt it up as best you can and take it to a shop that has the equipment to do a front end alignment and set proper caster and camber
sleeper bird
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by sleeper bird »

Thanks Bob that will get me close at least.I appreciate it.
sleeper bird
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by sleeper bird »

Also just out of curiosity where did you place the magnetic protractor?
redthundervert64
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by redthundervert64 »

sleeper bird wrote: Mon May 11, 2020 5:23 pm Also just out of curiosity where did you place the magnetic protractor?
Hi sleeper - here's my crude methodology (as I said, it's a very rough measurement!).

I cut a piece of 1"X2" wood to a length of about 5 5/16" so that it just fits between the stud nuts on the upper and lower ball joints, but is still long enough so that it can be held flush against the front-facing sides of the upper and lower ball joint studs. I screwed a 5" long metal mending plate to one edge of the 1X2 so that the protractor magnet holds the protractor onto that edge of the 1X2 while pushing the other edge against the studs to get the caster measurement. I guess I'll see how accurate the method is when I re-measure after I finish the front end work and get the car into the alignment shop . Good luck with your work!

Bob
sleeper bird
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Re: Strut rod bushings

Post by sleeper bird »

you know thats actually not a bad idea at all.id be curious how it turns out after alignment.In theory that would work as long as suspension is loaded and ground is level
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