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  1. #1

    Default Time for new bushings?

    Hello, all:

    I finally got the 86 back together with the timing cover difficulties, broken water pump bolt, leaks, repairs, etc. New battery and starter relay. Runs strong, timing spot on- very happy. But I still have a clunk underneath the right rear on rougher roads. Haven't been able to road test it much but may try again.

    I spent some time underneath and tried to move everything I could get my hands on. All four shocks are solid. Control arms don't move but the small portion of the rubber bushings I could see- 32 years old and counting- seem very dry and brittle, especially the uppers. I know finding correct factory rubber bushings can be a chore. I have a replacement set of rear lower arms with good bushings all around. That might save a few dollars and hours.

    I can push the right rear corner down and get a mild clunk/ squeak from behind the wheel. I pulled both wheels off and the only thing that moved was each axle maybe an eighth of an inch if that. Which I found odd. The differential was rebuilt maybe five years back and maybe 40,000 miles. I have heard nothing from it and no wheel bearing noises either. Springs intact and mounted correctly. Brakes looked good as well. New shoes and hardware two years ago. Exhaust system hardly budges and no loose brake or fuel lines, not even the filter. All good.

    Chances of the culprit being the bushings? Wouldn't hurt to change them so I'll likely plan to replace them this Spring. Any other checks I could do while the temp here is still nice?

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Grand Junction, CO/RR TX


    The upper control arm bushings are MOOG K8637. That includes both the bushing in the control arm and in the rear axle housing. You will need to buy 2 sets of the K8637 for your Fox.

    Replacing the bushings is a bit of a PITA, but not impossible. You will need to remove the upper arms and either use a press to push out the old and then in the new bushings. I recommend using either a piece of steel or a piece of wood (oak) that fits inside the stamped area of the arm where the bushings are. The is will help prevent deformation when pressing them out.

    You can also sometimes use a ball joint press tool like one from Harbor Freight.

    Name:  Ball joint press.jpg
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    That should take care of the actual control arms. The bushings in the axle are a bit of a pain to remove . . . unless you have this tool here:

    Name:  MM Bushing Tool.JPG
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    This tool is worth every penny when doing the axle bushings! I can't remember right now if it will work on the actual control arms too or not. I might try and test mine tomorrow to verify.

    As for the rear lower control arms, there aren't really any cost effective replacement bushings for the lowers since Ford never serviced them as anything but the whole arm. So good quality originals are the best option for a Factory type ride.

    DO NOT be temped to replace both the front and rear bushings in your lower arms with Poly bushings. That will cause suspension bind in a street car and make things worse, NOT better. The same is true for the upper arms! Rubber Bushings only in the upper arms.

    IF you have to replace a bushing in the lower rear arms, you can do either the front or the rear in Poly and leave the other in rubber. That will give a slight improvement in handling without any issues such as binding.

    The best option if you are looking for the best handling and ride quality would be a set of aftermarket rear lower control arms such as these.

    Price Point and Horsepower will dictate which control arms are best for you. I personally have 3 sets from MM and they are the BOMB!

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

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  3. #3


    Looks good. I heard about the tools mentioned and will probably go with them to make it easier. I did another test drive yesterday and it ran well and made some noise but no worse than in the recent past. Definitely feel it is the bushings. Moog looks like the best choice for me- all stock and factory. And I can swap out the lowers with the spare set I have with good bushings. Thanks for the info.

  4. #4


    You might be getting hatch noise or trunk noise. How new are the seals? Do you have the stops adjusted?

    Suspend about 100 lbs from underneath the hatch or trunk lid. If the noise stops there it was.

    Check your gas tank straps and other mounting related stuff. I've had the pads that go. Eternal the body and the tank rot out. It rattles like hell until you correct the problem with foam or decent ones off another car.

    Suspension wise you can always pull a bolt out and inspect to see I what's ailing it.

    I simply applied lithium grease to everything and put it back together when I broke my 86 8.8 and had to install a used 89. The original 86 only lasted 110K, the 89 had 70K on it when I torched it out of the wreckage that wrapped around a tree. Axles checked out straight so in it went.... was there for the long run so that 8.8 has around 415K or so on it. The stuff from the car itself more.

    They didnt look awesome when I swapped in the SN95 rear diff 2 years ago but still workable.

    You might try lubing stuff up and pulling the TRX/GT springs in favor of some 4cky LX/93Cobra rear springs. Ditch the sway bar, replace the quad shocks, and replace the rear shocks with SN95 after you remove the fox bump stops.

    Make sure your spring bushings are good too. Those rattle like hell if they are shelled out.

    My old 1/2 million mile piece of junk's rear suspension is quieter than it's been ever in the 25+ years I've owned it. It rides better and handles better. Way better but my car sits 1.5" lower than stock and rolls on stock height 245/45/17 tires.

    +1 on the MM lower control arms. Up top ford motorsports made some nice ones or reconditioned stock is fine.

    Watts link or panhard bar eliminates rear suspension bind and makes running a rear sway bar worthwhile again. Just not the stock one unless you are doing an R code cobra or stiffer setup. Makes my kidneys hurt just thinking about that on the street!
    Last edited by erratic50; 01-13-2018 at 05:26 PM.

  5. #5


    Evertime I got a noise from the right rear it was a tailpipe hitting the frame or the upper control arm.
    84 LX Vert. 5.0 5speed canyon red on white
    99 cobra, electric green on medium parchment, vortech s-trim

  6. #6


    While MM are the best quality and design on the market.. There are others that do a great job of putting power to the ground.. here are some offered by latemodelrestoration..

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