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Old 04-24-2014, 11:53 PM   #21
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The car is doing great with everything back together. The tie rod end is still bent. Firestone wanted $700+ do to all four tie rod ends; a local shop wanted $550 for all four and an alignment (not bad). That factored in paying $255 for Moog tie rod ends. I got the Moog tie rod ends with new bellows from Advanced for $95 total, and will instead be doing the project myself. However, that means driving 900 miles from where I'm at in Arizona to get the car home. I drove a different vehicle here. So far the cost of the repairs are as follows:

$190 for the CV Axle, both struts, and two engine mounts.
$190 for the OEM torque strut mount, new bracket, and two quarts of XTM5QS gear oil.
$119 for a Motorcraft battery. The original lasted 9 years, figured it's worth the premium to hope for that again.
$95 for new tie rod end links (all four).

Total: $594.

Next up I'll be tackling the brakes when I get it home, and the rear shocks. I'm a little worried about the drive but hopefully it will make it. I'm rotating the back tires to the front, as my parents (who the car has been with) haven't rotated them and thus the fronts are getting bad while the rears are okay. The bent tie rod contributed to the inside of that tire getting quite bald. Here's to hoping I don't need to throw on the spare! I've got an appointment on Monday to get new tires put on. Looking at Falken Ziex 612s, not because I want them, but because I saw Discount Tire had my size for $58 a tire. For $327 out the door, I can put my dreams of Pirellis or Michelins on hold. Anything is better than the 3 year old tires it has!
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:38 AM   #22
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I did the passenger side tie rod ends tonight. Wasn't too bad, took a lot more force than I thought it would to break the inner loose. I thought I was going to break my rack. I actually used my foot to press against a breaker bar while bracing against the underside of the car. Figured if the rack broke first, I'd just replace the whole rack and return the inners. The first time I buttoned things back up, the alignment was quite far off. The steering wheel was about 30 degrees off center and it was noisy to drive. I adjusted the outer end and got it closer, at least so it can drive to alignment shop. Will be doing the driver's side tomorrow and hopefully getting tires on within the next few days.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:47 PM   #23
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I got the driver's side tie rod ends done as well, so all four are brand new and good to go. For some reason one of the Moog tie rod ends didn't include the new nut and cotter pin like the other one, so I reused the old nut. Hopefully that will hold up. I did my best to get my alignment decent after finishing, tinkering then test driving a few times.

I ended up only being out of spec on the front left toe (0.18), making my total toe -0.26 with -0.06 steer ahead. Right front was within limits but definitely was improved by the alignment I got from Firestone this afternoon. I also purchased my new tires, Falken Ziex 612+ for 58.00 a piece (don't know why or how they were listed at that price, but I jumped on them).

Before measurements:
Left front: -1.0 camber, 2.6 caster, -0.18 toe
Right front: -1.1 camber, 2.4 caster, -0.07 toe
Total toe: -0.26, Steer ahead -0.06

Left rear: -1.0 camber, 0.21 toe
Right rear: -1.6 camber, 0.16 toe
Total toe: 0.37
Thrust angle: 0.03

After measurements:
Left front: -1.0 camber, 2.6 caster, 0.01 toe
Right front: -1.1 camber, 2.4 caster, 0.00 toe
Total toe: 0.01, Steer ahead 0.01

Left rear: -1.0 camber, 0.24 toe
Right rear: -1.6 camber, 0.15 toe
Total toe: 0.40
Thrust angle: 0.05

Do these numbers look good to those of you who are more familiar with alignment than I (not at all)? The lifetime alignment means I can bug the hell out of them whenever I want.

Total cost for tires, mounting, replacement certificates (at 50% cost, ALWAYS ask if they'll knock the price down on those -- pure margin), and alignment was 532.73. This is around the amount I very nearly paid someone to do my tie rod ends instead of doing them myself. Any time I think about having a shop do work on my car that I could do myself, I think of what else I could spend the money on. I think this was a better way to spend that money.

That being said, here's what I've spent on the car after not driving it at all for a year and a half and since the creation of this thread:

532.73 for tires and alignment.
289.42 for CV axle, both struts, and two engine mounts from Parts Authority.
129.61 for a new Motorcraft battery from the dealer.
181.46 for new torque strut mount, bracket, and two quarts of XT-M5-QS gear oil.
98.19 for new tie rod ends (all) from Advance Auto Parts.
83.87 for new DOT approved headlight assemblies from Ebay.
66.84 for new folding, heated, power side mirrors from Ebay.

Grand total for 2013-2014 services (no service actually performed in 2013): 1,382.12. Once I complete the brake overhaul and replace the rear shocks, I'm hoping this will be the last amount of money I need to spend on the car for awhile.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:05 PM   #24
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Front looks good, rear didn't get touched.

LR is quite a bit in, try for close as .10 as you can get .20's are too much there.

.15 ea. might work, but that .26-.15 won't track true & likely wear tires faster.
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