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Old 10-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
my_beautious_ZX3
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new rear LCA mounted crooked??

With only conventional jack stands, I wasn't able to get the rear end high enough to leverage the seized cam bolts off of my old, corroded LCA's, so I pawned the project (new springs & LCA's) off on my mechanic buddy. As we all know being do-it-yourself'ers, other people never do a job that meets our perfectionist standards. When I got the car back, I noticed a couple of things that raised my eyebrows:
  1. He used a grinder to remove the cam bolt heads, and wound-up grinding several of the metal cam-alignment tabs off of the crossmember (crossmember has a pair of alignment tabs bookending each cam). I'm assuming that those aren't mission-critical, but rather just an aid for the alignment shop? Ie., I would think that the sheer torque of the bolts, rather than any bookend resistance offered by the tabs, is what prevents the cams from rotating over time. An alignment shop was able to align the suspension perfectly to the revised Focus specs (they nailed it, actually), but my concern is that without the crossmember tabs, the cams might have less of an incentive to remain on-target and will wander over time??
  2. The right-side LCA is not bent, but is somehow mounted such that it is rotated slightly clockwise (from the crossmember's perspective). The result is that the LCA coil seat is not parallel to the ground - the rear of the seat is lower than its front, so as you might imagine, the coil spring bulges a bit towards the rear of the car. The car was up on an alignment rack at two different places, and no one mentioned it. The car has never been in an accident, and there is no obvious warping on the crossmember nor wheel hub. In the photos below, the difference is visible comparing the left/right coil seats.


Crooked mounting of right-rear LCA from perpective of vehicle centerline:




Crooked mounting of right-rear LCA from perpective of sitting directly behind coil spring:



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Old 10-06-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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could they be on the Wrong sides... just a thought
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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^ right/left LCA = same part number. They're symmetrical.

I should mention that prior to this repair, I noticed the old right-rear coil spring bulging a bit also, but never looked closer, as I was replacing it anyway and figured it was just the typical Ford coilspring in pre-failure mode. So, I don't recall if the old right-side LCA was crooked like the new one is.

Does anyone have a stock early model ZX3 that they can take a peek under the rear and see if the left & right LCA's sit perfectly symmetrical to each other? (ie. both coil seats are parallel to ground, no off-axis coil bulge)
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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This is funny because I took off my svt springs to sell them and re-installed my stock springs (its a ZX5) and the right side passenger lca looks to sit a the same angle as yours, I had never noticed before. Like its tilted back and the driver side titlted forward. I am putting the svt springs back on tomorrow and will be watching the angle of the lca's. I will report when done.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Also, how do you like the Moog sway bar link bushings???
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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Looking at mine for comparison, I noted that (being the same part) the coil spring pockets are reversed left to right - so you see the lower part of the pocket on the right at the rear (where the end of the spring sits), and on the left that lower part is in the front.

That makes that area look tilted (since it is actually tilted) when comparing the two from the rear.

from your picture, the center & top of the arm look even - and that's the part that would be "level" when comparing the two.

I'd be unhappy about those tabs myself, but since they aren't a tight fit to the eccentrics normally, your guess that the compression of the bolt on the washers & spacer is what actually holds things in place once tightened is likely correct.

They DO help a lot when aligning it, since twisting the eccentrics against the tabs moves things sideways to change the alignment setting...

Luck!
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f250lightnin View Post
the right side passenger lca looks to sit a the same angle as yours, I had never noticed before. Like its tilted back and the driver side titlted forward.
sounds like we're talking about the same thing.


Quote:
I am putting the svt springs back on tomorrow and will be watching the angle of the lca's. I will report when done.
thanks. If you take a pic of each side like I did, then it helps to rest the camera on something flat (like a 2x4 or the floor) to assure that the viewing height/angle is identical for both LCA's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by f250lightnin View Post
Also, how do you like the Moog sway bar link bushings???
So far, so good. But...the repair was less than a hundred miles ago, so I've been babying it (esp. in corners) due to some of the concerns I posted here. Truth is on a vehicle this old, there is so much slop in the existing hardware, and then throw in new springs + LCA's + swaybar endlinks + Eagle GT's, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell the difference between generic swaybar rubber and the presumably more responsive Moog rubber.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Looking at mine for comparison, I noted that (being the same part) the coil spring pockets are reversed left to right - so you see the lower part of the pocket on the right at the rear (where the end of the spring sits), and on the left that lower part is in the front.

That makes that area look tilted (since it is actually tilted) when comparing the two from the rear.
that is an excellent point. Had I done the installation myself, I would have noticed how they installed opposite of one another.


Quote:
I'd be unhappy about those tabs myself, but since they aren't a tight fit to the eccentrics normally
that's reassuring, because I didn't remember if my old cams always sat snugly between their two tabs.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:36 PM   #9
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Sorry man got your message. My lca's sit at angles just like yours.
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