ball joints or the entire control arm? [Archive] - Classic Cougar Forums

: ball joints or the entire control arm?



67MercCat
June 13th, 2011, 02:49 PM
According to the Cougar repair manual if you want to repair the lower ball joint you have to replace the entire lower control arm. But on the Oreilly auto parts website they sell the lower ball joint without the control arm. After looking at the lower control arm, i see that the ball joint is riveted to it. Can I just cut the rivets and replace it with the new ball joint (which comes with bolts to replace the rivets)

smag60
June 13th, 2011, 03:01 PM
Yes you can. I replaced the lower ball joints on a 68 XR-7 I owned about 30 years ago. I did install new upper ball joints and new lower control arms on my current cat. That way I also replaced the worn lower control arm bushing. While I had the upper arms off the car I installed 90 degree grease fittings and relocated the upper control arm mounting location. It made a world of difference.

ahunt191
June 13th, 2011, 03:12 PM
Is this for a '67? From your username, I'm guessing it is. Are the ball joints also listed as Mustang ball joints? The strut rod bolt holes on '67 Mustangs and '67 Cougars do not have the same spacing.

67MercCat
June 13th, 2011, 03:43 PM
oh, that sucks...i gotta buddy with some 65-66 control arms but i dont think they will fit....i've called a few places and they all said i'd have to replace the lower control arms...my cat is a daily driver so i need to get it right...

ahunt191
June 13th, 2011, 04:03 PM
You are correct, 65-66 mustang control arms will not work. You can install '67 Mustang lower control arms or '68-'73 Mustang/Cougar lower control arms. Don't waste your money buying the cheapest ones you can find. The metal is thinner and the ball joints are cheap. MOOG makes excellent replacement control arms for not much more and Virginia Classic Mustang has the best prices.

http://www.virginiaclassicmustang.com/67-LOWER-CONTROL-ARM-P5127.aspx
http://www.virginiaclassicmustang.com/68-73-LOWER-CONTROL-ARM-P5128.aspx

You will need to get new strut rods to match the control arms you pick. The '68 strut rods attach to the control arms with larger diameter bolts. I'm not sure it really matters, since that isn't the weak part of the strut rod.

http://www.cjponyparts.com/STRUT-ROD-WITH-NUTS-1967/p/SR2/
http://www.virginiaclassicmustang.com/68-73-LOWER-CONTROL-ARM-STRUT-RODS-PAIR-P122637.aspx

Depending on your budget, you could go with heavier duty strut rods with heim joints instead of rubber bushings. In my opinion, they make a huge difference and they are less likely to break. Street Or Track makes the highest quality and least expensive set (although still very pricey).

https://www.streetortrack.com/Street-or-Track-Adjustable-Strut-Rods-pr-16135.html

67MercCat
June 13th, 2011, 04:16 PM
thx that site is amazing, i'll just replace the upper ball joints for now and then replace the bottoms control arm assembly next week when I get paid.

ahunt191
June 13th, 2011, 04:25 PM
I suggest checking your upper control arm bushings while you are at it.

1969XR7Vert
June 13th, 2011, 04:36 PM
For the money they cost vs. the effort to put new joints in old greasy, rusty arms, replacing them is a no-brainer in my book.

JB BATTERSHILL
June 13th, 2011, 05:22 PM
Check for cracks starting at the outer end of the upper control arm and working their way towards and around the ball joint install area.

68XR-7Cat
June 13th, 2011, 09:54 PM
I just had the lower control arms replaced in my '67 GT. The only difference between 67 and 68 is the size of two of the bolt holes. You can buy the Moog control arm for '67 Mustang and just enlarge the two holes that are bigger on the Cougar. As others have noted, if the ball joints need replacing, the control arm bushings also likely need replacing.

ahunt191
June 13th, 2011, 10:10 PM
Bill, the '67 Cougar and '67 Mustang strut rod bolt holes are the same size, but the spacing is not the same. The bolt holes are closer together on the Mustang control arm. The '67 and the '68 control arms are very different. The '67 has four holes while the '68 only has two. The '67 strut rods are not side specific and the bolt holes are in line with the strut rod. The '68 strut rods are side specific. You can't mix and match strut rods and lower control arms.

http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n528/ahunt191/1967%20Cougar/LowerControlArm_Top.jpg
From left to right: Original '67 Cougar, Cheap '67 Mustang, MOOG '67 Mustang

http://www.lamustang.com/SQLCart/Images/Large/105225.jpg
'68 Lower control arm

Ron67
June 13th, 2011, 11:04 PM
What I doin on my 67 was get the new lower control and 68 strut rods so no drilling and every thing fit like it should. On my uppers Im using the moog bushing kit in my oem arms Seem like a better design no threads for the bushings or grease fittings.

68XR-7Cat
June 14th, 2011, 11:24 AM
Bill, the '67 Cougar and '67 Mustang strut rod bolt holes are the same size, but the spacing is not the same. The bolt holes are closer together on the Mustang control arm. The '67 and the '68 control arms are very different. The '67 has four holes while the '68 only has two. The '67 strut rods are not side specific and the bolt holes are in line with the strut rod. The '68 strut rods are side specific. You can't mix and match strut rods and lower control arms.

http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n528/ahunt191/1967%20Cougar/LowerControlArm_Top.jpg
From left to right: Original '67 Cougar, Cheap '67 Mustang, MOOG '67 Mustang

http://www.lamustang.com/SQLCart/Images/Large/105225.jpg
'68 Lower control arm

I stand corrected on the comparison to '68.

When you look closely at the original '67 Cougar control arm in the picture, it appears that the bottom left and top right holes are larger than the other two. That's what my original lower control arms looked like as well. The Moog LCA we used was the '67 version with all four holes the same size. All we had to do was enlarge the two holes to take the '67 strut rod.

ahunt191
June 14th, 2011, 12:27 PM
The larger bolt holes were the ones used to attach the strut rod to the lower control arm. The bolts that were used were rib necked (like wheel studs or upper control arm shaft bolts). After a lot of hard stops, the bolt holes were enlarged through wear. I don't think anyone enlarged those holes on purpose.

You could certainly elongate (or enlarge) the holes to get the '67 Cougar strut rods to work with '67 Mustang strut rods. I wonder if this would cause your caster setting to move around at all. Braking puts a lot of strain on those bolts.

fishman002
June 19th, 2011, 09:52 PM
I replaced my lower control arms with 1968 ones on my forst restoration and ened up using the 68 strut rods. Ther reason you cant use 67 strut rods with 68 lca is because the angle is different. I you try to use the67 strut rods on the 68 lca's the hole in lower frame will be off. Also, if memory serves me correctly, the 67 lca ball joints extend out toward the center of the car and have four holes in the end that tie into the strut rod mounting bolts. I believe this strengthens the whole assembly. I am not sure if the 68's do ths. Does anyone know where you can just buy the lower ball joint?

67Catmando
November 28th, 2011, 11:38 AM
I wish I had found this thread earlier. I purchased a set of 67 mustang lower control arms. They have 4 holes like the moog ones above.

I have a couple of questions.

Are TRW lower control arms any good?

If I keep these 67 mustang Lower Control Arms, can I really use 67 Mustang strut rod as mustangsunlimited.com suggests?

http://www.mustangsunlimited.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=CA67+01

67Catmando
December 1st, 2011, 09:15 AM
Well, I guess I will figure this one out and post the results here. I ordered the 67 mustang strut rods to go with the 67 mustang lower control arms. I figured it would save some work refurbishing or rebuilding the 67 cougar articulated strut rod and now my entire front end - steering and suspension will be new parts.

I opted not to attempt to drill the mustang lower control arms. If I don't get the drilling right, they would be ruined.

I will keep you posted.

67Catmando
January 8th, 2012, 12:12 PM
67 mustang lower control arms and 67 mustang strut rods work fine.

Billy
January 12th, 2012, 07:39 PM
Last time I checked Autozone had the 67 lower arms with ball joints. You could get them in a few days and they were pretty cheap. They did not sell the lower ball joint separately. Not sure if you have Autozone there.

ahunt191
January 12th, 2012, 07:43 PM
Yeah, we have Autozone out here, but for $115 ea? No way. The ones they sell are also the cheap version you see in the middle on the previous page.

67MercCat
January 13th, 2012, 12:40 AM
I just ordered myself a pair from West Coast Classic Cougar for 49.95 each...I'm pulling the strut rods from a 73' Mercury Comet in the local junk yard. The lower control arm ruined my bearings and drums, so I figured I'm going to have to make the jump to disc finally...what a relief, drums make me scared to go fast haha

tig_21
January 13th, 2012, 02:32 AM
I made my own adjustable strut rods. The stock ones with the bushing set-up are just annoying. As far as the control arms, I ordered new lowers and rebuilt the upper ones. I plan to build my own tubular control arms with coil overs someday so I didn't want to spend much on the front end right now. I just want to get it running and drive it.2908129080

67MercCat
January 13th, 2012, 09:09 AM
I made my own adjustable strut rods. The stock ones with the bushing set-up are just annoying. As far as the control arms, I ordered new lowers and rebuilt the upper ones. I plan to build my own tubular control arms with coil overs someday so I didn't want to spend much on the front end right now. I just want to get it running and drive it.2908129080

Thats exactly what i was thinking, I dont want toblow a bunch of money on the front just to rip it of to put in an IFS...

1969XR7Vert
January 13th, 2012, 03:52 PM
I made my own adjustable strut rods. The stock ones with the bushing set-up are just annoying. As far as the control arms, I ordered new lowers and rebuilt the upper ones. I plan to build my own tubular control arms with coil overs someday so I didn't want to spend much on the front end right now. I just want to get it running and drive it.2908129080

Nice job man! Assume the "tig" in your name refers to TIG welding then?

Oh, and to the person who started the thread, I have '69 disc setup parts for sale. PM me if you are interested.

tig_21
January 13th, 2012, 05:19 PM
Nice job man! Assume the "tig" in your name refers to TIG welding then?



Heck yes! I love TIG welding! thanks for noticing you are the first person to say something about it!

Josh

67MercCat
January 14th, 2012, 08:54 PM
@ tig_21 those struts look great tig_21, you've honed your skill well! I'll be attending welding and blueprint classes for TIG this fall. I want to learn the right way before I build a bad habits. Maybe you can benefit from this site www.rodplans.com I've ordered a few plans already of which I will be taking to class.

As for the repair, it turns out I wont be getting my lower control arms until next Tuesday, I was hoping to do the work over the weekend but thats what I get for ordering from WCCC late Wednesday evening. I ended up grabbing those strut rods from the 73 comet in the junk yard today for $20 bucks.

@ 1969XR7Vert as far as the brake set up I think I'm pretty close to having the pieces I need, I just need to buy a Master Cylinder (4 wheel disc), Proportioning valve, Rotors, hoses and bearings. I have the spindle, calipers, and tie rods so I think I can round everything else up. I'm using a Ultrastang kit for my rear end disc from a Mark VII and Granadas discs on the front.

tig_21
January 15th, 2012, 06:52 PM
@ tig_21 those struts look great tig_21, you've honed your skill well! I'll be attending welding and blueprint classes for TIG this fall. I want to learn the right way before I build a bad habits. Maybe you can benefit from this site www.rodplans.com I've ordered a few plans already of which I will be taking to class.



Thats awesome. Biggest key is patience and practice. the more time under the welding hood the better you will be. thanks for the site! I will definitely be able to learn from that. i better save up for stainless parts and steel now that I can get plans for everything. post up some pics when you get everything put together.