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Discussion Starter #1
Hey people, sorry I haven't been on here much lately, but I haven't had any real problems, and the Cougar has been running great!

But, I have had a weird problem lately, and I thought I'd share it with you, to get some possible ideas.

I was at a buddy's house, and took the car for a drive. When we came back, I was backing into his driveway from the alley, and the right front tire made this awful rubbing noise. My buddy got out, and said the tire was scraping the very front of the fender opening. Now, I do know I don't have the correct tires on the car, but that NEVER happened before! And, it ONLY happened when I was backing up into his driveway! So, not thinking about it anymore, drove home. I've been driving the car, without incident, except once when I was at MY house, backing it into my garage, the tire rubbed again! Now, it's on my mind! So, today, when we came home with the car, I pulled up (I have a circle driveway), and instead of putting the car in reverse, decided to have gravity do it's thing, and let it roll down into my garage. Guess what? The tire didn't rub! I have some drain grate just before the door, and when the tires hit that, the car stopped. So, I had to put it in reverse. Can you guess what happened next? That's right, the tire rubbed!

So, now I KNOW there's a problem, so I jacked up the car, and the first thing I did, was grab the passenger side wheel, and moved it side, to side. I now know that in the manual that you can look at on Rock Auto, it says to NOT do that, but I didn't know any better. Anyway, I can plainly see the idler arm joint moving, and the whole center link moved pretty drastically!

So, I know I need an idler arm, and I just ordered one on Rock Auto (hence looking at the manual online). But, I still have the question as to WHY the tire rubs? If I'm going forward, I can turn as sharp as I want, and the tire doesn't rub. It's only when I go BACKWARDS, then the rubbing is there. Is that from the idler arm? That doesn't make any sense to me! Since I thought I solved the mystery, I didn't really look to carefully at anything else, but other than the idler arm, everything seemed pretty tight to me.

The other question I have, is how hard is it to change? I did buy the bracket that mounts to the frame, as it was only a dollar more on Rock Auto (but the whole thing was HALF off what O'Reillys, or Advanced wants!), but, I had someone move the wheel, as I looked at the bracket, and that seems to be OK. So, do I have to change the bracket, or can I just put the new Idler Arm in? And, what is involved in replacing that? I tried to look it up on the shop manual, that one of you guys was so nice in sending me, but I looked all over section 3 (for steering), and couldn't find anything on the Idler Arm!

So, any help here would be appreciated!

Thanks,
John
 

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i'll go along with towcat---for the tire to go foreward , either the strutrod bushings , lower ball joint ,upper ball joint ,or upper control arm bushings would be bad---i'm going with the first two
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was thinking something along those lines, myself, but after talking to "Cougar CJ", from WCCC, he informed me that this DOES happen, and has happened on his car! I honestly can't remember now why it happens, or what causes that (he did explain it), but the short answer is that my tires are too big! After looking at this, I now remember. He said that the 'strutrods'? (the rods that run from the radiator, to the struts. I'm assuming those are what they're called) do move slightly when in reverse. He said that that is normal, and not to worry. The only way I can correct that, is to A) put smaller tires on, or B) check the backspace of my aftermarket rims. They should be 4-1/2". If not, then that is the culprit. Either way, I will just have to make a mental note of that, and try not to back up when turning the wheels to the left!

But, the other question I have here, is that I'm changing the idler arm on my Cat today, and I'm needing to know what the torque setting is, on the castle nut? I asked on another thread, concerning a '69, but I figure I better ask here, for my '68!

John
 

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The best way that I have found to diagnose a worn front end component is; Compress the coil spring, Loosen the shock mount at the top of the tower, Raise the suspect tire/side of car only,...leaving the other side on the ground, Manhandle the tire on the effected side,...feeling and listening for looseness and clunks. With your tire rub situation only occurring in reverse,...my money is on, strut rod bushings. You can upgrade to urethane bushings and minimize lower control arm movement fore and aft. Option two would be to make sure the offending wheel does not have too much positive caster,....assuming that it is rubbing on the lower front lip of your fender.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I was able to replace the idler arm today, but with one hang up. I can't get the cotter pin in all the way on the frame end, as the hole is perfectly engineered so that the pin goes directly into the frame! I was able to bend the end of the pin somewhat, so at least I know it should hold, but it isn't as good as I want it to be! I don't know if taking it back off of the center link, and trying to move it will be any better, as I turned the wheels both ways, lock to lock, and it seemed as if that hole didn't change direction at all! So, I don't know what to do next?

Any ideas?

John
 
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