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Lincoln LS Steering and Suspension

p3gap3ga Posts: 3
Have an '01 LS V8 with 95k on it. When the car (and the suspension) is cold, I get a loud thud when driving over bumps. When the car is warmed up, the noise magically goes away.

That's how I explained it to the dealer, and after reading previous posts on the board, I asked them to check & replace the bushings.

Well, the prognosis was wrong, they're saying the ball joints are about shot, and were gracious enough to quote above $1500 to do the work.

But the tire wear is ok, there's no shimmy in the steering, and everything else seems ok. Have others with this many miles run into the same?

If I still lived in the pothole ridden Northeast I might agree, but Atlanta roads are much better.

Any thoughts / input appreciated, thanks.


  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Could be the sway bar bushings but we have seen some ball joint replacements. I'd get a second opinion. Which dealer?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,564
    I just replaced the sway bar bushings in my '00 with 90K miles on it, and it's now as quiet as it was new. It had been thumping on every speed bump, especially when cold (winter), for the past couple of years.

    I had assumed all along it was the bushings, and it was. The parts are about $35 & it takes an hour or two to do (mine's a 6 -- the V8 may or may not be different). The dealer should be able to do these very quickly -- they get a lot of practice, and they're certainly done with the learning curve. My son & I had to figure some stuff out along the way and, even at that, it didn't take all that long.

    I'd have the bushings done first. If the problem goes away, you're finished. If not, spend the rest of the money -- it's not one of these deals where "you're in there already, so let's do this too." They're entirely separate jobs, except for maybe taking off the bottom plastic shield.

    Oh, and I'd certainly find another dealer -- these guys sound like ripoff artists (what! a crooked car dealer! Imagine!!). At least ask them how many hours they're going to charge for the bushing job & what the parts cost. It wouldn't hurt to get bids over the phone from as many dealers in your area as you're interested in contacting. I'm guessing you'll get out of this for a couple, three hundred dollars and the noise will go away.
  • finiclefinicle Posts: 2
    just read your posting and noticed that there is a recall on th 01 LS for lower ball joint nuts not being tightened to specs..they will either tighten them or replace ball joints if needed..might wanna check on that and get some money back
  • 40ric40ric Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2004 ls(9000 miles) and noticed that when travelling on the highway there is an odd vibration that i feel in the gas pedal. If I switch to D4 vs D5 overdrive it seems to go away. The endine is not running rough and other than the pedal vibration, the ride is smooth enough. Has anybody experienced this or have a suggestion as to what may be causing it? Thanks for the help.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Could be an out of balance drive shaft or rear end problem. Since it's under warranty have it checked by the dealer.
  • 40ric40ric Posts: 2
    Thanks Akirby.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062

    The clunk is probably the sway bar bushings. Not sure about the shifter. What makes you think it isn't engaging D4?
  • it might be stabilizer bar (brackets ) located on the lower control arms which makes a cloncking sound over bumps. NOT the stabilizer bar itself, sometimes the bushing on that go bad and cause noise.The BRACKETS which hold the stabilizer bar ,they go first . they are cheap, 45 dollars each +labor. Check them , see if the move.
  • are the sway bar bushings the same as the stabilizer bushings? are they the ones that are attached to the lower control arm.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
  • Thought so..... one more question, the stabilizer (SWAY) bar also has a bushing on it thats different from the link bushing on the lower control arm. That bushing is inexpensive as well. Do you know if the stabilizer bar has to be replaced in order to change the bushing? THANKS
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,564

    The bushings for the forward sway bar are all that need to be replaced to make the "clunk" go away.

    The parts are relatively inexpensive, but replacing them can take awhile, and there are things one learns when it's done the first time. It'll go more quickly next time.

    As if more than 0.02% of the people driving the LS give a rip. I'm happy that you're one who does.

    Drive happy (oh, wait, isn't it drive "well"). Anyway, drive however and enjoy your extinct vehicle.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Yes, they're cheap but it will take about 1 hour to do the driver's side and 2 to do the passenger side. For the passenger side remove the heater valve bracket first. It's really tight but it can be done.
  • thank you for the info. ill drive it "well" enough so i can sell it, in order to break even on all the money i put into it. Merry Christmas!
  • Thank You , Hope it works out, dealer told me i needed new stabilizer bar. privite shop told me all i needed was bushings. (dealers are thieves!!!!!)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Well, the thing is, u may have trouble getting just the bushings. The reason is that apparently from all I've been able to determine, Ford has redesigned the stabilizer bar at some point and refuses to sell parts for the old stlye, thus rendering it obsolete and FORCING owners who need only $20 bushing replacements to pay about $700 to have a whole new stabilizer bar put on. So it's not really the dealers who are the thieves, IMO, it is Ford motor company.
  • Hey George...

    The reason for replacing the bar is the old bushings will keep failing. The new bar has the bushings molded onto the bar. I need to do this on my 2000 as the bushings are squeaking.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    Hey, Mike, Merry Christmas.

    I was able to buy just the bushings for the old bar, at least that's what the guy thinks he ordered. I haven't put em on yet. My bar is thumping and has been for quite some time.
    Am I out to lunch or is it out of line for Ford to force people to pay $700 or $800 to get this new sway bar when apparently the old one had design problems? Strangely, Ford says driving with worn bushings and the old bar is not a safety issue.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,564
    Strangely, Ford says driving with worn bushings and the old bar is not a safety issue.

    What else is Ford going to say, given that the LS was cut loose completely earlier this year and their financial situation isn't exactly stunning (at least in the positive direction)?

    Alienate an LS driver? Why, they'd never do that! Would they?

    On the other hand, Merry Christmas to you all, and continue to enjoy your LS's, as best you can.
  • its un real how dealers and car makers (american especially) just get away with robbing people.....if this was a german car i guarantee those bushings would be replacable without having to replace the whole stabilizer bar. By the way. those anyone know of a bar towards the back of the engine bottom that could get loose and cause similar noise over bumps like the sway bar? is there such an animal?
  • Merry Chistmas to you to George!! And your lovely wife and kids!

    You can replace just the bushings, if you want. It's just that they will probably fail again, around the same mileage. I also have it on good authority (one of the Lincoln guys) that it really isn't a DIY job. Bruno did it a while ago and had all kinds of trouble. I'm just going to suck it up within the next couple of months and have mine done. Right now my bar is just squeaking horribly when it's cold out.
  • I own a 2000 LS with 80k and just a few days ago it started making a squeaky sound any time I made a left hand turn. The sound seems to be originating from the front left tire. My father, an old mechanic who refuses to fix my vehicles, says he thinks it make be the ball joints, which is very likely after having read about the recall information on these; however, I have also read all the posts about the bushings. Which of these two would have the loud squeaky sound as an indicator of something going wrong? AND what is the time frame that I have before serious damage is done?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    It's not the sway bar - that's a rattle, not a squeak. Doesn't sound like a ball joint to me, either, but I'm no expert. Jack up the front left and right and listen for the squeak while someone turns the wheel. Also try spinning the wheel at the same time. You should be able to find it.
  • Allen, my bushings squeak like crazy when it's cold. I tried spraying a lube on them, but that didn't work. I took a look and it appears the bar has shifted a little.

    The ball joints were never recalled. The only recall on the LS was to check the torque on the ball joint nut. My bet is the stabilizer bar bushings. I've been told it's a very tough do-it-yourself job.
  • heyjewelheyjewel Posts: 1,046
    "My bet is the stabilizer bar bushings. I've been told it's a very tough do-it-yourself job. "

    It's my understanding that replacing the bar itself is very very difficult DIY, but the bushings are doable with reasonable effort. Say akin to getting a chrome lug nut off.:>)
    Mike, are u saying the bushings are a horrible DIY job too?

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Allen, my bushings squeak like crazy when it's cold.

    Mine, too, but what does that have to do with the car?
  • That's what I hear. I've heard replacing the bushings will not cure the problem. The bushings will fail again and the only cure is to replace the bar. AllData shows 2.3 hours for the bar replacement, 1.2 for the bushings.

    :P :P :P
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,564
    and I (well, mostly him) replaced the bushings in my V6 LS a couple of years ago, and they're holding up fine (so far, knocking on wood).

    The parts were under $40 & came with lubricant spread on them -- fairly straightforward replacement. It was well worth the effort to make the thump disappear.

    Interesting to hear that FoMoCo is now unwilling to sell the bushings without the bar included, plus labour, of course.
  • jingles2jingles2 Posts: 11
    has any one tryed to replace front struts and springs?
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