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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: 5,014
    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.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • 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: 5,014

    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.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • 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: 5,014
    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.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • 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: 5,014
    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.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • jingles2jingles2 Posts: 11
    has any one tryed to replace front struts and springs?
  • christo1christo1 Posts: 3
    My 2000 LS V6 Sport.. purchased at 90K. Front end clunking started at around 100K. When it is winter the clunking is noticably worse (temperature).

    Reading through this site, I assumed it was the sway bar thing. I went to the local Lincoln dealer.. they don't sell the old bushings anymore. They sell the new problem solver swaybar with bushings for $150 and the labor to do the job is $550. So a $700 dollar fix.

    I said bah. I found the new problem solver sway bar online for $100 plus $20 shipping. I am somewhat of a mechanic. To do this job, one must remove the front subframe (pain), there are some other little retarded design quirks to deal with, but they present themselves obviously.

    The new problem solver sway bar has wider bushings and brackets plus the bushings are crimped by the bracket much more throughly. I truly believe this new bar to be a real permanent problem solver.

    This new bar/bushings fixed the clunking I used to hear, and it is like driving a 'new' car now.

    The old factory bushings I removed were somewhat chewed up with little black chunks flaking off as I removed them. There were lube holding spaces fabricated into the old bushings and all were bone dry.

    This sway bar job was a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] (weekend). Just know that merely replacing the old bushings with new ..old ones will be dramatically easier, but the problem will come back.
  • Christo-could you tell me how to do the deal?? I tried to replace the bar yesterday. I couldn't get the bar out thru the wheel well as the book instructs, and had no hope of getting the new bar with brackets and bushings in. I think the shop manual leaves out a few steps-removing the motor control arms, etc.--I'm not sure what. How/what did you have to do to get it out/in? Thanks. I did put on new links, which seems to have solved most of my clunking problem, but I don't like failing at trying to fix something, so I'd like to force the bar in there.

    BTW, I'm a long time lurker on the LS boards since I bought my manual in Oct 00. I don't get on em much anymore, but its nice to see old names (heyjewel, akirby, cdnpinhead and others) I recall that I always enjoyed reading are still around. The car's been pretty good-only in the shop once since warranty expired for a coil pack. I'll miss the LS.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    Hello Christo, Ralph;

    Yes, I'd love to hear more about the fix as my 80K manual LS has been clunking for a while. I ws able to buy the old style bushings but have yet to attempt to put them in.

    If I could get the new bar, I might ask my mechanic to install it. I'm not convinced I have the moxie to attempt a job like that.

    How many miles on your 00 manual, Ralph?
  • Jeyhoe-- 109K and counting--though its an 01.
  • jeyhoejeyhoe Posts: 490
    Ah. Mine is an 01 manual as well. 83K. Not one red cent for out of warrantee repairs except for tires, brakes and oil. Oh, and the bushings. Oh, and the stinking plastic "chrome" lug nuts. Dont get me started on my HVAC system.
    Overall, the car has been a real winner. I'd give it an 8 out of 10 for durability (points off for HVAC and front sway bar and lug nuts) an 8 out of 10 for performance (points off for 210 hp V6, man the new 3.5 litre would be nice under my hood) and an 8 out of 10 for overall style (points off for interior could have been a bit nicer. Exterior is a real sleeper beauty.)
    Last, Id give Lincoln (Ford) about a 3 out of 10 for quality of service, level of customer care and support and support for the vehicle itself (IOW, they let it rot.)
  • christo1christo1 Posts: 3
    Here is goes:

    Remove both front wheels, drop the passenger side shock and spring assy by unbolting the 3 bolts at the top of the shock tower, remove bolts from both driver and passenger side lower control arms as they are attached to the steel front crossmember, then remove the steel crossmember. Take the sway bar out from the passenger side (the lowering of the spring/shock assy on this side was to provide enough working room to enable this). Watch out for the lower radiator hose assy.. don't bash it getting the sway bar in/out.

    Installation is reverse of removal. (Ahahaha, slap me.)

    Make marks for all the positions of the suspension pieces you are removing, in the hope of retaining the suspension alignment you had before the job. It seems like I was able to keep my alignment roughly the same as before. I should take it ddown to the tire shop and have the front end realigned though.

    I recommend a saturday to remove the bar and a sunday to replace it. Take it slow. This job is a pain in the [non-permissible content removed], as components are packaged tightly/stupidly around the swaybar.

    I didn't do the new links.. they (in the end) had nothing to do with the squeeky/clunking I used to experience. In fact; when I almost had the old bar out, I moved it up and down... and there was that familiar sound of the bar squeeking/clunking against the torched stock sway bar bushings/brackets.

    In retrospect, if I were able to obtain just the new bushings.. I would recommend just doing the bushings. The job would be ALOT easier, BUT they would eventually fail again.

  • i have a 2002 ls and lately i been heaqring a clunking noise over rough roads and as of yeaterday a loud creeking noise thats seems 2 be coming from the passenger side suspension it happens when i brake and accelerate its a f**king headache any1 kno what it could be??? :mad: :sick:

    and if it is the stabalizer bar where can i get the new one?
  • ras2007ras2007 Posts: 1
    2000, V6...Took my car in for a rattle...I was told front and rear sway bars needed to be replaced as well as front knuckle mounts and lower ball joints...the estimate was $1800 dollars!!! Am I wrong or is that an outrageous quote? Also they would not give me an itemized estimate so I could see what each part and labor were going to cost me. does anyone know about how much the two sway bar kits cost? Have been looking and dealership is giving me the run around.
  • dc_rhoadsdc_rhoads Posts: 1
    I have 2000 LS V8 etc.
    155,000 + miles.
    5000 mine. I'm having a blast with it.
    Unfortunately, when I changed all four struts, the lower ball joints are bad.

    The ball joints are not supposes to move up and down 1/2" or more.
    They are only supposed to pivot.
    Somehow this does not seem to affect the drivability.
    Sooner or latter it will fail.
    I do not want to be anywhere near when this happens.

    There is a recall on loose nuts, but this car was not on the recall list.

    The problem is, not how to fix them, but Lincoln only sells the whole knuckle and not just the lower ball end.
    A major dollar difference.

    The design is a simple pressed ball joint.
    I can not see any part number for the ball joint.
    $200 plus dollars each knuckle.

    Dammed them Design Engineers, Oops I are one.

    Ps. I can find no aftermarket replacements.
    I also remember reading in one of the messages that someone lost the whole wheel assembly. This would be my first thought about the cause.

    Just something you all may need to know.

    DC Rhoads
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 5,014
    Thanks for letting us know about this. My LS hit 114K miles today & will have close to 120K on it by the time I get home from the trip I'm on. I bought it new, so I know there's been no abuse, but even so it's helpful to know what may be coming up.

    There is no doubt that maintainability was about 143rd on the list when the LS was designed. Assemblies are cheaper to design (pressed/welded/glued/riveted as opposed to bolted or screwed together) & stock as spares. They cost a fortune, but who (besides the poor sod who drives one past 100K miles) cares? Lots lease & those who buy often don't drive all that much.

    Good luck.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • Does anyone know if the balljoint and hub assembly from a 2002 LS V8 is backwards compatible with a 2000 LS V8 Sport?

    Cheers, Ian
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    As far as I know, yes. The only difference in the sport and base models is the shocks and sway bars.
  • Thanks akirby; no design changes from 2000 to 2002?

    Cheers, Ian
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    I don't think so, but I'll ask around to be sure.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,062
    Looks like they updated the lower ball joint in mid 2002 model year. If the 2002 has this updated 16mm lower ball joint then you'll also need the updated matching lower control arm as well.
  • isbv8isbv8 Posts: 5
    I guess I am lucky to have waited long enough. Ball joints are now available separately for the earliest LS's. I ordered a pair from a vendor on eBay for just under $100 - substantially less that the >$600 for complete assemblies! The manufacturer is HAMBURG-TECHNIC QUALITATSERSATZEILE www.hamburgtechnic.com. The part number on the box is XR8 041 215J HT.NO.215J.

    Any tips on how to remove the assembly?

    Cheers, Ian
  • Removing the assembly is the easy part. Take off the wheel and brake components and you will see that the knuckle assembly is connected to the upper control arm and the lower control arm as well as the tie rod end. One thing to do first is remove the wiring harness that goes to the hub, be careful also that you do not lose the o-ring that goes inside the hub. Remove the knuckle assembly by removing the nuts from the upper and lower ball joints as well as the tie rod end. When you pull the assembly out you will have to drill out the rivets that hold the brake shield on and remove the hub from the knuckle by removing the four bolts. Now comes the hard part, to get the old ball joint out, you will need a shop press or know someone who has one. I would recommend taking the knuckle to a willing mechanic and have him remove and replace the old ball joints. Put everything back together in the same way you took it off. I replaced my ball joints with the same ones you did and they work great, just make sure that you tighten them and maybe even keep tools with you. Both sides loosened up on me after I installed them, but have had no problems ever since. Good luck!
  • ghoracekghoracek Posts: 3
    I have an 01 LS with 55000 miles and I was having the same problem. I changed the upper and lower ball joints on both sides and i didnt hear the noise anymore. I did the work myself so I didn't pay for labor but the lower ball joints costed about 360 a piece and te upper ball joints costed about 100 a piece. You have to buy the whole control arm the because the dealer told me I couldn't just replace the ball joints.
  • Did you buy the bushings from Ford? As you stated they're no longer available. Any suggestions?
  • a have a 2000 lincoln ls v8 and it rattles everytime i slow down and when i accelerate its does not rattle, just when i let go of the gas it starts to rattle does anyone know what the problem? my mechanic said its the front driveshaft(rubber joint) or could it be the lower ball joint, or the bushing?dont know
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