View Full Version : Best front suspension vendor.
09-11-2016, 05:25 PM
Sorry I don't talk too much on this forum. My brother owns the 1964 Thunderbird not me.
My question is: what is the best vendor for new front suspension parts? Thank you.
09-11-2016, 05:45 PM
I try to use a local parts store when possible. That way if you have an issue with the part, you don't have to pay to ship it back. O'Reilly seems to be the best of the franchise stores. Autozone seems to be catching up though.
A search of "ball joints" at O'reilly and MacsAuto, probably the largest online specialty vendor, shows the same four parts. Oddly Macs is cheaper for three of them. Autozone has three, similar price as Macs.
As members, we have 5% discount at RockAuto. They don't list any of the four.
09-11-2016, 06:16 PM
Thanks for the response Steve. I would like to replace the upper and lower arms (both sides) because of there condition. Over fifty years of mud, salt and grime have left them in a sorry state. The original owner used this Thunderbird extensively in New York City and all the pot holes and road salt have done there damage. I would like to have fully rebuilt arm when my brother brings his car over to my house.
Is there a vendor that has these arms fully rebuilt (bushings and ball joints)? Thank you.
09-11-2016, 07:55 PM
My car was also a NYC car, so I feel your pain. I'm not aware of anyone who has complete control arm assemblies for what is now a 52 year old luxury car. If you were dealing with a pony car you could buy just about anything with completely re-engineered suspension components. But our cars are relatively rare.
Luckily all the suspension components can be rebuilt using a basic set of of mechanics tools. I know this because I did all that heavy work 28 years ago when I was two years out of college and still renting an apartment. Back then my idea of a press was a vice. And since you won't be driving the car daily and if you treat the maintenance of it as an enjoyable hobby to look forward to instead of drudgery to putt off, the parts that you put in now will likely last forever.
The only exception to this is removal of the front springs, which requires a $150 spring tool. Without that tool, you are risking your life.
09-11-2016, 08:16 PM
There's a really good spring compressor that I'm going to buy for this project. I don't like the crappy spring compressor I see in Advanced Auto stores or Auto Zone. Beside, I don't know if these (rental) tools have been abused or damaged by some 'sledge hammer' mechanics.
I was hoping for rebuilt arms because of the lack of space that I have here to work on my brothers car.
09-11-2016, 08:26 PM
Yes, we've discussed this previously. I was wrong on the price, it's more. But well worth it.
09-11-2016, 08:39 PM
That's the spring compressor that I have been thinking about getting. Thanks.
09-12-2016, 02:31 PM
Has anyone bought upper or lower arms from this eBay vendor?
I would like to rebuild all four arms before my brother bring over his 64 Thunderbird. I don't have a lot of work space so having fully rebuilt arm will save me time.
By the way, is this vendor a member of this website? Thank you.
09-12-2016, 07:42 PM
Wow, that's awesome. When I rebuilt mine, there was no internet. or Ebay. Now some guy can justify a niche like that.
09-12-2016, 09:52 PM
I going that route because of the lack of space I have at my house. Before my brother comes over with his Thunderbird I will already have all four arms rebuilt, painted and ready to bolt in. It's worth the added expense.
09-12-2016, 10:43 PM
Heck, I spent hours degreasing mine to put a coat of plow guard paint on them. Those look they are powder coated.
I used the same implement paint on bumper brackets and similar parts. It's actually pretty good for that. After 28 years the parts are still free of rust. It touches up well.
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