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Lower Control arm shims

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  • Lower Control arm shims

    My front-end shop is ready to install the used control arms I obtained to replace mine. I remember reading somewhere in the forum about the shims at the cross member. That they were necessary to compensate for stamping variations. Makes sense. But since I'm not simply replacing with the originals, I suppose the shim process has to be done from scratch, not just putting back the old shims. I tried to search for the info I sorta remember but either me or this phone isn't getting it. Can an expert out there give me the reference? Or simply tell me where these shims go, front, back, how snug? Will large washers do? My guy is willing, but not T-bird savvy. I already told him about not tightening the new bushings until it's down on all 4's. Anyone?

  • #2
    Bolt your lower control arm directly to the #2 crossmember, first. That's the round piece your engine mounts are welded to.

    Then, shim the FRONT to take up any gap between the front bushing and the #1 crossmember. Do not leave any slop. Since the bushings are rubber, they will 'give' a little as you put the last shim in. I try putting the thin ones in first, then tapping a thicker one in last with a small hammer.

    These shims were originally square, then Ford used round. It doesn't matter what shape shims are or how mild the steel is. As you mentioned, make SURE you don't tighten any suspension bolts until the car sits on its wheels and is level. If you tighten the bushings while the wheels hang you will destroy the rubber by hyper-twisting at the first speed bump and another rebuild will soon be in your future.

    All dimensions are referenced from the #2 crossmember. - Dave
    Last edited by simplyconnected; May 13th, 2018, 09:47 PM.
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    • #3
      Thanks Dave

      Got it. Shims in front xmbr. Tight enuf to tap in. I read this a good while back but couldn't find it again. It's good to be sure. Mike