A Warning to Ford Escape Owners

Lincoln LS

  1. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    If any Escape owner doesn't know about this... it would be good information to pass along. You may save a person's life.

    I'm not sure what all years it covers... but the suspension cradle that holds the lower control arms, (and other components), is known for severely rusting out and failing.

    Ford has a TSB on this... for adding a brace to hold everything together... but it is only a band-aid. Eventually the cradle will fail... causing loss of steering... and worse.

    I just went through this with my EX. She was very lucky that it held up as long as it did... but it was getting deadly. Pics to follow shortly.
     
  2. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    IMG_20200630_175659467.jpg IMG_20200630_175248862.jpg I think this goes up to at least 2008... starting from about 2000.
     
  3. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    It is possible to find a clean used one in the junkyard... but you have to pay attention to the manufacture date of the Escape.

    Before 12/14/2003 is one design. 12/15/2003 and after... there was a slight change. Don't know what it is... but the later suspension cradle won't fit the earlier Escape... and vice versa.
     
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    • HRLNKN

      HRLNKN Well-Known LVC Member

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      Wow! That's really bad. Thanks for the reminder for everybody to take a look under their vehicles sometime. There might be surprises lurking beneath the surface
       
    • 04_Sport_LS

      04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Yes definitely... although it is more of a "rust belt" issue. Obviously road salt is the issue here.

      I had been keeping an eye on it... without letting the ex know. The last time she came over for an oil change, (since I have all the tools), my son went to jack the car up to change the oil... and we both heard a "crunch". I told him to let it down and change the oil with the car on the ground.

      That started a search for a good used cradle. Thing is... the nuts inside the cradle for the control arm bolts tend to break away from the inside of the cradle frame.... allowing the bolt to spin freely so you cant get the control arm off without doing surgery.

      I found a clean used cradle at my local LKQ yard. I had it out in about 2.5 hours... with a buddy handing me tools and occasionally holding a wrench or breaker bar... or running a battery impact wrench.

      The suspension cradle came with control arms, steering rack, sway bar, and a couple of the engine/transmission mounts. All for $112+ tax.

      IMG_20200606_120915307.jpg
       
      Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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      • 04_Sport_LS

        04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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        Pic double post...

        IMG_20200606_120915307.jpg
         
        Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
      • 04_Sport_LS

        04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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        Steering rack was in good shape, with newer Moog replacement tie rods... and newer Moog control arms, (though I did have to replace the ball joints. and 1 bushing.
         
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        • AmsterDutch

          AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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          My step son has a Ford Escape ...going to look under the truck today...thanks 04'Sport
           
        • 04_Sport_LS

          04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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          I disassembled the whole replacement cradle... cleaned the existing rust off with a wire wheel on a Metabo grinder... hit it with some epoxy/bonding primer and top coated it with black paint.

          The only heavy rust I found on the replacement cradle... was where it was welded together. That tells me that the metal used for these cradles... was some really crappy scrap. IMG_20200607_200907926.jpg
           
        • luvmylsv6

          luvmylsv6 LVC Member

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          My neighbor has an Escape, I'm not sure what year. I will pas this on. Thanks for the heads up OP.
           

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