Front Upper Control Arm Replacement Questions

Lincoln LS

  1. Robert Crain

    Robert Crain LVC Member

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    Greetings, when replacing the front upper control arms, is there enough clearance to remove the two body bolts or does the strut assembly have to first be removed? Are these two bolts camber bolts that affect alignment? Should these bolts be replaced or can they be reused? Thanks! Rob
     
  2. craigh

    craigh Well-Known LVC Member

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    The times I have replaced the control arm I have had to lower the strut. You might get lucky and have the coils in the right spot so that the bolts will slide between them to remove the bolts, but not likely. You don't need to replace with new bolts.
     
  3. Jtown

    Jtown Active LVC Member

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    Had to pull my struts. Nothings every easy for me. The bitch I found was not being able to get a torque wrench on the rear bolts. Now I have a popping sound at times and I suspect the upper control arms. I didn't crank the rears supper tight, just bit more than snug. I know this will make some guys here nervous but I couldn't find a way around it.
     
  4. jerryg2112

    jerryg2112 Active LVC Member

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    • FDR

      FDR Dedicated LVC Member

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      My coils were lined up but the bolts have tabs fitted to them that didn't fit between the coils. Being less experienced, I opted to grind down the tabs a little. Now I know the coils come out pretty easily as long as you can release the bottom bolt. I'd guess you only have to remove the top nuts though to swing it out of the way
       
    • jerryg2112

      jerryg2112 Active LVC Member

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      Did you torque the bolts with the car at ride height? If not you may be hearing the bushing being over flexed which likely will shorten it's life considerably.
       
    • jerryg2112

      jerryg2112 Active LVC Member

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      IMG_20190817_172508416.jpg

      This is how I torqued my upper rear drivers side control arm. Ratcheting 15mm wrench, 3/8 drive reversible torque wrench with a 3/8 to 1/2 drive adapter, and the formula from post #4.
       
    • Jtown

      Jtown Active LVC Member

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      Thanks Jerry. I'll dig back into the rear bolts again. I can't recall if it was on the ground. I'd bet I had the wheel off which of course means no. That piping is definitely from the UC.
       
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      • Robert Crain

        Robert Crain LVC Member

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        Well, I installed the passenger side control arm yesterday and of course, it fought me the whole way. The arm bolt was frozen into the knuckle and the end link threads were stripped and corroded. I did have to reposition the shock/ strut assembly to get the control arm out but that was a piece of cake compared to this other stuff. I tightened all of the nuts with the car on the ground and used a crowfoot attached to my torque wrench which seemed to of worked pretty good. The car drives great. The driver's side isn't making any noise yet but the plan is to change that one out before winter. My 03 LS is a daily driver with 156k miles.
         
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        • joegr

          joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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          When I replaced upper and lower control arms, I was able to tighten the bolts with the car still up on the jack and the wheel off. I put another jack under the lower control arm and jacked it up till the car body started to lift a tiny bit. I verified that the center of the spindle was now at the same distance from the top of the fender as it was when it was on the ground. This is more or less what the service manual says to do.
           
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          • jerryg2112

            jerryg2112 Active LVC Member

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            I thought about doing that as well. Some bolts are easier to get to with the car up.
             
          • Robert Crain

            Robert Crain LVC Member

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            Now that I've got the passenger side control arm installed, it's time to move onto the driver's side and hopefully, that task will occur this weekend. Question: The one mounting nut is buried in a tight place under the brake reservoir. What real-world experience and/or advice can one provide me with in regards to accessing this nut before I tear into this. It never hurts to ask as that is the beauty of this forum. Thanks. Rob
             
          • jerryg2112

            jerryg2112 Active LVC Member

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            I found the bolt under the master cylinder very hard to access. There is a bracket that is held by two of the strut mount bolt that gives you more access when undone. A 15mm ratcheting gearwrench is what I used. After I broke it loose I kept the wrench still and turned the tabbed end back and forth by hand as the wrench ratcheted. Starting the nut after replacement is not fun either.
             
          • joegr

            joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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            This is not "real world," but the service manual recommends disconnecting the master cylinder from the booster and moving it to the side a little to get better access. This is not as involved as it may sound. No brake lines are disconnected, no fluid drained.

            2006 Lincoln LS Workshop Manual
             
          • jerryg2112

            jerryg2112 Active LVC Member

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            Finally got around to replacing the upper control arm on the passenger side. Much, much easier than the driver's side. Of course there are brackets in the way of both of the bushing bolts inside of the wheel well. Not a big deal but the engineers made sure it wasn't too easy:). One thing of note that I wanted to mention. I tried jacking the control arm up enough to lift it off of the jack stands for final torquing. To get it off the stands I had the control arm way up in the wheel well and I am sure it wasn't where it would be at ride height. This was confirmed when I put the tire on and lowered it. It probably has something to due with the weight distribution. Anyway if you are going to final torque using the jack method carefully measure the spindle center to the fender to make sure you are at the correct height as joegr said. This requires some planning though. Measures have to be taken before the car is jacked up.
             
            Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
          • Robert Crain

            Robert Crain LVC Member

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            Jerryg2112, I ran into the same thing when I replaced the front strut a month ago. Didn't feel comfortable with what I was seeing so I tightened all the nuts to spec with the car on the ground. The piece of mind was worth it. So far, so good.
             

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