Rear Subframe. R/R..

Lincoln Mark VIII

  1. Stangman

    Stangman Project car a.d.d.

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    Ok, so I've never done any sort of progress thread, so just throwing that out there. When I removed the subframe it was already dark and cold... and I wasnt taking my gloves off to take pictures. So I have the reinstall pictures. I will do my best to explain the whats and wheres in these.

    I'll try my best not to forget anything along the way. I've edited this post 3 times already... :lol:


    First off, You're going to need to find a solid spot to locate your jackstands.

    Second, if you still have airride. TURN YOUR SWITCH OFF!!!!!!!

    I bought a pair of 6 ton jackstands from Harbor Freight, they are tall and sturdy. Got me plenty of ground clearance.

    I did this in my driveway so I took a thick peice of plywood as my base for my jackstands. I placed my stands on the frame rails of the car, roughly 10-12 inches behind the rear subframe to allow for plenty of work room. You may not be able to put your stands where I put mine if you ARE NOT straight piped or atleast have your mufflers removed. You may have to find an alternate point.

    I removed my rear wheels and tires, sat them under the car in case anything happened, and the car fell. I had the car planted pretty firm on the jackstands so I didnt fear this.

    DSC03057.jpg
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    Since I planned to get new exhaust, I just hacked my pipe and threw it to the side. You will more than likely have to separate the sections of the pipe at the resonator, or remove the whole exhaust at the manifolds, which, you would have to get the front of the car up off the ground first. If you have 2 sets of tall jackstands, more power to you. I didnt.

    So after you remove your exhaust, you can now break your driveshaft bolts loose. They are, of course, a 12pt 12mm wrench. I find it easiest to break 2 loose, then put the car in neutral, spin the driveshaft, put it back in park, and break the other 2 loose. Done.

    Next, you need to disconnect the ABS sensor wiring. Now, I couldnt tell what size hex or star the sensor bolts needed because of the amount of disgusting MUCK caked on them, so, I just got in the trunk and disconnected the wiring harness. Super easy and the wires push right thru the floor, after you remove sections of the wiring out from under the black mastic.

    The wirng plug for the ABS sensors are behind each side of the trunk hinge brace.

    DSC03083.jpg

    then push the oval grommet thru the floor. Also cake.

    DSC03084.jpg

    After this, you need to disconnect the emergency brake cables. This was sorta tough, because they are exposed to the elements. You may have to soak them in PB Blaster for a while, and take a wire brush to them. You have to disconnect the main cable coming from the car, it's located just to the left of the center of the subframe, it comes into the spring block hanging down in the center. You cant just pull it apart. You have to bend in the 3 tabs that keep it from pulling out on it's own.

    In this blurry pic I am pointing to it.

    DSC03073.jpg

    Now I also disconnect the cable just to the right of that junction, I pulled the left side cable out of this junction, because it is actually part of the main cable coming from the body. This has to be taken apart.

    It was this cable,

    DSC03077.jpg

    Now you will also need to remove the brake calipers, so you can get them out of the way when you remove the subframe. In order to do this, you have to disconnect the ebrake cables like I did above.

    Now this part is pretty easy, I didnt take any pictures of this. You pry the end of the cable out from the slot, then you will need to slide the metal sleeve thru the caliper, helps when you tap on it just a bit. You'll see exactly what I am talking about. Do this for both sides.

    This allows you to tuck the calipers behind the shocks nicely. They are supported by the brake line junction (where metal line meets rubber line) and they are light so dont worry about your brake lines. I didnt take any pictures of the caliper removal because, well, frankly if you cant remove a caliper, you dont need to be removing your subframe!


    Now this next part will vary for some folks. I converted to coil springs so, in order to remove the springs, You have to disconnect the sway bar end links from the control arm, that part is easy. Next you have to remove the bottom shock bolt. It's an 18mm and is easy to remove. The flag bolt will just fall off eventually, just take that hardware and sit it in the centercap of your wheel for later. Next, VERY carefully push down on the control arm, and you will be able to pop the spring out, there isnt much pressure on these.

    *****IF you have airride... this can be tricky*****

    You should have ALREADY turned off the airride switch in the trunk before getting this far.

    I unfortunately do not have pics of this since I already converted to springs.

    You need to disconnect the wirng harness that the height sensor plugs into, coming from the body. Fairly easy if yours isnt caked in grease.

    Next, What I did, was disconnect the plug for the vent solenoid, and then w/ a pair of side cutters, I opened them, put them around the airline where it goes into the solenoid, and gently pushed up on the orange ring, pulling the airline out of the solenoid at the same time. Now once this is done, I had a jack under the control arm to keep a load on the control arm so the airbag doesnt hyperextend, and I just popped the clip off the solenoid and pulled the solenoid out, POOOOOOOF the bag is empty. Now you have to rotate the airbag to "unlock" it from the upper mount, and then squeeze all the tabs in at the same time in the lower control arm. Then you can remove the bag. Disconnect sway bar.

    Now you can remove your shock absorber after the airbag is out, then drop the jack.



    Okay, so, now we have E-brake cables disconnected, calipers hung, driveshaft disconnected, ABS sensors disconnected. (Airride wiring if applicable) And youve also removed your springs....That's all that will keep the subframe from coming down (besides the ensuing rust you're about to be cursing at!)

    ________________________________________________________________


    Most of you will probably already have EXTREMELY rusty front subframe brackets. You can probably literally remove them by just taking the two bolts off that hold them to the body. If memory serves me, they are 14mm.

    Now be careful, they arent encapsulated. There are holes in the body and they have been exposed to the elements and will be rusty and hard to get out. Very stiff. Soak them in PB blaster for about 20 minutes before trying to break these loose. You will see access holes to spray penetrating oil in there. Be generous!

    Once you take those out, carefully... and not w/ an impact! You can probably now remove your subframe brackets if they were as rotted as mine.

    Now, your subframe is freakin heavy. I almost gave myself a hernia moving it one afternoon, dont screw around, get some jackstands ready for this thing.

    I used a large 6 ton craftsman jack and placed it under the differential housing.

    This next part is the b*tch....
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  2. Stangman

    Stangman Project car a.d.d.

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    Okay next part. The hard part.

    This is where you deal w/ rusted bolts and seized bushings.

    Take your car to a shop now if you dont want to go any further.

    So what I did at this point was stage some jackstands under my subframe because I did not know at what point this thing was going to come crashing down.

    Subframe bolts are a 15mm head. A big breaker bar w/ a cheater bar, or one BAD impact is the only way to get these things to budge after 20 years. If they dont break that is.

    I tried to break the passenger front bolt loose first... but it just SPUN. Drivers side broke off, passenger rear broke off, drivers rear came right out.

    ONLY solution for spinning encapsulated nuts is to use a holesaw, and about an inch up from the top of the subframe top cup, you drill your hole (front only!). You'll be looking right at the encapsulated nut, with the flanges expanded off of it, letting it spin, get it straightened out by turning the bolt, and use something to hammer the fingers back down over the encapsulated nut.

    Now, I had big time issue w/ my removal. Both passenger side encapsulated nuts spun on me. Now DLF has a nice thread where he shows how to remove them so I wont go into super detail here. He did a nice job in his thread.

    Now, the encapsulated nut that is under the trunk floor is a crapshoot. If you miss... you'll have a swiss cheese trunk.

    DSC03065.jpg
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    I took the spare tire well brace off because I wanted to paint it w/ rust encapsulator, since they all rot. And ended up breaking off the bolt going into the frame, thus the 2nd hole w/ my welder ground clamp on the cut out circle.

    I had to run a nut down on that bolt and weld it to the stud, then bring it out thru the top. easy peasy.

    DSC03063.jpg

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    Once you have access to your encapsulated nuts for the subframe bolts, and banged the flanges back in place, try to remove the bolts again.

    I just broke the heads off of my bolts. My bolts were rusted into the bushing sleeves.

    ONE bolt came out of the car w/ no issues. Drivers rear. Bushing was in perfect shape too.

    What I ran into, was the whole bushing would spin, or the bolt would break, this is where a sawzall and a pry bar is your friend, w/o going into great detail, it took almost 2 hours to get the subframe out because of all the seized bolts/bushings/etc. What PITA.

    I will post pictures of whats left of my bushings tomorrow.

    So now, hopefully your subframe is out. If not, keep fighting it, you'll get it.

    Now you can lower it to the ground and try and drag it out... yeah.. its heavy.

    I'll finish this up tomorrow, my laptop is almost dead and I have to get up at 5am.

    Hope you're enjoying this thus far.
     
  3. mossbergman

    mossbergman Dedicated LVC Member

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    Wow awesome write up. Hope i never have to do it
     
  4. Stangman

    Stangman Project car a.d.d.

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    Alright, After you've removed the subframe mounting bolts, if they came out. You'll have your subframe out.

    If not, it took a sawzall, several prybars, and some extra hands to try and pry the subframe out. More than likely the bolts are stuck in the bushings and you just have to start cutting.

    Once it's out, you're gonna need new subframe bushings, new bolts, and new subframe brackets. Because more than likeley, they'll look like this...

    DSC03095.jpg

    DSC03096.jpg

    Now I removed my bushings from my subframe by means of large screwdrivers and an air chisel. It was fairly easy.

    This pic shows my diff housing out, and spindle removed.

    DSC03067.jpg

    This one is after I reinstalled the diff and the spindle

    DSC03068.jpg

    I also installed my subframe brace from Bob (SaturnV)

    DSC03069.jpg

    After I got my new used bushings from Racebronco2, I had to try and find a way to install them... as I do not have the fancy Rotunda bushing installer tool... They almost look like you could get one side started and push the other side in.... thats a big negative.

    Had a friend over helping me, and he had the bright idea to drive them in using threaded rod, and 2 old rear bushing cups.... and some other things we found in my garage.

    I then took some bearing grease, and liberally coated the area in which the bushing will be pressing thru. I did this so the bushing will be lubricated all the way until it's reinstalled.

    Then with our fancy bushing installer...

    DSC03070.jpg

    ...All the bushings were successfully installed perfectly.

    I coated every bolt and mating surface of these parts with antiseize so I NEVER have these issues w/ this car again.

    I also coated my brand new Ford front subframe brackets, my used rear bushing cups, and my spare tire well trunk brace in chassis-saver, that evil black rust proofing stuff.... Shouldnt have any more rust issues w/ these parts ever again.

    I also installed these little beauties while I had the trunk tore apart

    DSC03066.jpg

    So now the car is ready for reinstall

    DSC03071.jpg
     
  5. Stangman

    Stangman Project car a.d.d.

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    Okay so what I did next was drag the subframe under the car on a piece of carpet so I didnt have rocks everywhere, and carve trenches in the driveway. You'll see the carpet in the end of my last post. lol

    My friend and I lifted one end of the subframe at a time and placed jacks under the control arms in a safe spot, then slowly lifted the subframe up until we could place small jack stands under it.

    DSC03072.jpg

    We lined the subframe up front to back and side to side the best we could, then made sure we could get bolts in. So the rear you will need a rubber coated bushing cup on top, and the metal cup on bottom, run the bolt up into the car the best you can by hand... atleast a few threads.

    Then the front will get a subframe bracket on bottom and a rubber coated bushing cup on top, leave the subframe brackets loose from the body for now, because you still need to align the subframe.

    Once you do this, you can pretty much see the rust marks on the frame from where the bushings were before, so snug up the bolts, using a 15mm socket, and get them to where they have about an 1/8th inch gap from the top rubber coated bushing cup, to the frame.

    Now behind the sway bar, on the drivers side, there is a 3/4 inch hole, and if you notice, above it, there is a 3/4 inch hole in the frame.

    You will now need to align your subframe

    DSC03078.jpg

    In order to do this, you will need a smooth 3/4 inch rod. I went to the local hardware store, and grabbed a 3' metal rod, and cut 12" sections off, ground the ends to a small bevel so they will go into the frame easier. Sprayed them w/ WD40 as well to help.

    W/ my snap on impact in one hand and the alignment rod in the other, I moved the subframe around until the rod was not in a bind. The rod will need to pretty much slide in and out very freely.

    DSC03079.jpg

    It will take some trial and error, plus when you snug up the subframe bolts w/ the impact, the subframe will move, so you'll have to do it once or twice to get it just right.

    Now move to the passenger side, The subframe and vehicle frame has an oval shaped hole in it, for some adjustment. I just eyeballed it and found that the best position was when the rod was in the middle of the oval in the frame and subframe, that seemed to be it's most free movement point.

    DSC03081.jpg

    Snug it down good w/ an impact.

    Then you can go back to the front of the subframe, loosly bolt the front of the subframe brackets to the car, w/ the bolts that I coated w/ antiseize. Screwed them in a few turns, and then tightened the main subframe bolts w/ the impact. I then took my 14mm and completely tightened the front bracket bolts.

    Well, now you're subframe is successfully in the car again!!!

    Now all you have to do is, run your ABS wiring back up thru the trunk and plug in the connectors, reinstall the calipers and reconnect the ebrake cables, install your springs or air bags, install the shocks, reattach the exhaust, reinstall the driveshaft bolts, and lower it down!

    And boom goes the dynamite! :lol:

    DSC03090.jpg
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    Any questions or suggestions feel free to ask or add!

    Hope this helps!!!!!!!
     
  6. DLF

    DLF Dedicated LVC Member

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    I really wouldn't recommend tightening the sub-frame bolts with an impact wrench, the torque spec is only 57-74 Lb-Ft.

    sub-frametq.gif
     
  7. Stangman

    Stangman Project car a.d.d.

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    I couldn't find the torque specs at the time of reinstall, thanks for the amendment
     
  8. SATURN5

    SATURN5 Dr. Frankenstang

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    No gear write up? <G>
     
  9. Stangman

    Stangman Project car a.d.d.

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    I wasn't there for that part :(

    Maybe when I switch to 4.30's...
     
  10. NetKeym

    NetKeym Dedicated LVC Member

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    I'd hate to show you what I used when I swapped my rear sub-frame:
    (the big one aka Big Bertha, not the 1/2" impact which wouldn't even budge those epoxied bolts)
    RearSwap002.jpg

    Here is the 1998 Mark VIII LSC rear sub-frame that I swapped into my 1995 Thunderbird:
    RearSwap001.jpg

    Completed:
    RearSwap005.jpg
    RearSwap006.jpg
     
  11. beerdog

    beerdog Well-Known LVC Member

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    I am doing this project now also. was about 90% done and had to leave town. If you heat up the sub frame encapsulated bolts they should spin right out. Just heat them up first before doing anything else. I used one of those smal oxy-MAPP gas torches. They are nice for this because you can put yourself and the tanks in the trunk easily. Plus the torch is small and fits through the hole with plenty of room to see what you are doing.

    Great job.
     
  12. SleeperMark

    SleeperMark Well-Known LVC Member

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    Hey, wanna come do mine for me now? lol I just got extremely scared... lol
    ~Tim Sears
     
  13. NetKeym

    NetKeym Dedicated LVC Member

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    It isn't that tough if you have access to a lift. I raised it up, took off brake lines, exhaust, driveshaft, shocks, swaybar links, e-brake, and I think that's it. I had to bend the heat shield by the gas tank a bit so it would clear, then loosened up those 4 big bolts.

    Let the car down so the wheels are touching the ground, removed the 4 bolts, raised the car (the rear sub frame stayed on the ground). Wheeled in the new sub-frame, lowered the car, put the 4 bolts back in, but not tight.

    Raise the car, align with those holes, tighten up the 4 bolts, re-install everything. Bleed the brakes and DONE!
     

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