REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 through 5
This procedure REQUIRES the use of a coil spring compression tool. This tool can usually be rented for a one-time use; otherwise, it can be purchased from your local parts store.
- Loosen the front wheel lug nuts only slightly.
- Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands, but allow the control arms to hang free.
- Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
- Remove the brake caliper. Suspend the caliper with a length of wire; DO NOT let the caliper hang by the brake hose.
- Disconnect the tie rod end from the steering spindle and disconnect the stabilizer link from the lower arm.
- If necessary, remove the steering gear (rack and pinion) bolts and reposition the gear so the suspension arm-to-No. 2 crossmember mounting bolts can be removed.
- On models equipped with the 3.8L engine, use a coil spring compressor, such as Ford Coil Spring Compressor T82P-5310-A, and install the upper plate in the spring pocket cavity on the crossmember. The hooks on the plate should be facing toward the center of the vehicle.
- On Mustangs with the 4.6L or 5.0L engines, use spring compressor tool D78P-5310-A or equivalent, to install a plate between the coils near the toe of the spring. Mark the location of the upper plate on the coils for installation.
- Install the compression rod into the lower arm spring pocket hole, through the coil spring and into the upper plate.
- Install the lower plate, lower ball nut, thrust washer and bearing, and forcing nut onto the compression rod. Tighten the forcing nut until a drag on the nut is felt.
- Remove the suspension arm-to-crossmember nuts and bolts. The compressor tool forcing nut may have to be tightened or loosened for easy bolt removal.
- Pull the lower control arm down and remove the spring from the suspension.
- Loosen the compression rod forcing nut until spring tension is relieved and remove the forcing nut. Remove the compression rod and coil spring.
- Place the insulator on top of the spring. Position the spring into the lower arm pocket. Make sure the spring pigtail is positioned between the two holes in the lower arm spring pocket.
- Position the spring into the upper spring seat in the crossmember.
- On Mustangs with the 3.8L engine, insert the compression rod through the control arm and spring, then hook it to the upper plate. The upper plate is installed with the hooks facing the center of the vehicle.
- On Mustangs with either the 4.6L or 5.0L engines, install the upper plate between the coils in the location marked during removal.
- Install the lower plate, ball nut, thrust washer and bearing, and forcing nut onto the compression rod.
- Tighten the forcing nut, position the lower arm into the crossmember and install new lower arm-to-crossmember bolts and nuts. Do not tighten at this time.
- Remove the spring compressor tool from the vehicle. Raise the suspension arm to a normal attitude position with a jack. With the suspension in the normal ride-height position, tighten the lower arm-to-crossmember attaching nuts to specifications. Carefully lower the suspension again and remove the jack.
- If repositioning, install the steering gear (rack and pinion)-to-crossmember bolts and nuts. Hold the bolts and tighten the nuts to specifications.
- Connect the stabilizer bar link to the lower suspension arm. Tighten the attaching nut to specifications.
- Position the tie rod into the steering spindle and install the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to the specified torque value and continue tightening the nut to align the next castellation with the hole in the stud. Install a new cotter pin.
- Install the brake caliper.
- Install the wheel and tire assembly, then remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
- Tighten the wheel lug nuts to the specified torque value.