Front suspension part names (for 2000 GT)

DIss

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May 25, 2017
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Hi All,

I have a 2000 GT and its front suspension must be rebuilt. My mechanic took some photos about the parts that need to be replaced, and I tried to find out their names (I'm Hungarian), but some are missing and others may be incorrect. I'd like to ask you guys to please take some time and check them for me. I'm uploading the photos with the parts marked and the supposed names added. Once my list is complete I'll delete the original images and upload the correct ones should anyone need the same info in the future.

I understand I need to buy all these parts in pairs. I also know that the lower control arms come with the bushings and ball joint as a whole, but please confirm. I'm going all stock for now, no upgrades.

Thank you in advance!
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Dark04GT

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Apr 27, 2008
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That is a ton of stuff to replace all at once. Are you having a problem with the car triggering this?

The first photo is a steering rack bushing. I doubt that all of those things need replacement right now - don’t totally rule out aftermarket parts (most are much better than stock) and find out why each part needs replacement.
 

DIss

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May 25, 2017
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That is a ton of stuff to replace all at once. Are you having a problem with the car triggering this?

The first photo is a steering rack bushing. I doubt that all of those things need replacement right now - don’t totally rule out aftermarket parts (most are much better than stock) and find out why each part needs replacement.
I hear loud knocks from the front suspension on both sides, even at low speed, e.g. while parking my car. I'm not qualified to tell the cause myself, I have to trust my mechanic on this. He said I need to have all these parts replaced and it's not safe to drive the car as it is now. It's worth to ask again though.

Maybe my wording was a bit misleading, by stock I actually meant direct replacement parts. (Given this issue, I was briefly considering a major upgrade to both front and rear suspension and also the brakes, which as I can see would bring a huge overall improvement, but that would cost a lot of money and I don't want to spend it on my car right now. It's not optimal to buy factory equivalent parts if I plan to do the upgrades within a year or so, but I have to, otherwise I can't use my car at all. So it's a bit frustrating, but there's nothing I can do about it.) The best I could find is this Moog kit for $246.99, with everything except the steering rack bushings: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6385359&cc=1362743&jsn=8

So I got the other part names right? I want to correct the photos where necessary. Thanks again!
 

DIss

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Forgot to mention that my steering wheel also turns a bit while braking. I haven't figured out how to exactly reproduce the issue, but it seems to be related to steering to one side, letting it return to center, and then applying the brake. One slight, short turn of the steering wheel as a result, barely noticeable but definitely there, on smooth road too.
 

Dark04GT

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Apr 27, 2008
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The other parts are labelled correctly. Sounds like some steering system issues. That is where I would focus your efforts - Tie rods wear out.

Worn struts don’t really make those symptoms. Worn ball joints / arm bushings can make more groaning noises but not the strange steering symptoms.

I’d focus on the steering system if I were you (these are easier to install and should save you labor costs):
1) https://www.maximummotorsports.com/Steering-Rack-Bushings-Solid-1985-04-Mustang-with-stock-k-member-P466.aspx
2) https://www.maximummotorsports.com/Bumpsteer-kit-1994-04-Mustang-tapered-stud-style-P451.aspx
3) stock inner tie rods (or equivalents from any auto store)
4) wheel alignment to stock ford specs


I don’t know what your budget is but if you want to finish off your steering system (and perfectly complement future suspension upgrades) - I’d consider this while you are already working the steering system:
https://www.maximummotorsports.com/Steering-Shaft-Assembly-Power-Steering-Rack-1994-04-Mustang-P460.aspx
 
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GDawg

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Some mechanics can really take you for a ride if they know you know nothing about cars and have money to spend. Some of those things I can't imagine having to be replaced. Bushings maybe but the entire lower control arm? Upper strut tower brace? Steering wheel turning when you brake would make me want to look at my brakes. Specifically my rotors. You may have warped rotors. I would start with replacing the bushings on the lower control arms and check the tie rods. You can usually tell if they are gone and it is common. Then I would look at my brakes.

Tie rod video... View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brI2feYiEi8
 
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Rusty67

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Dec 3, 2002
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GDawg, your advice is great if he is doing the work himself but remember he is taking it to a mechanic. The labor cost on replacing the front control arm bushings and ball joint combined with the cost of replacement parts would probably cost as much as (or more than) simply buying a quality replacement control arm and replacing the part. It would also likely be less reliable as replacing the front control as the arm bushings is something a lot of people don't do right. I've used both Prothane and Energy Suspension poly kits for the front control arms and the Prothane kit is bad, the bushings aren't properly sized and the control arm actually floats back and forth a bit on the bushing because the flange thickness is wrong on the bushing. I've called Prothane and they don't care. The Energy kit is bad because the instructions are super generic and don't tell you how deep to press the sleeve in. I had a lot of trouble with this and almost pressed my sleeves in too far which would have caused the bushing sleeve to bind on the frame but I got lucky and had just enough clearance. When you call Energy they have a very don't care attitude on this issue. When I was getting my car aligned after installing the Energy kit to replace the Prothane stuff, the guy told me about these bushings:
http://www.globalwest.net/mustang-del-a-lum-lower-control-arm-bushing-kit-1994-1995-1996-1997-1998-1999-2000-2001-2002-2003-20.html
I haven't tried them but he says they are the only good kit that fits a stock control arm.

Dark04GT, I wouldn't recommend the solid rack bushings, I'd suggest the poly ones. The solid ones are a bit aggressive for an otherwise stock setup and are going to add a lot more NVH over poly. Totally agree on the bump steer kit from MM, great product. The solid steering shaft is totally cool but again, his setup is stock and going from all stock to an aggressive setup might be a bit strange for him unless he is looking for more high performance driving characteristics from his car.

Diss, if both your inner tie rods are worn out and actually need to be replaced, it would probably be cheaper to just replace the entire steering rack because of the cost of parts and additional labor to swap them out. You could put a stock type rack in or upgrade to a Cobra rack which has a lot less steering assist. I did this in my Mach 1 and hated it at first but now when I drive my dad's 01 Bullit I feel like there is way too much assist in his steering rack. What are your goals for the car? Do you just want your car to drive like stock or are you looking to make some upgrades to it?
 

Dark04GT

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Steering rack movement is never desired. The bearing on the inner tie rod is the part that needs to move - not the rack. As long as you have properly functioning inner tie rods you have no increase in NVH. :nice:

The solid steering rack bushings are the only solid bushing I would recommend on a street car. I agree - All other bushings for moving suspension parts have some effect on NVH. For my car I have solid steering rack mounts, nearly everything else in the suspension is urethane (small increase in NVH but worth it!)

To the original poster - let us know what your mechanic thinks about the steering and brakes.... or consider a second opinion from another mechanic.
 

DIss

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May 25, 2017
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Hi All, thank you for all the responses. Sorry I haven't posted earlier. I'm going to take my car to a suspension specialist workshop on Thursday to get a second opinion. Having no expertise at all makes it quite hard for me to make a decision, especially having so many options and so many ways to go. I'll try to process the information you all gave me and hopefully the guys at the workshop will also help.

Regarding my goals: I'd love to do a complete upgrade to my suspension and brakes, I see there are a ton of options and it's basically up to me what I want my ride to be like, but there are two problems with that. First, I don't want to spend so much on my car right now. Second, and this is just as important, I don't really know what I want to achieve besides keeping it street legal. This car is the first high performance car that I ever drove, and I really have no idea how a car can feel when it's pushed to its limits. Picking a setup at this point would feel to me like gambling. I think I can feel the limits of my car in its current state, and I sure can imagine how much its handling could improve and how much more confident I could feel driving it with a well designed suspension, but I'm afraid if I screw it up and pick some parts that don't work well together, I won't even notice something's wrong. Not to mention I'd also have to upgrade my brakes (which is on my list anyway, just not now). So maybe doing a complete suspension upgrade is not the wisest choice for me before having tried half a dozen cars on a race track and having learned quite a bit about suspension and brakes. I'm just in a situation where I have to deal with the topic to have my car running again in a cost effective way.

I see three ways to go: (1) all stock, (2) fix my immediate problems in a way that allows me to do an upgrade later without having wasted money on parts I'll eventually replace, or (3) do the complete upgrade including brakes. I ruled out (3), so I'll have to choose between the first two. All stock is the quickest and safest way (regarding making the right choice of parts) but not optimal in the long run. A partial upgrade leaves room for further improvement but might be more costly in the short run and I might make the wrong choice for my goals (except for the suggestions you made about the bump steer kit). It might be worth noting that by the time a part gets shipped here, its costs are doubled. So I might be better off selling my current car and having a '13 or '14 GT imported from the US. That's also an option. Talk about analysis paralysis.

Anyway, I hope I'll be able to move forward on Thursday after visiting the workshop. I'll keep you updated. Thanks again!
 

Mustang5L5

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In the first pic, the rubber bushing behind the steering rack bolt is called a steering rack bushing.

The circled part that you wonder if you need is part of the steering rack. It's generally not replacable so if it's leaking, you need to replace the entire rack.
 

DIss

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May 25, 2017
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The guys at the workshop confirmed that my struts and LCA bushings are shot, and they also recommended that I have the whole LCA replaced. The tie rods seem to be fine but I'll replace them as well while I'm at it. The knock probably comes from the struts. I put my finger on the top mount while the guy rocked the car and I could feel it knock. My steering rack might also be worth a replacement but he was not sure.

I played around a bit with the steering problem related to braking. Now it seems to me that the unwanted steering always happens towards the center. When running straight, nothing. When the steering wheel is turned a bit in any direction, braking moves it in the opposite direction. I can imagine the LCA bushings having something to do with it, but that's just a guess, I might very well be wrong. I'll see.

Given that the tie rods are OK, the mechanic said it's safe to use my car as it is, as long as I'm driving like a grandma. So it's a bit less critical now. Anyway, thank you all again for the responses. I'll dig through them again once I get to fix the issue.

Mustang5L5, luckily my steering rack does not leak, though it seemed a bit loose to the guy who examined my car. Since Rusty67 mentioned how a Cobra rack has less steering assist, I'm starting to feel that my stock one might indeed provide a bit more assist than it should. I like it the way it is, but I can imagine I could be comfortable with less assist and maybe a bit more feedback from the road. I'll consider the option.

(I tried to replace my first pic with one that has the correct labels but it seems I can't do that. But the thread contains the info anyway.)
 

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