1956 T'Bird front upper control arm bush replacement?

Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1956
Jim Merrick here from Bathurst Australia, enquiring on Members experiences in replacing upper control arm bushes on a 56 T'bird. Looking at this job, it looks as though you've got to dismantle the front of the car to access? Can anyone give me more information please? I have a fully equipped home workshop with hoist, hydraulic press etc & am mechanically skilled (Mechanical Fitter & Machinist by Trade). Thanks very much.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1956
Jim this may help....
I am in Sydney with 56 as well

 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
Mine are dry and a little cracked but still seem to be good. No wandering that I can tell. At least I know it is not a huge job that I would have to take out a loan to pay for the labor when The time comes. I'll have my preferred shop which restores Mustangs do the work. They have my brake booster at the moment as they rebuilt my fuel pump also.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1955
The control arms have to be removed in order to replace the bushings. I recommend doing one side at a time; let the other side be your guide. Better to inspect everything and replace, as needed, while you're at it.

I bought a front-end rebuild kit on ebay. The control-arm bushings were too big, so I returned everything. And obtained the correct size bushing from Napa Auto Parts. The bushings may have been a Moog product.Get The Ford service manual, if you don't already have one.
 
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Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1956
Jim this may help....
I am in Sydney with 56 as well

Grabber, thankyou, but removing the upper control arms from the car appears to be impossible without removing the mudguards etc? Do you know if it is possible to remove the control arms without dismantling the front body work? Regards, Jim
 

Boozeman

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
Grabber, thankyou, but removing the upper control arms from the car appears to be impossible without removing the mudguards etc? Do you know if it is possible to remove the control arms without dismantling the front body work? Regards, Jim

Jim, I just went through refreshing everything on the suspension on our '57, and I did not need to remove the mudguards or any bodwork to replace the springs, upper control arm bushings, etc., etc.
 

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Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1956
Jim, I just went through refreshing everything on the suspension on our '57, and I did not need to remove the mudguards or any bodwork to replace the springs, upper control arm bushings, etc., etc.
Thanks Boozeman, I'll get it up on the hoist & have another look. Your photo is great. Did you work your way up, as in removing the lower control arms, springs, shocks etc. to access the top control arms? Regards, Jim
 

Boozeman

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Thunderbird Year
1957
Thanks Boozeman, I'll get it up on the hoist & have another look. Your photo is great. Did you work your way up, as in removing the lower control arms, springs, shocks etc. to access the top control arms? Regards, Jim

Yes, I removed the sway bar and steering components, then dropped the lower control arms first, removed the springs, then removed the upper control arms. Went back together in reverse order, although obviously I had to install the lower arms before I could install the springs. The upper arms really aren't that bad, because you can access most of the hardware from above in the engine bay. The piece that looks like it's part of the mudguard that lays in the center of the upper control arm is actually rubber, (at least on a '57), but it hardens some over the years. I was able to carefully slide the control arm out and around it with only having to nudge it a little in a couple of places.

I will say that if you have a hoist, this job should be much easier than was with the car on jack stands. Good luck!
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1957
I guess when the time comes I'll have all the rubber replaced and redo the whole front end at one time. It's still pretty tight But I haven't had it over 45mph in years so I have just assumed it was the technology at the time. You know the old adage of the frog in the water as you heat it up and everything is original other than the springs which I put in 35+ years ago. Still sits at original height.
 

doug7740

Active Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Thunderbird Year
1955
Since everyone has given good information on how to to remove the control arms, I thought that I would attach some information on how to replace the bushings in the arms.
19402_1734e361e35a1628aeae922d7553b9d4_1.jpg
19402_1734e361e35a1628aeae922d7553b9d4_2.jpg


doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
 
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Joined
Nov 8, 2021
Thunderbird Year
1956
Doug,
Thank you very much for your information & photos, it will be really helpful, very much appreciated.
Sorry for the lateness of my reply. I should start the project some time in the next month.
Regards, Jim
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Doug,
Thank you very much for your information & photos, it will be really helpful, very much appreciated.
Sorry for the lateness of my reply. I should start the project some time in the next month.
Regards, Jim
Use the like/thanks button to thank people.

Screenshot_20220109-163808_Edge.jpg
 

Docj

Active Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Thunderbird Year
1956
Jim Merrick here from Bathurst Australia, enquiring on Members experiences in replacing upper control arm bushes on a 56 T'bird. Looking at this job, it looks as though you've got to dismantle the front of the car to access? Can anyone give me more information please? I have a fully equipped home workshop with hoist, hydraulic press etc & am mechanically skilled (Mechanical Fitter & Machinist by Trade). Thanks very much.
I rebuilt my front end with far less than a fully-equipped home workshop, and pressing the bushings was, by far, the worst part of it. I went to Harbor Freight and bought a press (https://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-shop-press-33497.html) and manual bushing press (no longer available)

648604-02_1400x.jpg I then imagined every way possible to get it done and gave it a go. It took quite a while and considerable effort, but I got it done. I put one on backward and had to pull it back off, so be careful! Also, there is a very slight difference in size in the control arm bushings, so be careful there, too! It truly sucked, but was worth it. She glides like on a cloud now!
 
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