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1997 Mercury Mountaineer with an alignment problem.

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Old 07-07-2010, 10:07 PM   #1
lynn48
Leesburg, TX
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1997 Mercury Mountaineer with an alignment problem.

1997 Mercury Mountaineer 5.0 V8 90,000 miles - I had new upper and lower ball joints replaced because I noticed the rubber boots around them had cracked. The upper control arms were also replaced as required by Ford. It was done by local Ford House. They had latest frontend alignment equipment. The tech had trouble aligning frontend within spec. He had to adjust torsion bars on both sides to finally get alignment barely in spec. Adjustment of torsion bars raised frontend of vehicle about 2 inches. The vehicle has never been in a wreck or driven off road. I questioned the tech on the alignment problems with no acceptable conclusion. He can lower frontend back down, but it will be out of alignment. No warm fuzzy about vehicle sitting up in front. What do you think? Thank you.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:25 PM   #2
Kevlar7R
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It probably is sitting correct in the front now, and sagging in the rear. These trucks have a tendency to wear out the rear springs. I threw a set of lifting shackles on the rear at around 110,000 miles to level the truck out. Sits night and level now.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:09 AM   #3
BrooklynBay
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Welcome to this forum! I've moved your thread into the stock 95-01 section.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:20 AM   #4
boominXplorer
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Do you have the camber and caster specs before and after?




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Old 07-11-2010, 12:36 PM   #5
gavin
Anchorage, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn48 View Post
1997 Mercury Mountaineer 5.0 V8 90,000 miles - I had new upper and lower ball joints replaced because I noticed the rubber boots around them had cracked. The upper control arms were also replaced as required by Ford. It was done by local Ford House. They had latest frontend alignment equipment. The tech had trouble aligning frontend within spec. He had to adjust torsion bars on both sides to finally get alignment barely in spec. Adjustment of torsion bars raised frontend of vehicle about 2 inches. The vehicle has never been in a wreck or driven off road. I questioned the tech on the alignment problems with no acceptable conclusion. He can lower frontend back down, but it will be out of alignment. No warm fuzzy about vehicle sitting up in front. What do you think? Thank you.
my opinion?
have them check ride-height. If ride-height is out of spec, it will cause alignment issues without camber adjuster bolts for the upper control arms.

although they should have done this before and/or after adjusting the torsion bar bolts.




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Old 07-11-2010, 06:47 PM   #6
zero_chance
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Like has been stated, if the front was sagging to begin with, this may be normal... but it makes me wonder if the tech doing the job knew how to adjust camber and caster properly... or if the arms weren't installed correctly. Sometiems people take the easy way out when installing the eccentric adjusters which leads to almost no adjustability for caster / camber.




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Old 07-11-2010, 11:01 PM   #7
lynn48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavin View Post
my opinion?
have them check ride-height. If ride-height is out of spec, it will cause alignment issues without camber adjuster bolts for the upper control arms.

although they should have done this before and/or after adjusting the torsion bar bolts.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:09 PM   #8
lynn48
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I can't find anywhere on the web what the ride-height of this 97 Mountaineer should be. Is the measurement from floor to bottom of finder well over tire on all four corners or from floor to bottom of spring shackles as in clearance? I know he raised the front of the SUV by 2 inches using torsion bar adjustments and did not raise the back at all. He said this brougnt it barely in spec. When I took it in for ball joint replacement, I had no problems. No signs of abnormal tire wear and tires have 15K miles on them. Frontend is higher than back.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:57 PM   #9
gavin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn48 View Post
I can't find anywhere on the web what the ride-height of this 97 Mountaineer should be. Is the measurement from floor to bottom of finder well over tire on all four corners or from floor to bottom of spring shackles as in clearance? I know he raised the front of the SUV by 2 inches using torsion bar adjustments and did not raise the back at all. He said this brougnt it barely in spec. When I took it in for ball joint replacement, I had no problems. No signs of abnormal tire wear and tires have 15K miles on them. Frontend is higher than back.
I've posted this a few times...

Quote:
RIDE HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT

To perform the ride height check and adjustment requires the use of special slip plates under the front wheels. These plates allow the front suspension to properly settle by bypassing the tires adhesion to the ground.

1. Raise and support the vehicle. If equipped with ARC suspension, disconnect the front and rear air lines at the shock absorbers.

2. Position frictionless slip plates under the tires then lower the vehicle onto the slip plates.

3. Bounce the vehicles front and rear suspensions several times to normalize the vehicle static ride height.

4. Measure the distance between the center of the lower control arm bushing bolt and the ground. Record the measurement as dimension A.

5. Measure the distance between the lowest point of the steering knuckle (but not the ball joint) and the ground. Record the measurement as dimension B.

6. Subtract dimension B from dimension A for ride height.

7. For vehicles without ARC suspension, ride height should be 4.33-4.56 in. (110-116mm).

8. For vehicles with ARC suspension, ride height should be 3.26-3.50 in. (83-89mm).

9. To increase the ride height, raise the vehicle and tighten the torsion bar adjuster bolt. Recheck the ride height.

10. To decrease the ride height, raise the vehicle and loosen the torsion bar adjuster bolt. Recheck the ride height.

11. Once proper ride height is established, raise and support the vehicle.

12. If equipped with ARC suspension, connect the front and rear air lines at the shocks.

13. Remove the slip plates from under the wheels.

14. Lower the vehicle.




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Old 07-12-2010, 09:53 PM   #10
lynn48
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Thanks Gavin, I'll check it out.
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