2002 Explorer XLT 4.6L 4WD front suspension torque settings | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2002 Explorer XLT 4.6L 4WD front suspension torque settings

LMHmedchem

Elite Explorer
Joined
October 28, 2011
Messages
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer XLT v8
Hello,

I have just finished up several repairs on my front end. I have what I think are good references for the engine torque settings but I find that the numbers for the suspension come from all over the place. I would like to make sure that I am using the correct numbers.

These are the numbers I have used,

front axle nut (1 spin nut): 184 ft/lbs
front upper control arm to frame (2 nuts): 83 ft/lbs
front upper control arm bushing (2 nuts): wrench tight (I have not found a value for this)

front hub to knuckle (3 bolts): 83 ft/lbs
front caliper bracket to knuckle (2 bolts): 83 ft/lbs
front caliper slide pin (2 bolts): 24 ft/lbs
front brake hose banjo bolt to caliper (1 bolt): 26 ft/lbs
front caliper bleeder screw (1 bolt): 15 ft/lbs
front upper ball joint (1 nut): 41 ft/lbs (this seems a bit low)
front lower ball joint (1 castle nut): 83 ft/lbs, plus any extra to expose the cotter pin hole
front outer tie rod end (1 castle nut): 75 ft/lbs, plus any extra to expose the cotter pin hole
front sway bar link (1 cap nut): tighten until the bushings compress some
front upper strut to frame (3 nuts): ???
front lower strut to lower control arm (1 bolt): ???

Fasteners were torqued with the lower control arm jacked up to ride height, which I measure to be 4.75 inches from the lower control arm up to the frame right next to where the front cross-member attaches to the frame. This excludes the caliper bolts and the axle nut. The axle nut was torqued after the tire was reinstalled and the truck back on the ground (so also ride height but not simulated with the jack).

The nuts that hold the upper control arm to the frame and the upper control arm bushings are the values I have the least confidence in. I have not looked up the values for the upper and lower strut bolts because I didn't change out the strut.

If anyone has any Ford references that they could post, that would be a big help. Otherwise, please let me know if anyone thinks that any of these values are off or if they can provide any of the missing values, including those for the strut.

LMHmedchem
 



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I found this reference for the Expedition,

Torque Specifications for Ford Expedition

I imagine that it is similar. This says it is for the Gen 1, 1997-2002. This database doesn't seem to have value for the Explorer.

I am also looking for the values for the large bolt that connects the front of the lower control arm to the cross-member. I took off one of the nuts while trying to remove the rack and pinion and I need to get it re-torqued to the correct value. The notes for the Expedition say 134 ft/lbs for this nut if I am reading it correctly.

I found this picture on another site that is supposed to be from a Ford factory service manual,

Service_Information_2003_Explorer_Mountaineer.png


This picture is for a 2003 and I don't know if the values are the same for 2002. The values here are a bit different for some of the fasteners so it would help to know. Also, the control arms and struts are not included in this diagram, though it does have most of the brake hardware.

This post gives a nice write up for the rear specs,


but I still have not run across something similar for all of the front in one place.

LMHmedchem
 






Looking at this reference from fullerfasteners,

Torque Information

it gives a generic torque spec for an M16 class 10.9 steel bolt as 208 ft/lbs. Later, it gives the value for an M16 class 10.9 steel flange bolt as 225 ft/lbs (305 NM). The front lower strut bolt is an M16-2.0 130mm class 10.9 flange bolt, so that would suggest a torque spec of 208-225 ft/lbs. Does that sound correct? I don't remember from when I did my rear struts, plus they may not be the same anyway. My torque wrench only goes up to 150 ft/lbs so I think that the value I used for the rear lower strut bolt was less than that, otherwise I would have had to go get a bigger wrench.

I believe that he bolt connecting the lower control arm to the cross-member is bigger, perhaps an M18 or M20. This reference indicates that the correct torque spec would be 287-398 ft/lbs for a bolt like that. I'm sure I can't get anywhere near that in my driveway. It's too hard to keep the socket on the nut while applying that kind of force, at least it is by yourself with no one to hold the socket in place.

What does one do in this situation?

LMHmedchem
 






I recently found this resource,

2002-2005 Explorer 4.6L Torque Specs

According to what is listed there,

Steering Components:
front outer tie rod end (1 castle nut): 52 ft/lbs, plus extra to expose the cotter pin hole, torque at ride height (I had 75 originally)
front inner tie rod end: 60ft/lbs
front tie rod connecting nut (1 hex nut): 30ft/lbs

Wheel Hub and Knuckle:
front axle nut (1 spin nut): 184 ft/lbs
front wheel hub to knuckle (3 bolts): 83 ft/lbs
front caliper bracket to knuckle (2 bolts): 100 ft/lbs (I had 83 originally)
front wheel lugnut (5 nuts): 100 ft/lbs

Control Arms:
front upper control arm to frame (2 nuts): 111 ft/lbs, reinstall allignment ships (I had 83 originally)
front upper control arm bushing (2 nuts): wrench tight, torque at ride height (I have not found a value for this)
front upper ball joint (1 nut): 41 ft/lbs, torque at ride height
front lower forward control arm nut to frame (1 nut): 295 ft/lbs
front lower rearward control arm nut to frame (2 nuts): 111 ft/lbs
front lower ball joint (1 castle nut): 129 ft/lbs, plus extra to expose the cotter pin hole, torque at ride height (I had 83 originally)

Struts and Sway Bar:
front upper shock mounting plate to frame (???? bolts): 22 ft/lbs
front upper strut to upper mounting plate (3 nuts): 41 ft/lbs
front lower strut to lower control arm (1 bolt): 258 ft/lbs
front sway bar link (1 cap nut): 18 ft/lbs (tighten until the bushings compress some)
front sway bar bracket to frame (??? nut/bolt): 52 ft/lbs

Brake Components: (these values are not from the link above)
front caliper bracket to knuckle (2 bolts): 100 ft/lbs (I had 83 originally)
front caliper slide pin (2 bolts): 24 ft/lbs
front brake hose banjo bolt to caliper (1 bolt): 26 ft/lbs
front caliper bleeder screw (1 bolt): 15 ft/lbs
front brake hose bracket to frame: 11 ft/lbs

Most of these are what I was using and also mostly agree with the diagram posted earlier. Absent any additional input, I am gong to go with these values. Please let me know if anyone disagrees with these values.

LMHmedchem
 






A few decades ago, I had a Mazda RX7 which I had a tire store put new tires on. When I later went to rotate the tires, I broke two of the lug bolts when trying to remove them. I learned a little lesson about tire stores and 'customer service'. Imagine being out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the stock car tools to be able to change a flat tire. I have never been one to tighten wheel lug nuts to 100 ft/lbs -- and I've never had an issue because of it.
 






A few decades ago, I had a Mazda RX7 which I had a tire store put new tires on. When I later went to rotate the tires, I broke two of the lug bolts when trying to remove them. I learned a little lesson about tire stores and 'customer service'. Imagine being out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the stock car tools to be able to change a flat tire. I have never been one to tighten wheel lug nuts to 100 ft/lbs -- and I've never had an issue because of it.
I have had similar experiences with tire stores.

On one occasion at a chain location, I had a mechanic tell me that the "timing belt" on my Gen-1 had engine coolant on it and this would cause the belt to fail. He said that he would be happy to replace it for $650 and it would take about an hour. When I called the manager over and asked how they could replace a "timing belt" on a truck that doesn't have a "timing belt", but has timing chains, the mechanic got angry and said he had never even mentioned a "timing belt". It was harder to explain why the "timing belt" was printed on the estimate. I left after some loud words and about half way home, I started feeling a serious wobble. It turns out that none of the front lug nuts had been tightened very much at all. Two of the nuts had come off completely and two of the studs were missing. Needless to say I have never been back to that chain, but I did make a visit to the police station on the way home as I cannot be convinced that it was just an oversight.

After a visit to the new tire chain I go to, I completely twisted off one of the sockets on a 4-way lug nut wrench trying remove one of the tires. Even with a cheater pipe I couldn't believe that I could twist off a nearly 1/2 inch tool steel bar trying to break a nut loose. I also couldn't believe that the wrench went before the lug stud. I took it back and insisted on watching them loosen and then hand torque the nuts back on. Interestingly, the technician told me that they always use a torque stick on a pneumatic and then check with a clicker. I like these guys and think that they are generally good at what they do so I asked the tech to show me what he was doing. He tightened with the torque stick and then used a clicker to check. He didn't seem to notice that the nut did not turn before the wrench clicked. I asked him what he thought he had just done and he replied, "confirmed that the torque is 100". I said, "no, you confirmed that the torque is at least 100". If the torque was 1000, you would get the same behavior. Apparently, no one had ever told him that proper torque procedure is to verify that the nut/bolt-head visibly turns before the wrench clicks. Torque sticks are notoriously inaccurate so even though they were taking the time to do the job properly, they were still over torquing because they had never been properly trained. I told him to switch to a 50 ft/lb torque stick and then use the clicker and it would work fine. I find more and more that issues arrise from training that is incorrect, incomplete, or entirely absent.

I now require shops to hand torque the lug nuts. If they won't, I go somewhere else. Since insisting on this, I have never had an issue removing lug nuts that are torqued to 100 ft/lbs. I use a 4-way and a 4' piece of 2" pvc pipe and they come right off. Full disclosure, I have all of my wheels off at least twice a year. I sometimes have to use a hydraulic gear puller to get the tire or rotor off, but I don't have any issues with the lug nuts. Frequent use of a wire brush wheel on a drill and generous application of anti-sieze has helped with the rust welded tires and rotors.

LMHmedchem
 






I had driver's front almost fall off after a state inspection... nobody's perfect.
 






I had driver's front almost fall off after a state inspection... nobody's perfect.

Ha, so much for the state "safety" inspection, but surely I have broken more things on my trucks than any mechanic ever has.

I envy my friends in Ohio where the inspection is $7 to have the registry check that the VIN on the registration matches the VIN on the frame, and then nothing ever after. We get hit with $35 a year here.

I do still require a hand torque whenever anyone has the wheels off. I check the torque a few days later and always loosen then a bit before re-tightening.

LMHmedchem
 






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