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Suspension Maintenance

Ashlan

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#1
Hi All

So this is something I haven't seen spoken of much but I'm looking to do some suspension maintenance and wanted to know if you guys had any tips. Fiesta 1.4i titanium 3dr doing 211 000km.

Replaced my rims a year ago and my front brakes (pads and rotors) 4 months ago. Car runs well, however I noticed a vibration at high speed 120km/h to 160km/h. I've gotten pricing from Ford on the parts, however they don't want to sell me the bushes or shock individually. They are charging me for the entire lower control arms and full upper assemblies. I think its rather pricy. I'm looking around to replace those parts however just wanted to check with the forum if you guys have any suggestions when conducting suspension maintenance.
 

Handy Andy

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#2
A lot of the work you can do yourself, but when it comes to the Sway bar, links and control arms - if you have not worked on suspensions similar to what the Fiestas' is; this might need you to take a step back and review the bushing and lower ball joint replacements for they will need tools to remove the individual parts off the arms else many would just replace the arm and all the lower joint work as one unit.

The Hub bearing - I would recommend getting an extra-hand to help on this for you'll need to loosen the knuckle anyways for the lower arm. But since you're replacing the arm and lower ball joint to it, (or thinking about it) this can get done all at once - the bearing will need a press to force out the old and put a new one in and the CV axle can stay in the transmission side, but you will have to remove the spindle nut and that shaft from the knuckle to release the knuckle (Brakes, ball joint, sway links and strut are removed) , so you can free up the knuckle to replace the hub bearing.

Recommend you watch videos of the Fiestas front suspension - they approach the effort from various ways but all can help you gather ideas on how to tackle this. There are a lot of them and for various years - so search YT archives for them - review their approach and move on to the next one so you can see where problems they had either from stuck bolts or wrong tools used - you'll see it all and can help you develop the plan you want to tackle this with.

I myself have done the struts and have had little issues but to keep you from encountering problems you may not know about - best to watch the vids so you can see what they did when the unexpected happened. I did to help me understand the problems I'd be facing - it may not be "Dancing with the Stars" but it does help you to be prepared.

We also have a lot of posts and threads on this site about doing the work. You can always read them.
 

scotman

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#2
An owner would have to consider how much longer they were going to keep their Fiesta in order to rationalize how deeply they want to go into parts replacing.
Replacing the entire control arm is the easiest way to go. Anti sway bar frame bushings are more challenging because you must be able to safely lift the front of the car up high enough to crawl under and work on them from the back of the subframe.
If you are replacing the lower control arms you should probably consider replacing the wheel bearings as well. Miles are not kind to fiesta wheel bearings due to the amount of heat that they soak up in use. The stability control system uses the ABS to give fiesta the stable, arrow straight driving feel we all recognize so well. The downside of that is the brakes are almost constantly being applied at one or more wheels to induce that "glued to the road feel" that generates a fair amount of heat.
The last components that should be looked at as miles accumulate are not suspension parts, but they are replaceable only after you have removed the knuckle and struts. That is the CV axles and the output shaft seals. CV axles can become sloppy with use and the output shaft seals that are pressed into the transmission case dry out and crack. When the seals leak it means that you are losing some expensive synthetic gear oil! The seals are not expensive at all. But the gear oil and damage from the loss of it is very expensive to correct. I hope that helps you determine how deeply you want to go.
 
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Ashlan

Ashlan

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Thread Starter #3
@Handy Andy:
Thank you! I will look into some YT videos on how to conduct it. I have the workshop manual however YT proves to be more effective. My concern with suspension maintenance is its not something you can do individually, you might as well doing everything while its stripped. If you have followed any YT videos or know of any useful YT videos please do share.

@scotman:
Thanks for the feedback. I'm planning on keeping the car, the motors easy to work on and its going strong. I had no idea that the ABS worked that way. I would have probably did the wheel bearing change when I replaced my brakes earlier this year. Thinking of changing it on my next brake service. Appreciate the advice.
 

Handy Andy

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#4
@Ashlan - Good to see you have the manual to it. The YT videos give you the "view" that the exploded 3-d flat drawings and pics, graphics and descriptions do not.

The only things I worry of, many of the manuals generalize - which; if you're ok with that - then the YT would be pretty dull and empty - but it does show you the TOOLS you need to use and the way you need to use them.

Example - 13mm ratchet wrench to help remove the nuts from the upper struts without having to remove the windshield cowl.

There are also several threads that got me to view vids and they are in the threads themselves - as I gather up more time - I'll post more links
 
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Ashlan

Ashlan

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Thread Starter #5
@Handy Andy Agreed, the manual works on ideals however sometimes the most efficient way to do it won't be the manual way.

Appreciate it! Will also post some links should I find
 


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