1997 Sable "Cradle" Bushings?



My mechanic tells me I need the right and left front cradle bushings" on my 1997 Mercury Sable in order for the car to pass safety inspection. I am trying to find and order these parts, but neither alldata nor parts suppliers list “cradle bushings”. They do talk about “subframe bushings”, though. On the Sable, are cradle bushings and subframe bushings the same thing?


Yes, same thing.


Yup, the engine and transmission are supported by a subframe, which is sometimes called a cradle.


So, just to get everything straight in my mind, the engine mount insulators go between the engine block and the subframe, and these subframe/cradle bushings go between the subframe and the frame?


That is my understanding. Somebody can correct me if I am wrong.


I believe I’d get the safety inspection first before replacing any “cradle bushings”. Then I’d look for a new mechanic.

This is not part of any safety inspection I have ever heard of and these don’t go bad during the normal life of a vehicle. The may crack or craze around the edges but that does not mean they are bad.


The mechanic who made this assessment of the cradle bushings IS a duly credentialed safety inspector. I asked him to check the car for any items that would cause me to fail inspection because my inspection was coming due the following month and I like to have everything taken care of so I dont have to go through the hassle of inspection/fail/reinspection. I like to have it pass the first time. The vehicle has 185,000 miles on it.

I have had another Taurus (same as Sable) with similar mileage that had had this problem identified by another mechanic after I asked him to check a driveability/vibration problem. Also, in Virginia, according to the safety inspection procedures published by the State Police (the authority in charge of vehicle inspections) worn or broken bushings (see item #8 in official procedure) can be a cause for failing a safety inspection.