Radius Arm Bushings '69 Ford

Howdy ya’ll!

I have a 1969 Ford Explorer F100 that needs radius arm bushings. I hope that’s the correct term as I don’t have a book with me right now. It’s the bushings that go in the arm of the suspension basically under the driver and the passenger. The bushings are completely gone and while braking in reverse, I get a clunking sound. Don’t ask how I discovered where it was coming from. :slight_smile: It involved a tight grip of the steering wheel while leaning all the way down to see under truck while moving slowly in reverse.

I was told by a friend that I might need to undo that big bolt at the end of the arm and suspend that arm temporarily while sliding bushings on. I may need to buy the manual on suspension. I really wanted to buy a basic manual for the truck like I have for my '96 Taurus and my wife’s '99 Expedition. Those books have come in real handy. In the back of an LMC magazine, they have several different books specific to different parts of the 1969 Ford truck. The aforementioned friend has a '68 Olds and he bought a dealer style repair manual. He said it cost about $70 but was well worth it. Is there something like that out there for this '69 Ford Truck or where can I look?

I appreciate your time in reading this and look foward to your tips!

Check Ebay. I found factory shop manuals for many cars and trucks there. Even my 1962 Thunderbird.

Basically you have two types of arms under there. The one that everyone has is the control arm. This runs laterally, that is from near the center of the vehicle (frame attachment point) to the outside (steering knuckle). You have two of these, one upper and one lower. Often one or more is shaped like an A and is sometimes referred to as an A-arm. The wide part of the A will be at the frame attachment.

In many cases, only one is shaped like an A, the upper one, the lower one is pretty straight and the about the same width from inside to outside or end to end. This type will have a trailing arm attached to it that goes from the frame attachment point somewhere near the radiator to the control arm somewhere near the ball joint end. I may have heard this called a radius rod before, but that would have been a long time ago.

The issue with the trailing arm is, is that it controls the caster of your front wheels. You can replace the bushings, its not too hard, but that might throw off your caster. The caster is adjusted by shims on the ends of the bushings, so if you decide to do this yourself, at least keep all the washers and shims in order. Sometimes various thicknesses of washers are used instead of shims, so the order is very important,

i think it needs alignment anyway keith. it needs alot of work but is a one owner (my dads) and given age and no consistant upkeep, it runs like a top. new tires were put on recently and i need to replace bushings, shocks, maybe springs, and remove the overload springs in the back. i want to retire the truck so no huge loads on the back anymore.

it does sound like i can do it. my dad wants to have someone else do it, but he misses the whole point of wrenching on an old vehicle. granted, some stuff i could probably do and others, out of safety of driveability, have a pro do it.

thanks guys! :slight_smile:

Good luck. Please get a good set of jackstands, safety is of the utmost importance. For this vehicle, 6 ton jackstands (thats 6 tons each, not per pair) would be the minimum that I would recommend. That maybe a little overkill, but overkill is better than being killed.

If it is the trailing arm bushings, you don’t have a caster alignment at all right now, but if you keep everything in order, it will be close when you get done.

i am a fan of good jack stands! when i was living at home, i got tired of my dads little floor jack and was 16 and dumb. it dropped my chevelle from mid-air before i could get stands under it. so i went to the tool store and bought stands and a 3ton jack.

i work for a plumbing co., and caught our shop guy under a car with no jack stands. its not my place, but i griped at him for his stupidity. its a family business and his mom walked by and i asked her to talk some sense into her son. i truly think people under estimate the weight and power of a vehicle. 3200lbs might not sound like much, but a ribcage would beg to differ.