Track Pack Toe Link Control Arm Bearing Install How-To - It can be done!

StrongFord

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I see many posts regarding the difficulty of installing the Ford Performance Track Pack toe link bearing to the lower control arm. Many recommend removing the lower control arm and use a hydraulic press. That will work, but here is my how-to from my personal experience for those who want to try it themselves. It can be done!

Here's my how-to:

Tools needed...
- A loaner ball joint c-clamp press kit - auto parts store
- 1-1/4" impact socket - required! This is the exact diameter needed to press the bushing evenly.
- Basic hand tools
IMG_2503.JPG
IMG_2505.JPG



- Detatch the toe link
- You'll need a breaker bar or long handle ratchet to crank the c-clamp.
- Set up the c-clamp for the initial press and break bushing free. It'll give you a snap to let you know it started.
- At this point I was only pressing flush to the control arm to gain clearance for the 1-1/4" socket.


Start pressing.JPG




- Once flush, remove c-clamp and set it back up using the socket. Notice how the socket just fits, that's why I pressed it flush first.



IMG_2510.JPG




- Trick/recommendation - use your floor jack to hold pressure on the c-clamp to keep it from pivoting. That will give you more leverage with the ratchet and keep the c-clamp from falling off constantly.



IMG_2511.JPG




- Press away! Once you get it broken free keep turning that ratchet. Keep it going!



IMG_2514.JPG


IMG_2515.JPG
IMG_2516.JPG
IMG_2517.JPG
IMG_2518.JPG




Now for in the install, which is easier.


- Square up the new bearing and hit it with your purse until it stays in place.



IMG_2519.JPG
IMG_2521.JPG



Set your c-clamp back up and press it home.

Make sure it is squared up to the control arm! That is the most important part. If it's crooked it will NOT press, regardless of the method. The groove on the bearing will help you see if it's square.



IMG_2522.JPG
IMG_2526.JPG
IMG_2527.JPG
IMG_2528.JPG
IMG_2529.JPG



There you go! Soak in the satisfaction! If you made it this far, rest easy knowing the other side will now be EASIER! The first bearing (these photos) took me couple of hours as I was figuring it out as I went, but the second bearing was done in within 30 minutes!

Good luck and have fun with those S550 Mustangs!!!

 
Last edited:

moffetts

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Nobody is recommending removing the RLCA to do the toe bearing. The toe bearing is in the knuckle, not the RLCA. Thanks for the pics, in any case!
 

Cobra Jet

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I see many posts regarding the difficulty of installing the Ford Performance Track Pack toe link bearing to the lower control arm. Many recommend removing the lower control arm and use a hydraulic press. That will work, but here is my how-to from my personal experience for those who want to try it themselves. It can be done!

Here's my how-to:

Tools needed...
- A loaner ball joint c-clamp press kit - auto parts store
- 1-1/4" impact socket - required! This is the exact diameter needed to press the bushing evenly.
- Basic hand tools
IMG_2503.JPG
IMG_2505.JPG



- Detatch the toe link
- You'll need a breaker bar or long handle ratchet to crank the c-clamp.
- Set up the c-clamp for the initial press and break bushing free. It'll give you a snap to let you know it started.
- At this point I was only pressing flush to the control arm to gain clearance for the 1-1/4" socket.


Start pressing.JPG




- Once flush, remove c-clamp and set it back up using the socket. Notice how the socket just fits, that's why I pressed it flush first.



IMG_2510.JPG




- Trick/recommendation - use your floor jack to hold pressure on the c-clamp to keep it from pivoting. That will give you more leverage with the ratchet and keep the c-clamp from falling off constantly.



IMG_2511.JPG




- Press away! Once you get it broken free keep turning that ratchet. Keep it going!



IMG_2514.JPG


IMG_2515.JPG
IMG_2516.JPG
IMG_2517.JPG
IMG_2518.JPG




Now for in the install, which is easier.


- Square up the new bearing and hit it with your purse until it stays in place.



IMG_2519.JPG
IMG_2521.JPG



Set your c-clamp back up and press it home.

Make sure it is squared up to the control arm! That is the most important part. If it's crooked it will NOT press, regardless of the method. The groove on the bearing will help you see if it's square.



IMG_2522.JPG
IMG_2526.JPG
IMG_2527.JPG
IMG_2528.JPG
IMG_2529.JPG



There you go! Soak in the satisfaction! If you made it this far, rest easy knowing the other side will now be EASIER! The first bearing (these photos) took me couple of hours as I was figuring it out as I went, but the second bearing was done in within 30 minutes!

Good luck and have fun with those S550 Mustangs!!!
Good tech, thanks for sharing and posting the images to assist with visuals.
 

kz

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ALso, it's not a track pack bearing. Performance Pack cars have spherical bearing in the toe link but a bushing in the knuckle - as any other S550.
 

Brazos609

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ALso, it's not a track pack bearing. Performance Pack cars have spherical bearing in the toe link but a bushing in the knuckle - as any other S550.
Does the GT350 have a spherical bearing or a bushing in the knuckle?
 


kz

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Does the GT350 have a spherical bearing or a bushing in the knuckle?
Good question - I don't know - would think they do since it's a Ford Performance part that is readily available.
 

CoolRod

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Good write up! I've done this twice now and everything you said is solid advice. But just prepare for a good upper body workout. Both times I had access to a lift and a 3' long piece of pipe nicknamed the "persuader" and I was still exhausted afterwards. Definitely beer thirty after that job.
 

txgt

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I just finished my install of the Ford Performance Track Handling Pack (M-FR3A-M8A) and this post was invaluable for pressing out the rubber Toe Link Bushing and installing the Toe Link Spherical Bearing from the kit.

The tools I used were:
I went to my local Harbor Freight in search of the 1-1/4" Pittsburgh Pro socket but could only find that one in a kit that sold for more than I wanted to spend. They did have a non-Pro Pittsburgh socket, but that one had a smaller outer diameter than the Pro version and seemed too small for pressing out the old bushing.

I brought the new bearing to Harbor Freight and Northern Tool to try and find a suitable socket to use and ended up grabbing the Klutch 1-3/16 socket which worked perfectly. So, I guess the moral of this story is: If you can't get the Pittsburgh Pro 1-1/4 or the Klutch 1-3/16 socket, take your new bearing with you and find a socket that is slightly smaller than the bearing and you should be good.

When pressing out the bearing, I couldn't get a socket/ratchet on the end of the Ball Joint tool because it was too close to the fender well and I didn't have a 22mm wrench. So, I cut the rubber coating off of a 10" Crescent wrench to try and get it to fit into the end of my floor jack upper handle to use as a cheater bar. I ended up squeezing the end of the floor jack handle in my bench vise to elongate the hole so the wrench would fit inside.

I did all this in my home garage with the car on jack stands. Although my garage is very well lit, I found the magnetic base LED light invaluable for getting light exactly where I needed it.

IMG_0960.jpeg

IMG_0961.jpeg

IMG_0937 (1).jpeg
 

HoosierDaddy

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I just finished my install of the Ford Performance Track Handling Pack (M-FR3A-M8A) and this post was invaluable for pressing out the rubber Toe Link Bushing and installing the Toe Link Spherical Bearing from the kit.

The tools I used were:
I went to my local Harbor Freight in search of the 1-1/4" Pittsburgh Pro socket but could only find that one in a kit that sold for more than I wanted to spend. They did have a non-Pro Pittsburgh socket, but that one had a smaller outer diameter than the Pro version and seemed too small for pressing out the old bushing.

I brought the new bearing to Harbor Freight and Northern Tool to try and find a suitable socket to use and ended up grabbing the Klutch 1-3/16 socket which worked perfectly. So, I guess the moral of this story is: If you can't get the Pittsburgh Pro 1-1/4 or the Klutch 1-3/16 socket, take your new bearing with you and find a socket that is slightly smaller than the bearing and you should be good.

When pressing out the bearing, I couldn't get a socket/ratchet on the end of the Ball Joint tool because it was too close to the fender well and I didn't have a 22mm wrench. So, I cut the rubber coating off of a 10" Crescent wrench to try and get it to fit into the end of my floor jack upper handle to use as a cheater bar. I ended up squeezing the end of the floor jack handle in my bench vise to elongate the hole so the wrench would fit inside.

I did all this in my home garage with the car on jack stands. Although my garage is very well lit, I found the magnetic base LED light invaluable for getting light exactly where I needed it.

IMG_0960.jpeg

IMG_0961.jpeg

IMG_0937 (1).jpeg
Good post!

And I wouldn't have thought of using a crescent wrench. Would not have expected one to stand up to how much torque it took to turn that.
 
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StrongFord

StrongFord

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I just finished my install of the Ford Performance Track Handling Pack (M-FR3A-M8A) and this post was invaluable for pressing out the rubber Toe Link Bushing and installing the Toe Link Spherical Bearing from the kit.

The tools I used were:
I went to my local Harbor Freight in search of the 1-1/4" Pittsburgh Pro socket but could only find that one in a kit that sold for more than I wanted to spend. They did have a non-Pro Pittsburgh socket, but that one had a smaller outer diameter than the Pro version and seemed too small for pressing out the old bushing.

I brought the new bearing to Harbor Freight and Northern Tool to try and find a suitable socket to use and ended up grabbing the Klutch 1-3/16 socket which worked perfectly. So, I guess the moral of this story is: If you can't get the Pittsburgh Pro 1-1/4 or the Klutch 1-3/16 socket, take your new bearing with you and find a socket that is slightly smaller than the bearing and you should be good.

When pressing out the bearing, I couldn't get a socket/ratchet on the end of the Ball Joint tool because it was too close to the fender well and I didn't have a 22mm wrench. So, I cut the rubber coating off of a 10" Crescent wrench to try and get it to fit into the end of my floor jack upper handle to use as a cheater bar. I ended up squeezing the end of the floor jack handle in my bench vise to elongate the hole so the wrench would fit inside.

I did all this in my home garage with the car on jack stands. Although my garage is very well lit, I found the magnetic base LED light invaluable for getting light exactly where I needed it.
Thanks, I'm glad to hear you put this to good use!
 

PC_GUARD

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Nice write up, to assist in the removal, any thought of heating the knuckle? On the install, it may be worthwhile to have the bearings sitting in the freezer for a day or 2.

I havent done this job, but done lots of similar on big equipment. Freezing bushings, typically will shrink them up a little bit and expand after being pressed in.
 

Roadsign

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The method for removal/install of u-joints in some billet aluminum driveshafts is to apply heat. There are some good discussions on practical machinist.
 

txgt

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I did leave the new spherical bearings in the freezer overnight. I'm assuming it helped but who knows. Pressing them in wasn't a huge deal with the cheater bar. The trick is in the initial setup of the press and making sure that you have the new bearing lined up properly so it's not crooked.

I will note that both the new bearing and the knuckle have a chamfered side. It's best to press the chamfered sides together which aids in alignment and keeping it initially straight.
 

PC_GUARD

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I did leave the new spherical bearings in the freezer overnight. I'm assuming it helped but who knows. Pressing them in wasn't a huge deal with the cheater bar. The trick is in the initial setup of the press and making sure that you have the new bearing lined up properly so it's not crooked.

I will note that both the new bearing and the knuckle have a chamfered side. It's best to press the chamfered sides together which aids in alignment and keeping it initially straight.
Pressing from the rear of the car towards the front?
 

txgt

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Pressing from the rear of the car towards the front?
Actually the other direction: Press the bearing in from the front of the car towards the rear. That's the way that @StrongFord shows in his steps (and you can see the small chamfered edge in his pic as well as this one from the Ford Performance instructions).

Screen Shot 2022-04-29 at 7.50.06 AM.png


The Ford Performance instructions actually show pressing the new bearing in from the rear towards the front, which is how I did the driver's side. It worked, but it was a little harder to get the bearing aligned properly and I had to reset it a couple of times before I was confident that it would go in straight.

When I did the passenger side, I noticed that the front side of the knuckle was chamfered and so I went in that direction and it lined up straight on the first try.

So, that's my experience. In the end, both directions worked but pressing from front to rear was easier.
 

 
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