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Control arm bushings or Stabilizer

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Old 12-17-2003, 12:45 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Oklahoma
Vehicle: 1999 Supercharged Ford F150
Posts: 2,248
Question Control arm bushings or Stabilizer

Which would improve steering more, installing front control arm polyurethane bushings or a steering stabilizer?

How hard is it to install front control arm bushings?

Energy Suspension makes a polyurethane control arm bushing kit for 97-03 F150s, now. Supposely, this will greatly improve steering. However, I have not seen any comments about the effects.

Some comment that the steering stabilizer improves steering, while others say the steering stabilizer had no effect.
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:35 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Chicago Burbs
Vehicle: 2001 Ford F-150
Posts: 496
Mine got the Energy front swaybar set. I noticed a differenece with it but I think most of gain came from snugging up the (new)center bushings on the swaybar.

The bolts on mine were a little loose(1/4 turn) to start with. Same thing on an '03 SCab I just worked on. Probably the stock bushings compress over a period of time and I just took up the slack when the new bushings were put on.

If you do not have a rear swaybar you would get more gain from that. The Hellwig rear sway made a big difference on mine.
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Old 12-17-2003, 02:26 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Oklahoma
Vehicle: 1999 Supercharged Ford F150
Posts: 2,248
Thanks for your comments ChiDiver. I have had a F150 1999 supercab for 2 years now. It had about 40,000 miles on it when I got it. I now have over 107,000 miles on it. The steering and handling always felt loose (looser than my fathers 1999 singlecab longbed). So this is what I have done to my suspension, so far, in chronological order:

1. Front and rear Hellwig sway bars
2. DJM 2" lowering coils/rear shackle/hangers on 3" setting/Toxic drop shocks.
3. Inspection and alignment (said I did not need camber/caster kit)
4. Searched for a faster constant ratio (12 to 1) steering gear box and could not find one.
5. Hard Bed cover.
6. Went from "standard" 265/75/16s to 265/6017s V rated Directional tires.
7. Bought some slightly used Lightning Bilstien shocks, but the toxic shocks had harder compression than the Bilstiens so I did not use them.
8. Cut DJM 2" lowered coil springs to lower to 3 inch lowering and to have stiffer/higher spring rate spring. Screwed up and went too low, so I cut a pair of stock springs and screwed those up and cut another pair of stock springs to the perfect 3 and 1/4 inch lowering with much stiffer spring rate.
9. Had camber/ caster adjustment kit added, lower ball joints replaced and "custom" alignment.
9. Went back and had a different set of "custom" alignment specs. installed.
10. Continued to search for faster ratio steering gear box or steering "quickener" and could not find either.
11. Had idler arm, bother inner tie-rod ends and several very loose rear leaf spring U-bolts tightened up (I never installed the leafspring center bolt with a longer head and my rear axle was not in proper postion due to supercharger use). I also had yet another and the best, custom alignment that was different from the rest. After this last work, my steering feels more "CENTERED" and I have a lot less play in steering wheel with far less wandering.

However, I am trying to get the steering with as much a "CENTERED" powered feel with zero play.

I am going to:

1. Add the rear leaf spring center bolts with the longer head so that, the bolt head goes through the pinion shims and the leafspring plate hole to insure perfect rear axle postion.
2. Eventually get some new tires that do not have all the "cupping" and uneven tread wear from all the screwed up past alignments.


1. Front control arm polyurethane bushings
2. Steering stabilizer
3. Install used but very low miles stock steering gear box.
4. Install 03' Lightning steering gear box that has been re-valved but has the same steering ratio as all late model F150s (14 to 1).
5. Install new Center-link
6. Install new upper ball joints.
7. Install 2" lowered control arms with a 1" lowered spring
8. Install a bumpsteer kit if it ever kits invented.
9. Install new body mount bushings.

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Old 12-22-2003, 04:33 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Oklahoma
Vehicle: 1999 Supercharged Ford F150
Posts: 2,248
Found out that it costs $450 to $500 in parts and labor to change the control arm bushings!!!!!!!! I can take the control arms my self, but would still have to have a shop remove the old bushings and press in the new ones (and you have to use the stock metal portions of the oem bushings with the new ones. Therefore.....

Just made a deal for some low mileage adjustable upper control arms and 3" lower control arms and some 1" drop coil springs for a total of a 4" drop. With these, I will get polyurethane control arm bushings, reduced bumpsteer and have more ability to fine tune my suspension.......I hope.

I only want a TRUE 3 and 1/4 inch lowering. If the 1" drop coil springs with the 3" lowering upper and lower control arms actually give me a TRUE 4 inch drop, I will have to get some stock coil springs and cut them a little to get the right drop.

Does anyone know if 3" lowering lower/upper control arms with 1" drop coil springs actually provides a 4 inch drop? ....or does it actually lower it a less than 4 inches?
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