Question about 1996 Mercury Cougar XR7

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Hi i have a 96 cougar xr7, i thought my tie rods were bad but with further inspection it looks like the bushings on the lower control arm and it also looks like their attatched to a sway bar or torsion bar and i cant find those bushings anywhere and they also dont know what im talking about. i have not seen this setup on a car before so im curious because it almost looks like a torsion bar setup on a truck. so i wanted to know what you think i need.

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Tell the parts store you need a sway bar link kit, it should come with new bolts and bushings.

Posted on Mar 28, 2011

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jack up and support vehicle grab top and bottom of wheel and see if its loose if loose feeling up top or clunking possible upper ball joint if bottom feel/noise poss bottom ----move wheel side to side and look and check tie rods if loose or noise inspect and replace if damaged or worn ---remove wheel and inspect the joints and tie rods if their was no noise or worn check the upper and lower control arm bushings as well as the swaybar supports and bushings

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I have a toyota altezza and i have a squeaking noise in front suspension


Hello alt.... There are several possible causes.


1. Test drive the car. Start with the windows down. Find a parking lot or somewhere relatively quiet so the noises can be heard. Drive straight at 20 miles per hour and lightly apply the brakes. Listen for squealing, rubbing or grinding; this would indicate worn brake pads. Slow the car to 10 miles per hour and make a sharp turn in both directions. If you hear a clicking noise, the CV joints are bad and need to be replaced. If you hear a grinding noise when driving straight ahead slowly, the hub bearings are bad. Come to a stop and turn the wheel in both directions. If a grinding noise is present, the top bearing plate is suspect and must be checked further. Put the car in park and get out. Push up and down on the front end of the car. If a squealing noise is present, the struts or control arm bushings are bad and need further inspection. Take the car home to continue the inspection.

2 Raise the front of the car with the floor jack and position the jack stands under the frame. Let the car down on the jack stands.

3 Grasp the tire on both sides and attempt to wobble it left and right; if there is any movement with no corresponding movement in the steering wheel, one or both tie rod ends are loose and need to be replaced. Have a helper wobble the tire while you slide under the car and observe the inner and outer tie rods ends. This is the link from the rack and pinion steering to the steering knuckle. Place a hand on the outer tie rod end as the tire is being moved; if you can feel freeplay, the outer joint needs to be replaced. Place a hand on the inner tie rod shaft; if you can feel it moving in and out with the movement of the tire, the inner tie rod is faulty.

4 Look at the tire for uneven wear indicating an alignment problem. Spin the tire slowly and look for flat spots, humps in the tread or wire protruding from the tread indicating a separated tire.

5 Grab the tire at the top and bottom and shake the tire in and out; if you can feel any freeplay, the hub bearing is bad and needs replacement.

6 Place the pry bar under the tire. Lift up and release several times; if the tire can be lifted with very little pressure the lower ball joint is bad and needs replacing.

7 Remove the tire/wheel assembly. Place your hand on the coil spring on the strut and have a helper turn the steering wheel to the left and right; if you can feel any grinding, the top bearing cap on top of the strut is defective and needs to be replaced.

8 Inspect the strut for leakage around the seals. Replace if they are leaking.

9 Inspect the brake pads and rotors for wear and replace as necessary.

10 Inspect the sway bar front bushing where it is mounted under the radiator and make sure it is in place. Inspect the sway bar links on the ends of the sway bar where they connect to the lower control arm. They consist of a long bolt with a series of rubber bushings held on to the lower control arm by a nut. Replace these if they are loose or have any worn parts. They are a major noise problem

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1 Answer

96 merc cougar. Front end clunking noise when you shake the car from side to side. Seems if you turn the wheel it stops. Hard to tell really what side its coming from. Any thoughts? I cant find anything...


this vehicle is known for suspension noises the most popular of which is the upper control arms but there is trailing arm bushings and ball joints that make almost the same identical sound. you can jack the car up on one side when the tire clears the floor hold the tire at 3 and 9 o' clock and rock left to right and feel for any play or lose feeling in the suspension it is supposed to be rigid the slightest play in any of these items you wont believe the racket they would make. do the same for the other side as well...then hold the tire at 12 and 6 o' clock and rock the tire up to down and do the same for the other side., if it is suspension bushings or upper ball joints you will find it like this. the lower ball joints however is a lil more tricky jack the car up on one side placing the jack under the lower control arm as close to the ball joint as you can go and jack till the tire is about 1-2 inches off the ground stick a bar under the tire and pry the tire higher off the ground and release repeat this till you can confirm weather there is play or not in the lower ball joint NOTE: it is best if you do this test with 2 people one to look at the ball joint while the other works the tire. for the trailing arm bushings you need 2 people for this one as well..... have someone drive the car forward 5 feet then step on the brake do it in reverse as well and step on the brake, fix your eyes to the back of the tire 3 o' clock on the driver side and the fender and see if there is excessive play. NOTE: the wheel is supposed to give a little but that is about 1/2 of an inch front to back any more and these bushings are bad.
vbninja E.A.P

Jul 24, 2010 | 1996 Mercury Cougar XR7

2 Answers

What is the bar or rod called that is on the drivers side hooked to the lower controll arm and goes towards the front it has bushings in it were it connects to the lower controll arm- thoes bushings are...


The rods that connect the K-member (subframe) to the lower control arms are called "strut rods". Your local auto parts store should carry the bushings.

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