Home Introduction Buyers Guide Dreams Latest Fame For Sale Capri Forum History Jobs My Capris News Archive Pictures Q & A Rant & Rave 2016 Restoration Service Technical Unleaded
The Ford Capri Laser Page


Track Control Arm Bushes - Removal and Replacement

Talk to someone about Capris and it won't be long before the track control arm (TCA) bushes are mentioned.  These two large rubber bushes basically hold the front wheels together and stop all the bumps and vibrations travelling from the wheels into the passenger compartment.  The Capri front end is quite heavy so it is no wonder that these bushes wear out after a few years.  The usual signs of worn bushes are that that car will not want to drive in a straight line (although allow for the camber) or will vibrate badly.  The brakes may pull the car to one side as well.

To replace these bushes is not easy but it is possible.  There are several ways to do it and there may be better ways than mine.  You need to have a plan before tackling this job so I suggest you read these guidelines first.

First job is to get hold of some new bushes.  There are two bushes per side: one for the anti roll bar and one for the TCA hinge.  You have three choices:

1) Original spec. bushes which you will have to purchase from Ford

2) Uprated rubber bushes from the Capri Club

3) Polyurethane bushes from either the Capri Club or other suppliers who advertise in Classic Ford

The third option is considerably more expensive than the other two but the anti-roll bar bush is split in two to make replacement easy and you should be able to do the job without removing the TCA from the car.  Bear in mind that uprated bushes will probably improve the feel of the front end but they will increase road noise and vibration slightly.

If you go for option 1 and 2 then you will need to remove the TCA from the car as the rubber bushes are impossible to replace without the aid of a hydraulic press.  The removal of the TCA requires a ball joint splitter in the shape of a tuning fork to remove the ball joint on the end of the TCA.  More on this later.

Jack up the front of the car nice and high and place two axle stands under the engine mount bar.

The first job is to remove the anti roll bar from the car.  This large bar of metal connects both sides of the suspension together to minimise roll around corners.  Be warned now that this bar is spring loaded and unless you have made provision to keep it tensioned during removal then you will be in a right mess when it comes to putting it back on.  There are several well known ways to do this including tying a nylon rope across the bar and twisting it round with a screw driver or using a chain fixed with a bolt through a link.  My suggestion is this: invest in a luggage strap with tensioner.  You can buy these for about £7 from Halfords and you can strap this around the ends of the anti-roll bar and tighten with the tensioner.  The only problem is that the bar is angled so the strap will slide unless you fix it in place.  You can use either mole grips or, better still, tighten a jubilee clip onto the bar against the strap.

When all this is done you can start to undo the two large bolts that hold front anti roll bar bushes in place.  These are fixed with metal tabs that need to be bent down.  The bolts are long and slow to remove and may need some WD40 but eventually they will come out and the front of the anti-roll bar will drop down.  Keep all the metal fittings in a safe place.

With the front part undone you can now undo the nuts on the ends of the anti-roll bar.  These are castellated nuts held with a pin that must be removed first.  Behind the nut is a large washer that presses against the TCA bush.

With all these fittings removed and the bar nicely tensioned, you can sit at front, grab the bar  and heave!  With a bit of pulling and twisting the bar should come off leaving the TCA bush exposed on both sides.  You will now find that the wheels have gone quite wobbly ! Hopefully the bar is still nicely tensioned ready for refitting.  If you want to you can also replace the large anti-roll bar mounting bushes at this time but make sure you measure the diameter of the bar as there are several sizes on Capris.  These bushes don't wear as quickly as the other two so it may not be necessary.  You can pull the bushes off the bar with the aid of some washing up liquid.  Refit the new bushes prior to re-tensioning the bar.

Next job is to undo the bolt that holds the TCA to the chassis.  Be careful that you don't damage the steering gaiter as there is not much room.  In fact it is very hard not to damage them so you may want to prepare yourself for replacing these as well!

With these bolts removed the TCA will drop down held only by the ball joint at the wheel.  If you need to remove the TCA completely you should undo the castellated nut on the ball joint (there is not much clearance) and slide your ball joint splitter over the rubber cap (you may want to protect the rubber by using washing up liquid).  Carefully tap the end of the splitter until the joint separates and the TCA will come off the car.

To remove the old bushes: for the anti-roll bar bush you can attack it with a knife or hacksaw blade, the outer bush will need to be pushed out using a G-clamp.  Set this up with a small piece of pipe (or a large socket) so you can push the bush out of its fitting.

The new outer bush will have to be pressed in the same way the old one came out and it can be very tricky getting it going.  Try lots of washing up liquid or brake fluid to keep the bush lubricated.   It usually takes a few attempts to get it started but once you are in you are laughing.

If you have the polyurethane bushes then you simply fit the two halves in place ready for the anti-roll bar.  If you have the rubber version of the bush you will see that fitting them is very hard because of their shape.  Don't be tempted to cut the bush in half and do it that way as this will give you worse results than what you started with (many garages will do this to save time).  Instead remove the TCA completely and use a press to push the bush onto its fitting (you could take them to a garage and ask them to push the bushes in for you for some 'beer money')

Assuming that whatever road you went down you now have the new bushes fitted OK then you need to refit the TCA to the car using the same procedure as removal.  The castellated nut should have a new pin fitted (buy a pack of them next time you are in the car shop).  This nut needs to be torqued to 33 pounds foot.  Again be careful with the steering gaiters as you refit the bolts (the bolts go on so the nut is on the steering gaiter side).  These should be tightened and finally torqued to 20 pounds foot when the car is resting on the ground.

With the TCA in place the final job is to refit the anti-roll bar.  If you haven't followed my advice earlier on you will find that the bar is about 4" wider than the holes you are trying to get it in.  If you are Arnold Schwarzenegger you might be able to bend the bar and get it fitted.  Hopefully you can pre-tension the bar with your luggage strap and it will fit perfectly without any straining.  Don't forget to refit the inner washer before refitting the anti-roll bar (dish side outwards).

With the bar in place and the bushes seated properly you can refit the outer washer (dish side outwards) and the castellated nut.  Tighten the nuts on both sides progressively to 40 pounds foot.  You can then push the front of the anti-roll bar upwards and refit the front bolts.  Fit all the bolts before tightening them and tighten both sides progressively.  These need to be torqued to 22 pounds foot.

Lower the car off the jack and re-torque the all the bolts to their final values given above.  The tabs and retaining pins should all be refitted before calling it a day and going off to the pub.  Hopefully the Capri will drive in a nice straight line again!

This web page is owned

and operated by Mark Swetnam

Last updated 1/1/17
© 2015

E-mail: Mark@Swetnam.co.uk


Keeping 'The Legend Alive' on the World Wide Web since 1995!


Previous Up Next