Mustang front suspension gurus
I recently purchased a bone stock 96 Cobra. Before I start bolting on some of the MM hardware I have (rear control arms, panhard, H&R SS springs), I would like to do some investigation in the condition of the front suspension.
Given the car's age, I am willing to bet that all the hardware/bushings in the front end are stock. Because this car is a daily driver and not a "spare no expense" project car, I'd like to avoid buying any maintanence parts that aren't necessary.
Before I install the lowering springs, I would like to consult you guys for tips on investigating the condition of the following items:
1.) Inner Tie Rod Ends - This is a fairly easy diagnosis. If the car is up in the air, if the tire is grabbed and 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock, you can easily feel play if giving the tire a good shake back and forth.
2.) Outer Tie Rod Ends - This one is not as obvious for me... Does anyone know a good way to diagnose a problem with the outer rods?
3.) Balljoints - What is a sure fire way to identify play in the joints? I've heard of taking a crow-bar under the spindle and attempting to separate the spindle from the joint while the suspension is loaded. Any other tips?
4.) Sway Bar Endlinks and Sway Bar Bushings - Inspecting the bushing condition should be fairly straight forward.
5.) CC Plare Bushings -Any tips for identifying a bad CC plate bushing?
I'm eager to hear all the tips you guys have for identifying bad parts in the front suspension.
As I mentioned above, the front suspension is not as tight as it should be, but I'd prefer to identify the cause, rather than just replace everything given the budget I am on with this car.