This ISNT! a IFS vs SFA thread but it is...

MaverickMan

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.... a thread about IFS.

So now that that is cleared up. ;) For the last 48 hours I have been working on my brother in laws 2004 Expedition with him. I know what im doing in most mechanical situations, pretty much competent on everything but rebuilding auto trans. He has a few of his own tools and is okay. We have had frustration after frustration with this IFS suspension rebuild. First he wore the edges bald on a set of BFGs in about 10 months. I couldnt even do that on a ancient un aligned TTB front end. So he did mess up a bit and order parts off of amazon instead of a better source, but it was hard to resist especially when you consider Hawaii store prices and shipping costs. Assembled upper and lower arms, tie rods, sway bar end links. Simple enough right? Thats what his alignment shop wanted before they would touch it. So we get the passenger side together took a while but it was coming along(every new ifs you touch is a learning experience). The sway bar link gave alot of trouble because of its recessed nature also its anti spin while tightening allen head stripped. As we tightened the final nut, the upper ball joint nut. The chromed nylock nut (shorter that the original)cross threaded and started slipping as he got about halfway to torque spec. So AHHHH cheap foreign crap parts bla bla bla was the argument of the hour. So i said screw it run to town I will keep working we will push through and endure. So we replaced that and all the tie rods because they came as a set. But it was cut off the new lower arm and not too much work. We did get new moog parts, much better all is well. So 1 side done. That bring us to today we make it to the hub and find a broken leaking vaccum 4x4 actuator, so I run to the store this time, Im much faster and he had his daughter with him. So we get a part an extra hundred bucks later adding up to an already over budget job. We are moving at a good pace now. Just torqued everything on the drivers side. We have the knuckle jacked up to get the sway bar link finished, I lower the jack and as I do, I see to my HORROR a crack forming on 1 tab of the strut mount of the aluminum lower control arm. HOLY CRAP!!!!!! If had been my car i would have been sledge hammering some stuff, but he took it with more of an attitude of despair. He paid 150 each for these arms. On island after a 6 day wait we can get new ones for 220 each. He no longer trusts the passenger side casting and since you literally have to undo everything to else to pull the lower ball joint out of the knuckle. We are very nearly back at square 1 with the exception of fresh bolts.

So tomorrow I am going to town (40 minute drive) to go to the machine shop to press the old ball joints out and new ones in on the factory arms, bushing are not available on island unless the Ford dealer has some. So we are going with old bushings and still have future work ahead of us if everything goes perfect tomorrow.

My question for you all in this thread is given any knowledge you all may have of new Ford IFS innovations and development since 2004 how much of a potential headache will the new Bronco IFS have for us as the parts wear. Have we learned anything from the ranger or raptors that will indicate a more simple system or "more user freindly" or less specialized tools. Have we seen anything that indicates stronger aluminum components than earlier designs? What do you all think is instore for us. I still dont get why Ford did away with I beams. I loved the cushy ride on my 7 econolines, my 91 ranger handled as close to a sports car as any truck has a right to. And my experience with 3 TTB models has been very similar. But I understand times change and new ideas prevail.

Again lets leave the VS etc off the table here and talk about the good or potentially frustrating this our 1st control arm IFS Bronco has under its crossmembers.



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Paint

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I have both, and you can go down a rabbit hole of compounding pain and suffering on repairing either.

I still prefer IFS.

Lifting it is harder, you have to watch CV angles. But I won't lift more than a couple of inches (or none at all), and you can usually drop the diff an inch or so to keep the CVs happy.
 
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MaverickMan

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I am hoping to get this going as a conversation about newer innovations in Fords more recent control arm design, mounts, and orientation.

Like on the 04 you have to drop the sway bar to get a torque wrench on the rear control arm bolt. That is one example of annoying designs, other gripes may be things like weak casting designs.
 

Paint

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I am hoping to get this going as a conversation about newer innovations in Fords more recent control arm design, mounts, and orientation.

Like on the 04 you have to drop the sway bar to get a torque wrench on the rear control arm bolt. That is one example of annoying designs, other gripes may be things like weak casting designs.
Control arm bolts are generally life of the vehicle. I doubt any manufacturer is going to spend ten thousand engineer hours figuring out how to make it an easy repair.

If anything, suspensions are going to get more complicated in the future. Especially in say, an electric truck with a motor on each wheel.
 

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😱 Here we goooooo 🤣

I've only worked on two SFAs, my EB and my bro-in-law's CJ7. SFAs are certainly more simple to work on (although the 'C' bushing on the EBs was slightly annoying, rather the nuts that contained the 'cap' were annoying) & don't get me started on the steering box brackets on the heep (the last thing I helped him w/ on it).

As far as working on em'? Nothing is built w/ the shade-tree mechanics in mind. They absolutely want you to take em' in to get worked on. When I was a cars salesman in my early twenties (cough, 2 decades ago) I was told by my manager that the dealership made more money in the service department than in actually selling cars, I honestly don't know if that's the case but I somewhat believe it.

I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy but cars are not built to last like they used to and an 04 Expedition is 16 years old now....how many miles on it? A manufacturer only makes money on a used car if it's taken in for service at the dealership.

And Amazon parts? No way, no how. I can certainly understand how it's very difficult working on stuff on the island.
 

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I’ve rebuilt the front end of my 2009 F-150 several times. Luckily it has steel lowers. Looks like the bronco may be going back to aluminum.

Leveling kits and big tires are hard on components. Especially those vacuum hub actuators.
 

Nickp

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My 2005 Explorer had 140k miles when I sold it. Keep in mind, this is the car I learned how to drive in. I off roaded it pretty hard a few times(broke an engine mount on one trail lol) was constantly speeding, hitting speed bumps at way too high of speeds, driving fast as hell on the highway. Basically I treated it like a raptor.

Never touched a single thing on the front suspension. Really, the only 2 repairs we had on that car during our entire time owning it (100k of the 140k) was a rear axle shaft, and a turn signal flasher. I expect nothing less from the Bronco.
 
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MaverickMan

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Well I hope that if they get more complex that they atleast design things with accessability not being an after thought. Especially on something like the Bronco which they have to know we will modify. There was atleast 3 things that made it more difficult than it had to be. Requiring multiple unecessary steps. Having to completely remove one component just to torque another that sees regular service like bushings is a little annoying.

Every time I am under a vehicle for the first time I notice things that will make it easy, And other that will make it hard. I crawled under a display ranger for about 25 minutes at costco while my wife was shopping one day. Things didnt look too hard under there. There was one thing that looked tough to get to but I cant recall it.

The whole thing had me thinking of those Fords in Lemans back in the day. Designing the front suspension so they can replace the whole thing in a pit stop to get around the hot brakes.

If you want to look at overly complex crawl under a AMC Eagle sometime. There is 3 brackets(2 hidden) being held and sandwiched together by 6 or so blind bolts that you are lucky to get a wobble socket on. All of that must be removed to drop the diff to get to the oil pan gasket. I expect that kind of thing from hairbrained AMC engineering freaks, geniuses they were but mad geniuses. I hope Ford is looking out for us on modify-ability because that has helped wranglers make it in the offroad world. If honda civics were easy to lift and stretch and swap axles you would see em all over Moab lol.
 
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MaverickMan

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😱 Here we goooooo 🤣

I've only worked on two SFAs, my EB and my bro-in-law's CJ7. SFAs are certainly more simple to work on (although the 'C' bushing on the EBs was slightly annoying, rather the nuts that contained the 'cap' were annoying) & don't get me started on the steering box brackets on the heep (the last thing I helped him w/ on it).

As far as working on em'? Nothing is built w/ the shade-tree mechanics in mind. They absolutely want you to take em' in to get worked on. When I was a cars salesman in my early twenties (cough, 2 decades ago) I was told by my manager that the dealership made more money in the service department than in actually selling cars, I honestly don't know if that's the case but I somewhat believe it.

I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy but cars are not built to last like they used to and an 04 Expedition is 16 years old now....how many miles on it? A manufacturer only makes money on a used car if it's taken in for service at the dealership.

And Amazon parts? No way, no how. I can certainly understand how it's very difficult working on stuff on the island.
The expedition only has about 150,000 on it. We dont really have highway miles here, there is only a few roads that have 55 MPH limits and that only lasts for a few minutes.

And yeah cars arent built to last and the newest I have ever owned myself is my 96 Bronco, thats my limit. So in perspective, my brother in law today is driving our beater 93 V8 ZJ, it old enough to be reliable even though its a fool injected unic-body.

Anytime someone asks me about buying a car, I try to talk em into an earlier generation but they always get the newer shiny one. And they always ask me to fix it down the road. People are lucky I do it for basically free. Or often for whatever they want to give.
 



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