I just got a used 5.4 v8 Ford van from 1998.

It's rear wheel drive.

It doesn't feel like a new vehicle no more.

I'm suspectin that a big reason for that it is that the front wheels and all the stuff that is attached to them.

It has new front bearings, though, and pretty new front tires.

But you can feel in your hands all kind of extra nonsense goin on when you turn... it kinda creaks and knocks a little bit and ain't smooth and tight... and the tires wear out wierd where the sides get all worn out real fast.

I decided to investigate, and so I took a look under the vehicle. I became aware that there are lots of parts where the metal arms and stuff connect to eachother that are probaby suppoed to look rubber like... but they look like dust and like somebody sprayed some kind of wd40 or somethin on em.

So my question is, if a person wanted to just kick this problem in the ass and get their vehicle feeling like new (as far as no extraneous vibrations comin up through the steering wheel and into your hands), what all parts would you have to replace to guarantee that new vehicle feeling?

  • 1
    Replace all the suspension bushes, front and rear.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 7:00
  • I think you need to think seriously about how much money and time you want to put into this project. From all your other questions about this van it seems like a bit of a beater (rust, clinks and clanks, things not working), and now probably every suspension mounting both front and rear. You could end up putting a lot more into this than it's worth.
    – GdD
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 7:20

1 Answer 1


As a priority - Checking and replacing worn ball joints is far more important than replacing worn bushes.

If a ball joint separates while driving, then you will loose steering, which is obviously very dangerous.

If the steering doesn’t feel smooth and there is free play in the steering, I would seriously get the ball joints checked before using the vehicle.

If the vehicle still doesn’t feel totally as you expect, you can then move onto the bushings. Quite often the outside of bushes can look worn and cracked, but when removed you can see that they were OK. Looking for excess movement when turning the steering while the vehicle is stationary can reveal that they are worn. You can also use a pry bar to check for excess movement.

Any worn components can cause steering misalignment and hence badly worn tires. If you replace just about any of the front suspension/steering components, you will need to get the alignment adjusted. There is no point in getting alignment adjusted until you have identified and replaced any worn components.

  • Seen many suspension bushes fail causing the wheel to separate at the top or bottom, as well as ball joints, none are good for steering or control.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 8:07
  • @SolarMike Are you saying that it is not a good idea to check the ball joints?
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 8:23
  • Have I suggested that or is that your idea?
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 8:27

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