Upper Rear control arm, 2011 Town car

Danmanltc

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Had to have upper rear right control arm replaced on my 2011 Town car that only has 15,000+ original miles. I started getting a squeaking sound from the suspension as I went over certain bumps. You could only hear it with windows down in the nice weather we had here last week, with radio on low or no volume. Rubber bushing went bad in the arm. Mechanic showed me at the local shop I use. Rubber piece should be sitting at the top, not sunk down. All the other suspension pieces look great as should be expected with the low miles. He thinks it was a freak thing that might have been slightly defective since 2011 and only started squeaking because rubber bushing shifted/defective. It looked fine, not deteriorated, but definitely shifted in the arm. Fine now. $180. Dealership wanted $400+ no thanks. he used MOOG brand.
 

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CuttingToolGuy

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Looks good.

Rubber can "creep" over time. It is one of those solids that really isn't solid. "Creep" is an actual property spelled out in rubber compounds.

Maybe the car was parked on some kind of incline or for some reason had more stress on that side a lot of the time.

Thanks for sharing.

About 2 months ago one of our members installed a set of aftermarket control arms. They were tublar and I think about $400 for the whole set.
 

wolf_walker

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I used Moog on my 04 maybe 20K/2 years ago, they don't look especially well the last I peeked under there. They looked almost like the rubber had separated from the outer shell of the arm. I haven't looked further and it may have been some sort of optical oddness, but it caught my eye. They were torqued properly at ride height too.
 

DoubleJ

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New to these cars as of today, brought home a 2011 with 80K on it. Is that thing the "Watts" link I've read about?
 

CuttingToolGuy

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Welcome to the club DoubleJ,

No.

Think of it this way, relative to the body the 4 linkage arm (2 per side) hold the axle in place front to rear, while the watts linkage holds the axle in place left to right. Finally, the springs (air or metal coils) hold the axle up & down. All also allow for movement caused by bumps in the road.

This thread has been about the upper linkage arm on 1 side.
 

DoubleJ

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Thanks tool guy. I guess I should have used my brain for a few seconds before posting, been spending too much time under trucks with leaf springs and forgot about multi link setups, pretty sure my old Mark IVs and Vs had a similar arrangement, seems to me they were on coil springs, but that was 20+ years ago.
 

wolf_walker

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The earlier cars, my 90 at least and I think my 78 as well, had a multi link minus the watts link that is imo superior from a ride quality standpoint. The watts link with airbags just feels, weird, often times. It has some weird wag to it that the older cars did not, I've talked to a couple of people with a lot of seat time in both and they have noticed it as well. Not sure what ford was looking for when they changed things up. Should have sprung for IRS imo if they were going to change things.
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Danmanltc

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The earlier cars, my 90 at least and I think my 78 as well, had a multi link minus the watts link that is imo superior from a ride quality standpoint. The watts link with airbags just feels, weird, often times. It has some weird wag to it that the older cars did not, I've talked to a couple of people with a lot of seat time in both and they have noticed it as well. Not sure what ford was looking for when they changed things up. Should have sprung for IRS imo if they were going to change things.

My 2011 Town car doesn't have air suspension, has the police package. Best handling/driving town car I've ever driven. It can actually take a turn, lol. If you drive on country or curving roads, it's much better than 2002 and previous generation. Only issue is that while it still rides smoother than any new car out there , feel bumps slightly more that you would in a normal town car.

From the 2003 sales brochure for new revamped Town car...

"But the new Town Car's steering and body movements are much more controlled for driving on curving country lanes and mountain roads. Repositioning the rear shock absorbers and using new directional rear body mounts has reduced skating, the tendency of many rear-drive, live-axle cars to hop sideways in tight turns. Changes to the front suspension not only improve handling, but also make the ride smoother and quieter over potholes and other rough road surfaces. The Town Car belies its size and weight when pushed through the curves in the hill country as it shows off its new dynamic capabilities. The modestly sized P225/60R-17 all-purpose tires and bigger wheels are very quiet and relatively grippy. It's no longer just a Town Car; it's now also a Country Car. Lincoln designed the new Town Car to appeal more to younger, enthusiast drivers, but traditional customers should not."
 

Danmanltc

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I used Moog on my 04 maybe 20K/2 years ago, they don't look especially well the last I peeked under there. They looked almost like the rubber had separated from the outer shell of the arm. I haven't looked further and it may have been some sort of optical oddness, but it caught my eye. They were torqued properly at ride height too.
My factory 2011 arm, the rubber did that, slightly separated, thus giving me the squeaking sound on certain bumps. only noticeable outside the car or if you had windows all down and radio off. I will see how the Moog one holds up over time.
 

wolf_walker

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It certainly handles better, brakes better too, I imagine the cop car guys got more use out of it than the Lincoln guys though.
They were bleeding customers left and right to sporty imports for years until they finally gave up.
I tell people the late town car is like a tall, heavy, soft slow 7 series BMW that's really cheap to fix and lasts longer.
Old ones still rode a better, I think a lot of it's the tire/wheel size. Not much that'll beat a full frame car with
70 series tires for ride quality, just don't try to turn too hard.
I don't really think the watts link hurts ride quality directly but it makes the rear
of the car feel odd sometimes compared to any other RWD car I've owned.
I got used to it but it really weirded me out at first. Sure wish they'd put a proper
IRS in these and the 4 cam motor.
 

Danmanltc

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It certainly handles better, brakes better too, I imagine the cop car guys got more use out of it than the Lincoln guys though.
They were bleeding customers left and right to sporty imports for years until they finally gave up.
I tell people the late town car is like a tall, heavy, soft slow 7 series BMW that's really cheap to fix and lasts longer.
Old ones still rode a better, I think a lot of it's the tire/wheel size. Not much that'll beat a full frame car with
70 series tires for ride quality, just don't try to turn too hard.
I don't really think the watts link hurts ride quality directly but it makes the rear
of the car feel odd sometimes compared to any other RWD car I've owned.
I got used to it but it really weirded me out at first. Sure wish they'd put a proper
IRS in these and the 4 cam motor.

I forgot about the better braking and brake feel. They also made it quieter than 1998-2002. The 2003 Town car at idle, engine on, is one of quietest cars in the world at the time. 36 decibels. Only the Lexus LS430 was quieter, from old sales brochure in 2003. Rolls Royce at time was higher than 36. Many times driving in town with my wife, she said is the engine even on? It's very quiet. Compared to other luxury cars we have had.

One pet peeve is it could use more power.. I have the extra 11 horse (250 horse) and I have 3.55 rear axle. Most town cars have 3.27. Car isn't slow, It's rare that I ever have to hit gas hard or rev it. Many times I can pull out on the highway and not exceed 2,500 rpm at all while getting up to 60, fairly quiet while doing so. Some people have swapped Marauder/Mustang Mach 1 engine with 300 horse. Some have done supercharged applications, those are pretty quick.

As for the ride... yeah, the older ones felt less bumps, but more floating and far more leaning in turns...But they were noticeably less power. 03+ has some floating, but much better controlled.

Yep.. Town car, repair/maintenance cost. JD power said it was cheapest luxury car or full sized luxury car to maintain over 3 or 5 years. It's true. It's been more reliable than Our Japanese brand luxury cars.

The town car was one of best selling luxury branded cars in the USA for many years. Full sized car is in decline, most people buy SUV/trucks etc. Today's full sized cars are a joke, size wise, they are downsized. Cadillacs latest full sized car? sat in it and drove it. Feel every bump in road, it's 4 inches less width than Town car, and a far smaller trunk. Good luck if you have to put an adult in middle of the back seat... not as much room as old Town car. Continental Lincoln is getting rid of? Not as big, smaller car and trunk. Funny that SUV stay same or get bigger, but full sized cars have gotten smaller.
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