Help Identifying Idler Arm - Vintage Mustang Forums
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Help Identifying Idler Arm

I've been looking to replace my idler arm on my 67 for a while now. When I restored the car back in 95, I tried to get one but couldn't find one like it. The car has been in the family since new and I'm sure this part has never been replaced. I'm currently doing a Borgeson steering swap and I want to get the proper arm. I don't want to reinstall this one because from what I've read, I need an arm that has a stiff bushing that will help return to center. I'm just curious. I have never been able to find one like this. Can anyone tell me if some Mustangs(Besides Mine) came with this type arm?
Thanks




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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TRH View Post
I've been looking to replace my idler arm on my 67 for a while now. When I restored the car back in 95, I tried to get one but couldn't find one like it. The car has been in the family since new and I'm sure this part has never been replaced. I'm currently doing a Borgeson steering swap and I want to get the proper arm. I don't want to reinstall this one because from what I've read, I need an arm that has a stiff bushing that will help return to center. I'm just curious. I have never been able to find one like this. Can anyone tell me if some Mustangs(Besides Mine) came with this type arm?
Thanks
Im interested in the answer as well but Im also a bit confused. Was there something unique about the one in the picture?

1. Did your 67 originally have manual or power steering?
2. With the Borgeson conversion do you use a manual or power steering idler arm?

Most of the Mustang vendors sell idler arms for 67s with manual or power steering.


Paul
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Paul1958 View Post
Im interested in the answer as well but Im also a bit confused. Was there something unique about the one in the picture?

1. Did your 67 originally have manual or power steering?
2. With the Borgeson conversion do you use a manual or power steering idler arm?

Most of the Mustang vendors sell idler arms for 67s with manual or power steering.


Paul
I have never seen one with this type of bushing setup. And none of the vintage Mustang places have anything that looks like it in their catalogs.

My 67 originally had power steering and the type of idler arm to use with the Borgeson setup was never mentioned by them.

I recently purchased a bushing type idler arm for a 67 with power steering but it doesn't look at all like this type.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 10:58 AM
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is that the Trans Am style seen here?

Opentracker Racing Products - Roller Idler Arms

We should compare notes after I get my 68 back on the road.
I am doing a borgeson conversion, but am using a roller arm with the understanding that the caster will provide the return to center, not the idler arm.
In my opinion, if the idler did the centering, then it would be very easy to have the car pulling to one side all the time...
The tow-in would have to be set with the idler totally relaxed (centered) and both wheels pointing exactly forward, which then would prevent fine tuning the steering wheel position.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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It doesn't look like the trans-Am type.

I got this from Mustang Monthly.


Steering Linkage Replacement Idler Arm
The best idler arm for your classic Mustang should look like this-void of grease fittings and packed with a rubber/steel core bushing designed to make the steering wheel snap smoothly back to center. You should not be able to move this type of idler arm away from center by hand.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I'm being impatient.
Has anyone here ever seen this particular type of idler arm on a Mustang?

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 03:42 PM
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it looks like the one on my 68 i6 coupe w manual steering.


1968 Coupe, Grab-a-trak front and rear suspension, 302 HO, c4, 8 inch rear, 2005 split 5 star rims, making a modded california special.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 05:21 PM
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Maybe I'm being impatient.
Has anyone here ever seen this particular type of idler arm on a Mustang?
Sure, the first picture is a aftermarket, NON TEETH Idler.

The originals (C7ZA 3355) Idlers had the teeth in the Centerlink end bushing to bite in the metal to make the rubber bushing create the "Spring" to return to center. Both, Manual Steering, and Power Steering had this, as TRH has displayed

The next bit of FACT, Many, if not most of these castings were C7ZA 3355 B--Yes, a B on both.

The OEM Manufacturer used the same casting, hogged out the hole in the centerlink end to install the larger manual steering/shorter bushing.

There was two different frame mounting brackets. Manual steering had the oblong hole between the mounting holes, the PS had no holes--Kinda hate to say this, but the TRH display has the wrong mounting bracket, the bushing (Long Bushing) is a PS version, the bracket is Manual Steering.

Centerlink Bushings are different, and will not fit, or interchange.

Dan @ Chockostang
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Last edited by CHOCK; 04-11-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Sure, the first picture is a aftermarket, NON TEETH Idler.

The originals (C7ZA 3355) Idlers had the teeth in the Centerlink end bushing to bite in the metal to make the rubber bushing create the "Spring" to return to center. Both, Manual Steering, and Power Steering had this, as TRH has displayed

The next bit of FACT, Many, if not most of these castings were C7ZA 3355 B--Yes, a B on both.

The OEM Manufacturer used the same casting, hogged out the hole in the centerlink end to install the larger manual steering/shorter bushing.

There was two different frame mounting brackets. Manual steering had the oblong hole between the mounting holes, the PS had no holes--Kinda hate to say this, but the TRH display has the wrong mounting bracket, the bushing (Long Bushing) is a PS version, the bracket is Manual Steering.

Centerlink Bushings are different, and will not fit, or interchange.

Dan @ Chockostang
Like I said before...If anyone here knows about this stuff, you're probably the guy.
The thing that puzzles me is, I have owned and driven the car with that idler arm for almost forty years and before that, my dad bought the car new. To the best of my knowledge, he never had the steering worked on.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 05:38 PM
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Like I said before...If anyone here knows about this stuff, you're probably the guy.
The thing that puzzles me is, I have owned and driven the car with that idler arm for almost forty years and before that, my dad bought the car new. To the best of my knowledge, he never had the steering worked on.
You can not believe how many times in 40 years I have heard "This is Totally Original"

Dan @ Chockostang
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 05:39 PM
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You do not need the Factory style bushing that snaps the steering back to center. When you do the Alignment just set the Caster more positive and that will help return the wheel to center. With your power steering I would set the Caster around 3.5 Degrees or more. You can also add a 1/16" shim to the Front upper control arm bolt to build some positive Caster into the car, that way you are not pulling the lower arm as far forward to achieve your desired Caster setting.

Last edited by cmefly; 04-11-2013 at 05:44 PM.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 05:53 PM
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You do not need the Factory style bushing that snaps the steering back to center. When you do the Alignment just set the Caster more positive and that will help return the wheel to center. With your power steering I would set the Caster around 3.5 Degrees or more. You can also add a 1/16" shim to the Front upper control arm bolt to build some positive Caster into the car, that way you are not pulling the lower arm as far forward to achieve your desired Caster setting.
Amen--Brother!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-26-2018, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRH View Post
I've been looking to replace my idler arm on my 67 for a while now. When I restored the car back in 95, I tried to get one but couldn't find one like it. ... I have never been able to find one like this. Can anyone tell me if some Mustangs(Besides Mine) came with this type arm?
Ok, I know I'm resurrecting a 5-year-old post, but I'm running into this issue as well on my '68 straight six coupe with power steering. When I got the car it had this idler arm with plastic bushings:



This looks like the part in question in this thread. It tends to come up if you search for C7ZZ-3350-CR (Summit for example). I'm guessing the CR indicates a late revision Ford service part number. The one on my car certainly looked dirty enough to be original but I can't be sure. It had some play in the frame end so I replaced it with a Moog K8158:



Then I drove the car for three years, frustrated all the while by an elusive front end shimmy and vague steering. Eventually I figured out the Moog K8158 had a ton of play in the linkage end, so I figured I'd order something better. AC Delco 45C1124 looked like a more solid design:



But guess what showed up? Moog K8158 again, wearing an AC Delco box. This one was a little tighter, but still shimmied and vague steering. So I said some choice words and reinstalled the C7ZZ-3350-CR idler arm (good thing I saved it!). Despite the deflection in the frame end it took care of most of the shimmy and made the steering a lot more precise. Now I'm looking for something better. I'd order the C7ZZ-3350-CR part from Summit but now I'm traumatized and afraid that if I order it that steaming pile of Moog garbage is going to show up again.

Another option is this original style rubber bushing idler arm from ACP, but would that have even more deflection with rubber bushings?



Or I could go with the Opentracker roller idler arm, but that looks terrifyingly identical to the Moog garbage:



Opentracker has a great reputation, so I guess I'll call them and find out. I think my second choice would be the C7ZZ-3350-CR part, then the original-style part from ACP.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 11:30 PM
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An update: I talked with John at Opentracker, who was quite helpful. He explained that there aren't a lot of options for 67-68 idler arm, and that the Moog and AC Delco idler arms are what he'd recommend unless I want to spring for the more expensive Trans-Am style. He said they've had to return some of the Moog arms that were too loose. So I guess I just got a bad one from Rockauto. He also mentioned alignment as a common cause of vague steering. I rechecked my toe with the nylon-bushing C7ZZ-3350-CR idler arm installed and found it was 1/4", when I had set it with the old Moog arm to 1/8". So there's a change in toe when swapping idler arms. I swapped back to the new Moog one and set the toe to about 1/4" in, and the car drives pretty well. Took care of most of the vagueness and vibration. I think to do better I'd have to eliminate all play from the idler arm. I think at some point I may try building my own play-free idler arm using bronze bushings and either a donor arm or from scratch. But for now the car drives well enough to put that on the back burner.

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