How to Replace the Idler Arm in a Crown Victoria

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The Ford Crown Victoria uses a conventional parallelogram steering linkage system. The steering gear box is attached to the linkage by the pitman arm and center link. The idler arm supports the passenger side of the linkage, and the tie rods attach the linkage to the wheels. As the idler arm wears, the steering linkage moves vertically and the tires wear because of the unwanted toe change.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Diagonal cutters
  • Large hammer
  • Tie rod separator
  • 3/8-inch drive socket set
  • Metric wrench set
  • Raise and support the vehicle using the floor jack and jack stands. Position the jack stands under the frame to prevent injury if the floor jack fails.

  • Remove the cotter pin and the18mm nut attaching the idler arm to the center link with a 18mm wrench.

  • Separate the idler arm from the center link by driving the tie rod separator between the two parts with several sharp blows from a large hammer. Pull the center link down as far as you can to make removing the idler arm easier.

  • Hold the the idler arm to the frame bolts, hidden in the frame, with an 18mm socket and extension. Remove the retaining nuts holding the idler arm to the frame. You can access the frame bolts through the holes located on the outside of the frame. Take care when removing the nuts. If the bolts are dropped into the frame, use a small telescoping magnetic pickup to retrieve them.

  • Position the new idler arm on the frame bolts, and start the retaining nuts. Tighten the nuts securely with a wrench while holding the frame bolts with the socket and extension.

  • Slip the center link onto the idler arm, and tighten the retaining nut securely. Install the cotter pin in the nut, and bend the pin to prevent it from falling out.

  • Lower the vehicle, and drive to the local auto repair shop to have the front end realigned.

References

  • Photo Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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