Replacing the Drop Links

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jimi
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Replacing the Drop Links

Post by jimi »

Prior to putting my car in for it's MOT I had a bit of clunk form the suspension, I was sure it was the drop links, not sure if it was front or rear, so decided to do both sets. Mr T's price for them is ridiculous, around £80 EACH :shock:

Paul Woods had told me that Fiesta links were the correct length for the front, just needed a small modification and could be easily modified to suit the rear.
A visit to eBay got me 4 of these for £24 delivered :D

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One pair were easily modified to suit the front by heating the rod and twisting one end round until both joints were facing the same way

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Here's a comparison with a original Mr T link, the Fiesta ones are almost identical, the only difference I could find is that the rod part is 1mm thicker than the original. These also have flats for gripping the joint rather than the allen key recess on the originals

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The other pair were modified to suit the rear by cutting and shortening to the correct length, then sleeving and welding the rod

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I managed to get 3 of the links off without much problem, but the last one needed the attention of the angle grinder 8)
While I had them off I decided to remove both ARB's and give them a clean and paint as they were extremely rusty. Got carried away as usual and ended up doing the front and rear engine mounts as well :oops:
Here's the rear bits ready to go back on

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Rear drop link refitted

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And the engine mounts refitted

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Front links and ARB refitted

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Clunk is now gone, there was one link away at the front and 1 at the rear. Job done at a cost of £24 compared to the £320 or so it would have cost me to get them through Mr T :D A very satisfactory result :thumleft:

Oh and the car sailed through the MOT :D
Jimi :D
Last edited by jimi on Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
un1eash
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by un1eash »

Looks nice, i plan to do mine when i can be bothered.

Just to clarify did you have to drill the roll bar holes out?

and which model/year fiesta are the links from?
flippin'eck
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by flippin'eck »

fantastic writeup Jimi thanks, inspired me to go out & have a look underneath :mrgreen:
PW@Woodsport
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by PW@Woodsport »

:thumleft: result jimi
Image
jimi
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by jimi »

Just to clarify did you have to drill the roll bar holes out?


No modifications to the ARB's or strut's are needed, the joints have the same size thread as the originals.
These are the links I bought CLICKY
to fit
FORD ESCORT 92-2000

FORD FIESTA 92-2001

FORD KA ALL MODELS

FORD PUMA 1997-2002

Paul
Thanks to your info, it certainly was a result. Very much appreciated, Thanks :thumleft:
Jimi
Last edited by jimi on Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jimi
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by jimi »

One thing I forgot to mention, I had to shorten the thread of the top joint on the rear ( just a couple of threads ) as it was a bit tight to get the nylock nut on with the joint pushed fully home in the strut. It will go on without shortening if you just push the thread through a little bit then put the nut on, tighten and then push the joint fully in.
Jimi
AndyA
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by AndyA »

See the same seller also sells rear drop links for Corollas/Celicas from the same era as our cars. They look very similar to your modified Fiesta ones. Does anyone know if these would be a direct swap/fit? Would same cutting and welding if so!

Good work though, and a useful money saving tip :D
jimi
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by jimi »

I saw them and wondered if they might fit , I checked the EPC and the rear drop links are only used on MK1's so I'm guessing not.
Might be worth emailing the seller and see if he can provide dimensions.
Lunarmatic
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by Lunarmatic »

Good info!

jimi wrote:One pair were easily modified to suit the front by heating the rod and twisting one end round until both joints were facing the same way

Does this affect the strength of the drop link in any way or does it not matter? What do you use to heat them - a blowtorch? Can you use something like a paint stripping heat gun or is that not up to the task?
jimi
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by jimi »

You really need an oxy/acetylene torch to heat it, I used a burning torch. You want it red hot and get the job done quickly to prevent the heat spreading to the joints and damaging them.
You only want to heat a small section of the rod, in the middle as far away from the joints as possible.
A paint stripping gun is not suitable, a blowtorch may be OK, but I would recommend a burning or welding torch.

Does this affect the strength of the drop link in any way

Done properly no, blacksmiths have been working metal like this for centuries :D
Adam W
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by Adam W »

You would probably struggle with a blow torch, an oxy torch would be the ideal way as you can then get the centre hot enough to bend before the heat can conduct up to the ends and melt the grease and the rubber boots. A paint stripper wouldn't do anything except strip the paint...

Bending them would certainly weaken them, but I don't know by how much, or how much force the drop link is under in normal use. I just ordered a couple of pairs myself, I figure if I'm cutting and welding the rears I may as well do the fronts like that as well rather than bedning them, but that's just my opinion, I'm not a metallurgist or anything!

Good write up, and thanks for providing the link :D
jimi
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by jimi »

Just a little follow up on this, it's now October 2023, same links are still on my car and working fine, definitely a well spent £24 8) and I reckon heating/twisting them has had no ill effects :lol:
Sharky86
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by Sharky86 »

I realise this is an old thread but I was looking for some replacement drop links earlier today and appreciate that you gave an update to your fix! The Toyota price is over £100 for a single drop link now, so I've bought some aftermarket ones on eBay. For anyone else interested, someone did a really clear video on YouTube installing front drop links themselves.
jimi
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Re: Replacing the Drop Links

Post by jimi »

Excellent 8)
Mr T prices have certainly gone up, back when I looked at them they were around £80 each :shock:
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