rear subframe restoration process
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  1. #1
    NECO Member Joeyisamadman's Avatar
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    rear subframe restoration process

    Alright guys and girls,

    I've decided to tackle the rust on this thing. it's got all sorts of rust all over the place; in order of severity, the rear subframe is ruined, the frame rails near the gas tank are goners, the rocker panels are non-existant, the front fenders and rear wheelwells are rusting away, and there's surface rust here and there. I don't mind it so much since I basically bought the car to learn bodywork, and since the Union at work has a policy on me Anyway, onto the first thread in this series : the subframe!

    The part : The one I've got on the car right now is rapidly becoming dust. I grabbed one at a junkyard a while back; it wasn't very clean since i live in the rust belt, but for 80$ CAD I couldn't really say no. It was the cleanest I could find in the pull yard and I didn't want to buy it new : I need a project to improve my skillset anyway. as soon as I got it home, I sat down and brushed off most of the loose scale with a welding brush. thankfully, mostly surface rust. there's even some original paint on it here and there.



    The short list for this little project is to grind and wire wheel off any rust,
    MIG in some 1/8th inch steel to replace the original (now rusted away) reinforcements (should I be using weld-thru primer?), coat the whole thing in some rustproofing (I heard good things about POR-15? Opinions? Alternatives?) and throw it onto the car with all new hardware, end links and bushings which is going to be necessary; some of the bolts are so rusty the nuts actually flaked apart as soon as I put torque on them.

    I'm making this thread for informative purposes for the next poor guy down the line and because I need your help. Any bodywork advice for a novice would be most welcome. I'm also going to assemble the part numbers and/or bolt specs (thread, size, length, etc) here for future reference for the aforementioned poor guy. As i find these out, I'll update the thread. if you guys know specs or part numbers, feel free to chime in.

    The rear 'cam bolts' that are used for the alignment on the flat bars are shared with a 2011 Ford Focus, part number 6S4Z-5K978-AA. I'll need two of those.

    I haven't found the part numbers or bolt specs for the rear subframe's boxed arms yet. if you guys can help i'd be glad!

    I haven't found bushing part numbers or specs either for the arms
    Update : that's because they apparently don't exist. Apparently they were never meant to be replaced to begin with!
    Quote Originally Posted by mmc757 View Post
    You wont find part numbers for bushings, the factory ones apparently werent meant to be replaced. A few people have flirted with building custom arms with off-the-shelf bushings but I think stuartgrant is the only one who actually got further than talking about it.
    I haven't read through NECO for Sport Package sway bar diameter yet.
    Update : According to Jaged & B3NN3TT, the sport package sway bar is the same, stock diameter as the regular cars; 17mm.

    I've got some of the subframe-to-body bolts, and arm-to-knuckle bolts (both types) here; i'll see if the Fastenal guy can figure out what they are.


    thanks a lot guys! I hope This'll turn out well!
    Last edited by Joeyisamadman; 2016-11-11 at 11:49 PM.
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    NECO Member andreyyyk's Avatar
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    They still sell brand new subframes on ebay. From what I recall they are not that expensive. If you search on here there's a part number somewhere floating around

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    NECO Member michcougar's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    Quote Originally Posted by andreyyyk View Post
    They still sell brand new subframes on ebay. From what I recall they are not that expensive. If you search on here there's a part number somewhere floating around
    OEM Ford Suspension Crossmember, Rear Frame (#F5RZ-5035-B) | Tascaparts.com
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    NECO Member mmc757's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    If your intent on using that one, just get it sandblasted. Time is money too, and for that project sandblasting will more than pay for itself.
    You wont find part numbers for bushings, the factory ones apparently werent meant to be replaced. A few people have flirted with building custom arms with off-the-shelf bushings but I think stuartgrant is the only one who actually got further than talking about it.
    For fasteners, just measure. If you use SAE than use grade 8, if you use metric than use grade 12.9. Do not skimp on strength under there. You may have better luck ordering them online than finding them in stores because most stores dont seem to carry a lot of selection for the high strength stuff.
    Last edited by mmc757; 2016-11-11 at 09:39 AM.
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    3 wheelin Lifetime Platinum MemberSuper Moderator jaged's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    All the sway bars on the cougar were the same. the sports package didnt actually give you anything sportier
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    NECO Member mmc757's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    I believe the sport package included the SVT rear sway bar. At least it did in '01, unless they changed them all for 01/02.
    At any rate, the one that came from the factory was 18mm on my car.
    Last edited by mmc757; 2016-11-11 at 09:59 AM.
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  9. #7
    3 wheelin Lifetime Platinum MemberSuper Moderator jaged's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    the svt front bar was different. either way he should put in a bat bar or a roush rear sway instead of a stock piece
    '14 Fusion SE Ecoboost daily driven kid hauler
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  10. #8
    Sometimes Faster than Dan Lifetime Platinum MemberSuper Moderator B3NN3TT's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    Quote Originally Posted by mmc757 View Post
    ...the one that came from the factory was 18mm on my car.
    17mm, with 1mm of powdercoat maybe.

    The SVT rear sway bar is 19mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaged View Post
    the svt front bar was different.
    I believe that Ford went with the smaller SVT front sway bar on all 01+ Cougars, and I suspect they switched over to the quicker SVT steering rack as well.
    I only wish I had a bigger palm and a bigger face.

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    NECO Member Beans's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    Quote Originally Posted by B3NN3TT View Post
    quicker SVT steering rack as well.
    We have that? LOL
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  12. #10
    Sometimes Faster than Dan Lifetime Platinum MemberSuper Moderator B3NN3TT's Avatar
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    Re: rear subframe restoration process

    There were some undisclosed front-end changes from 2000-2001. The smaller sway bar is confirmed, and for some reason I had it in my head that the quicker rack was used as well. I may be mistaken about that one...
    I only wish I had a bigger palm and a bigger face.

    2000 Roush Cougar • 2008 Bullitt #5389 • 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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