In this article, we will be going over a quick, and easier way of removing the front lower control arms for all 2011-2014 S197 Mustangs. Replacement of the front lower control arms is needed from time to time. This can include normal wear and tear and even damage from a front-end collision. Typically on the GT and V6 applications, you will want to pull the steering rack forward to gain access to the front bolt. But in our case, trying to remove the rack bolt, we ran into an issue due to the oil cooler housing on our GT500. Because of this problem people have suggested that the GT500’s will actually call for you to raise the engine to complete this task.
We will go with a bit of an untraditional process of removal because of oil cooler interference and come to find out that this process will actually save you a ton of time. The steps we will be taking will apply for GT, V6, and even the GT500s. The original service time on this calls for 1.7 hours per side, but this method will cut this time in half. Today in the shop, we will be working on Jay's 2012 GT500. This car is nearing 200,000 miles, so it is past due to upgrade and inspect core suspension components.
- Lift or a jack and a set of jack stands
- Complete socket set
- 3/8" or 1/2" impact
- Breaker bar
- Assorted pry bars
NOTE: when doing this removal keep in mind because of the way we are going to show you. You’ll want to fully remove and install one side before moving to the other side. This will prevent you from messing up your mustangs alignment. Overall this one should take you roughly 1 hour per side, depending on your skill set.
11-14 Mustang Front Lower Control Arm Removal Steps
- Start by lifting the vehicle and remove both front wheels.
- Be sure the steering wheel is straight and in a locked position.
- Remove the outer tie rod nut by using an impact and your 18mm Socket.
- Next, strike the outer edge of the knuckle while applying slight pressure with a pry bar. Once this is free, we can move to the inner tie rod boot.
- Loosen and remove the outer clamp.
- To gain access to this front bolt, you can turn the steering wheel to the right if working on the driver’s side control arm, and when working on the passenger turn the wheel to the left. Doing this will allow the tie rod to move in to gain access to the front control arm bolt. Once this is out of the way, you can use an 18mm socket and remove the front retaining bolt. You will need to move the tie rod assembly around a few times, this is a very tight fit, but using this method will save you time and you will be able to remove the bolt out from this area.
- Next, using a 21mm socket or wrench, remove the rear nuts on the K-member bolts.
- Now we can use an 18mm socket and 15mm wrench to remove the pinch bolt and jam nut from the ball joint area.
- Pull down on the lower control arm between the spindle and the ball joint to free this.
- Now you can remove the arm from the K-member. Using a pry bar, dislodge the arm from the k member.
- Before moving to the other side, reinstall your new arm and reconnect your outer tie rod.
- Use these same steps for the other side and you’re all done.
We hope that this article has helped you understand how to remove the front lower control arms of your S197 mustang.
As always, make sure to keep it here with the Real Mustang Enthusiasts at LMR.com.