35th Anniversary Thunderbird Registry

Changing Motor Mounts

Personal Note: When I purchased my 35th, it had 108000 miles on it. It had always had an erratic and low idle. I just assumed it needed plugs, wires, and a tune-up. After hearing that bad motor mounts allow the engine to sag causing all sorts of different and unrelated problems such as the idling problem and crimping power steering lines, I decided to have them replaced with solid rubber mounts. The difference was astonishing. The idle was so smooth that I had to look at the tach frequently to make sure the engine was still running. This one maintenance tip, whether performed by a mechanic or yourself, should not be underestimated as to it's result on idle and performance.

Changing Motor Mounts
courtesy of SCCoA member, Jason Marsh

Tools needed:
• Phillips and slot screwdrivers
• Ratchet w/ several extentions & Universal joints
• Socket sets Metric & SAE, Deep & Shallow sets
• hammer
• Breaker bar
• Workbench w/ a Vice
• Hydraulic Floor jack
• Safety jack stands

Removal:
1. First remove the windshield wipers using the slotted screwdriver. Lift the wiper and pry out on the retaining clip, then allow the wiper arm to rest on the retaining clip and lift off the car.
2. Remove the plastic cowl under the wipers using the Phillips screwdriver. (some say you don’t have to, but I’ve seen them broken in the process. Better safe than sorry)
3. Disconnect negative battery terminal.
4. Raise the vehicle and support it on safety jacks.
5. Remove the front half of the exhaust system from the car.
6. Driver side, disconnect and remove the steering rag joint and push the steering shaft up into the firewall.
7. Passenger side, disconnect and remove Knock sensor. You may need a special socket for this step.
8. Passenger side, disconnect and remove the starter motor.
9. Using the floor jack put a block of wood between the engine oil pan and the jack. Lift the engine an inch or so to relieve the pressure from the engine mount bolts.
10. Remove the large through bolts from each mount. This bolt is accessed from the front with several extentions and a u-joint. You may need a breaker bar for this step. Once they are freed you can use a hammer and the Phillips screwdriver to drive the bolt out from the back.
11. Driver side there is a bolt that is somewhat hidden. It is pointing downward through a lip in the engine mount bracket. Remove this bolt.
12. Now you can use the jack to lift the engine as high as it will go in the engine bay. BE SURE THE HOOD IS UP!!! You don’t want to dent your hood
13. Both sides, have 3 bolts holding the bracket to the side of the engine. The front lower on each side is a studded bolt with a nut. Remove that nut and push the attached stuff to the side. Then remove all 3 bolts
14. The mounts and brackets will come out in 1 or 2 pieces depending upon how bad of shape they are in.
15. Disassemble the old brackets and mounts and reassemble the new on a workbench with a vice.


Installation:
16. Take the newly assembled mounts and install them into their original locations.
17. Start by bolting the brackets to the engine. Be sure to use the studded bolt on the lower front hole.
18. Re-attach both ground straps and the retaining clips to the studded bolts and tighten the nut to secure them.
19. Lower the engine to align the bottom through bolts
20. START with the driver side!!!!
21. Install the bottom through bolt into the driver side mount first from the front, but do not tighten completely.
22. You may need to use a pry bar to align the hole for the bottom through bolts.
23. Once you have the driver side in, install the passenger side through bolt without tightening completely.
24. Now install the hidden downward bolt on the driver side and tighten both bottom through bolts.
25. Go back and double check that all bracket bolts and through bolts are good and tight.
26. Re-install the Knock sensor. (I suggest replacing with a new one)
27. Re-install the steering rag joint and pull the shaft down and connect it.
28. Re-install the front half of the exhaust.
29. Lower the car and re-install cowl cover and wipers.
30. Re-connect negative battery cable.


Good luck, this job is not for the weak of heart. An amateur mechanic can complete this job but must have a great deal of patience and the ability to figure out alternative methods of accessing nuts and bolts. I found that there are holes here and there in the lower K-member that will allow you access to the mount bolts using the right u-joints and extentions. Also I suggest using ” drive, I’ve broken lots of 3/8” tools doing engine mount installs. Expect this job to take a full day barring any major set-backs.

============= This follow up is from SCCoA member, Tbird88. =================

Best I can remember on mine...I removed the battery, belts, upper radiator hose, intercooler, radiator fan, radiator, upper IC tube, coilpack, and alternator. After getting these off, leave the refrigerant lines connected and unbolt the A/C compressor and tie it off to the side with a piece of wire. Remove the jackshaft pulley so you can access the bloody bolt FoMoCo put behind it, remove the other bolts and then take the complete A/C bracket out of the car. That should be all for the passenger side. On the driverside, there are 3 bolts/nuts holding the main power steering pump bracket to the engine and one holding the lower IC tube. Get these and the 2 nuts on the water pump, you should now be able to move the complete assembly out of your way by laying it forward towards the core support. You should now be able to use a small floor jack cushioned with a piece of wood under the oil pan to raise the engine. Remove the bolts on each side that hold the motor mounts to the engine block and the thru-bolts on the subframe. A word of caution...When raising the engine, watch the clearance between the intake plenum and the windshield cowl area. You might have to remove the cowl panels to get enough space to raise the engine. Check your transmission mount, you might want to change it also.

Disclaimer: This information is for personal use only and for assisting owners in maintaining their vehicle. No publishing or reprinting for profit is allowed unless by permission by the author of this article.