The Ford Territory and the last of the Falcons were a very ordinary batch of cars. The keyboard warriors attack our blogs with accusations of not supporting the Australian economy by encouraging people to avoid buying locally produced vehicles, and to an extent they are right. We make no apologies about informing our clients to make the best buying decisions based off our expertise. If your financial consultant advised you to invest in Eagle Boys back in the 1990’s, you would be severally pissed now. Frankly, on the court of the global car market, Australia is merely the ball boy when playing with Asian and European car manufacturers.
Aside from that which we have covered in previous blogs, additional reasoning for not buying one of these cars is the rear mounted diff bushes fitted to the Territory’s and the Ford Falcon. There are three rubber bushes mounted in the rear subframe that are very common for perishing. The three bushes hold the rear diff into the subframe.
They are very common for failing and are a frequent repair item. The rear most bush is not such a big deal as with a bit of manipulation it can be removed from the subframe whilst it remains in the vehicle. The other two that are on the front side of the subframe are equally common for failure, yet here is the fun part. To replace these front two bushes the rear subframe has to be removed from the vehicle.
Once the subframe is out the fun has only just started. The Territory bushes have a plastic outer shell so can be removed with any decent hammer (and probably a fairly ordinary hammer too) but if you’re unfortunate enough to own a Falcon the bushes are caged in a metal shell that require an air chisel or large press tools to remove it. Likewise with fitting the new bushes.
Pedders suspension sell a Nolathane replacement that is very easy to fit. We are yet to see the durability of this part (as time goes on we will be able to update you on this). The genuine replacements are difficult to fit if you don’t have the correct fitting tools.
How do you do it?
Remove the subframe from the vehicle. If you have to ask how that is done then the answer lies in the question. You shouldn’t get involved in this job. Its not the sort of DIY job an enthusiast mechanic should be trying. Give it to a qualified mechanic with tools and equipment and take yourself fishing.
Once the frame is out and on the ground. Be mindful of the weight shift on a hoist. You just removed a few hundred kilos from one end. If your Territory is ever going to attempt a front flip off your hoist, it’s going to be as you remove the weight from the rear of the car.
Unbolt the diff but you don’t have to remove the diff from the subframe. We found you have to remove the bolts from one drive shaft (at the inner CV end) you can manipulate the diff around now to allow access to the bushes one at a time. Belt or chisel the old bushes out. And gently tap or press the new ones in.
Hot Tip. Put your new bushes in the freezer for a few hours before doing the job, it will help them simply slide in as the cold causes them to shrink a little bit.
A competent, qualified technician, who has all the tools readily available should be able to do this in about six to eight hours. Guys who work at Ford Could probably do it in 2 hours due to the sheer quantity they are doing (they will never charge you only 2 hours, and nor should they but thats a subject for another blog)
A DIY guy, whose life motto is “F the mechanic, he will only rip me off, but I need to call him six times a week for advice and free instructions”. This guy will spend two days on this job. What’s your time worth?
Coming through a workshop where you’re paying for legitimate parts and labour, the job should cost around $1200. Anything between $800- $1600 is reasonable depending on labour rates and if genuine parts or aftermarket replacements are used.
(Images are of a 2009 Ford Territory)