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Hot Rods Steering Idler Arm Bushing 1963 Comet

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RednekYoga, Jun 8, 2022.

  1. RednekYoga
    Joined: Feb 2, 2019
    Posts: 70

    RednekYoga

    Howdy HAMB-ers -
    Took my 63 Comet convertible in for an alignment and the fella said I needed a manual steering idler arm pivot bushing, which I ordered off Summit. There are no videos for my make & model, but the guy at Summit said it was the same as a 64 Mustang. Saw a video on youtube and it looked pretty straightforward. The arm looked like this:
    upload_2022-6-8_16-5-45.png
    The part I got looks like this, which looks perfect:
    upload_2022-6-8_16-6-29.png
    Thing is, under my car there's not a bracket as in the first picture above. Instead I've got this on the driver's side:
    upload_2022-6-8_16-7-44.png
    And this on the passenger side:
    upload_2022-6-8_16-9-28.png
    It doesn't look like the bushing is the right size. On the last picture above, the steering idler arm bushing is there on the right, right?
    What am I looking at here? Is there a comet/falcon specific part?
    Thanks, y'all.
    RNY
     
  2. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 10,111

    Johnny Gee
    Member
    from Downey, Ca

  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,288

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Rock auto is a great source for finding what fits or what fits what. Problem is that they don't show an idler arm or bushing for a 63 Comet. Johnny most likely looked up 64 Mustang and the "fits" tab didn't show 63 Comet.
    That said the Assumption that "they are the same as___ doesn't often fly with 60 and later Ford stuff even though a lot of pieces look the same. Sometimes what engine you have makes a difference on Ford motor company suspension pieces.

    OBW that arm on the drivers side is the "PITMAN ARM" running off the steering box and not an Idler. The Idler arm just holds up the other end of the center link.

    Napa shows two versions of the Idler arm for 63 Comet https://www.napaonline.com/en/searc...-pitman-and-steering-arms/idler-arm/201585201

    They also show an idler arm bushing that requires more info to guarantee the fit. https://www.napaonline.com/en/searc...-arms/idler-arm-bracket-bushing-kit/201585204 That looks like you have to have the engine size that the car left the factory with originally to get the right pitman arm or bushing. Did I mention that back in the 70's when I was doing front end work in a Firestone store I hated to see Ford products show up for suspension work because it was always a hassle getting the right part because of the nonsense of having different suspension or brake parts for different engines.
     
  4. kabinenroller
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 851

    kabinenroller
    Member

    First of all you should include all info about your Comet. A six cylinder or V8 make a difference in the steering system. Your pictures make what you have look to be the same as a ‘64 Comet V8 system. You should look into a Moog parts catalog to see what model FoMoCo vehicle shares the same steering parts, I would think Falcon parts of the same year would fit.
    Also look into joining this forum: https://www.cometcentral.com/forum/
    It is very active and full of members who are willing to share their knowledge. I have a ‘65 Comet pitman arm and center link in my Comet, direct bolt in.
    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
    RednekYoga likes this.

  5. This era of Ford/Mercury are a minefield with suspension and steering parts.
    Firstly 6cyl and V8 have different components. Manual or power steer? ‘60-‘63 can have their own parts compared to ‘64-‘65 and ‘63 are even more complicated as they are the cross over year and can be a one year only deal on some stuff.

    The idea that Comet/Falcon is the same as Mustang is a complete misconception. There are probably more parts that don’t interchange than do and even then only really applies to ‘64-‘65 era of vehicles.

    I would try Rockauto with your specific vehicle details and then try and match via the pictures or try someone like Falcon Parts for a more knowledgeable opinion.
     
    RednekYoga likes this.
  6. As a former '64 Comet owner, I know about the elusive idler arm....

    Ford used two different steering set-ups on the early Falcon/Comet V8 cars (the sixes used yet another style). The '63 to about June '64 cars had all unique bits, none of which interchange with the later ones (mine was a September '63 build). These are easy to identify by the tie rods attaching to the ends of the center link like yours. After the Mustang came out in April 64, Ford then shortly after switched the Falcon/Comet to a Mustang-based steering which did use mostly Mustang parts, but did have a unique-width center link due to the narrower engine compartment.

    At one time there were guys that could rebuild yours, but apparently no more. There are some NOS ones on eBay, try not to choke too much at the prices. As an alternative, swap the entire linkage over to the late '64-65 design, those parts are available and will give better steering too. Still won't be cheap, but will eliminate future issues as all the other early steering parts are also horribly expensive. IIRC everything except the center link will interchange with the Mustang.

    I had the same conversation with an alignment guy, I told him to go ahead and replace the idler. After he couldn't find one he agreed to align it... LOL. I eventually found a NOS replacement bushing, it was $60 and that was over 25 years ago...
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
  7. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 704

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    Might want to give Mike Maier a call and see if they have a solution for that bearing/bushing.
     
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,523

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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