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Old 11-25-2011, 10:02 AM
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1979 Trans Am suspenion rebuild..

Hi,
I am currently in the middle of rebuilding my 79 TA front suspension. The shop mechanic who is pressing the new bushings and ball joints on the control arms gave me some pointers on reinstalling these parts, namely not tightening up the bolts before I lowered the car to the ground and bounced, moved it around to seat the new bushings. He also said I would have to tack weld the upper arm bolts to the frame to be able to tighten them. I am just curious to see if anyone else on here as done this job themselves and how they went about reassembling the front end.
I am also interested on other opinions on what brand-type new coil spring to use. My TA has a 403 engine with ALL of the AC components removed. I would rather not have the car sitting like it has no engine in it because of stiff new springs.
Thanks for any help!
JK

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Old 11-25-2011, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKear
Hi,
I am currently in the middle of rebuilding my 79 TA front suspension. The shop mechanic who is pressing the new bushings and ball joints on the control arms gave me some pointers on reinstalling these parts, namely not tightening up the bolts before I lowered the car to the ground and bounced, moved it around to seat the new bushings. He also said I would have to tack weld the upper arm bolts to the frame to be able to tighten them. I am just curious to see if anyone else on here as done this job themselves and how they went about reassembling the front end.

He's correct on the first point, wrong on the second. You DO have to have the weight of the car on the suspension when you torque the control arm bolts. Failing to do so will "lock" the bushings in place with the suspension in a higher than normal position. I simply place the jack stands under the control arms when I do this, as it really isn't possible to torque the lower control arm fasteners with the car sitting on the ground.

As for the upper control arm bolts, they are splined and press into the frame brackets specifically so you DON'T have to spot weld them. If the splines were damaged when the bolts were removed then you may need to hold the heads of the bolts when torquing. These bolts do have normal hex heads for just this reason.
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