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Old 01-04-2011, 01:36 AM
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68 GTO lower control arm removal

I'll now be replacing the lower control arm bushings on my car. The upper control arms are off. The front end is on blocks, and I have a jack holding the lower control arm/spring in place. My question is, what is the order of operation to remove the lower control arm, and do I need a spring compressor to do it?

I was thinking I'd unbolt and remove the shock first, the drop the jack slowly. Is that too dangerous? Is the spring gonna shoot out? Do I need to use a spring compressor to get the springs out?

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Old 01-04-2011, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam83
Do I need to use a spring compressor to get the springs out?
Yes. In my young and stupid days I did it the way you suggest. Now I don't. Get an internal compressor.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:44 AM
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Have a look here for more information
http://www.automedia.com/Replacing_C...es20020501cs/1
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:31 PM
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I have done many with the jack method. I have found it is very difficult to get the compressor situated in the spring, get it compressed and once removed have enough thread on the compressor to let all of the tension off of the spring before running out of threads on the compressor.
There can be an issue removing it as you have it sitting, if the frame is not high enough off of the floor you will not be able to drop the lower arm enough to get the spring out.
I used to use a chain through the spring and the shock access hole in the a-frame, after doing several I quit using the chain, I position the jack where I am as far as possible to the opposite side of the car when I lower the jack. I have never "lost one", maybe lucky, maybe prior planning prevents the chances of it happening.
I use a very good floor jack that is easy to control the release.

If in doubt...use a compressor.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ownerT
I use a very good floor jack that is easy to control the release.
Unfortunately, that doesn't work too well with the engine out of the car...

I have a KD internal compressor and the one trick I've found is that the threaded rod needs to pass through the hole for the upper shock stud. You are right that you need to carefully position the arms before you compress. One advantage of the compressor is that it makes it easier to get the upper end of the spring correctly positioned over the cylindrical seat inside the frame.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
Unfortunately, that doesn't work too well with the engine out of the car...

I have a KD internal compressor and the one trick I've found is that the threaded rod needs to pass through the hole for the upper shock stud. You are right that you need to carefully position the arms before you compress. One advantage of the compressor is that it makes it easier to get the upper end of the spring correctly positioned over the cylindrical seat inside the frame.


Very true!
On all points.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:56 PM
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I got the springs out without having to compress them. I had the front end high enough on blocks that I could lower the control arm down slowly enough and release nearly all the spring pressure. I also used a chain through the spring for safety. Now that the arms are off, the shop is punching out the old bushings and ball joints, and putting the new ones in.

I destroyed the dust boots on the tie rod ends getting them off. The ball joints on both outer tie rod ends move around easily so I was hoping to reuse them and just buy new dust boots, but, Im no expert on tie rod ends so I need advice. How do I tell if they are reusable or not? I'd rather not pay $100 for a new MOOG set when dust boots are only a few bucks, Im very low on funds and still need to get an alignment..
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:32 PM
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If the joints are easily moved around by hand, they likely need replaced.
When I rebuild the suspension on a driver, I use anti seize on everything, (the taper of the ball joints, the taper on the tie rods, etc) it makes dis-assembly much easier later.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:35 PM
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If there's any side to side movement of the rod ends, or they flop around like a limp......noodle, I would replace them.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:37 PM
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sounds like they need to be replaced. Will I be ok with Autozone rod ends, or should I go with the more expensive MOOG?
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam83
sounds like they need to be replaced. Will I be ok with Autozone rod ends, or should I go with the more expensive MOOG?
Moog is your best bet. The cheap ones dont last. Make sure you grease them regularly or they will wear out quickly. The two things to never cheap out on is the front end and the brakes. It can cost you your life
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:51 PM
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New bushings installed on both upper and lower control arms, and they are now installed, and I have the spring in. I have slipped the ball joints into the spindle, and I put the castle nuts on.

My question is, How hard should I torque these castle nuts down? Should I just get them pretty tight and get the cotter pin through, or do I need to carefully follow a suggested torque spec????
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:30 AM
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There is a torque spec, I would follow it. I am working out of state so my shop manuals are no where near to help. Someone here will have it or it likely could be found on line, maybe a GM A-body forum.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:31 AM
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torque specs are dependant on bolt and thread sizes.
http://www.thelenchannel.com/1torque.php
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:58 AM
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got it, and got em torqued down. Almost ready to drive..
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