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Old 12-02-2007, 02:42 PM
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questions about 55 bel-air front suspention

im preparing to go through my front end, and i was wondering if some one could give me some advice. Ive never done anything like this before. im going to replace the coil springs and control arm bushings. the ball joints seem to still be good should i replace them too, when i pry the spindles off the control arms with a pickle fork im pretty sure i will tear the ball joint boot can a guy buy just the boots? what kind of spring compressor will i need to use? im assuming i will need an internal spring compressor, can i make one?

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Old 12-02-2007, 02:46 PM
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If you are going through all the work of control arm bushings.....I would replace the ball joints too. I would also have a good look at your steering components.
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Old 12-02-2007, 02:55 PM
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steering has been updated to power rack and pinion
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Old 12-02-2007, 03:16 PM
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I'm with poncho,Ball joints are to cheap not to replace them while everything is apart.You did not say what year belair.If you buy your parts at auto zone they will usually lend you the tools you need at no charge.You just pay a deposit on them to make sure you return them and then you get a full refund.
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Old 12-02-2007, 03:25 PM
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Recheck another thread you started .

55 bel air front suspension question


Nice pictures of home made spring compressor, and how to drop the A arm, as reccomended by GM in 55-57.


Yes, change your ball joints, yes, look at your upper control arm bushings and upper ball joints, yes look at your wheel bearings too. If you still have ball bearings, change them over to tapered. danchuk has a kit to do that.

If your balljoints are in good shape, don't use a pickle fork...Go get yourself a 5/8 fine thread coupling nut and 2 5/8" x 1 1/2 hex head bolts and make a ball joint seperator. Assemble the 2 bolts into the coupling nut, then put the setup between the studs on the upper and lower ball joints as they are installed in the spindle..The heads of the bolts will be touching the tops of the ball joint studs.
You should leave the ball joint nuts on the studs, just loosen them...turn the bolts so they are backing out of the coupling nut, this will force the studs out of the spindle.

Sometimes you need to give the spindle a good rap with a hammer with some pressure on the stud, those puppies will shoot out of there real nice.

I'll see if I have a pic somewhere.

Check your crossmember where the lower control arm bolts through..I have fixed the areas where the arms bolt through on 4 of those cars in the last 10 years.


later, mikey
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:18 PM
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just order new ball joints, $120, thank you for telling me about making a ball joint separator that will save me money next time.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:23 PM
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Pic of that cheap-o ball joint seperator.

I just set it in between those balljoint studs to show how it goes in...I'm not really trying to push them out still tightened with the cotter pins in.

I spotted the tops of the bolts with a big drill so they don't slip around when using the tool.

I have a couple lengths of bolts, mustangs and S10 trucks are shorter than mid 80's Camaros...

Later, mikey
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:42 PM
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That is a pretty slick tool, but they usually pop right out for me with a good whack to the spindle with a 32oz ball-peen, same goes for tie rods. I have pulled spindles in a junkyard with nothing but pliers for the pins, a crescent wrench and my trusty BFH.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:25 PM
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That trick is usually the first one I try, sometimes you need a little more..

I've had to heat the spindle with a torch too, when the hammers and pullers didn't work.

later, mikey
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:45 PM
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I'm sure one day I'll have one put up a real fight, so next time I'm at the hardware store I'll pick up the parts to make that tool, I guess the finer the thread the better, more mechanical advantage.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:43 PM
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thanks for the info, my power just turned back on and now its time to get my *** back in the shop!
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