Trust "beaten on" lower control arms or not? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 02-17-2006, 09:42 AM
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Trust "beaten on" lower control arms or not?

I purchased my 65 GTO some 25 years ago. Back then I didn't have much cash, tools or intellect for that matter. Back in the day, I swapped out the front drum spindles for disc brakes from a 69 Grand Prix. That all worked fine, the troubling part is I removed and installed the lower ball joints without removing the lower control arms. Someone advised me how to do this and it essentially involved knocking the old joints out and with the ball joint stuck in the hole I jacked the car up from below the ball joint and smacked the control arm around the ball joint with a hand sledge. I actually worked to install the ball joint. Each impact with the hammer caused the ball joint to inch in a fraction.

Now fast forward 25 years and now we've got the neat little tools that can press lower ball joints in, and you can even rent them from Autozone. But I'm wondering if I should trust the old lower arms that I wailed on so much. The poor A arms show all the impressions from the hammer blows by a determined 20 year old. The car was driven many a mile after this delicate procedure with no problems. But I have vivid memories of a 69 Chevelle I was riding in once thats lower arm cracked and released the lower ball joint, just because we popped the brakes on after running in reverse and turning. An those weren't wailed on.

So would you trust them as is? Thinking the impacts wouldn't degrade them significantly.

Or buy old ones from another car? Like I said I've seen stock ones fail for no good reason

Or go after market? Someone probably makes new lower arms for them. Of course they might be cheap Asian ones too.

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Old 02-17-2006, 11:00 AM
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I've done worse and never had problems. The LCA aren't rare or anything so for safety sake, get a new set.
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:58 PM
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i basically did the same thing to mine, but i was hittiing a piece of pipe to make contact on the ball joint around the sides..I've had to beat/pry on my arms/spindle to get the ball joints to pop lose from the spindle...no problems for me.. yours has been goin for 20 years....Its probably time to change them out anyway, but if they havent gone yet thats gotta tell ya somethin. Are they just pressed in or do they bolt in afterwards like mine? If there just pushed in, who knows they could fall out, lol.

Alot of ppl use a bfh to get their ball joints in and out im sure..
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:05 PM
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welcome to the site

How much is peace of mind worth?

How much will it cost to redo the car if the front end falls out?
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