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In my tune up (ongoing still) I decided the old upper A-arm probably should be replaced while it's off, as it was a bit tweaked. Actually once it was horribly tweaked (story in the racing thread) but field-repaired and reinforced.
Anyway, digging through the spare parts bin up comes a nice looking control arm, bushings and sleeves perfect and intact. Now I wonder, how unusual is that?
What I'm really writing for is, I don't know whether it is a left or right, I can't tell the difference, I think there was once a discussion about this somewhere but I can't find it. I'm guessing there is no difference, does anybody know?
Just to be different as usual, we'll be reaming out the support tube to 1/2" to remove the slight amount of slop found in the rear of it. Instead of bushings there are bearings coming for it, the a-arm needs machined just a bit for them to fit in. The rules say any bushing material may be used, a spherical bearing is bushing material, right? It will be grease-able, sturdy, no bind at all, no give or play under duress, and, as the bolt WILL BE installed with anti-seize, caster adjustments should be simply a matter of moving spacer washers from front to rear or vice versa.
Is there any reason this won't work better than anything?
 

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Jeff, my Hollander parts interchange reference shows the LH Upper Control Arm Part # 9293048 and the RH Upper Control Arm Part # 9293049. So I'm guessing they are different. HTH.
 

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another problem bolt..fun stuff

I started my UCA bolt removal today. I ground the head off and removed the nut, then cut he A-arm a in half and removed it. Next I zip-wheeled through the sleeve and got the front sleeve and thick washer off. I still can't turn the bolt, so just a question before I buy candles...

Can a propane torch get the thing hot enough or do I need an oxy-fuel torch?

Does the bushing in the crossmember extend from one side to the other (one piece) or is it two pieces one on each side welded in?

Anyone have a passenger side UCA for a GT for sale?

Thanks all

PS: I bought stock in WD-40...ticker (WDFC)..good yield should be safe in the "downturn"
 

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Can a propane torch get the thing hot enough or do I need an oxy-fuel torch?

Does the bushing in the crossmember extend from one side to the other (one piece) or is it two pieces one on each side welded in?
I would think a propane torch should be enough.

I think the bushing in the crossmember is one piece but not positive.
 

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I would think a propane torch should be enough.

I think the bushing in the crossmember is one piece but not positive.
Yup, it's a one-piece sleeve. Access to the center of the sleeve is a pain unless you remove the sheet metal cover that's tack welded to the crossmember. You'll never get the center hot enough to release the bolt otherwise. I'd go with either MAPP gas or an oxy-acetylene torch. I don't believe propane gets it hot enough. It'll need to be a dull-red color at least.

In cases like this I usually just grind the welds off where the sleeve is welded to the crossmember, and replace it with a new piece of tubing. If it's that rusted internally, then the dimensions have changed and the new bolt will likely flop around inside it, making the handling funky at best!

HTH,
Bob
 

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bolt is out....

I used an Advance Auto loaner ball-joint press and two propane torches to get the bolt out. I torqued it up with 4 foot bar and heated until I heard the bolt jump. Then I had to push it from one side a little until it froze then pushed it back the other way a few times to get it out. With the axle in the car I could only push about 3/8 of an inch due to the length of the press. I cut off small sections of a bolt to feed into the sleeve to push on the frozen bolt. dropping the axle and a oxy-fuel torch would of made it a lot easier.
 

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Well now here I'am with the same pain in the a$$ as so many others!!!!:banghead:
Got one of the upper control arm bolts out with some serious pounding but the other one is really seized. I even tried my budy's 100 ton press, but it just started deforming the entire suspension assembly!!!!!:banghead:

I don't see how others heated the sleeve considering it's actually "boxed in" by the suspension towers.
 

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Well now here I'am with the same pain in the a$$ as so many others!!!!:banghead:
Got one of the upper control arm bolts out with some serious pounding but the other one is really seied. I even tried my budy's 100 ton press, but it just stared deforming the entire suspension assembly!!!!!:banghead:

I don't see how others heated the sleeve considering it's actually "boxed in" by the suspension towers.
I've been using this stuff called "Freeze Off" lately and it seems to break things loose the other penetrants can't. Maybe give it a try.
 

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I just tried my ball boint remover for fun and again no go.:banghead:
So I'm going to listen to Bob's 2 cents and just grind off the welds, replace it with a new tube and reweld. I things go smooth I mite replace the other side too.:veryhappy

Distroyed the inner bushing sleeves in the process. I already ordered all new bolts , and polyrethane bushings from OGTS to be shipped this Monday. I'll try to call them before they do and get the to add the sleeves.

One step at a time.............................
 

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I see that Vincent made the last contribution to this thread and I would love to know how it all turned out for you. I am planning on replacing the 4 ball joints and all of the bushings and I have read a great deal on the forum and learned that it is not to be attempted by the faint of heart, that is, regarding the bushings. I watched a video by Kyle on how to use the Ball Joint Removal/Replacement Tool rented from Auto Zone, to change ball joints, looked pretty straight forward, as did the upper ball joint removal/replacement, so I don't anticipate that part of the job being a problem.
While I have read A LOT of information, on the removal/replacement, I must confess that the removal and replacement of the bushings seems like it could be a very difficult job.
So a little history about the car which could make a difference in your recommendations:
  • 70 model GT purchased in 72 and was an outdoor car in North Carolina, for around 12 years before it found it's self in the home garage, so it has been somewhat climate controlled for most of its life - perhaps that may make a difference in the difficulty factor in bolt removal, etc, maybe not as much rust, etc. Pictures attached... During that first 12 years of life the car racked up around 150,000 miles so I assume as just part of continuing my parts replacement program this general front end suspension rebuild should be completed from both a safety perspective but a better riding/handling car as well. Both of the lower ball joint boots are looking worn with one being torn and the other dry rotted, but the upper look pristine, but still 50 years old, right.
  • I know that I will need a ball joint removal fork as well as the rental tool from Auto Zone -as show in the video, for that part of the job but what about the bushing removal, which takes me back to the original question - what works best. Perhaps there is no right way as conditions are just so very different on each car, but again I am hoping that since the car never sat out for decades maybe, just maybe, the bolts will come out easily, dreaming right.
  • I don't own or have access to a press - not really familiar with that term as have never had to use one before and to date I have done everything to this car without benefit of a mechanic - that is completing stripping mu GT, having it bead blasted, painted and returned as a shell, so I know the car pretty, with the exception of the suspension and I know nothing except what I have read both here on the forum and on line about the job of replacing bushings on cars in general, just to get ideas.
  • I also don't follow what you mean when you talk about grinding off the welds - one of the things that would be helpful is more pictures as with so many of the posts we think that everyone knows what we are talking about but the old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words, it really is. I don't mean for that comment to be taken as a negative, but pictures really do help.
Thank you and others for your assistance in my next project. Best, Carl




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So I started the process today, rebuilding the front suspension - first thing was to check all of the nuts and bolts and surprisingly everything appears to be good regarding the upper and lower control arms as everything was easy to loosen so I moved to the spring bolts. The one on the passenger side was a little difficult but after a lot of work it also loosened up nicely. The drivers side was another issue completely occupying my afternoon from around 1:00 until 4:00. With the bolt head getting close to rounding off I was finally able to get it loose, just a hair, but then it would turn about 1/4 a turn and then spring right back. This went on for more time than I want to admit but it finally broke free. I assume the bolt was seized to not only the interior sleeve but to the rubber as well, it finally gave up the fight and glad it did as I was not looking forward to cutting that bolt. I stopped for the day when the bolt was out about 1/2 inch and I did support the spring with a jack. So tomorrow I will continue to dismantle the drivers side and make a determination of the condition of all of the part and decide what to replace. My gut tells me that while in there might as well replace the upper and lower ball joints, the bolts and all of the bushings, am I missing anything? I am going to take my time on this and get it right as this is my last major project. Amazing what you can accomplish in 25 years....Its a long story...
Thanks to Knorm65 for your video which was an amazing amount of information/help and thanks to Vincent for your suggestion to give that bolt a few hard knocks with a hammer as mentioned above that stubborn bolt finally gave it up. While I have this all dismantled I guess I will have to clean it up and paint it as well.

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If you are removing the stock front spring are you familiar with the process in order to do it safely?
 
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If you are removing the stock front spring are you familiar with the process in order to do it safely?
I had not planned on removing the spring - is that something that I should consider. How much does a replacement cost and what is the upside. I have a jack in place to hold it, however I would assume if I wanted to replace it I could slowly let the tension off the jack one side at a time - other than that I have not read anything on the actual removal/replacement - I did read the thread about the device that will hold it in place, is that what you are referring to. Thanks..
 

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Yes on the device. The spring can be very dangerous. The only reason to take it out is if it is broken or if you want to paint it or paint the front suspension cross member. You can do what you are doing with a jack, just be extremely careful that there is no chance for the jack to slip and only disassemble one side at a time. I would not try to remove the spring using jacks alone, you are putting yourself in danger if you do.
 
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I have seen what the leaf spring does when it is violently released. You’d have to be in a very small danger area to get hurt. It just doesn’t have much oomph left after you remove the shocks, upper ball joint connection and spring eye bolt. The jack will work fine. The spring compressor is over kill In my (unpopular) opinion. If you are worried you can use a ratchet strap as an emergency backup for the jack.

I’ve removed two leaf springs using only ratchet straps with the crossmember removed and the spring pointed up and away from me.

I’ve removed one with zero protection aside from pointing away from me because I had to melt the bolts out. It wasn’t even remotely explosive when I knocked the caps free. Your mileage may vary though.
 
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So I am in the middle of this project - driver side everything removed but the lower control arm. Bolts came out real easy but I just don't see how the lower control arm comes off - what am I missing - it moves freely up and down






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So I have figured out that there are two other bolts - vertical, that have to come out, they appear to hold a bracket parallel to the back of the lower control arm - so I will do that keeping the jack in place at the spring eye to support the tension until I return the brace and return the lower control arm - provided I can get to the bolts from the top, the screws came off no problem but I have a feeling the bolts are going to be a problem. I will only replace those bushings if they look bad but if they look like the upper control bushings I will just keep them.

The upper control arm bushings had no cracking, no visible signs of wear, nothing, they actually look really good - I think the lower bushings may need to be replaced but won't make that decision until I get the arm off. Take a look at he picture attached and let me know what you think about the upper control arm bushings and just look at the condition of the bolt and that is original. A little grease on that when reinserted and it should last forever.
On the other hand the spring eye bolt was very rusted and I will be replacing both of those however the bushings look really good, no cracks or visible wear so I plan to just grease up the new bolts so the rusting going forward should not be a problem.
At this point I am going to replace all 4 ball joints and both of the spring eye bolts and nuts and see how the bushings on the lower arm look and replace only if they look worn as stated earlier the upper bushings looked just fine, see picture. The tool shown in Knorm 65's video, rented from Auto Zone, worked like a charm for removing the lower ball joint.

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Everything lines up pretty well with the stock spring when you’re ready to get it back together, just keep yourself safe. I replaced mine upper & lower with the poly’s including the spring eye bushings. It’s a stiffer ride, by this I mean you feel more of the little bumps in the road etc. if you’re tire wear is even chances are you won’t have to replace them. Most rubber bushings won’t make it this long. As far as I know only the poly’s were available over the 80’s, 90’s etc. until recently so yours are probably 50 years old and will start cracking soon. Usually the passenger side goes first due to the heat from the exhaust.
 

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Being a novice and I must confess I did not look at the shop manual I was under the impression that the bolts from hell were the horizontal bolts that go through the top and bottom of the control arms. After all the stories, I was somewhat perplexed that my top, horizontal bolts came out so easily and what turned out to the eye spring bolts while difficult were not impossible. It was only after I could not get the lower control arm off that I finally discovered the " REAL bolts from Hell". See pictures - I had loosened the nuts without a problem so I thought that I was home free - well today I tried to loosen the bolts, with a breaker bar, which I never owned until yesterday, would not budge. Of course you can't even get to the front bolt without removing the rack, and I am just not ready to do it, or to take off the whole suspension, not with cooler good natural air conditioned weather available for nice long drives on country roads. So the good news is that I discovered that my upper ball joint, on the drivers side, was almost frozen and I will be replacing all four of those during this exercise. My bushings on the driver side look to be in really good shape with perhaps a bit of deterioration on the back lower control arm but still not bad, so I am going to live with that. Over the next several days I will be tackling the passenger side as well as The Cub told me that due to the heat from the exhaust it is likely I will find more deterioration there, if that turns out to to the case I may move forward. In any event I will be replacing the ball joints and of course I will be cleaning and greasing those areas needed to help prevent future decay. I am replacing the spring eye bolts and nuts which should arrive tomorrow from OGTS with the 4 ball joints and Teflon grease. And while I have all of that stuff out of the way I am going to add another coat of undercoating to the fender wells -what I applied 20 years ago still looks good but another coat will only help. I will be using the Herculiner, bed-liner kit which gets good reviews on line for using as an undercoat.


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It’s been a while but if I remember you have to free up everything from the lower control arm and be sure that you’re not fighting the spring side to side as well as supporting the bottom with the hydraulic jack. Use plenty of rust buster, WD-40 etc. that bracket should slide straight down off from the bolts, it sounds like it’s fused itself to the bolts due to rust & corrosion.

Someone else can chime in perhaps with additional advice that has successfully done this but if it were me during your down time at night I’d look through the past threads, this is a common problem as you can imagine. Lindsay might chime in with a really helpful post he’s good at finding the good ones.

I think with enough patience you’ll get it. Don’t be too afraid to use a little spring tension, tapping the bracket with a hammer to knock it loose, just have the nuts backed off a little being sure they are still firmly threaded on the end of the bolt. Once you get the bracket broken loose you’re home free. Those brackets and bolts don’t look that bad at all, I’ll bet you’ll get’em off.

Finally if you decide you have to apply heat I personally would replace the lower control arm bushings anyway in the picture it looks like it’s drying up. They’re easy to do. The boot for the tie rod looks nice. In fact most of your suspension looks to be in good condition.
 
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