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8/14/10 1:01pm - Original Message: 'Trailing arm shim question'
Crimson Ghost
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Vette(s):
1968 convertible

Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 94

I finished up the differenctial yokes, installed the haft shafts and spring - all ready to go....BUT --

When I was attaching the haft shaft I heard clink clink clink looked over and the shims had fallen out from the trailing arm ?!?  There were four that fell out, I looked at the other side and I can see the four large ones that fell out are in that side - plus some smaller ones. 
 
The shims have holes on one side and grooves on the other - I suppose it's the grooved side is the side that is used, otherwise they would not have fallen out.
 
So what do I do?  How do I reinstall these?  Am I to assume there were other small ones that previously had falen out?
 
I see on Ecklers there are alignment shim kits for $30 -- should i buy this?  
 
Last question -- can I drive the car without the shims in place?  I really wanted to drive it once I fixed the differential !!   aarrggghhhh
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8/14/10 3:08pm - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
stingrayjim jr Lifetime Member
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SHELBYVILLE, TN - USA

Vette(s):
1976 L48 auto

1978 L82 4speed

1994 LT1 6speed

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Well to err on the side of caution, i Would NOT drive it untill the shims are secure.  The shims keep the rear wheel aligned and if some are missing, that would allow the trailing arm to travel in and out, putting some wierd torque on the trailing arm bolt possibly bending/breaking it and then, well, you don't wish to go there..... 
The shims you have, i am assuming they are the slotted with a U shape on one end and a hole through it at the other end.. otherwise if it where "original" it would probably be just a hole that the trailing arm bolt passed through, not allowing it to fall out.  The shims should be very tightly packed in there on both sides of the the t-arm, keeping it in allignment.  The other end of the shim is kinda wedged against a "lip" on the frame, and the holes can be used with a cotterpin to keep them there..


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8/14/10 4:41pm - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
Crimson Ghost
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Vette(s):
1968 convertible

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Posts: 94
If I take the car to Mineke for a four wheel alignment will they know how to install the shims or do I need to locate a corvette specific shop?
 
Or shhould I install the shims and then bring it to mineke or the like for a four wheel?
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8/14/10 6:08pm - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
ranger3 Lifetime Member
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North Charleston, SC - USA

Vette(s):
1975 L48 AT AC T-top

Joined: 3/20/2004
Posts: 4176
In my opinion, you would ge better off finding  a Vette shop. I suspect the Mieneke crew may not be up to speed on this Vette application. I definitely would not drive the car without shims in place. Too much risk of breaking something and that would be a very bad day.
 
Scott


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8/14/10 9:56pm - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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Rear alignments on these cars is best left to a shop that knows what they are doing. No slam against Meineke, but even Corvette shops have trouble getting these things set-up properly...it is time consuming, and frustrating, to say the least. Don't take a chance on it...best to find a Corvette shop in the area, or at the very least, a Chevrolet dealer that sells Corvettes.
You cannot drive the car without the shims...well...you can, but you won't like it at all. The t-arms will flop left/right, and the rear of the car will follow...very unsettling, as well as dangerous. Put the shims in there, preferably putting half on one side and half on the other of each t-arm, then tighten the nuts to hold them in. If you must drive it to get the alignment, drive slowly. You can damage a set of tire if the toe is off, and that is what those shims are for...setting the toe.


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Joel Adams
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8/14/10 10:30pm - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
lukesvette Lifetime Member
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HOWELL, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1979, Targa Blue (72 Color), Pace Car rear spoiler, L88 hood, Dark blue factory interior, 525HP 406, HD 700R4, 370 gears,Steeroids, composite rear spring, TT IIs wrapped in T/A Radials.

Joined: 5/18/2004
Posts: 6806
When you put in the shims, the u shaped end should straddle the trailing arm bolt. You'll need a long cotter pin to slide though the entire assemble from outside the pocket through the hole in all the shims and then out of the other side of the pocket.

Your cotter pin was most likely deteriorated and the shims fell out as thing got moved around. Usually, you can't get those shims to budge...I can also tell you that most every shop you try will not have these shims lying around. Best to order the shim kit and go to a reputable alignment shop and give them the shims. That was my experience...
lukesvette2010-08-14 20:32:24

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8/15/10 6:56am - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
Crimson Ghost
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Vette(s):
1968 convertible

Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 94
OK - thanks guys !  I am not certain I followed the comment on the cotter pin, once the U-side of the shim is placed over the t-arm bolt aside the bushing, how would a cotter pin slide through the other end with the holes?  is there a hole on the t-arm that I didn't see? (didn't look for actually)
 
 
In the interium I'll search for a corvette shop.  thanks again !
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8/15/10 7:58am - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
lukesvette Lifetime Member
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HOWELL, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1979, Targa Blue (72 Color), Pace Car rear spoiler, L88 hood, Dark blue factory interior, 525HP 406, HD 700R4, 370 gears,Steeroids, composite rear spring, TT IIs wrapped in T/A Radials.

Joined: 5/18/2004
Posts: 6806
The other end of the shims with the tab on it actually sit lower in the pocket where the trailing arm mounts. There are holes on both sides of the pocket - so cotter pi starts from outside the pocket, through all the shims, then through the other side of the pocket. I'll try to post a photo for you.

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8/15/10 8:07am - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
lukesvette Lifetime Member
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HOWELL, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1979, Targa Blue (72 Color), Pace Car rear spoiler, L88 hood, Dark blue factory interior, 525HP 406, HD 700R4, 370 gears,Steeroids, composite rear spring, TT IIs wrapped in T/A Radials.

Joined: 5/18/2004
Posts: 6806
Check out the pics in this thread. The shims on the left are correct - th ones on the right need to swing down. See the little hole on the right side of the pocket?




lukesvette2010-08-15 06:08:48

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8/15/10 9:48am - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19457
The early years did not have the shims with the extra hole for the cotter pin. I'm not sure when that feature started, but this is a '68 car, I think, so it prolly doesn't have the extra hole.

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Joel Adams
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8/15/10 12:58pm - Reply: 'Trailing arm shim question'
Crimson Ghost
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Vette(s):
1968 convertible

Joined: 3/3/2010
Posts: 94
OK, I see -- yeah, my 68 does not have any hole that would accomodate a cotter pin. 
 
Right now I beat them back in there (its tight for what its worth).  I will make some calls tomorrow and find a shop that can do a four wheel alignment on this car.
 
In the mean while, Installing all 6 new u-joints, differential yokes and and doing it all myselfs is rather satisfying.  Beer tastes extra good tonight :-)   thank you for the help !!
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