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7/13/11 11:10pm - Original Message: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Tonight I finished painting everything for the left side and I reinstalled the upper and lower control arms and spring. I replaced both ball joints while it was apart as well as the control arm bushings. I used the poly urethane bushings, then for the ball joints the poly urethane grease covers. I will do the right side next weekend and as I do it I will try to take detailed pics using the inner spring tool. I say try because we all know how as you get into the job you forget to take pics as you go. Everything went well tonight. The only problem I had was I used the wrong bolt rod to pull the compressor together. I used the shortest one in my kit so I couldnt release the spring to paint it right. Made it harder to put back in as well but it still went good. I also need to remove the steering box so I can clean and paint plus replace the rag joint. I'll keep you posted as I move forward on the front suspension.
Rodney


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7/14/11 10:46pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
KDADDY79
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Dutchess County, NY - USA

Vette(s):
White '79 Corvette. It's a driver.

Joined: 8/27/2007
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Hey Rodney,

My front end is going to need some work pretty soon, too. I'll be taking mine to a shop for the job, though.

I look forward to the photos and your updates on this project. It's always good to learn about a particular job even if I'm not turning the wrench.

Kevin



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7/14/11 11:45pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
OK, Tonight I started to take the passenger side apart. I didnt think I would start this till next week. But the wife went away tonight and didnt give me a to do list so I made my own and it was on my car!
Remove tire!
old assembly waiting to be replaced and cleaned
Remove 2 bolts holding caliper to bracket
once caliper is removed I wire it to the frame so it isnt hanging on by the hose
this is the spring compressor kit I have and use. As you can see there are different lengths of rod. This time I plan on using the longer rod so I can release the spring.
You can see inside the spring I have worked the top part of the compressor into the springs coils.
At this point both top and bottom and threaded rod to compress the spring is intact. Now i tighten the compressor up.
Will continue on next thread.
Rodney


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7/15/11 12:21am - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
ok at his point I have the compressor inside the spring and drawn together. my next move is to loosen both the top ball joint nut and lower ball joint nut. I dont remove them at this time but back them off so there are still about the thickness of the nut holding on to the ball joint stud. This allows me to hit the arm with a hammer and break the ball joint loose and not have to worry about the spring pushing the lower or upper arm away.
Once the upper ball joint drops to the nut I can release the nut. Be careful as there can still be some pressure on the arms.
You can see what I meant be not removing the nut the whole way.
I remove the top nut first which allows the lower arm to drop when the top bolt is removed
onc ethe upper nut is removed the lower arm drops down and I can now remove my lower nut.
with the nut removed i can now remove the rotor and spindle assembly. i now move the caliper to the back side and wire it to the frame again.
the lower a arm stays in place because the bushings are still tight.This is a good pic of the compressor inside the spring.
I loosen the bolts that release the pressure on the bushings. once the front and rear bolts are loose the lower arm will swing down allowing the spring to be removed.
rodney


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7/15/11 12:34am - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
the spring off the car. compressor still holding it compressed.
this leaves the upper and lower a arm hanging and time for removal. I didnt take these off tonight but did take pics of the bolts that need to be removed so they will come off.
the nut on the left side and there are 2 bolts on the right side that allow the lower arm to be removed.
the upper arm has 2 nuts to remove
before removing the upper arm I loosen the bolts and remove the shims for the alignment. I tape them together as front set and rear set and when I put them back together I put them back in the same position they came off. This should give me a close alignment.
you can see the shims behind the nuts.
this is the drivers side painted and back together. looks alot better
 
I hope this gives you an idea of what is involved in taking the spring and a arms off. It only took about 1/2 hour to take it apart. One night next week I will take pics as I replace the bushings. Hope I have all this in an understandable format! there is much more time involved in cleaning and painting then the actual disassembly and reassembly.
Rodney


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7/15/11 11:44am - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
The Rook Lifetime Member
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Pittsburgh, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1979 L-82, 3 spd auto, car was originally Lt. Beige currently painted Sportsman Red, Doeskin leather interior, 103,000 miles......

Joined: 12/4/2002
Posts: 600
wow Rodney, great pics and tutorial...thanks for the details.
 
 
The Rook2011-07-15 08:45:51

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7/15/11 4:44pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
Rod sure hope that is not momas good carpet your putting those dirty parts on!
So I see a nice bright yellow and blue lift......how do you like it?
Evil Smileebo


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7/15/11 6:12pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Ebo, thats actually a concrete floor. Its just its so clean you cant tell it from carpet Rolling On The Floor Laughing You know if its in my shed the wife will never know about it anyway. She doesnt even come out there.
The lift is great for doing this kind of work. Its the max jacks. I will find out in a few weeks how it is when I go to put the tranny in. I think I can get enough height so I can use my tranny jack from the shop. I should be able to go another 3 more inches than I have now which should make under body clearance of about 53". I think with the tranny on the jack it wil be about 51 1/2". Almost as tall as me!!!  LOL Its really helped when it comes time to work under the fenders. Pulling the rear out this fall should be easier as well. I plan on going to the coil over rear. Just because it looks cool! Cant wait to get this finished! Lots to do yet!
Rodney


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7/24/11 10:40pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
I took plenty of pics putting this thing back together but I wont get to post them till later this week. Good news is the control arms are back on the car and I get to move on to another area now. I dont plan on putting the rest of the steering back on the car until the engine and tranny are in. Without the drag link and tie rods on I should be able to slide the tranny in on the standup jack from the front with about 1" clearance!
Now heres the good story from the ball joint replacement. When tightening up the front bolt that comes in from the side of the a-arm I used Joels torque spec. The one that you tighten up till it snaps then you back it out and put in another bolt. No I didnt laugh when it happened, actually I may have said a few words not found in the dictionary. But I did think about the post Joel put up one day this week. I will post pics for each step later this week as its been a long day.
Rodney


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8/10/11 10:46am - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Well, I'm a little late getting this posted as I said I would. But here is the rest of the upper and lower control arm bushing job. The spring is already out so I need to remove the lower a arm. I use the impact gun to remove the 2 bolts and nut on the lower arm.
both arms off

rod75152011-08-10 08:11:16

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8/10/11 11:46am - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
now its time to start removing bushings. I use an air chisel with a flat blade and vibrate the bushings from the back. before you do this make sure you get your safety glasses and hearing protection.
Here are the new bushings.  The upper and lower are different sizes the larger goes into the lowers smaller in uppers
I remove the bolts and washers in the bushing ends
with the arm placed into the vice and I dont clamp it that tight that it would bend it I am ready to remove the bushings.
I remove all 4 bushings from the two arms with this method. Im lazy so this makes quick work of them. You could always use a chisel and hammer but that is more work!
this is my installation tool. Its just a 1 5/8" socket that fits over the end of the bushings.
I put the bushings in by tapping them with a hammer.
It doesnt take that much to drive them flush.
Once the first bushing is in I put the mounting bar back in then put the remaining bushing in.
this completes the bushing installation. I put the washers and nuts back on the ends but I wont tighten them till after my engine is back in so all the weight is loaded on the arms and bushings.
Now also when I'm this far i replaced the ball joints. again I chisel the rivots out using the air chisel.
then knock out the rivots and the ball joints. I cleaned everything up then painted the arms, and spring then I installed the new ball joints using the nuts and bolts supplied to tighten them too the arms. 
Of course there was a bunch more cleaning and painting to complete this.
Engine compartment painted close to finish. Its not going to be a show car so its not getting detailed to perfection! (they say you can only put so much lipstick on a pig becasue it will always be a pig! LOL) But i'm ok with it.
Hope this may help someone that is considering taking on this project. I have other pics if you need any. Just let me know.
Rodney


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8/10/11 1:32pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
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
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EXCELLENT write-up, Rodney!!! Bravo!

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8/10/11 2:40pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
danascar
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Germansville, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 Coupe 358ci 4 speed Black w/Medium Saddle interior w/79 custom leather seats

Joined: 1/28/2010
Posts: 763
What kind of paint did you use to paint everything Question

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8/10/11 4:29pm - Reply: 'control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
I actually used POR15. The driver side I did by brush, the Passenger side parts I sprayed with a gun. I will say that the gun is easier and cleans up quicker than I thought it would. Also it goes on smoother as well. Another type of paint I have used in the past is called chassis saver. It too is a poxy type finish. Both dry to a very hard finish and I like both of them. The key is to use the metal ready to prep the parts. This allows the paint to bond.
Rodney


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9/11/11 1:28am - Reply: 'Re: control arm bushing replacements'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Rodney, just in case you're still monitoring this thread, a couple of questions regarding air chisel use to remove the bushings:  

1) On the uppers, is there any worry of dinging up the lip that protrudes from the arm's body?  Just make sure the chisel is hitting the bushing flange, not the lip?  Does the chisel need to be dull so it acts more like a hammer than a chisel?

2) On the lowers, how do you get the chisel started, since the flange of the bushing is flush with the arm?  Again, I'm worried about dinging up the arm....

Thanks,
Dave


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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9/11/11 7:07am - Reply: 'Re: control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Dave, using an air chisel should not ding up your arm. On the lower bushing I went straight down then once the bushing moved I started angling it out. Neither of my vettes that I did came out really hard. I am a mechanic by trade so I have done this often over the years. Sometimes you will run into a bushing that will fight you and might take a little extra time but they have always come out this way. If you get a tight one just work from side to side on the bushing. Just be careful that you dont chisel onto the arm instead of the lip of the bushing and you wont ding up your a-arms. the chisel will do the work! You will be glad you used it! When your ready to do it if you have any questions shoot me a PM and I'll send you my phone number so you can call. You can do this!
Rodney

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9/11/11 10:50am - Reply: 'Re: control arm bushing replacements'
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: 6804
Nice work Rodney!!

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9/11/11 12:33pm - Reply: 'Re: control arm bushing replacements'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Thanks for the input, Rodney.  In my last post I forgot to also thank you for all the pics and the step-by-step -- they're very helpful.   I have the arms off, removed ball joints yesterday, and today I'm going to try to get those bushings out.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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9/11/11 6:07pm - Reply: 'Re: control arm bushing replacements'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Got 'em out!  Very pleased that's all done.  There's a small amount of damage to the lips on the upper arm, but not much and structurally it will be OK.  Just need to clean them up a bit with a file and emery paper.  Thanks again for the advice.  The driver's side took several hours multiple days before I got 'em out.  This way is much better.  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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9/11/11 7:45pm - Reply: 'Re: control arm bushing replacements'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Dave, glad to hear this worked out for you. Its makes it much easier then trying to push them out with a hammer and chisel. Some press them out but I find this easier. Hope it all goes together well. Keep us updated on your progress.
Rodney


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