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4/28/12 1:09am - Original Message: 'front suspension rebuild'
chronos51
Former Member
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Phoenix, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 corvette crossfire production numer C5101985. Color is silver and claret. All original numbers match. slight mods to crossfire for better efficiancy and power balanced and added fuel pressure assembly between throttle bodies,

Joined: 6/12/2011
Posts: 139
ok. so who's good at replacing ball joints, tie rod ends, bushings alike?
I will be doing a front rebuild soon and have not a clue what Im doing. I can wing it but i dont want to mess this up.
any advice for a newbie on the front suspension? I bought a kit from Ecklers. not the most expensive one  the kit number 43844
 
What Im needing to know is what tools Im gonna need and any tricks to doing it right?
 
Thanks
 
Marcus
 
ok now that is warm I can go out and start this project. Jack stands check, jack check, soap for mouth due to new swear words check.....


|UPDATED|4/27/2012 10:09:33 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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1/17/12 11:45pm - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
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: 19448
Ball joints aren't that bad. You'll need some way to grind off the rivet heads, unless you wanna spend an hour drilling them out. Installing them is just bolting them back onto the arms. If you plan on keeping it all "original", then yer kinda screwed, unless you can find someone that can re-rivet them....good luck with that.

Tie rod ends are fairly straightforward...screw off-screw on. First, you need to measure the distance between the centers of the tie rod ends for each side, and write that measurement down. Then, when removing the rod ends, COUNT the number of turns to remove them. Install the new end by counting the turns back on, and then measure, to get them as close as possible. You'll need to have the front end aligned anyway, but this will get it close enough to drive safely.

Control arm bushings....well...that's gonna be the toughest job of the three. You'll need to remove the bolts and washers on the ends of the bushings first. Then, soak the metal part of the bushing that fits into the control arm for a while with WD40(or your favorite substitute). The easiest way to remove the old bushings is with an air hammer, with a dull chisel attachment, working around the circumference of the bushing as you go. Try to knock it out squarely, and not get it cocked. Installing the bushings is easiest with a press, but...a large hammer, and a socket that will fit, and set square on the shoulder of the metal lip of the bushing will work in a pinch....just be ready with yer swear jar, 'cause yer gonna make up some new words the first time you miss, and bang your hand with the hammer. Each successive miss will acquaint you with more foul words, and the possibility of slinging the hammer across the street....

Oh...sorry.... had a little flashback there....Embarrassed

That should give you a little insight to what you're looking at, anyway. But really, the bushings will be the hardest thing to do, of all that you mentioned.Thumbs Up

Of course...you'll have to get the arms OFF, first. Do you have a service manual for your car?










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Joel Adams
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"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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1/18/12 1:01am - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
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
I did most of my front end rebuild this summer.  Still not completely done because I'm also doing a lot of other things (like the engine).  But, I'll second what Joel says with my experience: the control arm bushings are a bear.  A lot of the manuals and stuff on the internet say to use a press to get them out and put the new ones back in.  Don't believe those sources!  Very easy to screw things up with a press and they can also be dangerous if you don't get things situated perfectly.  I made the mistake of actually buying a press on craigslist (at least I was able to resell it and get all my money back).  You don't need one.  As Joel says, an air chisel is the only way to go.   $20 at Home Depot or Lowes (assuming you have a compressor).  As for putting the new ones in, put them in the freezer for a few hours and then put the arm in a big vice with the jaws very close to where the bushing goes.  Then just pound them in with a socket that fits snugly over the exposed rubber part.  ($5 at a pawnshop if you don't have 3/4 drive sockets)  The problem with a press is you have to find a way to support between the two ends of the arm or you'll bend the Censored out of it.  After I slightly damaged one of my arms with the press I took it to an alignment shop that works on a lot of old GM cars and he straightened things out for me and then showed me how to put the bushings in like I described above.  He's the one that told me to not use the press.  The arms are all put together and installed on the car with new springs now.  Removing and re-installing front springs is another topic (I've already written a novel) but you should be able to find a lot of info in the suspension forum just by searching or even scrolling down in the list.  Good luck.  

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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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1/18/12 8:47am - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
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
Marcus,
Back in july I did a post that shows pics on how to change the control arms. Here is a link for it. http://www.c3vr.com/vrforums/message_go.asp?MID=387945&title=control-arm-bushing-replacements      not sure how to make it clickable but you can copy and paste if needed. Its under the suspension category. Hope it will help.
Like others have said you will develop some new words but its very doable!
Best of luck.
Rodney


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1/18/12 10:50am - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
chronos51
Former Member
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Phoenix, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 corvette crossfire production numer C5101985. Color is silver and claret. All original numbers match. slight mods to crossfire for better efficiancy and power balanced and added fuel pressure assembly between throttle bodies,

Joined: 6/12/2011
Posts: 139
I thought the control arm bushings were gonna be the worst part of it. I did find a link that gave directions on how to do it. and they also said freezing the bushings would help a lot. I need to get new springs just because, I figure since im doing it i might as well do everything at once rather than having to go back and do it all again. I would love to do the steering upgrade at the same time so I may wait until I can afford the Steeroids or the Flaming river unit.
Thanks for the imput and advice that im gonna make up a few more foul words in the process. Ive done my own mechanic work in the past on chevy trucks and my firebird just not the front end yet. sounds like im gonna have some fun with it. well...
 
 
Marcus


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1/20/12 9:54pm - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
chronos51
Former Member
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Phoenix, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 corvette crossfire production numer C5101985. Color is silver and claret. All original numbers match. slight mods to crossfire for better efficiancy and power balanced and added fuel pressure assembly between throttle bodies,

Joined: 6/12/2011
Posts: 139
so on ititial inspeciton of what I need to do, its cold so I wont start this project until it gets warm, The upper ball joints appear to have been replaced at least once already- bolts in place of rivits. so it looks like the most difficult part of this is gonna be the control arm bushings. Im gonna have the control arms cleaned up and powder coated during this process I figure if im gonna have it apart I might as well.
 
thanks again for the imput on this rebuild.
 
Marcus


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1/20/12 11:52pm - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
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: 19448
A little advice if you're gonna do some powdercoating...make SURE whoever does the job protects, or somehow covers the inside of the hole the bushings go into on the arms. If you do not, you'll have a hard time getting the bushings in...you'll wind up grinding the powdercoating out of the holes. The same thing might happen with where the ball joints bolt up. Sometimes, if the powdercoating is laid on heavy, the joints will not fit up correctly against  the arms, and they could work loose later down the road as the coating wears.
Just  little btdt info....Thumbs Up


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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4/28/12 9:43pm - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
chronos51
Former Member
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Phoenix, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 corvette crossfire production numer C5101985. Color is silver and claret. All original numbers match. slight mods to crossfire for better efficiancy and power balanced and added fuel pressure assembly between throttle bodies,

Joined: 6/12/2011
Posts: 139
Well...
 
That was a royal pain. if it werent for the top Ball joints it would have been a simple project. but as it stands even with a ball joint sepperator it took quite some time to get them to seperate from the top spindle!
 
Now to take her down for an alignment.
 
and I found a few swear words that didnt exist lol
 
marcus
 
 
One thing I forgot to mention. the sway bar bolts that connect to the A arms were bent pretty bad on passanger side and a touch on drivers side. now with my little misshap this winter the sway bar was not touched during the accident.
What would cause the bolt to be bent bad enough to where I had to cut one off any suggestions?


|UPDATED|4/28/2012 6:43:53 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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4/28/12 9:29pm - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
DWALKER
Former Member
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Mechanicsburg, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe

Joined: 11/10/2009
Posts: 51
I rebuilt my front suspension over the winter; and if I ever do it again I think I will just go with the exchange control arms that are already repainted and re-bushed.

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5/5/12 11:43am - Reply: 'Re: front suspension rebuild'
chronos51
Former Member
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Phoenix, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 corvette crossfire production numer C5101985. Color is silver and claret. All original numbers match. slight mods to crossfire for better efficiancy and power balanced and added fuel pressure assembly between throttle bodies,

Joined: 6/12/2011
Posts: 139
so When i did my front end last weekend I elected to wait to do the A-arms and I am now thankful that I did.
I just took her in for the alignment and the guy said they are poly bushings on the a arms and they are in real good shape, and that I shouldnt have to worry about them.
 
thank god for the little things


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