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4/25/11 1:53pm - Original Message: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
BT_Jett
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Woodland Park, CO - USA

Vette(s):
1973 T-Top, Red, 4spd manual, L82

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 250

I am in the process of installing new trailing arm assemblies in my vette and have a problem as to how/when to install the shims.  Are there any tricks/techniques that can be used to get them in place?  It is real tight in the mounting area and I can get all except one of the shims in place.  Any help is truly appreciated.Big smile



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4/25/11 9:19pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
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
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The rule of thumb is to put back the same amount of shims on all sides as a good ballpark, then get a good 4 wheel alignment.

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4/25/11 9:23pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
BT_Jett
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Woodland Park, CO - USA

Vette(s):
1973 T-Top, Red, 4spd manual, L82

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 250
There in lies the rub,  I have the same number of shims for each trailing arm but is so snug that they are difficult to get in.  Is there a way to get them in place as the arm goes in to the hole?

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4/25/11 9:28pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
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
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They should slide onto the bolt open end first, ten a cotter pin should go through the closed hole in the shim and the hole in the frame. Before bolting up the half shafts, shocks, spring, etc, you should be able to move the arms left to right as needed to put the shims in place.

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4/25/11 9:35pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
BT_Jett
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Woodland Park, CO - USA

Vette(s):
1973 T-Top, Red, 4spd manual, L82

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 250
Ok --that makes sense.  I didn't know if the arms should go in then the shims, but it makes sense to slide the arms into the shims.Lamp

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4/25/11 11:12pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
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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At the factory, the t-arms were held in alignment by a machine, then the assy worker would fill the gap(s) between the t-arms and the frame with shims...there was/is no specific number of shims, or specs...just fill in the gap on both sides, then tighten the nut down.
Install the t-arm first, but do not tighten the bolt/nut, of course.  Then the shims on one side. Then wedge the arm over in the other direction, and insert the remaining shims for that side. A tip here is to put any thin shims between the thicker shims...they'll go in easier, without bending.
If you find you cannot get all of the shims that you took out back in, then the actual problem will be with the bushings in the t-arms...they were not properly crimped. I would suggest, if you find it impossible to get all of the original shims back in, install all of the original shims on the outside of the t-arm, then as many as you can on the inside. This will give you a small amount of toe-in...much safer than toe-out on these cars. That will at least get you to an alignment shop.

Another thought/tip...
Hold the t-arm up level with the frame...don't let it hang down, while trying to install the shims...this will help. Use a jack, or some other method to hold the t-arms up...
Adams' Apple2011-04-25 20:15:28

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4/27/11 6:02pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
BT_Jett
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Woodland Park, CO - USA

Vette(s):
1973 T-Top, Red, 4spd manual, L82

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 250
Thanks -- I will try the jack approach.  Sure seems very tight in the t-arm, hopefully, I can get all the shims back in and in the right order.Clap

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5/24/11 11:23am - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
BT_Jett
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Woodland Park, CO - USA

Vette(s):
1973 T-Top, Red, 4spd manual, L82

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 250
Ok -- shims are in, trailing arm is firm in the hole, shock is attached, half-shaft is attached.  Now comes the fun, the spring does not lineup to be attached to the trailing arm. The spring sits back about 1 inch from the bolt as it hangs from the trailing arm.  When I lift the spring up to the trailing arm the alignment is such that the bolt is way in front of the spring.  What approach do I make for this?  Have I missed something?  The shock and half-shaft bolted right up to the arm.
Wits End


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5/24/11 8:23pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
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I did this the other day on the 73 rebuild..you have to jack up the spring..I use the shackle as a spot so the jack doesn't fly out..put the cup.rubber.bolt in the TA and raise the spring to it..it lines up then..pretty easy..the thing that makes the most obvious sense when doing any bolting together with the TA is to have it in the rest position ..ie..like the car is on the ground..nail it!!

Rich

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5/25/11 3:16pm - Reply: 'Installing shims for the trailing arms'
BT_Jett
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Woodland Park, CO - USA

Vette(s):
1973 T-Top, Red, 4spd manual, L82

Joined: 2/19/2007
Posts: 250
Gotta give it a try -- want to get this done and get out on the road again.Clap

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