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    Control Arms and Spring Replacement

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    Myloth
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    Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:55 pm

    I finally started my front end today one helper abandoned me but it did not stop me.

    It was a late start I didn't even have all the tools out till 1130 and just started cracking lugs.

    I did thankfully get my Milwaukee m18 1\2" Impact in the mail yesterday it makes lugnuts and

    such a breeze.

    Here is the Raybestos Professional Arm  it is part number 5071324 and 5071325



    The uppers I used are these here are rk620158 and rk620159

    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mog-rk620159/overview/make/chevrolet/model/impala/year/1996



    The quality seems to be ok on both no complaints so far. That's the ebay 1 1\4 sway bar as well a good piece.

    After removing the tire I disconnected the outer tierod from the spindle. Even if you aren't replacing the tierods


    like me it's easier to have it out of your way to get the hub off and remove the lower control arm bolts.












    Now as far as tierods I have used the Mevotech Supreme numerous times without issue but that's me. Many say Moog

    Moog but many of Moogs parts are made in China (Both UCA and LCA above are lol) so I go with the "pro" part for the

    best price I say just avoid the bottom of the barrel stuff and "service" grade pieces. Again Mevotech has been ok to me

    but do buy what your heart and wallet tell you to. Here's another Mevotech piece the idler Arm



    Anyway once you get the tirerod off you can disconnect the balljoints from the spindle.For this you need a pickle fork

    and a BIG hammer except no substitute. It's easy with them without you will be cussing and going crazy. The

    pickle fork even makes it easier with the tierod ends the rust and age fuse these parts together pretty well.


    I just let the spring pop half compressed, a stupid mistake I did make was not pulling the shock absorber first but I can

    blame it on the many distractions I had while doing this today. You should pull the shock (1/2 bolts below and 9/16 top

    on mine anyway )after you pull the tire off and go from there.

    The spring under tension but it's not as tense as a Macpherson spring just be careful. Also be carfeul with

    these here  they are shims for the Upper Control Arm you probably want to reinstall as they came out I used masking

    tape to hold them together to do so.



    This shot is under the hood where you access the UCA's bolts and the bolts are splined near the cap so it makes

    installation easy as long as you give them a love tap when you put them back in.







    Here are the arms installed the lower

    needed 21mm wrench or socket the Upper bolts where the shims are used a 3/4" I believe. Ah see that big old

    Made in China stamp on the Upper Moog Arm.








    There is also a shot of the shims installed behind the bolts. This is as far as I have proceeded today. The springs

    are bit off and may need to rethink using them. They measure 18" and the only 18" spring is the standard non AC

    since I am putting a somewhat heavier engine I may buy new ones. Also the most of the other springs are shorter

    making it easier to install anyway. Either way part deux tomorrow and some spring research tonight.

    In retrospect I think you may want to check your Balljoints I thought mine seemed OK. But upon removal and inspection

    they were just BAD and the bushings were all cracked. Even the arms were pretty crusty I would be afraid to

    see the results of a good bead blasting probably holes in them lol.


    Postponed till the new springs arrive the old ones are just not going to work so I ordered these

    http://www.moog-suspension-parts.com/proddetail.asp?prod=MOOG-80098

    From a lot of reading on Impalas and Caprices through the forums these are the same as these

    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=440485

    and they come highly recommended by most B Body owners who have installed them. They have a high spring rate but

    most seem to like the ride so we shall see.
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    Myloth
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:39 pm

    Today I changed the other side pulled the old arms, spindle and springs. One thing I can recommend installing new arms

    is several sizes of screwdrivers to work the holes once you get the lineup close. The other is clean the arm mounts really

    well then add a tad of fresh grease it makes positioning so much easier. That and get new bolts don't reuse Lower

    Control Arm bolts if any bolt is stressed in B-bodies it's them. I bought a 5 pack of 4" 9\16-12 Grade 8 Zinc coated

    (You have to love Fastenal my favorite place!)

    bolts with nuts and washers for about 20 dollars I'd pay that for a little piece of mind and the 9/16-12 4" fit like a glove

    in the holes(Might need a little persuasion to the straight lineup but it fits perfect).



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    Myloth
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:55 pm



    Here's a comparison of the old 18" (Tall) Front coil and the new 13.56" (short) coil the new one is beefy to be sure.

    And it required very little persuasion to install once the arms were on I sat my spindle on the Lower Control Arm

    and then turn the nut to hand tight. Placed my floor jack under the arm and brought it up very easily so the spindle

    could meet the Upper Arm and then nutted the Upper Joint. Torque Specs 80-90ft\lbs for the Lower Balljoints

    and 60 ft\lbs for the Upper Balljoints then you may have to turn the nuts(Upper and Lower) a half a turn to get the hole

    lined up for the cotter pins.

    If anyone is interested here is  the newer style Idler installed and the tierods. Torque on there was 60 ft\lbs to at the

    center and Idler and 35 ft\lbs at the spindle. Same install as the Balljoint torque then turn nut to get cotter lined up.

    The hardest part is all that hammering on the pickle fork to get all of these parts out that and lining up the new

    Control Arms. BTW I could not find a torque Spec for the Control Frame Bolts I usually go about 80-90 ft\lbs myself.

    Also you probably are noticing the missing finished product pic I have one side done but the night pics didn't come out.

    Tomorrow I'll have some nicer brighter shots.



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    solo79
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  solo79 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:08 pm

    Progress is looking good! I tell you, I've broken down so many b-body front ends, I could probably do it blind-folded.lol Looking forward to seeing the overall stance of the car when you get done!


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    Myloth
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:25 pm

    Yes I can't wait to get it on the ground tomorrow the only thing slowing me down is I seem to have misplaced several cotter

    pins (no big deal I have some somewhere....) and one zerc (Hmm I hear the call of Auto zone). I have done quite a few

    front ends H bodies and one B before this and even an 80s X body. Yes it was a two tone(brown and hugger Orange) Chevy

    Citation with the incredulous Iron Duke 2.5 !


    PS Those springs from GM though on these cars so much variation it gives you headache. From an 18" pogo

    stick down to F Body style springs and most were called for on the same Bodies just different years. These 18" pogos

    are also a PITA to install without a professional spring compressor. I used the Advance compressor and it could not get

    it to go down to the height of these springs without wobbling left or right and they were still over 15" inches.

    Since they were old anyway I said to heck with it but if you wanted to use them you'd need a better compressor than

    the freebie parts store rental.
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  solo79 on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:26 am

    The kind of spring compressor I used to use was the kind that goes up the center of the spring and hooks on to the coils from the inside. Even those are a pain to work with. The outer compressors don't work on these cars well, because as you compress, the studs of the compressors get in the way and hit the frame wedging it all in there. Since, I've done this so many times, I can't tell you the last time I used a spring compressor to get them out. Now, I just get everything undone with a jack under the arm, wrap a chain around the spring to the lower a-arm, let the jack all the way down so the arm swings fully open, then stand back with a spud bar and pry it out from the bottom. You get a nice clang sound, but that's it. Putting them back in is a different story though. You have to compress them to get them back in, but I generally never re-install a factory coil. I tell my friends, I'm not in the business of "raising" cars. If we lower it, I don't raise it back up.

    I made the exception one time for someone and it was a royal pain putting the stock coils back in.


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    Sweet Seventy9
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Sweet Seventy9 on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:53 am

    It's coming along nicely. I'm anxious to see the stance when it's done too!

    Over the years I've used pretty much every brand of front end part out there. With the exception of the high-end stuff from companies like Hotchkis, or Global West, etc., it all seems to be the same. I've believed the hype and paid for Moog parts but they didn't last any longer than the lower priced parts.
    Believe it or not, "Service" grade is good. They're slightly heavier duty than standard grade. Police cars, limos, and taxis are service vehicles.

    This is similar to the spring compressor I use:
    http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/OEM-Coil-spring-compressor/_/N-264t?itemIdentifier=555573_0_0_

    Personally, I find it much easier to use than the 2 separate clamps.


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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:20 pm

    I did use that compressor but the those stock pogos are a pain. In big shops like when I was in tech school they

    had a standup spring compressor and locks to hold the springs and were easily removable after it was done.

    Well anyhow here are is some finished pics.














    My grease gun was about the only thing that slowed me down today. For some reason it didn't like the cartridge that

    was in there and I had to go get another. That and the chrome lugs stripped out but I broke out a set of hardened black

    lugs I was saving. It definitely lowered the front maybe 3/4"? I think has a decent rake to it.
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  solo79 on Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:31 pm

    Looks fantastic! Great job! Even lowering the car a little makes a huge difference in the overall look and handling.


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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:41 pm

    Thanks I do suspect it will handle better my big complaint about the way it rode  was the front which seemed to

    wobble just a tad even with new links on the old sway. Now I think it will be a question of the tire\wheel combo

    on how it handles turns.
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    Sweet Seventy9
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Sweet Seventy9 on Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:41 am

    BRAVO !! Much better! Very Happy


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    bgkid2966
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  bgkid2966 on Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:35 pm

    Looks great!! Stance is right on the money IMHO.



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    Myloth
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:37 am

    Thanks. Now if I could get the Imp to move lol. I put in drive and it wouldn't move and I hear a loud clunk from the tranny. The front tires are spinning freely though hmm. That th350 may have leaked itself dry on the jackstands has a bad leak . Ok not that
    bad victim of not following KISS the ebrake was on sigh...


    All fixed drove it just now steering is nice and tight and feels good not harsh at all better than it was for sure.
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:35 pm

    Good time to post an Epilogue and thoughts. I have driven the Imp a bit and the front feels firm, responsive and very

    controlled. Any of that factory float that many of these cars came with is gone but it still rides comfortably and takes

    the worst bumps and potholes with aplomb. If you are like myself and plan to keep B body for some time it's well worth

    the effort to redo the entire suspension to the frame. Every part I pulled while functional still was a bit suspect and

    rusty. All the creaks and odd noises are gone , it rides straight down the road and I haven't even had alignment I just

    cloned what was there. Except for the front springs there was no surprises, I would recommend to all to get rid of those

    factory front pogo-springs all they do is bounce. The entire job could be done in a full day with careful planning (PB

    those bolts ahead of time) and hand tools the only power tool I used was my 1/2 Milwaukee impact and even that had

    light use. Another item is you will be shocked how good the steering feels after replacing the ends, center and idler very

    firm feeling and no play. Well thanks for the encouragement and replies!
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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  solo79 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:59 pm

    Absolutely! Glad it all worked out for you and gave you awesome results. I can't wait to get to that point on mine. I'll be building my suspension on the frame while the body is off. This should give me a lot more room to work I think and make it a ton easier.


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    Re: Control Arms and Spring Replacement

    Post  Myloth on Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:10 am

    Oh yeah frame off would have been sweet I would have loved to clean up the frame a bit more. I did what I could but was

    somewhat limited but looks decent. Well I wish you luck with it I think you'll be more than happy with it. This only the

    second time I have done a complete front end soup to nuts, the rewards are more than worth the effort.

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