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  • Front Axle / Front Suspension: 64 Hawk control arm bushings

    A good alignment shop told me the upper control arm bushings are worn on my 64GT Hawk. How can I be certain without tearing into it??

  • #2
    Originally posted by Vic-mel View Post
    A good alignment shop told me the upper control arm bushings are worn on my 64GT Hawk. How can I be certain without tearing into it??
    Can you take the bolts and washers out of the ends of the bushings and look at them? They could be off center and the rubber could be shot.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
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    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
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    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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    • #3
      The wheels will tilt inboard at the top enough that a good eye from 8-10 Ft. away can actually SEE the Negative Camber.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        Just reach up under the fender well and place your fingertips on the washer, and feel if it is centered on the outer metal ring of the bushing. If it's noticeably off center, probably need bushings. You can do same on the lower bushings. The large washer OD is only slightly larger than the bushing shell, and it's easy to feel if it's off center. Doesn't need to be perfect, but if more than, say, 1/8" off it's time to replace them.

        Replace as a set, upper and/or lower. Whatever you do, do NOT use NOS bushings, as the old rubber will disintegration less than a year. Unless it's a TQ.

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        • #5
          If they told you that the upper INNER bushings were bad, you are in luck - those are easy & quick to replace! You can unbolt the rear of the upper a-arm bracket from the crossmember (2 bolts) and replace the bushines using a bushing & balljoint remover/installer kit that can be rented at the chain stores.

          The lower inner bushings, and the upper and lower outer bushings, are much more difficult to replace since you need to deal with the energy stored in the springs.
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by r1lark View Post
            If they told you that the upper INNER bushings were bad, you are in luck - those are easy & quick to replace! You can unbolt the rear of the upper a-arm bracket from the crossmember (2 bolts) and replace the bushines using a bushing & balljoint remover/installer kit that can be rented at the chain stores.

            The lower inner bushings, and the upper and lower outer bushings, are much more difficult to replace since you need to deal with the energy stored in the springs.
            Seriously? Have you ever actually replaced the upper inner bushings without removing the upper arm from the car? I have heard of some who have successfully done that with the lowers, but never with the uppers.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JoeHall View Post

              Seriously? Have you ever actually replaced the upper inner bushings without removing the upper arm from the car? I have heard of some who have successfully done that with the lowers, but never with the uppers.
              Yes, the last one I did was my '54 sedan. I was doing an alignment and found the inner bushings on the passenger side had a lot of deterioration, but everything else on that side was fairly good. Didn't want to end up with major scope creep and end up with the whole front end apart, so just replaced those .
              Paul
              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JoeHall View Post

                Seriously? Have you ever actually replaced the upper inner bushings without removing the upper arm from the car? I have heard of some who have successfully done that with the lowers, but never with the uppers.
                I'm curious Joe, what about this surprises you -- that the upper a-arm can be unbolted from the crossmember without the whole front suspension flying out, or that I was able to get the old bushings out and the new ones in without using a press? Or something else? Just got to wondering.
                Paul
                Winston-Salem, NC
                Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by r1lark View Post

                  I'm curious Joe, what about this surprises you -- that the upper a-arm can be unbolted from the crossmember without the whole front suspension flying out, or that I was able to get the old bushings out and the new ones in without using a press? Or something else? Just got to wondering.
                  Paul, was the U-joint tool long enough to go from one end of the a arm to the other? Did you use an air chisel to drive out the old housing? Do you have any pictures? I had a bear of a time replacing my bushings. I also had to make the spacers to keep from bending in the "ears" of the arm while pressing in the bushings. I'm always interested in flat rate methods.

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                  • #10
                    Anybody, a brand and part number for the control arm bushing replacement tool!Luck Doofus

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                    • #11
                      I bought one on Amazon. Search for control arm bushing removal tool. There all seem to be the same. Buy the cheapest. I did not try to use it with the arm on the car, but it worked great for both the upper and lower arms.
                      78 Avanti RQB 2792
                      64 Avanti R1 R5408
                      63 Avanti R1 R4551
                      63 Avanti R1 R2281
                      62 GT Hawk V15949
                      56 GH 6032504
                      56 GH 6032588
                      55 Speedster 7160047
                      55 Speedster 7165279

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                      • #12
                        OK, for those asking, here are more details......................

                        Topper: I'm pretty sure I used this bushing remover/installer set to remove the bushings. There is no reason you couldn't use an air chisel, I've used those before. But I was doing this on the carport well away from my compressed air source, and was probably too lazy to drag my little 50-year old Craftsman wheeled 'backup' compressor up the hill from the other end of the house, hook up a power source, etc. The tool I used only removes/replaces one bushing at a time, so I didn't need spacers. (I have a set for when I use the hydraulic press.) As far as pictures, I looked but apparently didn't take any, and this was before I started my YouTube channel so there is no video either. I'll put in links below of our own Clark (showbizkid) using this tool on his blog site, and also a thread here on the SDC forum.

                        doofus: The tool I used is shown in the pics below, double click to open large versions. If you search on the internet on " Upper Control Arm Bushing Service Set 20718A" you will get a lot of hits, mainly on this part number. The price sure has gone up since I got this set! Here is a similar set on Amazon for a reasonable price: https://www.amazon.com/8MILELAKE-Con...a-858563954047 By looking at the instructions, and the pieces in the set, you can probably make something similar out of a large C-clamp and scraps of pipe. Or get a similar bushing/ball joint set from Harbor Freight and modify the pieces as needed. As mentioned just above, the chain parts stores have various kits for bushings and ball joints that you can borrow, and probably us various pieces to make this work.

                        Pics of tool and instruction sheets:
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20210308_081529294.jpg Views:	0 Size:	95.9 KB ID:	1884231Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20210308_081329420.jpg Views:	0 Size:	110.5 KB ID:	1884230Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20210308_081549599.jpg Views:	0 Size:	66.2 KB ID:	1884229Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20210308_081656794.jpg Views:	0 Size:	50.9 KB ID:	1884228

                        Here are the links mentioned above:
                        Clark's blog: http://studeblogger.blogspot.com/200...tallation.html
                        Forum thread: https://forum.studebakerdriversclub....ushing-install

                        Hope this info helps. As mentioned, the reason I took this route was to prevent the almost inventible project scope creep that would end up with the whole front end in pieces, rather than just replacing the two upper inner bushings on one side. And it worked well, got the bushings replaced and did a quick front end alignment, all while the car was sitting in the carport.
                        Paul
                        Winston-Salem, NC
                        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Paul,
                          I have always just headed for the bench-vice with 'A' arm in hand, and used a dulled air chisel; earlier days, a ball peen and dulled chisel. It never occurred to me to try to do it up under the fender-well, and not sure I could, with my tools of choice. I'd also think it a bit cramped under the fender with your tool set, and probably would be reluctant to even try. But that's just me.

                          Did you spin it around 180 degrees, to work on it from just outside the fender or something? I am having trouble visualizing that, but suppose it's possible.
                          Thanks Again,
                          Joe H

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                          • #14
                            Joe, yes I swung the a-arm up and away from the inner fender/splash apron.

                            When I do a whole front end rebuild, I'll use a combination of the air chisel and hydraulic press/spacers (depending on how easily the bushings come out) for removal, and the press and the spacers for the bushing installation.

                            Before I got my hydraulic press, I would take the a-arms to work and use the big arbor press. Our hydraulic press at work was WAY WAY too big to use on something as small as these a-arms.
                            Paul
                            Winston-Salem, NC
                            Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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