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Mind the gap: Upper control arm, outer bushing fit.

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  • Front Axle / Front Suspension: Mind the gap: Upper control arm, outer bushing fit.

    Hi folks,

    I spent the weekend working on the front suspension of my 1953 Commander project. It went mostly well... but the passenger side upper control arm outer bushing (try saying that five times fast) didn't quite close up as far as I expected. The bushing is fully seated but the gap remains.

    All I can think of is that the control arm ends weren't in spec to begin with. My plan is to remove the bushing and carefully push the ears back to the expected distance with a press. Two questions:

    1. Is this stupid? :-D
    2. What's the proper distance between the ears?

    Included are images of the driver and passenger side A arms along with some I took of the process just because I'm so happy to see this stuff finally going back together and naturally assume you want to look at it also.

    Comments/ criticism welcome: This is my first Studebaker suspension and I'm quite aware that a slip up can result in disaster!


    --
    Dan M.
    http://starlight53.wordpress.com

  • #2
    Did you EVENLY tighten the Trunnion Caps into the "A" Arm a little on the Front, then a little on the Rear slowly?

    Also, did you use the Spreader tool available at our Studebaker Vendors?

    I wouldn't be as worried about the Clamp Bolt not closing all the way as I would this, misalignment of the King Pin when assembled:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?photoid=1889744.jpg Views:	0 Size:	64.2 KB ID:	1889789
    Last edited by StudeRich; 04-12-2021, 07:33 PM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the response ...

      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
      Did you EVENLY tighten the Trunnion Caps into the "A" Arm a little on the Front, then a little on the Rear slowly?

      Also, did you use the Spreader tool available at our Studebaker Vendors?
      Yes and yes. Followed the same process on both A-arms and used the spreader as described in the shop manual.

      I wouldn't be as worried about the Clamp Bolt not closing all the way as I would this, misalignment of the King Pin when assembled:
      Click image for larger version Name:	fetch?photoid=1889744.jpg Views:	0 Size:	64.2 KB ID:	1889789
      Hmm. I'm not talking about the clamp bolt -- they weren't even tightened when the picture was taken. I'm talking about the gap between the grease seal and and bushing that is visible in the second picture -- only on one side.

      As for the comment you made about the above picture -- Evidently you're seeing something I don't: What misalignment are you referring to?

      --
      Dan M.
      http://starlight53.wordpress.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok, if you are talking about how the Kingpin is not centered on the Outer Pin, that does not matter, after it is aligned they will both be at the rearmost position to get the Max Negative Caster.

        You know what, it is obvious I don't know where you are at with this, or understand it without it being properly Installed on the Car, so just forget what I said if it does not help.
        Last edited by StudeRich; 04-12-2021, 10:50 PM.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          Ok, if you are talking about how the Kingpin is not centered on the Outer Pin, that does not matter, after it is aligned they will both be at the rearmost position to get the Max Negative Caster.

          You know what, it is obvious I don't know where you are at with this, or understand it without it being properly Installed on the Car, so just forget what I said if it does not help.
          Knowing that the kingpin not being centered on the outer pin isn't critical is certainly helpful: Thanks!

          As for the space between the grease seal and the kingpin on the passenger side A arm, it turns out that the ears of that A arm were about 5mm further apart than those on the driver side. I was able to correct for this and now both sides look good.


          --
          Dan M.
          http://starlight53.wordpress.com

          Comment


          • #6
            I could not get some of the new bushings to seat flush against the A-arm on mine w/o over-torquing and potentially stripping the A-arm out. Called it good and left it as-is. Never had a issue.

            Make sure when its together the pins are free turning in the bushings and not binding and the pin can be turned through its motions for caster adj w/o binding. I found some dings on the pin threads (NOS pins) that I had to dust off with a small file to fix that problem.

            Jeff in ND

            Comment


            • #7
              You will have uneven gaps after you align the front end. Usually to get close on CASTOR you will have to remove the grease fitting and crank the adjustment as far as it will go to the rear of the car. That will "uncenter" your "even" gaps. Then you adjust your CAMBER after that, then the toe in. If you are thinking even gaps is what you will end up with with everything in proper alignment, you will be dissappointed.
              Bez Auto Alchemy
              573-318-8948
              http://bezautoalchemy.com


              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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