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A arm spreader- why needed?

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  • Steering: A arm spreader- why needed?

    OK, I've read the shop manual several times, but I'm still baffled. Why is it necessary to spread the ends of the A arms .015" when installing the outer bushings? I need to replace just the grease seals, everything else is fine but I'd like to know what purpose spreading the arms that slight amount serves. Can I mark the positions of the bushings, remove them, install the new seals and reinstall the bushings to their exact original position and be OK?

  • #2
    The end caps on the pins are threaded inside. There are thread like features on the outside also which tend to pull the end of the control arm inward when you turn them inward.

    If you are already in the process of taking one apart, measure it first. If you decide to use an impact gun, watch it as you go, and you will see it spread open when you take it apart. You'll also see it bend as you install the caps.

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    • #3
      if the seal is the only thing wrong (which I doubt) then I'd just keep it greased and drive it. Are you certain that the pin is not worn with slack present?

      Originally posted by 63 R2 Hawk View Post
      OK, I've read the shop manual several times, but I'm still baffled. Why is it necessary to spread the ends of the A arms .015" when installing the outer bushings? I need to replace just the grease seals, everything else is fine but I'd like to know what purpose spreading the arms that slight amount serves. Can I mark the positions of the bushings, remove them, install the new seals and reinstall the bushings to their exact original position and be OK?

      Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
      53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
      57 SH (project)
      60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

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      • #4
        Yeah, like (S) says, installing the caps on the pins, along with the torque required to do so, will pull the ends of the A-Arms together and out of spec unless you physically hold them apart. And because the pins must rotate inside the installed caps, binding from the A-Arms will cause your suspension to malfunction and / or self-destruct.

        You wanna use the spreader!

        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input, that helps a lot. I am fairly mechanically inclined but the design of these suspensions baffles me. In answer to Rusty's post, the suspension on this car was completely rebuilt 12 years ago by the PO, with everything being replaced-new inner bushings, outers and pins, king pins, springs, possibly even new A arms etc. Then the car sat for about 5 years so it only has about 11,000 miles since all the work was done. One upper outer pin seal is torn and they are all looking deteriorated but everything is nice and tight. I keep it well lubed, but I'm tired of the grease accumulating on top of the A arms, there must have been 3 lbs of it I scraped off around the pins.

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