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Upper control arm removal on a 1962 Lark

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  • Frame / Springs: Upper control arm removal on a 1962 Lark

    Here's the lowdown: I replaced the lower control arm bushings on the car (no big deal) but went to pull the R/H upper arm to (hopefully) turn the inner shaft 180 degrees to pick up some camber. Long story short: the shaft was already positioned in the more positive camber direction and am now unable to install the mouthing bolts. There's no room under the frame mount to grab either the bolts (if installed upside down) or the nuts with the bolts facing down. I said 'screw it' (no pun intended) for the day. I attempted to disassemble the upper outer pivot (to swing the arm up for access) and couldn't extract the 3/8" pinch bolt so I could remove cross pin since its head would bottom against the frame.
    --------------------------------------

    Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

    Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

    "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

  • #2
    I would suggest that you ALWAYS install suspension bolts with the head up whenever possible. An old alignment guy put me wise to that one: if the nut falls off, at least the bolt is still in the hole, instead of dropping out onto the road!

    I remember the operation you're describing from my own rebuild. What I did was to go down to Harbor Freight and get an inexpensive set of extended-reach box-end wrenches. These have shanks that are half again as long as standard. Using one of these, with some masking tape on the bottom of the wrench face, I was able to "stick" the nut and washer to the wrench and maneuver it into position while dropping the bolt in from up top. Once the bolt bites, you're home free.

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

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    • #3
      which came first? the dip in the road, or the bump after it?

      Either one will dislodge UPPER bolts no matter it they are in from the top or in from the bottom.

      Anyway, the only time you need to flip the shafts is if you suffer some sort of wear or collision damage. Most cars I see have the thick part of the shaft TOWARDS the engine.

      I'd try jacking the suspension just enough to take the load off, and like shwbiz said- use a wrench with tape to hold the nut, or an offset box wrench. Be sure the springs are seated correctly and at least have wire or a chain from the frame to the spring so it can't get loose and hurt you. Always loc tite these bolts

      Are you on a rack to measure and detemine a camber problem, or is this a visual observation? pull the zirk and adjust per the book? Is this a lowered car? Cut coils?

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      • #4
        I absolutely had to put a jack under the lower arm and jacked it a little to get access to the area where the nuts go.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by (S) View Post
          which came first? the dip in the road, or the bump after it?

          Either one will dislodge UPPER bolts no matter it they are in from the top or in from the bottom.

          Anyway, the only time you need to flip the shafts is if you suffer some sort of wear or collision damage. Most cars I see have the thick part of the shaft TOWARDS the engine.

          I'd try jacking the suspension just enough to take the load off, and like shwbiz said- use a wrench with tape to hold the nut, or an offset box wrench. Be sure the springs are seated correctly and at least have wire or a chain from the frame to the spring so it can't get loose and hurt you. Always loc tite these bolts

          Are you on a rack to measure and detemine a camber problem, or is this a visual observation? pull the zirk and adjust per the book? Is this a lowered car? Cut coils?
          I am an alignment tech by trade so I measured the numbers using gauges. Car is stock height but had -1.7 degrees of camber on the right side, driver's side -.2.
          --------------------------------------

          Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

          Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

          "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

          Comment


          • #6
            You will get about 1 1/4 degrees by flipping the shafts over. I'd suggest you look at worn springs, tires or bushings but it sounds like they are fine.. King pin bushings and worn outer pins comes next.

            I hope flipping them helps, keep us posted.

            Is this a V8, 6, or SBC or Stude powered?

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            • #7
              As far as the bolts go, I used an open end wrench and put black electrical tape around the inside face of the wrench that contacts the sides of the nut. This provided a tight fit so the bolt stayed put while i mauevered it into place. It also allows you to experiment and change the angle a little to line it up better with the bolt. Once it starts to thread just finish the job and pull the wrench. Of course, be sure to clean the bolt and nut threads thoroughly so that they screw together easily.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by (S) View Post
                You will get about 1 1/4 degrees by flipping the shafts over. I'd suggest you look at worn springs, tires or bushings but it sounds like they are fine.. King pin bushings and worn outer pins comes next.

                I hope flipping them helps, keep us posted.

                Is this a V8, 6, or SBC or Stude powered?
                Lower bushings are new; I just put them on with the arms still on the car. The R/H upper arm already had its inner pivot shaft 'clocked' to max pos camber but the upper bushings are worn (not blown out yet). Kingpins and outer pivots are reasonably tight, I greased 'em which took out the slight slop.

                Car was a 259/3spd/OD car but now has a 350 Chevy with matching TH350 tranny so I probably 'lost' at least 100 pounds off the front springs, car sits maybe 1" higher than before but not higher than stock IMHO.

                To SBK and (S); I followed you guys' advice with the tape on the box wrench. it worked in lining up the nuts. I'll wind up buying is a combination 19MM or 3/4" swivel wrench (12 point socket on one end and an open end on the other) to make things simpler in the future. One thing I did do different this time: I lifted the lower arms just inboard of the outer pivots vs. under the shock mounts........that arms stayed more level giving me significantly more access to the upper arm mtg bolts.

                Bottom line: I picked up over 1 degree of camber so the right side is now -.5 vs. the ca. -1.7 before and I have more room to play since I have shims between the lower inner shafts and crossmember..........if I yank 'em out there's (probably) my missing camber. But I'm holding off till I change out the upper bushings.
                Last edited by 1962larksedan; 04-11-2012, 06:27 AM.
                --------------------------------------

                Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can't remember everything, and what engine everyone has. My point about asking if you had a SBC is that not only is it lighter, but the weight is displaced further to the rear making the nose of your car more than suggested lighter by the difference in actual pounds. (light brings the suspension out, or like you describe, a full degree out of spec.) I would be sure you have the proper REAR springs and ride height you want in the rear before attempting adjustments to the front. (pull your hair out worrying about the front)

                  You may need to change springs to the MOOG or late 65 -66 V8 or an Avanti spring (without the spacer)

                  Your suspension is going to be a degree off so maybe go with the Avanti spring and toss the spacer aside that comes with it. My 59 V has the same problem you are having, I have Avanti springs and the spacer with a 400 SB/ 4 speed OD . If I take the spacer out, its like a different car.......... and it will be within specs, However the Avanti spring is a stiff ride.

                  I hope this helps and ads some insight to your problem. good luck.

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