Upper control arm installation question... - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old May 8th, 10, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Peter
 
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Upper control arm installation question...

I removed my upper control arms and replaced the bushings and ball joints. I supported the lower control arms with jack stands. I reinstalled the upper control arms on the sub frame but now have about 2.5 inches between the spindle and the upper ball joint. I attempted to jack up the lower control arms to make up the gap but the car just went up instead of the control arms getting closer together so I could attached the upper ball joint.

Has anyone had this problem? What is a solution? The motor is out of the car, is the lack of weight an issue?

Thanks in advance for any help.

P.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old May 8th, 10, 08:43 PM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Lack of weight is the problem. The cure is to wrap chain around the frame and the jack and that will pull it all together so you can bolt it back together.

Jeff
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 03:08 AM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Insert the spring from the bottom not the top. The spring location indicator is in the upper control arm You'll have to explore some but you'll find a hole in the upper pocket. Get the car high enough so the lower control arm will swing all the way down. Mount the spindle on the upper ball joint and put the nut on just a few threads to hold it. Stick a small screwdriver in that spring locator hole in the upper arm, rotate your coil spring until the end hits your screwdriver, and jack the lower control arm up until the lower ball joint goes into the spindle. If you start out with the lower control arm up just enough to hold in the spring it's easier to rotate the spring around to the proper location against the stop (your screwdriver).

And yes, you need to strap the car to hold it down.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 10:37 AM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Quote:
the spring location indicator is in the upper control arm
what?

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 11:43 AM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

I took the shock out and used a long 12mm all tread bolt and some big washers and pulled it together very easy
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 01:45 PM
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Steiner
 
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by scblucam View Post
what?
There is a hole in spring cup in the upper control arm. That is how the spring is located. The end of the spring is supposed to be lined up with that hole. Easiest way is to put something in it and twist the spring around against it.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 02:47 PM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steiner View Post
There is a hole in spring cup in the upper control arm. That is how the spring is located. The end of the spring is supposed to be lined up with that hole.
Don't you mean the lower control arm?

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 03:24 PM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

The top of the spring locates in the subframe. (Steiner had a brain cramp )There is a small (1/8"ish) hole in the top of the subframe that you can look into to see the tail of the spring. (shine a light into the hole) Locate the spring in the subframe and let it fall in the lower control arm where it may.

Here's how to compress the spring w/o engine weight to help you.

https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=178038


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 03:56 PM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

This thread took a wrong turn somewhere.
The spring never came out, it doesn't need to be located, and if it did the hole is in the frame (as mentioned).
The OP just need to compress the spring a few inches to get the nut on the upper ball joint. 500 lbs of weight on the sub frame, a floor jack and chain, or all thread through the shock holes will do the trick.
Just be careful, there is a lot of stored energy in a compressed spring.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Thanks for the pic Al and getting the question back on track James.

My result was that I moved my jack stands "carefully" to the outside of the lower control arms to be able to access the shocks. I removed the shocks (which will be replaced) and tomorrow I will rent a spring compressor, compress the spring, which should bring the lower control arm and spindle up. I'll then lighten the upper ball joint and be done with it.

With only minor front suspension experience, I think this is the safest bet. Agreed?

Thanks again.

Peter
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 08:16 PM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by inntyme View Post
Thanks for the pic Al and getting the question back on track James.

My result was that I moved my jack stands "carefully" to the outside of the lower control arms to be able to access the shocks. I removed the shocks (which will be replaced) and tomorrow I will rent a spring compressor, compress the spring, which should bring the lower control arm and spindle up. I'll then lighten the upper ball joint and be done with it.

With only minor front suspension experience, I think this is the safest bet. Agreed?

Thanks again.

Peter
No, this in my opinion is not the safest approach. Work under that car with extreme caution. With those stands all the way out on the control arm and the upper arm not attached to the spindle there is a chance of the car shifting on the stands and the stored energy from that spring pushing the car off of the stands. If forced to do it this way I would put another set of stands under the frame to keep the whole car from falling on my head.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Jeff,

I have the rear of the car up on stands, are you suggesting that I move the set up to the subframe? I also have my floor jack under the center of the car (on the subframe cross member).

Thanks,

Peter
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old May 10th, 10, 06:03 AM
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

I would leave the rear up and add another set to the front subframe. I don't find this so much of an issue when the shocks are installed as they limit the amount and speed of the spring travel.

Jeff
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old May 10th, 10, 06:26 AM
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Steiner
 
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Holy crap. You guys are right. Gotta stay off the boards when I've been up twenty four straight. Upper pocket in the frame, not control arm.

'69 Camaro
Dart 400-AFR 195-224/224 HR-Powerjection III TB with F.A.S.T. Sportsman XFI
TKO 600-Moser 3.42-Detroit Truetrac
500hp/538lbft

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'02 Z/28 vert-stock-sold and totaled
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old May 20th, 10, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Upper control arm installation question...

Here was the solution I used, no jack, no chain.... just 2 2 by 4's. See pic. it was easy, no monkeying around and it was completed in minutes. Pic could not be loaded, what's up with thaT" Took 1 2 x 4 from the sub frame to the ceiling, the other across the floor joists, about 10 minutes and it was complete. Safe and easy!

Thanks for the posts guys.

Peter
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