lots of shims on driver side upper control arm - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

Hey guys, I'm getting ready to rebuild the front suspension on my 68 base Camaro. I was planning on replacing all bushings, tie rods, center link, ball joints, etc, but was NOT planning to replace my control arms. I was looking at the driver side upper control arm and there are a lot of shims on the forward end (compared the rear of the same control arm and either side of the passenger side upper arm). My fear is that this is a sign of trouble.



My question is, would you guys (with much more experience than me) think that the rebuild would help remedy the need for all of those shims or is it more likely that there is a control arm issue?


I'd like to just do this once, but I don't want to spend money on parts I don't need. At this point, I am tempted to stick with my original plan and see how the alignment goes afterward, and if I can't get it straightened out, look at replacing the control arm.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 01:11 PM
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Re: lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

it is usually a sign if a tweaked frame.
i would take it to a shop and have them put car on a frame rack and see what it says. cheaper than doing a rebuild to see if that alleviates the problem

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 01:11 PM
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Re: lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

Stick with your original plan. Unequal shims is very normal and nothing to worry about.
Just get the car aligned after part replacement.

Al

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 02:47 PM
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Re: lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

I understand your concern but IDK what you mean by "a lot" more shims on one end (3 or more??)....but it is not unusual to have 1 or 2 more on one end vs the other.

Aside from alignment tweaks, shims are also added/taken away for larger tire/rim (back spacing) combos so there is no rubbing on full wheel turn

I just did the same thing on all new front end parts (Moog) when I did my RideTech front lowering springs. There were already shims for each arm. One side had one each the other side had 2 & 3 (3rd shim was thinner than the other 2)

You can certainly look closely at the arms once they are off and if one looks tweaked, just get another arm. Given how the welding on these front clips...lets say "varied" from one clip let alone from L or R side your A arm mounting bracket could have been welded on slightly crocked so a few more shims are necessary to get the A arm lined up right

If alignment shop has issues getting the alignment right than that would be the time to be concerned as "something" is off. Typically frame damage is visible at some point of impact

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 03:41 PM
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Re: lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

I have a nice stack on the front and none on the rear on one side.... then two unequal stacks front/rear of the other side.

They couldn't get the specs I wanted, but did make them even (caster/camber/toe) per side.


By the sounds of things....normal.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 06:20 PM
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Re: lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

Get a couple of .610 dowel pins and check the frame alignment holes on the forward sub frame to body mount. You can tell if the frame is at least close or very off.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 19, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

thanks everyone for your input. I think I will stick with my plan to replace what is obviously worn out and then see how the alignment goes.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 19, 10:35 AM
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Re: lots of shims on driver side upper control arm

I did alignments in the 80's so a lot of the cars I did were shims. Extra shims on the front bolt might be a good thing. Today we want more positive caster than the factory called for. You accomplish that by moving shims to the rear bolt. A good alignment man will know how to balance the caster and camber by manipulating the shims. Depending on what you want you final specs to look like you may have a problem on the opposite side but I think you'll be fine if you are going run camber that is zero or negative up to one degree.

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