Replacing front ball joints and bushing - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ed
 
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Question Replacing front ball joints and bushing

Hello everybody,
I know this has probably been asked several times but I tried looking on previous Posted Threads and didn't see it.

I have a stock Inline 6 1967 Camaro with a 250 engine and want to replace bushing, ball joint, springs and shocks. I have read a lot of threads mentioning that the
KYB Gas Adjust are the way to go. My question to everyone is how hard of a job is it? I don't mind putting in the time and elbow grease, but I just don't want to get in over my head and end up with extra parts ! ! ! ! Also many of you have probably already have done this job , what hang up should I look out for and what do's and don't should I be concerned with.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and options.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 03:25 PM
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

Most important is safety when removing the springs. Use a quality spring compressor which you can "borrow" from Autozone or the like. Have your machine shop press the bushings in for you. Also before you start may want to soak the rusty bolts with TB or WD to free 'em up. I'm doing a car now so your not alone.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

I have read posting than mention to place the front of my car on jack stands. Than using a jack to lift the A arm, remove bolts and remove the spring that way. Is that safe?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 04:33 PM
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

I don't like my heart beating that fast! You can do that,I use to but a spring compressor is just much safer. Its all about your capabilities working on cars and experience. Sounds like you know what your doing, I just like to warn people that are not aware that a spring CAN kill you.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 05:03 PM
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

it's not a terribly hard job... kinda like taking a small jigsaw puzzle that someone else all ready put back together, and taking it apart and back together yourself.

As was said, safety is paramount. A compressed spring stores a LOT of energy, and you have to be sure you release that energy in a controlled manner.

Loosen but don't remove the ball joint nuts. A peice of all thread, some washers and a couple of nuts up thru the shock mounts is goos insurance.

With the suspension hanging, pop both balljoints. The nuts will keep everything together. The joints may pop if you whack the sides of the spindle with a hammer, or you may have to use a pickle fork.

Once both joints are popped, put your jack under the lower joint, a couple inches of slack in the all thread, jack it up till you can take the nut off the lower ball joint with your fingers (spring tension is completely controlled, no tension on the nut.) Then lower it down slow.





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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 05:30 PM
 
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

One of the hard parts I had was the lower control arm bolts they unbolted easy but were rusted in the bushing there is not alot of room to get a punch in there to knock them thru. But with patience I got em.

The other thing is be careful when you are removing and installing the bushing you can bend the a-arm up if you try and beat them out try and use a press

The ball joint just borrow a BJ press from the auto parts store and press the lowers out mine were stubborn but came out finally

I use the jack method but I drop a chain thru the spring and and both a-arms and bolt it together . Leave enough slack in it when it is totally relaxed the chain is still loose That way if the spring popped it cant really go any place

Also depending on you intentions with the car this is a good time to have the a-arms blasted then you can paint them

Also as I always do for reference I take pictures just in case I ever have to look at what goes were. Plus with the pictures I have before and afters for later

BTW I used the KYB and I like them
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 08:19 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

i am restoring a 67 was an inline 250 as well. well i took the subframe off had it powdercoated and went with poly bushings. i heard for the bushings that they were a pain to get out and you had to press them out or something but i got tired of thinking and just took my a arm off then went to my bench vise tightened it up around the lip that is on the bushing then with both hands opposite of eachother turned the a arm back and forth allowing the bushing to come out just a bit then shot wd 40 on it and did it again they came out very nicely. now i know that safety is a big issue but i ended up taking two ratcheting tie downs and put them on the spring opposite sides then hooked around the a arms up top put pressure on the tie downs and they did pop out very nicely and as controlled as i could of expected. but i dont recomend it just because well i am an idiot. the new bushings went in at les schwabbs i helped the guy just to learn and he said the same thing about bending them so what he did was wedged sockets in between the gaps keeping the a arm solid but it did take about 1 and a half hours. don't know if any of this helps but that was my method. good luck and keep up the good work.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 06, 09:36 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

Read as many of the posts throught this section on doing the work.

Jim M's description lays it all out for you. It is not a difficult job, just be sure to use the proper tools (usually available as loaners or rentals) & take your time to do it safely & properly.

Glad to see another 6 banger getting the treatment.

Paul

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 06, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

Thanks for your help, I removed the shocks and spring last night. I took plenty of picture just incase I have a brain fart and forget where things go back. Now I have a couple of new questions.
1) Am I suppose to put grease in the ball joints where the nipple is? I thought I read that somewhere but now can't remember.
2) Now that I have everything removed and cleaning it up, here's my next question. I tried to order the Moog 6308's and was told that they are heavy duty and not used on 6 bangers. Has anyone used them on a 6 and will they be alright?
3) Spring question, How good are Monroe Sensa-a-Trac? Or should I just spend the extra $$ and get the KY Gas-a-Just Shocks?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 06, 08:28 PM
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

I currently have my entire front suspension apart. (1969 camaro w/ small block). I was told the Monroe Sensa-a-Track was a stiffer shock and I bought the regular Monroe shock. I thinks it depends on your preference of ride stiffness. The good thing is shocks are easy to change.
I used MOOG springs and just bought what the auto parts store recomended (O'Reilly Auto Parts). If the parts store says your spring is too big it proably is. Good luck.... many decisions to be made.
Are you going to use rubber or polyurethane bushings???
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 06, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Replacing front ball joints and bushing

I using rubber bushing (less noises). I bought out shock KY Gas Adjust and Monroe Sensa-A-Trac. I haven't deceided which ones to install yet. That's the last think on my mind right now. I'm more worried about if Moog 6308 will work in my car.
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