Removing Front Suspension Components - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Removing Front Suspension Components

I am currently attempting to remove my front suspension....no, I have never done this before or anything else related to classic restoration. Here are some pictures of my current status. I have removed all but the UCA/LCA, springs, & spindles. I have a spring compressor in place. I cannot seperate the LCA ball joint from the spindle. Other than brute force, is there anything else you can recommend.

My new Hotchkis front suspension should be here this coming weekend!
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,
-Dan






-Dan
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 06:40 PM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

my lowers popped right out when I whacked the bigger part of the A-arm with a BFH (Big Effin Hammer)....although I didnt use a spring compressor, soooo....maybe not a big whack to start.....start with a little tap...lol..or just tie the spring to the frame and keep it safe, and the whack that sucker loose.....it only took one or two times and it came free...just hit it on the strong part of the A arm...

or just use the pickle fork, like in that picture up top....

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

Pickle fork isn't working. I have almost demolished a brand new BFH hammering the end of the pickle fork. I'll try hiting the LCA directly.

By the way, I reposted this thread in the Suspension Forum...thought that would be more appropriate.

Here it is: https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=198530

-Dan
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 06:46 PM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

All assuming the engine is in the car....needed for the weight it provides.

Thread the nuts back onto both ball joints, but leave about a 1/4" gap between the nut and the spindle.

Remove the spring compressor - you don't need it for disassembly - it just gets in the way.

Put jackstands under the subframe or under the rocker to securely hold the car up and to allow the front suspension to fully droop. Now you have the control arms being under tension from the spring, which will hep you.

Put your floor jack under the LCA under the lower shock mount, about 1/2" from making contact.

Now whack your pickle fork on the lower ball joint with a BFH. It might take a few whacks to separate the taper from the spindle. The nut will keep it from flying off.

Next, what the upper with your pickle fork.

Once both are broken free, use your floor jack to put a little tension on the LCA so that you can unthread the nut on the LBJ.

Slowly lower the jack all of the way to the ground - you should be able to wrestle the spring out by hand.

Remove the UBJ nut and remove the spindle.



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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

The motor has already been removed. I just cannot seem to separate the ball joint from the LCA. I will attempt again tomorrow with Al's advice.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 07:52 PM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

Try going at it from a different angle. The direction your pic shows has the fork going in with the greatest gap between the joint and spindle so it might get all the way in without actually putting real force on the joint. What always works for me is to cut the wheel all the way back and come in from the front corner with the pickle fork, like come straight in at it like in your second picture. Get the fork started so it wedges, then a two hand grip on the 5 pound persuader and batter up.

Also, ditto on putting the castle nuts back on a few threads. That way you can take your compressors off and let spring tension help you seperate everything and it'll only pop open as far as the nuts allow. Then just put them back on once it busts loose so you can take the nuts off. Just don't have your leg underneath it when it gives. Also some antisieze on the studs when you put it all back together will make the next time a lot easier.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 11, 10:07 PM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steiner View Post

Also, ditto on putting the castle nuts back on a few threads. That way you can take your compressors off and let spring tension help you seperate everything and it'll only pop open as far as the nuts allow. Then just put them back on once it busts loose so you can take the nuts off. Just don't have your leg underneath it when it gives. Also some antisieze on the studs when you put it all back together will make the next time a lot easier.

yup, I forgot to mention that the tension of the spring makes it alot easier to pop that bad boy free

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 11, 04:42 AM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

x3 or whatever. Lose the spring compresser, jack under the control arm. I loosened the nut but left it on by a few threads, lowered the jack and let the spring do the work. A gentle whack with the BFH should set it free.

Removing the LCA was a huge pain for me. One of the bolts just spun in the bushing. I had to cut it free. Good luck.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 11, 05:03 AM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

Screw the nut back on the ball joint a few threads and hit the nut with a hammer a few times to break loose the taper fit.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 11, 07:16 AM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

I agree what is said above about putting nut back on a few threads. Remove compressor. But also hit the side of the spindle where it holds the ball joint. I'm talking about the cast ouside area that is holding the tapered part. It will break loose as long as you still have the pickle fork placing pressure. Be careful when lowering control arm as spring might try to pop out.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 11, 07:31 AM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

You've been given all the right advice on big friggin hammer usage so all I can add is that a can of PB Blaster will be your best friend when disassembling anything on these old cars. Spray the nuts/threads, have a beer, spray again, have another beer or two, by then everything comes apart quite nicely. Be aware the stuff stinks royally so make sure you have good ventilation.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 11, 07:36 AM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

Quote:
Originally Posted by clill View Post
Be careful when lowering control arm as spring might try to pop out.
Yup, I ran a length of chain around the subframe, through the spring and connected it to itself with a caribiner just in case it wanted to spring free.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 11, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

Thanks for all the advice and quick replies.

OK, nuts are back on, spring compressor removed, bots/joints soaked with PB Blaster. I also removed the clamps uses to lower the springs hoping more spring pressure against the LCA.

No joy. Hammered the hell out of the LCA, side of the spindle, and the pickle fork. This thing is a beast and I'm only on the left wheel. I might attempt dismantling the right side to see if there is any difference.

The only thing I haven't tried from all of the advice is Russ' advice to sit back with a couple of beers....I think that might be the next move.

I'll let you know when I get it.

Dan

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 11, 09:25 AM
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Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

Try this.

Keep the jack under the control arm, tighten the castle nuts all the way back down, put the spring compressor back on, and remove the clamps that are holding the bottom two coils together. Then remove spring compressor, loosen the castle nut (just leave a couple of threads on) and lower the jack. Then whack it with the hammer. If that doesn't work, and engine is out of the car, you may need to weigh the frame down to get a little more compression on the front springs.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 11, 11:25 AM
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Wink Re: Removing Front Suspension Components

From the marks on the side of the ball-joint stud, it looks like your 'pickle-fork' opening is to narrow - bottoming on the stud before going in far enough to separate the spindle ... you might be able to grind it open a slight bit more to clear stud ... or get a BFPF
Try the technique of installing the nut a few turns, backing off the spring compression a little and wackin' the side of the spindle where the ball joint stud goes through - it should pop in a couple good blows

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