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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, have a few questions...Have been reading a lot of posts about front end measurements and such and simply do not understand.

Background: I hit a "big" curb hard and my left wheel was tweaked out a few inches. I was able to limp home with the tires squealing. I could not see any visible damage. I turned the tie rod in to bring wheel back straight.

This happened a few years ago, car been sitting since, no plates and tires flat (i.e. can't drive to a frame/body shop).

I read were people measured from the ground up on either side to check frame, how do you know the car/ground are level and equal on both sides to begin with to get the proper measurements?

Also, is there a way to tell if the control arms are bent.

Basically, if it's the control arms I can do while its sitting, anything else will have to wait until it's drivable.

Thanks, Dave
 

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Visual inspection is the key point, comparing the drvr side to pass side.

You can make diagonial measurements from LF lower ball joint Zerk fitting to RR rear axle point and RF to LR measurement. and compare the two. Any difference, within a 1/4 inch, I would say, would be the key. You can plumb from the measurement points to tape on the floor, then move the car and measure.

Level car would be rocker panel to floor and cross measurements they should be relatively equal front-to-front and back-to-back.

Control arm condition, as said, would be visual in comparision, one is a mirror image of the other and same goes its mounting onto the frame - check the pockets the LCA bolts to as they would be the weak points.Might even have a bent spindle.
 

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I had top swirve into a 6 in vertial curb in the middle of the road, towing the trailer in my 69 about 4 yrs back.
Blew the front right tyre (left hook drive left side of the road here)..demolished it.
And stuffed the front wheel alignment real bad..
I also clipped the rear wheel...Insurance came to the party very well.
1/I was concerned about any strees in the wheel...insurance replaced all the wheels and 2 tyres...it was more expensive to crack test than replace.
2/Concerned about stress on the stub axle, cracks, bearings, ball joints etc...insurance replaced...again more expensive to check than replace

No damage to steering rods.

These cars are built bloody strong....30 odd yrs ago we had to put a chassis striaghtener on a 1st gen cause mounted a a curb and clipped a tree....had to use a truck chassis straughtenr took 25 tonnes!!!! and that was the body with no chassis in it.
We did have to replace the chassis, A arms, steering rods.

What ever you do, do not dismantle till has been up on a chassis straightener for checking /pulling....it is very important that the operator can see the damage, how it was created , then reverse the 'proceedure'....not knowing/seeing this makes the job tediuos and inaccurate..if needs pulling.

From you description, based on personal experiance, I would without hesition replace
1/Wheels, stub axle, bearing.
2/A arms, upper and lower bushes , shocks
3/ Steering arms, check the steering box, pitman and idlers.

Replacement doesnt mean new if on budget...check out wreaking yards, but ball joints, bearings, shocks etc go new

Quick check of chassis...which I recon will be ok...
measure diaganals on the front chassis....AND the diagonals from a rear spring U bolt to front cnr of the chassis then compare with diagonal from rear bolt to bottom ball joint

From memory +/- 5mm tolerance...
look for signs of movent at the front chassis mounting bolts..?If comparing the above are out and there is no sign of movement the chassis and body could be twisted a little....panel gaps in the body different is a good indication the body has twisted, as is truck, doors , hood catches dont quite line up.

If body etc is twisted 2 things can happen.
1/ you can sell as a wreak, someone picks up a nice bargin, spends out puts on a chassis staighter and from there has a project that will most problerly be staighter than when it came out of the factory
3/Dont sell and splurge out a few bucks and get straightened yourself.

Im talking from personal experiance and hands on been there done that.
 

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I look for fresh signs of broken rust. I'm not sure if this would still be visible on a car that's been sitting. As mentioned earlier compare one side to the other or to known good parts. The tie rod ends or the center link are the weak links here. I think those would bend before the control arms or frame.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the info, I will do the measurements and see what I come up with. I did look at the body mounts did not see any signs of movement and tie rods did not "appear" bent but will take another look.

Thanks again, Dave
 

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If u put a little newspaper loose around the rods, then grab hold and side the paper back and forth with your eyes closed you can feel very sensitivly if they are bent.
 
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