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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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.
 

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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.

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

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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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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.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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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I've had my front suspension apart a few times now, and I'm certainly no pro...but I've got to say, I'm pretty disappointed the pic DIDN'T load, cuz I've certainly never done it with no jack, and only 2 2X4s...

Just saying :)
 

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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
A 2X4 as a suspension tool? Thats got to be a first.

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jim,

I did use a jack, under the lower control arm. I was refering to the jack and chain method typically used or written on here.

I'm actually in Saugus, MA

[email protected] if you want a pic.

P.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The 2 pieces of 2x4 in the shape of a T (one length wise from the subframe to the ceiling, one perpendicular to the floor joist.) It acts as a brace so when jacking up the control arm the subframe it stays in place.
 

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Ok...THAT makes sense. Thinking I'd still run a strap through the spring/arms just in case something slips.

I'm a ways from being on the road, but hopefully will be at some shows/events early fall...maybe we'll bump into each other. I'm out west from you, just shy of Worcester.
 
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