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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Out of control project!

Hello all,

I've got a 68 convertible clone. The brakes are manual drum and I'm going to upgrade to power front disc. I figured as long as I have the car jacked up, I might as well fix the loose steering, poor handling, and a leaky power steering pump. I'm waiting on a complete, turn-key, front disc brake kit from Inline Tube to arrive. I'm also going to have the power steering pump and gearbox rebuilt by PowerSteering.com. Will also have him convert the gearbox to quick ratio.

At this point I've removed the sway bar (also replacing with a 1-1/4 inch bar), tie rods, and center link. I bought the Moog steering rebuild kit (inner and outer tie rods and upper and lower ball joints) I also had them throw in a new idler arm. The only way I could get the center link out was to remove the idler arm and Pittman arm with it. I can't figure out how to remove the idler and Pittman from the center link. I tried beating them out, but that didn't work (was afraid to hit him full force). I don't think my tie rod removal tool (pickle fork) will fit in-between the idler & Pittman and the center link. Any suggestions?

Also, my top and bottom control arms are pretty rough looking. I don't want to drop $600+ for new ones from Ames, NPD, or OPGI and the tubular arms advertised in OPGI are WAY to much (for me and a clone)! I found these https://www.amazon.com/64-72-Chevell...r+control+arms) on Amazon. They have fairly good reviews and are only $277 for all four. Ant thoughts on replacing my original stamped uppers and lowers with these? By the way, I probably put less than 1000 mile per year on the car.

Thank for the help!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 11:54 AM
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Pitman puller is the only acceptable way to remove (which you can get on loan from most auto parts stores).....

As for the control arms, most will tell you NO WAY / JUNK / ETC.....That said, I ordered similar and will be testing in just a week. I could not justify spending 3 - 4x that amount.

Good luck

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 12:10 PM
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Rebush the originals if necessary, no need to replace unless bent.
Most tapered bolt will come apart with a mechanics bar to apply pressure and a couple of smacks on the side of the eye with a hammer.
Whenever I use a fork I just tap it in to apply pressure then smack the side of the eye, one or two good strikes usually does it.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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911. Thanks. Please let me know how those control arms work out. At my current progress, you’ll have them installed and rolling before I’m ready. Took me two hours to get one of the front shocks out today. The two bolt clips where rusted through. Had to fit a wrench in between the sprigs to hold the fixed. By the way, I was able to get the pitman arm off the steering box, I just can’t get the arm off the center link. I’ll have to find a sharper and smaller pickle fork

Now I have a new problem. I watched all the videos recommended on removing control arms. They look they where made in the early 80s when these cars where a lot younger. I’ve loosened up the upper and lower spender bolts and have beat the c$&p out of each side, but the will not let go of the ball joints. I though the springs would help, but nope! Even beat on the control arms a little. I know they will have to let go to remove the spring and arms, but they won’t budge. Any ideas?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 07:39 PM
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"Iíve loosened up the upper and lower spender bolts"

Spender bolts?

Assume you have the brakes removed down to the bare spindles, right? What I do is pull the cotter pins from the nuts that hold the ball joints to the spindle. Then back the nut off enough to be flush with the threaded end. YOU DO NOT WANT TO REMOVE THEM.
Then use a pickle fork and a BIG 5 pound sledge hammer and put the pickle fork between the spindle and control arm and bang away on the pickle fork (you may have to move the fork around in several positions to get it to break loose). The spring pressure will help to separate the ball joint from the spindle. It will pop on you, but will be held in place because you still have the nuts on the ball joints.

I have a set of torches, so once the ball joints are loose (still have the nuts on them to keep everything together) I cut the springs because I am going to replace them anyway. The other method is to use a spring compressor. You can rent one, BUT, make sure you get the correct one for the older type cars/springs and NOT the compressor for coil overs (guy at the counter did not know the difference and I didn't either and had to return the tool and go to another auto parts store who had the correct one). Compress the spring so no tension is on the control arms. The remove the ball joint nuts completely and you can drop the control arms/spindle down and out. Then remove the spring. Note that the lower control arm has a "pocket" where the end of the spring fits back into when you go to put your springs back in - if using stock type control arms.

I see on some Youtube videos that you can place a jack under the lower control arm and use the weight of the car to hold it compressed and then remove the nut on the ball joint and then drop the lower control arm down to un-compress the spring. Never did this and probably won't either. Might work on a weak or low rated spring. Try that on a heavy-duty/tall spring and you may have a problem. Springs can be dangerous and can injure or kill you. If I don't cut the springs with my torch because I am going to replace them, then I use a spring compressor to safely remove it.

You will need a spring compressor to install the spring as well.

On the idler arm, back the nut off until it is flush with the threaded end and beat on the nut/bolt with the 5 pound sledge. It should pop out. Then undo the nut the rest of the way.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=PontiacJim;870331]"Iíve loosened up the upper and lower spender bolts"

Spender bolts?

"Spender bolts" #[email protected]% $#%@ auto correct

Thanks Jim, I did have the nuts backed off about two turns. Beat the upper and lower all round with an 8lbs hammer. Finally got the lower loose by using the tie rod fork and a 15lbs sledge. Whacked on it so hard the fork bent outwards, but the left lower finally popped. Hammered the forks straight again and went to work on the right lower. Same thing. Still haven't been able to loosen the uppers. Tomorrow I'll pick up a larger ball joint fork and a ball joint removal tool I say earlier today. Also picked up a spring compressor at O'Reilly's and it turned out that it wouldn't fit into the shock absorber hole. Went to two other local auto parts places and each of them had spring compressors to loan. Borrowed two different kinds, none of which would fit through the hole. Would one sold though OPGI or NPD fit? None of the videos said anything about the size of the compressor, but then again, the ones I watched looked pretty old, so the compressors were of the old style you mentioned. Other than those problems everything I going pretty well. So far no bolts have snapped or nut stripped, which is what I was expecting. I don't think any of these parts have ever been changed or worked on for 50 years. Thanks for the advice everyone, you too roper. I'm sure I'll have more questions later
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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One oval-one round?

I finally have all the suspension components out. In removing the lower control arms I saw that the driver side arm had front and rear bushings that were both round. On the passenger side the front busing was round, but the rear was oval. Is that common or does that indicate that at one time one of the control arms was replaced? I find it hard to believe because neither looked or acted like they had ever been removed during its 50 year life.
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