Upper A arm fix and A arm installs

I had a problem with the bushings in the upper A arm.  They didn’t go in evenly. Because the bushings didn’t have a definite shoulder like the NOS parts but, instead had a slope, there was nothing to stop one from traveling in too far – see the top photo above.  So I took the A arms to my friends shop to use his press to push out the new bushings and install some 40 + year old NOS bushings.  I figured that the cross shaft would destroy the bushing as it was forced through.  Surprisingly when we pressed the cross shaft out the bushing compressed slightly and then slipped out of the A arm.  So we started pushing and pressing from different sides until we go the bushings pretty well centered – see the bottom photo above.

The fact that the bushings moved in and out so easily was a concern. So we decided that it would be a good idea to weld a couple of spots on each bushing to the A arm body just to help them keep in position.  Hopefully with this they will work.  The spots are on the underside so won’t be visible from on top from the engine compartment.

The A arms are now in place.  Things are beginning to look better.  The lower A arms went in nicely and I was able to use a torque wrench to set them to 65 ft lbs.  The upper A arms were a different story.  The manual calls for 80 ft lbs which is not a problem except that there is no way I could get my torque wrench on the bolts short of removing the front fenders and that just wasn’t going to happen.  I was able to get a socket and power bar on one but for the other I had to use a box end wrench plus a wrench extender ( I picked up that tool from Lee Valley of all places.  I’ll include a photo in my next post.) I tightened the bolts to what I think is maybe close to 80 ft lbs.  I  normally torque everything.  I twisted off too many bolts (smaller sizes) in my younger days and it’s always a pain especially if it is a fixed stud.

Next chance I get I’ll be installing the upper pin and bushings, the lower knuckle, pin & bushings, and the king pin with spindle.  Once everything is test fitted I’ll be able to get the springs back in place.

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