Problems, always problems!

Problem #1 – My friend who has the tool to spread the A arm ends by .015 before installing the pins, lives 2-1/2 hours away and I won’t be able to arrange to get it for two weeks.  So, I decided to try my port-a-power duck bill spreaders to do the job.  They work just fine and I tight fitted a bolt to keep them apart once the bulky duck bill is removed.

Problem #2 – It is very hard to find points to take careful measurements.  .015″ is not much and you really need  some definite points to make the measurements.  In the end I made two small center punch marks and measured between them.  Above I have punched the ends of the upper outer A arm.  Even with this it is not easy.  The port-a-power is fairly fine in its movement but, likely not as good as the proper spreader. The spreaders are available from Studebaker Intl.  If I do this job again I will definitely plan ahead to have the tool on hand.





This is the tool to do the job.  Simple enough to make at home – maybe I will take the time to do it for the next front end job I do.  I intend to do over the front end on our ’66 Commander and add PS too.

The ’66 will be another blog.  It needs a Studebaker V8, PS, PB, new rear fenders, rocker panels and AC.  I have an R1 289 for it with a Studebaker high rise manifold and Stromberg 2bbl.  But back to the current project.

Problem #3 – The king pin and the lower knuckle are not aligned.  This is likely a result of a damaged A arm.  In an earlier post I mentioned that the lower A arm on the drivers side was damaged from driving over things that didn’t move – like rocks!  I fixed the damage at the inner part of the A arm but, I didn’t notice that it was slightly twisted.  Since there was no way I was going to force the king pin into the knuckle something had to be done.

With the front of the A arm resting on a jack stand I fitted the duck bill between the rear of the A arm and the frame.  The wood was to give ma a good surface to jack against and to span the coil spring opening in the frame.  A couple of goes at this and the A arm came around just enough to line up the king pin and lower knuckle.

No problems here.  The compressed coil spring is in place and the floor jack is bringing up the A arm to the point where I can fit the king pin and spindle.  I used lots of white grease on the bearings and king pin to ease assembly.

Finally the front end is almost complete.  I have moved the king pin fully to the rear and with an outward tilt.  This will be my starting point for the preliminary setup before going to the alignment ship.  Shocks need to be installed, bushings painted, sway bar fitted to the A arms and lubrication of everything. The tie rods will be installed on the bellcrank only for the time being.

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