Torquing down the A arms

But before I go to the A arms I had to finish the bearings on the left front. When I ordered the new bearings the salesperson thought I said bearing and not bearings so I ended up with one set.  A bit of a delay and not it’s time to install the second set.

I bought some nice new left hand lug nuts for drum.  I don’ t have left hand taps and dies to clean up the old studs and nuts so I bought new nuts which spin on quite well.

I didn’t show a photo of the grease seal in my earlier post.  I naturally pressed it down until it stopped on the bearing cup.  It just didn’t look right so I decided to leave it stuck up about 1/16″ this time.  The old seal was also up by about that amount.  The seal seems to seat a whole lot easier.  On the opposite side the sealing lip is tight against the cone lip and I think that is not going to be good for sealing.  The seals are cheap at $7 so I’ll buy another and put it in the other side a bit later before I torque down the wheels.

Now on to torquing the A arms.  Baby Blue is on jack stands at the rear axle.  These blocks keep the car about level with the weight fully on the front suspension.

This gives me just enough height to work on the lower A arm end bolts.  It calls for 65 lbs torque.  Easy as pie doing the rear bolts.  They’re in the open with plenty of room to swing the torque wrench. I like to use jack stands or at least leave the jack just touching for safety.  A school chum from my elementary days, Gordie Campbell, was crushed under a car before he was twenty.  Not a nice way to go – such a waste.

The front bolts are more of a problem.  They’re in behind an indent in the radiator support.  I tightened the bolts with a regular wrench until they were seated.  That left just enough room to fit a 3/8″ short socket on the bolt.  From there I needed a short wobble extension to clear the bottom of the radiator support.  I attached it to the 1/2″ torque wrench with a 12′ to 3/8″ adapter.  A bit of a setup but it got the job done.

I bought a set of wobble wrenches from Princess Auto – Chinese of course.  They seem good enough for the hobbyist.  I’ve found them handy a number of times in tight spaces.

The upper A arms call for 35 lbs torque.  Here you can just see the socket on the end bolt.  This is over the fender in the engine compartment.  I used a smaller inch pound torque wrench (set at 420 in. lbs – 12 X 35) which was easier to use in the  tight spaces.

Getting at the front bolts in the upper A arms is quite easy.  Here I’m working on the right side from between the tire and the frame.  Again with the inch pound torque wrench.

Just a note about the tires.  I replaced my earlier 205 75R15 Broadway Classics with these Toyo tires.  The Classics had a nice 1″ whitewall.  Unfortunately they don’t seem to be available in Canada any more.  I dug around a bit looking for anything with a whitewall that was bigger than a pinstripe.  I came across these but, I couldn’t get the 205 75R15 size.  These are 215 70R15 and they are about the same diameter as the 205 75 series so my speedometer should work OK. The whitewall is only 3/4″ but is still presentable I think.  I wouldn’t want these tire if I didn’t have PS.  Even the earlier skinnier 75 series were a bear to turn in a tight parking situation.  That was a big part of why I wanted to install PS.

You likely noticed that the rims are not Studebaker.  Putting bigger radials on 5″ original Studebaker rims didn’t seem like a good idea.  I have heard of stress cracking  from the increased side load when radials corner.  I picked these up from Canadian Tire.  They are Chrysler rear wheel drive Dynasty 6″ rims.  Since I use full wheel covers they are fine for me but, if you want to use the small hub caps then they are not going to work.

Next on the list is filling the rad and checking for leaks.  When that is OK then I’ll fill the PS pump and check for leaks.  When that’s OK then it’s time to start the engine – and yet again check for leaks.  I think I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel!

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