Suspension eval

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Gregs672000
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Suspension eval

Post by Gregs672000 »

Hi gang, pulled the front suspension off the Blaster yesterday. I plan to replace the upper and lower ball joints (I had purchased the new lowers many years ago in the group buy and the uppers are reasonable). I have looked at the upper and lower spindles and they don't look bad to me, maybe some minor wear to the threads but they appear decent... what should I look for? Also, I was not able to get one of the lower bushings out of the arm (driver front) which was also the one that I could not grease (wouldn't accept any). I tried my serious air impact wrench and some leverage (though that was somewhat limited as the arm is hard to secure)... it is really in there. Any suggestions other than more leverage? Given how bonded it is, should I also assume the arm should just be replaced, and if so does anyone have a spare front driver lower arm they don't want?
I'm going to replace the idler box (rebuild or purchase one already done), but what should I look for on the tie rods and center link? They feel rough in movement to me and are probably original or near original... should their movement be smooth? This car did shake a fair amount at certain speeds and has for years which I'm sure wears parts more rapidly.
Finally, what grease are people are using in their steering boxes instead of oil?
Thanks as always!
Greg Burrows
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tjp
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by tjp »

When I disassembled my front suspension, I removed each side as one whole assembly. I was then able to disassemble each side and refurbish what could be and replace what needed to be. When I removed the lower bushings I had the lower spindle in a bench vise, a correct size socket for the bushing, a breaker bar and a four foot piece of pipe on the breaker bar. It took my full body weight on the pipe, nearly 20 stone, to get it to move.

I believe the bushing actually cut threads as they are threaded on. I seem to remember reading that if the bushing are going to be replaced then the spindles should be as well. Hell, new bushings on even slightly worn spindles is a recipe for early wear and loose suspension.
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by space »

1st off I am no mechanic compared to the majority on this site
that being said i had a similar problem with my 67.5
i first had the wheels balanced (which was strange because they seemed fine on my 68)
that helped alot but still had "wobble" in the front
I used a pneumatic grease gun from harbor freight and greased the sh*t out of every fitting
a couple were stubborn but the pneumatic power prevailed
after that I had no wobble at all
tbh i havent driven the car much till this year but i dont believe the fittings were greased in 20yrs
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by RustBucket »

I had a tough time with the passenger side lower ball joint. I used a ball joint separator, tensioned until it started to bend, then I braced the bottom of the a-arm with a jack and used a 1/2" round rod (from lowes) cut to a good length that I slid down and pounded on the top of the bolt with a 5 lbs sledge hammer. I think it took me two days to get it, but all of the sudden it popped. Drivers side came off with a lot less force and drama. A-arm was still fine after words. I also soaked both sides in WD40. Good luck. Rustbucket
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by sports imports »

Greg;

It is always best to evaluate suspension wear before taking it apart. The old proverbial tire kick will tell you a lot about wear in a front end.
We also check for play with a cheater bar as you can literally see the movement if badly worn. The most common wear in the front end starts with upper a arm bushings and shaft, then the lower ball joints wear. If this is let go for too long, the idler arm starts to wear. Upper ball joints and and lower a arms only wear if everything else is shot to hell.

If you cant remember when you last replaced upper a arm shafts and bushings, then its probably time

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Re: Suspension eval

Post by Linda »

Good to know, Ross.
Stupid question, how do you use the cheater bar to check for wear?
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by Gregs672000 »

Thanks for the responses and continued info! I believe my biggest issue is/was the idler box as I could see it move, but when I went to Les Schwab they mentioned the bottom A arms, but I'm not very confident of their eval as there was no mention of the idler, and it is clearly bad. I don't see much wear on the threads of the spindles. On the passenger side, once I removed the ball joint and the arms were free and independent, one of them had more fore and aft play vs the others, but maybe that's to be expected? The uppers all appeared solid and had no fore/aft movement that I could detect before removing them off the car. I have yet to remove the bushings as I did not have the proper size bolt. At this point I am inclined to re-use the spindles, install new bushings upper and lower, likely replace the upper ball joints and lower ball joints (already have the lowers), redo the idler box and if needed replace the tie-rods and center link if they appear bad.
Thanks again, and I am still open to more feedback!
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by JT68 »

The rear lower bushing gets worked fairly hard. Typically more wear there especially if ungreased for a long time. The bushings should only rotate. no lateral or axial movement at all. It is easy to see and feel if the spring is out and the a-arm is at a normal height.
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by sports imports »

The cheater bar method is more a like a long pointed pry bar. You gently wedge it next to the lower ball joint and test for looseness and sloppiness. If it is worn, there will be play. As JT mentions, if the upper and lower a arms are still attached with no spring or shock, the play or lack there of, is obvious. Grease your front end every 1000-1500 miles and you will have a long lasting front end. Metal suspension parts need grease or they wear very fast.
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by svwilbur »

Gregs672000 wrote: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:00 pm Finally, what grease are people are using in their steering boxes instead of oil?
Thanks as always!
Greg, there was another thread that talked about using grease in steering boxes at the link below.

I don't drive my roadster alot, maybe 1000 miles or so a year. even less miles driven on my 57 chevy 3100 truck. for both of them I use john deere corn head grease in them but I have so few miles on using it I have no proof that it is good.

I can say that it does not disappear out of the box while it sits in my garage year after year in my truck, ;) and it does not appear to leak like the recommended oil did in my truck.

in my datsun the first time I ever checked it, (feburary 2017) since I purchased it in August 2012 five years earlier, I saw that there was no oil in it. So I filled it with John Deere corn head grease that I got from the local john deere farm supply. it is green in color. I used a grease gun, filled it, turned the steering some and tried to fill more. drive it some and recheck if it has leveled out any more and top off if needed.

it seems to work so far but it has just been sitting in the steering boxes except for the few miles I have driven the vehicles. no noticeable issues yet but not any real miles either.. the datsun was driven maybe 5,000 miles with on oil or maybe it slow dripped out and I caught it when it was finally empty? but it is full of corn head grease now, a year later.

it is a self leveling grease and good at fairly extreme temps, -30 to 330°F extreme enough for my driving needs. the truck has had it in it about 8 years and the datsun 1 year. at least it has not leaked out!

here is a link that gives its full specs and other members have other substitutes like some Liquid Grease product and other oil products.


http://www.311s.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.ph ... se#p236646


There are some before pictures of it dry from using Steering Oil, I guess and it all leaked out and then the grease i used and some after pictures, 8 months later, where it had leveled out but still covered the gears so i added some more.

Stacey
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Last edited by svwilbur on Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by notoptoy »

For some reason I think I recall that Ross offers something in a liquid grease?
"When all else fails, force prevails!" Ummm, we're gonna need a bigger hammer here.

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Re: Suspension eval

Post by Gregs672000 »

Thank you for the update and information!
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by Gregs672000 »

Took apart the idler box today. The lower bushing is worn, and there is some pitting on the shaft. Since the new bushing will need to be honed to fit, is a little pitting any big deal? The rest of the shaft appears fine and the threaded bushing and shaft threads appear totally fine. Thanks.
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by pebbles »

Gregs672000 wrote: Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:45 pm Took apart the idler box today. The lower bushing is worn, and there is some pitting on the shaft. Since the new bushing will need to be honed to fit, is a little pitting any big deal? The rest of the shaft appears fine and the threaded bushing and shaft threads appear totally fine. Thanks.
Does it look like cast/machine pitting, or corrosion pitting?
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Re: Suspension eval

Post by greydog »

I think the shaft needs to be smooth in the bearing areas. Otherwise, the edges of the pits will chew on the bushing.
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