Upper control arm question

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joe fremeau
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Upper control arm question

Post by joe fremeau »

Hi Recently i brought mt car in for it's first inspection since i bought it. It failed on the front end, they told me it needed the upper control arm fixed it was to loose. Does this consist of replacing the spindle or bushings or are there other parts i should replace. Thanks all for your help.
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rwmann
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by rwmann »

Could be the spindle, the bushings, or the top ball joint. Did they say where was the excess play? Had you noticed it while driving?
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by joe fremeau »

No didn't notice when driving, they did not mention what part. I will probably replace those parts. Does anyone know where to find upper ball joints. Thanks
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by DAC21 »

joe fremeau wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2022 9:05 pm No didn't notice when driving, they did not mention what part. I will probably replace those parts. Does anyone know where to find upper ball joints. Thanks
http://datsun-roadster-parts.com/produc ... uspension/

https://datsunparts.com/products/datsun ... edd9&_ss=r

Datsun parts . com is now closed until July 1.
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rwmann
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by rwmann »

joe fremeau wrote: Sun Jun 12, 2022 9:05 pm No didn't notice when driving, they did not mention what part. I will probably replace those parts. Does anyone know where to find upper ball joints. Thanks
If you didn’t feel the play while driving, that makes the call a questionable one.

Can you feel the play if you raise up that tire and try to move it while on the jack.

If not, in the short term at least you may want to find a second opinion on whether excess play is present.
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by redroadster »

I've run into mechanics that argue load bearing ball joints should have 0 play , they have .020-.045 normally ( they would seize with out lube play) and the must replace limit is .125
A snaking fixture dial gauge is used to check exactly
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jhayden
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by jhayden »

Ross’s (Sports Imports) excellent tech article on suspension wear sequence is no longer posted on his web site :( , but many (including myself) have found that the upper shafts and bushings may develop considerable wear prior to lower ball joints (next in sequence) requiring replacement. Best to replace both sides, and the kit mentioned in the post by DAC21:

http://datsun-roadster-parts.com/product/ss-122-2-am/

should take care of your problem.
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Gregs672000
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by Gregs672000 »

Alternatively you could go to a a good tire/alignment shop and ask them for an inspection. That's what I did and they were able to tell me what needed repair and replacement.
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by jhayden »

Hello there, Greg! Here's Ross's reply to you back in 2018 regarding the usual sequence of component wear:
sports imports wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:46 pm 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

Ross
Your advice is certainly still valid if you have a trustworthy front end guy.
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by jr02518 »

Joe,

I purchased my 1970 from a long term owner, 1977-2020. The car had 135,000 total miles. It has lived in a garage for the last 25 years, that I can confirm. The car spent that last number of years as a non driver, the clutch hydraulic system had failed and that was just the tip of the things that had not been maintained.

Having a driver puts you ahead of the curve. Will you be doing the repairs or do you have a shop that will be doing the work? Can you chase the required part and they, do the work? If that is the case, be prepared for a shop rate that reflects you supplying your own parts. Going forward, they will want your car off their service racks and to be paid. The up side, things will happen very quickly.

To your issue with the front end, what do you want to do getting is to pass inspection? What are your skills and do you have the tools to pull it off?

In my case the only new tool that had to be acquired was a new DeWalt high torque hand held electric hammer driver. Getting those bushings off then back on the a-arms, is no fun. I might have changed just about everything, but now I have a baseline that I can sleep with. The grease boots on all those parts in the under carriage should be your guide. Are they in place and full of grease? Welcome to the Datsun adventure.

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Gregs672000
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by Gregs672000 »

jhayden wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 11:29 am Hello there, Greg! Here's Ross's reply to you back in 2018 regarding the usual sequence of component wear:
sports imports wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:46 pm 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

Ross
Your advice is certainly still valid if you have a trustworthy front end guy.
Yep, ultimately I needed an experienced tech who was willing to explain to me what I was seeing, and to make sure I was testing things correctly. I ended up rebuilding my steering box, idler, and replacing the connecting arms. Upper a-arms, ball joints and the rest were good (had already replaced the lower ball joints and bushings).
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by johnscf »

Once the upper and lower control arms are disassembled is there any trick to getting them back together properly? I have all mine apart for sandblasting and then painting
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by jr02518 »

In no particular order: Do you have a grease gun loaded with a fresh tube of grease? Do you have a DeWalt High Torque Electric Impact Wrench? Have you wire brushed all of the fasteners?

I found the torque setting quoted to reassemble the upper and lower bushings to be at best a guide. I was reminded they have to pivot as a completed assembly. when done. Not easily, but they do have to pivot. One of the things we learned on the lower a-arms, I did not tighten the fasteners for the lower spring perch until the bushings were in place and almost tight. I did have the lower ball joint in place on the two outer parts of the a-arm. Nothing was more than spun on the bolts. If you are overly concerned with not scratching your fresh paint at this stage, you will consume much less adult beverages.

As a side note, changing the tie rods now will save more of the fresh paint on your "refreshed" front suspension.

Trust me.
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Re: Upper control arm question

Post by mwoolford »

When I did my upper and lower spindles, first I greased the spindle threads and the insides if the spindle nuts. Then I started each nut a quarter turn at a time so they pulled in evenly; I tightened them until it was obvious that they were too tight, then backed them off slightly. I also set them into the arms with JB Weld. All this required holding the arm in a large vise and using the appropriate size combination wrench with a "cheater bar" for added torque. Don't fool yourself, it takes a LOT of torque to seat those nuts. And remember to put the rubber grease seals on the shafts first.