Can't get front control arm mount lined up

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Lizzie94, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Lizzie94

    Lizzie94 FEOA Member

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    20170103_144427.jpg I'm putting in a new control arm on the passenger side, and I can't get the front inner end aligned with the bolt holes in the frame. It moves up/down and in/out just fine but won't go in enough for me to slide the bolt through the bushing and sleeve. What makes matters worse is having to raise the engine in order to get the bolt through in the first place. I'm attaching a picture of what's going on. How do I get it lined up?
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I have never tried that, but I would likely get a strong screwdriver, one that I could stick into the hole and pry on it get the control arm bushing pulled into alignment. It might be due to the inner part of the bushing being a tight fit in the 'seating area' of the subframe. If I were desparate enough, I might think taking some of the load off the control arm would help; such as removing the strut or at least unbolting it from the knuckle.

    I have a tool that gets a lot of use when I am working on the front suspension. It is a steel rod about 1” in diameter, 6 ft long, with a tapered bladed for one end, and a nice round hammering bulge for the other end.
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  3. Lizzie94

    Lizzie94 FEOA Member

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    I undid the ball joint pinch bolt and dropped it out, and then it went in real easy. Except now, the ball joint stud won't go back in the knuckle. I checked both the old and new CV shafts for both sides next to each other and they were the same length. They are also fully seated in both the transaxle and the hubs. This is maddening!
  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Be sure you have run the hub nut on and used it to pull the hub fully onto the splines. And check the inner end of the CV axle, where it fits into the transmission. That last 1/4” (where the inner CV fits into the oil seal) can be hard to notice.


    I have had what I consider the usual problems getting the ball joint stud to go back into the knuckle. It is enough of a hassle that I now prefer the method of unbolting the ball joint mount from the control arm, getting the stud back up into the knuckle, and then putting the ball joint mount (the sideways arm) back into the control arm. This sometimes takes force, to get the control arm to move up or down for rebolting things together - depending on whether the other front wheel is on the ground or in the air.

    And usually it takes me using a pair of channel lock pliers holding the stud in position to go directly into the knuckle, without getting pushed over at an angle to the hole. The end of the control arm will interfere with the side of the socket part of the ball joint, until you get the control arm pushed down partway to the position it will be when you have it bolted on. That is when I used my long pry bar, and some cuss words.

    I do a lot of turning the steering to one extreme or the other, to help me get things back together.

    For disassembly, I normally take the ball joint mount off of the control arm, leaving the stud firmly held in the knuckle. Once I have the mount unbolted from the control arm, its easy to assess if the ball joint is still snug and stuff, or partly worn, or has outright 'play'.

    I will send you a 'conversation'
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  5. Twinky

    Twinky New Member

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    You probably have already got this sorted but for anyone else reading...

    Try using a second jack on the other side of the car. definitely helpful when setting the ball joint back on.
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  6. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Yeah, having an extra jack is sometimes handy when doing stuff like this. I sometimes borrow one from another car.
  7. Pizzaman5000

    Pizzaman5000 FEOA Donator

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    Have you tried using a large Phillips head as a spud wrench? Like sticking a lever in one side so you can line the holes up?
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