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Lower control arm fubared.

Stoney

Lock-n-load
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So now I'm ticked... Trucks been tearing up the front brakes, and tie rods handling like crap, feels really loose... Been trying to figure this out cause I replaced pretty much EVERYTHING under there back in November...rotors, calipers, tie rods, ball joints , bearings, etc.. got it aligned, handled like crap..took it to another shop got aligned again..they said first alignment was Way off but they got it right now...I paid, guess what truck still handles like crap.
SO..after all these months, trying to figure it out, we did a alignment check old fashioned way. Tape measure..it's way off measuring between front of tires compared to measuring at back of tires..ideler arm is shot, pitman arm is shot, tie rods are shot. WTF..!! I've replaced all this multiple times..no way I've gotten defective parts 3 times in a row..
So I got under it and started REALLY looking at EVERYTHING..
Come to find out the lower control arm on passenger side is twisted .. you don't notice it when you lift the truck cause that's actually what I usually lift it from right under the spring...
I think it got twisted when the lower ball joint broke in November and the truck hit the ground. The wrecker had to drag it on roll bed to get it home . I think the lower control arm dragged the ground and it got twisted and bent back some ..

I got on rock auto to check prices. Now I'm checking with y'all..Moog, a/c DELCO, or mevco brand?? There all pretty much same price within 10-20 bucks .so I don't mind any of the prices..but want y'all's opinion on brand and to verify I'm looking at the right part number.
Also how do I change it with out hurting myself..somehow gotta compress the spring...ain't never done this before
 

Big T

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So now I'm ticked... Trucks been tearing up the front brakes, and tie rods handling like crap, feels really loose... Been trying to figure this out cause I replaced pretty much EVERYTHING under there back in November...rotors, calipers, tie rods, ball joints , bearings, etc.. got it aligned, handled like crap..took it to another shop got aligned again..they said first alignment was Way off but they got it right now...I paid, guess what truck still handles like crap.
SO..after all these months, trying to figure it out, we did a alignment check old fashioned way. Tape measure..it's way off measuring between front of tires compared to measuring at back of tires..ideler arm is shot, pitman arm is shot, tie rods are shot. WTF..!! I've replaced all this multiple times..no way I've gotten defective parts 3 times in a row..
So I got under it and started REALLY looking at EVERYTHING..
Come to find out the lower control arm on passenger side is twisted .. you don't notice it when you lift the truck cause that's actually what I usually lift it from right under the spring...
I think it got twisted when the lower ball joint broke in November and the truck hit the ground. The wrecker had to drag it on roll bed to get it home . I think the lower control arm dragged the ground and it got twisted and bent back some ..

I got on rock auto to check prices. Now I'm checking with y'all..Moog, a/c DELCO, or mevco brand?? There all pretty much same price within 10-20 bucks .so I don't mind any of the prices..but want y'all's opinion on brand and to verify I'm looking at the right part number.
Also how do I change it with out hurting myself..somehow gotta compress the spring...ain't never done this before
$10 to $20 for a lower control arm? What year is the truck? Stamped steel or forged LCAs?
 

Will L.

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$10 to $20 for a lower control arm? What year is the truck? Stamped steel or forged LCAs?
NO. He is saying 10 or 20 dollar difference between prices on the 3 brands. So he wants to know which brand arm to get.
Of which I have no opinion/ experience to help. But yes damaged control arm will wreck the rest of the parts in a hurry.
 

DieselAmateur

Diesel or Bust
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I have a lower control arm replacement in my future too, as ball joints have to be welded in as the metal is so worn they don't press in and stay anymore. And the idiots who weld them in don't account for access to the grease fitting, which of course shortens the life of said ball joint leading to more frequent weld in ball joints...vicious cycle.

Anyways @Stoney I know it's cheaper to do yourself but I know those torsion bars are something serious. Short of having someone who's done it before to help you I'd take it to a reputable shop to handle that process, the tension on those bars is no joke.
 

Stoney

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@DieselAmateur . I didn't think my truck he'd torsion bars..my other 97 I had did.(4x4) ..I remember adjusting them to level it..but never seen them under the dually..have to climb under and look..
Anyway, any shop is going to charge a few hundred bucks to do it around here. Probably worth every penny but I literally don't have it.. I was only working part time before the baby was born, and now cause of all the complications I had to go on paid family leave..don't get me wrong, it's nice to have but they only pay 67% of your average checks...BUT good news (kinda) is I start CDL (Class A) classes in June. (Already know how to drive a truck but haven't had CDL class A in over 10 years) gotta do the classes so a company will actually hire me cause I don't have verifiable road experience According to them... (it's a Insurance thing for them). Anyway at least then I can start making better money. Have class b but that don't help with road time cause we don't use log books in dump trucks...anyway, if by chance the truck will hold together that long I'll hire out the job doing the control arm.
 

MrMarty51

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I too am curious as to what it takes to safely unwind the torsion on one of them bars.
I’ll be watching this thread.
Oh wait, I wonder if there would be a youtube video on such matters ?
 

MrMarty51

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From what I am reading, raising the vehicle by the frame and allowing the wheels to hang will relieve most of the pressure on the torsion bar.
Then they was somehow using a puller with the jaws to the cross member to finish relieving the pressure. Also read that unbolting the shocks helps too.
I would think that if the ball joint of the lower arm was released and a jack was placed under the lower arm, then the arm could be lowered using a floor/trolly jack to totally remove the pressure on the torsion bar.
I had read of talk about a factory tool too remove the pressure. Might be oriellys or some other parts store might have the tool to loan.
 

MrMarty51

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Pretty sure his being 2wd has coil springs. Just go to the local auto parts store and borrow a spring compressor
Okay, I thought they were all torsion bar suspension. I just have not been around two wheeler wehicles that much.
Yeah, if it is a coil spring, loosen but do not remove the nut on the lower ball joint, pound on the steering knuckle where the ball joint stud goes through. It will pop and the knuckle will come to rest on the nut. Use the trolly/floor jack and lift the lower control arm, remove the BJ nut, lower the jack, stay out of the way while doing so, the lower arm will release the spring.
I dont know if the spring compressor will be needed to get the spring back in, I have always been able to lay the spring back between the arms then jack up the lower arm until I can get the ball joint nut started and screwed down.
Just be safe, use good stands or blocking under the frame of the truck.
 

Big T

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I have a lower control arm replacement in my future too, as ball joints have to be welded in as the metal is so worn they don't press in and stay anymore. And the idiots who weld them in don't account for access to the grease fitting, which of course shortens the life of said ball joint leading to more frequent weld in ball joints...vicious cycle.

Anyways @Stoney I know it's cheaper to do yourself but I know those torsion bars are something serious. Short of having someone who's done it before to help you I'd take it to a reputable shop to handle that process, the tension on those bars is no joke.
The torsion bars are easy. If you have stamped steel LCAs, they are a PITA to get off. I could never get them off my son’s ‘94. When I do go into swapping in Forged LCAs, I will cut the stamped steel ones off with a grinder and a cutting wheel.
 

FellowTraveler

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The torsion bars are easy. If you have stamped steel LCAs, they are a PITA to get off. I could never get them off my son’s ‘94. When I do go into swapping in Forged LCAs, I will cut the stamped steel ones off with a grinder and a cutting wheel.
I always use anti-seize on the t-bar ends as well as the slots they ride in.
 

nobby

Old Timey Diesel Guy
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Are the forged LCA's still available?

Torsion Bar Unloader:
Can be had on the bay pretty cheap normally, i picked one up a while back for around 60 i think.

Cheers
Nobby
 
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FellowTraveler

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Are the forged LCA's still available?

Torsion Bar Unloader:
Can be had on the bay pretty cheap normally, i picked one up a while back for around 60 i think.

Cheers
Nobby
Yes, forged are still available, but you need to make sure you order for the right vehicle...when you get them put a good coat of chassis saver or DuraBak to protect them from the elements.
 

Big T

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From what I am reading, raising the vehicle by the frame and allowing the wheels to hang will relieve most of the pressure on the torsion bar.
Then they was somehow using a puller with the jaws to the cross member to finish relieving the pressure. Also read that unbolting the shocks helps too.
I would think that if the ball joint of the lower arm was released and a jack was placed under the lower arm, then the arm could be lowered using a floor/trolly jack to totally remove the pressure on the torsion bar.
I had read of talk about a factory tool too remove the pressure. Might be oriellys or some other parts store might have the tool to loan.
This^^^. Raising the vehicle by the frame and allowing the LCAs to hang will relieve all of the pressure. Done it without the wheels and CV axles in place. Who knows, if I make enough progress on the IP and timing chain & gear replacement on my son's '94 Suburban, I will get to dropping and removing the LCAs and replacing the boots on the CV axles.
 
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