Need advise about upper control arm shaft (offset or no offset)

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by Cutlass, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Cutlass

    Cutlass Platinum Level Contributor

    I will double check, however I installed them according to the manual:

    No new springs installed, just bushings, shocks and ball joints.
    I cannot say for sure, but I cannot recall that the height difference was present with just the new parts installed, but before yesterdays alignment.
    Would you please educate me about the twist-in spring booster?

    Thanks, even though the last alignment I did was about 40 years ago, during my apprenticeship, it is like riding a bicycle: Once you learned it, you will never loose the skill.

    Part of the reason why it took me so long was, that I always had to remove the bolt in order to add/remove the shims. The factory shims allow that w/o removing the bolt. When I did the drawing for the watercutting, I tried to copy the stock geometry and did not think far enough to understand that with the huge thickness of my shims the "stock-feature" will not work. I probably would have been better off to just design a simple slot and pay more attention not to loose a shim while tightening the bolt.
  2. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Well-Known Member

    Your shims look nice. I think a few seconds with a file would have solved your problem. ;)

    OK, if not new springs, I'd still run it up and down the road a few miles to settle everything. If it still isn't level, make sure you measure frame points and not body points. Sometimes the body mounts will collapse. I try to measure the frame just behind the front tire and just in front of the rear tires. Figure out if one side is off or just one corner.

    If you have to lift the front, there are twist-in spring booster. I'm not fond of them but they work 100% of time for minor tuning. They look like the ones in this link.

    If you need to lift one side of the rear, you can use these since the spring coils are much wider apart.

    You can also use that type to clamp down a coil if you'd rather bring the high side down instead lift the low side.

    I'm sure you are aware that if you lift one corner, it will also lower the opposite corner so small changes until it is like you want it and only change one thing at a time.
  3. gsx455-4ever

    gsx455-4ever Gold Level Contributor

    The Ball Joint boot is NOT an umbrella type seal . It is an actual seal in that it keeps dirt and rain out .

    You can use a hook type tool with a flat blade to help seat it around the ball joint itself . Something like a "Lady Finger "

    The only way the boot will move around is it was not seated properly when it was installed .
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  4. Matt Knutson

    Matt Knutson Well-Known Member

    Try loosening the control arm bolts/nuts and "bounce" the car up and down a few times front and rear. You may need a helper. Then with the weight of the car on the ground re - torque them all to spec. Also make sure the rear spring is properly seated in the upper pocket / perch. Sometimes the spring will hang up on the upper seat. The balljoint seal should slide down and stay. If not grease will flow from that place instead of the weep hole when you lube the chassis.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
    Cutlass likes this.
  5. 12lives

    12lives If it runs, it's done!

    You did torque the nuts on the arms with it on the ground/at ride height?
    Cutlass likes this.
  6. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    I just replaced my ball joints and bushings and had a difference or 3/4" so I'm interested in what you find. I had some damage repair at some point on the right fender that my be causing some of the issue. It's not visual and as long as the spring is properly seated, I'd give it some miles.
  7. Cutlass

    Cutlass Platinum Level Contributor

    Yeah, in hindsight ….. :)

    The nuts of the control arms to the frame were tightened @ right height.
    I will double check how the springs sit in their seats.
  8. Cutlass

    Cutlass Platinum Level Contributor

    Embarrassing, but the truth:
    Right front spring was not seated correct in the upper mount. I probably paid to much attention how to seat the spring in the lower control arm.
    Next step is to call my friend and secure me a spot on his hoist with the alignment equipment in order to check / adjust where necessary.
    Thanks to all of you for you help!
    BuickV8Mike likes this.
  9. Matt Knutson

    Matt Knutson Well-Known Member

    The good news is that you found the problem and is a fairly simple fix. Thanks for the follow-up.
  10. Cutlass

    Cutlass Platinum Level Contributor

    Today I was able to get access again to the alignment equipment. Caster, Camber and toe-in have changed quite a bit, just by fixing the spring mounting.
    Here are the number with the spring seated in the upper seat incorrect:
    And here the initial measurement after correcting my mistake:
    I settled finally with the adjustments below:
    I had to adjust both sides with almost the same shim thickness. Just 3mm or about 1/8" difference at the front bolts.
    IMG_0254.JPG IMG_0259.JPG
    The stance of the car is great, I was able the get about 2° of positive caster. No pulling in any direction while driving. ==> I am a happy camper :)
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
  11. Cutlass

    Cutlass Platinum Level Contributor

    Here are the parts I used for the front end rebuild:
    IMG_0010.JPG IMG_0011.JPG IMG_0012.JPG

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