lower control arms - sway bar

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jetmankt
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lower control arms - sway bar

Post by jetmankt » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:09 pm

Replaced the lower control arms and had major fight getting sway bar back in -- is this normal -- installed the cup washers by the book but now there is an excessive gap between the bushing and the washer face which allows the whole control arm to shift foward and back -- noticable change in wheel camber while backing up due to the shift in the arm -- control arm bushings came installed in the new arm and bushings are seated correctly -- Anybody ever run into this situation

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Re: lower control arms - sway bar

Post by AMXSC » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:52 pm

jetmankt wrote:Replaced the lower control arms and had major fight getting sway bar back in -- is this normal --
Here is the trick to it. Get 2 sets of spring compressers and compress both sides of the front coil springs on the struts. On your workbench install the control arms to the sway bar. Slide the assembly under your car. Bolt the inter control arms to the engine crossmember. Have a friend move the control arms around until the bolts line up for the the sway bar. Bolt the sway bar in. Now line up the both front balljoints to their knuckle/hubs. Bolt them together and remove the coil spring compressors. What make it so hard to do is you fighting the spring compression from the wheels.
jetmankt wrote:installed the cup washers by the book but now there is an excessive gap between the bushing and the washer face which allows the whole control arm to shift foward and back -- noticable change in wheel camber while backing up due to the shift in the arm -- control arm bushings came installed in the new arm and bushings are seated correctly -- Anybody ever run into this situation
Is your car missing the washer that goes between the nut and the cup washer? I've seen a few XR's that have them and a few that are missing them so I think the factory left them off some cars. If your car is missing them it might be the reason for the gap your seeing.
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John Brennan
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Post by John Brennan » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:22 pm

Alternatively, you can loop a ratchet strap over the ends of the sway bars and use it to cinch up the sway bar like a bow until it fits in easily.

There's another, possibly even easier method I heard someone mention once, but I can't remember what it is...
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Post by milehighXR » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:51 pm

John Brennan wrote:Alternatively, you can loop a ratchet strap over the ends of the sway bars and use it to cinch up the sway bar like a bow until it fits in easily.
I tried that, and I don't have enough ass for that method.
John Brennan wrote: There's another, possibly even easier method I heard someone mention once, but I can't remember what it is...
I use a 4 ton porta power with a pull ram. In the past I have used a 10 ton porta power with a chain loop to achieve the same effect as the pull ram. JUST REMEMBER TO VERY SLOWLY CRACK THE RELEASE VALVE. I whipped it open super fast once, and it wouldn't budge because of the emergency feature.

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Post by AMXSC » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:25 pm

Here is the other easy way.

Bolt up the control arms to the engine crossmember and balljoints. Bolt on the tires. Place 2 car ramps under the wheels. Put a floor jack centered under the engine crossmember. Slowly lower the car onto the car ramps. What that will do is it will compress the springs and the sway bar will swing into position all by itself. Put 2 jackstands under the body to hold the car and to keep it from falling when you crawl under it to install the bolts.

Trust me this works great. I have pull out the engine crossmember and swaybar on my car about 15 times in the last month because I'm building a new crossmember for my car.
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Post by jake » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:26 pm

AMXSC wrote:Here is the other easy way.

Bolt up the control arms to the engine crossmember and balljoints. Bolt on the tires. Place 2 car ramps under the wheels. Put a floor jack centered under the engine crossmember. Slowly lower the car onto the car ramps. What that will do is it will compress the springs and the sway bar will swing into position all by itself. Put 2 jackstands under the body to hold the car and to keep it from falling when you crawl under it to install the bolts..
That sounds like a nice trick. I have used the ratchet strap approach, but I'll try this next time.
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Post by thebronze » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:39 pm

Wow....Guys seem to be having a hard time doing this...... Took Me about an hr a side....No come alongs, no ratchet straps, no hydraulic rams.....Just a wind up jack on the sway bar and it slid right in......easy peasy :wink:
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Post by whitelx » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:49 am

thebronze wrote:Wow....Guys seem to be having a hard time doing this...... Took Me about an hr a side....No come alongs, no ratchet straps, no hydraulic rams.....Just a wind up jack on the sway bar and it slid right in......easy peasy :wink:
yeah, i don't get it either. I managed to get my sway bar/TCAs in without using any kind of special tools or a helper.

IIRC I may have done it without the struts mounted to the uprights, which allowed for freedom of movement with the TCAs. I bolted the TCAs to the sway bar first, then installed the TCAs into the crossmember.
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control arm

Post by thedrill » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:55 am

Last week I replaced both control arm bushes in my lunch hour, If you bolt up the sway bar to the body but leave the inner control arm bolts out on both sides, you can push on the wheel to line up the inner control arm bolt holes, once you get the bolts started on the inner control arm holes, all I do is use a pipe wrench to twist the arm to fully align the bolt holes and then hit the bolts right through with a hammer.
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Post by AMXSC » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:31 am

Some cars are easy and some are a real PITA. If you have an easy car your lucky.

I have had to use the ratchet strap method also and I have had cars that everything just bolted in with no problems. The hardest time I had was when I replaced all the rubber bushings with polyurethane bushings.

Here is a writeup for a European Ford Capri it describes the ratchet strap method and it is the most detail writeup I found and it does apply to our cars also because the European Ford Capri have the same style frontend suspension design.

http://www.fordcaprilaser.co.uk/track_c ... bushes.htm

A quick question for you jetmankt. Did you retighten the sway bar nut at the control arm after lowering the car to the ground. If you didn't this could be another cause of the gap problem you listed. When the car is in the air the angle is different then when it is loaded.

I hope all this helps.
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Re: control arm

Post by milehighXR » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:25 am

thedrill wrote:Last week I replaced both control arm bushes in my lunch hour, If you bolt up the sway bar to the body but leave the inner control arm bolts out on both sides, you can push on the wheel to line up the inner control arm bolt holes,
Speak for yerself Hulk. I on the other hand weigh 130 soaking wet, and would much rather not risk popping a lung. Something that for me is a 50/50 chance seeing as how the last time it happened, it was determined to be "genetic". Something about being tall and athletic(of which I am neither...)
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Post by John Brennan » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:43 pm

I've done it both with muscle power and the ratchet-strap method. The ability to do it with muscle power has more to do with luck than any kind of super-strength, although your legs and stomach muscles are a lot stronger than your arms, which was what worked for me that time.

Jacking up the tire seems like working smart instead of hard, but be very careful about lifting the car off of the support jacks with too much suspension compression as you do this. It can be very disconcerting to be under the car, look over, and see air between the car and your jackstands-- ask me how I know!
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Post by Frag » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:15 pm

These threads crack me up. I mean I have heard of this so called ratchet strap method, but seriously a 4 ton porta power thing?

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Post by John Brennan » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:24 pm

Frag wrote:These threads crack me up. I mean I have heard of this so called ratchet strap method, but seriously a 4 ton porta power thing?

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I was gonna be polite and not say anything, but yeah... talk about a 'bigger hammer'... this one would've made Holmes jealous (insert "Predator"-style victory roar here):lol:

I had never even heard of this thing... guess you do learn somethin' new every day!
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Post by milehighXR » Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:12 pm

John Brennan wrote:
Frag wrote:These threads crack me up. I mean I have heard of this so called ratchet strap method, but seriously a 4 ton porta power thing?

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I was gonna be polite and not say anything, but yeah... talk about a 'bigger hammer'... this one would've made Holmes jealous (insert "Predator"-style victory roar here):lol:

I had never even heard of this thing... guess you do learn somethin' new every day!
Like I said, I don't have enough ass to muscle it, and I'm anxious to spend 2 more weeks in the hospital with a hose sticking out of my side cuz my lung popped again. My vote is still porta power(just a little hydraulic ram, nothing special). Fast easy, and no danger of the car falling on me.

He asked for ideas on how to do this, and that's mine. Works great, no fuss, no muss.
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