Suspension Repairs

9/21/2010 to 10/11/2010

These control arms are a mess. I am not sure if these are supposed to be dead straight or not but I am damn sure they are not supposed to look like this. I will have to ask on the Stude forums. These are 1/8″ steel and will be a bear to get straight. It looks like they got mangled then someone just forced them back until the bolt holes lined up.
Yup, those are crooked. The washer at right is worn away on one side and paper thin on the other by the cockeyed rod rubbing on the bracket. Time to move on to something else.
This picture from the service manual shows that these arms were supposed to be dead straight. These are seriously not straight.
The arms are made of very mild steel. I used the vise and some wood blocks to start working the arms straighter. This helped a lot but not enough. I need a metal block that will fit into the channel of the arm but I don’t have anything that will fit. This will take some work…
It is getting better. The plywood looks thin but it is really there just to spread the load. The real pressure is in the jaws of the vice.
Here is the hardware from the control arms. I have the bushings and lock washers. I found the bolts at Studebaker International. Those washers though will be interesting. They are some sort of rubberized fiber material. I will have to figure something out here.
New parts came today! The kingpin kit and new spacers to replace the one I boogered up are left. On the right is the one shock I found, new shock bushings and retainers, new center link bolts, and a new center link bracket. The control links I can’t find anywhere so I will have to straighten mine.
Here is the new control link bracket next to the old one. Just a little bit bent! I could straighten the old one out but why not use the new part? I will keep the old one in case someone needs it.
Some of the hardware needs replaced, but a lot of it is usable. A quick cleanup with a die helps. The top bolt has been run though the die. The bottom bolt is next.
I have new upper pins but the old ones look really good. So I checked them with a caliper. The old pins are just fine but I will probably use the new ones and keep the old ones.
The machine shop did not want to take on straightening the control links so I have to make them work myself. I decided not to kill myself trying to take out the curve of the link but rather concentrate on making the link flat and squaring the ends up. I found this hunk of aluminum tubing that fits in the bushing end of the link perfectly. So I put the other end in the vice. The aluminum tube makes it obvious that the end is twisted a bit and bent a little to the right. The best part is the bar makes a great handle to force it back into line. Once I got the ends square and in the same plane I cleaned and painted the links.
Here is what I put together for the inner link ends. Two of the rubber/fiber washers are in good shape but two suck. Surfing the hardware store isles I found these nylon washers. The inner diameter is wrong and they are a little thick but I think they will work.
My stash of large drill bits yielded one the perfect size. I clamped the washer into the drill press vice and drilled the hole out. This looks like it will work just fine.
Now for the other end. The new bushings were easy to push in by hand. I think these are ready to go back into the car

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