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Lowering front suspension. Lower A-Arm issue

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Old 09-07-2017, 10:00 PM   #1
Street89vette
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Default Lowering front suspension. Lower A-Arm issue


Ok, so i decided to lower suspension. Followed steps from experienced forum dyi. Once i got through the lube covered arm cleaning and disconnecting the shocks - sway bar - leaf clamps - abs - ect.. the lower arm ball joint is not releasing. Used block of wood on leaf with jack to release pressure and with suspension with no load. How large of a fork separator and how big of a sledge hammer do i need without busting this nice aluminum a-arm??? Dyi'rs beware. i have experience and air tools and would never attempt this twice.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:24 AM   #2
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Ok, so i decided to lower suspension. Followed steps from experienced forum dyi. Once i got through the lube covered arm cleaning and disconnecting the shocks - sway bar - leaf clamps - abs - ect.. the lower arm ball joint is not releasing. Used block of wood on leaf with jack to release pressure and with suspension with no load. How large of a fork separator and how big of a sledge hammer do i need without busting this nice aluminum a-arm??? Dyi'rs beware. i have experience and air tools and would never attempt this twice.
You're using the wrong tool... get a ball joint separator from Harbor Freight Tools
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:33 AM   #3
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Leave pressure on the arm with the spring. Loosen the nut on the ball joint to give you about 1/2 inch between the nut and arm. Place a wood block on the a arm near the joint and hit it with a 3 lb sledge hammer until it pops loose. Then take the pressure off the spring and continue disassembly.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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Skip the pickle fork and the hammer. I wouldn't risk either on aluminum. Use a ball joint separator. Will come apart with ease and you won't marr the aluminum or worse.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:02 PM   #5
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thanks, will go back at it tonight and post results.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:02 PM   #6
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Skip the pickle fork and the hammer. I wouldn't risk either on aluminum. Use a ball joint separator. Will come apart with ease and you won't marr the aluminum or worse.
I would use the separator tool, or if that isn't readily available, you can heat the arm around the ball joint stud, then hit down on the castle nut to "shock"/jar the stud...it will come right out. Might even come out w/just the heat, as the aluminum will expand rapidly w/heat, and the steel stud won't.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:37 PM   #7
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I used a gear puller when I replaced the lower ball joints.

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Old 09-08-2017, 07:10 PM   #8
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I've used a gear puller as well. The ball joints and tie rods came out so easily that the jaws wouldnt damage the aluminum.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:39 AM   #9
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One member here said you can do this on a c4 to pop the ball joints. All you need is a large coupling nut & some bolts.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:39 PM   #10
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thanks, both lower a-arms down. 6 hours in the disconnecting leaf. DYIs if you have no shop experience do not try this. PIA project on a 89 C4. These guys on corvetteforum are mostly Professionals that can knock this job out fast. Go to a Auto Garage and pay whatever they want. I would charge $500 to $800 just for labor. Still cannot get loose leaf spring to move in or out with everything disconnected. Will start back up again tomorrow. Day 4 lowering C4 suspension. Any suggestions on getting fiberglass leaf to slide out a few inches. Hammer/Pry Bar/ Wood Blocks???
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:33 AM   #11
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Did this job on my '91 ZR1 years ago... Should be able to pry it loose once brackets are removed. You need to get the front end of the car way off the ground; (block rear wheels and set parking brake firmly). As the front spring gets a LOT of arch into it once all pressure is relieved; like the letter "C" and as you take it out one side it points straight at the ground. Trimming off the old rubber pads is also a chore with a straight edge razor blade. I sanded and used a lot of epoxy on the new thin wedges and I am not sure they stayed in. Personally, I wouldn't do this job again as like you said the bang for the buck just isn't there! Also, you will really have to watch it when entering steep driveways or you will scrape the lower corners! You may consider coilover$ as you can easily adjust ride height to get the exact amount desired.

Best of luck!

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Old 09-11-2017, 02:59 PM   #12
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Did this job on my '91 ZR1 years ago... Should be able to pry it loose once brackets are removed. You need to get the front end of the car way off the ground; (block rear wheels and set parking brake firmly). As the front spring gets a LOT of arch into it once all pressure is relieved; like the letter "C" and as you take it out one side it points straight at the ground. Trimming off the old rubber pads is also a chore with a straight edge razor blade. I sanded and used a lot of epoxy on the new thin wedges and I am not sure they stayed in. Personally, I wouldn't do this job again as like you said the bang for the buck just isn't there! Also, you will really have to watch it when entering steep driveways or you will scrape the lower corners! You may consider coilover$ as you can easily adjust ride height to get the exact amount desired.

Best of luck!

Amen..PO slammed my 94 before I got it. I can't get up any driveways and getting across some streets that are really arced are a challenge. I'm looking to go back to stock. Tears up the car underneath.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:35 PM   #13
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ok, leaf out with WD40 and pry tools. leaf in on one lower arm. Having to remove drivers side lower arm. This would have been so fast if i would have dropped both lower arms to start with. DROP BOTH ARMS FROM THE START. leaf would have easily slid out. Lower arms bottom out on frame and will only go down towards ground at 45 degree and which is just enough to keep leaf tight in the frame.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:37 PM   #14
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Amen..PO slammed my 94 before I got it. I can't get up any driveways and getting across some streets that are really arced are a challenge. I'm looking to go back to stock. Tears up the car underneath.
Coil Overs
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:48 PM   #15
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Yes coils r very nice but $$$. Maybe the kids don't have to eat 3xs a day....😈
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:20 PM   #16
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ok, leaf spring back into the frame... omg. took 30 mins to clean up! make sure you have a spud wrench to get the arm lined up for the bolt holes. Drivers side ball joint distroyed but not taking down the arm again. Professionals can show me how to make quick work on that while set in the waiting area sipping coffee. Can anyone tell me how much needs to be cut off the spring clamps for tight fit?
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:39 PM   #17
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1.25" needs to be cut off large c-clamps. Shorter bolts with threads to top of bolt or spacers to make original clamp bolts tighten up. Spring clamp 1" thick so use large reciprocating saw. One bolt is blocked by rack and pinion base but use original (can't get it out anyway) and just use spacers. Had to do this with no assistance. Find a friend.... two man job.
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