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Upper Control Arm Gap

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Old 06-28-2011, 10:37 AM   #1
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Upper Control Arm Gap

Looking at the following instructions, would the failure to compress the upper control arm outer metal sleeve so that there is no gap result in a stiff upper control arm?

http://www.4wheelparts.com/aux_incl/...1.pdf&line=ENE

I replaced my control arm bushings last fall and neglected to do this important step. The control arm is very difficult to move by hand and I believe the ride can improve. Before, the truck rode like a Cadillac with the KYB Gas-A-Just struts. Now, the front is more firm and it barely moves when you press down on the bumper. When I had the control arm disconnected recently, it took a hammer to move the control arm off the ball joint.

The reason for not closing the gap was the lack of tools and I figured that, since the control arm still fits, what could it hurt? haha my aching back.

I was thinking about taking them completely off, closing the gap with a press, then possibly installing grease zerks because there are holes in the control arm that reveal the inner sleeve that allow for them.

I am a lot smarter than I sound. I was just being logical and it seemed like it wasn't that important at the time. My back is aching now.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:03 AM   #2
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The control arm should be hard to move and is torqued to the vicinity of 100lbs ft.
The ball joint has a taper fitting and normally takes a hammer hitting the side of the steering knuckle to remove, or tapping on the nut while attached to the end of the ball joint's bolt.
Make sure you reassembled everything correctly and the torque is correct.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
The control arm should be hard to move and is torqued to the vicinity of 100lbs ft.
The ball joint has a taper fitting and normally takes a hammer hitting the side of the steering knuckle to remove, or tapping on the nut while attached to the end of the ball joint's bolt.
Make sure you reassembled everything correctly and the torque is correct.
Thank you. I meant that the control arm was already "pulled off" the ball joint. It was torqued correctly. It still seems really difficult to move. I am definitely going to do it the correct way.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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With the arm attached only to the frame, it should be hard to move. Even the uniball UCA's are hard to move.
Just did another lift this past saturday. This info is fresh in me hed
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
With the arm attached only to the frame, it should be hard to move. Even the uniball UCA's are hard to move.
Just did another lift this past saturday. This info is fresh in me hed
Thank you very much. That is well appreciated. I still plan on making sure it is fixed, however. But I understand since they are torqued to like 87 ft. lbs. I have a feeling the gaps make the articulation even more stiff. Since the instructions stress the importance, I am going to fix it. It's driving me crazy.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
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I fixed the right side last night. The purpose of closing the gap was to allow adequate space for the inner metal sleeve to fit in between the washers. By torquing them with the small gap on each outer sleeve, the inner metal sleeve would bind with the washer on each side and cause the control arm to be extra stiff. I test drove it last night and the ride quality was greatly improved. Before it was extremely rough with little suspension movement which jarred the front end pretty good. Now, the right side glides over bumps and rides like a Cadillac again. I also added a grease zerk to each bushing that extends through to the inner sleeve and bolt. I don't know if they will stay threaded, but It was worth a try and I can always figure out how to tack them on there somehow if they decide to pop out under pressure.

Now- on to the left side. Ugh.

Hope this thread helps anyone in the future with a similar problem.
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