Sunday, February 24, 2013

Control Arms

After adding a cheap press to my shop, I was finally able to complete the dis-assembly of the control arms from one side of the car. First, using borrowed-home-made special tools to prevent the 20-ton press from distorting the shape of the control arm, I pressed down on the inner shaft and pressed the bushing until it was flush with the edge of the control arm:

They've only been in there for 50 years...
After getting it that far, a dull chisel and a hammer (ok, I cheated and used an air chisel) is used to drive the bushing the rest of the way out of the control arm.

Here's the upper control arm stripped to the bare shell:

Needs a bath!
Then comes the inevitable cleanup:

No heavy solvent--just some green cleaner and a lot of scrubbing

After cleaning off all the caked on grease and road grime, I hit the parts with a wire brush and put on a coat of primer and paint. Sorry, I'm a little rusty at the blogging thing and I forgot to take a pic of that. Yup, nothing makes exciting blogging like pictures of paint drying!

Then it was simply a matter of putting things back together. I started with the inner bushings on the lower control arm. Here's the upper control arm with more of those home-made tools (in case you were wondering, the factory specified special tools are no longer available for this.)

Pressin'! The rusty area is simply dust off of the tool. 
Attaching the outer bushings and the kingpin is a bit trickier. It requires a special tool (which I actually own!) and some very careful measurement. To keep the end of the arm from binding the outer pin, you have to spread the arm 0.015 inches. So out comes the micrometer and tool--and since I had to pay really close attention, I didn't take a picture of this procedure.

Here's the completed upper arm.

I stopped for the day because I need to push a bushing and a bearing into the steering knuckle (which holds the bottom, shiny portion of the king pin you see in the above picture) and didn't have the correct tools for the job. Time to make a few calls--there has to be a Studebaker person around in the area who has done this previously.

And once that is done, it will be time to move on to the other side and do this all over again. Next side should go much easier, now that I have an idea of how to go about things.

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