PDA

View Full Version : Front Suspension- ALMOST as easy as it looks...


dhbfaster
02-23-2014, 11:09 PM
Got a lot done this weekend...BUT ran into another one of those things not incredibly obvious in the manual ("special tool with no helpful illustration..")...what's the trick to separating the spindle housing (this may not be the correct name) at the lower ball joint, and how to separate it from the the steering linkage?? (one pic each attached)
:WHATTHE:

Help is most appreciated!

SmithKid
02-24-2014, 12:25 PM
The special tool used is called a "pickle fork". Basically two side by side wedges that are driven into the joint with a hammer. The joints "stick" together because the shank of the ball-joint is tapered. I have a pair of them you would be welcome to use. I am located in S. Everett, but could meet you somewhere. Actually, I have an errand to run sometime this week in the Totem Lake area.

falcon cobra
02-24-2014, 12:39 PM
Orielly auto parts will loan you tools for free....jh

dhbfaster
02-24-2014, 01:30 PM
I thought that might be the tool...and it sounds like using it is pretty simple and fortunately looks to be almost a cheap to buy it at sears or harbor freight at as to drive up to borrow it. Do you know what sizes I would need for the tie rod and lower ball?

By the way...thanks for bringing my parts back from Steve's...I really appreciate it.

doghows
02-24-2014, 01:50 PM
You could also try plan B. I usually smack the area surrounding the ball joint with a BFH. There is a flat spot on most of the spindles that is actually made to do this. Of course the pickle fork works well too I'm just too lazy to go get one.

dhbfaster
02-24-2014, 01:55 PM
:ROTFLMAO: BFH was my first tool of choice! Of course- maybe I didn't use it right, but I didn't want to beat it up any more or break it...

Luva65wagon
02-24-2014, 02:25 PM
Usually the BFH works well when there is an opposing force (like a spring or gravity) to let the thing "let go" when the shock is applied.

Using a pickle fork is what most use if you don't plan on saving anything that is replaceable, since it will probably damage grease boots and often the joints themselves if you are not careful. In other words, you will likely be replacing all of these parts. The BFH method will often allow reuse of things (ball joints, tie-rod ends) if needed and in good shape.

Can't tell from the pictures. You have the coil spring out already?

SmithKid
02-24-2014, 03:28 PM
All of above is true. I was planning to replace all my ball joints (my front-end was terrible) and didn't even consider that you may not be in the same mode. Sorry. I agree though, that the pickle fork should be the last resort as it will tear up the seal almost assuredly.

dhbfaster
02-24-2014, 04:02 PM
I was planning to reuse everything unless it looked bad-plan was to clean, powdercoat or paint, and replace anything that needs to be replaced. (These do seem ok-so I was hoping to keep them.)
I do have the spring off already (working/learning one side at a time...the other side is still on.) I wondered if the fork would damage the boot...so is there a certain place I should brace it and then focus the hammer on?

doghows
02-24-2014, 05:06 PM
Put a smaller hammer on one side of the joint and smack the other side with the big one.. The joint being the part the tapered tie rod goes into. I got away with holding mine up in the air and let the weight if the part hang smacked it a few times and viola it came apart.

SmithKid
02-24-2014, 05:10 PM
But of course keep the nut on the shaft to not mangle the threads.

dhbfaster
02-24-2014, 05:47 PM
Ok, that's pretty much what I was trying to do, but I didn't really have good support under it. I'll give it another try. Thanks- all advice really appreciated.

dhbfaster
02-28-2014, 09:47 AM
Back to the car tomorrow- but it's dawned on me that maybe I SHOULD replace some of this front suspension stuff? I don't want to spend more- but don't want to do it again. Of course, everything is already off the ground-so I can't do the test of the ball joints per the manual. It seems like the upper ball joints would take most the wear, and after the spring was off, they seemed very stiff -almost stuck-until they sort of broke loose after I worked them a bit. The shock mount is also VERY stiff even after I pumped new grease in there. (I have no idea how stiff they are supposed to be.) Amazingly- at summit, the ball joints cost the same as the replacement control arm WITH the ball joint already on it (And the bushing!?)? About $47 for the upper (with ball) and $47 for the lower, or $47 for just the upper ball joint! I wont like the painted control arms as much as powdercoated ones, but...You guys have clearly had lots of experience with this stuff- REALLY appreciate your comments.

Luva65wagon
02-28-2014, 11:09 PM
Save youself some clean-up and get new control arms for upper and lower. With the Mustang stuff being repopped by the thousands as opposed to the teens for Falcons, it makes the cost so much lower. Not sure Summit would be the cheapest place, but any of the 6 cyl Mustang parts (64-66) will swap right in - less the drag-link which is a bit longer. For this you gotta use the Falcon part.

dhbfaster
03-09-2014, 06:50 PM
Just as a follow up- I ended up buying the tool in the picture- this thing works great. I used it to separate all the ball joints and the tie rod end. Put some oil on it- tighten up the bolt and "POP" they're apart. The first one scared the you know what out of me when it popped and I'm glad I had on safety glasses, but like I said it works great.[yay] Nothing like the feeling of success!

New upper and lower control arms ordered too.

dhbfaster
09-28-2014, 08:58 PM
I thought this was it....it was supposed to be the weekend my front suspension was back on. WRONG!:doh::doh: The posts on the ball joints on the new Dorman upper and lower control arms are too big! All the websites for these say they will fit 1960-1965 - WRONG. Was I smart enough to compare them to the old ones before I bolted them onto the car? NO:mad: The other ones were in a bin at my storage place. Fortunately, Summit just told me they will take them back (even though I put the grease fitting in etc.). Best I can figure out...I see the upper and lower ball joints for Falcons made BEFORE october 61 sold separately. (and they are expensive.) Average $100 EACH BALL. Then I still need the inner bushings. Ouch! (the Dorman parts were around $40 each for the entire control arm including the ball joint.) Is anyone familiar with this situation for 61 falcons? I've emailed Dorman. Maybe I'll know something in the morning. Meanwhile, I still have the rear spring mount to figure out, but darn I wanted to get this thing back on wheels so we could get the motor our soon.:mad:

Nathan289
09-28-2014, 11:13 PM
Keep the parts you have and locate newer spindles.

dhbfaster
09-29-2014, 08:59 AM
Update:
Dorman confirms they won't fit my car. I wish these places would get their website information correct. I can't be the first one this has happened to.

I did think about just finding another spindle (and still thinking about that)...but so far it seems like the further I stray from the original...the more challenge I have because one thing leads to another.
I saw some NORS (new original replacement stock) ball joints on ebay last night. They are a third of the price of bran new ones from the usual websites selling these (which who knows how old those "new" ones are anyway....??) Average $80 per PAIR instead of $100 each for new retail. They specifically say they are for falcons my vintage and not newer. Anyone have any experience with these or with NORS parts with any rubber on them? Should I have any concerns about the rubber boots?

Luva65wagon
09-29-2014, 09:20 AM
Don, you must be subconsciously remembering my post about the upper and lower control arms I just replaced after only 3 years of use. The rubber grease boots - all four of them were perished after a short time of action. Those were equivalent to NOS parts.

The suggestion to get the newer spindles might be worth investigating. I bet someone may have a set laying around. I think only the ball-joint holes were standardized for the 6'r and V8 cars, whereas the tie-rod ends were small of a 6r and larger on a V8 car. So if you can find a set of spindles from a 62-65 the tie-rods should fit, as well as the brake setup.

Sadly I got rid of 2 sets of spindles from the 2 Ranchero's I bought from Steve. I'm sure the one set I left with him is long gone, as is the one I pulled from the one I drove to my house. But it might be worth looking for them before hacking apart upper and lower control arms to change-out the ball joints.

dhbfaster
09-29-2014, 10:59 AM
I did subconsciously remember something about that...but didn't find it.
Anyone have a couple of the matching 6cyl spindles from a 62-65 6 cyl lying around?
fyi, seems like the old ball joints are just bolted on...replaced at one time before I assume. I think a couple of them are already off of the old arms...so no tearing into them. Just the cost of good new joints (bushings, etc,) and to get the old arms blasted and coated.

Luva65wagon
09-30-2014, 09:23 AM
Don, The upper and lower control arms have bushings and other parts that wear beside the ball joint. If you find the new spindles you might consider reusing the metal parts. They'll likely have Ford date stamps on them too.

dhbfaster
09-30-2014, 09:40 AM
Yes, I think I've added all that up-let me know if I missed anything:
If I use all my old metal suspension parts:

New pair upper balls 90
New pair lower balls 250
Pair top inner bracket and bushing (kit from falcon parts) 35
Pair lower inner bushings 35
powdercoat my old metal - ($75-guess)
Total- 485
Subtract credit from summit - 160
Real cost 325
Spend gift cert for macs...-100
Cash outlay...225

If I find a spindle, I have the cost to clean it up and coat it, plus the cost to buy if assuming nobody has one to donate...guessing cost is 150 for that anyway. If nobody shows up with one soon, I'll probably just pull the trigger on the above list...

Luva65wagon
09-30-2014, 10:21 AM
There looks to be a 64/65 left and right 6'r spindle for $60 each on ebay right now. Free shipping on each.

to find them search: falcon spindle 4-lug

Dang, should have kept mine. Never thought there would be a need.

Nathan289
09-30-2014, 02:18 PM
Swore I saw someone selling a whole front suspension, steering, and rear end from a 64/65 six cylinder car on Seattle's craigslist for $250 obo but I'll be damned if I can find the ad now. Keep looking for ya.

Luva65wagon
09-30-2014, 03:43 PM
You might call Jake at Original Falcon Interiors to see if he's got anything kicking around. He's an interior seller, but he's had and has lots of Falcons. He's in the Shilshole marina area.

dhbfaster
09-30-2014, 09:09 PM
Yea...I saw those on ebay. Woosh...I'm a bit leery of spending that much on something I can't check out first and those aren't anywhere near as good of condition as mine are in. I got my parts out of storage tonight. I think I can clean those up at home and powder them myself. Looks like they will fit in my pizza oven...& I'll have a few more parts to be proud of. That brings my actual cash outlay down to 150 for all the other stuff...and those spindles were $120. If nobody pops up with a really good spindle locally in the next day or so I think I'll just pull the trigger and get the new parts to go on my arms....but one question. The bushing at the back of the lower control arm...there's a metal inner tube, then a rubber bushing, then a metal outer tube. Does that metal outer tube just push out of the arm? (penetrating oil and a hydraulic press??):confused:

Also...sending Jake a note. I need to talk to him about the upholstery anyway.

dhbfaster
10-02-2014, 09:39 PM
fyi...thanks for everyone's help on the spindle search. I decided to save the time and not take a chance on another spindle, I'll use my old arms, and my wife has the list of balls and bushings to order tomorrow. If I can get the arms cleaned up this weekend, then hopefully I'm on track to get the car back on wheels next weekend. Meanwhile, if my wife is ordering this stuff for me, at least she isn't ordering clothes or shoes or furniture for anyone else in the family! :D

dhbfaster
10-12-2014, 08:32 PM
So far finding it impossible getting the rear (inside) bushing of the lower control arm removed...and I'm bending up the control arm in the process. Too embarrassed to put a pic of the bent one!:doh::doh: Anyone know an easy way to get these things out? So far I've tried a hydraulic press, torch ad players, torch and hydraulic press, and a hack saw! I did get it to budge slightly after using the torch and then they hydraulic press- but I also bent the side of the arm a bit. :bicker:There has to be an easier way.

dhbfaster
10-13-2014, 09:04 PM
Ok, I get the message. I'm "breaking new ground here." :ROTFLMAO:So, I just polished it a while, applied more lubricant, more fire, more support, and finally it pressed out.:sawzall::banana:
Now I just need to figure out how to get the one I bent straight.

dhbfaster
11-09-2014, 02:54 PM
All right guys...I'm stuck again. :doh::doh::doh:
I've spent all day trying to get the front coil springs back in.
It didn't seem THAT difficult to get them out...
I'm using the outside spring compressors, which worked fine when taking them out, but now it seems like I can't get the springs compressed enough to get them back in without the spring compressors in the way. I even have pictures of how I had them on when I removed the springs. BUT, I also replaced the spring perches with the $29 ones from falconparts.com...and it says these have to be mounted with the end of the spring towards the inside of the car instead of the outside...it seems like that is also adding to the problem because that's the longest part of the spring.
Does anyone have any advice on this topic?
Does anyone have a spring compressor like they have in the falcon service manual? (that compresses it from the inside while attached to the spring perch?)
I found one on ebay...$70. Although it says it's for 64+ mustang...this one says in the fine print that it's also for 61 falcon...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/64-73-Mustang-Shelby-Falcon-Fairlane-AMC-Nova-Chevy-II-2-Coil-Spring-Compressor-/150848940559?hash=item231f4c2a0f&item=150848940559&pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&vxp=mtr

Norm1
11-09-2014, 10:11 PM
All right guys...I'm stuck again. :doh::doh::doh:
I've spent all day trying to get the front coil springs back in.
It didn't seem THAT difficult to get them out...
I'm using the outside spring compressors, which worked fine when taking them out, but now it seems like I can't get the springs compressed enough to get them back in without the spring compressors in the way. I even have pictures of how I had them on when I removed the springs. BUT, I also replaced the spring perches with the $29 ones from falconparts.com...and it says these have to be mounted with the end of the spring towards the inside of the car instead of the outside...it seems like that is also adding to the problem because that's the longest part of the spring.
Does anyone have any advice on this topic?
Does anyone have a spring compressor like they have in the falcon service manual? (that compresses it from the inside while attached to the spring perch?)
I found one on ebay...$70. Although it says it's for 64+ mustang...this one says in the fine print that it's also for 61 falcon...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/64-73-Mustang-Shelby-Falcon-Fairlane-AMC-Nova-Chevy-II-2-Coil-Spring-Compressor-/150848940559?hash=item231f4c2a0f&item=150848940559&pt=Motors_Automotive_Tools&vxp=mtr


Don,

I have a one that I haven't used yet. I live in NE TAcoma about a 1/4 mile from the Fed Way border.

Shoot me a PM.

Luva65wagon
11-10-2014, 01:51 PM
Don - I bought my elastomer spring perches on eBay (~$50 each), but many Mustang vendors sell them too. Having now installed two sets of springs using these - as opposed to the 'stuck in the opposite direction as you'd like them to be' solid-in-place perches - the elastomer versions helped with the spring install. It's still not fun.

I have an internal spring compressor I've had to modify to work with the Falcon. It was too long, for one, and I also had to add about 1.5" of spacers on the top to keep the threaded rod from extending out the bottom of the compressed spring - and plowing into the spring perch. Yet, I find I need to fight to get it compressed enough to fit in the space, and yet not have the shaft of the compressor extend out the bottom too far and interfere. You can see in the first image (this in not mine) how someone else added the length of square tubing as a spacer, but also how - if they tighten much more - the thread will extend from the bottom. Truth is, had I not cut a lot of the threaded rod off, I'd have needed a spacer that long too.

http://www.rainierfalcons.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4306&stc=1&d=1415652397

If the tower shield is off (on the outer side) I do have a Snap-on spring compressor as well, which might work way better. I'm always too lazy to pull that outer shield off. But it might allow for more compressing with zero getting in the way - assuming the shield and fender of the car allow it to fit under there. Again, this one pictured below isn't mine (but looks just like it) - and you wouldn't want to compress beginning on the top and/or bottom coils, where they have to go into the spring seats.

http://www.rainierfalcons.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4307&stc=1&d=1415652539

dhbfaster
11-10-2014, 03:28 PM
Latest....
On the perches...the new "stuck in place" versions I have really point "out" when you lower the upper control arm, making it very difficult combined with the end of the spring being on the inside. (note, my aprons are off.) When I look online at the other perches available like the ones noted by Dennis however, I'm seeing that most of them are not for 61's, they're for newer models (those were stated to be for 65 or newer.) I also notice that my spring coil is of smaller diameter and the spring is longer than the springs on newer models...I think by at least a couple inches.
I pulled my old perches out of the bin, I pumped some grease in there and played with them a bit on the vice and they seem to break loose nicely and rotate smoothly now (they were completely stuck before.) I think at this point I'm going to take Nathan's advice and clean them up, paint and reuse.
I picked up the spring compression tool norm has, and I'll give it a try in the next couple days...

dhbfaster
11-12-2014, 11:33 PM
:rocker:
Got one side in tonight...Man, what a job. I used a combination of Norm's inside style with a brass pipe on top, then also had to use the outside type positioned just right.
Check out my spring perches in the pic...these are the old ones restored! I can't believe how nice they look. It's almost too bad they're under the fender. My rattle can technique is improving.
I used nylon webbing glued on with body sealer for the pads.
Other pics...one before pic, and now one after pic...hopefully I can get the other side tomorrow. :3g:

dhbfaster
11-15-2014, 02:32 PM
Got both sides back in, tires on, and the car back on the ground...but the springs seem fully extended (even with the engine in.) Not sure if I "stuck" a ball joint (..I didn't use the special tool..), but it does seem to move when I shake the car. Will this just settle back down on it's own? Has anybody experienced this?

dhbfaster
12-07-2014, 10:25 PM
I finally got the suspension straightened out...(passenger side ball was pinched a bit from one of the last tries and tore the boot a little..):doh:
However, the tool I broke down and bought from ebay was absolutely superb. I mean this thing compresses the spring quickly and easily, and it seems much safer too. It goes inside and mounts like a shock. :BEER:

Luva65wagon
12-08-2014, 12:18 PM
So this pulls the spring perch - and spring - up into the hole at the same time, and then you feed the two spring perch pivot bolts into the upper control arm? If so, how well could you tell the upper spring seat landed in the right spot?

dhbfaster
12-08-2014, 02:39 PM
Correct. The big advantage is that this tool is compressing from one end of the spring to the other end using the spring perch and the shock mounts- and feels very secure and safe as it does. It's a heavy solid tool.
For my situation this time I already had everything installed, but I let the upper control arm push too far down so it cocked the ball too far and it got stuck. (Per the manual I should have used the brace...but I never could get compressed enough to do so.)
The falcon manual explains it like you describe, but the instructions for this tool suggest it a bit differently: you leave the spring perch attached to the upper control arm, but have the upper control arm unbolted from the car with everything aligned. Then point the A arm mounting bolts the correct direction, poke the spring and tool up through the big hole in the fender and through the shock mounts, add the washer and nut, tighten and it will pull it up into place- when it's there, slip the A arm bolts in, spacers, and bolt them on. (I had the tape all over the shock mounts so I wouldn't scratch them up too bad.):BIRTHDAY:

Luva65wagon
12-08-2014, 04:15 PM
Interesting. I don't like the idea of hefting up the entire control arm, but I suppose it would work. I think with the front struts and everything semi-firm below I don't think you have to worry about the support they mention. As I mentioned to you that night I seem to recall reading that 'support tool' was to allow leaving the spring in and compressed while doing ball-joint repairs - or other work below the upper control arm. It held up the upper control arm. But I'm not certain how you could ever have that in and remove the spring - even with a tool like the one you just got. Spring height, unsprung, is just long.

Anyway - good job! I'll have to check out that tool when I need to do springs again.

dhbfaster
12-08-2014, 06:41 PM
I see what you mean...and since it doesn't have any weight in it now, my car still looks a bit like a gasser with the front sticking up the springs are so long.