1965 Chrylser - Front Suspension Work

GOT IT! :p

Even with it all off the car, I couldn't seem to drive the pickle fork down enough to pop it loose. Finally tried flipping it over so the stud was facing straight up. Put the nut on far enough to be even with the end of the stud and hit that with the hammer. 3rd swing and it came loose.

Cam bolts came out easily and even the nut on the control arm bumper came off without a fight.
When you are all finished installing the new parts be sure you adjust the ride height as stated in the FSM, before you have it aligned.

My recollection is get the wheels on the ground, set the height, then tighten the lower control arm shaft and the strut rod nuts, then align.
In the past I have used a piece of 1/2" threaded rod to change out upper control arm bushings. It is slow, but has always worked. Adding an cordless impact gun made removing the old ones a piece of cake.

Sway bar is back on. In hindsight it is obvious, but somehow it hadn't occurred to me how much tension there is where the sway bar fastens to the strut rods. Finally figured out to attach one side loosely and then use the bottle jack to raise/lower the control arms until the other side was close enough to get that connected as well.

That gets all of the major work done on the lower half of the suspension, and the upper control arms are going well enough that I think I can have this back on the wheels by the weekend.
Pretty productive evening today.

Driver's side is basically all together. The only parts left are the cotter pins for the pivot shaft that gets tightened later and the pin for the tie rod end that I'll put in after checking the alignment.

On the passenger side, the upper ball joint is mostly unscrewed from the control arm & the cam bolts are out. Just need to pull the 4 bolts out of the spindle and that can all come off the car.
I didn't quite get it back on wheels, but came pretty close. Got everything assembled Saturday evening, but ran out of grease before finishing the ball joints & tie rods. Had to dodge the rain on Sunday, but got the rest of it lubed, and the brake drums back on. Decided that my neighbors didn't need to hear the impact gun at 10:30 so I called it a night.

Finally have it all back together. * I was having trouble getting a consistent measurement on the height adjustment, so I waited until the radiator was back in, and drove it around the block a couple of times to get things to settle in first.

After getting everything finally tightened, I did a basic driveway alignment. With the wheel straight, it tracks nicely, but if I let go, it drifts a bit to the right. Might be the caster is off, but might also be that brake dragging a little, so going to recheck that first.

* technically, I still need to put in the 4 cotter pins for the control arm shafts & the tie rods, but the store was closed. :)
I seem to have the time & budget to do 1 or 2 projects a summer, and this year it is the suspension's turn.

The lower control arm bushings have been squeeking for a while, and last fall I noticed that the lower ball joints had a little more play than I liked. They were fine side to side, but a little loose vertically, so more "Those are a priority" than "It's time to panic" Based on that, the plan is to start with the lower front suspension as the first phase. I think the upper ball joints and bushings are still ok, but if not, they will be dealt with after the lower part is back together. If somehow, that all gets done reasonably well, then I'll look at the rear end.

So, last Sunday I got the front end securely up on 4 jackstands & started taking things off. Some of this was apart last year when I had to pull the transmission, but some of it hasn't been touched in the 20 years I've had the car, and who knows how long before that!

By Friday evening, most of it was off the car, so I laid all the pieces out with the new parts to see what I still needed.View attachment 606462

View attachment 606463

View attachment 606464

I got the inner part of the lower bushings off of the pivot shafts, and the old ball joints free of the control arms. Strut rods have been cleaned and I started to paint them along with some of the small hardware.

The big issue at the moment is that the passenger side torsion bar is absolutely stuck in the control arm. I have soaked it from both sides with PB Blaster for a couple of days & tried forcing it with a bearing puller without it budging. The plan at this point is to see whether any shops around have a big torch or a big press and are willing to try to pop it loose. I figure worse case scenario, I can hacksaw/dremel/chisel the socket on the arm and at least preserve the torsion bar.

I still need to undo the top of the shocks and drop those out, and after getting into it, I decided that the bushings that hold to sway bar links to the frame also need to be replaced, so those need to come out. At this point, the link to bar bushings seem pretty ok, so I may leave those alone.
May I ask where you got the torsion bars? I’m having a heck of a time finding them for my 64 Newport