Pls Help: Upper Ball Joint Too High?? 77 New Yorker

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. 77newyorker440

    77newyorker440 Active Member

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    Hello Guys,
    My dad and I have been doing some suspension work over the past couple weeks, and today, we were reinstalling the upper control arm after pressing in a new upper ball joint. We have the upper control arm back in and aligned, but the knuckle is too low to put in the thread of the upper ball joint. We tried jacking up the lower control arm, which the knuckle is attached to, but the whole car just came up off the jack stands. My question is: what do I do to raise the knuckle so the ball joint thread can go through the hole? Does it have something to do with the torsion bars, as I have never touched them or adjusted them? Pictures of the situation are below.
    Thanks,
    77newyorker440

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  2. saylor

    saylor Senior Member

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    wow i didnt know you could do that without dying. nice going!

    if you never unloaded the torsion bars, thats probably whats up, if its like the older cars.. it fits thru/into the LCA. youll need alignment later, but you probably had that in plan anyways. but the shock is probably pushing you down too no?

    measure where they are now off the bottom side of the LCA on each side and try to put them back close and it will make you to the alignment shop.

    if you dont clean the bolts you can usually use the dirt mark and put them back close.

    try not to die more -

    - saylor
     
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  3. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    It looks to me like the upper control arm rubber bumper is too large and won't let you pull the arm down to meet the spindle. Take the bumper off and pull down on the upper control arm and I'll be it will come together.
     
  4. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    I've done them all the time without unloading the t bars. You have to be sure NOT to remove the jack or stand, but it saves a lot of time.

    I think he's just not pulling the UCA down enough.
     
  5. bigmoparjeff

    bigmoparjeff Senior Member

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    First off. What do you mean by "pressing in" a new ball joint?

    They thread in and out with a special socket. They are not pressed in.

    It doesn't look like you have the ball joint seated all the way in the socket. There should not be a gap between the bottom of the joint and the seat in the arm.
    ball joint.JPG

    If you did actually press the joint in and out, the threads in the arm are most likely trashed and you will either need another ball joint and control arm or you will have to weld the ball joint to the arm

    Jeff
     
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  6. 67Monaco

    67Monaco Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    You pressed the ball joint in?? They normally screw in.
     
  7. 77newyorker440

    77newyorker440 Active Member

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    Dman, I didn't realize that, it didn't really appear to have threads, it really just seemed to have ridges, I'm used to just pressing them in, the reason it has that gap is because that is what it had on the old ball joint, could I just leave it as it, it is really tight in there, I don't see it popping out
     
  8. 77newyorker440

    77newyorker440 Active Member

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    Okay, ill try that in a bit, I just have to figure out what to do with my upper ball joints due to my mistake, hopefully, I can just leave them as they are, but I am not sure.
     
  9. bigmoparjeff

    bigmoparjeff Senior Member

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    That will have to be a judgement call by you.

    Technically speaking, if it did work loose, it can't really go anywhere. It's trapped in the control arm. Would likely make the car handle a bit funny and rattle like crazy, but shouldn't cause a wreck like a separated lower ball joint can.

    Probably best to just put it together and give it a good eyeball every time you grease the front end.

    Jeff
     
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  10. bigmoparjeff

    bigmoparjeff Senior Member

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    I'm still not sure about that gap though. I might have a couple formal upper arms in the garage. I'll have to take a look and see how the joint is seated if I still have them.

    Jeff
     
  11. 77newyorker440

    77newyorker440 Active Member

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    Awesome, thank you, sir, it was just an honest mistake on my dad and I's part, we will definitely not press it in on the passenger side. Below, I attached a picture of my unaltered, factory, passenger side upper control arm, which has the same gap, just so there is a reason for why I put that gap. Once I finished up the rest of this job (hopefully by Friday) I will update you guys with the progress.
    Thanks for all of your help.
    77newyorker440

    20201125_164727.jpg
     
  12. 413

    413 Well-Known Member

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    Do your family a favor and buy a service manual for your car and READ IT before you do any more work.
     
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  13. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    The torsion bars should really have the tension released before trying to do any work to the ball joints. As Saylor implied, you can have big problems separating the ball joins with tension still on. People have been known to lose body parts that way. (Try not to die!). You have probably destroyed the upper control arm by pressing the ball joint in, it may hold for a while, but the thread capture is gone. As noted the FSM is always helpful on this type of repair. Download it for free at www.mymopar.com, you will find the service manuals in the Tools/Reference section from the home page. Good luck.

    Dave
     
  14. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Still bet there's a brand new (possibly) incorrect rubber bumper on the other end of this stud... But what do I know...

    FSDA.jpg
     
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  15. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I agree that the stud length suggests that the bumper is not correct. The correct rubber bumper is about 1" long and has a mushroom style head.

    Dave
     
  16. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    And usually the old one is squashed down/soft enough or MIA so the UCA will pull down enough to get the BJ stud in the spindle hole and the nut started.
     
  17. saylor

    saylor Senior Member

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    good thread everyone helping out good stuff Happy Thansgiving!

    iirc the uppers cross thread - thats why the threads dont really look like threads threads - they cross up on purpose.

    get the tool and screw that thing down in there.

    try not to die -

    - saylor
     
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  18. bigmoparjeff

    bigmoparjeff Senior Member

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    I think your ball joints were replaced in the past by a mechanic that didn't eat his Wheaties that day, or more likely used a 1/2" impact gun to run them in where a 3/4" breaker bar would have been more appropriate.

    It can take quite a bit of muscle to get those ball joints in and out. If it's too easy, the arm is considered junk, or you can save it by tack welding the ball joint to the arm. Chrysler had a minimum allowable torque to seat the ball joint. If it took less, the arm was to be replaced. Of course back then, you just walked over to the parts counter and grabbed a fresh control arm.

    Here's a shot of a fully seated ball joint on an upper arm from a 1976 Newport.
    IMG_0104.JPG

    Jeff
     
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  19. 3C's & a D?

    3C's & a D? Senior Member

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    Both of my upper ball joints on my '70 Newport looked like that when I went to change them. I'm guessing they loosened themselves over 50 years. After borrowing the correct tool from a friend, I unscrewed them by hand! The "Threads" on the arms do appear more ridge like, as mentioned. Also as mentioned, I'd try screwing them down, can't hurt.
     
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  20. 70bigblockdodge

    70bigblockdodge Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Turn the already installed joint, see if it pulls down right. If it strips or becomes a bit loose just get it seated and tack it in 3-4 spots (rubber seal removed before welding). The upper is purely locating it has no weight on it so tack welds will be sufficient.
    You need a manual and pre-read before turning wrench one or pressing in your case. Live and learn, carry on.
     
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