Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

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Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby 80 MONZTA » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:11 pm

Well, after I finally got the lower control arm bolts out (3 of them were sticking to the washer type bushings, not the normal place they stick).
I discovered more cracks then I thought there were. First pic of course you can see the main crack, but there is also one on that plate 90 degrees to the oval hole, 1" long.
suspension A.jpg
suspension A.jpg (100.25 KiB) Viewed 1443 times

Underneath, the spot welds broke (shown with small prybar).
suspension B.jpg
suspension B.jpg (97.1 KiB) Viewed 1443 times

Another crack where the front of the A-arm attaches, about 1 1/2" long.
suspension C.jpg
suspension C.jpg (107.3 KiB) Viewed 1443 times
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby 80 MONZTA » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:12 pm

Here is the rear bushing.
suspension D.jpg
suspension D.jpg (109.24 KiB) Viewed 1440 times

Other side of same bushing.
suspension E.jpg
suspension E.jpg (99.66 KiB) Viewed 1440 times

And here with rod inserted to show how bushing is angled.
suspension F.jpg
suspension F.jpg (91.31 KiB) Viewed 1440 times

When I Bought this car back in 1990 I noticed that whenever I hit even a small bump in the road it would sound like you hit a foot deep hole or something. Checked everything out, and assumed it was the poly bushings on the thicker sway bar, combined with the heavy V-8 in it (compared to my '79 coupe with a 3.2 V-6 and tiny sway bar with rubber bushings). Anyway, the feeling pretty much mellowed out and felt normal driving it. Jump to 2001 a car dolly was used (I lived in a MotorHome) so the Monza was pulled on that dolly backwards until 2007 for a total of maybe 7000 miles, give or take. Don't know if that had anything to do with the cracks or not. I always greased my car every 1000 miles and checked ball joints and suspension in general for any play, never found any up until about a month before I tore it apart to put in the LS-1. All of the sudden when coming to a complete stop it would feel REALY strange. So that is where I am at, just wondering what would have caused those cracks, and how to repair them properly.
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby cjbiagi » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:44 pm

Hard to say for sure but one thing to think about is the bushings are designed to flex and twist. If they become hard they no longer can provide the necessary twisting motion designed in the rubber. Well, something has to give so maybe it caused more stress on the frame. Those bushings really look shot, especially the one that is so far off center. At first I thought it was one of those eccentric bushings designed to get more adjustment out of the front end but I have only seen those for the upper control arm, not for the lower. Best way to repair is to gusset and weld everything back up.
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby Kenova » Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:02 pm

cjbiagi wrote: Best way to repair is to gusset and weld everything back up.


Do a good job of cleaning everything up before you put the welder to it. Suspension mounts are not a good place for dirty welds.

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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby Roccosvega » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:20 pm

I really can't see what were dealing with here but if you are able to weld both sides of these cracks then you'll be in good shape.
start welding at the open end of the crack and weld at lest a 1/4" past the cracked area.If you are unable to weld both sides
drill holes put a piece of backer metal in plug weld the holes then weld the outside with enough heat to penetrate the backer
metal.

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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby 80 MONZTA » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:47 pm

Well, I kind of had a DUUUHHHH moment as I was removing the bushings from the arms, that one is all out of shape because I removed all the rubber in that area getting the bolts out. As Clyde said above, the remaining rubber did feel kind of brittle in that bushing. I have to say that I do not like the way the washer type bushings are designed, they held the bolts in even after spliting the tube bushing open, causing me much grief removing them.
suspension G.jpg
suspension G.jpg (111.72 KiB) Viewed 1399 times

Kenova wrote:Do a good job of cleaning everything up before you put the welder to it. Suspension mounts are not a good place for dirty welds.
Ken

What, it isn't clean enough as is? :lol: Just kidding, car had an oil leak when I bought it, took several years to fix it. But at least it had a good coating of rust prevenative all under it. :P Sure is messy working under it though, especially when mixed with Arizona sand.
Roccosvega wrote:I really can't see what were dealing with here but if you are able to weld both sides of these cracks then you'll be in good shape.
start welding at the open end of the crack and weld at lest a 1/4" past the cracked area.If you are unable to weld both sides
drill holes put a piece of backer metal in plug weld the holes then weld the outside with enough heat to penetrate the backer
metal.
Robert

That is good info, Thanks
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby Ishiftem » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:52 pm

Better yet, drill a hole at the end of each crack. That will stop it from cracking more and weld it up. I sure it simply cracked from fatigue. With as flimsy as that material is, I'm surprised more people don't don't find similar damage.
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby 80 MONZTA » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:04 pm

To make things worse, maybe explaining tightness felt when I first got car? Take a look at this bushing ferrule, three of the eight were like this. One on right is how it should look. :shock:
suspension H.jpg
suspension H.jpg (101.89 KiB) Viewed 1308 times

Hole in frame and why the ferrule is messed up.
suspension I.jpg
suspension I.jpg (65.08 KiB) Viewed 1308 times

Another angle of same hole below.
suspension J.jpg
suspension J.jpg (72.15 KiB) Viewed 1308 times

Getting in there to weld, and then grinding smooth is going to be a bear at the least, maybe impossible. I am considering making solid steel bushings like these.
steel bushings.jpg
steel bushings.jpg (22.27 KiB) Viewed 1308 times

Yeah, I know solid steel bushings sound like they would ride extremely rough. But, from what I have been reading about them, that is not the case. All cars up until the mid sixtees had them, shocks and spring rates will really make the difference in ride, and performance. Polly bushings, I think are worse because they are a little gummy, or sticky. Steel, properly greased wont stick or deflect at all, and should last a very long time. Hopefully I can find some that are oversize, and turn them down to fit.
Just looking into it right now, not sure if I should go this way. Or fix frame holes and try to find new ferrules, but steel bushings seem easier right now.
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby TERROR » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:46 pm

80 MONZTA wrote:To make things worse, maybe explaining tightness felt when I first got car? Take a look at this bushing ferrule, three of the eight were like this. One on right is how it should look. :shock:
suspension H.jpg

Hole in frame and why the ferrule is messed up.
suspension I.jpg

Another angle of same hole below.
suspension J.jpg

Getting in there to weld, and then grinding smooth is going to be a bear at the least, maybe impossible. I am considering making solid steel bushings like these.
steel bushings.jpg

Yeah, I know solid steel bushings sound like they would ride extremely rough. But, from what I have been reading about them, that is not the case. All cars up until the mid sixtees had them, shocks and spring rates will really make the difference in ride, and performance. Polly bushings, I think are worse because they are a little gummy, or sticky. Steel, properly greased wont stick or deflect at all, and should last a very long time. Hopefully I can find some that are oversize, and turn them down to fit.
Just looking into it right now, not sure if I should go this way. Or fix frame holes and try to find new ferrules, but steel bushings seem easier right now.

im gonna making steel bushings for my car in the future. they really arent bad. we had a fairmont with sperical (pretty much the same thing) bushings and it rode better than my truck.
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby Ishiftem » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:21 pm

People make solid bushings and similar items out to be worse than they are. They transmit some vibration more but it's not really that bad. If you plan on taking classy woman to five star restaurants, better leave them out.Then again if you did that, you should probably drive something other than an h body :D
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby 80 MONZTA » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:01 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


I wonder how steel lowers with rubber uppers would work out? Don't look like enough room to reach in and grease the uppers. Maybe there is enough room in there, or I may have to become a contortionist to reach them. :?
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby BillPappy » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:54 am

I had the same cracking when I got my sunbird. Mine was really bad. It was drove with out a K member. When I got the car I didn't know any better. I was in a pit watching the front Suspension as someone pushed the car back and forth.
After 20 hours of welding Cracks and Hind joints. Its better then new. Drives like a dream. I can look up the joints I used but might take a few dayes. But I cut the A-arms and welded Nuts in for the Hind Joints.

Ps It has really help on getting set up aliment just right. I also Boxed in the Arms at the same time,
It's hard for an old street racer to stay on the safe side of stupid

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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby 80 MONZTA » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:15 am

Today I finally started scraping all the crud off so I can weld up those cracks, still more cleaning needed before that can happen. I would like to sanblast the area, but not looking forward to backing car out of garage with no front wheels on it. Probably should get it ready to sandblast and stitch weld engine compartment at the same time.
I guess I will be scratch building the lower bushings, nothing close enough without severe mods needed to them anyway. Performance Bodies is local to me so I swung by there and looked at some of the steel bushings. They look fairly easy to make.
I am interested in how you have yours set up Pappy, pic's would be great if you can.
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby BillPappy » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:35 pm

Don't have pics of as of yet. Is very unlike me.
I will be sure to get some.I can tell you how I got started on this.
I wanted to run a full size diff.
I wanted to lengthen my arms Upper and Lower. Giving a wider track
When I was Reading a jeep 4x4 forum I came across
http://www.ballisticfabrication.com/125 ... 1557.html#
I used heim joints. But I do wish I had use
http://www.rockymountainsusp.com/images/HK_Xflex.jpg

Boxing in the lower control arms you can find here in this forum.
I will get pic next time I get the Bird out.
It's hard for an old street racer to stay on the safe side of stupid

Pappy
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Re: Messed up front suspension (cracks) Driver's side

Postby AusRs » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:05 am

Are there any cracks around the steering box ?
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