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Upper control arm play - not where I expected... thoughts? by Eclipse
Started on: 05-17-2009 07:00 PM
Replies: 13
Last post by: rourke_87_T-Top on 01-20-2010 08:28 PM
Eclipse
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Report this Post05-17-2009 07:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for EclipseSend a Private Message to EclipseDirect Link to This Post
Ok guys. I am working on taking out my front upper control arms, as I have a better set here, with new bushings. The front left, as a lot of play in it. I just replaced the bushings 5 years ago.

I am ready to try and get the bolt out (the part I hate) but It looks as if the bushings are not the problem. It looks as if the play is actually the bolt moving around in the cross member shaft. It's able to move up and down in there a lot (as it would if the bolt was too small or worn, and not a tight fit)

Has anyone seen this? Could the crossmember shaft be broken???

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Jay Brintnell
Southern Ontario Fiero Association and the Ontario Pontiac Club

Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival. - W. Edwards Deming

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theogre
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Report this Post05-17-2009 07:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreDirect Link to This Post
Bushing poly or rubber?
Bolt loose?

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Dodgerunner
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Report this Post05-17-2009 07:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DodgerunnerClick Here to visit Dodgerunner's HomePageSend a Private Message to DodgerunnerDirect Link to This Post
I'm guessing non 88?

Are the alignment washers (1 & 2) between the bushings and the crossmember. If they where left out it would allow play.

[This message has been edited by Dodgerunner (edited 05-17-2009).]

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Archie
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Report this Post05-17-2009 07:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ArchieClick Here to visit Archie's HomePageSend a Private Message to ArchieDirect Link to This Post
I'll tell you what. A friend of mine just bought a Fiero from another member here.
When he got it home he noticed that the Front upper "A" arm was moving around in places where is shouldn't.

It turns out that the Sleeve that is welded onto the Fiero crossmember broke the welds & was just floating around in there.

This is the sleeve that the upper "A" arm pivot bolt runs thru.

When he took it apart, he found that the same thing was going on with the right side too.

I've never seen this happen before but it is bad news if that is what your problem is.

Archie

 
quote
Originally posted by Eclipse:

Ok guys. I am working on taking out my front upper control arms, as I have a better set here, with new bushings. The front left, as a lot of play in it. I just replaced the bushings 5 years ago.

I am ready to try and get the bolt out (the part I hate) but It looks as if the bushings are not the problem. It looks as if the play is actually the bolt moving around in the cross member shaft. It's able to move up and down in there a lot (as it would if the bolt was too small or worn, and not a tight fit)

Has anyone seen this? Could the crossmember shaft be broken???

[This message has been edited by Archie (edited 05-17-2009).]

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BrewCheese
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Report this Post05-17-2009 07:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BrewCheeseSend a Private Message to BrewCheeseDirect Link to This Post
When I rebuilt my front suspension I noticed that the bolt had more play in it then I thought. I used new bolts from the fierostore and once everything was tightened up with load on the suspension it seemed to go away.

Jason
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katatak
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Report this Post05-17-2009 08:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katatakSend a Private Message to katatakDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Archie:

I'll tell you what. A friend of mine just bought a Fiero from another member here.
When he got it home he noticed that the Front upper "A" arm was moving around in places where is shouldn't.

It turns out that the Sleeve that is welded onto the Fiero crossmember broke the welds & was just floating around in there.

This is the sleeve that the upper "A" arm pivot bolt runs thru.

When he took it apart, he found that the same thing was going on with the right side too.

I've never seen this happen before but it is bad news if that is what your problem is.

Archie




I have seen this before too. There's a thread on here with a pic of the tube with the broken welds. Fiero Thomas's Indy Rehab thread - page 1 about to the bottom.
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/067854.html

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topher_time
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Report this Post05-17-2009 08:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for topher_timeSend a Private Message to topher_timeDirect Link to This Post
Yup, I've seen the weld break, and I've seen the hole in the sleeve worn out, larger than it is supposed to be.
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Eclipse
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Report this Post05-18-2009 09:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for EclipseSend a Private Message to EclipseDirect Link to This Post
Thanks guys. It's an 85 with Moog rubber bushings. The bushings are still in good shape, and the sleeve is not moving. It definitely looks like the holes are too big. Once I get these off, I will know better, and I have a new set of bolts here. I will see if they tighten things up a bit.

If not ... new front cross member? I know the FS sells them, and I may be able to get a good one locally.

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Jay Brintnell
Southern Ontario Fiero Association and the Ontario Pontiac Club

Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival. - W. Edwards Deming

[This message has been edited by Eclipse (edited 05-18-2009).]

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Larryh86GT
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Report this Post05-18-2009 11:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Larryh86GTSend a Private Message to Larryh86GTDirect Link to This Post
On one of my lower control arms the bolt hole in the crossmember was egged out. I welded small steel plates with the proper sized bolt hole onto the crossmember.
Larry

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Blacktree
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Report this Post05-18-2009 02:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
I have a similar problem on my '87 SE. The bolt hole has enlarged, allowing the upper control arm to wiggle around a bit.

I think the problem stems from the fact that the bolt sleeve only touches the bolt at the ends. So the forces acting on the suspension are concentrated on that small area. I'm thinking of making a weld-in sleeve that will support the entire length of the bolt.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 05-18-2009).]

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Eclipse
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Report this Post05-18-2009 06:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for EclipseSend a Private Message to EclipseDirect Link to This Post
Yeah, I got it appart, and that's the case. I have a new front cross member available to me, but I'd be interested in trying your approach. For now I have to put it together, as it's my daily driver.

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Jay Brintnell
Southern Ontario Fiero Association and the Ontario Pontiac Club

Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival. - W. Edwards Deming

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rourke_87_T-Top
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Report this Post01-20-2010 02:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rourke_87_T-TopSend a Private Message to rourke_87_T-TopDirect Link to This Post
Just posting link to another thread to cross link for anyone searching for front problems. //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/105830.html
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Eclipse
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Report this Post01-20-2010 06:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for EclipseSend a Private Message to EclipseDirect Link to This Post
Hi all, I never actually fixed the problem yet, but this is timely. I have a new (old but good) front cross member sitting in my shop, and will be buying new lower control arm bushings this weekend. Once I do, I will be rebuilding my front end, with lots of pictures.

The holes on my current cross member are definitely enlarged and causing a lot of noise. Sounds like a lumber wagon.

------------------
Jay Brintnell
Southern Ontario Fiero Association and the Ontario Pontiac Club

Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival. - W. Edwards Deming

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rourke_87_T-Top
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Report this Post01-20-2010 08:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rourke_87_T-TopSend a Private Message to rourke_87_T-TopDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

The bolt hole has enlarged, allowing the upper control arm to wiggle around a bit.

I think the problem stems from the fact that the bolt sleeve only touches the bolt at the ends. So the forces acting on the suspension are concentrated on that small area. I'm thinking of making a weld-in sleeve that will support the entire length of the bolt.

I noticed the same as above. The bolt is harder steel. My bolts were smooth and polished at the edges where the sleeve was egged out. I think that the Poly bushings are another contributing factor, because it transfers more impact and shock into the bolt and cross member sleeve, I had Poly bushings in front A arms for about past six years. I like the Poly, so If the bolt was braced to the frame, on the outer ends it would help stabilize the entire length of the bolt and thus the upper A arm much better. More like a piano hinge. Even if it was braced on each end with a bracket connected to cross member or both frame and cross member, replacing one outer washer with bracket instead. A longer bolt also braced at the outer ends would work best. I'm not sure about how much room there is with the wheels at full lock or how much gained with larger wheels and full suspension travel. The existing factory design is acting much like a hinge that is not large enough, like a heavier door, is equal to larger, heavier brakes and wheels.

[This message has been edited by rourke_87_T-Top (edited 01-21-2010).]

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