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Username Post: Removing upper control arm shaft on 50 Chevy        (Topic#66165)
Posts: 24

Loc: Kansas,U.S.A.
Reg: 07-11-03
05-18-04 01:58 PM - Post#448465    

Has anyone removed and installed the upper control arm shafts on a 50 Chevy?? I am doing a frame up restoration on a 5o Chevy steel sided wagon and bought a complete front end rebuild kit from"Kanter's". I have a Motor's Manual and they state these shafts are removed from back to front and installed in the reversed manner with the use of a special tool for the removal. These shafts are the long ones that are in the top of the spring towers and the upper control arms hook too. Any and all help on this manner would be greatly appreciated and "Thank You" in advance. My email is;



Re: Removing upper control arm shaft on 50 Chevy
05-18-04 05:47 PM - Post#448466    
    In response to opie

From your comments, I presume you have the front end off of the chassis, right?
OK, this makes it much easier. Here are all the "special" tools that you will need. First, a BIG pipe wrench. NO!!!! That one is NOT big enough, get a bigger one!
Next, you need the old LOWER, OUTER bushing and shaft (the one which you remove from the upright, or spindle support, which the spindle is attached to).
Use the BIG (you didn't read what I said, I said BIG) pipe wrench to unscrew the upper inner shaft out of the cross member tower. You are correct, it ONLY comes out from the front. The shaft has TWO sets of threads, one set is for the bushings (big nuts) which screw onto each end and the other threads are what screw into the cross member. The replacement shafts have approximately .008 oversize threads which make it fit VERY tight in the cross member. To install the shaft, you use the LOWER OUTER bushing and shaft which you have previously removed from the bottom of one of the uprights. Select the lower outer bushing which has the LEAST amount of wear on the INNER threads (sometimes the threads inside these bushings are worn a lot).
Insert the new shaft into the FRONT hole of the cross member. YOU WILL NOTICE THE THREADS ARE SMALLER ON ONE END. The small threads go in first. Now, screw the old lower outer bushing onto the front end of the shaft and use the lower inner shaft to lock it together. Now, use this lower bushing to install the new upper inner shaft. IT WILL BE A TIGHT FIT! Periodically stop and measure the protruding threads on each end of the new shaft to make sure each end has exactly the same amount sticking out from the cross member.
Now, you CAN use an old upper bushing to install this shaft, but the lower outer bushing and shaft make a better installation tool.
If the threads of your old lower outer bushing are worn just too much, you can use one of the new ones in your rebuild kit. But, I don't like putting any additional stress on the new parts.
After you get the new shaft installed, there are a pair of rubber seals (O-rings) which go over each end of the shaft before you slip the upper A-frame back onto the ends of the shaft threads. Center the A-frame then start the new upper bushings and when they make contact with the holes in the A-frame, tighten them equally, a little at a time, until they are screwed all the way into the A-frame. Grease the fittings until grease just starts to come out from the seals. Work the A-frame up and down a little------------IT WILL, AND SHOULD BE STIFF. Add some more grease and wipe off the excess. That's all there is to installing the upper inner shaft and A-frame.
By the way, I forgot to mention that FREQUENTLY that lower outer bushing is a real bear to remove from the upright (after 50+yrs of being rusted in place. It is best done by placing the upright in a STURDY vice and using a 6-point socket (usually a wrench will slip off). Once you get the bushing to budge, shoot lots of WD-40 (or equivelant)in both sides and kind of work it in by turning the bushing back and forth until it get easier to turn. Once you get the front end rebuilt and on the road, the key to long life for these old frontends is frequent greasing. With proper maintenance, and no more than you will probably drive it, it should last many, many years. I have rebuilt and repaired many of these frontends for over 35yrs (the 53-62 Corvette frontend is exactly the same frontend) and with patience and taking your time, they are not difficult to rebuild. I have an engine stand that is dedicated to attaching the cross member to for rebuilding them (most of the ones I do are for early Vette customers).

OH, and one last thing. The UPPER OUTER shaft and bushings ONLY install ONE way. One of the two bushings has a threaded hole for a grease zerk. One end of the shaft has a hex hole. The end of the shaft with the hex hole and the bushing with the threaded hole go TOGETHER and face the REAR. This is for making adjustments to the frontend alignment. The grease zerk is removed and an Allen wrench is inserted to turn the shaft when aligning the frontend.

Posts: 24

Loc: Kansas,U.S.A.
Reg: 07-11-03
Re: Removing upper control arm shaft on 50 Chevy
05-19-04 03:48 AM - Post#448467    
    In response to

Hello Tom; I appreciate the extensive time and effort you put into the reply for my front end question. I won't be able to start on it until this weekend but feel better about starting on it with this information. This type of committment to the hobby and fellow Chevy enthusiast with much lesser knowledge is greatly appreciated. Thanks Again for such a extented effort. Ron


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