Upper and lower control arms

Discussion in 'General Ranchero Help' started by Ran Man, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    218
    My 72 needs upper and lower control arms replaced and my shop is having a hard time finding them. Does anyone have a source for replacements?
     
  2. tony o

    tony o In Third Gear

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    242
    Location:
    orange, ca. usa
    When I did mine I just replaced the bushings and ball joints, sandblasted, painted the original arms. Are yours rusted out or damaged in some way. I think the only thing available for the metal arms themselves is used. There are some tubular upper arms available. $$$ https://www.littleshopmfg.com/caster-adding-upper-control-arms-for-ford-cars/ But you still need ball joints and bushings. Also beware the build date of the vehicle. Ford changed the cross shaft on 3-15-73 and went to a longer shaft. Upper bushings are different between the two versions
     
  3. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    218
    Mine are not damaged i dont believe i think the mechanic just wanted to put the whole assembly on and not deal with replacing ball joints and bushings. Are they hard to replace?
     
  4. tony o

    tony o In Third Gear

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    242
    Location:
    orange, ca. usa
    Not too bad. Ball joints come from the factory riveted. You will need to grind the head off the rivet and then punch them out. Replacements bolt in. If you go the stock rubber bushing route you press out the old ones and press in new ones. If you go the polyurethane route you will need to reuse the outer shells. The easiest way that I have found to do this is to use a torch to burn out the old rubber bushings then press the urethane bushing into the old shells. Make sure to support the upper are when pressing so you don’t bend it.
     
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  5. 1978GT

    1978GT In Fourth Gear GOLD MEMBER

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    I rebuilt the front upper and lower control arms on my 78 years ago, doing it all myself as Tony described above. Had to purchase a bushing press kit, which I later sold for a slight profit!

    The bushings and ball joints are readily available from a variety of sources. It sounds like your shop is not capable or willing to do this job.

    You can do all the work yourself, or you could make arrangements with a machine shop to rebuild the arms with your parts. Remove the arms intact and drop them off with new bushings and ball joints. You can then reinstall the rebuilt arms and head to the alignment shop.
     
  6. Clark

    Clark In Maximum Overdrive

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    2,392
    Location:
    Brighton, Colorado
    Very easy to replace the control arm bushings with polyurethane bushings such as those from Energy Suspension (once the control arms are removed). I found a big improvement in handling with the Energy Suspension bushings as well after doing both the front and rear bushings.

    The poly bushings slide into the original bushing shells. No need to press them out of the control arms. I simply heat the control arm ends in hot charcoal briquets which burns out the rubber bushings. Then clean up the mess and slide in the poly bushings.

    The ball joints are a simple bolt in. Use quality replacements such as Moog.
     
  7. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    218
    Thank you for the information
     
  8. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    How can i tell if my ranchero was made before or after March of 72?
     
  9. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Your driver's door sticker will list month and year of manufacture.
     
  10. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    218
    It s
    It sure did. April of 72. I am having a tough time finding new upper and lower control arms.
     
  11. Clark

    Clark In Maximum Overdrive

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    2,392
    Location:
    Brighton, Colorado
    Why do you need new upper and lower control arms? Usually only the bushings need to be replaced.
     
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  12. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    218
    You are correct. The shop i took it to wants to replace rather than push out the bushings and replace the ball joints. I am going to take it to a different shop this week. Three different places have told me that they would rather replace the entire control arms because its easier. Is this normal?
     
  13. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    Location:
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    Maybe you need to remind those lazy shops that your vehicle isn't a modern throw-away toaster of a vehicle. Parts like "A" arms were meant to be rebuilt, not replaced as a unit like on today's rides. Considering that fact, those parts in a complete unit were never widely available even when your Ranchero was new.
    Sadly, you need to find a shop run by an old fart who knows how to fix things instead of simply snapping together new units like on a model car.
     
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  14. pmrphil

    pmrphil In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

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    Location:
    central CT
    Hillbilly beat me to it, yes, it's normal for SLACKERS to try and do a job the easiest way, but not necessarily the best way. Any given day I would rather have my old parts rebuilt than putting inferior (probably chinese manufactured) new parts on. We won't get into the alignment issues that pop up when junk parts are installed.
     
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  15. Clark

    Clark In Maximum Overdrive

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    2,392
    Location:
    Brighton, Colorado
    Why not do this yourself? Oh I know, the uppers are easy. You have to fight coil springs with the lowers. Once removed, it's nothing to change the ball joints. The bushing are also easy if you go to polyurethane bushings since the bushing shells do not have to be removed.
     
  16. 1978GT

    1978GT In Fourth Gear GOLD MEMBER

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    A lot of today's shops are even worse than Hillbilly and Phil described. Seems like ninety percent of what they do is just replace parts because of a code.

    You are not going to find new original control arms, loaded or unloaded. What you can find is a shop that knows what the hell they are doing, just ask around.
     
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  17. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    Thanks for the advice. I did find a local "old fart"that is more than willing to help. We will see how it goes. He has a shop that is always busy.
     
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  18. Ran Man

    Ran Man In Third Gear

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    218
    I took my car to another shop and he said i didnt need new control arms, bushings or ball joints. The rubber disc on the shaft by the steering box was in horrible shape. He put a new one on and the 72 has never driven better. $80.00 for parts and labor out the door.
     
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  19. 6delta

    6delta In Fourth Gear

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    261
    Location:
    Citrus Heights, CA
    Sounds like you may have stumbled upon a "honest" mechanic. Congrats. Never knowing if the work needed was really needed by my vehicle or just needed by the mechanic's bank account is why I have seldom gone to anyone to work on my stuff. A honest shop is worth knowing about.
     
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  20. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    An honest shop is the only shop I ever worked for, and the vast majority of customers I dealt with appreciated each shop.
     
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