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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have ordered all the parts needed to rebuild the front steering and suspension on my 65 shortbed. I have decided to keep it all stock, which means manual steering, drum brakes, etc.

I have started the spraying process of penetrating oil on the ball joints, tie rod ends, Control arm bolts and started watching videos on the R&R process (some are well done, some not so much but get the point across...I guess everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame).

I will be replacing the:

Steering gear box
Rag Joint
Upper and Lower Ball Joints
Outer and Inner Tie Rod Ends
Sway Bar Bushings
Adjusting Sleeves
Idler Arm
Bump Stops
and the Upper and Lower Control Arm cross shafts.

I will have to get a ball joint press (some parts stores loan them out)
and all the other tools I have for the most part.

I saw a video where a guy heated the lower A-Arm ball joint with a torch and then beat it out with a hammer. My question for this is, are the control arms heat treated like the frame? If they are, I would think that heating them would ruin their strength.

Just asking for a few tips from those who have experienced this form of self-induced torture :eek: to make the job Slightly easier (even if it is just in my mind)

I will also be taking a butt-load of pics to document the process. Hopefully I can put them in some form of order to post here to help the next guy who decides they want to take a weekend or two just to drive themselves nuts.

Thanks guys! :)
 

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Well I have ordered all the parts needed to rebuild the front steering and suspension on my 65 shortbed. I have decided to keep it all stock, which means manual steering, drum brakes, etc.

I have started the spraying process of penetrating oil on the ball joints, tie rod ends, Control arm bolts and started watching videos on the R&R process (some are well done, some not so much but get the point across...I guess everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame).

I will be replacing the:

Steering gear box
Rag Joint
Upper and Lower Ball Joints
Outer and Inner Tie Rod Ends
Sway Bar Bushings
Adjusting Sleeves
Idler Arm
Bump Stops
and the Upper and Lower Control Arm cross shafts.

I will have to get a ball joint press (some parts stores loan them out)
and all the other tools I have for the most part.

I saw a video where a guy heated the lower A-Arm ball joint with a torch and then beat it out with a hammer. My question for this is, are the control arms heat treated like the frame? If they are, I would think that heating them would ruin their strength.

Just asking for a few tips from those who have experienced this form of self-induced torture :eek: to make the job Slightly easier (even if it is just in my mind)

I will also be taking a butt-load of pics to document the process. Hopefully I can put them in some form of order to post here to help the next guy who decides they want to take a weekend or two just to drive themselves nuts.

Thanks guys! :)
McGyver sounds like the fun starts, cool, first off great to hear you are presoaking, sometimes you will have to use heat to loosen, my own opinion do not heat the a-arms, thou they are not tempered any heat on them could distort them making it nearly impossible to press in the new ball joints, just take the arms to anybody that has a press and press them in, also a side note on ball joints, sometimes they wear in the hole in which they are pressed and the hole is larger, loose ball joint.. you can by oversize ball joints in that case.. New U-Bolts for your lower cross shafts, buy new its cheap insurance, they also sell the larger bolt size for the 67 to 87 which is safer yet but you will have to open up the hole size in the crossmember.
If you are replacing the sway bar bushings you may also replace the rear trailing arm bushings also rubber, on both pieces just use a 1/8 inch drill bit and drill thru the old rubber and all will drop out, 3 minute job on each one, some people burn them out but that makes a mess and stinks like hell.
Bump stops also use a press to install while doing ball joints, don`t forget you`ll hate yourself..
Rag joint there is a ground strap ( or should be) ( just a brass strap) that links the horn ground to ground thru the shaft.
Take lots of pics before teardown to refer to later...
Keep us updated....another note frames are not heat treated (tempered).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"Keep us updated....another note frames are not heat treated (tempered)."

Maybe I am getting that from when I worked at a Big Truck repair place in Amarillo Texas. We re-arched springs, did suspension repair and replacement, frame work, etc...

I had remembered reading on one of the truck frames that it had been heat treated and not to drill holes or weld in certain places...Mind you, that was back in 1986. I just assumed that all the frames were tempered and subject to loss of strength if improperly heated, spindled, or mutilated. I joined the Air Force in '88 and retired in '08. So there have been a few miles and years gone by since then.

Thanks for the advice. This is going to be a big (fun?) job, but I will be happy when it is over and my truck handles better...After that, it is transmission time.
 

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"Keep us updated....another note frames are not heat treated (tempered)."

Maybe I am getting that from when I worked at a Big Truck repair place in Amarillo Texas. We re-arched springs, did suspension repair and replacement, frame work, etc...

I had remembered reading on one of the truck frames that it had been heat treated and not to drill holes or weld in certain places...Mind you, that was back in 1986. I just assumed that all the frames were tempered and subject to loss of strength if improperly heated, spindled, or mutilated. I joined the Air Force in '88 and retired in '08. So there have been a few miles and years gone by since then.

Thanks for the advice. This is going to be a big (fun?) job, but I will be happy when it is over and my truck handles better...After that, it is transmission time.
One other suggestion for better handling, 1.25 front sway bar from any C20 /30 or one ton chevy `67 to `87 grab all brackets, replace rubbers bolt on...world of difference...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One other suggestion for better handling, 1.25 front sway bar from any C20 /30 or one ton chevy `67 to `87 grab all brackets, replace rubbers bolt on...world of difference...
Front swaybar is next on the list after I get all this stuff done. The wife is being good about the spending, but I don't want to abuse it. The parts and shipping for what I am getting ready to do was about $750.00 so I will spread it out and take some of the overall bite out of it.

Then, after the front swaybar is done, I am replacing the Rear end bushings and getting the rear swaybar installed. I should have done it all when I was working on replacing the rear springs with overloads and putting in air shocks (for the truck camper I have) but I didn't have the funding then. Guess you do what you can when you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Half of the truck is done...the hard part of it anyway. I replaced the upper and lower ball joints and upper and lower control arm shafts on the passenger side. Still have to put the tie rod together and match the length to the old one and bolt on the idler arm. I will post pics when I get them off the camera.

I want to meet the engineer at GM who thought that riveting the upper ball joints in was a great thing. I can guarantee that S.O.B. NEVER had to cut them out with a chisel and hammer. IF he had, he would have used bolts. 2 hours of pounding with a hammer to cut them off. I tried to cut them off with it still mounted in the truck, but there was too much bounce for it to be effective. After removing the A-Arm, I was able to cut them off faster. For the drivers side, I went to Harbor Freight and bought a 4.5" grinder...But that is for next weekend.

Question, if I put together a rebuild post with pics, is there a place to put it on the site?
 

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Half of the truck is done...the hard part of it anyway. I replaced the upper and lower ball joints and upper and lower control arm shafts on the passenger side. Still have to put the tie rod together and match the length to the old one and bolt on the idler arm. I will post pics when I get them off the camera.

I want to meet the engineer at GM who thought that riveting the upper ball joints in was a great thing. I can guarantee that S.O.B. NEVER had to cut them out with a chisel and hammer. IF he had, he would have used bolts. 2 hours of pounding with a hammer to cut them off. I tried to cut them off with it still mounted in the truck, but there was too much bounce for it to be effective. After removing the A-Arm, I was able to cut them off faster. For the drivers side, I went to Harbor Freight and bought a 4.5" grinder...But that is for next weekend.

Question, if I put together a rebuild post with pics, is there a place to put it on the site?
4 inch grinder and a drift punch, 3 minutes tops...!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
4 inch grinder and a drift punch, 3 minutes tops...!
Oh yes...I have learned Master...I have learned. $14.99 for the grinder and a few bucks for the wheel at harbor freight...saves much pain and swelling in the hand from missing the chisel.

Saturday, the grinder will be broken in...
 

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Oh yes...I have learned Master...I have learned. $14.99 for the grinder and a few bucks for the wheel at harbor freight...saves much pain and swelling in the hand from missing the chisel.

Saturday, the grinder will be broken in...
Also remember about the rubber bushings, use a 1/8 drill bit thru the rubber on all sides, they will drop out..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Finished! Everything except the springs and shocks (shocks are only a year old, and springs were fine) replaced...The grinder worked like a charm. Took about 5 minutes and the rivets on the upper ball joint were done.

With replacing the rag joint, I had to grind off the rivets holding it together, and the bolt in replacement one fit perfect.

I did a string alignment on the front end to get it close, and will schedule to get it in for a professional alignment when I can as well as get a couple of new tires for the front end.

I will post some pics once I get them sized for the site. Thanks for all the help and info that were given. I could have done it, but it never hurts to get some ideas from those who have done it before! beer
 

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Great to hear, glad all went well..! beer
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Dropped the truck off last night, so it should have an alignment done today and 2 new tires on the front...

Next project in the future...dropping the tranny to check and inspect and rebuilding the starter.

Stay tuned!

***Update***

The truck is back from the alignment shop...rolls great! Two new front tires, and she is ready to go camping this weekend.

Also, I was eating breakfast the other morning at our local diner, and ran into a man that owns the transmission shop a block or so down the road. I asked him if he worked on manual transmissions, and while he said that he doesn't do manuals anymore, he does have a man that works ONLY on manual transmissions. I told him what I had (3 speed with the overdrive) and he told me to go to him. While he doesn't R&R them, he has been building them for about 35 years. Guess I know where I will be taking the transmission to get it refurbished!
 

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Front end

Dropped the truck off last night, so it should have an alignment done today and 2 new tires on the front...

Next project in the future...dropping the tranny to check and inspect and rebuilding the starter.

Stay tuned!

***Update***

The truck is back from the alignment shop...rolls great! Two new front tires, and she is ready to go camping this weekend.

Also, I was eating breakfast the other morning at our local diner, and ran into a man that owns the transmission shop a block or so down the road. I asked him if he worked on manual transmissions, and while he said that he doesn't do manuals anymore, he does have a man that works ONLY on manual transmissions. I told him what I had (3 speed with the overdrive) and he told me to go to him. While he doesn't R&R them, he has been building them for about 35 years. Guess I know where I will be taking the transmission to get it refurbished!
For future reference a newer front end up to about 1985 will fit your frame an you get disc brakes etc. junk yards are full of them took me about 4 hours to swap out our 65 with a 85, had to redrill one hole...
 
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