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Seized lever shock?


ZondaC12
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Noticed ever since I started driving this car that under braking there's a "boom" from the front right sometimes. The pass. side front end is usually kind of hard to push down by the bumper, whereas the driver side moves a lot easier. After sitting all winter it binds up and upon the first couple drives it loosens up and is ok the rest of the summer. Seems stting for a couple weeks in the colder temps does something to it. I pulled apart the front end on that side this weekend...probably shouldnt have ignored all this, the joint where the steering knuckle connects to the kingpin/hub/all that mess, that lower joint, is looser than a goose. Upper one seemed good. But that's another story, I'll take care of that.

Found out that, having the shock arm free to move on it's own, I could barely move it. I filled it with hydraulic jack oil when I first got the car on the road, didnt take much beore it started spilling out...guess it already had some fluid in it. Doesnt leak as far as I can tell...do these things seize from old age/use like this? Any way to free it up? Or time to just start looking? I have seen them on ebay before, and on the buy/sell forum from time to time.

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The shocks are rebuildable. I suggest Five Points Classic Auto Shocks in the San Diego area. That's where I sent mine, after having poor results from another company IN THE EAST. http://www.classicautoshocks.com/

It sounds like you also need to replace your king pins and the bushing at the very least, and perhaps all of your bushings need replacing... or, as they say in Ohio, "needs replaced."

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Can I get an idea of how much this goes for? Dont get me wrong, I completely understand the merit in it, and I'd really like to do it right the first time, but if I pick up a used one that, though it's damping isn't best, it MOVES, that would be great too. Really just concerned with having a suspension capable of articulating as opposed to NOT haha. The drivers side is certainly mushy, the car bobs for a little bit on large humps in the road, but not that bad. Nothing more than I'd expect from a car built the way these were.

I do intend to leave the drivers side entirely alone because that moves very well and I hear absolutely nothing from there. As an aside, jacked up I can push the tops of the tires abut 1/8" or so. The kingpins should definitely be done but they seem hardly on their last legs.

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Yeah, I dont want to make it seem like I want to skimp on this car, I dont do that. However, in this case I think if I can find a used one, long as it is in better shape than this one and moves as it needs to, I think that will do for simply being able to drive the thing to shows and cruises around here and not be a summer without it. I really don't drive it great distances in general.

Especially given this fact that I'd be waiting on the return for awhile. Ill keep my eyes peeled for used ones for sale.

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Zonda,

I have my car apart right now for almost the exact same reason. Under severe braking, I get a pop or booming noise from the left front. I found the lower outer bushing on the right side loose. Put a new one on order - BUT, here's what I found. In my case, it wasn't really the bushing that was badly worn, it was the casting that it threads in to. (steering knuckle support). In other words, even a brand new bushing would slip fore and aft in the casting (instead of threading in tight). Watch out for this!

Regarding your shock, if everything is correct, it should be difficult, but not impossible, to move up and down by hand. When you say seized, do you mean SEIZED, or just seized? On mine, I have taken the shocks off, drained the fluid, and refilled with kerosene. You have to move the lever arms a bit to get the thing to fill. Work the arms back and forth a bit, then drain and repeat 4X or so. Your might just let it soak for a week or so if it's still fighting you. Chances are, the kerosene will flush a bunch of mud out, and the shock will feel better and better as you repeat. The effort will be lower because of the lower viscosity of the kerosene. When it looks reasonable, let it drain for a good long time, then flush the remainder of the kerosene out with a dose or two of shock oil.

As an aside, those shocks are a product of our sister division (formally Delco Products) here in Dayton. I'll ask some of those guys if they will still honor the warranty.

Jeff

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Haha at the "honor the warranty part" laugh.gif

Anyway, yes I considered that maybe the steering knuckle support piece is actually worn away. The eccentric threaded piece up top came out just fine, all threads okay, rotated easily, I think that's fine. It was once I took that apart that I could now grab the backing place and shake it a good deal, twist it even. So yea could be a problem! eek.gif Ill have to disconnect the lower control arm and see.

The shock, is very hard to move. About 1"-2" of motion in the middle of its range and then it stops. I could get on the bumper and shift my weight up and down sharply to move it, that made it move farther but it was very resistant.

The one thing that's going to be a little tedious, probably going to fabricate my own compressor....I gota take the spring out right? I tried to undo one of the shock bolts and it just spun so obviously the frame is not threaded, there are nuts underneath? I would try flushing it out though, worth a shot!

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The good news is that you won't need a spring compressor. Just a second jack (like a scissors jack) under the lower control arm. Compress the spring until the car just begins to lift off of your jack stand - then back off a bit until the weight is shared by both the scissor jack and the jack stand (safety first!). Now you can remove the lower outer bushing bolt. Once you do, you are free to lower the control arm until the spring is free. No compressor needed!

Here's where you can make sure your casting is OK. All of the wear will hopefully be between the bolt and the bushing ID.

Jeff

PS. Let me know how your shock responds to the kerosene bath(s).

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Okay!! Maybe Ill get pictures if I can later today, if I cant describe things well enough. The shock DID loosen up, so that should be a-ok. What I found with the outer lower knuckle support pin, is the bushing looks to be really worn? That was very loose, but the bolt that goes through the whole thing was 100% sound. Any meausurements I could take of what the hole in the knuckle support should be? As said, there should be threads I guess, but an ebay sale of a pair of knuckle supports shows, at least from what I can see in the pictures, no threads in the lower part of the knuckle support? Is the bushing supposed to cut into the support? Again, if anyone knows hos big the hole should be I guess I could measure that and see if the knuckle is bad. The bushing does not have threads. It has faint dull ridges, so I take it those are worn down threads. sick.gif

But that's all she wrote. Lower control arm moves very nicely, no slop or play in the inner pivot points.

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Paul

Here are a few photos. I'll let Jeff chime in with some measurements.

Here's what I know: The lower part of the steering knuckle support (A) is what was completely worn out. Its bushing (B) could easily slide in and out of its position in the arm. According to Jeff, original factory literature says that the bushing (B) actually cut its own threads into the support for zero tolerance. Jeff was able to find a replacement knuckle support arm, but we're trying to figure out how one would solve this problem without a replacement.

One idea was to find a bolt that would fit on the threaded bushing, because there's plenty of the bushing that sticks out the other side. The problem is that the thread size may be unique.

I've now exhausted any knowledge that I may have had that would help in this situation.

post-33613-143138041834_thumb.jpg

post-33613-143138041837_thumb.jpg

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Yeah you've only conretely confirmed my fears, that the knuckle support is just roached. Definitely no threads there. I don't know, maybe get the bushing anyway, see if the threads are enough that it tightens up. Dont think the wheels arent turning LOL Im cheap as well, Ive thought of ways I could make something of my own. Because my dad was...my dad...weve got varying sizes and thicknesses of some tube stock, that kinda stuff, and a milling machine, and a small lathe...yeah. Hehe. Honestly I dont see the need for it to thread into the support as long as you can shim it up somehow, make a stand-in to replace the head head on the bushing itself there, so that the support cant more fore and aft.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ZondaC12</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't know, maybe get the bushing anyway, see if the threads are enough that it tightens up. </div></div>

Hmmmm. I wonder if oversized bushings are available just for such a fix? That would make things simple, eh?

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Wow, guess it's time to weigh in, and at least defend my cluttered garage.

Here are my thoughts, Zonda. You have to get to the point where the bushing is tight to the knuckle support. I would guess that mine, like yours, loosened up, and was then free to rock back and forth and wear out the casting.

So, here are the options...

1. Bob's Automobilia has a new one (N.O.S.) for about $94.

2. Look for a good used one - I got lucky, and found one ankle deep in snow behind a custom car builder's garage! (ask West) Try e-bay??

3. Add some brass (braizing rod) to the O.D. of a new bushing, then force-fit to the casting.

4. Clamp a new one in place, and weld or braize it to the casting. Have someone knowledgable about this comment, because you don't want to change the strength properties of the casting.

5. I like the oversize bushing idea, but don't remember ever seeing one. Ask the friendly guy who answers the phone at Bob's.

6. Machine a sleeve to fit into the casting?? Again, watch out for the strength issue - if you remove too much material to fit the sleeve, will you have enough "hoop" strength left in this critical member?

Well, there are all of my ideas. Keep us posted.

Jeff

P.S. West, thanks for using your shiney car filter on your camera. The wife at first thought she was looking at someone else's car! Not sure if that was a compliment or not.

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I re-read my book(s) last night, and have a couple of corrections...

1. It's CARs, in New Jersey, that has one of the knuckles available.

2. The bushing that cuts it's own threads is the inner bushing, not the lower outer.

3. The shop manual specifically warns against using heat to staighten a front end component, or welding front end components, due to the change in properties that will result. The question for the welding experts is: Any change in that advice due to the newer technologies? (MIG provides pretty localized heat, and may be OK to tack the bushing in place???)

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My experience is in castings, & I am no expert; but I know that post weld heat treatment of the entire casting is necessary to realign the molecular structure of alloys to restore strength and corrosion resistance.

Springs, axles and frame members are usually heat treated to increase strength by achieving a specific temper for each application. Welding effectively changes the temper of metals in the heat effected zone of the weld. Any welding on tempered or "heat treated" metals can cause material weakness unless the entire part is post weld heat treated to restore the original temper.

There are several methods of tempering that achieve different results. The chemistry of the alloy, heat level, and methods of quenching are all contribute to setting a specific temper (provided you know what temper is needed).

I think a good replacement part would be preferred in this case. Otherwise, maybe a modern adhesive or interference fit would work just as well to lock in a sleeve or bushing to avoid welding.

My 2 cents...

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So yeah just to update...this will resume next weekend..got a 3 day weekend YAAAAAYY so Ill have some time...I got a plan...I think its reasonable I think it will work and hold like the original design does, I'll be sure to post ample pictures of what I end up making. I think this should be good.

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I wonder if this might work. What if you wound fine copper wire clockwise around the outside of the bushing? Grease the darned thing up real good, and try threading the bushing with the wire wrapped around it into the knuckle. The wire is likely enough to take up the clearance, and because it's soft copper, it will compress fairly easily as you thread it in, filling in any voids.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haha well right now studying for an absolutely evil test tomorrow morning.

Parts should be coming this week I suppose. My spring break is all next week, so if the stuff is here by Friday I'll probably spend the evening putting everything back together. smile.gif

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  • 1 month later...

Ya know it's funny I check whats goin on here all the time and yet I forget to update my OWN stuff. blush.giflaugh.gif Wheres Bill Engvall to tell me "heres your sign"....?

The whooole shebang is back together....actually has been for a couple weeks...took a test drive around the block and pulled in the driveway only to adjust the brakes to get rid of the pull...and find a shot outer driver's wheel bearing! So hopped on bobs, grabbed that, now that's in. Whole front end articulates very smoothly and without funny noises etc. Everything is very solid now. smile.gif

Its in my moms name, on her insurance policy...so she has to make the trip to DMV. Really doesnt have the time now, but soon enough! Probably wont be at Rhinebeck...but Id say within 3 weeks or so I should have it out cruisin worry free cool.gif

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