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Replacing Upper Ball Joints 64 LeSabre


John Frank
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I am a BCA member restoring a 1964 LeSabre convertible.<P>The subject of my question is the replacement of ball joints in the upper A arm of the front suspension.<P>From the factory the ball joint was pressed into the upper arm and then welded to the arm in two spots. The Buick service manual says you can't change just the ball joint, you need to replace the whole A arm and ball joint assembly. Of course there are no new A arm assemblies available today for the 1964 B body Buicks and anything used is going to have a ball joint at least as worn as the ones I've got.<P>Moog sells a ball joint listed for this application. It has a deeper collar and a nut that screws over the collar. There are no instructions with this ball joint but it would appear clear that what Moog wants for installation is to grind off the welds, press out the old ball joint, press in the new ball joint and hold it in place with the nut on the collar.<P>Is this what people are doing today to replace the welded in ball joints? <P>____________<BR>Regards,<BR>John Frank

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Guest nailswede

Its a shame that they change the look of the constractions like that..<BR>i've changed the upper balljoints on a Fleetwood 1965 which also had welded spots as on your car..<BR>New one fore that car had a nut to so i was also a little surpised when i opend the pakage.

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Guest wildcat2

I just did this on my '65 Cat Convert. I used a "ball joint press" I bought from Harbor Freight or one of the other tool catalogs. I think it was about $60 or so. (You might be able to rent one at the local tool rental place.) It's basically a BIG C-clamp with various adapters to press ball joints in and out. The adapters make it easy to apply the high force you need while keeping everything lined up straight and not doing any damage to the ball joint or control arm. Worked great for the upper and lower ball joints as well as the lower control arm bushings.

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Just to add my hopefully helpfull hints.<BR> Give the ball joint a gentle rubbing with some fine emery cloth to smooth out any imperfections on its outer bore. The same should be done of course to the A-arm.<BR> The ball joint can go in the freezer and the A-arm gets a warming with a propane torch. If your quick enough with your assembly they almost fall together.<BR> Doug

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