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Discussion Starter #1
Now the front end is JACKED up in the air???? I did not replace the springs, everything but those is new - and there is easily 5 - 7 inches between the wheelwell and the tire - is this normal??? I only ask because it looks ridiculous with the front end up that high (back end untouched so sagging like normal)

The only thing I can think of is that I installed the sway bar and tightened it down with the front end in the air - could the angle I installed it at be holding the control arms down? This doesnt seem possible because the sway bar is designed to pivot up and down, but its all i can think of - like I said the springs are the same old ones, so I'm confused.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Also, the shocks I used were police/taxi replacements from autozone - and this front is SOLID - I used to be able to bounce the front by pushing on the fenders, now it dont budge at all...
 
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Discussion Starter #3
All of your control arm pivot bolts need to be torqued with the car at its normal ride height. If you tightened them with the suspension still hanging down, you need to follow this process: loosen ALL of the fasteners to allow the car to settle and to allow the bushings to "relax" to a normalized position--it sounds like they are probably all in "bind". When you are satisfied the suspension is able to move freely, and you have verified the spring indexing described below, THEN re-tighten the fasteners as indicated in the Factory Service Manual--lower pivot bolts are over 100 lb/ft, and uppers are in the 80-90 lb/ft range, as I recall (FSM is not handy at the moment).

Also, even if you used the same springs, were they correctly indexed? The lower end of the spring is supposed to align between the 2 small holes in the spring pocket--you should only be able to see or pass something (drill bit?) through one of the holes. If BOTH holes are open, the spring(s) are in the wrong place, and will cause the car to sit higher.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
1. There is no way in hell im getting under the car when its under load and loosening ANYTHING in the suspension, so hopefully it'll settle if I jump over some railroad tracks a few times...

2. I had so much trouble getting the springs in that I almost guarantee they are not indexed correctly, when I get some lowering springs I'll put them in right - I'm not driving the car now anyway cause I need to fix a bunch of holes in the floor before i can get it inspected.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Well, you asked....

There is NO danger in loosening the lower control arm pivot bolts. I did not say REMOVE them--just loosen the nuts!!! Same goes for the upper control arm pivot shaft nuts.

If your springs aren't properly indexed, this problem will NOT be corrected by driving over railroad tracks, in all likelihood.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I didnt think so with the springs, its just that those things make me nervous taking them in and out, so they are gonna stay that way for now... Its just that I had such a hard time with this whole rebuild ( my first one ever ) and I dont feel like screwing with it anymore.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
If you try really hard, you can rotate the springs in the spring pockets...might take 2 strong guys turning on them...but it is doable. One of my springs went in covering both holes (the way it popped into the pocket I hoped it would land right like the other side did, but it didn't)...so I grabbed it and said "F you spring" and turned and it did turn in the pocket.

The reason you need to torque the control arm bolts with full load on the suspension is that rubber bushings (and also poly) bind...and they hold the car up a bit if you torque them with the car on stands and the suspension sticking down on bumpstops...just put the tires up on ramps and you can loosen those nuts safely (don't take them off the bolts just loosen them all and then retorque them after they're all loosened).
 
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Discussion Starter #8
It seems like Trybal had a real problem with his rebuild,I did mine in the driveway by myself and had a good weekends worth of work ,but lucky for me Bill Harper is a stones throw away,he hooked me up with complete upper and lower control arms that were pressed with all of the best components .I also got a center link and tie rod ends,it was much easier when you have finished parts in hand to swap over. I torqued all my fasteners with the front end on ramps (loaded) I'm not sure of this but it seems as though if you leave your car as-is you may damage your new bushings,and you would have spent all of this time ,and have to re-do the whole project down the road, do it right the first time,no regrets later!
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I did have a problem with my rebuild, it was 1 part inexperience (thank god I'm friends with a mechanic) and 2 parts stubborn car. My caprice was a Jersey State troopers car, and I swear this guy musta had shore patrol cause it is RUSTY underneath. I actually had to grind the head and end off one of the lower CA bolts just to get it off the frame... The bolt and the center sleeve of the bushing had become One...

Also the fact that I never seemed to have the right tools for the job...
And for some reason putting the reassembled LCA's back on the car was frustrating as hell, they didnt want to go back...

Maybe it was 2 parts inexperience


But I really dont see how loosening the bolts would help - I have ramps, so I will give it a shot, but I could move my control arms (without springs) up and down with my bare hands after they were reinstalled, it seems that the weight of the car would make them settle.

This car is just so frustrating - every time I do something, I find something else that needs to be fixed.
1. radiator - still havent taken care of that
2. had 2 snapped off exhaust bolts in head, pulled head to fix - cost me a bunch just in gaskets to put it back together
3. replaced exhaust - mufflers were rotted out and I bought the Flowmaster kit, not that i could really afford it, but I just didnt want to buy an exhaust system twice.
4. Front end felt a little 'loose', so I rebuilt it and found (1) shock snapped in half, NO bushings on one side (completely rotted away) tie rods so loose you could move 'em around all over the place, you get the idea
5. Had to undo the cooler lines for the transmission, right where they come into the tranny, and put some teflon tape on the fittings cause they were leaking, and when we were working on the head, cracked another tranny line where it comes over the sway bar (yay!)
6. Now I have a bunch of rust holes to fill in the floor, never welded before but I am now the proud owner of a Craftsman Wire Feed Gasless MIG Welder (gasless because it seemed easier, and I only had enough credit on my sears card to get this one)....


Anywho it goes on and on, sorry for the rant but this car is just getting me a little down right now, it took me a little over a month to get the front end done (not working every day on it) and there is so much that I need to do before I can drive it, I bought it in the beginning of july and i've put like 20 miles on it and nowhere near being able to get a state inspection.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Yo Tribal, listen to Bill harper, he's telling you how to fix your problem. No offense, but don't argue with an expert, know what I mean? ;^)

I just recently rebuilt my entire front end also. And mine was also a PITA at times. It was also my first time doing something like that, so I know how you feel. We were in the same boat, now let us help you fix it.

So again, I will say, DO WHAT BILL TELLS YOU TO DO!!! Seriously bro, thats what will fix your problem. I know it's a bitch getting those springs in, I had a hell of a time with mine also. Try what Mike suggested, and see if you can rotate the springs with the wheels off, and no load on the front end (obviously). You might be able to do it. But first check and see if that second hole is covered up. If the tail end of the spring is between the first and second hole, your good to go.

Then, do like Bill said and un-bind the bushings. This would be a perfect time to use those ramps you said you had. There is nothing unsafe about doing this bro, in fact, I just did it last night to re-torque my front end and make sure everything was still torqued properly.

Again, follow Bill's and Mike's lead. You asked for help, and now your getting it, but your not doing anything people are telling you do that WILL fix your problem. I don't get it! :confused:

Good luck bro, and no offense, just trying to help a brotha out. :D
 
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Discussion Starter #12
This car is just so frustrating - every time I do something, I find something else that needs to be fixed.
Dude, that's what some of us call opportunity. You made my wife laugh out loud though. Then she left the room crying.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
My apologies, I'm sorry I came off a bit pissy but like I said, I'm just a little frustrated with the car - no offense meant, I just dont feel like even LOOKING at the front end anymore
but I will try to loosen them up.

One question tho, I was over at my folks house today looking over the car (they have a garage, I dont :D )and getting to the lover control arm bolts does not seem to be a problem - but the uppers look like they will be tough. The drivers side front nut on the cross shaft is easy to get to, but the back nut is tucked away under the brake booster; any suggestions to make it easier, or is it just something I need to figure out? And the passenger side is going to be a nightmare.

Again, no offense meant, sorry I came off that way. I just miss being behind the wheel and its getting to me.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
It's all good bro, you have NO IDEA how much I understand what your saying. When I was done, I didn't even wanna drive it to even see if all the work I did was done right (i,e, no cracks or pops, wheels falling off, etc.) LOL! j/k

Trust me dude, we all know what your going through. We've all been there before, and re-building the front end is not easy, or quick work by any means.

About your question, I really don't have a good answer for you cause all my parts came pre-assembled from Bill. I do see what your saying though, it's quite an awkward position. I'm sure someone will have a good answer for you.

:D
 
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Discussion Starter #15
If I remember right, I think I took off the intermediate steering shaft to get a good bite on that back drivers side nut. I think I might have used a swivel too. The pass side wasn't too bad I don't think.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Trybal, I Did Just As Bill Described For "Setting The Bushings" And Yes! The Suggestion Mike Made About Turning The Spring WILL Work! I Had 1 That Was Off And We Managed To Get It Turned Correctly.
Yes This Whole Ordeal Was a Major PITA! The Only Luxury I Had Was That My Engine and Trans Were OUT Of The Car When I Did The Front End Rebuild. So I Stood There Saying "Geez, Thats About 650LBS Less In My Car", How Am I Gonna Simulate That Weight In The Front End When I Torque Down The Nuts? Solution: Throw a Barbeque At The House, Invite Some Of Your "Fatass" Friends Over And Tell Them To Climb In And Stand On The Front Crossmember Or Ya "Aint Gonna Eat"! (I Used 3 Guys). Torqued The Nuts Down And All Is Well! If Your Leary Of Something "Giving Way" When You Loosen The Nuts, Throw a Couple Of cinder Blocks Under Each Frame Rail! If It Falls, It Aint Going Far! So I Must Be a "Glutton For Punishment" Because I Dropped The Rear End Yesterday And Im Doing The Poly Bushings For The Rear This Week! Wife Keeps Yelling "Your Insane" And I Replied: I Must Be, I Married You Didn't I! Now Hand Me That 1/2" Drive Ratchet Please......Mike
 
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Discussion Starter #17
By the way, I finally figured out what my problem was... LOL... I was under the car, loosening nuts, and I noticed that the swaybar was turned up and sitting against the frame.

Turns out that was my problem all along. I installed the swaybar upside down!!! Pulled it, flipped it over, and poof! Normal ride height. I coulda beat myself in the head with it. :D
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Originally posted by TrybalRage:
By the way, I finally figured out what my problem was... LOL... I was under the car, loosening nuts, and I noticed that the swaybar was turned up and sitting against the frame.

Turns out that was my problem all along. I installed the swaybar upside down!!! Pulled it, flipped it over, and poof! Normal ride height. I coulda beat myself in the head with it. :D
That's pretty good. :D

Sometimes the most obvious answer it right in front of you, and you just can't see it.
" Can't see the forest because of the Trees" :D :D

That's another one to file away for future reference.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Originally posted by B-Body Builder:
If Your Leary Of Something "Giving Way" When You Loosen The Nuts, Throw a Couple Of cinder Blocks Under Each Frame Rail! If It Falls, It Aint Going Far!
Please don't do that!!!!!!!!!! Every year I hear about somebody getting killed because they have their car sitting on cinder blocks working on it. Cinder blocks do not like to support a point load (i.e. your frame with a weld line in the middle of it) they can and will crumble. Pay $30 for a set of jackstands. They are totally worth it.
Nick
 
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Discussion Starter #20
YES, any Gearhead that plans on getting old, :eek: should have a "quality" pair or two, of Jack Stands.
 
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