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Discussion Starter #1
I'm needing to replace the lower control arms on this 94 Fleetwood. Unfortunately, circumstances dictate that I have to work on the car away from the majority of my tools, so I need to know what socket and wrench sizes I will need to bring to get the arms off and replaced. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
 

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Front, or rear.


If borrowing stuff remember, for the front, larger American (13/16 or 7/8 for A-arm nut-bolt (at least they're the same size head), 3/4 or less for BJ, smaller maybe 7/16 or 1/2, or metric 12, 13 for end links, 1/2? 12? 13? for shock.

For rears, larger 5/8, 11/16 or 3/4 for arm, smaller ?1/2, 9/16, 5/8 for sway bar.

If rounding up stuff from your own collection, I'd never leave home without a full set of normal American sockets 7/16-1" and 8-20mm. And the same sizes in box/opens. And a 5-gallon pail full of pliers, screwdrivers, prys, hammers, PBR.....

Are you going by plane or something with constraints?

Any more detail you offer will return better info too. Shame, I've got my Cady on stands right now and could make short order of this, - but out of town right now. Dammm
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Front, or rear.


If borrowing stuff remember, for the front, larger American (13/16 or 7/8 for A-arm nut-bolt (at least they're the same size head), 3/4 or less for BJ, smaller maybe 7/16 or 1/2, or metric 12, 13 for end links, 1/2? 12? 13? for shock.

For rears, larger 5/8, 11/16 or 3/4 for arm, smaller ?1/2, 9/16, 5/8 for sway bar.

If rounding up stuff from your own collection, I'd never leave home without a full set of normal American sockets 7/16-1" and 8-20mm. And the same sizes in box/opens. And a 5-gallon pail full of pliers, screwdrivers, prys, hammers, PBR.....

Are you going by plane or something with constraints?

Any more detail you offer will return better info too. Shame, I've got my Cady on stands right now and could make short order of this, - but out of town right now. Dammm
It's the front lower control arms I'll be working on.

The issue is that the storage unit I normally work on cars in is currently undergoing construction and I can't actually pull the Caddy in there at the moment, so I have to work on it in my apartment parking lot - but since my Bronco is down awaiting parts, I won't have any car to go get any tools I forgot back at my unit. My truck's field kit is mostly metric, as the truck is, well, mostly metric, so I wanted to make sure I'd have what I needed with me.
 

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When your remove the original bushings, you will have to spread the end plates to get the new arm bushing in. You need a pry bar to get the arm in place as well. You may need a spring compressor to get the springs aligned properly. The BJ will probably not give up easily either. I use a 1/2 inch bolt, nut, washer and 12/13mm long socket as a tool to put pressure on the BJ to remove it. You need a couple of wrenches to hold the bolt, and turn the nut to put pressure on the BJ. There is a picture of how to use it in the Haynes manual for Caprice/Roadmasters. You also need a jack, and stands to support the car while working on it.


If you are going to use a spring compressor, drive the car onto ramps, and allow the car's weight to compress the spring for the most part. Turn the screw until it is just tight to minimize the amount you need to work the compressor.


I would have a taper shaft handy to align the bushings with the holes on the frame, so you can insert the bolts, and a BFH to make fine adjustments.


Plan on getting an alignment after the swap. Your camber will surely be out, and your caster may be also.


As far as having all the tools you need, bring your whole box with you. It is really helpful to have a helper (as long as they are capable of helping).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When your remove the original bushings, you will have to spread the end plates to get the new arm bushing in. You need a pry bar to get the arm in place as well.
I'm swapping entire control arms (one Moog, one AC Delco, thank you Amazon sales), not just swapping bushings. Is it just that the end plates pull in on install at the factory and you have to pry them back out or does it pull in under use? Or is it just something that happens if you're putting new bushings in the original arms, like they need to be seated?

You may need a spring compressor to get the springs aligned properly. The BJ will probably not give up easily either. I use a 1/2 inch bolt, nut, washer and 12/13mm long socket as a tool to put pressure on the BJ to remove it.
I recently did the upper ball joints and they came off pretty easily - they looked to have been replaced some time in the distant past as they weren't riveted but looked old. Would this be at all indicative of how hard the lowers will be to remove?

You need a couple of wrenches to hold the bolt, and turn the nut to put pressure on the BJ. There is a picture of how to use it in the Haynes manual for Caprice/Roadmasters. You also need a jack, and stands to support the car while working on it.
I have the jack and stands I used to use on my F-350 and still use on my Bronco, so I think I have enough safe lift available. :)

I'll have to find the Haynes manual - I have the factory manual here.

If you are going to use a spring compressor, drive the car onto ramps, and allow the car's weight to compress the spring for the most part. Turn the screw until it is just tight to minimize the amount you need to work the compressor.
Hm. Any commentary on this? http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/235494-front-spring-removal-install-step-step.html

I would have a taper shaft handy to align the bushings with the holes on the frame, so you can insert the bolts, and a BFH to make fine adjustments.
Got those, they're actually standard items in my truck kit.

Plan on getting an alignment after the swap. Your camber will surely be out, and your caster may be also.
Yeah, I had figured as much, given past experience. I'd also suspect toe may actually be off as well depending on how much the arms vary.

As far as having all the tools you need, bring your whole box with you. It is really helpful to have a helper (as long as they are capable of helping).
Erm, I don't know that hauling out more than 500 pounds of tools (literally), many of them specialty or Whitworth tools that cannot possibly be used on the Cadillac, would be a great idea.

I don't exactly have a small rally box of tools. :p
 

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Now moving into preferred method of R&R front coils. After maybe 8-9 jobs over the decades doing the lower BJ method (and all the grief with spring compressors), I just last week replaced lower BJs by removing the A-arm bushing bolts. The first side took an hour of unsuccessful practice. But, aligning and setting the coil was immensely easier, - but it was impossible keeping the jack from creeping out of position as tension increased. I asked my wife to man the handle which steadied it better, and tried a few positions in order to balance level the arm into both holes simultaneously. BTW I never recalled doing a front coil job without a helper.

As mentioned in the referenced thread, a fat Phillips as a taper pin, -getting that first bolt in to pivot easier for the second one, -gauging the outward arc into the boltholes as the arm raises. The second side took 15 minutes using a mitered 6 x 6 to chock the jack. Next time will likely be 10 minutes per side. And way safer IMO.

I've got several bottle jacks but did not find it any easier trying to combine any in the work.
 

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When I originally posted this "When your remove the original bushings, you will have to spread the end plates to get the new arm bushing in. You need a pry bar to get the arm in place as well." I was not referring to the arms, but the frame mounts. When the bolts are tightened, the frame mounts bend a little, and grip the ends of the center tube of the bushing. The new ones never seem to fit in the same space as the original ones did.


Remember to tighten the bolts with the car's weight on the wheels, so that there is no tension on the rubber part of the bushings.
 

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I have replaced the lower arm by myself. It was easy with the spring compressed. You do not have to fight with it, and worry about the jack scooting out from under the car with the arm on the jack. If you compress the spring with the weight on the car, you do not have to do a lot of cranking on the center bolt. Removal of the spring compressor is not that big of a deal.


I have done it both ways, and will always use a spring compressor if I have to do it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I originally posted this "When your remove the original bushings, you will have to spread the end plates to get the new arm bushing in. You need a pry bar to get the arm in place as well." I was not referring to the arms, but the frame mounts. When the bolts are tightened, the frame mounts bend a little, and grip the ends of the center tube of the bushing. The new ones never seem to fit in the same space as the original ones did.
Okay, so will have to pry the mounting ears open a bit. Got it.


Remember to tighten the bolts with the car's weight on the wheels, so that there is no tension on the rubber part of the bushings.
Got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have replaced the lower arm by myself. It was easy with the spring compressed. You do not have to fight with it, and worry about the jack scooting out from under the car with the arm on the jack. If you compress the spring with the weight on the car, you do not have to do a lot of cranking on the center bolt. Removal of the spring compressor is not that big of a deal.


I have done it both ways, and will always use a spring compressor if I have to do it again.
What's the preferred type of compressor?
 

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The inside compressor is the only one that will work. I have jacked the arm with the wheel off to get the weight on the spring, and compress it. You can not use the spring perch to jack it, because you can not get the compressor in the spring if you block the hole. Yes, the compressor will go in through the shock hole. It makes for a lot less cranking on the center screw of the compressor.
 

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I'm needing to replace the lower control arms on this 94 Fleetwood. Unfortunately, circumstances dictate that I have to work on the car away from the majority of my tools, so I need to know what socket and wrench sizes I will need to bring to get the arms off and replaced. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
Nothing worse than getting to a job and not having all the tools you need. This is exactly why when I hit the JY's, I throw all the tools "I think" I'll need and even a few more on top of that. In that sense, why not just throw all your Sockets into a Portable tool box or even a 5 gallon Bucket along with a Adjustable Wrench or 2, channbel Locks, Plyers, Screw Drivers, etc, stc?? This would be a better option to me than to take a specific size only to find out it's wrong or someone before you replaced some HW with a Non-Standard bolt/Nut....it happens.

As was mentioned, the Frame Control Arm ears can make it difficult to get the arms back up in the frame Pocket. this could happen with New Bushings or New Arms with new Bushings. When doing my Front End I ran into this problem as well and a Pry Bar did not work for me. Instead I used a Bolt, some washers and a few nuts to make a reverse turnbuckle to spread the Frame Ears out a little.

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/17-suspension/351769-my-5-8-bj-install-pics-tips-part-s.html

See the pics down toward the bottom of my thread to see what I just described. A PortaPro tool with a DuckBill attachement would also make quick work of this. I fought with the arm for an hour trying to get it installed before finally trying to open up the frame Ears a little. It took about 2 minutes once I got the Bolt/nuts in there to open it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just to close the circle for the archives, I found that the hardware on this particular car was 3/4, 13/16, and 7/8.
 

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Dont forget your Knipex water pump pliers... Those things have proven EXTREMELY useful in a couple situation around my parts lately.

All BS aside.. You will need the inside spring compressor as already said like 5 times, Several ratchet/socket combos (you will want (2) good long 3/8 or 1/2" ratchets), torque wrench and ball joint press. Also a tie rod remover just in case. The ball joint remover might work for the TREs but I cant remember!

Also bring a swear counter. Its fun to watch count higher and higher and higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dont forget your Knipex water pump pliers... Those things have proven EXTREMELY useful in a couple situation around my parts lately.

All BS aside.. You will need the inside spring compressor as already said like 5 times, Several ratchet/socket combos (you will want (2) good long 3/8 or 1/2" ratchets), torque wrench and ball joint press. Also a tie rod remover just in case. The ball joint remover might work for the TREs but I cant remember!

Also bring a swear counter. Its fun to watch count higher and higher and higher.
We didn't have to remote the tie rod ends when we did it. I did have a number of ratchets, breaker bars, cheater pipes and such there. It took two of us the better part of three days to get it done because of some stupidity on the part of the previous owner's mechanic, Amazon and Rock Auto shipping the wrong parts in the correct numbered boxes and just a general comedy of stupid.
 

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Oh wow I didn't see that last post by you. I read every single except that. I'm awesome. Where's my cookie. Lol

Glad it's done! I did my whole front end and man was that fun! 5 days to do both sides. Totally worth it.



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Dont forget your Knipex water pump pliers... Those things have proven EXTREMELY useful in a couple situation around my parts lately. [SNIP]
I had never heard of those things before this post, but did get similar pliers as a Christmas present and they were very useful when I did my front end.

IRWIN Vise Grip Pliers
 

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1.stupidity on the part of the previous owner's mechanic,
2.Amazon and Rock Auto shipping the wrong parts in the correct numbered boxes
3.and just a general comedy of stupid.
And you say all that as though you weren't having any fun! You did manage to catch the Top 3 Adventures And Things To Look Forward To working on cars. In my experience it's always been fun seeing how shops occasionally do strange %%%% no individual owner could ever dream up, up to and including sticking that correctly boxed wrong part on. lol

But I've always found the best comedy of stupid is me. hahaha

Glad you gotter knocked out.
 

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I had never heard of those things before this post, but did get similar pliers as a Christmas present and they were very useful when I did my front end.

IRWIN Vise Grip Pliers
I saw those and was tempted, but at 1/3 the price I figured you get about a third the tool.

This is my new favorite channel to watch on youtube. Tells the truth and has actual evidence. He even went over the cheapie knockoffs here

It's addicting to watch him use some of the stuff he buys because it's so unbelievable sometimes..

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