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Discussion Starter #1
I am posting this just as an interesting FYI. I seem to recall seeing more than a few people missing UCA shims on their cars in the past month. Well add me to the list, car is fine everything going well and then boom I am going to a friends house, I stop and a loud pop. I open the hood check things out shims gone. It must have just happend because there is no way I would not notice this.
Oh well I need new LBJ's anyway so I will take out the LCA's this week grease the PST bushings ( :mad: ) put in new LBJ's, reinstall and get a new alingment. Damn it seems like it never ends.
Nick
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Did you get the the shims by removing the lower control arm? I know you would have to take the spring out or just compress it. I guess my real question is whether or not removing the LCA made it easier to loosen the pivot shaft bolts on the upper control arm. I attempted this a few days ago but I tried to compress the spring and go from the top(upper control arm). In my case, the rearmost upper control arm bushing has worn out and there is metal on metal contact which I believe is causing my popping.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
If you are just trying to get to the shims on the UCA, all you need to do is loosen the nuts on the UCA inner shaft. No need to raise the car, or do anything to the spring. All you need is the wheels facing straight ahead, car's weight on the wheels. Of course, if the shims fell out, the nut is already loose or missing.

If the shims fell out it is alignment time, but do replace the UCA bushing first.

UCA comes out by jacking the corner up with the jack as far outboard on the LCA as you can get it. It is OK to remove lower ball joint grease fitting in order to get the jack on the ball joint. Wheel off, loosen upper ball joint nut (remove cotter pin) a few turns.

Pop the upper ball joint loose from the spindle. Two BFH, one in back of the spindle where the ball stud goes through, and the other to beat the snot out of the spindle from the other side will pop the stud loose. You will have to be aggressive to get it this way. Kent Moore makes a ball joint separator that will push the stud up. Or if you intend to replace the ball joint, a "pickle fork" driven between the ball joint and the spindle will work -- but it will destroy the rubber boot of the ball joint making replacement of the ball joint necessary.

Then remove the two nuts holding the inner shaft of the UCA. The studs for those nuts are pressed into the frame, so don't buzz the studs out with an impact. Only turn the nut. If the shims are still in there grab them before they fall and tape them together and mark which position they came from. You may have to push out one or more of the studs (guaranteed on the passenger side rear stud) to get clearance for the shaft.

Now all you have to do is replace the bushings and/or ball joint. There are a lot of threads on front UCA bushing replacement. There are a couple of ways to do it, and they have been explored. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Separate upper ball joint easily with a pitman arm puller. Fast, easy, won't damage grease boot. If you don't have one, you can borrow one from Autozone.
Tim
 
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Discussion Starter #5
If I loosen the upper ball joint from the spindle won't the spring want to pop out since it is compressed?
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by killacam:
If I loosen the upper ball joint from the spindle won't the spring want to pop out since it is compressed?
YES When separating the Arms from the Spindles, they are Under Load you need spring compressors or a good safe method of keeping the springs compressed..

HTH
 
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Discussion Starter #7
not if you have a jack under the lower control arm or you have the tire on it and the tire on the ground ,but in the later you wouldn't be able to get to it..lol just stick a floor jack under the lower ball joint or under the spring pocket on the lower control arm and it will be compressed with the weight of the car ..no worries mate!
 
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Discussion Starter #8
And leave the shock absorber connected. The spring can't come out with the shock in there -- at least unless the shock comes apart.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
my UCA shims fell out shortly after I bought the car, but I discovered them just sitting on the frame rails, even after a 250-mile drive (weird!). I did go get the car aligned though - might as well. DO NOT LET THE ALIGNMENT SHOP PUT A BUNCH OF UNEVEN CASTER on the car. It sucks - it always pulls to the right, and when you take it back, they say "well that's the way caprices are supposed to be set up, so when old people fall asleep they don't kill anybody." Grrr...

See alignment threads for more detailed info.
 
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