UBJ Question - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 12:11 PM
tlentz
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I'm currently reassembling my rebuilt front-end on my '95 9C1. I ran into a bit of a problem with the upper ball joints last night. I'm using Napa/TRW ones since nobody locally carries Moog.

Anyhow, when torquing down the top nut (manual says 125 ft-lbs), the nut went down past the cotter pin hole before it was tight. I ended up using a large washer underneath the nut and I switched to the old stock castle nut (it was a little thicker).

Is there anything wrong with this situation? Tell me now before I get everything reassembled! I haven't done the other wheel yet, so I don't know if it's the same.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 01:03 PM
AutocroSSer
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DOH, should have searched first

The REAL torque spec is anywhere from 55 to 63 ft-lbs. BTW, torque spec for lower BJs is 75-80 ft-lbs, and for the rest of the suspension joints (i.e. tierods, idler, centerlink) it is 35 ft-lbs.

Unfortunately, gross over-torque like that probably has ruined the balljoints.....or at least I wouldn't trust them anymore .
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 04:01 PM
Mike454SS
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Upper balljoints are really cheap to replace though, so I would say go get a new pair and try again. Like Ed said, anywhere from the low number to the high number, the low number should put the cotter pin hole into the castle nut somewhere, and you should be able to tighten to somewhere less than the high number to get the hole to line up with notches in the castle nut and get the cotter pin in.
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 05:20 PM
tlentz
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So that 125 ft-lbs is a misprint in the GM manual? That's a pretty gross and dangerous error!

Anyhow, thanks guys. I'll replace the UBJ on that side (haven't torqued the other side yet). I hope the lower joint is okay (it got torqued to 125 also).
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 05:59 PM
bengston
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Quote:
So that 125 ft-lbs is a misprint in the GM manual?
YUP.
Quote:
That's a pretty gross and dangerous error!
Yup.

The ironic thing is that some cars came from the factory with dangerously low torque on the ball-joints...
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2004, 02:37 AM
coprice
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Now you tell me 8^(

I followed FSM specs:
Upper Ball Joint 125 ft lb
Lower Ball Joint 100 ft lb

Cotter pins went in just fine on the A/C Delco ball joints...

Will my wheels fall off from over torque & the ball joints or steering knuckle breaking apart?

Hope Not---I ain't reworking them...

P.S. OK, what reference do we use for torque specs if not the FSM..?

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2004, 08:24 AM
Mike454SS
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Use the torque specs that come in the box with the new balljoints. Moog had them in there on a piece of paper, I think AC Delco did too, though I don't remember.

125 ft*lbs is WAY too high on the lowers too. I'd replace them guys, better to be safe than have a balljoint break at highway speed.
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2004, 10:28 AM
tlentz
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Geez, my CSM is new, probably a 3rd or 4th printing run. You'd think they'd have fixed that by now. That type of error is lawsuit material.

Anyhow, I got it all taken care of. I hadn't assembled the passenger's side yet so it got torqued correctly from the start.

Broke loose the lower ball joint and retorqued, it seemed to work fine. REPLACED the upper ball joint and retorqued to 61 ft-lbs. The nut was still too far down and I needed to use a washer. Great... so my spindle is fubar'd from the overtorqued upper ball joint? Shall I just send GM the bill?

I figured the upper joint being overtorqued by 100% probably could use replacing. Good thing too, the threads looked like they were stripping. I didn't replace the lower, since the upper torque value on it is 90 it was only over by 35-40% and hopefully not damaged.

Everything seemed to work once together so it's at the alignment shop now. *cross fingers*
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 09:02 PM
Spartus
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Ok, this is a really good topic... I've talked with several mechanic friends who used to work at gm dealerships. They said they used to always use their impact wrenches on the tie rod ends, and the ball joints.. Everything is a TAPERED fit, so will only tighten so much.. So why do you guys think that over tightening will ruin a ball joint? The same for the tie rod ends.

At 35ft lbs my center link and idler arm were barely engaged. So I tightened until I began to compress the foam pad that goes between them, and could get the cotter key in. It was closer to 55 ft lb to do this though.
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 11:08 PM
LarryCigar
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Tom L., I wouldn't worry about tapered hole in Spindle, concern would be over stretching stud on BJ.

Tom F., I agree, I've installed many Center Links & Tie Rods. By feel, I know I've torqued those nuts to over 35ft.lbs. More like 50-60 like you state. Never had one fail.
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