Need help installing the rear control arm

Discussion in '1994 - 1995 Specific Tech' started by gnx547, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. I'm installing the rear lower control arms on my 94 GT, and I'm having a hard time getting the control arm bolt hole to line up with the axle hole. I have the rear shock and the axle dampener unbolted and disconnected. I have one bolt holding the front control arm, but it is not tightened. As you can see in the pics the control arm bushing is almost in, I can't get it in any further for the holes to line up. I jack up the control arm and still can't get the arm bolt holes to line up. If I jack up the axle the control arm moves further away from the bolt hole. Seems like the axle needs to be pushed in a little so the holes will line up, but I tried a little push and kicking, it didn't do nothing. I used my soft hammer trying to tap it in, and it didn't work.

    I'm stuck, How do I get these control arms in? Do I have to remove the upper control arms to get the lowers in? Any tips or suggestions?

    The hole is almost lined up, I can't get it in any further
  2. haha this part sucks what i did was put a jack under the rear end then used a bottle jack to move the control arm up and down. And then used the other jack to move the rear end up and down you will get it trust me its such a pain. Both have to be moved around to line up the holes:notnice: Hope this helps:D
  3. When you disconnect a control arm without supporting the rear axle, the rear axle shifts out of place and you get the exact problem you're experiencing. The best suggestion I can give you is to get under the car and use your feet to push the axle. Put your foot right where the rear shock would mount to the rear axle. When you feel the axle shift, let off the pressure with your foot kinda slow, so the axle doesn't shift back. Take a look and see if the holes match up. If it keeps shifting, put a jackstand or a jack under the axle to help. You mix the "foot" technique with pounding the end of the control arm (the part in the axle) with a sand mallet. A sand mallet is just as its name implies: a rubber mallet with sand in it. It won't damage the control arm like a normal hammer since it's rubber, and the sand inside gives it a bit of a punch to it. You can probably use a hammer if you hold a block of wood to the control arm and hit the block of wood with the hammer. This will give you more leverage to push the end of the control arm up, and hopefully line up the holes for the bolt.

    You'll have to mess with these two techniques to get the holes lined up. As 94gt5.o said, it is a major PITA.
  4. One other suggestion is to use a large ratchet strap hooked to the front end of the chassis somewhere, that will allow you to control the amount you pull the axle forward and hold it while you work.

  5. this is what i had to do when installing the D&D's on my other car.....used 3 jacks,a ratchet strap and a was a PITA but is do-able
  6. So... what should the proper procedure be so others don't have this issue? I am hopefully doing this over the winter and don't want to get stuck in this situation.

  7. another thing you can do is unbolt the driveshaft and let the rearend drop some more this will give you a little more play to get the arms in and then jack up the whole rear end at the same time I had to install a rear end by myself and thats how I did it
  8. I finally got the bolt in. What a pina!!! I removed the upper control arm bolt to the axle, and lower the rearend a little bit and a miracle the bolt holes lined up.

    My next question when I torque the control arm bolts do I compress the suspension with the jack and torque the bolts? Or do I torque the bolts without compressing the suspension?

    Doing this is a lot of time consuming and frustration. If you have a buddy to help you out that will be very helpful doing this. Make sure to use a bungee cord or spring wrapped around a few of the coils for safety.
  9. IIRC your supposed to do it with the car in normal position. So sitting on the ground with the weight of the car on everything
  10. If the car is in normal position, I won't be able to get my fat ass underneath to the bolts and torque them.
  11. ha ha ha dude i know the feeling and thought the same thing when I did mine. Mine is lowered which makes it even worse
  12. You can put the weight of the car on the axle if you jack up the axle and put jackstands under the axle itself. Put the jackstands right next to the pumpkin in the middle. The rear of the car should only be supported by these jackstands. That will get enough suspension compression so you can tighten the bolts.

    If you tighten them with the suspension relaxed (no weight on the springs), the bushings in the control arms will not want to flex the way they need to and let the car settle on the springs. This is called bind. The poly bushings will bind up and cause all sorts of trouble when the car is back on the ground. You can even tear the bushings if there's enough bind. Leaving the bolts loose and putting the car's weight on the rear axle lets the bushings shift into the correct un-bound position. Then you can tighten the bolts up and more-or-less lock the bushings in place.
  13. Finally I got both control arms in. Now for the sway bar, does it get bolted inside or outside of the control arm? I tried getting it from the inside but the sway bar won't fit underneath. It does bolt on the outside, not sure if that is correct. Here is what my sway bar looks like bolted to the control arm..I'm wondering maybe for the BBK control arms, the sway bar is supposed to be bolted on the outside of the control arm, instead of inside..Anyone here using the BBK Gripp lower rear control arms?

  14. I use the ratchet strap method. Works everytime. I'm pretty sure the sway bar goes on the outside like you have it.

  15. Sway bar fits on either side it fits on. I have a pair of Mega-Byte Jr's, and mine also fit on the outside.