Upper and lower control arm replacement

7173Mustangs.com

Help Support 7173Mustangs.com:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
173
Reaction score
47
Location
Williamsburg Virginia area
My Car
1972 H code convert., 351C 2V, FMX, 9in., Ram air, Pwr Steering, Pwr Disc brakes, air-conditioning, 15" sport wheels, Ivy Glo w/white deluxe interior.
Been searching for any threads with pics and/or videos of the process going from oem to replacement oem. Thought I had some luck as a couple did pop in but the links were old/bad and led to an error page. Already been on here far longer than planned so any help with a link would be greatly appreciated so a sincere thank you ahead of any replies.
 
The process is fairly simple for the upper - remove the shock, compress the spring, pop the ball joint from the spindle, then remove the two nuts holding the shaft to the shock tower and it comes right out. Installation is the reverse, with proper torqueing of the fasteners.

Lower is even easier - two nuts for the strut rod, sway bar end link, inner pivot bolt and the ball joint at the spindle. Mark the location of the cam bolt so you can get it "close" when you reinstall the lower arm.

You'll want to check the condition of the spring saddle as well, they can crack with age, or the bushings fail. Also, some of the aftermarket upper arms have clearance issues at the shock tower and will rub. I prefer to rebuild the OEM parts.

I use a version of the OEM Tools spring compressor available at Autozone as a rental.

https://www.autozone.com/loan-a-too...essor/555573_0_0?searchText=spring+compressor
Install the fork upside down on top of the shock tower

1705603078835.png


1705603087594.png
 
Man, wouldn't that be a nice tool for my arsenal. Umm, err, uhhh well? Since wifey's beetle is in the shop, she's got the new subie at work and that would leave the '72 in question. It's a backup alright, back-up on jack stands. I started following the shock tower shroud removal method and just finished breaking the upper ball joint loose. I need to replace the upper spring seat as well so that's why. Need to figure out a way to keep the spring from smaking me in the face so working on that now.

For what it's worth, we certainly can romanticize the idea of how much fun we had 50 years ago working on our classics as teens and early 20's. I'm starting to remember all the knuckle busters and looonnggg scratches from reaching where you shouldn't reach. The "still in recovering phase" from Rotator Cuff surgery isn't helping either. The lack of strength from being old was insulting but add that it, holy schnikees! Month 5 of an estimated 9-14 for return to my full strength that was already 60% of my much younger self. Yeah, I know, whaaa.

On a high note, hinge springs on my ram air wood were shot and I'd been more apprehensive of those than the suspension. Turns out, the swap to those NPD HD flat coil hinge springs was less than 5 minutes for both sides combined. Too phunny! A ratchet strap, 2x6 and a hotel pan insert (from my former career years), to provide for the correct angle up, made it the easiest thing ever involving a spring.

Anyone in ears shot of Providence Forge Virginia that has a free afternoon, pm me. The garage is definitely warm and this broken old guy could use a car buddy right about now. Then again, it's not like it's hitting the road any time soon, the brakes are part of this project and I'm being reminded of all the parts I forgot to order so just finished ordering those and the wait is on.
 
If it were myself, I would replace the saddles while you are there. The more expensive roller ones are worth it IMHO. Don't forget an alignment after reassembly.
 
If you are running radial tires add 3degrees of caster either in the upper control arm buy shimming the front bolt or in the control arm itself.

My mods are a mix of open tracker racing:
Heim strut rod
Reinforced lower control arms
Roller perches
Eccentric lock outs

Global west
Negative roll upper 3 degree arms
Tubular coil covers

This keeps my tires from rubbing the fenders while turning and the Shelby drop lowered the car with stock springs
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0635.jpeg
    IMG_0635.jpeg
    1.5 MB · Views: 5
  • IMG_3858.jpeg
    IMG_3858.jpeg
    1.3 MB · Views: 4
  • IMG_3854.jpeg
    IMG_3854.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 3
If you are running radial tires add 3degrees of caster either in the upper control arm buy shimming the front bolt or in the control arm itself.

My mods are a mix of open tracker racing:
Heim strut rod
Reinforced lower control arms
Roller perches
Eccentric lock outs

Global west
Negative roll upper 3 degree arms
Tubular coil covers

This keeps my tires from rubbing the fenders while turning and the Shelby drop lowered the car with stock springs
That is a nice set up.
 
Thanks all who posted. I really like that mod setup rcadd showed. Unfortunately, I invested in the oem replacements a couple years ago and committed to going stock. Have the entire front suspension getting ready to install. Everything except for the spindles.

Although. I do have a concern/question on the spindles., they have what look like machining grooves running around the spindle itself. large enough to notice them and I don't remember seeing them on my 4 other classis over the years. Should I be concerned?
pics included.

Caveat is, always take a light swipe with emery cloth but not enough to erase these marks. I would really like to avoid replacing these but now would be the time.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2231.jpg
    IMG_2231.jpg
    68.1 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_2232.jpg
    IMG_2232.jpg
    74.8 KB · Views: 0
Btw, the hood spring swap I mentioned, here are the restaged pics.

only things not in the pic are the scarp of plywood sitting on a bench cushion over the firewall and windshield. Just incase the spring decided to go for a fly. Luckily, it didn't and stayed within the engine bay.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2228.jpg
    IMG_2228.jpg
    79.9 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_2229.jpg
    IMG_2229.jpg
    63.3 KB · Views: 1
outstanding! I should have realized that. Thanks for the info. Finding them was proving to be a bit frustrating given the extra funds already dropped this week.

By the way, the spring on the right side popped out this morning while I was attempting to compress it. Used a 4x4 post with a hole drilled for the ball joint to sit on my floor jack since the lower control arm and spindle were already removed. Luckily the shock was still in its mount but with the nut and washers removed. Can't imagine what kind of damage there would have been if I'd removed the shock completely and it freely departed the tower. Just need to clean the threads on the upper mounting stud.

The compressor from the local Advance was out but I did find one for when I get ready to remove the driver's side and reinstall the new springs.
 
Thanks all who posted. I really like that mod setup rcadd showed. Unfortunately, I invested in the oem replacements a couple years ago and committed to going stock. Have the entire front suspension getting ready to install. Everything except for the spindles.

Although. I do have a concern/question on the spindles., they have what look like machining grooves running around the spindle itself. large enough to notice them and I don't remember seeing them on my 4 other classis over the years. Should I be concerned?
pics included.

Caveat is, always take a light swipe with emery cloth but not enough to erase these marks. I would really like to avoid replacing these but now would be the time.
If you are going stock make sure they shim the upped front bolt to try and get some caster.

do a search on my name and look at some UCA threads another member posted a graph on how many shims to use for whatever caster you want to add.

opentracker racing has a tech page with suggested settings.

my 245/60R14 tires rubbed at 2.5 degrees of caster with stock geometry.

i am currently running 4 degrees of caster since i have power steering. —0.75 camber as i like a little sportier of a ride
 
Good info on the caster. I'll certainly ask the alignment shop to do this. I won't be doing much more than the string method just to dru=ive the car to the Ford Dealer.

New springs came today but they are much shorter. Waiting to hear from the seller on Ebay, just want to make sure I'm not missing something but these.

They weren't listed in the ad to lower the suspension so is this how they compare to the orig. equipment?

FYI, the car has P/D/B, A/C and A/T which does affect the spring from what I saw on several sites with the compatibility charts.




IMG_2235.jpg
 
Wanted to reaffirm if anyone has info on the springs post made earlier. Don't mean to be a nudge and hate to look like I'm a novice too. I've taken an "Anything is possible" approach given advances in tech over time have allowed for stronger steel so just maybe a lower profile to perform the same with stock height.
 
Wanted to reaffirm if anyone has info on the springs post made earlier. Don't mean to be a nudge and hate to look like I'm a novice too. I've taken an "Anything is possible" approach given advances in tech over time have allowed for stronger steel so just maybe a lower profile to perform the same with stock height.
Measure wire thickness

Might be a thicker coil and thus stiffer spring rate.

You get the isolation pads, too?

Summit sells some poly ones I used on my build

I have a set of progressive springs I bought but had to go back to regular when I did my Shelby drop. Like 100 miles on them.
 
Measure wire thickness

Might be a thicker coil and thus stiffer spring rate.

You get the isolation pads, too?

Summit sells some poly ones I used on my build

I have a set of progressive springs I bought but had to go back to regular when I did my Shelby drop. Like 100 miles on them.
Based on the weight differences, they do seem beefier. diameter new, 3/4". original, between 9/16" and 5/8". Thanks for the response too. Yep, all new parts right down to the shock grommets.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top