S-10 Blazer suspension problem

I just had a big problem with my 1990 S-10 Blazer. From what I can tell, the drivers side lower control arm on the front is destroyed. The lower ball joint ripped through the socket, so there is just a bunch of
torn metal at the end of the arm. The wheel is laying on its side. What all do I need to replace? Just the control arm and ball joint? It looks like everything else is okay (CV, etc).
Thanks.
Jarom
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ken wrote:

Adding to what Ken said, if you haven't replaced the parts up front, you should do both sides, not just the broken one. I know there is extra cost involved, but remember the same number of miles of wear are on the other side. Upper/Lower Ball joints, Idler arms, etc (front end parts) all start dieing around 100k give or take a bit on driving style and environmental conditions. I have an 88 S-10 and replaced CV joints, all ball joints, idler arms, shocks, and some other things I don't recall off hand, within the 100-120K window. If you plan on keeping the vehicle, it's worth it for reliablility and safety reasons alone, and the improved ride and handling are an additional bonus.
Big Chris
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So, does anyone have any suggestions on how to unload the torsion bar? I know I need a special GM tool, but it seems that no one around here even knows what it is. I know that a C-clamp won't work to preload the bar because there's too much force. I was told by a local Pep-Boys that they have used a pipe wrench to twist the bar and take the pressure off the key. Would that really work, or am I asking for injury on this one?
Big Chris wrote:

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A decent C-clamp would work fine, if you can get one to fit in there. Ideally you're supposed to use a two-jaw puller, nothing fancy. My particular truck's crossmember is kinda weird with a silidly mounted crossmember mounted against and over the rubber-mounted torsion bar crossmember, so if yours is like mine ('91 T-15 Jimmy) you'd have to use the C-clamp. Naturally you'd need the truck supported by it's frame with the weight completely off of the corner you're working on.
As for a pipe wrench, that makes me cringe even thinking about it. Aside from being stupidly dangerous (in my opinion, I hadn't even considered that until now), the pipe wrench would also make a mess of the torsion bar if it even worked at all. Needless to say, I wouldn't.
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Well, I got the torsion bar unloaded, and I took a completely different approach than preloading the key in the cross member. I just took off everything connected to the lower control arm (stabilizer bar and all), and then had my brother step on the arm to apply reverse torsion to the bar. That lifted the key off the nut and I was able to get it out fine. Now to reload the bar, I just hook everything up and use a floor jack underneath the lower control arm and let the weight of the truck do all the work. No special tools required (except for a sledge hammer to knock the old arm off the bar).
By the way... What would happen if I were to decide to leave the stabilizer bar off? Would it change the cornering ability significantly? Just curious... I'm not gonna do it.
SBlackfoot wrote:

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