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).
Reply either to group or email.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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