Author Topic: Upper Control Arms  (Read 1268 times)

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Offline redscj

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Re: Upper Control Arms
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2018, 05:49:35 pm »
     I can understand the reasoning. But if a larger company i.e. Moog is making a replacement ball joint for a 60/70's Ford product. Is there any industry "best practice" to use/follow the Ford design. Hey I get that there is a huge leap there. But lacking inspection criteria from Moog. What inspection guidelines does a guy have to fall back on? The only data out there is likely going to be the Ford manual.
     I remember having a car that the mechanic during the yearly safety inspection didn't like the unloaded play. Car drove within reason. Another mechanic came by & said it was still in spec. The next year a different shop never said a word.
     Does this turn into a yearly parts swapping contest? Many of us had a car or two back in the day that traveled 100k miles with the original ball joints. Can the design be that horrible just because we don't like it?
Grant
69 Mach 1 Dearborn SCJ 4.30 4spd 6/17/69 Candy Apple Red
69 Sportsroof Metuchen SCJ 4.30 C6 5/28/69 Acapulco Blue

Offline geraldt52

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Re: Upper Control Arms
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2018, 07:58:31 pm »
I don't think that there's anything wrong with the original Ford ball joints, and so long as they are within the 1/4" radial play spec in the shop manual I wouldn't hesitate to use them.  I've had them go 100K+ miles without any apparent problem.  It does look at bit odd when you check them though.

As I remember the issue from back in the day, customers were wanting their ball joints replaced, under warranty, because some outside mechanic, usually at a gas station, told them that they were worn out and couldn't pass state safety inspection.  Unless you were following the shop manual, they did appear to be worn out, but in fact they were usually well within the spec and there was nothing to be gained by replacing them.  I'll bet the confusion led to millions of them being replaced unnecessarily.

What I don't know, and don't know how you'd find out, is if any of the aftermarket ball joints (or for that matter maybe some later Ford replacement ball joints), are safe to use based on the original 1/4" spec in the shop manual.  My hunch is no.  In most cases I would think that any perceptible play would be unacceptable.  When the shop manual was written I don't think anyone considered what would be appropriate for some aftermarket part someone might use 50 years later.

Offline redscj

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Re: Upper Control Arms
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2018, 08:28:02 pm »
     True, I'm sure that Ford didn't consider the aftermarket parts. But is there any guidance from big outfits like Moog on how to inspect Moog ball joints? Seems odd that they wouldn't have inspection data if their joints did not follow Fords lead. So back in a circle, it may well be that the Ford manuals might be the default inspection standard.
     Do you remember the epoxy fix that you pumped thru the grease fitting hole? I bet that only "fixed" the hanging slop. Probably didn't help drivability.......very much.
     Just gotta love all the thinking we do now over cars that we used to just jump in & go.
Grant
69 Mach 1 Dearborn SCJ 4.30 4spd 6/17/69 Candy Apple Red
69 Sportsroof Metuchen SCJ 4.30 C6 5/28/69 Acapulco Blue

Offline RoyceP

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Re: Upper Control Arms
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2018, 07:43:04 am »
I've never seen inspection criteria for any aftermarket anything so I don't consider it odd. The factory shop manual is what any dealership technician would use. As they say "parts is parts". Back in the day it was not uncommon for the guys at a Brake - O or Sears automotive shop to put my car on a lift, then pry up and down on the A - arm with a crowbar  to determine if they needed to try and sell me a front end rebuild when I was there buying tires.

Those upper ball joints never had enough play to be rejected. I always ended up changing upper A - arms to fix the annoying squeak of inner upper A - arm bushings that had run out of grease. The upper ball joints seemed to last forever if they were greased. They never in my experience wore out, even after several hundred thousand miles.



     True, I'm sure that Ford didn't consider the aftermarket parts. But is there any guidance from big outfits like Moog on how to inspect Moog ball joints? Seems odd that they wouldn't have inspection data if their joints did not follow Fords lead. So back in a circle, it may well be that the Ford manuals might be the default inspection standard.
     Do you remember the epoxy fix that you pumped thru the grease fitting hole? I bet that only "fixed" the hanging slop. Probably didn't help drivability.......very much.
     Just gotta love all the thinking we do now over cars that we used to just jump in & go.
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Offline kiwi428

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Re: Upper Control Arms
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2018, 08:39:08 pm »
Thanks Guys, that really struck up some serious conversation and yes, I'm a little concerned about the play that has been found despite the Factory specs. I got in touch with the person who rebuild my upper control arms, Gary Erickson, and he to is a little confused as to why these should have play? I will post some photos to show what I have and maybe then we can tell if they are as original as I thought. At the time of my research, I found these to have 4 Rivets when they came out of the factory, but I could be wrong?

The car has been in shows and is driven from time to time, but importantly, I want it to be safe and as correct as possible.

Its because of this site and the wealth of knowledge that makes us question what we do or have when rebuilding these cars. Thanks to everyone who posted a response and Ill keep you posted on how I get on.