Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » August 1st 2011, 8:37pm

In the processing of rebuilding front end on my '04 Astro AWD with Moog idler arms, upper/lower ball joints, inner/outer tie rods, drag link and sway bar links/bushings. One question is regarding the alignment once complete and the "knockouts" in the control arms for camber adjustment. Do these vans already come with the cam bolt kit and and need to modified (hence the "knockout" part) or need an adjustble cam bolt kit like the Moog K6302 installed? I ask because looking at my van, it appears to already have an adjustment kit installed and trying to sort out if I need to order any additional parts and perform any additional work during the front end rebuild. Obviously, I don't want to find out when I'm done or at the alignment shop that I need to install additional parts installed to achieve proper alignment. Thx!

Here are a couple shots of what I have in the upper control arms:

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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby chevymaher » August 1st 2011, 8:55pm

I have never done a AWD astro but did alignments.Yes the knock outs are so you can do the alignment.Parts are already there.Now the bad news if it never been done before there a good chance they are permantly frozen into place.I have had that cam your showing a picture of snap in the middle and only half will turn,Or ajust.So if your taking the front end apart to rebuild it make sure they are not frozen.And it not a bad idea just to clean everything and replace them in the rebuild.Avoid a problem in the future since it obvious your going to have it a long time.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » August 2nd 2011, 12:05am

Thanks, I'm going to soak them with Wurth Rust Off for the next few days while parts arrive and disassemble to check everything out so don't have to come back and do it again afterwards.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby 'cudapaul » August 2nd 2011, 6:52am

Make sure that you mark or scribe a line on the cams so that you can get them close when you reassemble them.

Those cams are factory, that's what they look like on all the AWD's. You'll see where the "knockouts" are to give more adjustment range when you remove them.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » August 4th 2011, 6:56pm

Will do on marking cam locations, that's what I was originally wondering if knockouts would still be there if cam kit is there, thanks. All my parts just arrive so I've got a pretty decent project next couple of days. Gotta pick up a few loaner tools from Autozone tonight.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby AmericanMade717 » August 5th 2011, 10:08pm

I have a 94 2WD and I finally found out that the clunking/clacking noise is under the front end when i steer is the upper control arm bushings. Now I was planning on rebuilding the entire front end this summer but due to financial issues I was thinking on just getting an allighment to last me the next couple years until I get a new ride and the van is my project. However, now that I found out my control arm bushings are bad, now I'm wondering if the allighment will be albe to be done properly with the old bushings. If I go through the trouble to replace the bushings, I'm going to fork over the extra cash in parts and my time to rebuild the rest of the front end which now may be back in the cards, what do you guys think I should do? Will an allighmnet with bad bushings be able to be done properly or will I have to replace them? Thanks everyone!
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby drmmhmd » August 10th 2011, 2:34am

AmericanMade717 wrote:I have a 94 2WD and I finally found out that the clunking/clacking noise is under the front end when i steer is the upper control arm bushings. Now I was planning on rebuilding the entire front end this summer but due to financial issues I was thinking on just getting an allighment to last me the next couple years until I get a new ride and the van is my project. However, now that I found out my control arm bushings are bad, now I'm wondering if the allighment will be albe to be done properly with the old bushings. If I go through the trouble to replace the bushings, I'm going to fork over the extra cash in parts and my time to rebuild the rest of the front end which now may be back in the cards, what do you guys think I should do? Will an allighmnet with bad bushings be able to be done properly or will I have to replace them? Thanks everyone!



you must replace the bushings, not a big deal, r&r with hand tools. 4 hours
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Lumpy » August 10th 2011, 9:35pm

What's the deal with that goofy Dorman part?
They only sell a passenger side control arm replacement.

Do control arms "wear out"? I would think not. Just the bushings.
Do only the right side arms wear out?

Wukka Bukka?.. :shrug:


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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » August 18th 2011, 5:10am

So got my leaking front axle shaft seal sorted out on the passenger side and finished up the rest of the front end work on that side as well. Everything is noticeably tighter with the new ball joints, tie rods, drag link and idler arms. Whichever bean counter at GM decided ball joint rivets were the way to go deserves a special place in hell.

Removing the ball joints/rivets has been the most time consuming task of this entire project.

Image

Image

After removing both inner/outer tie rod assemblies (tie rod pickle fork) and replacing the drag link (pickle fork) I decided to go ahead and remove half shaft, steering knuckle/spindle/hub assembly (disconnecting abs wire and hanging caliper off to side of wheel well) and upper control arm after separating the upper and lower ball joints (ball joint pickle fork).

For tie rod assembly with new ends and sleeves, I measured the lengths of both ends, adjusting sleeves, thread count showing, applied anti-seize to threads and assembled. The Moog arms are a bit longer with more threaded area so measurements from end of sleeve to centerline marked on end joints was the measurement I relied on most and checking overall length. A bit familiar to me checking and setting ride height on race bikes all the time.

Had to remove and check the upper control arms (soaked in penetrating lube a couple days before and came apart nicely) to see if the knockouts were still in place in the control arm or previously removed anyway and turns out they were already removed so a bit less work for me, though it still doesn't make up for the additional effort required to remove ball joint rivets (but still a little bonus along the way)! I drilled the upper control arm ball joint rivets while removed from van, same technique pretty much. Probably had at least a couple of hours just in drilling, removing rivets and installing the new ball joints. Tried grinding to start with and didn't like that because of a bit of grinding on the control arm itself trying to remove the rivet heads and so I scuffed and spray painted the control arms around the ball joint area before installing the new ball joint. Upper control arm bushings looked okay so decided to leave alone for now as I didn't have easy access to a press.

Image

I also needed the room in order to drill the the rivet heads on the lower ball joint from the top which is the technique I settled on after a bit of trial and error grinding, chiselling, etc. I center punched each rivet head best I could and started drilling with a / bit with lots of synthetic motor oil to keep the bits cool and made minor adjustments best I could to maintain center. I just kept stepping up drill bit diameter slightly and drilling further into the rivets. I tried drilling from the bottom and chiselling rivet heads off but not much room to work under lower arm and with the bracket welded to arm near ball joint not much room for a great angle of attack. So decided to continue drilling all the way through rivets from the top punch rivets through. What worked best was after drilling though the rivet, chiselling remaining bottom rivet head in to try and collapse the in on itself and finish punching through from the top. I chose not to remove and replace lower control arm bushing either (no torsion bar tool or press) though down the road I will probably replace both upper and lower with Moog bushings.

Image

Image

Image

Replacing the sway bar bushings and link ends wasn't too bad, took a bit of jacking up and lowering the control arm to get the angle right and making sure the sway bar and link bushings lined up well.

Image

I reused the halfshaft or spindle nuts and washers for now but will replace and torque to spec (235 Nm) with new once finished and van is on the ground again.

Just have to repeat on driver's side, grease all the new parts and then in for an alignment!
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » August 18th 2011, 10:11pm

How close should the end of the upper control arm be to the steering knuckle? With the van on jack stands and the lower control arm fully relaxed the upper control arm contacts the top of the steering knuckle, with a jack under the lower control arm as the angle changes clearance improves. I torqued the upper ball joints to spec, is it because I possibly didn't align the upper control arm cam bolts properly? Only thing I can think of right now.

Got a bit excited on the driver's side after installing the lower ball joint, the upper ball joint was right there so popped in place and tightened up before realizing I still need to install cv assembly! No it doesn't fit into place with the upper ball joint connected... :roll:
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby drmmhmd » August 19th 2011, 2:59pm

DiModaCorse wrote:How close should the end of the upper control arm be to the steering knuckle? With the van on jack stands and the lower control arm fully relaxed the upper control arm contacts the top of the steering knuckle, with a jack under the lower control arm as the angle changes clearance improves. I torqued the upper ball joints to spec, is it because I possibly didn't align the upper control arm cam bolts properly? Only thing I can think of right now.

Got a bit excited on the driver's side after installing the lower ball joint, the upper ball joint was right there so popped in place and tightened up before realizing I still need to install cv assembly! No it doesn't fit into place with the upper ball joint connected... :roll:



I changed my upper and lower joints two weeks ago, upper control arm hits the upper ball joint knuckle, no big deal if you leap over a river with your wheels dangling in the air there is only the weight of the assembly on it. actually had trouble getting my pickle fork in,had to put a second jack closer to the wheel under the lower control arm.

if you ever do this again, i put the ball joint on the steering knuckle first, started the shaft splines in and then lifted the assembly and pushed the bolt flange of the lower ball joint into the control arm.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » August 19th 2011, 3:02pm

Okay, that's what I was thinking too with wheels and on the ground plenty of clearance. Don't think I'll be doing any Dukes of Hazzard'ing in the near future!

Good idea about the ball joint in the knuckle first next time.

Dropping off for alignment in a couple of minutes, already feels so much better on my initial test ride.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby drmmhmd » August 21st 2011, 7:24am

DiModaCorse wrote:Okay, that's what I was thinking too with wheels and on the ground plenty of clearance. Don't think I'll be doing any Dukes of Hazzard'ing in the near future!

Good idea about the ball joint in the knuckle first next time.

Dropping off for alignment in a couple of minutes, already feels so much better on my initial test ride.


should you be cursed with doing this again in the future, you do not have to remove the lower control arm or shafts. grind the heads off the rivets, drill half way through with 5/16 drill, , hold a good sized punch with 5/16 end with pliers, hit with 2+ pound hammer, jack under control arm stops any bounce. a good drill bit is the key, buy a cobalt drill bit from a tool jobber, huge difference, i want to figure a way to mount my mag drill to do this in my shop.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » August 21st 2011, 6:15pm

Definitely didn't remove lower control arms, was originally considering it in order to replace bushings but didn't want to get into an even bigger job with torsion bar removal, etc.

I did jack under lower arms for support and tried various methods of drilling and punching to remove. Drilling and chiselling top rivets then drilling through and chiselling bottom rivet and punching out from there worked best in the end for me as it helped turn the rivets in on themselves releasing the raised lip and easier punching from there.

Removed cv shafts as I was replacing axle shaft seals anyway so it was just extra room for everything and didn't want to have to keep moving them out of the way. I look at it like I did all the hard work this time with drilling out the rivets and if I have to do it again it's a relatively painless task removing nuts & bolts from the ball joints. Good drill bits are a must as is keeping them cool throughout with oil. Hopefully all this helps the next person, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again, I'd just plan my time a bit better for drilling the rivets.

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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby drmmhmd » August 22nd 2011, 2:36am

DiModaCorse wrote:Definitely didn't remove lower control arms, was originally considering it in order to replace bushings but didn't want to get into an even bigger job with torsion bar removal, etc.

I did jack under lower arms for support and tried various methods of drilling and punching to remove. Drilling and chiselling top rivets then drilling through and chiselling bottom rivet and punching out from there worked best in the end for me as it helped turn the rivets in on themselves releasing the raised lip and easier punching from there.

Removed cv shafts as I was replacing axle shaft seals anyway so it was just extra room for everything and didn't want to have to keep moving them out of the way. I look at it like I did all the hard work this time with drilling out the rivets and if I have to do it again it's a relatively painless task removing nuts & bolts from the ball joints. Good drill bits are a must as is keeping them cool throughout with oil. Hopefully all this helps the next person, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again, I'd just plan my time a bit better for drilling the rivets.

[ http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h240/revolutioncorse/LowerBallJointRemoval5.jpg ]



who provided the nice blue urethane bushings?
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Leeann_93 » August 22nd 2011, 3:37am

Moog. Same ones I put on my Safari.
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby cowboydan » August 28th 2011, 12:47am

DiModaCorse wrote:Definitely didn't remove lower control arms, was originally considering it in order to replace bushings but didn't want to get into an even bigger job with torsion bar removal, etc.

I did jack under lower arms for support and tried various methods of drilling and punching to remove. Drilling and chiselling top rivets then drilling through and chiselling bottom rivet and punching out from there worked best in the end for me as it helped turn the rivets in on themselves releasing the raised lip and easier punching from there.

Removed cv shafts as I was replacing axle shaft seals anyway so it was just extra room for everything and didn't want to have to keep moving them out of the way. I look at it like I did all the hard work this time with drilling out the rivets and if I have to do it again it's a relatively painless task removing nuts & bolts from the ball joints. Good drill bits are a must as is keeping them cool throughout with oil. Hopefully all this helps the next person, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again, I'd just plan my time a bit better for drilling the rivets.

[ http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h240/revolutioncorse/LowerBallJointRemoval5.jpg ]

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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » September 2nd 2011, 2:33pm

I used synthetic motorcycle oil 20w50 I had around, and a lot of it. Worked great, didn't overheat any bits, probably any decent motor oil will help.
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Corsemoto
AstroSafari Pioneer
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Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
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Re: Front End Work & Alignment Camber Kit Question

Postby Corsemoto [OP] » September 3rd 2011, 2:43pm

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h240/revolutioncorse/LowerBallJointRemoval5.jpg ][/quote]
i got dejavu. what did you use for cutting oil?[/quote]

Ah, I get it now: https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=2904&p=84952&hilit=synthetic+cutting+oil#p84952 Great write-up.

This is a great forum for all things Astro/Safari related, it's even better without the condescending attitude. :roll:
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Corsemoto
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Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
Firing on 6 Cylinders (L3)
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