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  • siezed spindels

    I replaced the upper and lower bushings and ball joints. After torqueing the lower ball joints I`m unable to turn the spindles by hand...I can use a 3foot pipe and turn the spindles with much difficulty. somethings not right??? I`ve replaced dozens of ball joints in my time never this problem. contacted the vendor maybe faulty ball joints??? hate the thought of having to replace the lowers again as there is no motor or trans in the bird as of now. Had to use 2 2" ratchet straps to keep the body from lifting off the jack stands while jacking the springs in to place. Any ideas or ever run into this problem?....thanks,Sid

  • #2
    I know this is really basic, but have you tried greasing the ball joints and then work them back and forth a few times?
    Who was the manufacturer of the ball joints? I read several posts on line where guys had problems with Moog joints being really stiff. Most complained of "memory steer" where the car wouldn't return to neutral after making a turn.
    Have you tried jacking up the lower control arm, to simulate a more neutral run position and see if it makes any difference? Without the engine being in the car, you might not be able to get a lot of lift on the lower arm, but it may be worth trying to see if anything changes.
    Did everything fit up okay when you bolted the new ball joints to the control arms? There was a post a while back to verify the ball joints were bolted to the correct side (top/bottom) of the control arm.
    Let us know what you find.
    Nyles
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      I did my front end last year and have the problem of the steering not returning to neutral. I installed Moog ball joints, as well. I thought it was a control valve problem, so I bought a rebuilt kit and boogered it up. I then sent it to Stanger and he rebuilt it for $100. Apparently it didn't fix the problem, but it steers better than it did before.
      1959 Thunderbird - Thunderbird Registry #46052

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      • #4
        It's time to work smart. When I work on suspension with no engine, I use a wire rope to help out. I use a good-size cable that can hold at least 1,000-lbs. That sounds like a huge cable but it really isn't. Wire rope (cable) is made of spring steel. 5/16" (8mm)" wire rope has a tensile strength of 8,520-lbs. That's just over 1/4" diameter!

        I loop it around the top "A" arm and make a complete circle down to the ground and back. I cinch it with TWO wire rope clamps. If you're familiar with the 'U'bolt and saddle clamps with nuts, I always remember the saying our Millwrights taught me, 'Never saddle a dead horse'. That means, the saddle does not go on the loose end. So, when you loop the wire rope, both ends will face away from each other. One clamp will face one way while the other faces the opposite direction.

        Then, I put my jack on the ground under the lower ball joint but inside the wire rope circle, so that the jack is resting on the wire rope. I like using a scissors jack for this because it goes straight up and down. Crank that baby up and the ball joints have no problem entering the spindle. Get a nut on right away. This arrangement works well because the car holds the jack down to the ground while the jack compresses both suspension arms. You kinda get the idea by standing in a bucket, pulling on the handle, trying to lift yourself up.

        Ok, Ball Joints...
        Randy Harsha took one of his BJ's apart, then gave us pictures. After seeing the guts, it's hard to imagine how a ball joint can be too tight because the components are spring-loaded. I suppose it's possible that a 'dry' joint might rust together and fuse but I've never seen that happen. Check out Randy's picture:
        Attached Files
        My latest project:
        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
        --Lee Iacocca

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