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Discussion Starter #1
Why is it that some parts suppliers don't even offer lower ball-joints while those that do, don't recommend that you use them (they suggest that you buy the entire lower control arm instead!!) Are the balljoints in the new arms different (better) and if so, why can't you buy the good ones separate??

This doesn't make much sense to me - especially since nothing similar is said about the uppers......

Replacing the balljoint in a control arm is not that hard so I don't see any reason to spend the extra money.

Any insight on this issue would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks
 

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The originals are welded in place. To replace you would have to drill out the spot welds and bolt in new ones. Far easier just to replace the entire arm, and very little more than just buying the ball joint on its own.
 
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I believe that the originals are riveted in place, not welded? You just drill out the rivets replace with a bolted unit. Its doesn't take but a few minutes.

I put in new arms just because the inner bushing was worn out, and the price difference wasn't much.
 

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I can only speak for 68's, the uppers are rivited, but the lowers (subject of this post) are spot welded in.
 

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i replaced the whole arm. It was easy to do and I got a new lower control arm out of it! New is good!
 
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Well, now I'm going to have to find out where in my junk pile I put the originals. I rmember years ao working on my '67 and they were riveted. Of course, there is no reason to believe that they were original.
 

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Considering how spindly the lower arms are, its probably good to change them out (plus you end up with new inner bushings!!)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think mine are riveted also ('70). I realize replacing the entire arm is easier, but replacing the ball joint still is not 'difficult'. Plus, the replacement lower arms I have seen have an extra set of holes for the strut rod (I assume that makes them fit more years??) No, I'm not a purist, nor am I concerned with concours acceptance - its just a very obvious difference.

Regarding replacing the entire arm, that's probably what I will do, but I just thought I'd raise the question since I don't see a big NEED to replace the entire arm. The spring rides on the upper arm, so the lower arm function is primarily to hold the spindle (set caster) and doesn't see high stresses like the upper arm does.

Anyway, I'm just looking for thoughts/ideas.....
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Discussion Starter #9
Remember - the lower arm works WITH the strut rod as an assembly.

Also, if you want to use urethan bushings, the rubber ones in the new arm have no real value!!!
 
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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

The spring rides on the upper arm, so the lower arm function is primarily to hold the spindle (set caster) and doesn't see high stresses like the upper arm does.

<hr></blockquote>


Well, not quite. The weight of the car is mostly on the uppers, but the lower will see most of the braking forces. Thats why the strut rod is so big.

The extra set of holes is because the same lower is used on both sides of the car. One pattern of holes for each side.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The strut rod is also for stability (triangulation).

Are you saying that the strut rods aren't the same length on both sides of the car??? Isn't the lower arm symmetrical (front to back)??


The only ways that I see a need for two sets of holes is that 1) the strut rods are different lengths or 2)the lower arm isn't symmetrical. That's why I assumed the extra holes were for different years (if different years had different length strut rods).
 

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In regards to ball joints "welded in vs. riveted". At least on factory LCA's for 66's they are both. 3 rivets around the boot retainer and one good size spotweld approx. in the middle of the flange underneath.

I purchased "new" replacement LCA's from 2 different very reputable Mustang houses and ended up sending both pairs back because the arms were a joke. Compared to the factory Ford arms the "replacements" were chintzy at best. Much thinner metal and flexed rather easily. The ball joint, boot and retainer were a joke.
I also looked at MOOG replacement LCA's from my local parts house and they were 100% better and made here in USA not Taiwan like the others.

After talking to the people at CA I decided to rebuild my own. Reinforced the underside with 16 gauge plate (old racing trick) to prevent the torque flex, powdercoated, replaced bushings with Prothane and new ball joints from FM.

The hardest part were the balljoints, I ended up with units from CJ's although I am somewhat suspect of the durability. They seem to be well built and move smoothly but the grease boot, retainer and hardware are cheap. I replaced the hardware w/ grade 5 and boots with factory Ford from NPD. Still looking for Ford retainers though.

Hope this helps anybody considering the same. The end cost might be the same and it's more work but I still have OEM quality and mucho increased durability & performance.
If anyone wants a pic of the arms let me know. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif
 

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No the extra holes are so you can use the same lower arm for both sides. The struts are the same too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Can someone explain to me why the strut rod holes need to be further in or out (along the control arm) on one side than the other???

Sorry, but this just doesn't make sense - unless something is offset in some manner from one side to the other. The lower control arm is symmetrical, isn't it??? and it protrudes out perpendicular to the car's centerline, doesn't it??

I can't say I've ever looked real close, but I guess I've assumed that the control arms themselves are symmetrical - meaning that you can draw line from the center of the balljoint to the middle of the bushing and either side of that line will mirror the other - is this not correct??

In a nutshell, I thought you could interchange factory left and right lower control arms. If anyone can help, I'd like to know what the difference is.

Thanks
 

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Yes left and right can be interchanged, they are the same.

The holes should not be further in or out, there should be 4 holes (2 for mounting on the left and 2 for mounting on the right).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think I realize my confusion now. The strut mounts to two diagonal holes, don't they??

I was thinking of the Mustang II type strut rods(working with street rods too much)where the strut rod actually is curved and mounts to two holes that are in a line perpendicular to the length of the control arm.

Sorry about that!!
 

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Yep! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
 
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