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Machining ball joints

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  • chief
    replied
    Go to the junk yard and get the correct A arms. Consult a Mitchell book and look for GM products that will cross over,I know Buick and Olds will fit.

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  • roberlt
    replied
    Talk with some dirt track (IMSA modified) racers.
    ALL kinds of weird stuff,Chevelle lower A-arms,custom upper A-arms and Pinto spindles.
    Whoever does this work probably knows what they are doing and has the tools
    Rob

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  • gamachinist
    replied
    weirdscience's idea will work just fine.The Camaro engine set back reminds me of another "daddy" story.When he was racing(1949-1958)one of their race cars was a 30's Hudson coupe with a 6 cylinder Hornet engine crammed in.You could add oil to it on the track on a long race without having to pit as it was so far back.Remember this was real metal cans and spouts!Some times they would have a spout mounted upside down with a hose to the engine and you just jammed a can on and kept going.Really smoked up inside if the can fell off after it emptied!Good luck,Robert.

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  • gunbuilder
    replied
    Be very careful with steering and front suspension work. I remember seeing a wrecked Chevy Blazer that the driver welded part of the steering. It had rolled several times, landing in a field. Everyone was killed, if I remember.
    At one of the local Chevy dealers only the older more experienced mechanics work on steering and front suspension.

    Paul

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  • wierdscience
    replied
    I cut the a arms out with a hole saw big enough to weld in a steel bushing with a .250"wall thickness that is bored to fit the new joints.After they are welded in I usually cut a top plate to fit around the new bushing and tie into the surrounding stamping and then stitch weld it in place.What you whind up with is better than factory.You can modify front end componets so long as you do it right and look at the stresses envolved.Heck I once put Ford rack and pinion steering in a 68'Camaro that I also moved the motor back 10"in,that my friend was some trick s--t,you could twist the dist.by reaching under the dash and check the oil by opening the glove box

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  • gamachinist
    replied
    If you enlarge the hole in the A Frame,you may weaken it too much.The way the hole is formed,it only has a thin ring to hold the joint.A more accepted way is to find a ball joint that fits tha A Frame and ream the taper in the spindle to match the ball joint.It is an oddball taper(1.5" per foot) and you'll probably have to look in a stock car racing magazine to order one.Speedway Motors(402-323-3200)made the one I have(about sixty dollars I think).Good luck and happy junkyarding on this one,Robert.

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  • DR
    replied
    I've never heard of anyone machining ball joints, but when I was into 4x4'ing it was scary some of the mods the guys made to steering and suspensions systems.

    Not only were they making the mods for their own rigs, they were selling the parts!

    Since I have a complete machine shop they were always asking me to do stupid things. After refusing a number of times I became known as a wimp!!!

    I saw steering arms cut and extended with angle iron bracing, tie rods made of galvanized pipe, etc etc. Heating with the O/A torch and bending steering components was common. Some of their solutions were clever, definitely on the dangerous side though.

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  • spkrman15
    replied
    So drilling out the A-arm is better. Ok. I must admit these are the answere i was kind of expecting but he is doing what he read up on. Not everything is Car Craft and Hot Rod is smart. So centering the the A-arm and machining out the hole is better. How many mm`s should i leave to make this a good press fit?

    Spkrman15

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  • Doc Nickel
    replied
    Do not, under any circumstances, modify ball joints or tie-rod ends. The metallurgy on these components is critical, and ham-handed mods can thin critical walls, induce stress risers and generally shorten the life of a critical suspension component.

    Always make the A-arm fit the ball joint, not the other way around. The A-arm is far more forgiving pressed steel- machine out the socket to the requisite dimension (keep in mind they're press-fits) and possibly reinforce the modded socket with a welded ring.

    The only time- ever- that you should mod a ball joint or tie rod is to repair a major failure to get your truck home out of the boondocks.

    Doc.

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  • Thrud
    replied
    why?

    Tell the doofus the drill the right hole for it and forget modifing hardened balls.

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  • spkrman15
    started a topic Machining ball joints

    Machining ball joints

    My buddy is doing a retro fit on his 66 chevelle. Istalling disc brakes. He asked / i voluntered to machine down his ball joints from 56mm to 52.94mm. Well the ball joint just wear my indexable carbide tips right down. The slowest my lathe will spin is 160 rpms and i am feeding at 0.005 . Any feed back would be great

    Spkrman15
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