Bent A-arm?

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by carl, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    IMG_0872[2].JPG

    This is the passenger side A-arm I took off the rat to replace the A-arm with the loose bushing on the Fatrat. Was getting ready to clean it up when I noticed the wavy flanges. I'm assuming these are not normal and were probably a result of the accident wherein the rear passenger wheel got pushed up on the curb.

    What are the odds of having two Xs and not being able to use the passenger A-arm on either! I'll install it anyway for now till I come up with a replacement unless you guys think it's repairable.
     
  2. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    That does look to be a bit kinked. Especially knowing the history of it having impacted a curb from the side. There are some bends on one side of a good arm to clear the axle on 5-speed cars, but at the moment I don't recall if that applies to both arms (I think it is only the left?). Looking at the arm you removed should show this. Also a lot of the rear arms have been damaged by people placing a floor jack under them to raise the car, or from road impact damage.
    You can try to straighten out the flat portions and see how the overall length compares to the 'straight' one. Or install the good bushing from this one into the other arm with a loose bushing.
     
  3. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    I would agree, it definitely is not the way it should be.
     
  4. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    I took a close look at the driver side and in addition to the normal "dent" for the trans, there are some wavy sections on that one too. Without a jig, it would be near impossible to know if the arms are out of true. Pisses me off since both balljoints are good and the hubs show no bearing issues. I'm sure in a perfect world I'll be looking for replacements.

    I would think if just the outward edges are wavy but the area near the bight of the channel section shows no deformation that they could be true. See how easy it is to talk yourself into this.
     
  5. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Perhaps, but not necessarily. It could be a little 'banana' shaped or 'twisted' and still be the right length. But try a straight edge against all sides and compare the overall length to a known good one (like the ones with the worn out joints). Straightening out the bends in the flat sections could help to bring it back to the right dimensions; the metal has 'memory' and will want to go back to where it was. Put the whole thing in a large vice or similar to hold it while you work on the flat sections with a large crescent wrench or other leverage tool.

    Might need a 'cheater bar' over the handle, but something like this (only pic I could find online):
    imgext.jpg

    Or you can do it the way Karl did here and just manhandle it. See, I'm not biased - I hassle everyone :D
    maxresdefault.jpg
     
    Stoney#1 likes this.
  6. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Hey how did you get my picture!!!!!????

    Damn you found my other guilty pleasure, tractors...
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  7. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Right side - only bulge is where the toe arm attaches on the inside rear

    [​IMG]

    Left side - kink is in the forward section, and it's a 'dogleg' in the upper surface, not wavy.

    [​IMG]
    I'd try to straighten it if it were mine, with good balljoints
     
  8. darwoodious

    darwoodious Darin Nelson

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I second that. I would just figure out how to straighten it out. The important part is that the inner part - how do you describe it, the lower part of the U as this is effectively a channel beam, is straight.

    This part should be straight (the yellow line in these):
    X19-0401.jpg IMG_3019.JPG

    Get a 2x4, trim it up and get a hammer. It'll all be good.
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  9. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    It's funny that for such an anal group of car guys that I finally find a topic where you all are into to hammers and "straightening!
    I may have gained a higher level of respect for you clowns.
     
  10. toddr124

    toddr124 Hagerstown, MD

    Location:
    Hagerstown, MD
    Maybe John Os 87 X1/9 is still at the junkyard (Grimms) in Hagerstown? Might be worth a phone call.
     
  11. MikeHynes

    MikeHynes True Classic

    Location:
    Goodfield, IL.
    Throw it away and get one that is straight, that one will never be straight enough to use again - ever - no matter what you do to it. Just my opinion.:)
     
    Hasbro likes this.
  12. Tom Ginefra

    Tom Ginefra True Classic

    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Leave it to Hussein to have "Two-Tone" Control Arms!!!!!
     
    lookforjoe likes this.
  13. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Mike, as usual, is the voice of reason, I hate him.
     
  14. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Or he is being contrary just because he can.
     
  15. myredracer

    myredracer True Classic

    If it were me, I'd consider cutting out the damaged metal, straighten it and then weld in new metal instead of trying to straighten out the flanges.
     
  16. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    We are not talking about lightweight sheet metal here so I'm not sure how easy it is to just whack on the bulges with a hammer to get it straight. I think without a jig to know how the arm is supposed to align, it's a shot in the dark that any major repairs, be it hammering or cut and weld would result in a good arm. This is all sad as we usually throw them away due to bad ball joints but mine are good. I'm in the process of finding some good used ones.
     
  17. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    I’d cut & punch out the rivets & save the balljoints, in that case.
     
  18. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Hussein, you raise a point I was going to ask today, has anyone removed good ball joints from bad arms and bolted them into other arms? Seems like a very simple job.
     
  19. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    I'm not so sure it's a simple task to remove the expanded rivets, but I'd still consider it worthwhile given how much they cost.
     
  20. MikeHynes

    MikeHynes True Classic

    Location:
    Goodfield, IL.
    Someone posted about this recently, the search function is your friend. Rivets and weld hold them in. I've seen new ones listed.
     

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