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#396872 - July 09th 2010 8:18 pm Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: M_S]
Natural_State Offline
old hand

Registered: February 06th 2006 12:00 pm
Posts: 1148
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
Here you can see the arm that is under my '77 (same as yours) and compare to the one pictured earlier to see the difference for anyone that is curious...
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#396886 - July 09th 2010 9:31 pm Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: Natural_State]
Ram4ever Offline



Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3681
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
Thanks so much for jumping in Natural_State!

You know, I could never figure out what you were saying about the pocketed lower control arms because I couldn't find anything that didn't look exactly like my '81. I'd been thinking it was the B3 series that had the pockets. Looking at my parts catalog and your pictures now I see it; the deal is that *all* of the post-78's were pocketed, and anything '78 and before was flat on top. No wonder I never saw saw any non-pocketed ones; all the vans in the yards around here were newer than my '81.

Anyway, I got back home and did some research in my 78-81 parts manual. Here's what I came up with. Note that these Mopar numbers are *only* for B2 series vans with 5-lug wheels; I excluded the B1 and B3 series vans, and the H.D. package versions, and the 8-lug wheels.

1978 Mopar#
Upper control arm 3492122-3
Upper cont arm Cam bolt pkg 2808445
Upper cont arm Ball joint 2808394
Upper cont arm Bushings 2269124
coil spring isolator 4039136
spring -several, ranging from 1340-1615 pounds
lower control arm 3492126-7
lower cont arm ball joint 3837088
lower cont arm bushing 2961123
strut arm bushing 4037659

1979 - 1981 Mopar#
Upper control arm 3300 lb 4210872-3
Upper cont arm Ball joint 2808394
Upper cont arm Bushings 4213118 superseded by 52106434
coil spring isolator 4089580 superseded by 52038732
spring -several, ranging from 1250 to 1650 pounds
lower control arm 4210584-5
lower control arm (complete) 4164464-5
lower cont arm ball joint 3837088
lower cont arm bushing 4046569 superseded by 52007092
strut arm bushing, front 3898896
strut arm bushing, rear 4037659

For 1978, the B100, B200 & B300 all used a single part number for the upper control arm, and a single part number for the upper control arm bushings; no differences based on weight. Must have been mighty rugged uppers! For 1979-1981 the upper control arms and bushings had different numbers based on weight. Probably proves that bean counters were at work at Chrysler...

The 1978 upper control arm doesn't use a pivot bar, it uses two cam bolts.

The same upper control arm ball joint is used in 1978 as in 1979-1981.

The same lower control arm ball joint is used in 1978 as in 1979-1981.

1978 front and rear strut arm bushings were both the same part as the 1979 & up rear strut arm bushing.

Remember, I've excluded the B100 and B300 series from this list of numbers. The B300 series did use different ball joints, etc.

The 3300 lb front suspension was 5-lug, while the 3600 & 4000 pound were 8-lug.

I'm not sure how much help all this will be, but perhaps you can track down some of what you need based on it.

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#396925 - July 10th 2010 12:34 am Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: Ram4ever]
Boot Offline

Captain Overkill



Registered: November 16th 2003 12:00 pm
Posts: 3116
Loc: Myrtle Beach, SC
All the parts you'll need for the rebuild can be found at Rockauto.com for much less than you can buy them at the parts stores. Moog parts are a bit more expensive, but worth it. Chinese made front end parts are pre-greased with Vaseline, so if you go with the cheaper parts, make sure you pump the new parts full of grease before installing, to push all that crap out. Here's what I'd recommend replacing if you're looking to make the steering and suspension like new:

Inner and outer tie rod ends- also replace the sleeves.....they're cheap insurance.
drag link
center link
idler arms
upper and lower ball joints (note: as far as a press to get them out/in, advance auto carries the press and loans it out free with a deposit)
strut rod bushings
lower control arm bump stops

Also check the steering box for play. Napa has the best deal on the rebuilt steering box if you need it.

I just replaced all of the above in my van, along with shocks, wheel bearings, springs, etc. The van drives just like a brand new truck.
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#396933 - July 10th 2010 1:15 am Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: Boot]
teedlo Offline
newbie

Registered: June 29th 2010 7:22 pm
Posts: 39
Loc: Portland, OR
hey all. thanks for all this info. i really think it will help this repair go smooth. though i do not understand most of what you are talking about. my buddy will know (he has a press too).

hiw much did it cost you to do all that front end work?
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www.cosmicwheelers.com
https://www.facebook.com/groups/cosmicwheelers/
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#397048 - July 11th 2010 3:55 am Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: M_S]
Ram4ever Offline



Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3681
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
Originally Posted By: M_S
Now I'll be tempted to blast and powder coat them...

...I'm guessing that the difference might be in the ball joint and not the arm.


M_S, from what I can deduce from the parts manual, those '78 and earlier uppers must have been pretty rugged, with them using the very same part for B100, B200 and B300 vans. I bet that even if one of them is pretty rusty it's likely to be stronger than an equally rusty upper from a later van, which is more closely tailored to the load capacity.

Blasting and powder coating should keep your control arms going for years to come. I've been very favorably impressed by how rugged powder coating is after some "evil" experiments I performed on some with a witch's brew of chemicals. I was astonished to find the material was nearly impervious to chemical attack if proper thicknesses were built up on sharp edges and corners. This suggested to me that slightly radiused edges and corners would make a superior foundation for powder coating over the typical sharp and square stamped metal edges and corners.

When I went over my control arms I used Phosphoric acid rather than sandblasting, but then again, I didn't remove my control arms, or else I might have blasted first, then followed up with the acid.

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#397087 - July 11th 2010 1:35 pm Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: Ram4ever]
M_S Offline
old hand

Registered: June 12th 2009 2:07 pm
Posts: 1170
Loc: CA
Thanks Ram.

The biggest thing I have found while powdercoating is the cure time and temp. When I started, I was using a thermometer in the oven to get the correct heat (the oven I use is a 50's vintage). Some of the first parts did not completely cure. Now I use that thermometer in conjunction with an infrared to make sure that not only the oven is at the right temp, but the part is up to temp too. Some of the bigger, heavier parts come up to temp slower than the small stuff. I also started pre-heating some of the bigger stuff. It really helps get rid of the contaminants left behind from the blast cabinet and solvent tank. The heat does effect the color of the parts, so i skip that step if I using clear powder. The aluminum front drum covers for my '32 came out a weird titanium color after I cleared them, which is how I discovered this.

I originally bought it for doing parts of the '32, but I am coating tons of stuff for the van and little things around the house.

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#397088 - July 11th 2010 2:15 pm Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: M_S]
Ram4ever Offline



Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3681
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
That's really interesting M_S, I actually like titanium's pinkish tint. If you have a chance, would you please PM the details of exactly what you did to me? That might be pretty fun to experiment with!

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


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#397095 - July 11th 2010 3:31 pm Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: Ram4ever]
M_S Offline
old hand

Registered: June 12th 2009 2:07 pm
Posts: 1170
Loc: CA
Here they are...






Maybe it's more of an unpolished magnesium look.

I polished the tips of the fins and to 'clean up' the rest of the fin and make it look cast again I blasted them with aluminum oxide. Then I ran them through the parts cleaner and hit them brake clean and acetone. Then they went into the oven for a 15 min pre-bake. It was when they came out that they had this color. I kind of like it so I put a satin clear powder over it (cleaning the powder off the fins with a wet sponge paint brush before baking). It's not a perfect process and I have no idea what was baked out of the surface to create the color, but it should be fun getting the other one to match. The most important thing is I won't be stuck cleaning and polishing them all the time.

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#397148 - July 11th 2010 7:09 pm Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: M_S]
Reed Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: August 27th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 8482
Loc: Fircrest, WA
Um, you know that is going to get dirty, right?
_________________________
Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!

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#397165 - July 11th 2010 9:06 pm Re: 1978 front end rebuild [Re: Reed]
Ram4ever Offline



Registered: March 26th 2007 8:05 pm
Posts: 3681
Loc: Dundee, Michigan
That is an interesting color... I like it. The portion visible through the rims made me think of plain un-dyed anodized aluminum with it's lemon yellow tint, but the inner fins are just simply pretty unique! I hope the color remains stable for you over time.

You say you haven't done the other side yet? It's good you recall so much of your prep work and process, I'd think you stand a pretty good chance of getting it to match if you watch it closely enough. In case it may have been related to the parts cleaner solution, do you still have the same batch?

I bet that clear will have a pretty good grip with all the sandblasting and the fin's surface area. Does clear have a pretty good temperature tolerance?

Those drums really fill up the rims don't they. They look like they belong on a van!

Clear skies!
_________________________
-It's been such a LONG TIME... 1981 Dodge Ram B250 Custom Sportsman Maxi Van

Bringin' her back - the construction never ends!




It's what you learn after you know it all, that counts...

Are you living to work, or working to live?


Top
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