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Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution #739502
August 18th 2018 9:31 am
August 18th 2018 9:31 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 734
Indiana
tuner4life Offline OP
old hand
tuner4life  Offline OP
old hand
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 734
Indiana
This has been discussed some here and there, but there aren't any reasonably priced solutions to the stupidly designed LCA shafts used on many 3rd gen GM vans.

If you don't already know, Here's a quick overview. For some reason the LCA shafts on the vans have an inner shaft inside of the outer tube and the space between the shaft and outer tube is filled with rubber. (unlike the C-Pickups, which have solid shafts, but are a smaller overall diameter). See cut-away picture:

[Linked Image]


Rare Parts is the only place that I've been able to find new replacement shafts but they sell for over $300/ea. The Rare Parts shafts are nice because they are solid metal, but I can't bring myself to spend $600 on them. Every now and then NOS parts pop up on ebay for slightly less, but still hundreds of dollars, and still filled with rubber.

As seen in my build thread, I redid my whole front suspension recently and tried to replace every 30 year old wear part with new AC/Moog or some upgraded parts. The only parts that I re-used were the lower control arm shafts due to the stupid high costs to replace, and the impression that they didn't really go bad. Mine seemed to be in above-average shape so i chanced it.. This turned out to be a mistake. While the overall driving feel of my van was much improved, it has always had a tendency to wander a little. This is especially pronounced when under braking, crowned road surfaces, or pulling a trailer. And not the typical "old GM truck" type wander. It definitely felt like something was loose. I Inspected everything and even adjusted the new steering box which has no play. Still couldn't figure it out. Recently when I was messing with the carb, I ended up driving around with the doghouse cover removed. From the driver's seat, I was able to see the left LCA shaft. And what caught my eye is that when I hit the brakes, it moved... Significantly. The inner shaft was moving inside of the tube. I don't know if the rubber in mine is just shot or this is how they are supposed to be, but I was able to relate most of what I was feeling while driving to the movement of the LCA shaft. mad

Then yesterday, on Facebook I saw a post from a guy who managed to score (if you can even call it that) a pair of NOS Van LCA shafts for $100 each off of ebay. In the discussion it was mentioned that it was possible to source the solid, but smaller diameter, C10 LCA shafts, along with the C10 brackets and U-Bolts and then you can run the C10 shafts on the G-van.. He made it sound pretty simple, but didn't give much info besides that "LMC has everything needed". (It's the weekend now, but I plan to call LMC to verify this claim on Monday). If this is true, it may be a fairly simple and inexpensive solution to an issue that many here have run into. That being said, after spending more time searching/googling than I care to admit, I can not find anything else on the internet backing up this claim or verifying that it has been done successfully. The only picture I have is from the above-mentioned Facebook post showing the Van shafts next to the pickup shafts:

[Linked Image]


Has anyone heard of this before??


If I can't find any other info before the van goes into hibernation for the winter, then over the winter, I'll pull the LCAs and do some measuring.

If the C10 shaft thing doesn't work out, I am still going to find a solution that doesn't cost several hundred dollars.
-Maybe I'll fill the voids in the shafts with JB weld..
-Maybe I'll see if someone can machine sleeves that can be pressed into the ends of the shafts to hold it solid where the rubber won't..

All I know is that OCD is a bitch and I'm going to come up with a reasonable solution. Hopefully it'll help others too.

I'll keep this thread updated.






Last edited by tuner4life; August 18th 2018 9:38 am.

[Linked Image]
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution [Re: tuner4life] #739541
August 19th 2018 1:47 pm
August 19th 2018 1:47 pm
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,714
Ireland
shaggy Offline
veteran
shaggy  Offline
veteran
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,714
Ireland
I recently replaced them on my 1979 G30 and they were solid, have you looked at them they may be something you could have machined to fit?

[Linked Image]20180224_161457 by shagedemus, on Flickr


79 chevy G30 cobra camper conversion.
[Linked Image]
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution [Re: tuner4life] #739561
August 20th 2018 7:12 am
August 20th 2018 7:12 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 734
Indiana
tuner4life Offline OP
old hand
tuner4life  Offline OP
old hand
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 734
Indiana
I have seen this style of shaft in my research, but I can't find any good info about how they fit into the control arms. And can't find any measurements either.

I did find more info on the C10 style shafts though. Evidently the "U" shaped brackets are still available from LMC and are attached to the crossmember via solid rivets. If that is the case, I should be able to drill/grind them out and attach the C10 brackets with nuts/bolts. Still need to do some more research, but looks promising.


[Linked Image]
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution [Re: tuner4life] #739573
August 20th 2018 12:42 pm
August 20th 2018 12:42 pm
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,714
Ireland
shaggy Offline
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shaggy  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,714
Ireland
In my photo above if you look at the end cap on the left with the grease nipple on it. That has internal and external threads. The external threads are an interference fit on the inside of the LCA while the internal threads are normal and screw onto the end of the shaft. The shaft is bolted to the frame with U bolts.

[Linked Image]


79 chevy G30 cobra camper conversion.
[Linked Image]
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution [Re: tuner4life] #739581
August 20th 2018 1:41 pm
August 20th 2018 1:41 pm
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,785
Van Diego California
frscke1 Offline
frscke1  Offline

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,785
Van Diego California
G30 pins & LCA's are different than the G20.


SUNSHINE VANS-VAN DIEGO
ADRENALIN BY THE GALLON & CHASIN RACIN
ONE FOR THE DIRT & ONE FOR THE STREETS
'93 CHEVY G30 454 4X4 SPORTVAN EXT 146" WB
'92 CHEVY G30 454 BEAUVILLE EXT 146" WB
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution [Re: tuner4life] #739592
August 20th 2018 3:31 pm
August 20th 2018 3:31 pm
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,714
Ireland
shaggy Offline
veteran
shaggy  Offline
veteran
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,714
Ireland
Looking at your pictures and never having seen one up close...here's a way I think you could do it.
I presume the inner shaft is solid.
.....If so lay a LOAD of weld on there. Have it turned down on a lathe to the inner diameter of the outer tube. Then put it back on the lathe and finish it with a knurling tool. This will give an interference fit with the outer tube which can be pushed on to the inner shaft with a hydraulic press. Worth trying with a scrap one maybe?


79 chevy G30 cobra camper conversion.
[Linked Image]
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution [Re: tuner4life] #739595
August 20th 2018 6:03 pm
August 20th 2018 6:03 pm
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 316
NY
J
jcd74 Offline
enthusiast
jcd74  Offline
enthusiast
J
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 316
NY
Sorry I'm still trying to post a pic from flickr.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/151407392@N07/shares/9j1727
This is a project long on hold. I have 0.040" slop, I suspect the inner sleeves are 26 MM, the OE shaft measured 1". I spent 100 for a 10 foot bar and 3 and change for machining. The new bushings came from Energy suspension, I suspect they are just buying 26 mm Asian made sleeves and calling it close enough. The only reason I can come up with for the 2" shaft is that they did it for the conversions and pass vans to dampen road feel, they also used that shaft on the 3/4 Suburban. The 3/4 is the natural choice for those applications. Your best bet is to use the 1/2 ton shaft and saddle, drill new holes. I have seen online people doing this to their lifted c trucks.


[Linked Image]

Last edited by frscke1; August 20th 2018 6:19 pm. Reason: Added picture

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