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Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution
tuner4life #761748 June 01st 2020 3:32 pm
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
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Posts: 6
I'm in the same boat here. When I took off my control arms I didn't have that cutaway handy, and I was trying to press out the inner shaft to get the assembly apart. That caused me to damage my inner shaft in the hydraulic press (and twist the bushing mount on the control arm.. Whoops!)..

My current plan which may take some time (as I'm still working on the floor/rockers) is to reuse the outer shaft.. and hopefully 'melt' the centers out of them.. then machine new centre axles out of 1" chromoly so they can slide through (unlike the stepped factory version).

Then make some aluminum tophat 'bushing' style adapters to take up the space between the shafts, and have it all fit snugly between the new energy suspension bushings in the LCA. I think the shafts should also be setscrewed together so that they don't rotate in that spot, and force the suspension movement to rotate the LCA bushings.

Yep. They were shot when I took them off the van.. but I ~feel~ like I made more work for myself by damaging the inner shaft.

I'm going through now and refreshing all the parts grinding off rust and painting.. Once I do the arms, i can press in the bushings, then start to measure out what to machine.

Last edited by lyledriver; June 01st 2020 3:40 pm.

((lyledriver))
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution
lyledriver #783888 October 18th 2021 1:58 pm
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 6
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Posts: 6
I know I don't post on this forum much, or even have a build thread for my van.. but I feel its important for me to update this thread with info to help the next person who comes across this Chevy lower control arm axle problem.

I FINALLY managed to get through this major hurdle in my front suspension rebuild, and I'm super relieved, as this was a big unknown for me.

Here's how I solved it:

1)Bought Energy Suspension Poly bushings for a C10

2)Bought 1-1/8"steel shaft and 2" OD, 1.5" ID Steel tube

3)Pressed in the bushing sleeves to the LCA, to get an accurate base to base measurement.

4)Measured the heights of the bushings/sleeves etc.

5)Designed assembly in CAD (3D .STEP export attached). I wasn't sure how to tolerance the bushing preload, so I gave it 0.5mm compression per bushing, thinking I might have to adjust the shaft later and give it more.

6)Spent a bunch of time on the lathe making the axles, and the carrier tube. Originally made the carrier tube tophat adapters out of UHMW or white delrin. I guess I was being lazy, but it sketched me out. I knew I would be remaking them before installation.

7)A number of weekends later, I returned with 2" OD Aluminum to remake the tophats.

8)pressed the tophats into the tube, and then threw the tube back in the lathe to do a precision bore to make the 1-1/8" tube slip fit through the carrier without slop.

9)I turned my original Delrin tophats into inner spacers to sit behind the Poly bushings. They're not in compression in use, just sort of 'dust caps' on the inside of the bushings, and keept the grease in. The 2x M8 lock bolts are really what are locating the axle shaft to not spin inside the carrier tube.

10)Added zerk ports to the Poly bushing housings, drilled a hole in the bushing, then used a dremel to cut a circumferential groove into the inner surface of the bushing. This creates a greaseway to distribute the grease around the inner sleeve, where it needs to be. I biased them towards the thrust face a bit, but really, the grease will flow wherever its easiest (hence the inner caps to stop it all from going to the centre.) Sidenote, These poly bushings are happiest with Silicone based grease. Lots of lore on the internet to scare you away from petrolium based grease on Poly bushings.

11)Months later, FINALLY had it all ready for installation. I sprayed 'Fluid Film' into the carrier tube to lubricate the inner surface and prevent rust. I wiped the whole axle shaft in petrolium grease to help slow it from rusting (as rust would stop it from sliding through the alloy slip fit tophat), I greased the inner and thrust faces of the bushing with silicone lube, and tested out the Zerk ports. Then it all went together pretty smooth. I was worried about my preload on the bushings, as it was super hard to turn by hand. Once I mounted them on the van though, they felt perfect. The arm rotation is smooth with very little stiction, and the arms will droop down under their own weight.

Phew. Anyways, if you're reading this far, then the PDF drawings and .STEP file (****STEP FILE RENAMED TO .BMP FILE TO UPLOAD AS ATTACHMENT****)are probably of interest to you. Good luck.

Attached Files
Attached PDF document
control_arm_axle.pdf (35.84 KB, 4 downloads)
Attached PDF document
cntrl_arm_axle_carrier.pdf (32.95 KB, 4 downloads)
Attached PDF document
CARRIER_TUBE_TOPHAT_ALU.pdf (35.78 KB, 6 downloads)
3-carriertube_original_resize.JPG4_axles-done-resize.JPG5-axles_install-resize.JPG6-zerk_test_resize.JPG7-installed_resize.JPGcross-section_cad.JPG

((lyledriver))
Re: Rubber Filled Lower Control Arm Shafts - Gonna Beat This Dead Horse Until I Come Up With A Solution
tuner4life #784340 October 27th 2021 5:48 pm
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,876
Likes: 5
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Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,876
Likes: 5
Spotted this ad for a lower control arm bush thought maybe it could help someone following this thread.

ebay ad LCA bush

Chevy G1500-2500 Vans 2WD 1/2 Ton Lower Control Arm Bush GM NOS.

New in the GM Box

Part Number: 15988037

Last edited by shaggy; October 27th 2021 5:51 pm.

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