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1981 Camaro Z28

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  • Finally got started on it today, but I was not able to grab the pickle forks from my buddy this week at work, as he didn't get them into his car until Friday, which is when we stayed home due to the impending snow. I tried for probably an hour with a crowbar, but to no avail - simply can't get around the ball joint stud, so not enough of an area to grab/pry like a pickle for would.

    The good news is, the ball joint nut and the two upper control arm nuts came loose with any kind of extra hassle - that's always a plus! So those are loose, but until I get the pickle fork, there'll be no splitting the control arms from the spindle.

    Also, those upper control arm bolts (the ones that are attached to the frame) are going to pose an issue it looks like...does not look like there will be room to get the control arm off without running into the headers. Dammit.
    Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

    "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

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    • So my buddy was a boss and stopped by Duggan's to drop them off, and I was able to get out there for a little bit today (before our cooking class at Sur La Table), and that did the trick - amazing how much better the right tools for the job work! I still had to beat the ever living shit out of the pickle fork, but I'm okay with that.

      Passenger side upper control arm out. I sprayed the frame off a bit with some brake cleaner, as there's quite a bit of grime. But then it turns all shiny, so I stopped. Maybe I'll POR-15 this in the future, maybe not. Not too concerned.





      Old versus new. Big difference!




      Bushings weren't in great shape.






      Ball joint didn't seem too bad, other than having no interest in being removed.


      Installed the new upper control arm - still need to put the shims back in, but I wanted to fully seat the knurled bolts back in.

      Last edited by MP81; February 11th, 2018, 08:31 PM.
      ktl711 likes this.
      Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

      "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

      Comment


      • I was hoping to get more done today, but it turns out I have external (strut) spring compressors, not internal ones. I was able to disassemble them and actually fit them in between the springs, but then it was very apparent the spring would have to me inside out for the profile to work. Given we're talking about ~1500 lbs of force, I'm not really willing to take my chances.

        Anyway, I got the shims back in between the control arm and the frame, and "torqued" the nuts down as best as I could. No way there's any way to fit the torque wrench in there, but tightening a 3/4" wrench as much as possible should be about 73 ft-lbs. They're going to be loosened during the alignment anyway. Got the ball joint back into the spindle and torqued down. Removed the shock as well in preparation for compressing the spring.




        ktl711 likes this.
        Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

        "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

        Comment


        • So since I keep creating more things (in my mind) to replace before summer, I've decided I'd like to replace the shifter bushings, as they are probably A) nylon and B) shot.

          Also, since I'll be "in the area", I've been looking at Hurst's site, and it looks like there are a variety of handles available...is there any reason I couldn't simply swap to a short straight stick? My arm is plenty long to reach 3rd...
          Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

          "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

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          • Cant say ive ever worked on a 2nd gen before, but i cant imagine you wouldnt be able to change it.
            -Joel
            1995 Z28 M6 - AI226/234 - autocross ricer
            1984 Scottsdale K10 - 305/4bbl/4spd


            WTB List:Midwest Chasis DS Loop

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            • So...theoretically, something like this would work.

              http://www.hurst-shifters.com/produc...yr=&md=&sm=&e=

              That'd be way shorter of an arm movement I'm thinking. I can't think which shifter I have (on their site), but it's definitely much longer, and a bigger layback.
              Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

              "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

              Comment


              • Agree with Joel, doesn't seem to be any reason why it shouldn't work for you. Lots of 4th Gen folks running the Lou's Short Stick with or without the Pro 5.0 shifter, so same logic should apply here.

                "PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals" -- 1977z28Will

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                • Excellent. When I move on to the interior work, I think I'll make the change, along with doing the bushings (though some will obviously require me to go back under the car).

                  Luckily, given the roads' current condition, I may have more time to play with...
                  Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                  "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                  Comment


                  • Got back to work on the car this afternoon - got the lower control arm and coil spring out...what a pain in the ass. I got a new internal spring compressor, but then realized there was no way to use the bottom set of "fingers' because then the threaded shaft would try to exit out the shock hole up top, as it was then too long. So I thought back to the other kind of internal compressors I've seen, and used a pickle fork under the shock hole to allow the top fingers to compress against something. That said, that spring had no interest in being removed and fought me for at least an hour. But eventually, I emerged victorious - I hurt like hell, like usual, but I won.

                    Getting the control arm out wasn't too bad - except the front bolt which runs right into the steering linkage if you try to remove it, so I got to inconveniently go clean my hands, so I could turn the wheel in the car to allow the bolt clearance to come out. Just was one extra thing I didn't need.

                    Almost done with this side...hopefully I'll have it done tomorrow, and then I can do all this over again on the driver side, albeit with the knowledge that I've gained on this side...and a lot less room to work (though I don't have to be as careful with the wall as I have to be next to the Cobalt).




                    Old versus new - going to be quite an improvement, even just visually.



                    Bushings (front and rear, respectively) on the old LCA. Fronts are pretty much shot.



                    New and old springs. I'm pretty sure the stock springs could be used on a monster truck.
                    Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                    "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                    Comment


                    • Got the passenger side lower control arm installed, along with the new spring, so that is it for the passenger side!

                      I was removing the new spring just to double check it was indexed properly in the frame, and managed to crush my thumb between it and the control arm when it shifted as it was still slightly compressed towards the bottom of the control arm travel - I'm glad my thumb wasn't about 1/4" further in, or it'd likely have been broken and/or I wouldn't have been able to pull my thumb out at all. This only peeled all the skin off below my thumbnail, so...that's great.

                      Due to that, I got the driver side jacked up and on a stand, and the tire off, PB Blasted all the nuts/bolts I'll be removing, and called it - I can't get enough force with my thumb like it is. Oh well, one corner is finally done, so I am happy!







                      The shock finally isn't the only new/clean thing in there!


                      Driver side is ready to be started on now.
                      Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                      "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

                      Comment


                      • Congrats on the progress. I'm glad you escaped relatively unharmed.
                        ktl711 likes this.
                        DynoDave
                        POCI # 72200



                        1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

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                        • Thanks! And yes, I am glad as well. I yelled loud enough that my wife heard me inside the house and came into the garage to check on me.

                          I probably should order all the steering components here soon, as well, so I can tackle those after I finish the other side and the front swaybar.
                          Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                          "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

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                          • DynoDave
                            POCI # 72200



                            1988 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

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                            • Yep...seems like I keep finding things to spend more money on.
                              Gone but not forgotten: 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

                              "You shall ride eternal. Shiny and chrome."

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                              • It has been that same way with every single car I've ever owned! And with bicycles too!

                                "PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals" -- 1977z28Will

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