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I can`t seem to remove the front lower control arm. the balljoint and the rear bushing is unbolted but the bolt to the bushing towards the front bumper I can`t figure out how to remove. There are five bolts holding a plate by the bushing bolt. I don`t know if I can or should remove this. would the engine drop? Any suggestions? Thanks.I`m a post two pics to show.
 

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02 - Front Suspension / Front / ARM, Lower Control / Removal

REMOVAL

1.Raise and support the vehicle(Refer to 04 - Vehicle Quick Reference/Hoisting - Standard Procedure) .

2.Remove the wheel mounting bolts, then the tire and wheel assembly.

3.Remove the pinch bolt nut (3) and pinch bolt from the knuckle.

dartlowercontrolarm1.jpg

NOTE:
Use care when separating the ball joint stud from the knuckle so the ball joint boot does not get cut.

4.Insert a pry bar (2) in the opening (1) between the control arm front mounting bolt and the front fascia support beam.

dartlowercontrolarm2.jpg

5.Separate the lower control arm from the knuckle by prying down with the pry bar (2).

6.Remove the four bracket retaining bolts (1) from the cross member to fascia support beams bracket, then remove the bracket.

dartlowercontrolarm7.jpg

7.Remove the fasteners (2) securing the lower bumper reinforcement (1) and front fascia support beams to the frame/front end module for the side of the vehicle the lower control arm is being removed from.

dartlowercontrolarm3.jpg

8.Remove the front fascia support beam (1) from the side of vehicle the lower control arm is being removed from.

dartlowercontrolarm4.jpg

9.Remove the front horizontal bolt (1) attaching the lower control arm to the front suspension crossmember.

dartlowercontrolarm5.jpg

10.Remove the nut (1) and rear vertical bolt (2) attaching the lower control arm to the front suspension crossmember.

dartlowercontrolarm6.jpg

11.Remove the lower control arm from the crossmember.



02 - Front Suspension / Front / ARM, Lower Control / Installation

INSTALLATION

1.Install the lower control arm in the front suspension crossmember.

2.Install a NEW rear bolt (2) and NEW nut (1) to attach the lower control arm to the crossmember but do not tighten to specification at this time.

3.Install a NEW front bolt (1) attaching the lower control arm to the crossmember.

4.Lower the vehicle and install a floor jack under the control arm. Raise the jack until the lower control arm is at ride height and tighten the following bolts to the proper (Torque Specifications) :
•Front Lower Control Arm Horizontal Bolt (1).
•Rear Lower Control Arm Vertical Bolt.

5.Raise the vehicle back up to the original position.

6.Install the front fascia support beam (1) that was removed.

7. Install the fasteners (2) securing the lower bumper reinforcement (1) to the frame/front end module for the side of the vehicle the lower control arm was removed from. Tighten the fasteners to the proper (Torque Specifications).

8.Install the crossmember to fascia support beam bracket and install the four retaining bolts (1) and tighten to the proper (Torque Specifications).

9.Install the lower ball joint in the knuckle.

WARNING:
Make sure lower control arm ball joint stud is fully inserted into knuckle before pinch bolt is inserted into knuckle. Only ball joint stud rubber boot should be visible below the knuckle; stud should not be visible. Failure to fully and properly insert ball joint stud could lead to wheel separation and loss of mobility and could result in personal injury and/or death.

10.Install a NEW pinch bolt and NEW nut (3) and tighten to the proper (Torque Specifications) .

11.Install the wheel and tire assembly (Refer to 22 - Tires and Wheels/Installation)

12.Lower the vehicle.

dartfrontsusptorquespecs.jpg

The bolts that say they must be replaced with new bolts are probably torque to yield bolts and should be carefully examined for necking if you decide to reuse them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for getting back at with the info. I'm new at this. I need to clarification. I don't know how to reference the numbers: 02,04. Also, are there any pics I can see so I don't mess up my whip. Lastly, the crossmember comes off or out once the bracket is removed.
 

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Thanks for getting back at with the info. I'm new at this. I need to clarification. I don't know how to reference the numbers: 02,04. Also, are there any pics I can see so I don't mess up my whip. Lastly, the crossmember comes off or out once the bracket is removed.
Also, do you have torque specs on these items. If not where can I find them. Specs for all bolts and nuts removed.
The crossmember does not come off. Are you not seeing the pics? I checked my android phone and my PC and the pics show up fine. The install uses the same pics as the removal just in reverse order.. The torque specs are on the last pic.

Here is the install with pics.
02 - Front Suspension / Front / ARM, Lower Control / Installation

INSTALLATION

1.Install the lower control arm in the front suspension crossmember.

2.Install a NEW rear bolt (2) and NEW nut (1) to attach the lower control arm to the crossmember but do not tighten to specification at this time.

dartlowercontrolarm6.jpg

3.Install a NEW front bolt (1) attaching the lower control arm to the crossmember.

dartlowercontrolarm5.jpg

4.Lower the vehicle and install a floor jack under the control arm. Raise the jack until the lower control arm is at ride height and tighten the following bolts to the proper (Torque Specifications) :
•Front Lower Control Arm Horizontal Bolt (1).
•Rear Lower Control Arm Vertical Bolt.

5.Raise the vehicle back up to the original position.

6.Install the front fascia support beam (1) that was removed.

dartlowercontrolarm4.jpg

7. Install the fasteners (2) securing the lower bumper reinforcement (1) to the frame/front end module for the side of the vehicle the lower control arm was removed from. Tighten the fasteners to the proper (Torque Specifications).

dartlowercontrolarm3.jpg

8.Install the crossmember to fascia support beam bracket and install the four retaining bolts (1) and tighten to the proper (Torque Specifications).

dartlowercontrolarm7.jpg

9.Install the lower ball joint in the knuckle.

WARNING:
Make sure lower control arm ball joint stud is fully inserted into knuckle before pinch bolt is inserted into knuckle. Only ball joint stud rubber boot should be visible below the knuckle; stud should not be visible. Failure to fully and properly insert ball joint stud could lead to wheel separation and loss of mobility and could result in personal injury and/or death.

10.Install a NEW pinch bolt and NEW nut (3) and tighten to the proper (Torque Specifications)

dartlowercontrolarm1.jpg

11.Install the wheel and tire assembly (Refer to 22 - Tires and Wheels/Installation)

12.Lower the vehicle.

dartfrontsusptorquespecs.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm putting on the control arms but damn. Them things r giving a hard time to put on. The rear bushing(with the vertical bolt one) is in. The the front bushing is giving me a headache to slide in. The balljoint isn't in yet though. What do u suggest?


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Suspension components with rubber bushings can be stubborn. Don't be afraid to use a little muscle, prybar, and maybe even a cheater bar on the prybar. It will all go together after all, the previous one fit right?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks man. I really appreciate u taking the time to help me out. That step 4 on install; it's stating to put a jack before putting the balljoint in the knuckle. Confusing. Any comments?


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Step 4 is just to have the horizontal and vertical bolts torqued at ride height. You could estimate that height and just use your floor jack to get it approximate. Step 9 and 10 is where the ball joint stud is installed. It's going to take a pry bar to get the stud in after those bolts are torqued. I have not done this myself on a Dart yet.
A Neon has a similar lower control arm and I have done those several times and the horizontal and vertical bolts are torqued to 120 ft lbs but not at ride height. It does require a pry bar to then get the ball joint stud in. On a Neon, the only thing tightened at ride height is the sway bar bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I managed to put both arms on. It was a project to get them in but once in the rest was smooth. Thanks.


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You are welcome. Glad I could help. Having the right info is essential to be able to do a project like this yourself.
 

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You can email Benny to get the part numbers.
[email protected]

I would stay with oem bolts/nuts. The FSM does say to use NEW bolts/nuts. You will need a nice long pipe to lever out the ball joint stud. Always fun when I try to do this at the junkyard.


The torques are listed here:
dartfrontsusptorques.jpg
 

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You can email Benny to get the part numbers.
[email protected]

I would stay with oem bolts/nuts. The FSM does say to use NEW bolts/nuts. You will need a nice long pipe to lever out the ball joint stud. Always fun when I try to do this at the junkyard.


The torques are listed here:
One more question. How does one detect "play" in the control arm? Jacked up or on the ground, both the left and right side control arms seem rock solid to me, but the reason the shop gave for not being able to do an alignment yesterday was because there is play in the right front control arm. There are no steering issues, no clunking noises, and the car rides as well as it ever has with its brand new tires. I'm 99.999% sure they aren't scamming me, because they recommended that I look at other less expensive options and they were cool when 10 minutes later I said I had already ordered the part and would replace it myself. Plus, they're basically refusing easy money, because they're basically charging an hour's labor for an alignment that likely takes less than half an hour. They don't even need to look up the specs for the Dart, since I left them sitting on the passenger seat. There are no steering issues, no clunking noises, and the car rides as well as it ever has with its brand new tires.

Actually, I have a second question, just to be sure I understand how the ball joint stud is pried out of the knuckle. The pry bar is wedged in between the front crossmember and the front bolt/bushing with the shaft resting on top of the control arm, and then you apply pressure downward toward the ground so that the shaft of the pry bar is pressing down on the top of the control arm. Is that correct? And then I assume you do the reverse to press the new ball joint stud into the knuckle. I'm gonna need a better pry bar, and some steel pipe.
 

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It may be the play they detect is the ball joint because that it is integral to the control arm. It is not a separate part that can be pressed out.
The ball joint stud is almost two inches long. The first inch is easy, the rest almost takes two people leaning on it. Pry on anything that looks solid. There was a you tube on replacing the cv joint axle. See if you can find that.
 
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