Brothers Trucks 1963-1972 Tubular Upper Control Arm Installation

03/01/2016

Brothers Trucks 1963-1972 Tubular Upper Control Arm Installation

03/01/2016

Brothers new tubular control arms for the ’63-’72 GM trucks were designed 3/8″-inch longer than stock to correct the camber adjustment on lowered trucks. They come with new cross shafts, ready to installed.

With the truck on a lift and the front wheels removed, a jack was placed under the lower control arm. The castle nut for the upper ball joint was removed and the spindle was smacked with a hammer to break it loose.

With the stock control arm up and out of the way, the two lock nuts that hold the cross shaft to the frame were removed. The arm was removed, and the plethora of thick shims fell to the floor.

In this comparison shot you can clearly see four things: the tubular control arm is slightly longer than the stocker; the angle that the ball joint mounts is corrected so it will be true to the spindle; the ball joint location is moved back on the arm slightly to add caster; and the tubular arms look a lot cooler than stamped steel ones.

A better angle of the stock control arm shows just how bad the ball-joint angle can get on an extremely lowered application (the hole in the spindle is vertical).

With the arm out of the way, the frame studs and mounting areas were cleaned and lubricated.

Brothers also offers these shorter spacers that fit between the cross shaft and the frame. Using them will add an extra 1/8-inch of adjustability to the arms if your truck is only slightly lowered or was running minimal shims to begin with.

Before the tubular arm was installed, the flange of the crossmember was trimmed back slightly for added clearance. Then the spacers were slid back into place.

New ball joints were then bolted to the arms with new hardware.

The new arm was then fit over the studs and double-checked for clearance against the frame.

Based on the shims that were on each stud with the stock arm, we subtracted significantly but kept the approximate ratio. In other words, this side started with about 1/4 and 3/8, and we ended up with 1/16 and 1/8. Then we set the vehicle down and held a level vertically to the outside edge of the wheel. This is a glorified version of “eyeballing it,” but it will get you down the road and to your appointment at the alignment shop.

With our guestimate number of shims installed, we torqued down the new nuts to spec.

Now the ball joint could be dropped into the spindle and locked down with a new cotter pin.

Before dropping the vehicle down, we hit the three new fittings with the grease gun.

With the airbags completely deflated, I got this shot of the newly corrected ball-joint angle. Notice how true the arm and spindle are in relation to each other.

There it is: significantly better suspension geometry in a couple hours, and an air bagged truck that will align at ride height with no hassles. I’d say this was a morning well spent.

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