Day 9

Posted: July 23, 2010 in Logs
Tags: , ,

I finished the trailing arm replacement.  What a workout!  I think a friend of mine put a hex on the whole process when he said “I’ll bet it’s all rusted together!”

He was right, even though I thought surely he would not be.  I had to cut here and there with the angle grinder and finally got the old U-Bolt off.  That took a few days because I only have an hour or so that I can put towards the project in a day.

At the same time this was going on, I had to find a u-bolt to replace the one I was cutting up.  This was difficult also as none of the auto stores in my area have anything like this.   I lucked out and found a local company that MAKES any size u-bolt you could imagine.  They are also cheap – only about $10 per u-bolt.  I know this because I had to buy three of them.

[Note to self – if you go back in time and return to your first visit to the u-bolt place, ask for a 3/4″ and not a 5/8″.  This will save you some frustration.  The u-bolt is 3/4″ by 9″ by 3 1/2″.  Remember that.   Getting the first bolt the wrong size is just going to upset you.]

[Note to self(2) – When you go back the second time to the u-bolt store to get the 3/4″ u-bolt, make sure you ask for 3 1/2″ bend and not 3″.  If you ask for 3″ bend, you are going to go back.]

Yes, this REALLY happened.   I suspect because I am a moron, but between traffic and talking to people at auto parts stores who said repeatedly, “Surely, it’s 5/8″ and not 3/4″ – that’s just crazy talk!”  The 3 1/2″ to 3″ last minute goof up is just me trying to rush between work and this place and not paying attention.

Anyway – I finally got the trailing arm loose, then removed the emergency brake line and had to cut the bolt off of the spring and then use an air chisel to get the spring loose from the arm.

FINALLY – it came off.  The front bolt under the cab was a lot easier and then I was done.  Next, I just had to reverse the process and put the new one back with all new bolts and my 3 versions of ubolts.   Done!  It looks great.  We drove it around the yard a bit and it didn’t fall off, so I’m confident that part 1 of 3 of my “Inspection Challenge” is complete.

  1. Charlie says:

    Thank you for this posting. My daughter will be changing the trailing arms on her ’66. Thanks to you we’ll have the u-bolts ready before she starts.

    • dewitte says:

      Hi Charlie – Great! I changed my other one this summer. It went a LOT better because I was ready for everything. You need a couple of jacks – one to hold the truck up (I used a jack and a jack stand), and then it’s very helpful to have one to lower the old arm and raise up the new arm. You have to compress the spring and the jack does a great job of this. I had to put extensions on the parking brake cables because for some reason when I attached them to the new arm, they were actually tugging on the brake. The local hardware had bolts and some 1″ poly spacers that did the trick.

      • Charlie says:

        Katie finished the trailing arms just fine. Cutting the old u-bolts off was the hardest part. Having new u-bolts ready was key, thanks again. She also replaced the trailing arm bushings and then painted everything with POR15. Now she’s starting on the front end. We’re thinking of swapping in a crossmember from an 80’s 3/4 ton suburban to get the disk brakes and power steering.

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