Replacing 97 K1500 Lower Control Arm - any tips?

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by arby, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. arby

    arby Member

    I drove my trusty Chevy into a snowbank the other day that had a guardrail inside it - bent the right lower control arm. Still drives ok but the tire is moved back about 3/4". I got another control arm to put in. Anybody BTDT with good tidbits of advice to offer? Thanks.
  2. arby

    arby Member

    Update - taking the bent control arm off the truck went well at first - bolts came out, torsion bar unloaded, & ball joint separated without drama. But pushing the arm off the torsion bar took more than a 10-ton porta-power could muster. After grinding a couple slots in the arm it finally let go. I went slow with the abrasive disk to keep from heating the bar. The new arm is in place and the tire is moved forward where it should be.
  3. Jamm3r

    Jamm3r Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Wow. Following with interest since I will have to do mine pretty soon.
  4. arby

    arby Member

    I had looked at some videos on youtube but they didn't really cover the hardest parts of the job. The main difference from one truck to another is how rusted-in the torsion bar hex ends are. On mine, the rear end was so locked into the mating part it didn't move at all even with 10 tons pushing on it. It's a good thing I was replacing the control arm anyway - because I had to destroy it to get it off the torsion bar.

    The GM factory manual just says to slide the torsion bar out at both ends after unloading it. Yeah, right. One of the youtube vids showed the bar after it was already out of the cross member. I've read where people have knocked them loose with a big hammer - but mine would never come apart that way. I even had to chain my porta-power to the torsion bar along its length so it wouldn't bow out. Luckily there's room for it in there without disturbing anything else. I have the use of a lift - which is a huge help.

    My truck is a K1500 with welded control arms - not sure if the K2500's are the same - hope yours comes apart easier !

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