Imperial Homepage -> Repair -> Suspension -> Lower Control Arms
What to buy when replacing lower control arms.
The Kantor stuff is good, if a bit pricey. Check the website for alternative sources. I think NAPA has the ball joints and the upper control arm bushings, at the very least. Steve suggested polyurethane bushings, and I agree, they really tighten up the handling on these big cars. But you don't want them everywhere... When I did my '63, about five years ago, you couldn't get the lower control arms in polyurethane. (In fact, I was barely able to find these bushings at all!) But polys for the upper control arms are no problem. They're the same as used on A-bodies!! (Darts, Valliant's) Which may help explain why they usually don't last much past 85,000 miles on an Imperial.... Polyurethane bushings are often only available in some wild colors, like yellow, lime green or orange, so a lot of people don't use them because they look funny. But I was able to get a set in charcoal gray/black. They were impregnated with graphite, so not only were they close to the correct color, but it was impossible for them to ever squeak, as the graphite acts like a lubricant! Add to that the poly's longevity, improved handling and oil-proof characteristics, and I figured I couldn't go wrong with 'em. I wouldn't recommend polyurethane's for every joint, though. My brother tried this on my dad's '67 LeBaron, and it just rode too harshly. (He even had them on the anti-sway bar, causing a crack on the lower control arm where the links bolt on. Hmm.... I've just contradicted my earlier post!) So, we decided that for upper control arm bushings, the point where the anti-sway bar bolts on to the frame, and <maybe> lower control arm bushings, the polys were a good idea. For the anti-sway bar links, the shock mounts and the locating strut bushings, stick with the rubber.
Question from Bob:
My lower ball joint broke on the passenger side of my 64 convertible. Bang. Looks like I'll have to replace the control arm. I do my own work and was able to get the rest of the wheel off the car, upper control arm, spindle, and brake hub still together, also to get the sway bar loose. The shock absorber was a casualty and came apart and is out now, so I only have to get the torsion bar out of the way. I'm going to need help with locating parts. Will the arm of a 65 New Yorker be the same?
I referenced my parts book and found the following:
1962 New Yorker & Imperial
The above models use the same lower control arm and ball joint configuration. Chrysler was the first to change the lower control arm to the front torsion bar adjustment, and Imperial followed later on. There are still quite a few of these parts available in salvage yards. Plan on changing the lower control arm bushings on both sides when you replace the damaged unit.
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