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Thread: Upper control arm install

  1. #1
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

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    Upper control arm install

    I'm trying to install my upper control arms, but upon inspection they don't seem to be symmetrical. Is there a specific arm for a specific side or?

    Also, both of my frames had the small "snub washer" jammed between the upper arm's bushing and the frame, 2 washers on the back side bushing/frame and one on the front side/bushing. I look at the book and it says it is supposed to be the large washer on either side of the bushing. I can't fit 2 large washers between them, one on each side there is not enough clearance, does it mean my arms are bent in due to having the snub washers?

    I'm just trying to do it right. Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Dan B.
    -----Dan B.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DMC-81's Avatar
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    Hi Dan,

    Here are pics of my Left (masked for painting) and Right (painted) UCA's if that helps any. I took one side off at a time so I didn't compare them. As for the washers, the large washers go on the outside, next to the head of the bolt and the nut, and the small snub washers go inside between the inner bushing and the frame. On my car, there was only 1 snub washer on each side. I don't know if they are supposed to act like a shim? If so, maybe that's why yours has 2 in the back?

    Left UCA.jpgRight UCA.jpg
    Last edited by DMC-81; 02-03-2015 at 08:20 PM.
    Dana

    1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (5 Speed, Gas Flap, Black Interior, Windshield Antenna, Dark Gray)
    Restored as "mostly correct, but with flaws corrected". Pictures and comments of my restoration are in the albums section on my profile.
    2006 Dodge Magnum R/T (D/D)
    2010 Camaro SS (Transformers Edition)

  3. #3
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
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    Location:  Crystal Lake IL

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    The two arms are the same. There is only one part number. Any chance you dropped one?
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
    dswingle@DeLorean.com

  4. #4
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    Dana - thanks for the pictures, that is a great help. Now, do the arms get 2 stub washers per bushing/frame connection or 1 each?

    Dave - I personally have not dropped the arms, but they have a long history. They are early arms, from frame #308, attached to vin #712. I knew they had the same part number but I still thought I should ask. The difference in question is that tab of steel on the inside portions, one tab is longer than the other. Picture to indicate what I mean:

    arms1.jpg
    -----Dan B.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DMC-81's Avatar
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    On my car, there was only 1 snub washer on each side (front and back, so 2 per arm). I don't know if they are supposed to act like a shim? If so, maybe that's why yours has 2 in the back?
    Last edited by DMC-81; 02-03-2015 at 09:38 PM.
    Dana

    1981 DeLorean DMC-12 (5 Speed, Gas Flap, Black Interior, Windshield Antenna, Dark Gray)
    Restored as "mostly correct, but with flaws corrected". Pictures and comments of my restoration are in the albums section on my profile.
    2006 Dodge Magnum R/T (D/D)
    2010 Camaro SS (Transformers Edition)

  6. #6
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
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    Location:  Crystal Lake IL

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    Quote Originally Posted by dn010 View Post
    Dana - thanks for the pictures, that is a great help. Now, do the arms get 2 stub washers per bushing/frame connection or 1 each?

    Dave - I personally have not dropped the arms, but they have a long history. They are early arms, from frame #308, attached to vin #712. I knew they had the same part number but I still thought I should ask. The difference in question is that tab of steel on the inside portions, one tab is longer than the other. Picture to indicate what I mean:

    arms1.jpg
    Hard to tell from a photo but I'll bet that arm is bent.
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
    dswingle@DeLorean.com

  7. #7
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

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    Both my arms look like this, with one side the tab being longer than the other side's tab of steel sticking out so unless they are both bent the same together, it seems like they were made this way... I'll post a few more pictures of it tonight. In case it isn't clear, I am talking about that piece of metal that is bent out in the picture right where the arrows are pointing, not the actual arm lengths themselves.
    Last edited by dn010; 02-04-2015 at 08:54 AM.
    -----Dan B.

  8. #8
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
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    NOS arms are symmetrical. Side by side and one over the other. Those flanges probably don't matter but the arms should not be bent or asymmetrical in any way:

    upperarms (1).jpg

    upperarms (2).jpg


    Probably a production variance, but be sure that you can lay one over the other centered at the mount bolt and have the ball joint mount in the same relationship. Or your caster will be off.
    Last edited by DMCMW Dave; 02-04-2015 at 09:30 AM.
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
    dswingle@DeLorean.com

  9. #9
    Member hippieman9's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jan 2018

    Location:  Haw River, NC

    Posts:    77

    My VIN:    06668 81' Grey interior, 5 speed, Grooved hood. Previous owner of 16301, in 2001.

    I have had the same question about the snub washers. When I took my Upper control arm off I had 2 snub washers on either side of the control arm. Looking at the parts manual it looks as if you’re suppose to have the large flat washer on the outside, snub washer, control arm, snub washer, frame, snub washer, control arm, snub washer , large washer, nut.
    Mine was large washer, control arm, 2 snub washers, frame, 2 snub washers, control arm, large washer, nut.
    So what is right?

  10. #10
    Smurfy Member axh174's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

    Location:  Northeast USA

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    My VIN:    2234

    I'll throw another data point into the mix. I just swapped out my original upper control arms for a set of new old-stock arms from DMCH. My old upper arms have the asymmetric interior metal tabs, just like Dan's. There was 1 snub washer on either side of the pivot bolt bushing (on both the front and back) on both the passenger and driver sides.

    So on 2234, the setup was large washer, snub washer, control arm, snub washer, frame, snub washer, control arm, snub washer, large washer.

    -Kevin
    VIN2234
    1 + 1 = 3 for exceptionally large values of 1.

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