View Full Version : need advice renewing front lower A-arm

10-27-2010, 04:30 PM
I am planning to rebuild my front lower A-arms as a winter project after I put my bugeye to bed for the winter. I have two questions. Can I "sweat" the old threaded inserts off of the A-arms using a bottle gas torch, or will I have to use the hotter flame of an oxy/acetylene torch to melt the brazing? Once I get the old threaded inserts off should I braze the new ones back on or can I mix up a big batch of JB weld and use that?
Any advice, opinions or even WA Guesses welcomed.

10-27-2010, 04:36 PM
Hi James, gotta be brazed, I'm told they were silver soldered. No JB Weld for that joint.

10-27-2010, 04:38 PM
The whole front end rests on that joint, it has to be a good one.

10-27-2010, 04:39 PM
Those come out? You can change them?

10-27-2010, 04:42 PM
Yep, but it needs to be done by a professional. There are a few around that can/will do it but I forget who. I like the new Heratage ones.

10-27-2010, 04:44 PM
I like the new Heratage ones.

I'm with ya on that. Where can you get the inserts from? Can't you just weld 'em in?

10-27-2010, 04:46 PM
Kelly, someone else is going to have to follow up on this I just don't remember.

10-27-2010, 05:21 PM
I have heard that Apple hyd has the inserts? Yes they come out and can be brazed in. you will need a lower pin to do this as the threads in the two cups must be positioned "In time" with each other.

I have done mine and have had no problems with them.


10-27-2010, 06:51 PM
You can try Bob Forsblom 614-278-8153 He took over Eric Jone's Riverside garage in Delaware, Ohio. They rebuild a-arms and a lot of other items for BEs and Midgets, you will be happy with their product.


10-27-2010, 09:52 PM
Mark, do you have any idea on price?

10-27-2010, 11:08 PM
No welding on any A arms. They sweat in and out and it can be done with a map gas torch but you need to be ready, organized and clean. It been a few years but I got my inserts from apple hydraulics and it was not very expensive. Sweat one side in and then use an old fulcrum pin as a guide and install the other side so it all lines up. I used some of my best silver solder for mine. It does not take much.

10-28-2010, 08:19 AM
I had my a-arms rebuilt by Apple Hydraulics. The PO had driven my car to the point where one side was frozen, and it had worn through the inserts, so it was a little more involved in putting new inserts in. Apple did a great job. It cost me $75 a piece not including shipping, but it could be a lot cheaper for what you want done. I know they sell parts too, but I was just not confident enough to work on these pieces since they are so critical for the suspension. You can email them and they always have gotten back to me within 24 hours.

10-28-2010, 08:37 AM
Thanks for all the good information. I probably won't get started on project until after the holidays. I'll keep you posted on results.

10-28-2010, 06:21 PM
I think he was around $100 with a core ea
His are nice and they put in a zerk fitting on the closed end. Give Bob a call real nice guy.


10-28-2010, 08:42 PM
Did it myself with parts, I think, from Winners Circle. Sweated the old ones out, fitted new with a good trunnion screw to hold them in alinement. Needed the use of a die grinder to touch up the holes. I brazed them in. If you are planning on keeping the car I suggest drilling and tapping the blind end for a grease zerk and driving a mild steel pin into the trunnion screw. Then you can grease each end and be sure it gets where it is needed.


10-29-2010, 06:27 AM
If you weld them in then you can't unweld them back out again next time they need re-doing.

I case you don't understand why, welding melts the base metal, brazing only melts the rod hence it can be melted again to get the inserts out - the same as soldering but at a higher temperature.

10-29-2010, 08:24 AM
Let me ask the question that has not been raised. James, why do you want to replace the inserts when the parts that typically wear are the kingpin which is made of a different material than the fulcrum pin. I could see doing it if the kingpin was frozen to the fulcrum pin and the fulcrum pin was rotating in the wishbone rather than the kingpin on the fulcrum pin. Other than that the wear item I've been told is indeed the kingpin.

And if one side is worn that way chances are the otehr side is worn that way as well. I was quoted $150 for a wishbone spring pan with fulcrum pin. For the diffrrence and trouble and the fact that the entire front end rests on this joint I'm thinking replace. You will still need to put in and ream a new kingpin to fit. Plan would be to go with a mpajor suspension kit which includes kingpins and everything that wears out, have kingpins reamed and fitted, and put everything back together.

10-29-2010, 08:28 AM
Over the winter my plans are to pull apart, I've been quoted $25 a side to drill out old fulcrum pits and clean up threads by one of the suppliers on this list. I'll purchase new major suspension kit through them and have kingpins reamed to fit. All told with shipping and unless one of my wishbones is crakced and I need to purchase another cost will be between $350-$400 to completely renew the front end.

Yes I can find parts to renew the wishbones but it really comes down to a safety thing. Go new if you can. Again YMMV and some may have other opinions.

10-29-2010, 09:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]why do you want to replace the inserts when the parts that typically wear are the kingpin which is made of a different material than the fulcrum pin.[/QUOTE]

I disagree with this statement strongly. I once had an opportunity to go through a large pile of used a-arms once, and the inserts were wrecked on every single one.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]I could see doing it if the kingpin was frozen to the fulcrum pin and the fulcrum pin was rotating in the wishbone[/QUOTE]

Actually, that is exactly how the suspension is designed to work and that is one reason why the fulcrum pins and inserts wear out.

If you have more money than time... your plan is definitely the way to go Jim. But you are only paying someone else to do exactly what everyone is suggesting in this thread. When you send your a-arms out, they will clean them, R&amp;R the inserts and replace the fulcrum pin. The only part of the job that is not easy to do at home is the reaming of the king pin bearings. I would argue that 9 times out of 10, it is not necessary to replace the king pin bearings... but I know that argument will be quickly shouted down by the rest of the guys on the forum :wink:

10-29-2010, 10:03 AM
OK since I have not done before Morris any good tips on getting the old fulcrum pins out. Thought was dunk them in the good old electrolytic rust remover tank for a day or two and then try to take them apart. I'm happy to try and do this myself and avoid sending them out. I just want to get rid ofthe CLUNK every time I hit a sewer lid and the wandering from end above 60 mph.

10-29-2010, 11:14 AM
Question, Does the MOSS Major Suspension Kit include a pair of Kingpins. Part Labled #4 shows as N/A but catalog seems to indicate that a pair is included as part of the Major Suspension Kit. Can anyone provide a quick answer?

10-29-2010, 12:02 PM
I think Moss list's the parts that way because you will almost always need the works.
I agree completely with Morris. My experience has been the same. The quality of the kingpins is'nt what it used to be unfortunatly and if yours are not to badly worn I would avoid replacing them if you can. Then, of course, you have one heck of a job to remove the trunnion from the kingpin. Careful torch work in my experience may do it. I fitted some NOS pins to a swivel axle with good bushs and on one set new pins and one replaced bush that was hand scraped with prussion blue transfer pigment to fit.


10-29-2010, 12:15 PM
Kurt, I'm guessingthe need for the reamer comes from needing to really get a precise fit for the Kingpin if the casting comes in slightly undersize. This is after all a bearing surface that needs to be pretty close, well at least initially till this wear.

How tough was it to get the fulcrum pin out, that is my main concern. I hear most of the time these things are pretty much rusted in place hence my idea of dropping it in the Electrolytic Rust Removal Tank and letting it cook there for several days. Anyone tried that?

After that PB Blaster or the alternative "Weazel P_ss"and heat. I guess one never knows until you get it apart.

10-29-2010, 03:01 PM

I was not trying to discourage you from sending yours out to be rebuilt. It's a good way to go if you can afford it.

BUT, if you do want to do it yourself, I would first see if the fulcrum pins don't come out easily. That was the case on one of my pins. The other was stuck like glue. If you have a stuck fulcrum pin, carefully cut the fulcrum pin on either side of the king pin using either a sawzall or cut off wheel, then sweat out the old threaded fittings on the a-arm pin ends and all... and throw them in the trash.

The piece of the fulcrum pin that is still in the the king pin will probably come out without too much fuss, especially if your fulcrum pin was frozen in the fittings.

10-29-2010, 04:43 PM
Cool thanks Morris

10-29-2010, 05:06 PM
Back about 30 years ago I heard of several folks replacing the threaded bushings with 9/16" ID smooth bushings (same size as the trunnion pin hole) and putting a shoulder bolt in there instead of the threaded pin. These were Socal racers and I haven't heard of anyone else doing it for a longtime.
Any comments?

10-29-2010, 07:00 PM
Fulcrum pins are best removed with a sawzall. two cuts one each side of the king pin. This I stole from Tony who swore by it.

10-29-2010, 08:20 PM
outers cut ez- inners on the other hand.....


10-29-2010, 10:36 PM
I guess I always assumed they were to hard to cut easily with any kind of a saw with teeth. I used replacement king pins so sacrificed the originals along with the trunnion by use of the good ol flame wrench. Cut off wheel on a die grinder I would think would work fine. If you could carefully drill out the wedge pin that holds the trunnion and king pin together after the trunnion is cut I would think you could drive or press the two apart.
Why the factory came up with the necessity of reaming I can't guess. I suppose so that the job would be guaranteed not to leave any binding when the customer turned. Considering that MGA's, T serie's, and others used a screw for a kingpin I would'nt think it all that critical.
First of all, Jim, better find out exactly where all the play is.


10-30-2010, 09:45 AM
Thanks all and thanks James the Elder for allowing me to hijack your original thread. For those who don't know James hte Elder and I both share the same first and last names and we both own a Sprite and yet we are not related. This thread allowed me to clarify lots of questions I've had on renewing my front suspension that I had never been able to find answers for. Order goes in this am for a Major Suspension Kit. I've been wanting to do this for the last 7-8 years anytime I get Bugsy up over 70 mph it's been lots of focus and concentration to drive him. Always fighting steering corrections so will be very interesting to see the results.

11-01-2010, 02:25 PM
Lots of PB Blaster and heat will also get them out. Lots of work to.


11-02-2010, 09:19 AM
Major Suspension Kit is supposed to be in today for Bugsy. I'm spoiled having a Moss Dealer and Spridget /LBC Garage 7 miles away. I know what I going to do this weekend :smile: