Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Suspension -> Upper Control Arms
Question from Gary:
I have a query for the technically minded out there, my 63 imperial is in need of new upper control arm bushes and on inspection I found that they look like the "A" body small type, are they in fact the same or do I have to hunt down a set specifically for imperial? If not which years and model of cars had the same bush? With this info I can hunt around the local stores quoting the numbers/cars, let me know, thanks, regards,
The upper control bushings ARE, indeed, the same in the Imperial as were used in the A bodies! Unbelievable, when you think about it. The same bushing that was adequate for Chrysler's smallest American cars were used in their largest and heaviest. No wonder we're lucky to get 80,000 miles out of our front ends! I would STRONGLY recommend you get poly-urethane bushings for this > application. I did this on the '63 Imperial Crown I had, because: 1. They'll last forever; 2. They greatly improve handling without sacrificing the ride; and 3. They're relatively easy to come by, as performance modifications for A body suspensions are a popular upgrade. I know some people object to the often wild colors (yellow, orange, green) the poly urethane bushings are available in, but when I did my '63, I was able to find them in a charcoal gray/black that looked just fine. A big plus for the charcoal ones is that graphite is used to color them, which means they have built-in lubrication! I used the bushings specified for a 71 Dodge Dart from Performance Suspension.
Follow-up from Gary:
I've been doing a lot more research on this and found a parts interchange manual for 1963, the part no. for the Imp Upper control bushes appears to be different to the A-body, a local Chrysler specialist explained to me that the 62-76? is different, only slightly, to the platform used for the imperial and some dodges used before 60, now, he also says that you can press the A-body ones in but there is a chance that the control arm will split, I've already tried to press in the A-body bushes and found I was damaging the bush trying to get it in, I've ordered in supposed correct bushes which I should get in a couple of days, will keep you posted.
With the bit about the b & c body part numbers being different, the c-body bushes are substantially larger than the b-body ones, also you will find that the a-body, e-body and b-body (up to '72) share the same bushes.
These are listed on the Imperial Part Numbers page.
1960-66 Upper 260-1048 Lower 260-1048 Threaded 1959-66 Upper 267-1171 2 Lower 67-3174
What year A-bodies were the parts you were looking for supposed to fit? And was it the outside or inside diameter that was different? The A bodies went through a major restyle for '67. Perhaps you need the ones to fit a '63 to '66? Otherwise, you might want to see if you can use the ones for the C- or B-bodies of the '66-'71 era. I see that NAPA shows different part numbers for each of those applications. One thing is that with polyurethane (should you go that route), it's more critical to get the proper length than diameter. As I remember, Performance Suspension sells a single bushing that covers a wide range of applications. A 16th of an inch larger outside diameter is not that big of a deal. (Works out to 1/32nds of an inch at either side.)
Question from Gregg:
Does anyone know if its possible to replace upper control arm bushings on a 70 C body or Imperial without having to re-align the car or take off the upper ball joint? In other words, can this be done in a drive way with mostly normal tools?
In a word, No.
These bushings are a heavy press fit. You will need to remove the upper control arm (remove the ball joint and bolts with the cam washers that go through the bushings) then press them out. You can drive them out with a hammer and a driver but be sure to back up the control arm so you don't damage it. It is best to press them out. Lots of work but you will have a different car when you are through.
When I drove in the very heat of this day I always heard the torsion bars moaning. What might be the reason? Lack of grease?
Reply from Brett:
Your front suspension problem is most likely upper or lower control arm bushings. When they begin to wear out the front of the car groans and squeaks when driving. Grease may temporarily quiet the front end, but eventually you will need to replace the bushings.
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