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1971datsun521

71 datsun 521 suspension work

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How do I remove the upper and lower control arms on my 71 Datsun 521 and how do I replace the bushings and joints

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You really need to have a mechanical background to work on the 521 front suspension, I have worked on these 320/520/521 trucks for several years and I would never look forward to replacing the lower control arm bushings, they were likely put in by a machine and there they have been for almost 50 years, like some people, they do not like change/to be moved, they are stubborn and will not move till you destroy them, if yours are in-tacked and the arms do not move freely like the rubber is gone I would leave them alone, sometimes getting that bolt out that holds the arms in position is a major issue.

You have to remove the torsion bars first to remove the lower control arms, then you remove the star bolt nut and you then have to remove the star bolt out the back where the torsion bar was, if it will not move then you need to remove the arm on the back of the control arm then try removing the star bolt again, if it still will not move then you need to put that arm onto the star bolt end and try to turn the bolt in the bushing from the rear, if it will not move then you need to find some kind of pipe that will fit over that arm and try harder to turn it, then the only avenue left is to put the nut on the front of that star bolt till the bolt is flush with the nut and start wailing on it and hope it will move/pound out, once the nut touches the bushing then you have to remove it and continue pounding on the end of the star bolt trying not to ruin it, if it gets ruined then you will have to find a replacement.

After the arms are removed then you can see the bushing, I have heard of a lot of ways to remove them, none appeared to be easy and most ways involved drilling, hacksaw blades, a torch or home made mechanical devices of which you need to understand how they work to know exactly what to do.

The lower bushings were put in and never meant to be removed, I expect they expected the truck to be scrapped before they would need replacing, I myself are the only one I know of that destroyed them bushings, but I used my 521 as a work truck and I beat the living shit out of that truck for over 20 years, I put power steering on it, disc brakes on it, and I hauled massive amounts of weight with it, I also extended the frame 24" and this put way more weight on the front when hauling heavy loads like the one in the attached photo.

I had to replace the frame a few years ago because of the extension(rust in the welded area) and the power steering(kept destroying the front frame horn), I did rebuild that a few times but I was not going to fix the rust in the welded areas.

The lower control arm bushings I destroyed, the center metal piece separated from the inner rubber, the photos kinda give you an idea what your talking about removing.

DSCN0393.JPG

DSCN7748.JPG

DSCN7749.JPG

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