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720 pickup front suspension


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So, next up on my list of things to do is my front suspension. I need to replace every bushing, and want to replace ball joints, tie-rods, pretty much everything and start new. i don't think it would be necessary to replace the complete control arms, or the idler arms, since i can just replace the bushings/ball joints and rebuild the idler arms. i have a little rust and a lot of grease on the parts, so cleaning them up is a must and obviously more work.

 

I'm thinking about going with energy suspension for bushings, and leaning towards Rare Parts Inc for other stuff, which coincidentally is out of Stockton, CA not far from me. I've been looking up videos and stuff about replacing suspension parts, and think it shouldn't be too bad. Any advice on brands to go with, upgrades, anything like that?

 

 

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I have just ordered upper and lower ball joints from Rock Auto.  They seem to have a wider selection of vendors than I can get locally.  One of these days I will get a chance to put her on the lift and install them!

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Poly will squeak if not maintained with grease.  It also doesn't have the "return to center" stretch and rebound of a rubber bushing.  I'm not saying don't use them, I'm just saying be aware of side effects.

The front lower control arm bushings in the crossmember are a nightmare.  I've done two sets myself and heard many other horror stories.  I had to burn the bushings out of the main casing, saw the casing with a hack saw, then use a chisel to fold, roll, and punch the casing out of the crossmember.  For that one I now always use polyurethane just because of ease of install and removal, though I still use rubber everywhere else.  Expect those two bushings alone to take 3 hours plus.  If it doesn't, bonus.

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I have done 3 720 complete front end rebuilds.  A 1980 regular cab, a 1985 king cab, and a 1986 king cab.  Used all MOOG rubber parts and happy I did.  These trucks drive and ride like little sports cars.  The hardest part was the lower control arm bushings. On The 1980 chassis I also installed Belltech 2" lowered spindles and 1985 vented rotors and calipers.

 

If you have never done any front end work then read and watch videos of the various aspects of the job.  It is not for someone with no mechanical aptitude.

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18 hours ago, Charlie69 said:

I have done 3 720 complete front end rebuilds.  A 1980 regular cab, a 1985 king cab, and a 1986 king cab.  Used all MOOG rubber parts and happy I did.  These trucks drive and ride like little sports cars.  The hardest part was the lower control arm bushings. On The 1980 chassis I also installed Belltech 2" lowered spindles and 1985 vented rotors and calipers.

 

If you have never done any front end work then read and watch videos of the various aspects of the job.  It is not for someone with no mechanical aptitude.

 

 

On 5/4/2021 at 8:30 AM, Lockleaf said:

Poly will squeak if not maintained with grease.  It also doesn't have the "return to center" stretch and rebound of a rubber bushing.  I'm not saying don't use them, I'm just saying be aware of side effects.

The front lower control arm bushings in the crossmember are a nightmare.  I've done two sets myself and heard many other horror stories.  I had to burn the bushings out of the main casing, saw the casing with a hack saw, then use a chisel to fold, roll, and punch the casing out of the crossmember.  For that one I now always use polyurethane just because of ease of install and removal, though I still use rubber everywhere else.  Expect those two bushings alone to take 3 hours plus.  If it doesn't, bonus.

 

sounds like replacing the control arm with new bushings would probably be a lot easier than fighting taking the old bushings out? hey, 2 control arms for like $100 beats that.

and nah, i have plenty mechanical aptitude lol

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new control arms doesn't fix the problem.  This bushing is not in the control arm.  If it were you could simply use a press. this bushing is built in to the lower front section of the truck.  It is not removeable from the truck.  So you are hosed, no matter what.

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i should post some pics one day, but my ball joints are greasy af, have a build up of crap on them. all bushings are cracked and rotted. my sway bar bushing mount on passenger side is missing a screw so it's hanging down a little and has no bushing in it at all, so it's sway bar clanging against the mount. i'd take a polyurethane squeak over that any day.

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The lower bushings on my 1980 I had to burn out the rubber with a cutting torch and then the outer sleeve was so rusted in I used an air chisel to cut the sleeve into 3 pieces and the was able to air chisel the pieces out 1 at a time.  This literally took hours to do and was really messy.

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