OK, what am I doing wrong with the idler arm on my 62 wagon? In the nine years I’ve owned this car, I’ve driven it about 10,000 miles and in that time I think I’ve replaced the idler arm three times. In the course of rebuilding the front end in preparation for taking this car on PowerTour and on to Homecoming, I just found out that the idler is again sloppy. I’ll admit that the bad lower ball joint might be a contributing factor to the premature failures, but is this common? I’ve used an old stock replacement idler (TRW, I believe) and also the replacement brackets and bushings from Kanter and Rare Parts. I’ve used both first design small threads and second design large treads. The new replacement bracket and bushing kit bothers me, since in the interest of reducing production costs, they only use the small threads on the bracket. The kit comes with two bushings, one fits the first design arm with the small hole and one fits the second design arm with the large hole. The fact that GM came out with the second design using a larger diameter thread should tell you that the small thread on the bracket isn’t adequate.
Maybe it’s time to machine one up that uses needle bearings…
Are you talking about the threaded joint where they go together is wearing out or the ball on the end? I have had several of these cars now and not one of them has had any loose steering parts. Not sure if I am just lucky or what. I should have a good used original if you want it.
Yes, the threads that the idler arm pivots on wear out prematurely, allowing the arm itself to slop up and down. It’s apparently the threads on the bracket, as I put a new bushing on the threads of a used bracket and there was still slop. This slop is not present when both parts are new.