Posted on: March 30, 2009

by Burtis S. Homer

A potentially dangerous condition has come to my attention on two occasions. It is quite probable that this defect exists on other cars also. A thick steel ring into which the upper ball joints are pressed had broken away from the stamped steel portion of the upper A-arm. This ring is only spot-welded on originally. This ring should be welded on as completely as possible, front and rear. This can be done on the car by freeing the upper ball joint from the stub axle carrier and pushing up as far as possible. Also, the flat wire upper ball joint retainer has been found to be missing on some cars. This can lead to the ball joint coming free of the control arms. This wire retainer can be replaced with a 175 outside snap ring, which is much better.

Comments (1)

The first and original publication of the warning of potential failure and recommended prevention / repair of the upper control arm ball joint mounting ring appeared in the July / August, 1978 Tigers East / Alpines East newsletter, page 21. The UNITED WE STAND ISSUE. The material was presented as an addendum to the Rootes Service Bulletin # 64 -12, dated November, 1964. The addendum included a detail of the area of concern and the location of the needed re-enforcement. This tip was provided by the at that time President of the club and co-founder, Joe Mazzei
Additionally, while performing this task, it is suggested that time be taken to provide re-enforcement to the upper shock absorber mounting brackets as they also have been known to fail. Tri-angular brackets should be fabricated and welded in as well as re-welding the original mount itself. This is most needed when using HD shocks . IE, Koni, KYB, Gabrial etc. This was also shown in a Tech Tip in the newsletter by the same author. Added info may be available from those who race Tigers & Alpines. Perhaps Doug Jennings at White Tiger Racing.
Whilst fondling the front-end bits look at the sway-bar mounting bracket slots in the lower control arms. The use of Urethane bushing and or a larger than stock bar can lead to the bracket tearing out the slot in the upper lip of the a-arm. Re-enforcement is highly recommended. Keep im mind that these are not a failure in engineering but of using the vehicles in a manner for which they were not originally intended and that the increased stresses of Hi-Performance use must be addressed with care and fore-thought. To quote the folks at Abbington, “Safety Fast”. Hardly a problem for them.
This summer will mark 40 years since we first got together at Bernie Hauges in Phildelphia and decided that creating a support group of some kind was a great idea. Happy Anniversity. The web site looks great, Kudos *)

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