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T-Arms for a 69


Well-known member
Jun 20, 2001
Valrico, Fl.
1969 Triple Black Convertible: 2014 Crys Red Conv
I'm having to pull the trailing arms to have the wheel bearings replaced. The good news is Van steel is just a short distance away and they'll be doing that part. The problem is getting them out!! It appears that none of this stuff has ever been touched. Question? The bolt that holds the arm to the frame (where the shims are), does that have to be backed out (is it threaded in)? Or can it be knocked out?? This is lot's of fun (tongue in cheek). 1 bruised wrist, 2 slightly hurt fingers, 1 mind wondering what's he doing!
There is no thread in the frame. On the inside there's a castle nut, if you take it off you can drive the pin out. It'd probably be easier to clamp a visegrip on the bolt head (outside) and pull while someone else holds the trailing arm up (so it doesn't hang on the bolt)

When you have it out NOTE how many shims there are on each side The shims are secured in the fram w/ a long cotter pin.

Thanks, that's just what I needed to know. I'll be working on it tonight.
T-Arm Removal

When I pulled mine about a month ago. I found it nearly impossible to pull the arm until I removed the cotter pins holding the shims in place. After 20 years or so, it was all pretty much rusted together.

Also, when I removed the cotter pin for the shims, everything started moving, but I had to pull the bolts all the way out. The vise grip is the only way to go.

A good way to keep the shims together is to zip-tie them together once the cotter pin hole clears the frame, then just label them inboard and outboard for each side.

Good luck!

Plenty of Penetrene (WD-40) and just punch them out with a long solid drift. I guess I was fortunate in that mine came out relatively easily compared to some of the horror stories I've read.
Good luck.
Just sprayed everthing down with PB Blaster. I've used this stuff in the past and it'll get anything free. I am hoping I don't have to remove the cotter pins first. It would be nice to have it come out together. One problem I see, is on the passenger side I've got the fuel lines running almost in front of the bolt. I don't have any room for the vise grips in there, so I'll have to think that one out. Thanks for all the feedback. This is what makes this the BEST WEBSITE!!! I'll keep everyone posted.

Rick...One of the best tips I saw was from Van Steel. They placed a 9/16"socket between the TA and the lower frame so that there was no load on the TA bolt. If you're banging away under there you might want to tape the socket in place onto the TA.
I neither used vise grips nor did I have any one helping so they served no purpose for me. With the force of some of the blows I used I wouldn't like anyone under the car anyhow.
Trouble: It looks like niether of the bolts are going to come out. I'm leaning toward the saws-all. I haven't figured out how to disconnect the parking brake cable from the t-arm. The small slot is not large enough to slide to shield out. I can't figure out how to get the small cable out thru the slot either.
Update: 1 hurt wrist, 4 hurting fingers, and 1 mind still wondering what is he doing!!

It's a miserable job. First, hope you have the rear spring disconnected from both T arms to remove the "torque" force. Try to pull the shims out. If you can't use a die grinder (air powered) and grind them out. This will give you access to the part of the bolt protruding on both sides of the T arm. With all "torque" removed from the T arm, try to remove the bolt. Often they are "frozen" within the bushing and you can't push it out. If that's the case, you'll have to cut the bolt on both sides using either a Sawzall, or a die grinder. I personally like the die grinder. Take your time. You will spend HOURS getting just one bolt out. You're not alone. "Been there, done that" myself on several occasions. As far as the parking brake, release the pressure by loosening the adjustment nut under the car. Push the "lever" forward. The "ball" should slide out. This is the very reason why most shops will not quote a fixed price for a rear alignment on a Corvette. You can spend hours, even days getting the bolts out, or even loose enough to change the shims around. Chuck
I dreaded the thought of removing the trailing arms from my Corvette, I know what you are going through. But when I had completed the job, I was very proud of my family heritage. You will too. It is a $#@! of a job ! I like to read a lot of books and seek as much info on a job first, it sort of scares of all the demons. But you still don't get the job done till you roll up yer sleeves, get the tools out and mash your hands a few times. It is all part and parcel of taking on the unknown. Having said this, What I found when removing The Trailing Arms was, remove everything possible from them first. Spring, shock absorber, strut rod and brake caliper etc . Become intimate with a lubricant like WD40 or something. Get it right into that trailing arm and bush bolt. Work the trailing arm up and down and try to rotate the bolt using (I think) a 5/8 spanner. Leave it for a night or so, use that penetrating fluid, it does get in. Show no mercy to that bolt, use a drift, I used a piece of flexible steel. Ithink it is called spring steel. I got it from a model train shop, it is used for the little train axles, about 1/4 inch round. It bends around the wheel arch nice. ( It's also good for door lock shafts!)
Anyhow, best of luck,
Dave M
Some good news: One of the bolts has come free. Still working on the other side. I was also able to get the parking brake cable free with a little help from a friend. It needed a little extra (shall I say "help") to get it free.
Thanks for all the help, I hope to have them off by tomorrow night (I hope, I hope, I hope).

GOOD NEWS! Both arms are completely out! Going to Van Steel tomorrow afternoon.
Thanks for everyone's help.

Great work Rick. I wish I was back there at Van Steel myself. Art gave us a tour of the place when Scott81 and I were there a while ago. If only we had places like that over here. Oh well.

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