Upper control arm rebuild - bolt or rivet ball joint

Rebuilding the suspension on my 68 - parts are all solid and in good shape. Thought I had factory upper control arms setup but from reading posts here and on other forums it sounds like the factory UCA ball joint was riveted. Mine have 4 bolts which tells me the arms may be original but the ball joints were probably replaced at some point. The ball joints I have now are in very good condition. Is it possible (or worth it) to have the ball joints re-riveted for a factory appearance?

Hmmmm. Mine sure looked to be original and they were bolted in. The replacements were bolts while the lowers are not, and require a LCA swap.

My UCA’s also looked original and were bolted in, I wish my LCA’s were bolted in :frowning: .

We’ll I was convinced the uppers were original with bolts too (shop manual exploded diagram shows bolts but hard to know if that is for factory or service parts). The shaft seemed original also (with the o-ring), although it was warn and needs to be replaced. I just found more references in the forums to factory UCA ball joints being riveted. If anyone knows for sure that would be great. Maybe we all DO have originals.

I have seen since posting where some guys have drilled out the rivets on the LCAs to replace the ball joint and had it riveted back in place. But the cost to replace the arm is probably a wash vs going that route. Also one guy said the joint was good and he was able to work the boot out from under the retainer and work a new one in so he didn’t have to replace the whole arm.

My 1968 J Code has 4 bolt ball joints in the upper control arms.



I just happened to be working on the steering on my 68 this afternoon and wondered the same thing- ie whether bolts instead of rivets meant that my upper ball joints had been replaced. They sure look original, but I suppose the car is old enough where even the “new” parts would look old and crusty.

They were riveted originally.