Archive for the ‘Suspension’ Category

Sway bar and Diff Cover

Monday, August 10th, 2015

The reassembly of the pinion seal seemed to be without issue.  Time will tell if the pinion bearings were loaded correctly since the correct way to preload the bearings is without the guts installed. While the car was on jack stands and the old stamped steel diff cover was off I decided to add a Moser aluminum cover.    It also felt like a good time to upgrade the rear sway bar.  The new piece is from Pro-touringf-body.  The assembly is very straight forward.  The new piece is 7/8″ compared to the factor 3/4″ diameter. One other key difference is that the new sway bar is adjustable.  The pictured location is a fair compromise between the diff cover and muffler.  I’ll attempt to move the muffler back some in order to also get the sway bar further rearward which will reduce the stiffness.  Where the bar sits now leaves a moment arm of 1/2″ less than stock.  With the added diameter this may be too stiff with a factory front bar.  U-bolts were left long because I’m almost certain that an additional 1 to 1.5″  lowering blocks will be needed.

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Lowering Spring

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

It’s been a while since my last post.  I wanted to enjoy the car some before jumping into any more projects.  The back end of the car is sitting way to high so I finally bought 2″ lowering springs through Detroit Speed to drop the rear.  The first picture is the height with the stock springs.  DSE claims the new springs will lower the car 2″ from ‘factory ride height’ and that the drop will only amount to about 1″ when replacing 30+ year old springs.

The spring pack is almost right at 5/16″ thicker than the stock springs.  In the leaf spring comparison picture you can see the spring with the thinner shim is the stock spring.  I bought a universal u-bolt kit through Speedway Motors and drilled out all of the holes in the shock plate and spring perch to accept the 1/2″ diameter bolts. I machined some spacers out of aluminum to make up the difference such that the bottom shock plate will bottom out against the spring perch as it does with the factory setup.

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Image 1 is before spring replacement, image 2 is just after installation, image 3 is after a 15 mile test drive.  As you can see I ended up about 1/8″ above where I started with my old springs.  Perhaps the setup will settle a bit more but probably not much.  I would recommend DSE’s 3″ drop for anyone trying to get some amount of drop.  I’ll install the lowering blocks that came with the u-bolts for an inch of drop.

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Global West Subframe Connectors

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

As promised the Global West subframe connectors were installed this week.  I must say that the fit is absolutely superb.  I was extremely pleased with how tight to the floor pan they are.  Another advantage is that these connectors require no modification to the floor pan as most do.  In fact the only modification that was needed was a very small notch in the subframe connector’s rear flange due to an interference with a brake line bracket.  Though slightly more expensive than most, I can assure you the extra expense is definitely worth it.   The instructions recommended to use the supplied flat bar stock to box in the rear of the connector after the connectors have been welded in place.   It was decided that notching the top of the plate to fit around the frame rail while the connectors were only held in place would be easier.  This means some of the welding could be done off of the car.  Per instruction, four 1/2″ clearance holes had to be drilled in the front of the connectors through the frame rails.  Each subframe connector requires two 1/2″ bolts be installed for extra stiffness. The connectors will be reinstalled and welded around the entire box next week.

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Steering Wheel Lock

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Since the stock automatic transmission is being replaced with a Tremec TKO five speed, the shift mechanism on the steering column must be tweaked a little. Since there will be no linkage between the transmission and steering lock lever, a coupling was welded to the steering column to prevent the lever from moving. It wouldn’t be more than a nuisance if this lever moved, however the key could not be removed from the ignition until the lever was returned to the “park” position. This setup does pose a bit of a safety hazard which may be addressed in the future. The automatic must be in park in order to lock the steering wheel. Without the linkage it would be possible to lock the steering wheel while the car is in motion.

Installing the Subframe

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

The subframe was resinstalled today using the solid aluminum bushings that came with the Global West tubular subframe connector kit. The center bolts that attach the subframe were torqued to 100ft-lbs and then the rear bolts fastened snugly as they will be loosened again to install the subframe connectors. Global West requires the two sets of body bushings be aluminum and recommend that the radiator support bushing also be aluminum although they claim polyurethane will be fine for this point only.

Next all the steering linkage nuts were torqued to factory recommended torque specs. Wheel alignment shims were placed back in the order they were removed. Control arm fasteners will be torqued when the car is at normal ride height. The last project of the day was to install the remaining stainless fuel and brake lines from National Parts Depot. The lines were pre-bent which made for a fairly easy install. Next week the wire harness will be re-wrapped with tape and the car will be ready for the motor.