FRONT SUSPENSION

First things first – removing the front spring.  This is the first time I’ve done this and I understand it can  be very dangerous.  Using a procedure from a friend, I removed the shock and inserted a ˝” threaded rod (all-thread) through the upper shock mount and through a steel plate on the bottom of the lower a-arm.  SEE PHOTO TO LEFT

 

The ball joints were definitely stuck.  I used a “pickle-fork” ball joint remover, first.  I banged on that thing forever and the ball joints would not come loose.  They were original so they had been there for 30 years.

 

I found a procedure in the Chevrolet Service Manual.  Use a large socket, a bolt, and a nut, as a “jack” to press the upper ball joint out.  SEE PHOTO TO RIGHT

 

 The socket fits over the lower ball joint and the head of the bolt goes against the upper ball joint.  Make sure you leave the nut on the upper ball joint or the steering knuckle will come off and the spring will fly out!!!  Leave a gap between the nut and the knuckle.

 

I had the all-thread in place with slack taken out as I started this procedure.  I started turning the nut to push the bolt up against the bottom of the ball joint.  It seemed like it would not go any further when there was a loud pop and the ball joint came loose.

 

Following are some photos of various components:

 

BEFORE

RESTORED

LOWER A-ARM

 

UPPER A-ARM

STEERING KNUCKLE

 

This is one of the upper a-arm bushings.  They were very brittle with chunks of rubber missing.

 

Front coil springs.  Old spring (on left) is a variable rate spring – closer coils at the top.  The new spring is shorter and was much simpler to install than it was taking the old spring out.

 

 

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