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1961 Chevy Front Suspension Rebuild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gamesta, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Gamesta
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Gamesta
    Member
    from SoCal

    Hi all.

    I've been collecting new front suspension parts for my 1961 Bel Air for a few months. I finally have them all and I'm going to install them all.

    My biggest question is the proper order. All of the tasks are fairly simple but I just to want to know a good order. Here is a general list of the things I'm replacing:

    • Power steering gear box
    • Power steering control valve
    • Power steering Pump
    • Power steering hoses
    • Front-end poly bushings (all of them)
    • Upper and lower ball joints
    • Inner and outer tie rod ends and adjusting sleves
    • Idler arm
    • upper and lower rubber bump stops
    • New front coil springs
    • New front shocks

    I plan to do the power steering as a separate project if that is possible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 6,002

    daddio211
    Member

    I would start by pulling the driver's side wheel, brakes, spindle, spring, ball joints, then A-arms. Put it all back together one piece at at a time with new components, reversing the process.

    Don't take the passenger side apart until the driver's side is done. That way if you get lost and need to compare, you'll have the stock components to compare it to.

    Then tackle the left over parts like tie rods and steering components. If you've never tackled this before plan for two full days or so, and get someone with experience to help you.
     
  3. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,765

    Andy
    Member

    I would not use the poly bushings. They will wear out quickly or just fall apart. I have taken them out of cars that were never driven and have them turn to dust in my hands. The stock bushinga are way better. Drill out the upper hole where the shock mounts. You can then use Camero shocks which are easier to get and cheaper. It also alows you to use a threaded rod thru the bigger hole to help get the spring out. I use a bar with a lip on it. A hole is about an inch from the lip. The spring coil goes between the lip and the threaded rod to hold the spring off center so it has the curve as when installed. Be very carefull when fooling with the springs. They can kill you.
     
  4. nwbhotrod
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,243

    nwbhotrod
    Member
    from wash state

    Does the car now have power strearing
     

  5. Gamesta
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Gamesta
    Member
    from SoCal

    Thanks for the info guys. I've done alot of the above replacements on my old Camaro before it got stolen so I'm pretty comfortable doing the work. I just was hoping for more experience to help with the order.

    It looks like it's all mostly remove and replace. Dismantle a-arms and re-assemble with new parts.

    @Andy. Thanks for the tip on the poly bushings. I thought they were supposed to last longer.

    @nwbhotrod. The car did come with factory power steering. Are we looking at another remove/replace scenario when I get to the power steering rebuild?

    Thanks!

    --
    Gamesta
     
  6. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,765

    Andy
    Member

    The power steering center link bar has the valve for the power steering control where the non power is plain. Just use the power center link and add the power steering stuff later.
    I got my old bushings out by burning the rubber out of them first. Then you are only dealing with the shells. I made drivers from water pipe and exhaust tubing scrap. I was able to press the old shells out and the new parts in using my vice.
     

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