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Old 10-08-2003, 08:13 AM
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Chevelle front suspension refresh

Gents, I'm putting a Big Block into my 6 cyclinder '69 Chevelle but before I drop that boat anchor under the hood, I want the suspension to be able to handle it. I've done the rear coils and shocks, and now I'm getting ready to do the front. I bought a set of Hotchkiss BB 1" lowering spings, KYB shocks and a suspesion kit from a resto place. The kit came with tie rod ends, ball joints, control arm bushings, stablizer links, idler arm, and drag link. The Chevelle has front drums on it now. Eventually I plan to put discs up front, but the money is being spent on the "go" not the "whoa" right now.
My question is: Is replaceing the control arm bushings, ball joints and coil springs something I can do in my driveway? Do I need any other specialized tools other than a pickle fork? Do I need a spring compressor or can I use a jack to lower the control arm and release the tension on the spring?
Thanks.

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Old 10-08-2003, 10:39 AM
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It can all be done in the drive way, but be very careful when releasing the spring,You can use a chain to secure the spring when you let the lower a arm down, it doesn`t have to be tight, just to keep the spring from shooting out and taking your head off. normally it just falls out. also for safety sake use it when installing the spring to. Good Luck, HTH

Troy
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Old 10-08-2003, 04:27 PM
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Check out PST (Performance Suspension Technologies) They have stock and Hi-Po suspension kits,brake kits, Disk brake up-grades, sell quality parts at reasonable prices, and have a very helpful tech dept. As for the spring, if you already have the engine/trany out, their probably is't enough weight in the front end to keep the spring from flying. I'd buy a spring compressor that fits inside the spring after the shock is removed and definitely Still use a Safety Chain! Coil springs are real meanies when they get loose. Good luck Have Fun
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Old 10-08-2003, 06:51 PM
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Run the chain through the spring an hook it to the frame or control arms, it will be alright. I have installed springs on bare frames. It can be done.

Troy
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:18 PM
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what about the ball joints? do I have to drill the old ones out and rivet the new ones, or use bolts or what?
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:39 PM
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Just grind or chisel the rivets and punch them out , the new ball joints will have bolts with them

Good Luck
Troy
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Old 10-10-2003, 08:17 PM
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Thanks Troy. I only need to get the shocks, and I can start the job. Probably a set of KYB's from Summit, or SensaTracs from Sears. A friend offered to lend me a spring compressor, but I'll use the safety chain too.
I'm wondering if the straight six will sit kinda funny with those big block springs in there until I do the engine swap. I've heard the sixes weigh more than a small bock.
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Old 10-10-2003, 11:22 PM
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Good idea using both safety devices, until you have done several spring changes.

It will probably set a little high until you get the BB in it.

Good Luck
Troy
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Old 10-11-2003, 01:02 AM
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PST has some nice kits for front end rebuilds, but stay away from their ball joints. I've used them and had no problems, but I'm hearing more stories of the ball joints breaking from them by other hot rodders. Get the polygraphite bushings from them, and buy the ball joints from Napa. After you remove the old ball joints, the new ones will bolt in using the rivet holes.
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