Suspension rebuild

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
So I've got a stack of parts to do a rebuild/minor upgrade to my front suspension (and new springs for the rear). (Big shout out CharlieF1 and all the help on putting together a good list btw)

Realized it has been a LONG time since I have done any work on this part of the car..and never for some of it. Been about 13 years since I have done a disc brake job (and the associated things with that) and I haven't done anything besides suspension adjustments for learning how to do an alignment..and it has been 15 years since I've done that.

I am planning on taking my time (I have the next four days off) and I am watching the generic videos on YouTube on how to do this. I tried to find a good thread about a basic rebuild but I just couldn't find one. So I will be taking lots of pictures while I do this and hope to add to the 'how to' section at the end..(If I do a good job, that is).

Also Charlie offered phone advise and I'm pretty sure I will be abusing that!!!!! lol (not kidding)

The one area I'm concerned about is spring removal for front and rear. Been reading some interesting things about that here on the board. Hopefully I can find some good tips with the search feature before I start!!!

If anyone wants to point me to a good thread that would be appreciated..other wise I'm just venting a bit before I start because I'm nervous!

Thanks for listening!!!
 

charlief1

RIP Charlie!
Rear springs are really simple. Jack the back of the car up and support the frame in front of the LCA's. Leave the jack under it to raise and lower the axle as needed. Take the shocks off both sides and lower the axle down to where the brake hose is almost fully extended. At this point you need to push down on one side of the axle and take that spring out and then do the other side. Unless you're planning on replacing the brake hose don't let it hang by the hose. If you're going to replace the hose then let it hang.:)

Before you get to far into it take the nut off the tie rods and loosen the ones on the steering knuckles. Make sure that the nuts stay on the ball joints. Doesn't have to be many threads but when you try to take the knuckles off the nuts will keep the spring from poping loose and doing damage. Once you get this done take the shocks out. The spring compressor goes up inside the spring and I prefer to have the other end on the bottom of the control arm to suck the spring down on the arm. Once the spring is compressed onto the arm then start taking the posrts off you want to work on, but do them one at a time. That will let you either hang the knuckle assembly on the upper arm or let it sit on the lower arm.

Don't tighten up the bolts up on the arms to the frame until you get everything done and then load the chasis. Once loaded then tighten up all the bolts at the static chasis height.
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
Thanks Charlie. Got some progress today. I got the disc off and the tie rod nut off, but ends up I do not have a large enough wrench to get the ball joint nuts off. Looks to be about 1in needed. So I will be going to pick that up.

So I messed up the order that you listed on part of it though. I took the shock off before I loosened the ball joints. Pretty sure that doesn't really matter though, right?
 

charlief1

RIP Charlie!
So I messed up the order that you listed on part of it though. I took the shock off before I loosened the ball joints. Pretty sure that doesn't really matter though, right?
You didn't mess up, I put it that way just in case the nut doesn't hold on the stud. If it breaks loose when you free the ball joint the spring can be a dangerous suprise. It's for safety rather than order.:)
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the help on the phone today Charlie!

Real progress made today and that was with only two hours or work done. Tomorrow is going to be devoted to the car totally. Should get real work done!
 

charlief1

RIP Charlie!
Glad to do it.:) Now if you were closer I'd get you down here to help me change the rear axle on a truck tomorrow.:D Not looking foward to that a whole lot.:(
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
One side completely apart and the other has all the hard parts done. Parts are at the shop to have new joints/bearings pressed in. Might go borrow some more stands so I can do the rear while I wait for the front parts to come back.
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
No problem Reggie. I've been trying to make sure I take step by step pictures. I noticed there wasn't a 'how to' thread that I could find so I'm planning on putting one together. I'm pretty sure I haven't missed a step yet...
 

charlief1

RIP Charlie!
One side completely apart and the other has all the hard parts done. Parts are at the shop to have new joints/bearings pressed in. Might go borrow some more stands so I can do the rear while I wait for the front parts to come back.
Only do one end at a time since it's your first time. That way you can concentrait on one end and don't loose track of parts. It also will give you an idea of what the car looks like before you do the other end.:) Don't show all the goodies off though so you're the only one besides me that knows about them.:D
 

~JM~

Wrinkled Member
No problem Reggie. I've been trying to make sure I take step by step pictures. I noticed there wasn't a 'how to' thread that I could find so I'm planning on putting one together. I'm pretty sure I haven't missed a step yet...
Excellent! Those build posts with pics can be time consuming to post, but they are appreciated by folks who read it later. Looking forward to seeing your efforts.

Thanks
~JM~
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
Only do one end at a time since it's your first time. That way you can concentrait on one end and don't loose track of parts. It also will give you an idea of what the car looks like before you do the other end.:)
That is how I WANTED to do it and I recognize how much better of an idea it would have been....but wasn't an option. Due to time constraints I had to get both lower arms to the shop to have the parts pressed in at the same time. However, I do have pics of before and I left the upper arm on for the passenger side so I think that I will be OK as far as that goes and I think that with enough questions and the pics I have I will be able to get it all together OK.....I hope.
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
Got the upper and lower control arms back from the shop! Ready to start putting it all back together!! Of course I am on night shift right now for another two nights, so it has to wait a bit...but it is nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
Oh I'm sure I will be! One of my concerns is those three spacers that fell out from behind the nuts on the upper control arm. Going to try and get behind the passenger side arm and see what it looks like. I THINK that the passenger and drivers side would be the same...hope so at least....
 

charlief1

RIP Charlie!
Oh I'm sure I will be! One of my concerns is those three spacers that fell out from behind the nuts on the upper control arm. Going to try and get behind the passenger side arm and see what it looks like. I THINK that the passenger and drivers side would be the same...hope so at least....
Those are the alignment shims and each side will have a different amount. Once you get it all back together don't put them in right away but tighten up the arms and see where the tire sits. The top will most likely be leaned out some so you'll have to add the shims to to bring it back to straight.
 

WH1_T-Type

Well-Known Member
Update: when I picked up the parts from the shop I didn't have time to really look them over, plus I made the mistake of thinking that the professionals would do a proper job. Instead they pressed the bushings in to where I couldn't use the grease fittings and they put the lower control arm ball joints in upside down.

Parts are back at the shop and will have them tomorrow. Not happy obviously, but hopefully all will be well tomorrow.
 

charlief1

RIP Charlie!
I know what parts your using but how about a good parts list for people to follow your build with too?
Just wait until he's done Jeremy.:rolleyes: You might have an idea on what he's using but until everything is put back together and he does a full write up then he might say what he's done so far.:D
 
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