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Old 03-23-2006, 07:47 PM   #1
wesmigletz
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Default Solid axle front suspension rebuild, additional parts recommendations

Took the 62 to get the front end checked before I begin the suspension rebuild. The shop recommended I replace everything. Apparently, the car hasn't been lubed for a very long time, and I'm guilty of only lubing what was easily reached... So, I was planning to get a deluxe rebuild kit from Kanters (would consider other sources as well).

The Kanters kit includes:
4 outer pin kits
2 Outer tie rod ends
All inner shaft kits, w/bushings
King pin kit with bushings
End link kit

I was also planning to order inner tie rod ends and sleeves when I ordered the front end rebuild kit.


In addition to the above, I already ordered new front coil springs and 4 Edelbrock shocks from Eaton Detroit Spring.


What other wear parts should I replace? For the third arm/pitman arm, etc.? Any recommended sources?

Is there any benefit/drawback to adding a fast steering adapter? Would it increase the steering effort when parking?

Regarding the rear springs, I probably should have orderd from Detroit spring, but their cost gave me a bit of sticker shock. Are the $450/pair springs really necessary, VS. the $119/each that some suppliers carry?

TIA Wes
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:49 PM   #2
GCD1962
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I don't think the springs are worth $400+. The others are fine. I agree, replace everything. Definately replace the third arm bearing (but save the snap ring if you can, the replacements are too thick). Kept the drag link if it is o.k, the replacements are second rate
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Old 03-23-2006, 09:17 PM   #3
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Sleeves aren't needed unless yours are bent.
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:51 PM   #4
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Wes,
ALLLLLLLLLLLL of the joints on these old frontends are metal-to-metal, and as you have discovered, they need to be kept well greased. One of the best investments you can make is a grease gun and a case of cartridges for it.
I frequently rebuild these frontends for customers and I have dedicated an engine stand specifically for bolting on a cross member. This allows rotation of the cross member for rebuilding just like building an engine.
If you will strip down the cross member, clean it and paint it before rebuilding, you will discover that it will be so much easier to maintain and keep it greased. Grease each joint until grease comes out around the seals, then wipe off the excess with a rag.
Based on your information, it is very likely that everything does need to be replaced. If you replace everything at the same time, and keep it greased, that old frontend will last indefinitely. BUT YOU GOTTA KEEP IT GREASED!!!!!!!!!!!
If you run into any problems or need some info during the rebuild, just let us know, or if you like, it would be fine to email me at work. I started rebuilding these frontends about 40yrs ago.

Regarding the fast steering adapter, yes, it will improve steering response----------------------while moving, BUUUUUUUUUUUUT, it will noticeably increase turning effort when stopped or moving very slowly. If you are going to race or autocross the car, add one. But, if it is to be a street driver, FORGET THE FAST STEERING ADAPTER!!!!!!! I have one on the 56 over there <----<<<<<< and it is a fun driver, but sometimes a bear to park! I have 75 series radials on the car and I keep the front tires at about 32-33psi for driving which helps to minimize the steering effort.
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:36 AM   #5
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Default Lub info

DZAuto,
Great info.!!! How often do recommand lubing? I drive my '61 once a week to a cruize nite or a show, very low milage. About 20 miles a week.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:33 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

GCD1962, regarding the drag links, does your response mean that I should stay away from the drag link repair kits?

vettes1st, good point, I'll inspect the sleeves for corosion and make sure they're straight.

Tom, I knew I should have taken the time to clean all the fittings and lube the front end. The car had been sitting for years, and was kinda squierelly when we got it. I suppose I got lazy figuring it all needed going through anyways. Hopefully there's a lesson here someone else can use. Anyways, I hope to have the cross member out and torn down this weekend. Hopefully, I'll have the parts by next weekend. It'll probably come apart easy enough, but I'll probably be asking some questions as it's going back together. Since this is to be the wife's cruiser, I'd better pass on the fast steering adapter.

Thanks again, Wes
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Old 03-24-2006, 08:59 AM   #7
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Wes, what I'm saying is if the internals of the drag link are o.k. with no visible wear or binding, just clean it out and regrease. I bought the replacement ones (about $80-$90) and the fit was horrible. I put the old ones back in.
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:56 AM   #8
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Wes,
You might want to consider upgrading the kingpin rebuild kit to a Royal Kingpin kit from SSB
http://www.ssbrakes.com/products/det...ette&year=1958

I really liked the improvement when I did mine. Also here is an article on installing them. The process is the same for our Vettes as the trucks.

http://www.classictrucksweb.com/tech...pin/index.html
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:28 AM   #9
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GCD, thanks for the heads-up. I'll inspect it before ordering one. If mine shows wear, I'll probably just order the drag link repair kit from Kanter or my local parts house if they can get one.

My58, I saw that Royal King Pin kit from SSBC. It looks interesting, but it's awful spendy. What difference do you notice on your car? Is the steering tighter (less play)? Are you worried about the longevity of the needle bearings? What about the longevity of the stainless steel king pins? Do you think the stainless is hard enough?
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesmigletz
GCD, thanks for the heads-up. I'll inspect it before ordering one. If mine shows wear, I'll probably just order the drag link repair kit from Kanter or my local parts house if they can get one.

My58, I saw that Royal King Pin kit from SSBC. It looks interesting, but it's awful spendy. What difference do you notice on your car? Is the steering tighter (less play)? Are you worried about the longevity of the needle bearings? What about the longevity of the stainless steel king pins? Do you think the stainless is hard enough?

Sounds like expensive overkill to me. As others have mentioned keep everything well greased and aligned and it will last for many, many years.
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Old 03-24-2006, 01:40 PM   #11
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Wes,

I don't see how the Royal King Pins can help much. Our steering friction is mainly at the tires. I will bet your Vette steers with minimal effort when the tires are rolling (may wander, etc., but steers with little effort). It is only when the tires are not rolling does effort soar, and that is tire friction only. Higher tire pressure, and smaller tires up front are about the only way to solve that.

Also, use a chassis lube that has an EP rating with Moly for longivity (the Moly has a plating action that will extend the life of the joints, etc.). A synthetic grease is probably overkill (only real benefit is higher temp capability, and greasable joints don't get that hot), but it is cheap in comparison to what your doing now. Lube them every 1K miles is best, and make sure grease comes out of every joint (including upper and lower points on the king pins), then wipe off the excess.

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Old 03-24-2006, 03:14 PM   #12
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Plasticman, I decided to pass on the SSBC Kingpin kit. I don't have a problem with the steering effort, but my wife does. Hopefully, it will be a little easier once the front end is rebuilt. Ordered a deluxe rebuild kit, inner tie rod ends and the service kit for the idler arm from Kanter this morning. I also ordered new leaf springs, shackles, front eye bolts, bushings, etc from Paragon.

Kanter said their parts would take 7-10 days, probably about the same for Paragon, so it looks like this weekend and next will be tear down, cleaning and painting. Breaks over, time to get back to work. Thanks again, Wes
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Old 03-24-2006, 03:32 PM   #13
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In regards to the aluminum shim between the frame and crossmember , I was advised to double the shims thickness as to increase the amount of caster. With a single shim my 62 could not adjust to the 0* spec.

Check the front crossmember for play where the inner top shaft goes thru.
Lack of lube will cause the insert to wear and you may need to replace it.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:08 PM   #14
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Donald, thanks for the tip. Is there a replaceable bushing for the upper inner shaft mounts?

Has anyone else heard of double stacking the aluminum body shims to add caster? It would be easy enough to do when re-installing the front crossmember. Or, should this only be done if the shop can't get the alinment correct?
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesmigletz
Donald, thanks for the tip. Is there a replaceable bushing for the upper inner shaft mounts?

Has anyone else heard of double stacking the aluminum body shims to add caster? It would be easy enough to do when re-installing the front crossmember. Or, should this only be done if the shop can't get the alinment correct?
I've never heard of double stacking them. If it aligns ok don't worry. I had my '62 done yesterday after a complete rebuild this winter (with new shims). No problem in aligning it. Also, if the upper shafts are ok, no wear or slop, just put the new ends and seals on them. They are a real super pain to get and to reinstall correctly. I've rebuilt the front end twice in the 34 years I've had the car and never replaced the upper shafts (this second rebuild wasn't because it needed it, it was because I had everything apart anyway and had some leftover TRW stuff from years ago, so I figured do it now and it will be the last time I ever have to do it)
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:12 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=wesmigletz]Donald, thanks for the tip. Is there a replaceable bushing for the upper inner shaft mounts?

Most of the major venders carry the bushing. I believe a kit does one side.Corvette Central carries it under Part# 571008.

As far as the shim goes on my 62 the caster could only be adjusted to 1* positive until an addtional shim was installed.

PS On the inner top shaft, be sure to use an angled grease fitting on the rear so youll be able to grease it .

Last edited by Donald #31176; 03-24-2006 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-24-2006, 07:26 PM   #17
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Rich,
I believe the original service recommended lube interval was 2Kmi. Every 1Kmi, or less is just fine. Once a day would be even better

I KNOW that I have mentioned this before--------------but just in case I didn't (maybe it was over on Chevytalk, 49-54 pass car section), I'll add this rebuilding tip again.
THIS SPECIFICALLY PERTAINS TO REMOVAL/REPLACEMENT OF THE UPPER-INNER SHAFT
If the shaft is needing to be replaced, then it doesn't matter if it is damaged. Place a large pipe wrench on the forward end of the shaft and unscrew it. Too easy.
For installation, a special tool is needed. Well, you already have one and don't know it. The old, lower-outer shaft and bushing can be used as an installation tool for the upper-inner shaft. The bushing (the part that is screwed into the lower hole of the upright) can be screwed onto the end of the upper-inner shaft. Then, screw the lower-outer shaft into the bushing and tighten until it is all locked together. Put a boxed end wrench or socket on the shaft and screw in the new upper-inner shaft. IMPORTANT: The threads of the replacement upper-inner shaft, which are screwed into the holes of the cross member, are OVERSIZE!!!! The new shaft should be VERY hard to screw into the cross member! That's how it should be so that it can't turn after installation. So, be prepared to put some real grunt into the wrench. When installed, there should be EQUAL amounts of the threads protruding from both the front and back side of the cross member. Also, the threads on the shaft (threads that screw into the cross member) are just a tiny bit smaller on one end. They're supposed to be. The smaller threads go in first, FROM THE FRONT.
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Old 04-02-2006, 03:24 AM   #18
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Tom, I disassembled everything from the cross member tonight. The upper inner shafts are still in the crossmember. They are tight, and don't have any play. Is there a test to determine whether or not they need replaced?

When I go to re-assemble the front end (hopefully next weekend - rebuild kit hasn't arrived yet), is there a trick to getting the control arms back on? It seems the upper control arms will be difficult to re-install once I install the bushings.

It also looks like it will be difficult to re-install the inner shafts on the lower control arms once the new bushings are installed. Is there a trick to this?

Any inspection or re-assembly tips for the king pins?

Thanks again, Wes
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:51 AM   #19
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Wes,
The main reason for replacing the upper-inner shafts is because of excess wear of the shaft and/or bushing threads. First, just look at the threads on the upper-inner shaft. Are they visibly worn (probably are)? Take one of the old upper-inner bushings and screw it on the shaft. Does it wobble? If so, the shaft and bushings (comes together in a kit) need replacing. Use a pipe wrench to unscrew the old shaft out of the spring tower from the FRONT side. The replacement shafts are over size and are VERY hard to screw in (that's the way they are supposed to be)! For an installation tool, use one of the old lower-outer pins and bushings---------------and save it as a tool.
If you have the entire front suspension apart, how did you remove the springs without getting injured????
You can buy a SUPER simple and cheap spring removal tool at the local hardware store for removing/installing these springs. Buy a 3ft piece of 1/2in all thread rod, 2 nuts, 2 washers. Insert the all thread through the holes for the shock, install nuts-washers. Oil the threads. Tighten or loosen the nuts for instaling or removing the springs. TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SIMPLE! Too easy!
Also, none of the front suspension disassembly/assembly is difficult. It is really a very simple straight forward nuts and bolts type of operation. If you are going to go to all the trouble of disassembly and rebuilding, I'd sure recommend a thorough cleaning, blasting and painting of the parts while they are disassembled.
If you run into any major problems or just genreal questions, just email me at home tparsons6@***.net
I would recommend that you also buy a ST12 (thats a service manual for the early Vettes, all the vendors sell it).
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Last edited by DZAUTO; 04-02-2006 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:23 PM   #20
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Default upper inner shafts

Do Not remove these unless they need to be replaced! They are a BIT*H to get the new ones back in. The replacement shafts have way too much interference on the fit of the threads.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:23 PM
 
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