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Front suspension project complete (mostly)
#1

.jpg   Coil Compresser inside coil spring (Small).JPG (Size: 32.74 KB / Downloads: 220)


.jpg   Coil spring inserted with compresser (Small).JPG (Size: 35.65 KB / Downloads: 226)


.jpg   Right side disassembled (Small).JPG (Size: 58.41 KB / Downloads: 218)


.jpg   Using pickle fork to disengage lower ball joint (Small).JPG (Size: 39.39 KB / Downloads: 216)


.jpg   Lower control arm removal (Small).JPG (Size: 48.8 KB / Downloads: 214)


.jpg   Jury-reigged coil compressor on shock tower (Small).JPG (Size: 24.55 KB / Downloads: 213)


Well, I took advantage of the long weekend to finally get the front suspension project off the ground. There wasn't anything too hairy in doing it, but there were moments, and sometimes extended periods, of profanity-infused frustration (mostly in my head, but I kept the stereo cranked up just in case something slipped out) Smile.


They say that a poor carpenter blames his tools, but in this case, I had to make do with what I had available. The closest thing I could get to a coil spring compresser locally was an external strut compresser. By using half of it, I was able to jury-rig something that, when a large nut was tightened at one end, it caused a hook-like device to compress one side of the coil spring at the other end. You can see it in a couple of the pictures. Anyone with any experience in working on front suspensions will probably laugh their butt off looking at it, but I made it work, although it took a LOT of time cranking it tight and then loosening it, over and over.

Anyway, I referred to 72HCode's instructions along with the Chilton manual to disassemble the coil springs, perches, control arms, inner and outer tie rods, and even the pitman arm, cleaned up the fender wells and sprayed them with rubberized Rustoleum, and reassembled everything in about three days of off and on work.


The shop teacher at the high school supplied me with a pickle fork before I made a fool of myself rummaging through my wife's silverware drawer looking for one. Big Grin However, even with three sizes of fork to choose from, I had to resort to directly bashing the crap out of the upper ball joint and the outer tie rod joint to get them to release. The pickle fork worked fine for the rest of them.


I cleaned all the pieces up with a wire wheel on my bench grinder, a bowl of brake fluid, a bowl of vinegar, and a wire brush on my electric drill. The Auto Shop kids repacked the wheel bearings and after I get everything else put back together, I'll post another pic and get ready to do the rear suspension. I'll also go through the front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, and let you know how that goes.


I am definitely not creating a show car. I'm just trying to restore/modify this convertible to the best of my ability, and with as little money as possible. And I'm having a lot of fun at the same time.

Doc
Doc

[Image: 6y14ea.jpg]

Project started 8-7-10
Completed: All new suspension, rebuilt 351C H Code bored .030 over with mild cam and intake, new 3.50 TracLok, custom exhaust system
Current "mini-project": interior upgrade Undecided
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#2
If the second picture is the same car, you made some great progress. Good work!
[Image: 4zw1hv.png]
Dave

1931 Ford Model A Station Wagon
1969 Mach 1 - 351C, TKO-600, 4WDB, R&P, A/C, Shaker, Fold Down, etc.
1972 Mach 1 - 351C, FMX, PDB, PS, A/C, Fold Down, Console
1996 Mustang Cobra Convertible - 10psi Procharger
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#3
Looking good! A little progress feels good, doesn't it! LOLBig Grin
[Image: 1gq8uo.png]
1971 Mach 1 - 306cid/C4 Bright Yellow
1972 Coupe - 306cid/C4 Gold Glow (in restoration phase)
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#4
(09-07-2010, 12:17 AM)69 Rustang Wrote: If the second picture is the same car, you made some great progress. Good work!

Thanks, Dave. Yep, same car 48 hours after the first picture. Today I'll install the shocks and the rest of the wheel parts, and take her for a spin.

Doc
(09-07-2010, 05:18 AM)rocketfoot Wrote: Looking good! A little progress feels good, doesn't it! LOLBig Grin

It sure does! Smile I'm still going to replace the sway bar and go through the brakes, but I want to get her back on the road ASAP and see how she feels. The rear suspension rebuild will be after the brakes, and then it's on the the motor and tranny, where I get to do things that will have a BIG impact on how she drives. Cool

Thanks for the encouragement!

Doc
Doc

[Image: 6y14ea.jpg]

Project started 8-7-10
Completed: All new suspension, rebuilt 351C H Code bored .030 over with mild cam and intake, new 3.50 TracLok, custom exhaust system
Current "mini-project": interior upgrade Undecided
  Reply
#5
welcome to the club now Smile

the only piece of advise i would offer for the future is not to use a pickle fork again, Fords and pickle forks don't mix.
the pickle fork can damage the outer tierods and if you servicing the ball joints for some reason they can also be damaged by using the pickle fork.

ford recommends using a splitter or you pound the side of the joint with a very heavy hammer to pop it loose.

on a chevy the fork is fine on the ford avoid it.

in your case you installed new parts so it didn't matter, but if you need to service the area in the future for some reason don't pickle fork it.

never ever use a pickle fork on the power steering gearbox to pop off the arm, if you do you will ruin the box for that you need a puller that puts the stress on the shaft and not the housing.

Awesome job man,, see it wasn't so bad Big Grin.

one little issue i see is you didn't install 90 degree grease fittings on the upper arms. that is going to make it an issue when you lube up all the zerk fittings.
[Image: sig.jpg]
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#6
goodjob looks great I will be in that area soon.I am planing on converting to disks up front and do a complete suspension job next spring {it sucks not having a garage for the winter car will be in storage}
Eric


[Image: a58hgh.jpg]
DRIVE IT DON'T STORE IT!
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#7
Thanks, guys. It feels great to really "belong to the club" now.

Ya, I knew it was going to be tricky with the zerk fittings they sent. I haven't lubed the new parts yet, so I'll see if I can install some 90 degree fittings before I'm finished with the front end.

More cool stuff to come. Smile

Doc
Doc

[Image: 6y14ea.jpg]

Project started 8-7-10
Completed: All new suspension, rebuilt 351C H Code bored .030 over with mild cam and intake, new 3.50 TracLok, custom exhaust system
Current "mini-project": interior upgrade Undecided
  Reply
#8
CONGRATULATIONS, Doc!

You are REALLY working it, Buddy - - Looking real good!!

BT
  Reply
#9
Great job on that suspension Doc!

Keep it up
Jeff T.

Low buck, touring style, '73 Convertible "rolling restoration", 351c, 2v heads with a shave and a haircut, Performer intake, Holley 650(ish), roller rockers, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves, Duraspark / Motorsports MSD, T-5 conversion. 1-1/8" front, 3/4" rear swaybars KYB shocks and some home brewed subframe connectors. Future plans; JGC steering box, Cobra brakes and... paint, interior, etc.

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passenger.

[Image: 1_12_09_14_10_15_11.png]
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#10
Update -

I finally got everything put back together, checked the brakes, and put the tires back on, and noticed significant toe out and negative camber.


Chilton provided a good description of how to adjust the toe out problems, so I took care of that first.

   

I went online and got some info on how to fix the negative camber problem ("adjust the eccentrics") and was able to max out the lower control arm adjustment so the tires looked like they were close to perpendicular to the ground (which meant readjusting the toe in/out) and it looked pretty good when I was finished.

   

After driving down to the shop and making an appointment for an alignment tomorrow morning, the camber looked as negative as when I started. The lower control arms were tightened to specs. I'm afraid that the guys at the shop are going to have some bad news for me, like "When the car was wrecked, the frame was tweaked and now you can't adjust the camber properly. You'll have to replace your tires every 5,000 miles."

   

I'll let you know what they really say when I get the car back tomorrow afternoon. Anyone seen anything like this before?

Doc
Doc

[Image: 6y14ea.jpg]

Project started 8-7-10
Completed: All new suspension, rebuilt 351C H Code bored .030 over with mild cam and intake, new 3.50 TracLok, custom exhaust system
Current "mini-project": interior upgrade Undecided
  Reply


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