Chevy El Camino Front Bushings, Shocks, Drop Coils & Sway Bar Upgrade - Surgical Joints
...We covered the front of...
...We covered the front of the car to guard against flying debris and paint overspray. Using a total of three cans of high-temp semigloss black engine paint, we sprayed the frame and upper/lower arms to bring the factory look back.
A little grease goes a long...
A little grease goes a long way. We applied a dab to each side of the PST bushing ends as well as to the insides of the frame that supports the arm.
We began to rebuild the passenger...
We began to rebuild the passenger side, and with some effort managed to wedge the lower control arm into position. Once the PST bushing lined up with the hole we slid in the factory bolt. We tightened each bolt on the lower arm with a 3/4-inch wrench/socket combination.
Next, we installed our freshly...
Next, we installed our freshly painted and PST-bushed upper control arm. We made sure to add the upper control arm shims and guided the bolt through. We tightened the combination with a 5/8- and 11/16-inch wrench/socket.
Dropped The obvious visual...
The obvious visual difference in springs is clear when compared to the standard issue. The new front springs are rated at 520 lb/in, which will support the weight of our big-block but also offer an additional inch of drop to the front end. While our springs pictured here are powdercoated gray, the production springs will arrive at your door powdercoated black.
Bumpstops Each PST frontend...
Each PST frontend kit comes complete with all the factory replacement ball joint covers and bumpstops, which will safeguard against bottoming out the suspension.
To get the new PST springs...
To get the new PST springs in, we seated the end of each coil into the bottom of the control arm with the level portion of the spring facing up. We lined up the bottom coils with the two holes punched through the bottom control arm and made sure to fit the top of the spring into the upper seat.
With the engine out, it's...
With the engine out, it's nearly impossible to install the brake/spindle assembly without a spring compressor. We didn't own one, but a quick trip to the local auto parts store resolved that. Next, we threw on the brake assembly and set the spindle through the lower ball joint. We tightened the lower with a 7/8-inch wrench and the top with a 3/4-inch wrench.
Our PST kit also included...
Our PST kit also included new KYB Gas-A-Just shocks for the front. To install them, you just have to tighten the 1/2-inch factory bolts on the bottom and the 1/2-inch rod nut up top.
When you put the sway bars...
When you put the sway bars next to one another, it's obvious that the new piece, at 13/8 inches, is no match for the factory toothpick. Our new bar from PST is a hollow unit that's mandrel-bent and comes with all the necessary bushings, bolts, spacers, and washers. All we needed was the factory hardware, which attaches the sway bar to the frame.
Following the supplied instructions,...
Following the supplied instructions, we made note not to overtighten the endlink hardware. It's important to realize that while the vehicle is suspended, there is no load on the sway bar. We only snugged the hardware enough to allow for the spacer to twist freely (9/16-inch wrench/socket). If the bushings are swollen and bulging, the hardware is too tight.
With the passenger side buttoned...
With the passenger side buttoned up and zerk fittings greased, we could move on to the driver side, following the same steps to complete our bushing upgrade. What is left to do? PST also has a steering rebuild kit that comes complete with new inner tie rod ends, solid adjustable powdercoated endlinks, and a centerlink bar. We'll be adding that along with a factory-style steering pump shortly, so stay tuned as we get our Elco back on the road in the months to come.
|THE SHOPPING CART |
|ITEM / DESCRIPTION ||COST |
|PST Polygraphite Super Kit for '64-88 A-body ||$419 |
|2 upper ball joints |
|4 polygraphite upper inner control arm bushings |
|2 lower ball joints |
|4 polygraphite lower inner control arm bushings |
|2 outer tie rod ends |
|2 polygraphite stabilizer links |
|2 polygraphite sway bar bushings |
|2 inner tie rod ends |
|2 tie rod adjusting sleeves |
|1 idler arm |
|2 upper inner shafts |
|KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (front/rear) PST G-Max ||$159 |
|Lightweight tubular front 13/8-inch sway bar ||$189 |
|1-inch lowering spring set (front/rear) ||$329 |
|TOTAL ||$1,096 |
Performance Suspension Technology