Front spring R&R - Impala Tech
Brakes & Suspension Conversion Questions & more

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Front spring R&R

I'm finishing front spring R&R on my Caprice right now. Ya, that's fun. The scary part is compressing the new ones since they are taller than my hacked ones. I borrowed the big Moog compressor kit and clips but it's nerve racking nonetheless when you're compressing that sucker with the impact gun. The trick is to put both keeper clips on the same side causing the spring to bow in the arc of the control arm sweep. What sucks about these type control arms is there is barely a lip for the spring to catch on. Once you start compressing it in the car it wants to pop off the control arm. The trick is getting the clips to make the spring bow yet not interfering with the frame. I had to have a buddy sit on the front fender while jacking the control arm so the car didn't rise up off the jack stands.

Once I wrap it up tonight I'll be anxious to see the new ride height.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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At least I found the source of my irritating squeak. The passenger side lower bushing was out of place causing the control arm to rub the frame. I don't know if the previous owner did this or it worked its way out. I managed to get it back in place with a 1.5 socket and a baby sledge. I just hope the holes aren't warn out. I really hate the engineering of these front ends.



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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 09:00 PM
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spot weld them, or they will come back out
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 09:50 PM
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I've heard of that before Don,......now I know why!

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 11:04 PM
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Yes like Don said spot weld! I did not spot weld mine and they backed out had to redo them.

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Impala
Year: 1971
Doors: 4
Motor: 400 V8
Tranny: TH350
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2010, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Great. Well, everything is all bolted in now so I'll see how far I get before it starts squeaking again. Guess I should have posted before I reassembled.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the new ride height. No more low rider. I am pretty happy with it and rides so nice now. Took one coil out of big block, no A/C coils. I still have to install the A/C compressor so it should settle a touch lower.

Now:



Previous: (with 3 people in it and on the snubbers)

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:43 PM
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Love those hide-aways. Your car looks great. I did the same as you on my 65 and cut a coil before installing new Moogs. Not a fun job. I had the exact same fears when compressing the springs with an impact. You feel like you could lose a hand if this thing explodes.

Yours sits perfectly level now, just like mine. Don't expect it to settle much. You'll be glad you cut that coil. Mine was rock hard before, with full springs. The opposite or yours when it was way low. You sound like me, hoping it will lower just a little more. They ride great in the middle like they are.

Cool looking car man. Good luck.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 04:09 PM
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Nice Scott, that car is such an eye-getter. (is that even a word?)

hey, you going to the Optima Battery event at Putnam Park on Memorial Day weekend??

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. BA- a lot better than sitting in Rubens garage for the last 16 years huh? I'm really enjoying the car.

The fun part about doing new springs is dropping that control arm on the lower ball joint with all that stored energy in front of you. By the time you have it compressed enough in the chassis to get it on the ball joint the clips are aleady coming off. You sit there and realize how much force it took just to compress them on the bench. :-o

BA- nope not planning on the Optima thing. You going? I'm still spending my free time thrashing on my Camaro trying to get it back on the road. I'll hopefully be wrapping it up on that weekend. I've been to Putnam before and that's a great track.
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