Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rear Suspension Work

Well, I'm shutting down for the night. I didn't get as much done as I had hoped for, but then that's nothing new for me....

I followed the TSM, and dropped the outer flange for the half-shaft, and as soon as the shock was loose at the top, I lowered the jack, and the spring about fell out.

The upper isolator/cushion was in pretty good shape for being 30+ years old.

 But, WOW...the bottom one was toast!  I'd say it deserves retirement after 30+ years and 167,000 miles of faithful service.

 Had to do some finagling to get the shock installed, and it really would have helped if I'd had an extra floor jack, or a bottle jack, but I finally got the shock installed, and all the hardware tight.

 I also replaced the top bushings for the sway bar end links. They were really shot, and you could rattle them around a good 1/4"!

Some info on the new and old springs for those that keep track of this stuff.

The OEM springs are wound from wire that's .570" / 14.5mm in diameter, and have an overall free length of 14.25" / 360mm.

The new Dobinson C59-059 springs are wound from wire that's .604" / 15.3mm in diameter, and have an overall free length of 12.6" / 320mm.

Bigger wire, and a shorter OAL equals a stiffer spring, so even though it's specified to drop the car about .75", the rate should be higher. I know from my "bounce test" the other night that the front seems a lot stiffer, but I won't know for a day or two until I drive the car.

Final picture for the night I'm going to call "3 Down, and 1 To Go!".....

At this point all I have left to do is a preliminary bleeding of the brake caliper using the MityVac, and recheck everything to make sure all the hardware I touched is torqued properly. I'm playing hookey again from the Iowa on Wednesday (sorry, guys...) so I can get the left rear knocked out. As with the front, now that I've done it one time, the next time will be easier.


  1. Will it be finished by the time that you leave for Colorado?

    1. Projects like this are never "finished", as there's always something you want to do it.

      I still have the new carpeting to install, the new stereo, the rear spoiler/sunshade, and then there's paint and bodywork to make it look really nice.

      And di you mean Colorado or Las Vegas?

      Colorado is next year.

      Vegas is next week....

  2. Wish I'd learned some vehicle maintenance skills. I can do very basic things, but I think I am putting the son of my mechanic through college right now.

    1. I learned some real basic stuff in high-school when I took "General Shop", which was 6 weeks of wood shop, 6 weeks of print shop, 6 of auto shop, etc.

      The rest I taught myself by reading books, and working on my own cars, and helping my hot rod buddies.

      The hard core car culture is (was?) like a 'brotherhood'. Everybody helps everybody else, and we all benefit by sharing and learning.


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