Thirty-six years of road sludge made the rebuild look pretty formidable when we pulled the front wheels off the car. The first order of business was to undo the steel brake lines and remove each brake flex line from its frame-mounted bracket. After the brakes are disconnected, remove the cotter pin and the castle nut on each outer tie-rod end and separate it from the steering arm with a pickle fork (shown). We then removed the idler arm and separated the pitman arm from the center link, which allowed us to remove the entire steering linkage as a complete assembly. Thirty-six years of road sludge made the rebuild look pretty formidable when we pulled the Our 65s strut-rod bushings were so trashed that you could feel the wheels jerk fore and aft when braking and accelerating. To remove the bushings, take off the nut at the front of each rod. Unbolt the other end of the rod from the lower control arm, pull the rod out of the frame, and slide off the old bushings. The length of the rod is adjustable, but we opted to leave the factory setting alone. Our 65s strut-rod bushings were so trashed that you could feel the wheels jerk Remove the cotter pins from the upper and lower ball joints, then back off the castle nuts a couple of turns. Remove the nut and bushing at the top of each shock absorber and undo the two bolts that hold the shocks in place at the lower control arm. Remove each shock, then use a floor jack to raise the lower control arms enough to compress the spring (1-2 inches). Use a pickle fork and a 3-pound (minimum!) hammer to separate the spindle from the upper and lower ball joints. If they dont want to separate, use a bigger hammer. After separating the ball joints, slowly lower the jack to safely release the spring tensionweve seen careless people at the boneyard laid out by flying coil springs, and it aint pretty. Remove each spindle and set it aside. Remove the two bolts securing each upper A-arm to the frame and lift the arms out through the wheelwells. Remove the cotter pins from the upper and lower ball joints, then back off the castle nuts On 65-70 fullsize GM cars, a large bolt holds the lower control arm onto the frame. The bolt incorporates a keyed eccentric cam that rides in a slot on the frame and allows camber and caster adjustment. Mark the orientation of the eccentric cam to maintain the camber setting when you reinstall the arms. Remove the nut on the back of the eccentric bolt, pull off the eccentric cam, and drive the bolt out with a punch. Remove the lower control arm. On 65-70 fullsize GM cars, a large bolt holds the lower control arm onto the f 5The lower-control-arm bushings are shimmed with metal washers on both ends. Our Energy Suspension polyurethane-bushing kit required that we reuse the original metal washers, so we carefully pried them from the old bushings with a screwdriver. 5The lower-control-arm bushings are shimmed with metal washers on both ends. Our Energy Su Here is where the real fun begins. If your car still has its original upper ball joints (theyll be riveted in place), youll have to grind off the rivet heads and drive the rivets out with a punch. We used a cutoff wheel to grind the rivet heads flush with the ball-joint body, which made it relatively easy to punch out the rivets. If you dont have access to a cutoff wheel, weve found that center punching and drilling the rivet heads is a good alternative to grinding. Be sure to first drill a pilot hole with a smaller-sized drill bit and dont drill too far into the ball-joint body before using the hammer and punch to drive the rivets out. Drilling too deeply means youll drill into the A-arm itselfnot good. The lower ball joints are held in place by rivets as well as a nut; removing the nut first will make rivet removal easier. Here is where the real fun begins. If your car still has its original upper ball joints (t 7Energy Suspension requires that you reuse the original outer steel sleeves in the lower-control-arm bushings. We drilled a number of holes through each rubber insert and pried the smoking remains out with a screwdriver. The upper bushings can be removed after taking the bolts and washers off the ends of each cross-shaft. Energy Suspension furnishes new sleeves for these bushings, so you can drive out the bushing and metal shell as one unit. After disassembling the A-arms, we handed the crusty parts over to a local sandblaster. 7Energy Suspension requires that you reuse the original outer steel sleeves in the lower-c Leave the new bushings in the freezer overnight, and the polyurethane material should contract enough to allow you to press the bushings into the arms by hand. Prior to installing any of the new bushings, pull them apart and coat all the sliding surfaces with a liberal coat of the supplied Teflon grease. Leave the new bushings in the freezer overnight, and the polyurethane material should cont We cleaned the sandblasted pieces with Eastwoods Pre-Prep and hung them on a ladder before shooting them with a few coats of Eastwoods Chassis Black. We cleaned the sandblasted pieces with Eastwoods Pre-Prep and hung them on a ladder We let the paint dry overnight and returned in the morning to install the ball joints on the freshly painted arms. One of each of the lower ball joint fasteners has an extra-large head and functions as a steering stop; remember to install this at the rearward position. We let the paint dry overnight and returned in the morning to install the ball joints on t The inner sleeve on the new lower-control-arm bushing was too small to accommodate the metal shim washers. We cut 1/2 inch off each sleeve and centered it in the bushing to make room for the metal end washers. Now you can press the bushing into the A-arm and install the thin polyurethane washer on the protruding end. Position the metal washers on either side of the bushing and lift the entire arm into the frame bracket. Install the eccentric bolt from the front of the frame bracket and slide the keyed eccentric cam over the bolt end. Rotate the cam until your scribed marks line up. The inner sleeve on the new lower-control-arm bushing was too small to accommodate the m The upper A-arm bushings are easy to install; just remember to position the cross-shafts before pressing in the bushings. The upper A-arm bushings are easy to install; just remember to position the cross-shafts b Grease the side of each bushing and loosely position the washers and bolts on the shafts ends. Lift each arm through the wheelwell and bolt the arms up to the frame. Unlike a GM A-body with double A-arms, there shouldnt be any shims between the upper arm and frame because the eccentric bolt on the lower control arm sets the alignment. Grease the side of each bushing and loosely position the washers and bolts on the shafts Place the coil springs in the frame pocket and make sure the coil ends are lined up with the coil-shaped recesses in the frame and lower control arm. You may need a spring compressor for this step if your car rides on stock-height springs. Wed already cut 11/2 coils from our stock front springs, so they were short enough that we didnt need to compress them. Next, position a floor jack toward the outer edge of the lower control arm (for maximum leverage). Locate the spindle on the lower ball-joint stud, and have a friend raise the jack until you can place the upper ball-joint stud through the spindle. Thread the castle nuts on the ball-joint studs as far as you can, and slowly lower the jack. Check to verify that the spring is seated properly in its pockets. If the springs arent oriented properly on both sides of the car, the ride height will be uneven. Reinstall the shock absorbers. Slide the new Energy Suspension bushing on the strut rods, bolt the rods to the lower control arms, and tighten the jam nut on the forward end of each rod. The strut rods are adjustable in length, but we opted to leave the factory setting alone. Note: you may have to adjust the eccentric bolt to move the lower control arm so the strut rod holes line up. Place the coil springs in the frame pocket and make sure the coil ends are lined up with t PSC furnished all-new steering linkage, including the center link, which is a wear part on this car, so the next step was assembling the inner and outer tie rods. You can approximate the previous toe-in setting by measuring the length of the old tie-rod assemblies (zerk fittings at the tie-rod ends are a convenient reference for measuring). Thread the new inner and outer tie rods together with the adjusting sleeves, and turn the sleeves to adjust the length so its close to the previous setting. Tighten the bolts on the adjusting sleeves and install both tie-rod assemblies onto the center link. Before installing the idler arm, verify that the supplied spacer and dust boot are properly installed over the threaded stud. Install the idler arm from underneath the car and have a buddy thread the nut on the top end of the stud. PSC furnished all-new steering linkage, including the center link, which is a wear part on Notice a difference between these lower control arms? Our original six-cylinder Biscayne rolled off the assembly line without a stabilizer bar, so the original arms didnt even have a provision for the end-link brackets. We grabbed another set of lower arms from a 68 Caprice and rebuilt those instead. Fortunately, the frame was drilled and tapped for the frame-mounted stabilizer bar brackets (arrow). We think most V-8 cars were equipped with front stabilizer bars, but check your lower control arms before you rebuild them. Notice a difference between these lower control arms? Our original six-cylinder Biscayne r We pirated the stock 15/16-inch stabilizer bar from our forlorn 65 Bel Air wagon and cleaned and painted it using Eastwoods Underhood Black. Install the frame-bracket bushings on the bar with the opening facing forward. Slide the bar through the clearance hole on each side of the frame and bolt up the frame brackets. We pirated the stock 15/16-inch stabilizer bar from our forlorn 65 Bel Air wagon and Install the end-link kit on each end of the stabilizer bar. Tighten the end links after the car is off jack stands, at ride height. That about wraps things upwe still need to reassemble the brakes and torque everything to spec, but the hard work is done. We got the 65 on the road and aligned the next day, and the car is a totally different animal, augmented by the road-holding effect of the stabilizer bar. The detailed suspension components look so good that were gonna bring mirrors to show it off at the next cruise-in. Or not. CC Install the end-link kit on each end of the stabilizer bar. Tighten the end links after th Car restoration is full of exhilarating experienceslike breaking in the cam on a fresh motor, rolling the freshly painted shell out of the body shop, or setting off on the maiden shakedown run. Rebuilding the front suspension isnt that exciting; in fact, its usually a greasy, thankless job, but the results can be just as rewarding. Many of us learn to live with a worn-out suspension, just as we rationalize our failing eyesightits not great, but it gets the job done. But just like donning that new pair of glasses, testdriving your ride after a thorough suspension rebuild may leave you awestruck over how bad things really were. Follow along as we tear apart the front end of our 65 Biscayne and rebuild the tired suspension with Energy Suspension bushings from Performance Suspension Components. Doing this job yourself is a cost-effective weekend project because its very labor intensive, and labor costs money. Your labor, of course, is free, but before you get giddy with your sledgehammer, realize this job isnt for everyone. If youre not prepared to spend a weekend covered in grease, or if youre fanatical about keeping your driveway clean, wed recommend you get someone else to do the job. Were used to being covered in grease, and our driveway is a lost cause, so check out how we did it and decide for yourself if you want to tackle the job on your own car. SOURCES Energy Suspension 1131 Via Callejon San Clemente CA 92673 The Eastwood Co. 263 Shoemaker Rd. Pottstown PA 19464 800-345-1178 610-644-0560 www.eastwoodco.com Performance Suspension Components Phoenix AZ www.performancesuspension.com Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!