Front Suspension

The main project is finally moving. My Global West suspension finally arrived this week. This area is the next big step to get the car to rolling again, which leads to an engine and a functional interior.

I have to admit that these parts are pretty impressive engineering. Rather than the original stamped steel, they are built on a tubular design, which provides a more structurally sound base.  Now, I don’t know that I need that “above and beyond” strength, but this is heavily into the “I am only doing this once” bracket, so I went with it.  Plus, I went with the street version, not the track spec, so this can’t be overkill, right?

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The tubes make it thicker for the contact point for the spring perch.  Fortunately, they planned ahead and also included the longer bolts to deal with the difference.  Picking this thing up, it just feels like a beast.

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Add the Opentracker roller perches with a similar quality and design and we’re on to something.

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Comparing the stamped steel design of the original lower control arm to the Global West tubular version, you can see the stronger design. Again, maybe this is just car porn, but I can appreciate the engineering behind this. Also, note that the attach point for the frame is not a rubber bushing, but a floating joint. Again, more cool.

The upper control arms came with a template to do the Arning drop. By the time I started researching what to build, I had to look it up too. Evidently, it’s one of those things you need to do if you ever have your car at this state of disassemble. You can read more about it here.

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So I went to Lowes and picked up a couple of half inch bolts, nuts, and washers and got to work. I previously picked up a new drill (more power) with a bit set up to half inch for steel drilling.  Evidently the Global West kit requires a 9/16 hole, so I pick up that bit as well.  No more delays. It’s time to put some holes in my newly deholed chassis.

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It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Still not excited to be adding holes after all the filling, but I made up for it by looking at the new parts again.

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It went together pretty quick considering. Again, why this is a project about waiting for parts more than building a car. I had to take off the crossmember to bolt down the eccentric bolt on the lower control arm. Easy enough at this stage to pull it off and put it back on.  I was able to finally connect my new steering linkage as well. Just out of sight is a new idler arm from Opentracker connected to all new tie rods.

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Not far down the list is going to be a new steering box. I am still looking for my pitman arm from the disassembly. I hope to find it attached to my old manual steering box somewhere.

To end the day, I added the strut rods. These things are something else. Rather than the dual bushing design, they have a joint at the front just behind where it attaches. It’s adjustable at that point, much easier than the original design. The tail end is effectively the same where it connect to the lower control arm. I saw an under car camera video of the difference between original and new style like this and it was pretty dramatic for holding the wheel stable across bumps.

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At this point, I am left with installing springs, then on to the brakes. Fortunately, I have 3 sets of springs that have not had an engine on them. I don’t say new because at least one set is over a decade old. Global West suggests a linear spring with their suspension, but I went with a progressive spring. I still cant decide. This won’t be the last of the springs either. Once I get an engine in it, I am sure the car is going to ride too high and need to have the springs cut. For now, I just need something in it to hold it up once I get wheels on the ground.

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It’s definitely progress. Wheels on the ground isn’t too far off.

Parts List

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