Steering and front suspension for my '55 Chevy Hardtop:

Update #4

Checking out the disk brake fit with my 15" Torque Thrust wheels....

First I needed to fit in the upper "bumpers" in the frame under the upper A-arms. That meant compressing the coil-overs enough to get them into place.....

Once again, when trying to put a jack under the lower A-Arm to compress the coil, it only lifted the car, so had to haul out the 4x4 and tie it to the front of the frame, worked slick, I got the coil compressed and put the upper rubber bumper in place....

Decided I did not want that bumper compressed for any length of time while working on the rest of the car, so I stuck a piece of wood in under the upper A-Arm to hold the load up off the bumper....

Dug out all the parts for the brakes, and fitted the caliper bracket onto the spindle on the rear side....

I don't think it makes any difference if the caliper is hanging out in front of the spindle, or at the rear, the holes are there where it could go either way, but the conventional wisdom seems to be to hang them behind the spindle, so that's what I did....

Then I pulled the calipers out of the box and hung one on to see how that looked....

Remember that the air bleeder screw needs to go at the top of these calipers.

The specs on these brakes are '79 - '81 Chevelle, 10.5" rotors, easy to find parts for.

It all looks good, so time to load in the brake pads....

Looking good here!

Now to check the fit with my 15" Torque Thrust rims....

It's all lookin' good! Now it's time to fit the tranny to the motor and stick it in place, make sure everything clears as needed, and weld the new motor side mounts in place....

Time for a new page....



UPDATE #3

The lower ball joints were hitting on the steering arms, had to grind a small relief into the edge of the steering arms next to the ball joints, no problem now....

Put in some long grade 8 bolts to get as much unthreaded shank in the steering arms as I could, then trimmed off the excess bolt threads flush....

The brake rotors came from Heidt's with 7/16" by 1" long wheel studs, a bit inadequate for this application....

Pressed those out and pressed in some 1/2" by 1-3/4" wheel studs I got from Moser....

Looks a lot better now....

Bolted up good n' tight....

UPDATE #2:

When I pulled these front steering linkage off the car, it was well incrusted with dirt, grease, who knows what....

After a couple hours (nawww, more like half a day) of scraping with a putty knife, and then scrubbing with a wire brush in the solvent tank, it started to look like the parts I wanted....

It will take some fresh paint, some new grease cups on the ball joints, some fresh grease, but they all seem tight and clean, and had been well lubricated (over-lubed maybe??) over all these years. I am assuming they are the originals, they look like it. In any event, they are going back in.

UPDATE #1:

Got all the old stuff pulled of the front of the frame, and got it pretty well cleaned up and partially painted with Rusteoleum Black Hammertone paint, came out pretty nice!

Going ahead with a 500 power steering box, and Heidt's tubular A-arms, upper and lower, with coil-overs and the 2" dropped spindles, with the early GM disk brake setup. I think it's a Chevelle setup.

With all the parts stripped off the front end, the front of this car is so light that when I put the jack under the lower A-arms to compress the coil-overs when installing, it lifted the front end off the jack stands! Had to resort to this setup with a 4x4 and the frame tied to that!

Nothing exotic here, pretty standard aftermarket bolt-on parts. Will put an Ididit painted tilt steering column in. The point here is to get all the frame parts installed so I can fit the LT1 motor and T56 tranny in, with the Hooker Super Comps installed, and make sure there are no "conflicts"....

More Later....



First Post This Page:

Here's what I started with, the frame is solid, not bent or rusted out, but after stripping out the suspension and steering, it needs cleaning and fresh paint.

I've decided that power steering is going to go in, and am considering a rack and pinion setup...

Not sure how easy it would be to fit a R&P in this frame though, looks like the front cross member would be in the way of a good setup....

Been scraping and wire brushing, trying to get it clean enough to paint. A lot of work, and I still have to do some sheet metal repairs in the ventilation air boxes behind the firewall on each side.

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