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Old 11-03-2019, 09:17 PM   #1
msg
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66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

I did the tear down a few years back and now I am re assembling the front suspension but Im new to this and don't want to screw up. I have no engine in at the moment or transmission, just a cab. power steering gear box, control arms. coils, shocks, spindles and rotors. As I have been going along so far I havent been torquing too many of these component just a good tightening since I was told to wait until I have a fuller load onto the suspension.

I have what you see here laid out, new parts ready to assemble but Im not sure what order these need to go on from here and when to torque...wait until the engine is in? Or just install the tie rods and such and put the front tires on and let it down off the front jacks and onto the tires and torque away?

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:19 AM   #2
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

I tighten/torque as I go and put the cotter pins in if they have a place for it. I also grease as I go. That way nothing gets missed. From the pictures the next steps are the idler arm, drag link (making sure it is facing the correct direction, then you tie rod ends. When I did my brake swap on the 66 I used all the same year stuff off the donor for the idler arm, tie rods and spindles so there was no mixing of years in the parts to make it more simple to get replacement parts. What are you using on yours?
Jimmy
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

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Originally Posted by PGSigns View Post
I tighten/torque as I go and put the cotter pins in if they have a place for it. I also grease as I go. That way nothing gets missed. From the pictures the next steps are the idler arm, drag link (making sure it is facing the correct direction, then you tie rod ends. When I did my brake swap on the 66 I used all the same year stuff off the donor for the idler arm, tie rods and spindles so there was no mixing of years in the parts to make it more simple to get replacement parts. What are you using on yours?
Jimmy
Thanks Jimmy for the reply, I'll start torquing the things I havent yet. Ive kept a list. Is the engine weight a big factor though? Will it all need re torquing once Ive got the engine in? Things like upper and lower ball joints and shocks?

As far as the parts I ordered, I used the 1966 settings on rock auto for the idler arm and tie rods. The brake swap was done in 2005 by a shop and they had ordered new replacement parts, from what year Im not sure. They didnt replace any of the tie rods or idler arm. On that idler arm, the moog part has a spacer or bracket in the box. I was thinking to add it to the inside of the frame and bolt through it. Speaking of bolts I will need to get shorter ones, the one in the kit are way too long. Must not be meant for a c shape frame.

Ill go to fastenal and see what they can sell me as a substitute.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:03 PM   #4
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

Installed the idler arm with some shorter grade 8 bolts and according to the assembly manual from what I could tell it required 50 lbs of torque.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

Then I assembled the tie rods, I marked the left and right ones in case I messed up and needed to know which was which. I took the original and measured the driver side up at 15 1/4 from zerk fitting on each end. Im sure during the alignment they will patch things up but this is close i thought as a start.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:08 PM   #6
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

Don't tighten the bolts holding the upper control arm bushings in until you have the entire weight of the truck on the suspension. If you do it now, it will put a preloaded twist on the bushings, and you can expect a shortened life. When installed at ride height, they cycle through a smaller range of motion, and can tolerate that. Same goes for the lowers, if they are not metal. My C20 truck, they're metal and greased. I'd also recommend waiting to put the front springs in until you have enough weight to jack the lower control arm up to attach the nuts. If you have a spring compressor, that would be OK to do sooner. But still leave the bolts on the a-arms for later.

While I'm at it, also wait until the entire weight of the truck is in place before putting the driveshaft in, and support the rear axle when doing it. If the diff is hanging, the center support bearing grommet will get pushed out of shape when the rear tires are back on the ground.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:11 PM   #7
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

The drag link was installed and I immediately can tell that I need to get 90 degree zerk fittings or an adapter for the grease gun, jeez this is tight.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

Your progress is looking good. The engine weight has nothing to do with getting stuff tight. It does make it easier to get the springs in but you are past that. I have fully tightened every front end part I have replaced in the last 40 years while the vehicle was on the lift.
Jimmy
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:35 AM   #9
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

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Originally Posted by Steeveedee View Post
Don't tighten the bolts holding the upper control arm bushings in until you have the entire weight of the truck on the suspension. If you do it now, it will put a preloaded twist on the bushings, and you can expect a shortened life. When installed at ride height, they cycle through a smaller range of motion, and can tolerate that. Same goes for the lowers, if they are not metal. My C20 truck, they're metal and greased.
Thanks Steeveedee, when I reassembled the upper and lower control arms the end cap bushing is metal and a rubber seal on the control arm shaft is on the other side. Is this still the type of bushing that the pre load is a no-no? It sounded like you were saying if they are not metal on the lowers then dont worry about the pre load? When I re assembled I used this thread as a guide

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...9&postcount=17

I had tightened up just until the metal shavings began on each side, like he has in that thread on the 2nd to the last pic. I didnt tighten them with the torque wrench to 100lbs yet, so I can do that once the car is fully loaded with the engine in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeveedee View Post
I'd also recommend waiting to put the front springs in until you have enough weight to jack the lower control arm up to attach the nuts. If you have a spring compressor, that would be OK to do sooner. But still leave the bolts on the a-arms for later.
The springs we got in with ratchet straps and a floor jack, seemed dicey but worked. Here is my thread of that happening.
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=795128

The bolts in the a-arms you mentioned for later, which ones exactly? The ones to frame?


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Originally Posted by Steeveedee View Post
While I'm at it, also wait until the entire weight of the truck is in place before putting the driveshaft in, and support the rear axle when doing it. If the diff is hanging, the center support bearing grommet will get pushed out of shape when the rear tires are back on the ground.
I will add that to the assembly plan, thanks!
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: 66 Front suspension re assembly help- any particular order needed?

The bolts that hold the bushing into the a-arm. You can tighten the shaft to frame bolts any time.
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