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Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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  #1  
Old Dec 31st, 12, 05:59 AM
Gbauer Gbauer is offline
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Default Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

1968 Standard hardtop with the 250 engine and 2-speed power glide tranny.

Yesterday was... interesting.

I had two projects to do: One was a 3-point seat belt install and the other was a power disc brake upgrade.

The 3-point seat belt install went pretty well. Bought this kit: http://www.ebay.com/itm/300668306893...84.m1439.l2649

I had to modify the small bracket that attaches to the roof a bit to clear a larger bolt than the hole drilled allowed but it was a minor thing. My 68 didn't have the mounting holes drilled at the top so I had to drill and tap them. The shoulder harness is very solid and overall the kit looks good.

...then I started on the power disc brake kit.

Here's my questions:

1) Any tips on how to remove the ball joints so I can get the spindles out? They're frozen on pretty darn well! I tried a ball joint fork but it's not doing anything.

2) Brake lines. Brake lines everywhere! The front passenger: How should it be routed? Under the engine or along the firewall?

3) Rear brake line: Any advice on where to get one and how to get my hands on the tools needed to plumb it up? The kit did not include a rear brake line and looking at things I can see why: It's very, very long. So approx. how many feet of brake line do I need? Rough guess and I'll buy 2 extra feel just to be sure.

4) Attaching the brake peddle to the booster: The kit included a new threaded bracket with a cotter pin to attach the pin coming out of the booster to the peddle assembly. How do I remove the stock bracket at the peddle? The clearance there is nil. Any tips?

5) Bleeding procedure: Advice on the order of the wheels to bleed? Looks like the rears are equal distance from the booster assembly so I would think either rear tire first followed by the passenger front wheel and finally the driver's side. Is this correct?

6) Anything special I need to know about assembling the front wheel bearings? I know to pack the bearings with grease but what about tolerance for the bearings?

7) Booster to firewall: The bracketry that attaches the booster to the firewall is at an angle. Should I shim it with a nut or have the booster pointed upward?
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  #2  
Old Dec 31st, 12, 06:49 AM
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HwyStarJoe HwyStarJoe is offline
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

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Originally Posted by Gbauer View Post
1) Any tips on how to remove the ball joints so I can get the spindles out? They're frozen on pretty darn well! I tried a ball joint fork but it's not doing anything.

Heat the ends of the spindles and keep hitting them with the fork.

2) Brake lines. Brake lines everywhere! The front passenger: How should it be routed? Under the engine or along the firewall?

Under the engine and attached with brake line clips to the cross member. There are holes in the cross member for the clips to bolt to. Where did the old line(s) attach?

3) Rear brake line: Any advice on where to get one and how to get my hands on the tools needed to plumb it up? The kit did not include a rear brake line and looking at things I can see why: It's very, very long. So approx. how many feet of brake line do I need? Rough guess and I'll buy 2 extra feel just to be sure.

Measure it. Or buy new pre-bent lines. Several companies sell complete brake line kits. It's a lot easier and safer (not to mention prettier!) to plumb in pre-bent lines.

4) Attaching the brake peddle to the booster: The kit included a new threaded bracket with a cotter pin to attach the pin coming out of the booster to the peddle assembly. How do I remove the stock bracket at the peddle? The clearance there is nil. Any tips?

It should come apart very easily... the same way the new one attaches. Not sure on a '68.


5) Bleeding procedure: Advice on the order of the wheels to bleed? Looks like the rears are equal distance from the booster assembly so I would think either rear tire first followed by the passenger front wheel and finally the driver's side. Is this correct?

Rear passenger, rear drivers, front passenger, front drivers. It's going to take a very long time to get new fluid all the way to the rears, so be very patient. Make sure you bench-bleed the master cylinder with fluid before installing it, or bleed it separately once it's installed. Otherwise you may never get fluid to the rears.


7) Booster to firewall: The bracketry that attaches the booster to the firewall is at an angle. Should I shim it with a nut or have the booster pointed upward?

It stays at an angle.
Buy the Factory Assembly Instruction Manual, and the Chassis Service Manual for a 1968 Chevrolet. They're readily available and worth their weight in gold.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 07:33 AM
Gbauer Gbauer is offline
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

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Originally Posted by HwyStarJoe View Post
Buy the Factory Assembly Instruction Manual, and the Chassis Service Manual for a 1968 Chevrolet. They're readily available and worth their weight in gold.
I plan on it. Just haven't had the time yet. I've only had the car for about 2.5 weeks of which a week was dealing with Christmas.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

They'll answer almost all your questions and show you exactly where everything goes for V8 and L6 cars.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

I presume you are referring to the lower ball joints, and that you have already removed the lower control arm.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 10:26 AM
Gbauer Gbauer is offline
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

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I presume you are referring to the lower ball joints, and that you have already removed the lower control arm.
Yep and nope! (edited that. read that too quickly!)

Also cannot get the upper ball joint out. The whole darn thing is stuck!

Both A-arms are still attached to the car on both sides (upper and lower) and the spindle is still in place.
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Last edited by Gbauer; Dec 31st, 12 at 12:55 PM.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

George, have you removed the rivets that hold them to the control arm? I'm just guessing that they are the original ball joints since you are having a hard time removing them. If so you can just beat them out with a BAH. Just don't miss and damage the control arm sockets they fit into. They will come out if you hit that stud enough times.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 11:51 AM
allanjs allanjs is offline
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

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Originally Posted by Gbauer View Post
Yep and yep.

Also cannot get the upper ball joint out. The whole darn thing is stuck!
Wow !! George, Why did you remove the upper & lower control arms and
spindle as an assembly if you're not replacing the control arms? It's now
going to be quite difficult to separate the ball joints from the spindle as you
no longer have the coil spring tension to help. Normal procedure can be
found on this site and other web sites. Using a pickle fork will almost
certainly damage the ball joint boots and possibly the ball joints
themselves. A pickle fork should be used as a last resort as they induce
stress on the ball joint cup. Your best bet at this point is heat on the
knuckle, penetrating fluid on the tapered joint, and a rattle gun on the
knuckle. If you don't have a torch and rattle gun available, take it to a
suspension shop.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 12:51 PM
Gbauer Gbauer is offline
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by allanjs View Post
Wow !! George, Why did you remove the upper & lower control arms and
spindle as an assembly if you're not replacing the control arms? It's now
going to be quite difficult to separate the ball joints from the spindle as you
no longer have the coil spring tension to help. Normal procedure can be
found on this site and other web sites. Using a pickle fork will almost
certainly damage the ball joint boots and possibly the ball joints
themselves. A pickle fork should be used as a last resort as they induce
stress on the ball joint cup. Your best bet at this point is heat on the
knuckle, penetrating fluid on the tapered joint, and a rattle gun on the
knuckle. If you don't have a torch and rattle gun available, take it to a
suspension shop.
The control arms are still attached. Just the steering was removed from the spindle. Everything is still on the car... unfortunately... and that's the problem.

I don't have a rattle gun but I do have a torch. I haven't bought an air compressor yet. It's on my lengthy wish list...
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 12:54 PM
Gbauer Gbauer is offline
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George
 
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by vjp819 View Post
George, have you removed the rivets that hold them to the control arm? I'm just guessing that they are the original ball joints since you are having a hard time removing them. If so you can just beat them out with a BAH. Just don't miss and damage the control arm sockets they fit into. They will come out if you hit that stud enough times.
What rivets? Where would they be located? I doubt they are original because they're of the shape they're in: too good to be that old. In fact I don't plan on replacing them if I can avoid it because I think they're only about 2,000 miles and 10 years old if the receipts I have are correct?
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

the 4 that attach each ball joint to the control arm. if they have been replaced as you believe then there are probably bolted on, and thats why you don't see any. I didn't realize you wanted to reuse the ones that you are trying to remove.


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Old Dec 31st, 12, 01:29 PM
Gbauer Gbauer is offline
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George
 
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by vjp819 View Post
the 4 that attach each ball joint to the control arm. if they have been replaced as you believe then there are probably bolted on, and thats why you don't see any. I didn't realize you wanted to reuse the ones that you are trying to remove.


http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=...8&fr=yfp-t-602
Ah... got it. They're actually bolts on mine.

That said I would prefer to keep them in place and just remove the spindle. Am I nuts for thinking that's possible? It feels like I'm nuts after trying to get them apart last night...
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 02:04 PM
allanjs allanjs is offline
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

George, As long as the control arms are still on the car this is fairly easy.
With the front of the car supported on jack stands, 1st you need to knock
the outer tie rod end loose from the steering arm. Remove the cotter pin
and loosen the tie rod end nut about 1/4". Using a heavy (like 3 lb) hammer,
hit the steering arm knuckle until the tie rod end is loose. Remove the nut
and let the tie rod swing. Now you can turn the spindle in and out by hand.
Next remove the cotter pins from the upper and lower ball joints and loosen
their nuts about 1/4". Now position a floor jack under the lower control arm
leaving a gap of about 1/4"-1/2". Now smack the lower spindle knuckle hard
with a 3lb or so hammer. The joint should pop apart. The jack will catch the
control arm. Now smack the upper spindle knuckle and it will pop apart. Do
not hit the ball joint threads. Now remove the lower nut completely and let
the floor jack down enough to allow you to slip the spindle knuckle off the
ball joint but not so far as to let the spring become unseated in the lower
control arm. You may have to pry the brake backing plate out of the way
some. Now hold the spindle up and remove the upper ball joint nut and slide
the spindle off. Just proceed with caution of course.
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Old Dec 31st, 12, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

Joints aren't expensive. If you've beat on them this much I'd just go ahead and replace them. It's a normal wear item anyway.
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Old Jan 1st, 13, 02:39 PM
Gbauer Gbauer is offline
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Default Re: Doing a PDB install: Have some questions

New spindles are on. Thanks for the advice, guys.

Every single step in this project has been wrought with problems. I'll type more after a good, hot shower.

...the car is still on jack stands...

Edit: I'm clean again...

Problems I ran into:

the drop spindles had a clearance issue between the upper control arm and knuckle at the top of the spindle. I had to grind it down quite a bit to clear. That said they did fit with the wheel installed. I didn't have the problems others ran into with drop spindles.

The brake peddle... uhg... connecting it to the booster is a real PITA! Still not connected.

Also had to sand down the spindle slightly for the bearings to fit. It was minor but still...

I would guess another decently long day to finish this. Seems a bit ridiculous just to switch to disc brakes. A LOT more involved than I thought it would be.
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Last edited by Gbauer; Jan 1st, 13 at 03:22 PM.
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