tools for front suspension work - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 02, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: rockville, MD USA
Posts: 23

Other than some tool or "method" to keep the coil springs from shooting out and hitting something, are there any other special tools needed to replace front suspension bushings and parts (like the pst kit, for example)?

I got the helm manual and was looking at the part on front suspension and it calls out several special tools for getting bushings out/in and doing other things. Are these really required or can one improvise with regular tools?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 02, 04:32 AM
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Matt Jones
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Renton, WA USA
Posts: 2,765

Spring compressor is the safest way, but you can get some chain to chain up the spring so it wont become a UFO. Pickle fork for seperating the ball joints...good sized hammer (3lb?)...lots of rags.

1969 Base Camaro
Vortec 350, Perf. RPM, Demon Carb., TH-400
All sheetmetal is NOS GM

[This message has been edited by Silver69Camaro (edited 01-30-2002).]
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 02, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,988

If you are going to press in your own bushings etc. you will need a big C clamp and a socket or piece of pipe to help drive in the parts. You might also need to fabricate some support members for the clamp and a-arms, so you may need access to a welder.

Everything else is pretty straight forward and can be done with normal tools.

See my '68 RS/ZZ4 at
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 02, 01:53 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Frisco, TX
Posts: 383

If you are changing the pitman arm you will need a 1&5/16" socket. This socket is about one size larger than most people have. I bought a cheapo from Harbor Freight. Probably will never use it again....

Also, I highly recommend using a spring compressor. You can borrow one for free from any Autozone and keep it as long as you need it. Same thing for the pickle fork.

One last thing. Have LOTS of penetrating oil and patience. Good luck!

Dave Richard
68RS/SS Convertible
L48 (350/295 Powerglide)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 02, 05:10 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Fremont,Ne.
Posts: 302

Save yourself the aggravation and take the uppers and lowers to a parts store that will replace the bushings.

I replaced my own in my stock car and it was a PIA. When I did the front suspension on my 67, I took the new bushings and the suspension parts to the local parts store and had them replace it. Yeah, you pay them labor, but IMO it was worth it.

If you do go this route, don't piant them before you drop them off. They'll mess them up.




67 Camaro (Almost done!)
76 Trans Am Stock Car
68 Dodge D-100 P/U
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 02, 05:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 278

Harbor Frieght has an internal spring compressor for $14. You can also pic up a pickle fork to seperate the ball joints. Then take the control arms to machine shop and have them blast clean, remove and install the bushings and ball joints.

If you want to, you can improvise with a bench vise and some "choice" sizes of pipe and angle iron spacers, to remove and install the bushings and ball joints but it is much easier with a press.

good luck,
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 02, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: rockville, MD USA
Posts: 23

thanks for the replies.

The reason I asked the question in the first place was to determine if the "PIA" factor was low enough that I would do it myself. I really like the idea of removing the uppers and lowers myself, then taking somewhere to have the bushings changed.

I really hate the thought of paying somebody to do simple stuff that I could do, but I don't mind paying somebody for something that has a high PIA factor.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 02, 06:01 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Dallas, TX, USA
Posts: 168
Thumbs up

I like your approach nasadude! Always calculate the PIA Factor before beginning a project. My dad always mowed the lawn because he would only pay me 5 bucks to do it, and I figured the PIA Factor of mowing and edging for two hours was too high for just $5.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 02, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 59

My dad and I just replaced the front suspension on my 67. Took us 5 days. We probably wasted at least a day trying to remove and reinstall the control arm bushings and ball joints. Finally brought it to a shop and for $50 they did the job in an hour.
Also, the ball-joint stems were frozen in the spindles. We didn't have a torch to heat them up so we had to cut them out. That took up a good chunk of time, too.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 02, 11:23 AM
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Location: Torrance,Ca USA
Posts: 190

Air hammer/chisel in and out in minutes.
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