& that’s it… the upper control arm is now in
The next step was nice & simple, just reinstall the front strut back in… this moment made me smile as it suddenly looked like front suspension should, best two bolts I’d put on all night
Next up was the tie rods.. same as upper arm, I started by measuring them against the out going old parts so that the car will be close to drivable when it’s back on the ground before doing a wheel alignment.. once I had the tie rod at the right length I then bolted up the inboard end first.. the aftermarket extractor set up on this car is mad, the steering arm goes thru it & the clearance here is measured in mm.. I plan to replace the exhaust some time later this year, I might look into other options to see if I can get one that fits a bit better than this one
Then I bolted up the outer end, again as with a lot of parts on this kit which are looking to both use the existing pick up points & correct/improve the geometry at the same time spacers are installed here
The final step for the night was to bolt the spindle back on, this is not a new part I’ve just painted the old one as the spindles where fine when checked
Once that was done I jacked up the whole lower assembly to somewhere near level & then attached the top ball joint to the spindle… job done..
I’m busy the next two nights sadly, but Saturday morning I’ll put the passenger side back together & then I’ll fit the new front sway bar & that will be it… I’ll refit the old brake disks for now as I don’t want to leave the car off the road any longer now that I must
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So a bit of time was had in the Skunk Works garage on the weekend, so the passenger front went on… you know how when your working on cars often times one side is friendlier that the other.. well for the rear the easy side was the drivers & now at the front the easier was definitely the passenger… the original bracket didn’t need near as much grinding to allow the new control arm to fit in
Getting the nut on the cam’d bolt was awkward as there is so much on this side of the engine bay now
When fitting the other side as before there is a set of different sized spacers supplied as the kit explains that no two Dodges are build the same… & they are spot on the spacers needed for this side where different to the drivers side, proving that the tolerances are pretty big on this car.. once I measured the gap & worked out what spacers where needed it was then the fun task of actually trying to align the control arm, the cam bolt, two alignment bushes & 4 spacers… remember that mechanically minded octopus I mentioned in a previous post… you need him here again… I found that a dab of grease held the alignment bushes in place on the arm & then if I installed the cam bolt just enough to hold the first two spacers on I was able to get he arm in without anything dropping….
Then being very careful no to knock anything I was able to slide the last two spacers in whilst sliding the cam bolt thru
After a bit of wiggling of the cam bolt everything was in….
Tie rod & spindle back on..
The last piece of this suspension puzzle now is the front sway bar… I greased & fitted the rubber mounts to the bar
---------- Post added at 11:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:56 AM ----------
Then back under the car again… the sway bar set up on the Challenger is different to other muscle cars I own/did own in that it actually goes through the middle of the K-frame.. so I installed the bar through the K-frame.. this was not easy as the new bar is 220% stiffer & therefore a lot thicker than the stock bar so it only just fit through the gap..
Bolted up the saddle that holds the bar to the K-frame
Then bolt up the ends to the lower control arms..
& that’s it… all of the suspension has been replaced now… all that’s left to do is to fit the brakes & get an alignment done… it’s been a long project to do this but it’s been great fun.. I’m actually worried that when the car is back on the road I’ll miss working on it… might be time to start working on that spare XB Coupe shell I have… maybe a track car project would keep me busy
---------- Post added at 11:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:56 AM ----------
Now that I hopefully done with spending hours on my back under the car I’m focusing on some of the bits up top that need to be sorted… I decided to swap out the brake master cylinder for the new one that turned up last week… nice simple job this one as the brake lines are all already empty as the disks & callipers are off the car… so I undid the two brake lines & the 4 small nuts that hold the master onto the booster
Slide the old one out
Compare the old to the new on the bench to be 100% sure I’m not going to have any alignment issues
Bolt in the new one & redo up the lines… too easy