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Old 25-08-2014, 11:00 AM
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DaveD DaveD is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 154
Name: Dave
Next I removed the brake callipers from each side & removed each of the shock absorbers carefully as I will be reusing these as they are practically new adjustable ones

Then I didn’t have a breaker tool large enough to go over the top ball joint & clamp down on it so I had to use my fork to wedge between the joints to break them.. now on the drivers side I just belted the crap out of the joint until it finally gave way with a very load bang, but on the passenger side I had a moment of clarity & I realised that if I jacked up the whole assembly until it was level, knocked the fork in until there was some tension on the join & then dropped the jack quickly the joint split with little to no fuss.. I’m sure most people knew that trick but I didn’t..

& then I used my Formula 1 inspired home made brake fluid catch can to drain all the fluid out of the system so that I remove the brake lines & put them on the bench out of harms way, I’m currently in talks with Red Bull & Ferrari about selling the rights to this tool

Then I simply undid the nuts holding the brake spindle onto the lower arm & slide the whole brake spindle

Next to be removed was the lower ball joints, now these are not part of the Hotchkis TVS kit that I had ordered, but it was about this moment that I had another moment of clarity & realised there was no point in doing a half arsed job here, so I decided that I would buy any & all parts that where not in the TVS kit new as well & replace everything… this sadly will mean that I would have to wait for more parts.. but it would be worth the wait. Luckily the ball joint cracking tool that I have did fit these bottom joints so getting them off didn’t need the use of a hammer at all.. happy days

Then I undid the cammed bolts that hold the upper control arms in place, I forgot to take pics, but you need to remember what position the bolts where in when you removed them as they are adjustable & you want to put them back as close to the way they came out.. I have ordered all new cammed bolts to replace the old ones I removed.

New upper arm vs old

---------- Post added at 11:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:59 AM ----------

Next to be removed where the strut rods, that’s the road that you see here going from the lower control arm up to the chassis rail

I’d already used the rattle gun to remove the retaining bolts earlier, due to the fixed length design of these bars they don’t come out one you’ve simply undone the nuts

Now I hoped that once the lower arm had dropped down as low as it would go that the struts would be able to slide out due to the extra travel…. Sadly that’s not the case at all, so off I went to look it up in my new manual & then I was slightly bummed to discover that the only way to get them out is to remove the whole lower arm off the car.. & the only way to remove the lower control arm is to remove the torsion bars that run through the frame.. so a quick read up on how to do that & it seems you need a special tool, the guide specifically says not to clamp the bars with a vice grips to get them out as that will damage the bars & since I plan on reusing them I opted to get the special tool.. if you had access to some scrap steel & you knew how to weld you could make one of these in minutes I guess. It simply clamps onto the bar & then you hit the tool with a big hammer & out pops the bar..

In order to remove the bar there is a clip that live at the rear of the bar that holds it in place in the frame, I had to spend a while cleaning out ****loads of that bloody Shultz crap from here to let me get the clip out so that I could remove the bars, again something that anyone shultzing a car might want to cover up. Once the clip is off just hit the tool with a hammer until the bar starts to slide rear woods, the hex part that is locked into the lower control arm is fairly short so it doesn’t take much to get it out

This is the rear end easing out now where the clip had been caked in Shultz

Sliding the bar out

Bar out, these are not interchangeable left to right according to dodge, so I’ve marked them.. I’ll be cleaning them for reuse, the TVS kit did not come with new torsion bars although Hotchkis are sending me a set anyway but I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to using them as they are indexed differently to the stock ones & they reduce the ride height by quite a bit I’m told

Then I simply undid the nut on the lower control arm pivot shaft & removed the whole assembly

Then the strut rod just slides out

New vs old, the new one is adjustable for length

---------- Post added at 11:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:00 AM ----------

When I test fitted the new one in the lower control arm it became very clear that whilst I have the arm off I really do need to sand blast it & paint it… no point putting crappy looking parts back on & this is a part that is getting reused

The old parts pile was building up now

As I was inspecting the lower arms I noticed that the rubbers for the pivot shafts where very very stuffed

So off to the interweb & a new set of shafts & bushings where ordered.. now I had to press the old shafts out… but I don’t own a press & my normal backup plan of using the vice wasn’t an option as the vice wouldn’t open up far enough.. so I figured since I was replacing them any way I’d cut them

Now the assembly was small enough that I could use two sockets & my vice to press out the shaft, the rubber was fecked

Then passenger side one didn’t need pressing at all… I didn’t notice until I’d cut it, but the rubber was so far gone on this one that the shaft was rubbing on the bushing

This one I was able to just pull out by hand using a pliers.. something I’m sure your not supposed to be able to do, you can clearly see the wear marks

---------- Post added at 11:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:00 AM ----------

The kit comes with all new bump stops for the suspension, which is a good thing as all the ones on the car are smashed & hard now… sadly due to the heavy coating of Shultz I was really struggling to get the bloody things off as they would just spin when I tried to undo them.. so I invented another tool using an old broken tie rod breaker tool & an old bolt… this is why you should never throw stuff out.. I’m gona make a fortune launching my own brand of special tools

The front is now clear of all the suspension parts

Well that’s it for tonight, I’ll write up the strip down of the rear over the weekend

1969 Pontiac GTO - GM Weekend Toy
1972 Dodge Challenger Sixpack R/T Clone- Mopar Weekend Toy
1975 Ford XB Fairmont GS Coupe - Ford Weekend Toy
1978 Camaro - Chev Weekend Toy
4.2 Supercharged V8 RangeRover Sport - Daily driver
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