Q: Front End Rebuild on a 1968
I am getting ready to rebuild the front end on my 1968 coupe. I’ve never done this before and am wondering what I need to know. I know I need to dissasemble the whole front end, but what else? What tools would I need? How long does it take (I’ll have a couple of buddies helping out)? Is there anything I should be aware of, any possible problems?
A: I’m in the middle of doing mine on my 1969 convertible. About the only special tools that you need are a set of pickle forks and a BFH. Standard set of tools, jack stands, liquid wrench, beer, etc.
I bought a kit from PST and it is very complete. Also, unless you have a lot of patience and strength, you should take your upper and lower A frames (control arms) to a machine shop to have the bushings pressed out and in as well as the ball joint in the lower arm. BFH’s kinda work but it’s well worth the $60 or so you will pay to have them do it.
Hopefully I’ll have mine re-assembled this weekend so that I can get it aligned and ready for HAN.
A: I rebuilt my 1969 coupe with a kit from PST. All and all it worked out great. As far as tools you need: ball joint separator to separate the spindle from the ball joint, possibly a cold chisel, grinder or air chisel if your upper ball joints have never been replaced (factories are riveted in), an arbor press if you want to remove and replace the A-arm bushings yourself (not difficult if you have access to a press). It would also be good to have a smaller ball joint separator for the outer tie rod ends if you’re replacing them.
The first side of the car i tackled took me about 5 or 6 hours. This was fairly long compared to the other side which only took about 3 to 4 hours. One other thing was the coil springs. On my car there is no way possible to use a spring compressor without making it a permanent part or the car. So…. i had to use about a 5 foot bar to push the spring in by sliding the bar under the outer edge of the spring and push the bar up which pushes the spring inboard. A couple of these and it will go into place. But doing this you need a floor jack placed under the lower A-arm so you can jack the A-arm into position and secure it by threading the nut onto the lower ball joint to hold the A-arm up. It may not be the safest way but it works. If you take this route be sure to remove the grease fitting from the lower ball joint so it doesnt get broken off. The book will tell another way but its would be pretty difficult to compress the spring and then line up the A-arm bolts. Anyway good luck its not hard as long as you dont rush.
A: Hey guys, I was a technician and did a lot of front end work, and never needed a spring compressor on a GM F car (first gen) or GM A car (second gen – 68-72) unless it was too much spring. The spring can relax to the point where you can jockey it out with a prybar (very big!), and pop it back in with a push from the heels of both feet (spring needs to be lined up well at bottom). Spring compressors get in the way, unless you get the one that goes inside the spring with each end having 2 hinged hooks. I can’t remember who makes that one though!
A: I have to agree, I have had the springs out of my 1969 firebird 400 with only a jack under the control arm with car supported on jack stands once lower ball joint comes loose with a couple of good smacks with a big hammer just lower the jack until all tension is off the spring well you never get all the tension off but most all of the tension will come off of it enough that as he said it will come out with a big pry bar and back in with both your feet on it.
A: get a copy of july 1999 hotrod magazine. they did a 1967 camaro with a pst kit. i did my 1967 ‘bird following their pictures,,it worked great! took me 2 days with no work farmed out except allignment.
A: Well, we finished the front end rebuild today and what we did was use the spring compressor but only half of it (one side). It was enough to allow us to shove the lower part of the spring onto it’s perch and then we used a jack to raise the lower arm. On both sides the upper part of the spring seemed to be off it’s perch after raising the lower arm so I stuck a big wrench up in there and pried it back in. It made a HUGE pop so it scared the heck out of us the first time.
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Content last modified: January 20, 2014 at 8:38 pm