Seems as if you can track my maintenance schedule by event days, if not holidays. I didn’t plan it that way. It’s just a fact that getting the parts and the maintenance time at the right place only works out on special days. The parts hunt was fairly easy with the exception of finding the right ball joints. As is the case with buying a used racecar, you’re never certain of the parts that are on the car which can test your patience when you need to replace them. That’s exactly what happened when I tried to buy new ball joints.
I knew that I had a Metric lower A-Arm, with a pretty big stud in the ball joint. Making sure that the length of the stud and the taper on the stud are identical is critical to maintaining the existing roll center and fitment in the spindle. So I look through my catalogs and find the one that I think will work. The next day, I make a trip to the parts store and purchase two of these ball joints. That night, I cut out the old ball joint (it was welded in) and press it out of the lower control arm. As I start to install the new one into the control arm, I notice that the new ball joint slides into the control arm with room to spare. Lots of room. Back to the parts store.
To make a long story shorter, I tried three different ball joints before I found the right one. I walked away with the Moog K6117T. That night I weld it in to the A-Arm. This was a four day evolution from start to finish.
Next stop was to unpack the new parts that arrived from Speedway Motors. I had wanted to change the front rotors and hubs out to standardize the lug patterns on the car all the way around. The fronts originally had 5 on 4 ¾ lug patterns. The rears are 5 on 5 lug patterns. I have about twenty IMCA stamped rims, all 5 on 5 lug pattern with the exception of the two that came on the front of the car. So the new rotors would help solve the issue of standardizing the lug patterns with spending too much. Speedway sells a GM ’79 and up Metric Rotor with a 5 on 5 pattern, part number 910-31061. When replacing the rotors, it only made since to buy new bearings for the hubs too.
Finally I bought the Speedway Motors adjustable upper A-Arm kit. The old one was cracked and needed repair. It would only be useful as a spare in case of race damage. So I repaired it and stored it away in the pit box.
With that, it was time to reassemble the front right suspension. A little cleaning and painting with high temp flat black paint made the old parts look better and worthy of these new components. The ball joint was pressed and welded into the lower A-Arm, and the A-Arm was mounted on the chassis. I have to add that I used new hardware when installing the old parts back on the car. The existing bolts were badly pitted and corroded that I wouldn’t trust using them on suspension parts.
Once the A-Arms were re-installed, the spindle and spindle saver were reattached. The tie rod end was attached as I made a note to replace the stock tie rod with a heim style tie rod end with bump stop hardware for adjustable steering geometry. Once the spindle was in place, the hub with bearings were installed. And lastly, the brake caliper was put on.
Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I was ready to tackle the other side. Just not today. I think that President’s day is coming up soon.