Goodmark Chevelle Project Car-Part 5

The Chevelle's chassis is prepped for its hot body

Jason Walker Jul 19, 2002 0 Comment(s)

It's pretty safe to say that we have passed the "dirty" part of the restoration process and are finally on our way to the re-assembly portion of the Goodmark Project Chevelle.

But before we get too far into the finishing touches of our mega-cool giveaway ride, let's take a look at what went on to upgrade the stock underpinnings. First, the chassis was media-blasted and painted by the boys at Metal Finish USA before it received a fresh coat of PPG's DP90 black primer. After the framerails were dry, the next steps involved bolting all the new or newly restored parts of the chassis and suspension in place. Talk about new parts, the front and rear of the Goodmark Chevelle will be riding and relying on a bevy of Hotchkis Performance parts, including, adjustable upper rear control arms, lower trailing arms and trailing arm mount braces, 1-inch lowered coil springs, and a 1-inch sway bar, linking the Nationwide Performance Parts 9-inch rearend to the Chevelle's chassis. Up front, Hotchkis supplied its tubular upper A-arms, 1-inch dropped coil springs, and a 1 3/8-inch sway bar. QA1 adjustable shocks will keep all four tires stuck firmly to the ground, and Master Power Brakes will make sure the rubber stops as good as it rolls with a four-wheel disc brake conversion kit. Also on the list of suspension parts are the 2-inch drop spindles from Superior Spindles, Performance Suspension Technology's Polygraphite frontend rebuild kit, and AGR's 21:1 ratio steering box. Is it just us, or does this car sound more and more like a full-fledged Pro-built pavement cooker? One thing is for sure: This Chevelle is going to drive as good as it looks.

Speaking of looks, there are four different types of black paint used on the chassis and suspension parts, ranging from flat to gloss. This isn't only due to the fact that the factory used many different shades of black on a multitude of parts, but it's also intended to draw attention to the parts that have been taken off, restored, and reinstalled. If every part shared the same black paint, then it would look as if the entire chassis and suspension was painted all together. This is to trick the eye, rather than trick the customer.

So with all of this in mind, let's take a closer look at how all these parts fit together and how amazing the completed chassis looks. Next time around, the engine and body will be bolted in for (hopefully) the last time (or at least for the next 30 years.)

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Check out the new 12:1-ratio street performance steering box from AGR Performance. This is an ideal power steering box for a Pro Touring ride.

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Here we can see a nice shot of the Hotchkis upper control arm with the Superior Spindle's drop spindle. Not only is the ride height going to be 2 inches lower (actually it will be 3 inches lower if you count the Hotchkis lowered coils), but the braking ability will also increase with the Master Power Disk Brake upgrade.

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Before installing the lower control arms, an even coating of polyurethane bushing grease was applied. This will ensure a non-squeaky ride for years to come.

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A large punch or screwdriver locates the lower control arm holes perfectly.

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The combination of the QA1 shocks and the Hotchkis coil springs screams street performance!

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Loading the shock and coil spring at the same time alleviates some frustration. Trust us!

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If you don't own a "floor-jack pad," a couple of welding gloves will obviously do the trick, as well.

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Next on the list was the Hotchkis 1 3/8-inch hollow sway bar. Just a straight-forward installation, like you would do with the factory sway bar. An extra set of hands come in handy at this point.

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Both wheel bearings provided in the Master Power Brake Kit needed to be greased. Once that dirty job was complete, the rotor and caliper could be installed.

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Installing the steering components so that the frontend was close to being aligned was easier when the link, tie rod ends, and tie rods were assembled before installation. This helped to achieve a starting point close to the original assembly. After the car is on the road, a good frontend alignment will definitely be on the top of the to-do list.

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After the steering and suspension are tightened, do not forget the cotter pins on all castle nuts. Very important!

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Before we installed the 9-inch rearend provided by Nationwide Performance Driveline, the brake line retaining tabs were installed, or rather welded, to the housing.

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While the rearend was being supported, the Hotchkis upper and lower trailing arms were installed. The upper arms are adjustable for fine-tuning of the pinion angle and pre-loaded for those neck-snapping launches.

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The Trailing Arm Mounting Braces do just what their name implies: offer extra support to the trailing arms.

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With the trailing arms installed we could now put the Hotchkis lowered coil springs and QA1 Shocks in place. These coils are wound to give a firm, yet comfortable, ride and to give an added 1-inch drop.

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Installation of the QA1 Shocks was as easy as that of the factory-style dampers. One of the great benefits to these trick aluminum-bodied shocks is the fact that they can be rebuilt and reused for a lifetime. The adjustability part is pretty cool, too.

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Last but not least was the Hotchkis 1-inch rear sway bar. The sway bar bolts directly to the lower control arm and, in the case of our Chevelle's chassis, happened to be the last piece of the puzzle.

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You know what this means. The body and engine installation is next...stay tuned!

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