The only thing most hot rodders care about is going straight, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. However, with 500hp street machines becoming the norm rather than the exception, those turns come up a lot quicker than they did just 10 years ago. Even for enthusiasts that aren't interested in road racing their muscle cars, the last thing you want when hammering through your favorite backwoods road is sloppy steering and a raggedy suspension. Rebuilding a car's underpinnings is just as much about safety as it is performance, so to find out how to do the job right we solicited the input of Brian Entrot of Performance Suspension Technology.
For the last 25 years, the company has been providing top-notch suspension rebuild components for classic Detroit iron. Frustrated by the hassle of tracking down the dozens of components needed to rebuild their muscle cars' suspension from a dwindling list of suppliers, a group of car guys got together to fill the void in the mid '80s. As the OEs began discontinuing critical rebuild items such as idler arms and centerlinks, PST stepped up by manufacturing its own. Today, it offers a full line of suspension rebuild components, performance handling parts, and brake kits.
Performance Suspension Technology was started up by a group of enthusiasts in 1985 who wanted to make sourcing parts for suspension rebuilds easier. Prior to PST, customers pieced together steering and suspension components from a variety of sources across the country. This process became harder and harder as many idler arms and centerlinks were discontinued by the major manufacturers. PST began offering frontend kits that include all of the most commonly worn components in a frontend. We have reproduced many of the rare and discontinued components over the years to keep it easy and convenient for enthusiasts to get all the necessary parts from one source. With so many customers purchasing front suspension rebuild kits from us, we began to get a lot of requests for other components such as sway bars, shocks, springs, steering boxes, and brake kits. Today, we have an extensive catalog of suspension, steering, and brake components for muscle cars.
Many muscle car enthusiasts aren't interested in road racing their cars, but know that they should rebuild their worn-out, 40-year-old suspension. Loose, sloppy steering makes for an uncomfortable and sometimes scary driving experience. Typical high-wear components that need to be replaced during a rebuild are the upper and lower ball joints, front control-arm bushings, sway-bar bushings, stabilizer links, outer tie-rod ends, and in some cases pitman arms and centerlinks. "We consider these components the bare essentials of a frontend rebuild since they see the most wear, which is why they're included in our standard Front End Kits," Brian explains. "For a complete rebuild, we recommend also replacing the inner tie-rod ends, adjusting sleeves, idler arm, and upper inner control-arm shafts, which are included in our Super Front End Kits. There's a good chance that these are worn, and it's still a good idea to replace them as preventive maintenance even if they're in fair shape. Replacing everything at once ends up saving you time and money down the road."