Even though most of the effort put underneath a chassis is hardly ever seen, it can definitely be felt and more importantly provide a peace of mind that the foundation is safe and sound. Nobody likes spending endless hours underneath the car spinning a pneumatic wire wheel while particles launch into your face and eyes. Still, when it's all said and done, it's well worth it. Revamping the suspension on your project doesn't have to involve a truckload of cash. If the focus is placed primarily on swapping out the worn components, then the costs should remain relatively low.
If you recall, in our November '09 issue ("Surgical Joints," Pg. 58) we replaced the entire frontend with PST's bushing and suspension package, which included everything we needed to get the frontend buttoned up. Since PST offers nearly all the components to complete a front-to-back suspension rebuild, we took the opportunity to revive the rear components as well.
In our case, the old coils were sagging and rear shocks had seen better days. Not helping the matter were the worn-out bushings that did anything but soak up road-jarring vibrations. A closer inspection found a combination of mismatched hardware and less than stellar components that needed to be replaced. To begin, we removed the rear trailing arms, shocks, springs, and finally the complete rearend. With the rearend out, we could prep the underbody with new paint and clean up the factory 10-bolt housing and we even applied new paint there as well.
Our first step was to place the Elco on a set of jack stands and remove the rear tires to gain better access to the areas that required the most attention. Bottom line; get used to working on your back.
What does it take to tackle a job like this? Well, for the average do-it-yourselfer, it can be handled in a day. However, we took our time and spent an entire weekend from removal to install. We only used basic hand tools, but extra jack stands will come in handy when trying to wrangle the rearend back in.
What We Did
Added PST bushings, shocks, springs, and a sway bar
Freshen up the rear for less than you think