1966 Chevy Chevelle SS Suspension - A Detroit Overhaul

This '66 A-Body Was In Dire Need Of Some Suspension Essentials So We Do Our First Install Of The New Chevelle Parts From Detroit Speed & Engineering.

Mike Ficacci Jul 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0907_06_z 1966_chevy_chevelle_ss_suspension Factory_control_arm 2/33

We installed the lower control arms first. The factory arms loosened with a little persuasion. A few hits of the hammer and we were ready to go. For a base setup, we simple measured the factory control arm from center to center of the bolt holes and set the DSE arms to match.

These control arms are easily adjusted out of the car and can be changed to adjust pinion angle. The swivel-link technology in both the upper and lower read control arms allows them to articulate fully, eliminating bind and unwanted noise often caused by heim joints.

With the car on a lift, we supported the rear end with a set of six-foot jackstands, one for each side of the housing. This is the optimal setup for installing the control arms, shocks, and springs. Once we started unbolting control arms, the geometry of the rear suspension was lost and we were easily able to change the position of the rear this way.

We greased the mounts, control arms, and bolts and slid the lower control arm in place. This took some "massaging" as we had lost the geometry of the rear end as we started disassembling. The pinion had dropped and we needed to support it with a jackstand. Once we started realigning the pinion back into place, the control arm slid right into place.

The kit comes with a replacement bushing that we greased and slid into place. We installed the upper much like we did the lower. We first measured the stock upper control arm, transferred it to the new DSE arm, greased, and installed. Once we had all four links in place, we verified that our pinion angle had not changed and tightened everything in place.

Often overlooked in this four-link suspension design are the chassis braces connecting the front mounting locations of the upper and lower control arms. Some A-bodies came with a set of chassis braces, while others did not. The Detroit Speed & Engineering chassis braces triangulate the crossmember, framerails, and upper control arm mount, and have been proven to improve handling. These are easily installed whether your A-body came with them from the factory or not.

Sucp_0907_21_z 1966_chevy_chevelle_ss_suspension U_bolts 9/33

We then got to work on the sway bar. From the factory, the '66 Chevelle did not come with a rear sway bar. Following the directions, we installed the supplied U-bolts on the housing, then rested the sway bar approximately where it will sit.




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