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How To Change Front Sway Bar Bushings And Control Arm Bushings

Bush Whacked - Project Homewrecker Nears Completion With A Front End Rebuild, A Little Dampening And Some New Shoes.

By Dan Ryder, Photography by Dan Ryder, George Trosley

No, we're not talking about the President of the United States (he gets enough ink on his own). We're referring to the dried out, extremely worn, and sometimes missing bushings within the front-end of your hot rod. While you may think your car rides fine, we guarantee you that if these components look dried, split or cracked-they are. A weekend's worth of jacking and whacking at your suspension can give you years of pleasure behind the wheel.

It's understandable that the hot rod population is fixated on high-horsepower, crisp transmission shifts, and, most of all, looks. With this being said, the little things often become overlooked and neglected. After a quick look at the underbelly of Project Homewrecker (Editor Jim Campisano's '72 LT-1 Corvette) we discovered some good and some bad. The good was that all the ball joints, sway bar bushings, end-links, and control arm bushings were all intact-the majority of the front-end components appeared to be of '72 vintage. The upper and lower ball joints were still factory riveted into the control arms (definitely original), the shocks were rusty and had no rebound, yet they retained Delco stampings, and the coil springs still retained the factory markings.

In order to put a stop to any future suspension and front-end issues, we called on the professionals at Mid America Motorworks for some guidance. Mid America Motorworks pointed us in the right direction by compiling a list of bushings, ball joints, shocks, and end-links that would be needed.

When Homewrecker was purchased, it wore hideous metallic brown paint and '70s-vintage, five-slot aluminum mags (with tires of equally dubious origin). The wheels were traded to a gentleman who felt they'd look period-perfect on his '73 Buick Grand Sport (a rare Stage 1, 4-speed car). He offered his 15x7 Rallys in trade, but they were really too narrow for the Vette, and were, at best, a temporary solution. To add to the beautiful Targa Blue paint job that Homewrecker received at Motor City Auto Body in Newark, New Jersey, we tapped Mid America Motorworks for a new set of factory-correct 15x8-inch Rally wheels, trim rings, and center caps.

By Dan Ryder
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