Our '55 front end was already disassembled, and with the front clip off we can better show you how to do the install. Fear not, you can do this with the front clip still on, you'll just have to wiggle around a little more in the engine compartment when getting the control arms out. If your front clip is still installed, invest in some good fender covers, or several cheap blankets to protect your paint while working.Our '55 front end was already disassembled, and with the front clip off we can better show When you're driving around a 4,000-pound classic Chevy, you want to be able to steer the car where you want, and stop when you want. While the '55 front suspension was revolutionary when it debuted, 53 years later the drum brakes and heavy stamped steel control arms are showing their limitations and disadvantages. today's aftermarket is a bountiful feast of suspension and brake upgrades for the venerable tri- Five design, and the levels of stopping and handling power a '55-57 owner has to choose from are spectacular. For this story, we'll be installing a middle-of-the-road kit from Mcgaughy's Suspension Parts on our '55 hardtop. Our McGaughy's kit included everything for the front suspension, from tubular control arms to new spindles and disc brakes. The only things you'll need to reuse from the original suspension are the A-arm cross-shafts. If your shafts have seen better days, or you just feel like installing new ones, you can purchase new shafts from Classic Chevy International (www.classicchevy.com). McGaughy's also has upgraded steering components, and we'll cover the install of those in a later story where we refurbish the steering system of our '55. So, follow along in the pictures, and see how easy it is to give your antiquated suspension new life in a weekend. Since our original cross-shafts were looking a little rough, we bought a set of new shafts, then took them and the control arms to a local shop for installation. Here, Jim Kelly of Port Orange Auto Repair in Florida installs the cross-shafts into our McGaughy's tubular control arms with new bushings, also from McGaughy's. This part of the job is best left to the pros. If you don't know exactly what you're doing, you can bend the ears of the control arms, and forever doom yourself to an out-of-alignment front end. Make sure you have your cross-shafts labeled for which side they go on. While the upper shafts on a Tri-Five are symmetrical, the lower shafts are left/right specific.Since our original cross-shafts were looking a little rough, we bought a set of new shafts Here's our new control arms with shafts installed. The McGaughy's shafts are made out of heavy gauge, highquality steel tubing for extra strength.Here's our new control arms with shafts installed. The McGaughy's shafts are made out of h The McGaughy's control arms feature welded construction for superior strength. Here you can see the ear on the upper control arm with the new bushing and cross-shaft installed. Don't tighten the bushing keeper bolts (arrow) until you have the arms installed and the weight of the car on them. If you tighten before, you'll never be able to get the front end properly aligned.The McGaughy's control arms feature welded construction for superior strength. Here you ca The lower ball joints only go in one way, from the bottom, so you don't have to worry about incorrect installation. If you put it in wrong, the bolt-holes won't line up. Slide the new ball joint in and line up the boltholes by hand.The lower ball joints only go in one way, from the bottom, so you don't have to worry abou Next, install and hand-tighten the vertical installation bolts. Make sure you've got the included lock washers installed also.Next, install and hand-tighten the vertical installation bolts. Make sure you've got the i Then do the same thing for the vertical bolts, and you're all finished installing the lower ball joint. After the bolts are tightened, install the included grease fitting so you can lube up the new joints when everything's installed on the car.Then do the same thing for the vertical bolts, and you're all finished installing the lowe With the bolts holes properly aligned, install and handtighten the ball joint retaining bolts, being sure not to forget the lock washers.With the bolts holes properly aligned, install and handtighten the ball joint retaining bo To tighten the horizontal bolts, you'll need a ratchet and an open-end wrench. Tighten down the horizontal bolts until the lock washers are crushed flat.To tighten the horizontal bolts, you'll need a ratchet and an open-end wrench. Tighten dow Just like the lower joint, the upper ball joint will only install one way. Once all the holes are lined up, you're good to go.Just like the lower joint, the upper ball joint will only install one way. Once all the ho Here's a great comparison between the original lower control arm and the new McGaughy's unit. The McGaughy's unit is a little lighter, and features much sturdier construction, especially in the spring pocket area. Overall, the McGaughy's A-arms just give a cleaner, more high-tech look. Don't throw away your original A-arms, though. You never know when someone doing a stock restoration might need a control arm, and it's just good insurance to keep parts like this around. Our original A-arms have an appointment with a bead blaster and some fresh paint before being stored.Here's a great comparison between the original lower control arm and the new McGaughy's un Here's a close-up of the factory lower A-arm ... The new bumpstop just presses into place using the OE mounting hole on the frame. A few love taps with a hammer, and the bumpstop is in place and ready to go.The new bumpstop just presses into place using the OE mounting hole on the frame. A few lo 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article By Patrick Hill Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!