Our next step was to drill and tap the old backing-plate holes to 3/8-16 and test-fit the caliper-mounting bracket utilizing two .675-inch spacers (provided in the kit). Once satisfied with the fit, we painted the spindle to protect it from the elements and give it a better look. We then took the new bearings (included in the kit) and packed them via this handy wheel bearing packer tool. Once the bearings contained a sufficient amount of grease they were installed, along with the inner grease seal into the hub. We then installed the new hub onto the spindle, utilizing the old spacer and spindle nut.
Since the majority of the spindle was already assembled, we added the brake rotor and Strange specific dust cap before installing the spindle back into the vehicle. Once in the vehicle, we installed the front brake caliper and shimmed it as per the instruction manual. All brake lines and the new Strange master cylinder will be installed at a later date. We then wrapped our Mickey Thompson Sportsman 26x7.5x15-inch DOT radials around the Street Lite wheels from Billet Specialties-awesome! We gave the Street Lite a spin and had plenty of clearance in all areas.
To control front-end dampening and ride height (or lack of), we enlisted the help of Chris Alston's Chassisworks. Chris suggested utilizing its VariShock bolt-on coilover conversion specifically designed for GM A-arms. VariShock QuickSet 2 is a double-adjustable unit that allows you to control shock bump and rebound independently. According to Chris, drag vehicles generally require more extension (rebound) travel to aid in weight transfer, and because the drag strip is flat, less compression travel is needed. The amount of extension travel available in the shock will also drastically affect how the car works. Better yet, imagine 11 pages of specifics about the VariShocks, and valuable tuning tips for either handling, drag racing, or street driving-it's all there in the kit.
Now that we have our front suspension lined up, we needed some rolling stock. Having attended many race and show events, we were infatuated with the new Street Lite street/strip wheels from Billet Specialties (La Grange, Illinois). The Street Lite wheels are SFI 15-1-approved, light weight and feature an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Each wheel accepts mag shank lug nuts and can be used with 5/8-inch race studs. The 15x3.5-inch front-runner weighs in at a super-light nine pounds and should really aid in keeping our frontend weight to a minimum. For this installment we will only mount the front wheels because our 10x15-inch rear units require some frame modification for proper fitment and will be bolted up during a separate installment.