The bushings in the front suspension of your muscle car have two main purposes. One is allowing the pivot points to move and the other is to isolate and dampen vibrations transferred from the road. GM uses rubber because it does a great job at dampening and yes it allows the pivots to move. There are two main problems with rubber bushings. First, they are relatively soft and will fall apart over time. Second, when you turn a corner the bushing is subjected to an increased load and if the bushing deflects, then a lot of things can change like caster, camber and toe settings. Over time this increased load can also permanently compress rubber affecting the alignment. Since most of the cars we talk about here in Super Chevy are 30-plus years old, the factory rubber bushings are probably on their way out anyway. Here is the Super Kit (PN SPFEK00106) from PST with a few added pieces. The kit includes upper and lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, tie rod adjusting sleeves, upper and lower bump stops, sway bar links, idler arm, upper control arm shafts, and of course eight polygraphite control arm bushings. Since this was going to be a full rebuild,... Here is the Super Kit (PN SPFEK00106) from PST with a few added pieces. The kit includes u So what is the cure for the rubber bushing woes? An upgrade in the way of polygraphite bushings from Performance Suspension Technologies is a definite solution. Unless you have been trapped in your garage for way too long, then you already know the benefits of polygraphite, but just in case we will go over it. PST explains it this way: "Polygraphite is a graphite-impregnated polyurethane high performance bushing designed for street, strip or track driven cars. The bushings feature a higher durometer (firmness) that will last longer and provide a solid base for your suspension. Now your ride can have the road handling characteristics of polyurethane bushings with virtually no deflection and the lubricating qualities of graphite." There is a big urban legend running around that all polyurethane bushings squeak, but this is not entirely true. Any bushing will squeak if you install it wrong or don't lube it enough. Your best weapon against the squeak beside a proper install is the supplied grease. It forms a tough, durable, chemical resistant film of lubricant to prevent metal-to-metal contact even under severe shock loads. Only a small amount is required to properly lubricate bushings and metal components and to prevent corrosion. ...everything had to be new in the front end so a centerlink and a set of KYB shocks was added to the order. ...everything had to be new in the front end so a centerlink and a set of KYB shocks was a When ordering a front end kit from PST, there are going to be a few thing you will need to know about your vehicle and a full list can be found on the company website, but here is what you need to know when purchasing a Chevelle kit. If you have a '64 you need to know the diameter of center link (13/16- or 7/8-inch). On the '66 like the one covered in this story, you'll need to know the diameter of lower rear control arm bushing (1.67- or 1.90-inch). In our case the car had 1.90 bushings. For the '70-72 vintage, look at the lower rear control arm bushing and see of they are round or oval. If you add more components to your order like a center link or a set of shocks PST will give you a little discount. All the stuff you see in this story set us back $621.00 and was installed over a weekend. There are two tools that made this job a little less time consuming, an air hammer and a ball joint press. The air hammer isn't really a must as you can still use a traditional hammer and a punch or chisel. The ball joint press can be rented from some automotive stores like AutoZone or can be purchased from tool suppliers like Harbor Freight (PN 4065-1VGA, $49.99). The tool uses a big C-frame, special spacers and collars to drive the bushings and ball joints in. After securing the car on a lift, the wheels were ripped off and all the cotter pins pulled out. Then it was time to start pulling the steering components. The tie rods feature an interference fit so loosening the nut a little bit and whacking it with a hammer is usually all it takes to free the parts. Leaving the nut on does two things: It prevents the part from falling off the car once free and it protects the threads if you are reusing the part. If this procedure doesn't work for you, then you will need to pick up or borrow a pickle fork to separate the components. After securing the car on a lift, the wheels were ripped off and all the cotter pins pulle Before trying to remove the ball joints make sure to have a jack placed under the lower control arm. The springs are under a considerable amount of pressure and can fly out when you pop the ball joint. The ball joints have the same interference fit as the tie rods. A few good hammer blows to the side of the spindle should send a healthy shock wave through the part to free the ball joint. Once free the jack was lowered slowly to safely remove the spring. Before trying to remove the ball joints make sure to have a jack placed under the lower co With the spindle out of the way the hardware holding the control arms on the frame was removed. The lower arms were taken to the vise so the ball joints and bushing could be removed. There are a few ways to remove the components, but an air hammer is what we had on hand. Using a blunt tip, it only took a few raps with the tool to drive the lower ball joint out. With the spindle out of the way the hardware holding the control arms on the frame was rem The bushings took a chisel bit and a little more persuasion. Starting at a 90-degree angle, first dig the bit in and then rotate it to a 45-degree angle and push it out. The other way to get these out if you don't have an air hammer will be using a vice or press and some tubing. You will need to find a piece of tube that fits around the big end of the bushing and a piece that fits up against the small side. Put that contraption in the vise/press and start cranking down. The smaller piece will drive the bushing out of the arm and into the larger piece on the big side. The bushings took a chisel bit and a little more persuasion. Starting at a 90-degree angle The upper arms are a little easier to deal with as the ball joint is either riveted in (stock) or bolted in (has been changed before) and the bushings are a little more accessible. To get out stock ball joints, just grind off the head of the rivets and watch the joint fall out. If they have been changed before then undo the hardware. The air hammer was used again to drive out the bushings, since there is a small amount of the metal shell sticking out the bit can grab right away making the job a snap. The upper arms are a little easier to deal with as the ball joint is either riveted in (st With everything removed, the arms were scrubbed clean and all the parts, including the new tie rod and other components, were painted satin black. While the paint was drying, the new bushings were completely disassembled and coated in the supplied grease and reassembled before being installed. This will prevent any creaks or squeaks. A ball joint press was used to push the new bushings into the lower arms. A chunk of lead is used to keep the arm from collapsing during the process. If you don't have lead, find something that will fit in the area like a socket or a piece of wood. With everything removed, the arms were scrubbed clean and all the parts, including the new The tool made quick work of the lower ball joint as well. Again you could use the vice and some scrap tubing, but there is something to be said for having the right tool for the job. The tool made quick work of the lower ball joint as well. Again you could use the vice and The PST kit comes with all the proper zerk fittings for the greasable parts like the ball joints and tie-rod ends. They self tap into the parts so all you have to do is make sure it's going in straight as it's tightened up. The PST kit comes with all the proper zerk fittings for the greasable parts like the ball Ripped or torn boots will let all of the grease leak out of the joint and increase the chance of failure. Luckily the kit comes with all new boots as well. The lowers are marked on how to orientate the boot. It's a good idea to pay close attention to these little details if you want the modifications to last. Ripped or torn boots will let all of the grease leak out of the joint and increase the cha The upper ball joint is comprised of three pieces, the joint, the boot and the retainer. The boot slips into the retainer before being installed on the arm. The kit comes with the proper locking nuts for the install. The upper ball joint is comprised of three pieces, the joint, the boot and the retainer. T The best way to install the upper arm bushings is to disassemble the bushing and carefully tap in the outer shell. Install one sleeve first and then slip in the new cross-shaft before beating in the other shell. The best way to install the upper arm bushings is to disassemble the bushing and carefully After the shells are in place, you can push in the bushing and the center insert by hand. Make sure to use plenty of the supplied grease on the inside diameter, outside diameter, and the face of the bushing again to prevent any possible squeaks. After the shells are in place, you can push in the bushing and the center insert by hand. New bump stops are also included in the kit. The lowers bolt to the control arm while the uppers twist into a hole in the frame of the car. These will prevent metal-to-metal contact when you hit a hard bump a little too fast. A little spray lube will help twist in the upper bump stop if you are having trouble. The lowers bolt to the control arm while the uppers twist into a hole in the frame of the Before the freshly rebuilt arms are mounted on the car, all the contact surfaces of the bushings and frame were given a liberal coating of grease. This will not only aid in the reinstallation but also prevent the dreaded squeak. Before the freshly rebuilt arms are mounted on the car, all the contact surfaces of the bu The bolts on the upper cross-shaft were tightened down while the upper and lower pivot bolts were left loose. You want to wait until the car is set on the ground before tightening these. If you tighten them now, with the suspension at full droop the car will definitely squeak. Since this car is missing the engine, these will stay loose until there is a motor under the hood. The ball joints, on the other hand, were tightened up once the spindle was in place. Also make sure to have the springs properly seated in the upper and lower pocket before attaching the spindle so the car will sit level. The bolts on the upper cross-shaft were tightened down while the upper and lower pivot bol You won't be able to feel the benefits of the new bushings if the steering system is all sloppy. Now is the best time, budget permitting, to replace all the wearable parts like the centerlink, tie rods and idler arm. The centerlink and idler arm are best installed at the same time. Loosely install the idler arm and then attach the center link to the steering arm then to the idler arm, then come back and tighten the idler arm. There is a large protrusion on the lower crossmember that makes it pretty difficult to install the centerlink with the idler arm tight. You won't be able to feel the benefits of the new bushings if the steering system is all s The best way to assemble the tie rod assemblies is to match the old stuff. One of tie-rod ends features a reverse thread while the other is standard. This allows the assemblies to be shortened or lengthened without removing them from the car to set the toe. If you want to turn the tie rod adjusting sleeves right to bring in the toe setting you will want to use the reverse thread as the inner on the right side or the car and the outer on the left side. Once the inner and outer tie rods were threaded into the new adjusting sleeves, the whole assembly was installed on the car. The best way to assemble the tie rod assemblies is to match the old stuff. One of tie-rod The best way to install a sway bar by yourself is to grease the inside diameter of the new sway bar bushings and slip them over the sway bar. Put the back bolts into the sway bar mounts and let them hang. Take it to the car and slide the bushings into the hanging mounts and install the other bolts. The best way to install a sway bar by yourself is to grease the inside diameter of the new The endlinks come up from the bottom and should go like this: bolt, washer, lower control arm, bushing, washer, sleeve, washer, bushing, sway bar, bushing, washer, and nut. Get both sides assembled before tightening down on the bolts. The endlinks come up from the bottom and should go like this: bolt, washer, lower control The shocks in the car were leaking fluid, a sure sign they are trashed. The new KYB Gas-a-Just shock absorbers from PST will keep the suspension under control and provide a more responsive ride. These are made as a stock replacement so they fit perfectly. After tightening the lower hardware the upper nut can be tightened down until the bushing crushes down and becomes the same diameter of the washer. With that the job was done and once the car is ready to drive the first trip will be to an alignment shop. The shocks in the car were leaking fluid, a sure sign they are trashed. The new KYB Gas-a- SOURCES Performance Suspension Technology PO Box 396 Montville NJ 07045 877-226-4101 www.p-s-t.com By Calin Head Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!