Pontiac GTO Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I need help! As you all know, I have a parts car that I just sold. The car needs to be a roller. So I am reinstalling the rear end (was able to remove old rear end and front suspension). I have managed to get 3 out of 4 of the bolts holding the rear end on into place. I have managed to get both of the lower control arms connected to frame, and I have got one of the upper control arms connected, as well as the springs. As it turns out now, it appears that the entire rear end is about 2-3 inches off center and I am not sure how to get the last bolt into place. Can anyone give me a bit of advice or tips? I need to get this done by this weekend so my buyer can pick up the car.

What is the proper order to reinstall a rear end (i.e. should the upper control arms be done first then the lower control arms, or the other way)?

Now that I have most of it done, how do I get the last one connected?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
I did the lowers first then the uppers and then put the springs in it and then the shocks. The arms should self center the housing unless you are using the wrong ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I did the lowers first then the uppers and then put the springs in it and then the shocks. The arms should self center the housing unless you are using the wrong ones.
It is the same rear end I took out of car. Nothing has changed. So with lowers installed, can I take out springs or do I need to remove the one upper and then remove springs? Will I be able to reinstall springs if both uppers and lowers are connected?
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,569 Posts
Yes. Just the shocks need to be disconnected to install the springs. 1. Floor jack under the pumpkin. 2. lower arms attach to diff, slide bolts in. 3. raise jack and attach the uppers. This is a straightforward easy job, unless you have a bent part. have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I ended up taking springs off, jacking up rear end, the remaining bolt for the lower control arm slid right in. Then I was able to reinstall the springs and all is good. So the rear end is done. Now on to the front suspension.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hi guys. Well, I managed to get the front suspension off my car and mostly put on the parts car (to make it a roller). Let me tell you that was a chore in a half....the front suspension on the parts car, which was in very good condition, came off smoothly without too much trouble. But the suspension on MY car, had 40+ years of gunk and corrosion and was a living nightmare to get off. It took two days and a few ideas just to get the bolts to break free. Then to top it off, my spring compressor would not fit through the hole in the lower control arm of my parts, so that was a bit challenging.

When I reinstalled the front suspension, since the spring compressor did not fit, I could not get the front springs on to the parts car. So consequently, the parts car's front end is sitting about 1" off the ground. Anyone have a suggestion on how I can lift front end a bit, just so it rolls and is not quite so low?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Does the parts car have an engine in it? (i.e. - is it "heavy"?)

Bear
No, it does not. The parts car is just a body, frame and suspension. Heck there is not even a front clip or interior.

One suggestion made by a neighbor was to jam a 4x4 in between the upper and lower control arm, just enough to lift it a bit. I am doubtful of that option actually working.

So I may end up buying a set of external spring compressors to compress spring and install them in between the uppers and lowers. But that seems dangerous

Or I could buy one more internal spring compressor and sacrifice my spring compressors by compressing springs to install springs, then uncompressing springs to lift car and leaving spring compressors in springs since they do not fit through the hole in the lower control arms. Not an appealing thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
I can tell you what worked for me when I re-built the front suspension this past spring.
To be fair I do have to mention that I had new Hotchkiss 1901F springs that were a little shorter than my originals.
To install the front springs I ended up having to disassemble the spring compressor. I dropped the main bolt portion through the shock hole in the frame and inserted the spring in the pocket. (I had the spring chained to the frame (to keep the spring from potentially launching across the shop) and used only the threaded hooks on the spring to draw the spring closer to the frame spring pocket until I could get the lower control arm in place with a floor jack and then get the nuts installed on the lower ball joints.
(engine and front clip were not removed from car at that point so plenty of weight)
I am not sure if this set up will work for you. I had to get creative with the compressor to get the springs back in.
Some of the other guys with more experience may have other ideas on how to get these put together. I just made sure I was clear of the spring path and the arc of travel for the lower control arm. (even though I had it chained)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well, I used the spring compressor to compress the spring as far as I could and it still is too big. Since I really did not feel like fighting it all, I went with the 4x4 route and that did indeed worked well enough to make it a "roller".
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,569 Posts
Good choice. Without the weight of the engine and front sheet metal, pretty much no way to put the springs in if they're stock height. I never use a spring compressor to r&r springs in these cars. Just the weight of the car and a floor jack. It's still not a walk in the park.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Good choice. Without the weight of the engine and front sheet metal, pretty much no way to put the springs in if they're stock height. I never use a spring compressor to r&r springs in these cars. Just the weight of the car and a floor jack. It's still not a walk in the park.
Yes, these were the stock springs. I discovered in my little adventure here that without the weight of engine and front clip, even using a floor jack, all I was doing was lifting car. I think I could have made it work between the floor jack and spring compressor, if I removed either the upper or lower control arms, but that seemed like a whole lot of work just to make a roller. The 4x4's gave me another couple inches of ground clearance, enough two get the parts car rolling out of my garage.

Now, once I clean all the "new" parts and the frame area on my car, I will work on actually installing the new springs. The new springs are Hotchkis and are 1-1/2 to 2 inches shorter than the stock ones. No, I do not have the engine in my car either, but I am willing to put the effort into my car of getting it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
When I re-installed my stock front springs (with a rubber donut in the top) I used a heavy rope thru 3 turns near the center of the spring and tied it off to the other side of the car. I then "walked" the spring up and over the hump on the lower A arm with a crow bar. The rope was there in case the spring tried to come back out at me. Scratched my newly painted A arm but... Once it was bolted back together, I removed the rope.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top