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  1. #1

    Default Easiest way to install entire rear end / suspension

    Is it easier to install all the control arms to the frame first and raise the rear end up to them? Or attached the control arms to the rear end first?

    I’ve also read some posts on waiting to tighten all suspension bolts until things “settle” to avoid bushing binding/raising your car height. Knowing that you can’t tighten very far at all before the bushing teeth bite into the frame, seems weird to drive around on very loose bolts. I want to avoid bushiung binding, but would it be enough to keep the bolts loose, put the car on ramps so the suspension is loaded, use my body weight to push up and down several times and then tighten?

  2. #2
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    In my experience the "Best" way to install the rear suspension is:

    1) Install upper control arms onto body. (Bolts snug, but not tight)
    2) Install lower control arms onto body. (bolts loose to allow arms to hang straight down if possible or at least as low as possible)
    3) Raise rear axle assembly up into position place upper control arms onto rear axle and install bolts (Bolts snug, but not tight)
    4) Raise lower control arms into position and insert bolts (loose)
    5) Place rear springs onto lower control arms (verify pigtail direction both sides should point to driver side of vehicle)
    6) Jack rear suspension into position so you can attach the rear shock to hold everything in position. (Tighten bolts/nuts)
    7) Tighten up lower control arm bolts to snug. Attach all other brake lines, hoses, etc. as needed.

    I personally then take the car around the block at reasonable speeds. Generally no more than 30 MPH for 5-10 minutes try to cycle the suspension as many times as possible. Then I return, jack the rear of the vehicle up in the air by placing the jack directly under the differential. I use jack stands under each axle tube. Then I jack up the front of the car using 2x4 cribbing stands that I place under each wheel. That puts the front @ 12" off the ground and then I do the same for the rear end of the car. This essentially levels the car and allows me plenty of room to get to all the suspension bolts. I will press all 4 corners down to "settle" the suspension a bit and then I tighten up all the suspension bolts/nuts to factory specifications. Hope that helps a bit. Good Luck!
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the info!

    When you say "snug," I imagine the nut just barely making contact. It doesn't seem like it would take much more force before the bushing teeth "bite" and give a binding issue. Sound right to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    In my experience the "Best" way to install the rear suspension is:

    1) Install upper control arms onto body. (Bolts snug, but not tight)
    2) Install lower control arms onto body. (bolts loose to allow arms to hang straight down if possible or at least as low as possible)
    3) Raise rear axle assembly up into position place upper control arms onto rear axle and install bolts (Bolts snug, but not tight)
    4) Raise lower control arms into position and insert bolts (loose)
    5) Place rear springs onto lower control arms (verify pigtail direction both sides should point to driver side of vehicle)
    6) Jack rear suspension into position so you can attach the rear shock to hold everything in position. (Tighten bolts/nuts)
    7) Tighten up lower control arm bolts to snug. Attach all other brake lines, hoses, etc. as needed.

    I personally then take the car around the block at reasonable speeds. Generally no more than 30 MPH for 5-10 minutes try to cycle the suspension as many times as possible. Then I return, jack the rear of the vehicle up in the air by placing the jack directly under the differential. I use jack stands under each axle tube. Then I jack up the front of the car using 2x4 cribbing stands that I place under each wheel. That puts the front @ 12" off the ground and then I do the same for the rear end of the car. This essentially levels the car and allows me plenty of room to get to all the suspension bolts. I will press all 4 corners down to "settle" the suspension a bit and then I tighten up all the suspension bolts/nuts to factory specifications. Hope that helps a bit. Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Default

    Essentially Yes! Keep in mind that the nuts are all locking style so they are not going to loosen or back off for the short period of time you drive with them loose.

    I also sometimes will run the nut down until it just touches the metal of the control arm, mount, etc. Essentially removing any slack or side to side movement in the bolt. Good Luck!
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Ongoing RestoModification
    1984 SVO Awaiting Restoration
    1986 GT Wrecked by PO, but still want to save!

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Underway
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  5. #5

    Default

    i found it easier to install lower arms to the frame first, then connect to the rear end while the rear end is lying on the floor/jack still. Then raise the rear and do the uppers.
    Jeremy
    -86 mustang SSP X CHP Unit # 3788-bone stock & staying that way
    -66 Mustang, bench seat car,8.8,t5 fuel injected 92 engine
    -72 Maverick 5.0 resto in process
    -12SS Camaro 6 speed. 600 FWHP, Kraftwerks Supercharger
    -03 z71 Avalanche 9" lift on 35s Daily Driven 20k a year. 290k miles at 11.8 mpg
    Entire 1986 electrical and vacuum troubleshooting manual download
    http://slantnosefox.com/picturehosti...g%20manual.zip

  6. #6

    Default

    I just went through this exercise yesterday. Here's my YouTube video about my experience. Not too different than wraithracing's post, but between 3 and 4 I attached the driveshaft:

    https://youtu.be/euyTPNXsCjs

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