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front suspension...how to?

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hubby & i are about to start rebuilding the front end on my 76...or replacing all the bushings and ball joints and stuff...is there a logical way to do it, an order that makes things easier, what to do 1st, etc...

any tips & advise would be appreciated as we've never tackled this before

thanks

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I just did this, and the rear (which you are going to want to do as well, after you see how much better the front is!). Of course, I found the rear to be more difficult, but still very doable for a hack.

Anyway, basically, you just start with the brakes and take it apart as you come to a new part. I 'll try and outline what I recall the order to be:

- Remove brake calipers, and lines at the strut

- Remove front hub/rotor, replace bearings on the bench and install new rotor (hint: to remove rotor from hub place in on the ground upside inside the rim.

- Remove strut (access is easy now to lower 3 nuts)

- Remove sway bar

- Remove drag link

- Remove tierod from balljoint/control arm

- Remove control arm, then bang out ball joint on the bench and remove bushing with FIRE FIRE FIRE.

- Remove center link (with still attached tie rods) from steering arm(s)

Installation should pretty much be the reverse, and DO use a torque wrench. If you are installing poly bushings, your life will be swell, and there is no need to preload.

Also, I would suggest you do ONE side at a time, so you have the other side for reference.

I think that's the gist, I would be happy to elaborate on certain details if you like.

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If you are replacing the springs/upper strut bearings/ shocks, be sure to loosen the top nut on the shock while the car is on the ground.

Take a bunch of pictures before, then come here to ask for more advice when you realize you can't see squat in your pictures...oh wait, that was me.

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i am replacing the strut bearings....do i have to have a spring compressor to get the stuts out?

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An alternative to the... FIRE FIRE FIRE huh huh...method of bushing removal is to pry a small screwdriver between the bushing and the metal wall, spray some Liquid Wrench or the like and press them out. Literally takes 2 minutes each.

DO you have the original ball joints on the front arms? If you don't it'll be a snap to replace them. If you do it's easier to use an air hammer to shave the rivet heads off, BUT BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO GO TOO FAR and damage the area where the ball joint sits.

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