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1965 Corvair Corsa Front Suspension Rebuild


#1

I’m starting to tear down my 65 Corvair front end for a refresh. It’ll be getting fresh bushing all around and also new HD springs that will lower the car a bit.

Oddly I am also excited to get the front sway bar connected. Turns out I have been driving it almost 4k miles without it hooked up!

I will update this thread with photos of the project as I complete it.


#2

Hey Kyle, let us know how the front anti-roll bar makes the car feel. Might make the car less agile.

Have fun.
L


#3

Got the front cross member out and disassembly and cleaning started.


#4

I’ll be curious as well. Right now the body roll seems to help its handling and isn’t overly excessive unless pushing pretty darn hard on the street. With this (maybe) only seeing a track a few times it’s life I might be okay with out it.


#5

Only took an entire workbench full of tools to get it out!

I got all the stabilizer bar links and bushing pressed in using my bench vise, tonight I am headed out to a friends to use a larger press to get the larger bushings in place.


#6

Huh. I thought that entire car was held together with half-inch bolts…


#7

There is a lot of half inch bolts on this car, but sadly not all of them…

Hit an interesting bump in the road (pun intended) when pressing out the lower ball joints. It appears a previous replacement was done using non-correct thread in ball joints.

Plan right now is to press those out and then press in the new non-threaded versions. With the interference fit having been boogered up with the threads I will place two tack welds on each ball joint which is pretty typical for the race car crowd and still makes the car serviceable in the future.


#8

I am in the boring phase of cleaning and painting parts before reassembly. Got the crossmember sprayed up but need to spend more time with a wire brush and Scotchbrite pad before the rest of the parts are ready to go back together

Here is quick photo of the tack welds that will be assisting the press fit of the lower ball joints.


#9

Nice weld. TIG? Or MIG?


#10

Just a quick TIG to hold it together. could have used a MIG though, the TIG was just handier at the time.


#11

Been making progress on the most boring part of the rebuild process. Cleaning.

Plenty of scraping old grease, wire brushing, Scotchbrite-ing happening in the garage. Then a quick coat of paint and finishing touches before reassembling.

On a funnier note, in removing the four rivets that hold the factory upper ball joint in place I managed to turn a cheap punch into an expensive paperweight. I guess a 2lb sledge is just a bit too much force for this one…


#12

Harbor Freight blue, if I perceive correctly?


#13

I got the punch set as a gift, but I suspect you are correct. I used them more than I expected which means it is time to buy a better set since at least one has given up the ghost.


#14

Well, usually the lower cost tools seem to work well enough for my amateur work. Enjoy the project.


#15

When it comes to specialty tools for me, I go on the theory of buying the “cheaper version” and if I use it enough to break it I can then justify purchasing the “better” more expensive tools. That way I don’t end up with enough Snap-On tools to buy a house that I use once a year.


#16

Managed to find new lower strut rods for the suspension rebuild. The two I managed to get off the car were in rough shape at best, broken at worst. I finally just spent the money to not have to worry about anything as I drive the car.


#17

Got some big progress over the last week. Front cross member is back in the car. Drivers side is final bolted together, passenger needs another few hours of work. Then a trip to the alignment shop!

The box of take off parts has finally stopped filling up. Not sure what kind of art I can make with blown out ball joints, but maybe there is a reason to have them hang around!


#18

Finally got all the bolts tightened up last night, just need to get wheels on it and put it back on the ground.

Like it usually happens, I decided while I’m in here I’ll adjust the brakes and flush fresh fluid into the system. With opening the brake system up, it gave me the opportunity to install a dual master cylinder.

So close to getting back on the road before winter!


#19

After getting all the front suspension back together, the car took a very nose high attitude that was not the appearance I had in mind for the car.

Therefore, out came the cutoff wheel. Took one coil off the front springs and I am hoping this cut combined with the springs settling a bit over winter will result in the stance I pictured. We shall see!