|The decision is made: Let's buy the correct springs (and some shocks, and some a sway bar). Ordered from my FLAPS (which in this case was Pep Boys' "Speed Shop"). Better pull the shock mounts out.|
|Put the C-Clips in, and went ahead and installed the spacer-thing for
the Tru-Trac (equivalent to the pin in a normal diff). |
Was a little bit of a pain - my snap ring pliers don't open quite enough to get a good grip, instead I ended up helping it in with a screwdriver. Not sure if I'll be able to get it back out.
|So with the wrong springs, this is how it sits.|
|So when I put the wheel studs in, I noticed that the passenger side
studs were not as long as the driver's side (I don't think I'm surprised, I
had to replace the studs on the driver's side in maybe 2002? Lugnuts
had come loose and the wheel had beaten up the studs too badly to keep.
Driver's side: 1.1154 protruding past the flange.
Pass side: .895. It was obvious with the rotor and wheel on, the stud didn't extend to the face of the open lug nut.
I bought new studs.|
I actually went with the rear studs for a 69 Camaro with 4 wheel disc; where the El Camino stud has 1.09" of threads, the Camaro stud has 1.359": of threads.
|And it turns out, my studs weren't even consistent.|
Unfortunately, one of the studs didn't seat. When I tried to pull it
the rest of the way on with the wheel stud tool thing, the nut seized onto
Helpful hint: Plasma Cutter is probably not the correct tool to remove the nut (but I didn't want to damage the stud installer)
|Now we've got plenty of threads clearing the open
lug nut, and the closed lugs will still work.
|On to body mounts. You can't really tell from the pic - and I couldn't get a better one to demonstrate - but the body is slightly too far forward for the mount to line up (maybe that's to be expected from the wreck in 1991?)|
|Used a ratchet-strap to pull the body back a little.|
|Parts came in! Summit branded (secretly a Hellwig) 1" rear sway bar|
|Also UMI Performance 4051R lowering springs (2" drop) and Belltech 2209IH lowering shocks.|
So before I put the axle in the car, I'd looked at pictures of how the LCAs
go, specifically to make sure I got the sway-bar holes on the right end.|
And then I put them in backwards anyway.
Had to pull them out and correct.
|With the LCAs oriented correctly, and the shocks mounted on the studs. |
I had to grind the sway bar hole-things on the BMR lowers down a little (maybe .100" on each side?), otherwise I couldn't get the swaybar to line up. I don't *think* I ground too much off, there certainly isn't any play.
I also used different (longer) bolts than the ones supplied and added lockwashers.
|Mounted the shocks to the frame. Was adjusting the UCAs when the wrench slipped and slammed into my cheekbone. Done for the night at that point. Came back once the swelling went down, installed the rear cover.|
|The rear brake hose bracket that I'd been looking for wasn't in the
drawer marked "brackets" nor in a coffee can pending sorting because it
hadn't actually been disassembled - it was still in the bed of the truck
with the brake lines attached.|
Sandblasted and painted.
With everything bolted up - but not torqued and the pinion angle remaining
wrong - here's what it looks like.|
I don't think the picture really shows what you can see in person - the back is low and the front is high. We knew we were going to have to adjust the front anyway.
Well. Maybe I knew, I told y'all that back in 2013 (here) and you might have forgotten.
|So here's the default height in the back now. |
Note: The rear suspension is not correctly adjusted. There is some serious bind when I try to bounce the rear end (I'm sure the two uppers are different lengths). Maybe it'll be lower once I fix that.
|Helpful note: If you're using a ratchet-strap to move the body around in relation to the frame, the drain cutouts are not good things to hook to.|
|Got the front mounts lined up, then realized that They Don't Matter --
since they just take a nut, they don't care where they line up. |
With these lined up though, everything else was really close.
With everything done except the core support, I found myself with the two
4045 biscuits I'd expect, and a 4041 and a 4042 where I should have had two
Well, carp. I'd done an inventory of the parts before I started, and I had the right count of everything; I must have used a 4042 where I needed a 4041.
And, in fact, the fifth one I checked I'd done just that.
|I do have a concern with the brakes again though - I've found a source for the e-brake brackets, but it looks like I don't have much room between the caliper and the LCA. Suppose we'll find out.|
At this point, the rear suspension is *mostly* done (I'm lacking a fine-thread nut for one of the shock studs, and as mentioned it needs adjustment).. and also I need to run brake lines, but not until I know if I'm going to need to move the calipers again.
The body mounts are "done"; the two rearmost body bolts broke (because of course they did) and the plate over the back of the bed will require an impact screwdriver to remove (and I can't find the bits for mine) and hopefully I can access the rear mounts from there without cutting the bed up.
Next up, I suppose, beyond the above, is to cut the headers up <gulp>.
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