The first order of business was to tie some loose ends together on the generator and make an adapter cord for the welder, so I headed down to Home Depot for heavy gauge wire and 220V plugs. I've wired a couple engines, but when it comes to residential or industrial welding I have no clue what is going on, so that step took way longer than it should have, but we got it all buttoned up and ready to go. Once again, I turned the welder over to Vaughn's more experienced hands since I consider the suspension to be a rather critical part of a car. We fired up the generator in a small cloud of uncatalyzed, unfiltered diesel smoke (I dedicate that smoke cloud to C.A.R.B) and got to work.
|The ancient behemoth that powered my welder. Thanks, Vaughn's friend!|
First we had to finish the reinforcement plates that went on the frame rails. With the new welder hooked to the generator, there was a lot more power. Almost too much in fact. We had to put the welder on it's lowest setting to avoid blowing through the 16 gauge frame rail steel. The reinforcements took some time, but soon enough we were ready to install the crossmember.
It took only a small amount of grinding to fit the crossmember after which we pushed it up into place with a floor jack. Locating holes and alignment plates are designed into the kit, so installation requires minimal measuring.
|Crossmember pushed up against the alignment plate.|
|Lifting the crossmember into place.|
|Pretty good work for a crosseyed redneck who lives on Mt Dew and cereal.|
After the crossmember was welded in, it was time for the spring mounts. This was some thicker metal which actually made for easier welding now that we had all the power we needed and a little extra to spare.
With all the welding done, it was smooth sailing from that point on. It was now just a matter of turning some wrenches. First up was the lower control arm and coilover shock assembly.
Then came the upper control arm. In the picture below you can see the alignment system. Adding more washers between the A-arm and the mount will decrease negative camber angle, and loosening the bolts to slide the A-arm rearward will increase caster angle.
|A simple yet elegant alignment system.|
After I started to cycle the suspension, I noticed that the spring mounts were contacting the upper ball joint cup when the suspension was at full extension, or the unloaded position.
|She's starting to look like a real car again!|
|GOT ER DUUUN!|
|Enough wide open spaces to house at least 3 Dixie Chicks.|