Front Suspension Installation

This morning I bolted the front suspension components, which I assembled yesterday, onto the frame. In the process I installed the new shocks and springs. I used all new bolts which I acquired from Pat Mahoney.

In the top of the shock housing, in the area where the spring seats at the top, originally was a rubber spring isolator that cushioned the spring against the metal frame. I obtained some new urethane spring isolators from Energy Suspension that are a close fit to the originals (pictured below left is the new one with the original one). I bought these from Suspension Restoration, part #9.6114G for $9.00 for the pair. The spring isolators went up into the housing with their raised lip facing down to ride along the inside edge of the top coil on the spring.

Before beginning I checked the upper A-arm bolts in the frame and noticed that they didn’t want to go in because some of the powdercoating must have covered the threading. I used a 7/16″-20 tap to chase the threads.

Then I put the suspension assembly on my dolly and wheeled it into its general position.

I lifted the upper A-arm up over the shock housing and slide it into place so the holes on the frame lined up with those in the upper spindle.

I started the bolts by hand, and then tightened them about halfway using a 5/8″ socket.

With the upper A-arm fastened to the frame, I removed the cart and allowed the suspension assembly to rest on the floor.

My new front coil springs were Datsunsports competition springs I bought from Mike Young for $150. These are a fairly popular spring to use in the front. Compared to the stock springs, they are more than 1 1/2″ shorter, which will lead to about an inch and a half drop in the front end and a more modern sporty stance for the car.

I also bought new KYB Gas Adjust front shocks, which were part #KG4528. I got mine from Summit Racing for $29.95 each.

What I did was to place the shock, with the inner plates and bushings installed, inside the spring with the isolator on top of the spring.

Then I fed the shock and spring up into the shock housing so that the shaft came through the hole atop the housing. I put on the upper rubber bushing, metal plate, and added the nut onto the shock shaft to hold it in place.

Then I pivoted the lower A-arm upwards so that the spring plate caught the bottom of the spring, holding both pieces in place. I rolled my floor jack underneath the lower A-arm to hold it at that height.

Using both hands, I temporarily lifted the lower A-arm up so that the lower shaft of the shock protruded through its hole in the shock plate in the middle of the arm. Quickly, I popped on the bushing and plate and threaded on the lower shock nut to hold the lower A-arm in position.

Using the jack to raise and rotate the lower arm into position, I then inserted the first of the bolts that connect the lower spindle to the frame.

Then, with a little more positioning, I was able to add the remaining bolt on that side and the two on the other side. I tightened them using an 9/16″ socket.

With everything in place, I torqued down the two upper A-arm frame bolts to 80 pound/feet and the four lower A-arm frame bolts to 50 pound/feet.

I tightened down the upper shock nut and added the lock nut on to of it, using a 9/16″ socket for each.

Then I did the same on the bottom shaft of the shock.

Here are a couple of shots of the assembled front suspension.

Here is the opposite side and a shot of the front end.

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