About Chapter 5 – Click HERE for the bookstore
Replace Front Bushings & Ball Joints
In this long and detailed chapter, I show the easy and correct ways to remove and install all new front suspension bushings and ball joints on your C4.
These too-often overlooked components are critical for driving safety and suspension longevity – not to mention the proper wear on your tires.
In 32 pages, 28 steps, and 88 color photos, all bushing and ball joint procedures are covered.
Chapter 5 starts by discussing safety and methods, then quickly moves on to the necessary and optional tools. I show optional tools because some procedures can be accomplished more than one way. Next, the workspace is outlined and explained.
First, we tackle the upper control arm. These bushings can be difficult to remove, or damaged if the wrong method is used. I show you two methods to remove the old bushings – with a shop press, or with my “home-grown” method. Either way works without damaging these important pieces.
New bushings are from Energy Suspension, one of the leaders in performance suspension. They sell polyurethane bushings for the C4 – both front and rear. Polyurethane is stronger than the old rubber bushings, so they last longer and provide firmer handling.
Next is the upper arm ball joint. Mine were completely shot, and if not replaced, it would damage the bearing hub and create terrible tire wear.
My new ball joints were made by Moog, a Federal-Mogul company. Moog is a premier suspension part maker – most of NASCAR uses their performance parts. I bought mine from Jegs Performance.
We move on to the removal and replacement of the lower control arm bushings. The arm bushings are straightforward, but the end-link bushings can be a problem without the right tools. A small shop press was purchased from Harbor Freightand it was one of the best buys in the whole project.
The lower ball joints are also made by Moog. The kits comes with Moog’s dust boots, but I elected to use the polyurethane ones supplied by Energy Suspension.
A shop press and specialty ball-joint removal toolset are needed for this operation – those lower ball joints are tough!
Again, Energy Suspension was my supplier for replacement bushings, and their Help Desk does a really good job if needed.
One slight problem is some of the sleeving in the original control arms and other suspension pieces need to be removed before the Energy Suspension bushings will fit. Not a big deal though and this chapter has all the details for you.
Chapter 5 next turns to steering. New outer tie-rods were installed and I show the best way to make sure they are in the same position as the old ones. These are stock parts from Rock Auto and made by Moog.
Also, instead of rebuilding the original rack & pinion steering unit, I bought a reconditioned one. It comes with a warranty and is refurbished by AC Delco – a GM standard.
But first, a very important part of the steering needs to be removed – my book tells you all about it. The replacement rack & pinion is also a stock part from Rock Auto.
The final section of Chapter 5 deals with removal and replacement of the stabilizer bar bushings – commonly called the anti-sway bar.
The stabilizer bar bushings from Energy Suspension are configured differently than the stock bushings, and I show you in this chapter how to get around this and install them for the best handling.
Newman Car Creations, who re-engineered my stock frame (and now retired), also cut about 15% of my leaf spring down. This lowers the front end about three-fourths of an inch.
Newman also supplied me with the Guldstrand Wedge. Made by Dick Guldstrand, a legend among Corvette enthusiasts and racers, the wedge accomplishes a very important task in the set-up of your C4 front suspension.
This chapter is a must for those looking to upgrade and replace their worn out bushings and ball joints on their 4th generation Corvette.