GM Chevy Mid-Size Cars 1964-1988 Repair Guide



See Figures 1 and 2

The front suspension is designed to allow each wheel to compensate for changes in the read surface level without appreciably affecting the opposite wheel. Each wheel is independently connected to the frame by upper and lower control arms, ball joints and a steering knuckle. The control arms are specifically designed and positioned to allow the steering knuckles to move in a prescribed three dimensional arc. The front wheels are both held in proper relationship to each other and turned by two tie rods which are connected to steering arms on the knuckles and to an intermediate rod.

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Fig. Fig. 1: From underneath, many of the front suspension components are visible-the triangular shaped lower control arms, underside of the shocks and lower ball joints, the tie rods and the intermediate rod

Coil chassis springs are mounted between the spring housings on the frame or front end sheet metal and the lower control arms. Ride control is provided by double, direct acting, shock absorbers mounted inside the coil springs and attached to the lower control arms by bolts and nuts. The upper portion of each shock absorber extends through the upper control arm's frame bracket and is secured with two grommets, two grommet retainers, and a nut.

Side roll of the front suspension is controlled by a spring steel stabilizer shaft. It is mounted in rubber bushings which are held to the frame side rails by brackets. The ends of the stabilizer are connected to the lower control arms by link bolts isolated by rubber grommets.

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Fig. Fig. 2: Front suspension components

The upper control arm is attached to a cross shaft through isolating rubber bushing. The cross shaft, in turn, is bolted to frame brackets.

A ball joint assembly is riveted to the outer end of the upper arm. It is pre-loaded by a rubber spring to insure proper seating of the ball in the socket. The upper ball joint is attached to the steering knuckle by a torque prevailing nut.

The inner ends of the lower control arms have pressed-in bushings. Bolts, passing through the bushings, attach the arm to the frame. The lower ball joint assembly is a press fit in the arm and attaches to the steering knuckle with a torque prevailing nut.

Rubber grease seals are provided at ball socket assemblies to keep dirt and moisture from entering the joint and damaging the bearing surfaces.