C1 Corvette Suspension - Overhauling A Friend's '59 Vette, Part 3
The Gardners pre-assembled...
The Gardners pre-assembled the new front end on the bench to facilitate installation as a complete unit. The spindles are available from Jim Meyer Racing with the IFS kit, or can be purchased from Stainless Steel Brakes Corp. as part of the 4-wheel disc brake setup. Ours came from SSBC. Also, note that the Flaming River R&P unit is heim-jointed for precision and durability, as are the upper A-arms. And the Carrera/QA1 coilovers are designed specifically for this IFS system.
The new IFS setup is now ready...
The new IFS setup is now ready for installation. Note that it is mounted on an adapter on the floor jack and securely attached with a chain to keep it firmly in place during installation.
Easy does it, up and into...
Easy does it, up and into place. Suddenly it's quite clear how well engineered this IFS setup is to conform to the space and configuration of the original C1 undercarriage.
Proper tightening is essential...
Proper tightening is essential for proper suspension travel and steering response. Upper inner pivots are critical, so they're initially snugged up, then torqued to specs provided by Jim Meyer Racing.
With the front suspension...
With the front suspension fully bolted into place, you can now see the reason for having to cut a notch in the inner fender well. This affords clearance for both the crossmember upright and also for the rear portion of the upper A-arm during suspension travel.
Happily the IFS setup does...
Happily the IFS setup does not obstruct access to any under-car components like the exhaust system, the oil filter, the fuel pump, or even the oil pan, but hopefully there will not be any need to drop the oil pan in Rob's lifetime.
With the new IFS bolted securely...
With the new IFS bolted securely in place, next step is installation of the R&P unit, which bolts right in. The large U-shaped bracket provides a mounting point for the bottom of the radiator support, which was originally bolted to the OE crossmember. This support point is especially important because it also serves as the primary support point for the entire front bodywork, which bolts to the rad support and, in turn, is supported by the crossmember.
Note that the IFS provides...
Note that the IFS provides alternate lower mounting points for the coilovers in order to afford a provision for precise chassis tuning. Of course the coilovers themselves are also adjustable; an appropriate tool is supplied with these spring/shock assemblies.
This photo shows the near-OE...
This photo shows the near-OE appearance of the new suspension setup, and also shows how it keeps the front wheel in the same position in the wheel well opening as the original setup.
The new Flaming River steering...
The new Flaming River steering column is beautifully crafted and is supplied with all hardware needed for installation. The universal joints are beefy yet attractive, and the trim pieces are gorgeous. The column comes pre-wired for horn and turn signals in order to facilitate installation.
Clearance for the new steering...
Clearance for the new steering column and joints is provided by trimming the piece of ignition shielding that covers the spark plug for cylinder No. 3. Neat trimming leaves a factory-like appearance.
Flaming River also supplies...
Flaming River also supplies very nicely made cover plates for both the front and rear of the firewall where the column passes through, leaving a very finished, and snugly-sealed, firewall appearance.
|Flaming River Products||QA-1|
|R&P steering system, steering column, supports and harness||Front coil-overs and custom rear shocks|
| || |
|Gardner's Automotive||Stainless Steel Brakes Corp.|
|Installation and fabrication services||www.stainlesssteelbrakes.com|
| ||Four wheel disc brake conversion kit|
|Jim Meyer Racing|| |
|Complete IFS system, plus brake master cylinder and lines|| |