By Chris Petris
Once all the original bushings are pushed out and the parts cleaned up bushing installation can begin.
There are a couple of things to be aware of before the first bushing is installed. The bushing bore must be clean and free of any snags of metal that may have been raised during the bushing removal process. Powder-coat or paint may also be in the bushing bore and should be removed to ease bushing installation. A raised area, whether it be paint, powder-coat or gnarled metal, causes the bushings inner sleeve to drag on the urethane, preventing smooth suspension movement. Unlike rubber bushings, urethane bushings should rotate smoothly throughout their suspension range of motion (one of the major reasons for the change to urethane). Too much clean-up of the bores is also a concern: the bushing should require effort to push in. You should be able to squeeze your hand and force the bushings in. (more…)
By Chris Petris
The fourth generation Corvette was a radical departure from General Motors early Corvette engineering. It eliminated a perimeter frame to support the suspension and driveline. Two front frame rails integrated into the first ever Corvette uni-body construction. This made for an interesting driveline mounting installation. The front suspension subframe was bolted to the frame rails while providing engine mounting points. The lack of a transmission crossmember added another twist, with a torque arm supporting the transmission and connecting it directly to the differential. The differential was mounted with two large bushings at the outer uni-body rear frame area. Rear vehicle weight was supported by a transverse spring that bolted directly to the differential rear cover.
Your 1963-1982 Corvette front crossmember is subjected to large rocks, unimaginable road debris and damage from repair work (poorly positioned floor jacks). As a result, many, if not all, the frames under C2 and C3 Corvettes have caved-in front crossmembers. The repair tool (Corvette Central part number 182100) will aid in straightening your crossmember if the majority of damage is within the perimeter of the inner forcing plate coverage area. (more…)