One of the most essential components of a classic auto build is reworking the car’s brakes and suspension. Obviously the weight of these metal beasts is far heavier than today’s plastic and fiberglass models, so ensuring a safe, smooth ride should always be a priority for any classic. When I started working on this Caprice, I figured the overhaul of the brakes and suspension would be a quick and easy process. I assumed I could just go through the old suspension and stock components, but after looking at the car, boy was I wrong! I did some research and found two key players that could help with my dilemma, so I’m bringing them to you this month. I called upon Ride-Tech and CPP to assist in the buildup of the front suspension and brake upgrade. You’ll remember last month, we upgraded the steering by using a CPP steering box and tie rod components. This month, we finished off the front suspension by adding RideTech tubular arms and integrating CPP’s calipers for braking.
The RideTech coil-over suspension modernized the stock suspension by upgrading the lower A-arms. Even though the Caprice had stock disc brakes, it was actually cheaper to replace the factory setup. After paying a visit to CPP, we knew that we had to add one of their brake kits for the car. The CPP brake kit had a few benefits, including being able to find replacement parts when the brakes need to be fixed. They also allowed us to bolt up wire wheels without having to do any modifying to the calipers or adding spacers for clearance!
Since we wanted to dial this car in before adding our hydraulics, we opted to use RideTech’s coil over shocks for the front, along with the tubular arms. These same arms are going to be used when it is time to add hydraulics to our car, as they are strong enough to support air bags or a basic hydraulic setup. Now follow along, as we upgrade our suspension and braking on this classic car.
1. This RideTech gear was ready to help modernize the front suspension.
2. Here is a look at the stock suspension before it gets replaced.
3. You can see the front control arms are bent; this usually occurs from parking to close to the wheel stops. These bent bars can throw off the alignment on your car like this one did.
4. The tie rods were disconnected and the stock sway bar was removed.
5. Having a bare canvas made it easier to begin the build.
6. The frame was ready for reassembly.
7. The upper RideTech tubular arms, which feature heavy-duty ball joints, were easily bolted on.
8. When adding this front suspension, a good strategy is to add the muscle bar first.
9. The only modifying necessary was to drill out the frame with three holes to keep the pivot bearing in place.
10. After marking up the frame, we drilled out our pilot holes.