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Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

How to Install Rear Coils - 1967 Chevelle

3/30/2020
Hang in there baby!

From the very beginning of this project, I was sold on the idea of a full coil-over suspension. I’ve converted all but a couple of our family’s hot rods to front coil-overs from QA1. I love the adjustability they give for ride height and depending on the model, compression and rebound characteristics.

This car will primarily be street driven, with occasional drag strip visits and on the appropriate rubber, autocross events. Having a big, fat, iron-headed big block up front is a bit of a handicap on the latter. It’s my hope that having the ability to tune the suspension I can work into a reliable setup for each of the purposes.

I began fitting the rear coilover conversion when the car still had its 3.90 posi BOP 10 bolt in place. As indicated before, this car had a previous life as a street machine and really ran pretty hard for a warmed over 283 with a little bit of stall converter and fun stoplight to stoplight gears.

The QA1 Kit supplies everything you need to convert your rear suspension over from the bulky coils and shocks to sleek and compact coil-overs. You need but supply the fifty-year-old car. That was where I ran into my first problem. The well designed and stout little upper mounts they supply tie into two of the original upper shock bolt holes and you must drill the third. No sweat. The trouble came when I tried to get hardware into the tiny space above the structure but below the upper trunk floor. I like to put vertical bolts in with the heads up. So if something comes loose on the road, there’s at least a chance of having the bolt. Foolish but there it is.

Not pretty, but it worked after an hour of fumbling.

After trying, in vain for longer than practical, I could not get that third bolt into place. I finally decided to punch a ½” hole in the structure, close enough to finesse a bolt into the proper location. No harm, no foul. I’m sure a cherry car that had not endured the amount of sheet metal replacement in the trunk area may not have had as tight a space to work with here.

Same thing, other side.

Once that part of the mounting situation was handled, I moved onto the easier stuff. I typically like to get the fight out of the way early. The lower mounts had been on this housing before. The stud goes through the original shock mount hole, the bolt (upper) must be drilled. Once bolted up, the new bracket provides the correct angle of dangle for the new shocks to function as advertised and support the weight of the car.

All fasteners supplied are grade 8 fine thread with nylock nuts. I was impressed with the quality and ease of installation.

From there, I assembled the actual coilovers themselves. Again I opted to use the Torrington bearings and lots of anti-seize. The bodies of the shocks being where they are and with the removal of my spring pockets left an ample amount of room to pass large tailpipes over the rear end. Usually a bit of a trick on these cars.

After both of the coil-over assemblies were complete I installed the upper of both and raised the rear end to meet them at the bottom.

My lower bolt and nut situation is very, very tight. This is due to the extra inch of width that I had omitted from the outside width of this housing.

Everything fits, I checked that dozens of times before finalizing plans and painting all the components. But it’s tight. To the point of having to assemble in a very particular order so a not to paint yourself into a corner down the line assembling the brakes.

Somehow, I still managed to paint myself into a corner. But that is a story for later.

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