Installing Suspension and Engine

Installing the springs. When I went to remove these, I didn't trust any spring compressor I could find. I went to an engineering supplies store & got a 3ft length of 5/8" diameter high tensile threaded rod and several nuts & washers (also high tensile). I removed the shock absorber and replaced the top mounting plate. I put the rod down from the top through the spring seat on the upper suspension arm. On the bottom end, I put two washers followed by three nuts, tightening the nuts so they were locked together near the end of the rod. On the top end, above the shock mount, I put 2 washers and a single nut, well greased. Further up the rod, I put two more nuts locked together. I then removed the 4 nuts holding the lower spring seat to the suspension arm. I could then safely sit inside the engine bay and screw down the nut above the shock mount, pulling the spring and lower seat up off the suspension arm. I figured that the weakest part was the nut I was tightening and if that let go, the 2 nuts higher up would catch it. It worked perfectly. Once the spring was compressed enough, I could unbolt and remove the suspension arm, then back off the top nut until the spring was loose. Just to be extra careful, I threw that nut away & used a new one for the other spring. These picures show replacement using the same method.

Front suspension installed. The bushes supplied with the spring saddle kit were incorrect (too small to fit into the housing) so I had to get replacements made at a local machine shop.

I installed the engine with the trans attached. It took some care as it was a little tight but I had no real problems. I don't think you'd do it with the water pump attached.

A few more items attached.

Rear axle assembly rebuilt and ready to install. New bearings throughout, brakes relined, drums skimmed, wheel cylinders sleeved in stainless steel. New brake lines and hose. Main housing painted with POR15 Chassis Black, diff painted with red oxide primer as original.