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1971 Chevelle, 350 Small Block
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Hey everyone! I purchased the UMI stage two suspension package for my 1971 Chevelle. Just curious, has anyone installed this themselves? How hard of a job is it to do yourself? Roughly, how long did it take you? Anything I should know before trying to tackle this myself?

im mechanically inclined and have tackled some decent projects so im not a newbie. Ive just never done any suspension work so this is new to me. Just trying to decide if this is something I should tackle myself or bring to a shop. Also, how much do you think a shop might charge for this?
 

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Ryan
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While I don’t have a UMI stage 2 kit, I have replaced all of my components with similar parts. It’s very doable with some mechanical aptitude and hand tools. You could do it in a weekend I’d think. Breaking ball joints free from your spindle might be difficult. I prefer my trusty 5 lb sledge hammer for this job. The rear end can be cumbersome but if you change one trailing arm at a time, it’s not bad. Use plenty of lube for poly bushings. Don’t torque your new parts until the tires are in the ground holding the vehicles full weight. You may need to set your toe in the garage before taking it to the alignment shop. There’s some threads here about it. I’ve done it with 2 levels, 4 boxes of latex gloves and two tape measures. It’s not hard. Did I miss anything? Someone else will chime in.

Oh, and take the time to ensure your front springs are seated properly in their pockets. Dont just put it in blind and assume it’s correct. Also remember to support the lower control arm when breaking free your ball joints. I almost lost a finger this way when I was 17 because I didn’t know better.
 
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If you can change oil and spark plugs you can install your kit. You got lowering springs so they should go in easy to new control arms. Tuff part might be getting out bolts from rear lower control arms if rusted. Your not moving tie rods, will have to adjust caster, camber, toe last. Add more shims to rear of front control arms for positive caster. Have fun.
 

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My only problems was the rear lower trailing arms, where to forward bolt had frozen into the arm and I had to cut the bolt out. That seemed to be an easier approach than taking out the whole exhaust system, which was welded in place. Took a whole day to make 4 cuts. Found some diamond tooth sawzall blades. What a PITA. Other than that just be careful of the stored energy in the front springs. In the rear do one trailing arm at a time on the lowers and uppers. that way everything stays put.
 

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just did mine with pretty much all the same parts and Umi. I had never done it before either, a buddy and a weekend for front/rear probably. the rear end bushings were a pita also. umi support was great to hop on a call if u have any questions. hardest/sketchiest part was definitely seating the new springs and I have 1" lower.
 

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Be real careful when removing the lower A arms (springs). I chained my springs to the frame if I remember right.
First timer. No body or drivetrain in the frame so you can guess what happened when the balljoint was removed.
Still dont understand how that spring took off like a rocket being chained. Nearly took my head off, ricocheted and flew clear across the yard those things are lethal. So fast you couldnt even see it just hear it.
 

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Be real careful when removing the lower A arms (springs). I chained my springs to the frame if I remember right.
First timer. No body or drivetrain in the frame so you can guess what happened when the balljoint was removed.
Still dont understand how that spring took off like a rocket being chained. Nearly took my head off, ricocheted and flew clear across the yard those things are lethal. So fast you couldnt even see it just hear it.
glad nobody got hurt, sounds nuts. used some chain and a lock wrapped around the frame. still felt much sketchier putting the spring in, and my engine was in when I did my swap. on jackstands as high as it felt stable and get your jack in place below the a arm before you pop out the ball joints
 

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1970 Chevelle SS 396
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Hey everyone! I purchased the UMI stage two suspension package for my 1971 Chevelle. Just curious, has anyone installed this themselves? How hard of a job is it to do yourself? Roughly, how long did it take you? Anything I should know before trying to tackle this myself?

im mechanically inclined and have tackled some decent projects so im not a newbie. Ive just never done any suspension work so this is new to me. Just trying to decide if this is something I should tackle myself or bring to a shop. Also, how much do you think a shop might charge for this?
I have a 1970 Chevelle SS 396, I recently changed my stock suspension To the QA1 coil over suspension front and rear. I removed the front suspension 1st and then the rear. I would recommend that you go to a O'Reilly's auto parts and pick up a Ball joint Fork. They have a tool loaner program, so you don't need to purchase one. It makes splitting the ball joints much easier. I was able to lower my cars ride height by 2 inch's, my Chevelle rides much better and handles like it is on rails. I also installed rear disk brakes at the same time, it stops much better than the with the stock disk- drum brake system.
 
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