Automotive manufacturers find the middle ground between what works and what is economical for them to manufacture before placing the order for hundreds of thousands of parts; the aesthetics of the suspension aren't anywhere close to the top of their list. What does this mean for us classic truckers? That we have ugly stock parts under our trucks that were built to loose mass-production standards, and while they may be rugged, years of wear and tear and the effects of time have taken their toll on our Detroit iron.
So what are your choices, you ask? Find nice original parts that are getting harder to locate and more expensive? Update the suspension via a new front clip? Or in the case of Chevy C-10 trucks, bolt on some brand-new control arms and go? Thanks to the aftermarket and the vast demand for better/more versatile parts, say for lowered trucks, companies like Classic Performance Products (CPP) have come to the rescue. Without cutting into the stock frame (which is some people's worst nightmare), you can upgrade your C-10's stamped-steel control arms to CPP's fully TIG-welded tubular pieces in only a few hours, and still be able to return your truck to stock should you ever choose to. They truly are bolt-ons!
CPP's tubular control arms come in high-gloss black or metallic-silver powdercoat, and are fully assembled on new chrome-moly billet cross-shafts with bushings made from a patented plastic that will never squeak, never need lube, and work at temperatures over 450 degrees. Their new upper control arms are lengthened to work with all dropped coil springs, while still compatible with the stock units. The lower arms feature a stamped helical coil perch that doesn't "settle" like polyurethane spring seats, and makes installing the springs even easier. The other benefit to CPP's lower arms is the cross-shaft design has increased ground clearance for lowered trucks or those with Air Ride, which if you are in either category, you know what we're talking about.
On our test mule '79, we've already upgraded to CPP's rear trailing arm conversion (Feb. '08). Now it's time for the frontend, which already had a set of 2-inch dropped coils, an old small-diameter aftermarket sway bar, and an upper shock mount that looked like it was starting to tear. So while the truck was in the air, CPP installed one of its 1 1/4-inch sway bars and its double-shear upper shock mount bracket. This bracket is similar to what GM used on the four-wheel-drive trucks to fix this all too common C-10 problem. CPP offers two sway bar brackets: a stock replacement, or one for lowered trucks that sits closer to the frame, again gaining more ground clearance. Many trucks weren't equipped with sway bars from the factory, so you'll have to bust out two rivets and drill a couple of holes, but you'll be glad you did. The aforementioned dropped coils were also swapped out for 3-inchers to give the truck just the right amount of rake. CPP has coils from the stock height on up to a 3-inch drop and in 1-inch increments to get you down where you want to be.
Of course you'll need to have your alignment checked after all this is said and done, but that is cheap insurance to make sure all your new parts, not to mention tires, will last. For those of you ready to take your C-10 to the next level-which may be closer to the pavement-call CPP and see what it can do for you. Don't forget to tell 'em you saw it here in CLASSIC TRUCKS!
First things first, take the front wheels off. Remember to loosen the lug nuts with the tr
Starting with the lower ball joint, remove the cotter pin, nut, and separate it from the s
If your truck has a sway bar on it already, disconnect where it mounts to the lower contro
Carefully remove the front coil springs. The truck already had 2-inch dropped coils in the
Now begin loosening and removing the lower control arm mounts at the crossmember. Don't fo
Here are the new TIG-welded, powdercoated, tubular control arms from CPP along with the in