As you may or may not know, Riz and I are in the process of making a square-body C10 road worthy. The square body is in rough shape, but we plan on building it with a budget in mind. Well, as you are about to find out just like we did, sometimes budget is not always the best way of doing things. We started off by looking at the front suspension, and more specifically, what needed to be replaced. We also wanted to lower the truck to give it that cool look on the road, but didn't want to break the bank. So we turned to Classic Performance Products in Anaheim, California, for some frontend parts.
Following plan A, we chose to rebuild the front control arms with a CPP's control arm bushing kit, replace the inner and outer tie-rod ends, pitman arm, and idler arm along with the upper and lower ball joints. If this sounds like a lot of work to you then I would have to agree with you. We also replaced the stock spindle with a CPP drop spindle that helped lower the truck 2 inches. We also wanted to replace the old springs with new 2-inch CPP drop springs that would give us a total drop of 4 inches. The square body had been sitting for a long time and the front brake calipers were locked up so they were replaced with new CPP drilled and slotted rotors along with new red CPP calipers.
Here is something to think about in the terms of trying to save money on rebuilding versus new CPP tubular control arms. We spent a lot of time cleaning the old control arms when we first removed them, and in fact we went the extra step to sandblast and paint them so they looked good. We did this in our shop where we have the tools to do so, like a rack, sandblaster, press, air tools etc., but what if you don't have the tools that are needed to perform the control arm rebuild? Then you have to pay someone else to perform the work and that may become quite costly, not including the rebuild kit we got from CPP.
Now if you can't rebuild the control arms yourself, then for a few extra bucks CPP has tubular control arms that have some major advantages over the rebuilt stock arms. For one they are built so that you have extra ground clearance on the lower control arm. The next big thing is the alignment specs of new control arms are much better because they give you 5 degrees of caster without having to add tons of upper alignment shims. The increased caster will make the truck drive more like a modern vehicle. The CPP cross-shafts are made from billet 4140-alloy steel and improve stability over the stock and much smaller cross-shafts. CPP also states that the control arm bushings are made from self-lubricating non-squeak patented plastic that will outlast any rubber or urethane.
In this tech feature we are going to show you what we did to rebuild the control arms, but also show you why we ended up using the tubular control arms instead of the stock versions.