With the wiring almost complete, I’ve started putting the car back together. First stop was to get some suspension back under it. All of my suspension pieces have previously been sandblasted and powder coated and the diff was sandblasted, rebuilt and given a fresh coat of 2 pack. Everything is being put back together with new bolts and new Superpro polyurethane bushes. Front springs are lowered King springs and the rear leafs have been reversed with an extra leaf added. They were also pulled apart, sandblasted and reassembled by Warwick. Shock absorbers are Spax adjustables with the fronts having a shorter throw so that the spring remains captive.
First step was to jack up the car and remove the front caster wheel setup. With the front on stands the cross member was installed with new bolts and new steering stop bolts inserted. The sway bar was mounted up and the control arms were fitted with new bushes and bolted into the cross member. This was a bit of an ordeal at first but a quick check with the helpful Cortina forum had me reassured that I was on the right track. The bush really distorts hard when they go in and I was sure it was going to tear first time around. Once you’ve got the knack of it, the next ones only take a couple of minutes. Some I pulled in with a bolt and washers and others I was able to press in with my wood vice. I was also sent the wrong bushes for the outside of the control arm which did cause a bit of confusion at first.
Next step was to bolt the rebuilt ball joints to the bottom of the struts. Then the springs were compressed and the struts bolted up to the car and attached to the control arm. The first side I compressed the shock by hand and then had my wife guide the ball joint in. Was a bit of an ordeal. For the second side I compressed the shock and then cable tied it to the compressed spring. Much easier and I was able to comfortably do it on my own. All bolts have been torqued up to factory specs but I won’t torque up the strut top bolts until I get it on the ground with some weight on it. I’ve gone for Suspension Concepts adjustable strut tops but have a set of originals as well if I ever want to go back to factory.
On the Aus Day public holiday Dad came over and we put the rear suspension in. We first had to get the dolly wheels and old GT springs out that had been put in to move the bodyshell around. We then re-bushed the rear springs and fitted them up. The diff was then installed and new U bolts fitted. The ones I purchased new were way to long and had to be cut down. I may have been sent ones suitable for a car with lowering blocks by mistake. For the front eye of the rear leafs the pin that came with the new Superpro bushes was too long and I had to cut about 5mm off to make them fit. With everything bolted up it was time to fit the GT tramp bars. This is where things got a little more interesting as each one was about 1mm short of fitting comfortably. After much pulling and pushing we eventually got them bolted up. I couldn’t find any suitable new bolts for where these mount to the diff so the original bolts were fitted up. I will find some suitable new lock nuts and replace those but the original bolts actually feel superior to new bolts. I will just paint the heads on them. Final step was fitting up the rear shock absorbers. All in all everything went back together really well so far and only a few pretty small marks to touch up which is a bonus.