Scott’s Hotrods Independent Front Suspension Kit

Bolt-On Suspension Upgrades For Our 1964 Chevy C10

By Taylor Kempkes   –   Photography by the Author

In some sense, owning a classic truck is one of the best options for a project vehicle. They offer timeless style, the utility of a bed for weekend trips to the hardware store, and room under hood for a stout, all-American V8 engine. What they don’t typically offer, though, are handling characteristics that inspire confidence when driving alongside modern traffic. Our shortbed 1964 C10 is no different. We plan to build it into a fun weekend run-about but not before bringing its suspension, steering, and stopping capabilities up to contemporary standards.

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Read More: Kugel Komponents’ New Bolt-In 1963-87 Chevy C10 Coilover Kit

Luckily for us, the guys at Scott’s Hotrods ’N Customs have the perfect solution in the form of their bolt-on Independent Front Suspension system. The kit is designed for ’63-87 Chevy and GMC trucks and can be configured in a variety of ways. The basic kit comes with a bolt-on crossmember, control arms, 11-inch brakes, coilovers or airbags, and a manual steering rack—everything needed to transform the frontend of your truck. But, knowing not every build has the same goals or budget, Scott’s Hotrods ’N Customs also offers a whole host of other options. There is too much to list here, but some upgrades include bigger brakes, powder coating, sway bars, and various coilovers. They even offer a separate Independent Front Suspension kit designed to work with a ’73-87 Classic Performance Products spindle if you’re already running a CPP Big Brake Kit. You can check out the full option list, as well as their other chassis and suspension offerings at scottshotrods.com.

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01 the new Independent Front Suspension subframe in place using a floor jack
With the factory subframe and steering box removed, Jason Scudellari began by supporting the front of the frame rails with jack stands. Then he held the new Independent Front Suspension subframe in place using a floor jack.

Read More: New 1967-72 Chevy C10 Art Morrison Chassis With IRS Upgrade

So, what about our setup? Did we go bare bones or tick every box possible? Turns out, the sweet spot for us was somewhere in the middle. We passed on powder coating since we had yet to decide on color and we also opted for the standard single-adjustable Aldan American coilovers, trusting it would give us just the right amount of ride quality and adjustability we needed. We did upgrade to a power steering rack to make around-town cruising more enjoyable and LS motor mounts to support the truck’s future motivation. Adding a sway bar was also a must, and we decided on the beefier of the two sway bar options. Finally, we decided a stouter brake package would be ideal, so we went for the upgraded six-piston Wilwood calipers with drilled, slotted, and vented 14-inch rotors (but we’ll get to that part of the install in Part 2 of this saga).

02 Scudellari found the holes in the Scott’s Hotrods subframe that line up with the original holes in the frame and bolted it on
With the provided hardware, Scudellari found the holes in the Scott’s Hotrods subframe that line up with the original holes in the frame and bolted it on.

Before getting into the meat of this install, we’ll make a little note here to acknowledge the work that’s already been done on our 1964 Chevy C10. This being a pretty comprehensive build, our truck was already stripped down to a cab and bare frame rails up front. Keen readers will recognize the truck from the How To Remove Rust From Truck Chassis article where Jason Scudellari removed the front subframe and steering to coat the frame in POR-15. In the future we’ll be installing new sheetmetal and a completely new engine/transmission combination, so it just made more sense to start on the Independent Front Suspension system while everything else was out of the way. If you’re doing this upgrade on your classic truck at home, not much should change other than working around existing sheet metal and having an engine to support.

03 The top three holes in the frame that secure the independent front suspension frame
The top three holes in the frame that secure the independent front suspension frame boxing cradle needed to be drilled out for the larger hardware.

Read More: How To Install 1967-72 C10 Big Brake Kit

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Check back next month for Part 2 when we’ll cover the Wilwood brake portion of the Scott’s Hotrods Independent Front Suspension install.

04 There are also a few more holes that need to be drilled in the frame to fully attach the Independent Front Suspension subframe
There are also a few more holes that need to be drilled in the frame to fully attach the Independent Front Suspension subframe—an easy task with the subframe bolted in place already.
05 Make sure to fully tighten the subframe hardware on the inside of the frame rails before installing the frame boxing cradle
Make sure to fully tighten the subframe hardware on the inside of the frame rails before installing the frame boxing cradle.
06 note the pre welded tabs for the LS motor mounts we selected
Each cradle is marked with “DS” or “PS” on the top to note which side of the truck it should be installed (also note the pre-welded tabs for the LS motor mounts we selected).
07 Getting those center nuts on the top and bottom of the cradle can be challenging
Getting those center nuts on the top and bottom of the cradle can be challenging but certainly not impossible, so just take your time.
08 the subframe and boxing cradle is installed and torqued to spec
Once all the hardware on the subframe and boxing cradle is installed and torqued to spec, you’re ready to move onto the suspension and steering.
09 The control arms were all labeled for upper or lower and passenger or driver side
The control arms were all labeled for upper or lower and passenger or driver side. Install a washer on either side of each arm then snug up the bolts, but do not overtighten them.
10 Scudellari proceeded to install the Aldan American coilovers using the supplied hardware
Scudellari proceeded to install the Aldan American coilovers using the supplied hardware. It is generally easiest to leave the collars on the coilover at their lowest position for installation then go back and dial up the ride height later.
11 Install each billet upper control arm mount with three washers against the crossmember
Install each billet upper control arm mount with three washers against the crossmember and one washer on the outside.
12 Then attach the adjustable upper control arms and tighten all the hardware
Then attach the adjustable upper control arms and tighten all the hardware.
13 a set screw secures each upper control arm bolt
For added safety, and to de-incentivize over tightening the bolts, a set screw secures each upper control arm bolt.
14 Scudellari then installed the dropped spindle before moving onto the steering rack
Scudellari then installed the dropped spindle before moving onto the steering rack. Two washers are provided for the lower ball joint between the spindle and castle nut to ensure the cotter pin hole lines up.
15 Don’t forget to install the zerk fittings on the oversized greasable upper ball joints
Don’t forget to install the zerk fittings on the oversized, greasable upper ball joints.
16 The steering rack easily mounts up to the Independent Front Suspension subframe
The steering rack easily mounts up to the Independent Front Suspension subframe and fits like a glove. Tighten up the two mounting bolts until they bottom out on the sleeve.
17 Spin on the lock nut and outer tie rod ends making sure to set both sides at equal lengths
Spin on the lock nut and outer tie rod ends, making sure to set both sides at equal lengths (obviously a professional alignment will be needed before getting the truck back on the road).
18 He began by attaching the tie rod ends to the sway bar arms
Next, Scudellari moved onto the one “non-bolt-on” portion of the installation: the upgraded splined sway bar. If you don’t have access to a welder, the standard 1-inch sway bar option is a bolt-on alternative. He began by attaching the tie rod ends to the sway bar arms.
19 With the tie rod ends adjusted to equal lengths and the sway bar supported by a floor jack
With the tie rod ends adjusted to equal lengths and the sway bar supported by a floor jack, Scudellari proceeded to clean up the area on the frame where the mounts would be welded.
20 He measured both sides to make sure the sway bar was nice and square before tacking it in plac
He measured both sides to make sure the sway bar was nice and square before tacking it in place. The goal is to have the endlinks as vertical as possible at ride height.
21 With the bar positioned correctly Scudellari went ahead and fully welded the sway bar mounts to the frame
With the bar positioned correctly, Scudellari went ahead and fully welded the sway bar mounts to the frame.

Source

Scott’s Hotrods ’N Customs
(800) 273-5195
scottshotrods.com

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