CAPTCHA Image
Reload Image

CAPTCHA Image
Reload Image

WE INSTALL RIDETECH’S COMPLETE COIL-OVER SYSTEM

RIDETECH IS A company that produces suspension components that help vehicles handle better and stick more power to the pavement. The company prides itself on its quality coil-over systems that boost the performance of classic cars and trucks. Ridetech has been on an autocross campaign in recent years, and many racers prefer to run its products to help shave time o the clock.

Although we like slammed trucks, we really like to go fast in them. Unfortunately, most air suspension systems can’t handle high horsepower, and most airbag systems are too soft, which causes wheel hop when serious power is applied. If you want great handling in a lowered stance, you’ll need a good coil-over system.

To get a better understanding of how to add one of these systems to a truck, we headed to Switch Suspension in Tempe, Arizona. There we watched as a Ridetech complete coil-over system was installed on Switch’s new project truck, a ’73 Chevy C-10. They even brought in Blake Stone of Stoner’s Speed shop to give them a hand.

The Ridetech kit bolts on, and as you can tell, it changes the whole look of the truck, and just as we expected, the ride quality was dramatically enhanced. Switch also added new front brakes and wheel bearings and installed a set of American Racing wheels. Everything came together in about a day with minimal cutting. This kit can be used with air ride components in place of the coil-overs as well; the choice is yours. ST

FRONT

With the truck lifted up off the pavement, the entire front suspension, including brakes, upper arms, lower arms, sway bar and spindles, was removed. The stock parts were saved and reused.

The factory control arm mount and rivets were removed; a plasma cutter or grinder can be used. Once the rivet heads are ground down, they can be knocked out with a hammer.

Using the provided template, we trimmed the upper spring pocket to clear the coil-overs.

After everything was trimmed and cleaned, we installed the new upper control arm brackets. The brackets are marked “D” (driver) and “P” (passenger).

The provided ball joints were secured onto the upper control arms along with the Zerk fittings and caster slugs. Then the units were installed on the truck.

We went ahead and replaced the front brakes and added new bearings. We made sure the bearings were properly greased before they were installed.

The lower control arms were installed using the factory U-bolts and nuts. There is a pin located in the center of the front U-bolt cradle that goes into the hole of the control arm shaft to help locate it.

The coil-overs were bolted to the frame and lower arms, making sure the adjustment knob was facing the outside.

You can reinstall the factory spindle, but in our case, we opted to use a CPP drop spindle. Always use new cotter pins. Next, we installed brakes and torqued to spec

We cut off the factory sway bar mounts and cleaned up the area. The new sway bar was installed next.

REPLACING THE REAR

We marked where the bed support would be trimmed using spray paint. This simple shortcut saved time.

Then we removed the bed to access the rear suspension.

The rear shocks were removed as well as the clip that holds the brake line. Keep a small plastic bag and zip-tie on hand because fluid will leak out when the brake line is disconnected. Then, we removed the rear brake line bracket.

The frame must be notched so the axle has more room to travel. We used the supplied template to make sure we cut the correct part of the frame.

Once everything was dialed in, a plasma cutter or any other metal cutting tool can be used to cut the frame.

The Ridetech-supplied notch was slid over the frame and lined up with the pilot holes. We made sure to cut sufficient material out of the frame, and we used a grinder to smooth the cut surfaces of the metal.

The supplied bump stops bolted directly on the notches.

The upper cross member was installed. It was located using the rear three holes in the top and bottom of each C-notch. We made sure we placed the side with the panhard bar mount on the driver’s side. Then we attached the rubber brake line to the upper cross member using the OEM clip. Next, we bled the brake system.

The factory leaf spring mounts were removed. They were held in with rivets that we cut out.

Using the factory holes from the leaf spring mounts, we installed the 4-link mounts. You might need to clean out the holes a bit using a drill.

The factory rear shock mounts were cut off and ground smooth. This step is optional, but it creates a cleaner look.

The 4-link brackets were installed on the rear axle, and we ensured the pan-hard mount was on the passenger side.

The 4-link bars provided in the kit were installed. There will be four 4-link bars and one pan-hard bar. Once the link bars were attached, we installed the pan-hard bar. It was bent to clear the center section of the rear differential, and we attached it with the bend to the rear. The pan-hard bar is set at 33 ½ inches before it’s shipped, but you might need to adjust it to center the axle at ride height.

The coil-overs were assembled with the spacers inserted on the top and bottom mounts. We installed them on the rear.

To allow clearance for the C-notch, we removed a section of the bed floor brace above the axle. Since we’d used spray paint, all that we needed to do was cut wherever there wasn’t paint. This section is approximately 5 inches wide and about 7 inches from the fender well.

We replaced and bolted down the bed to complete the job. Once we bolted up the American Racing VN506 wheels and got the truck back on the ground, we tested the suspension. The system works amazingly well, and the tunable shocks can be stiffened for performance or softened for cruising.

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM