FRONT SUSPENSION AIRBAG AND CONTROL ARM UPGRADES TO THE ’70 C-10
IN THE FIRST installment of the build-up of our new project truck, a ’70 Chevrolet C-10, we tackled the rear frame section and rear suspension (“Built, not Bought,” Sept. 2018, pg. 108). But, let’s take a minute to refresh your memory. We picked up this beauty of a project from someone’s backyard because the metal was in great shape. Along the way, the previous owner had chopped off the rear portion of the frame and the bed was totally gone. After installing the new rear frame section and rear suspension, we focused our attention on the front end of this C-10 that would soon be a driver. The rear suspension kit we already installed is meant to set the truck very low to the ground and is adjustable via air springs. Since the rear of the truck is on ’bags, we also needed to look for a way to get the front of the truck closer to the ground with the adjustability of air suspension.
The great thing about the popularity of C-10 trucks is that there are plenty of resources for aftermarket suspension parts. We knew that we didn’t want to go as far as replacing the entire front cross member, so we looked for our best option in the form of a control arm kit. Since we have worked with Michigan Metal Works (MMW) in the past, we reached out to the company for help getting the truck’s front end as close to the ground as the rear already was.
Taylor over at MMW suggested a complete control arm kit in the fl at plate design. The kit comes with all of the parts necessary to remove the factory control arms and replace them with MMW versions. The benefit of replacing the control arms when ’bagging the front is that everything just bolts right in. There’s no need to cup the factory lower control arm or re-angle the upper ball joint for travel. The kit also narrows the track width of the truck and centers the wheel in the wheel well, which are important details.
Along with the new control arm kit, we also needed to source a few extra parts. Since the MMW kit is designed to be used with a double convoluted-style ’bag, we ordered a pair of Slam Specialties SS7 airbags to hold the weight of the truck and give us the adjustability we would need. We opted for these ’bags because they are rated for 250 psi and are the correct diameter for the C-10 suspension. The major benefit of the Slam SS7 is that it does not increase in diameter when inflated.
Rounding out the parts necessary for the installation were a pair of shocks we sourced from our local parts supplier and some bolt-in ’bag mounts that we built in-house on our CNC plasma table.
Follow along as we turn this rock into a roller, and stay tuned for the next step.