Rebuilding Our Rear Suspension with QA1

In the last issue, we broke down all the parts it’s going to take to convert this old ’77 Squarebody Chevy into a corner carving, coilover having street truck. We chose QA1 for our Squarebody build for the simple reason that we wanted a painless, DIY installation with no wiring, running air hoses or dealing with leaky systems. Just a solid stance, a smooth ride and some really nice new parts for our truck!

QA1 shocks

Both front and rear systems use QA1 shocks, with the choice between our double or single adjustable shocks. All QA1 shocks are 100% dyno tested, serialized and proudly made in QA1’s Lakeville, Minnesota, facility.

The factory frame rail on this truck is cracked completely in half. So, we will remove all of the body panels and install them, along with this new QA1 suspension, onto a cleaned-up replacement frame that’s ready to go. We will also be installing a 6L LS engine using new engine mounts and a new wiring harness. The real question is whether to keep the topper on it while we rip up the corners! The paint is not that bad for a 40-plus-year-old truck, so we will simply buff it and let it ride. There is no reason we shouldn’t be ripping it around the track later this year!

Dialing in the stance will be easy with the adjustable coilover system—4 to 7 inches of adjustment below stock can easily be achieved. The major benefit of the torque arm design is that each component is designed to perform one function. This provides superior control over suspension movement, resulting in a smooth ride and great handling characteristics. QA1 engineered this unique bolt-in torque arm design which maximizes performance without the inherent binding issues of other four-link systems.

Over the next few issues, we will rip apart the suspension on this all stock Squarebody and show you just how simple it is to have a corner carving, tire spreading Squarebody. Let’s do it!
QA1 suspension

The suspension comes powdercoated with all necessary hardware for installation. Complement these systems with C10 sway bars from QA1 for an even more impressive ride.

The multiple adjustability options let you tailor the QA1 system to create the performance you desire, so your truck can handle those corners and curves like a sports car.

1977 Chevy C10 Squarebody

The truck of the day is this 1977 Chevy C10 Squarebody shortbed. This is the perfect truck to bring back to life, and we may even keep the topper. What do you think?

We are replacing the factory frame on this truck as well since it is broken completely in half in the engine bay. How did this even happen?

Squarebody Coilover Suspension Conversion

First thing we needed to do was remove the factory body panels from the old frame rails.

We will be using this bed to but no need to take it off right now.

We are going to start with the rear suspension in this issue. This impressive design is fully bolt in and no special tools are required.

First thing to remove is the bump stops. An air chisel and grinding wheel are the best common tools for the job.

The rear leaf spring hangers are next to go and the rivets are punched out …

The rear leaf spring hangers are next to go and the rivets are punched out, followed by the front leaf spring mounts. These will not be used, so toss them out!

With the supplied template, Dave traced the C-notch location with a white wax pen. This will give them a guideline for cutting.

The frame is completely striped and ready to start modifying.

The C-notch is the first thing to do. This is easily accomplished with a cut-off wheel. This gives additional clearance for the axle to travel when the truck is lowered on the ground.

QA1 provides this super nice axle housing that is engineered with the necessary suspension mounts already installed.

The brackets are marked, punched and drilled. Definitely much easier with the axle removed from the truck!

This is a great shot of the axle bracket complete. You can see all the available adjustment options in the lower bracket.

Time to add some link bars! All the hardware is included and the finish in this suspension is impressive. Almost makes us not want to drive it. Ha ha, yea right!

What a great side-by-side shot of the rear suspension installed in and out of the truck frame.

Such a unique and well-engineered design. The system is designed to drive hard and confident, and we intend to!

QA1 is quickly becoming an industry icon with the Street Trucks crowd. Great products, cool logs and a company that supports the scene. How cool is that? Stay turned for the next issue as we tackle the front.