After 25 years of wear, the Firebird suspension was still in pretty good shape. Replacing the shocks and struts may or may not have been totally necessary. Changing out the rotors, bearings, and brake pads was a good idea. Doug and Danny at Forrest Tire gave some invaluable pointers. They also got to clean up the brake job done by another mechanic.
SHOCKS and STRUTS
Struts... without the right tools, this one belongs in the hands of professionals that have those tools. The shocks that got replaced were somewhere in the area of 15 years old. Run of the mill shock absorbers. I gave heavy consideration to the Tokico struts and shocks, but went a little more economical with Monroe Sensa-Trac on the front and back. The reviews on them were good and the ride has been pretty tight. The idler arm needed replaced, and went ahead and replaced the lower ball joints. This upgrade wouldn't have been complete without having the alignment done. I'm considering making a change on the anti-roll sway bar to improve the handling on corners.
This is actually backwards. It was because of an unfinished brake job that led me to Forrest to fix the inner and outer wheel bearings and seals. Initially, I took the car in to have new rotors and brake pads installed. While the guy was repairing that I asked him to make sure the spindles and bearings were good, and also give the drums on the rear a serious look. If something looked worn, get it off of the car and let's replace it. I guess I failed to convey that message. Before the paint job, I have a feeling I am still going to have to change out the back brakes. This portion may get modified in the next few weeks.
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