This page describes the installation of Classic Performance
Products' 62-67 Nova mini-subframe kit. The original setup is a lower control
arm with one pivot point, and a strut rod. The CPP kit replaces the lower
control arm (LCA) with a more modern two-pivot setup, and eliminates the
strut rod. The result is a much more stable front suspension. I had completely
rebuilt the stock suspension, and was still having trouble getting the alignment
to stay put. I have not put many miles on the kit yet, but I can already
say that it's got a much more solid feel than it did before.
CPP has several versions of this kit. The basic kit has
the new LCAs, and everything you need to install them. The next step up
includes new front springs and spindles, while the deluxe kit includes upper
control arms as well. Check http://www.classicperform.com/
for more details. You can also purchase the kit through National Nostalgic
Nova http://www.nnnova.com/ and several
other Nova parts vendors. As of this writing, the basic kit is about $350.
I kept my original spindles for this swap. I did not notice
any significant change in the positioning of the wheel in the wheelwell,
either front-to-back, or track width wise.
The instructions that come with the kit are...sparse. Although
it's not very difficult to install, hopefully this page will help fill in
some of the details.
Leave all of the plate and pivot bolts very loose until
you have everything installed. Then go back and make a few passes to gradually
tighten everything up to the final torque.
You will need a way to support the front of the car so
that you can have both wheels off at the same time. I used metal ramps underneath
the subframe just behind the firewall.
The lower balljoints need to be removed from the spindle.
They are usually very difficult to get out without the proper tools. I used
a 'pickle fork' to wedge in between the balljoint and spindle. There are
also gear-puller style tools that can be used to force the balljoint stud
out of the spindle. There's not much room to hammer in there.
You will need a front end alignment after the kit has been
Make sure things are basically straight before you start.
If you have accident damaged suspension pieces to start with, you should
get things straightened out before you try installing this kit.
The original strut rod brackets need to be removed to install
this kit. This can be the single most difficult part of the installation,
as most originals were riveted on at the factory. An air hammer seems to
be the easiest way to get these out. I drilled through the heads of the
rivets with a 1/4" drill, then used a cold chisel to snap them off.
That operation isn't pictured here as I did that years ago as I needed to
replace the brackets to repair some modifications done by a previous owner.
CPP seems to be working the bugs out of the kit somewhat,
the flat washers that came in the big hardware bag with the nuts and bolts
did not fit on the bolts. They were just a tad too small. After fussing
around with one for a few minutes, I discovered a separate bag of replacement
flat washers that fit great.
The general hardware bag has 14 sets of nuts/bolts/flatwashers/lockwashers.
10 of those are used to attach the plate to the mounting points that the
strut rod brackets were attached to. The other 4 are used to attach the
balljoints to the LCAs.