Classic Performance Products 378 E Orangethorpe Ave., Placentia CA 92870

Classic Performance Products

Tri-Five Suspension And Brakes

By Dakota Wentz
After years of wear and tear, things get thrown around and jarred loose. The front suspension is one area that really takes a beating in the Tri-Fives. Aside from moving up and down, factor in turning, a handful of moving parts, and so on. When you add it all up, Tri-Fives are left singing their own version of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll." A good idea would be to replace the worn parts, for two reasons. Number one, there is nothing more annoying than driving over railroad tracks, or just down the street, and having your teeth chatter like in a Scooby Doo cartoon! On top of that, nothing's worse than feeling like you better bust out the wood screws and fasten things down so your car won't fall apart. On a more serious side, it's dangerous. All that vibrating, rattling, and wobbling shouldn't be down there. Classic Performance Products is a company that has a multitude of suspension components for '56 and '57 Chevys. Whether it's replacement parts or upgrades, they've got it handled. For this '57 shoebox, we're going to do a little bit of both. Not only are we going to replace, but upgrade, as well. In terms of replacements, we'll junk the old used and abused parts and install new CPP parts. Among that list are upper and lower cross-shafts, inner and outer tie rod ends, adjusting sleeves, an idler arm, and a centerlink. As for the upgrades, let's put it this way: braking and steering on these vintage Chevys were never great, therefore, we upped the ante. CPP gave us the first 13-inch Big Brake Kit with 2-inch dropped spindles to come off the line. They also hooked it up with a new 600 steering box for more responsive steering and handling. In the end, this '57 will not only be cured of the shakes, it will be a safer and better-performing machine, too. You can't beat that for a minimal amount of time and money spent.

Check out the Big Brake Kit. The kit is a 13-inch cross-drilled gas-slotted and zinc-washed rotor mounted to a 2024 T6 billet aluminum CNC-machined anodized hub. The kits are complete with all the necessary hardware, and users have the option of a standard spindle or a 2-inch dropped spindle like ours

One thing CPP doesn't provide is steering arms, but the stock ones will do just fine.

Mount up! CPP had our brake kit preassembled, which meant with the addition of a steering arm it slid right on.

The old steering linkage had a case of the wobbles, that's why CPP has replacement parts. There's really no special technique to putting the new steering linkage back together, so just start bolting. However, be sure to grease, install cotter pins, and tighten everything to specs.

At the end of the Pitman arm, there is a little ball that fits into the centerlink. Grease the ball before installing it into the centerlink.

At the end of the centerlink there is set screw that needs to be removed. With the set screw loosened, the Pitman arm ball can slide into the centerlink. Once the Pitman arm is installed into the centerlink, tighten the set screw.

With everything all put together, the steering linkage will look just like this. As you can see, it's a pretty straightforward and easy job, but the aftermath is anything but minimal. In fact, the minute you rip that first turn, you'll feel the difference.

You can really tell a difference in steering when it comes to the new CPP 600 power steering box. The box features 14:1 steering ratio, which means no more "butter churning."

The box installs with just a few bolts. With everything snug in place, slide the Pitman arm up into place and tighten it down. Then all that's left to do is hook up the hoses and get rollin'.