Driving a classic like the 1969 Nova can be plenty of fun. Then your old tie rod adjusters keep slipping, forcing you to have some shop time for an alignment. If you find that your baby is spending more time in the garage than on the road, then it is time to give your wheels an upgrade.
When you purchase a front service kit from Detroit Speed, then you’re guaranteed to receive the tie rod adjusters, inner and outer tie rods, idler arm, power pitman arm, and the hardware needed to complete the work.
You’re going to need to keep the steering arms, factory steering box, and the center drag link.
Once you have all of the tools needed for the job, then you’ll go through this set of steps to get the work done.
Disassemble Your Factory Steering
This step is straightforward. You shouldn’t encounter too many difficulties during the disassembly process, although the tie rod ends do like to fight every so often. Some mechanics prefer to use a ball joint separation tool for that part of the job – but a hammer also works. Be careful not to damage other components if you decide to start whacking at stuff.
Get Some Cleaning Done
You could put in the new parts right away if you want. Everything should work as intended. Since you’re underneath your car right now anyway, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to get rid of years of grime and grease. Your old steering components could probably stand to get some love before you keep going with the update with a fresh coat of paint.
Assemble the Service Kit
Although this step isn’t required, it is easier to assemble the inner and outer tire rods on your centerlink without the parts being on the car. Then install the idler arm on the subframe of your Nova on the passenger side. The power pitman arm goes to the steering box and must get torqued to the specs so that it functions correctly.
Once you get the centerlink and tie rods correctly placed, you need to adjust them to the point that you can get to a mechanic for a proper alignment. If you’re doing that work yourself, then it is your next step.
Install the Grease Fittings
Once you have these fittings in place, it helps to add a little bit to all of your ball joints since you’re underneath the vehicle. Then remember to get all of the cotter pins in place since they hold the castle nuts securely. Once the alignment is complete, then the fresh steering that you’ll enjoy is going to make life a lot easier when you get behind the wheel.
You could pay a mechanic to do all of this work for you, but the cost could be above $2,000 in some markets. If you can do a majority of the labor at home, then you can enjoy improved movement and responsiveness while taking on the open road in your favorite car.