Posted on February 27, 2011
Reviving the Chief
Its finally time. I can’t put it off any longer. If I don’t get the suspension rebuilt on the Chief, I doubt she’ll see the road again. I parked her last a couple months ago and I really just can’t bear to take her out on the road anymore. The front suspension has deteriorated to the point where it shakes and jars you so badly that you can barely keep it on the road. After 55 years of driving, the bushings have pretty much discintegrated, springs are shot, shocks are worn…pretty much everything that keeps the car off the ground is failing or has failed. In the words of Mike Sorrentino, “We’ve got a situation”.
Luckily – there are some great Pontiac parts houses. I called around to California Pontiac Restoration up in Santa Ana and inquired about their kit. These guys were great when I was replacing the windshields and needed new rubber seals. They had the right parts and shipped them down to me quick. However, they were pretty expensive for the suspension kit, so I kept looking. A quick stop by rockauto.com got me 4 new shocks for about $60! Gotta love the Rock. (Its the best online auto parts shop out there)
So, I turn to the only place that saved me before when I was doing the brakes on this beast. The only place I could find drums and pads for a ’56 Pontiac was Kanter Auto Parts, back in New Jersey (I think, maybe NY)? These guys are usually pretty fairly priced and in some cases are my only option for parts as I try and restore this beast. So now that I’ve got my tax return back from old Uncle Sam, I’m looking in investing most of it back into the American Economy to get me the Deluxe Front End rebuild kit and some replacement coil springs. This complete overhaul and a quick alignment should have this bitch back on the road and riding like a cadillac rather than a dump truck.
I’ll keep some updates going out as I proceed with this project, but I’m excited to get the Poncho back on the road for summer!