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Two Ladies Restoring a 1988 Chrysler Fith Avenue Need Help Installing Brakes and Suspension! PLEASE HELP!!!

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Question From Dark1s on Two Ladies Restoring a 1988 Chrysler Fith Avenue Need Help Installing Brakes and Suspension! PLEASE HELP!!!

We're doing a complete restore on a 1988 Chrysler 5th Avenue. First of all just to let everyone know, we don't have any previous automotive experience But we're not dumb and we're determined that this car is going to get fixed, even if we have to stand on our heads! After purchasing the repair manual online, we already with no one's help installed the windshield wiper motor, and stripped down the door frames and replaced the window motor. So as far as the brakes and suspension go, we're starting with the parts that need the most attention. First on the list of repairs is completely replacing all the parts that have to do with Steering, Suspension, and Brakes. When replacing the Brakes and Suspension, which parts should we replace first? We called the local auto parts store and got a list of parts we need to to replace the Brakes. Here's the list they gave us.1 Brake Pads (Front), 1 Brake Shoes (Rear), 2 Rotor & Hub Assemblies (Front), 2 Brake Drums (Rear), 2 Wheel Cylinders (Rear), 1 Brake Show Hardware Kit, 1 Hold Down Kit (Rear), 1 Self Adjuster Repair Kit (Left), 1 Self Adjuster Repair Kit (Right), 1 Brake Hose ( Left Front), 1 Brake Hose (Right Front), 1 Brake Hose (Rear), 2 Wheel Bearings (Outer and Front), 2 Wheel Seals, (Front Wheel), 2 Spindle Lock Nut Kits (Front), 2 Dust Caps/Wheel Bearing), 2 Wheel Bearings (Rear Wheel), 2 Wheel Seals (Rear Wheel), 1 Caliper w/ Hardware (Left Front), 1 Caliper w/Hardware (Right Front). Is anything missing from this list? Which part is it best to install first? Now for the suspension, we're really out in the cold, because Mopar doesn't make any of the parts going back more then 10 years and we're talking 1988, so we have find a different solution to getting parts such as new leaf springs and a torsion bar, etc for the suspension. How do we find parts not made by the manufacturer any more??? And we're talking about complete teardown of the suspension just like the brakes. We want to get this baby in mint condition! Like he came right off the lot!

By the way, there's another question that's kinda related to this whole job. We're gonna be under the car a lot, so we want to know, Are Jack Stands Safe? I've heard a lot of hell stories about Jack stands, so we wanted to know can you lift the car completely off the ground on four jackstands and work safely underneath it? We're using four five-ton jack stands. Any suggestions would be great. We'll be so happy when the brakes and suspension are working again. No more squeaking and slipping! Thanks again!

Response From Tom Greenleaf

You have so much going on here that you probably should enroll in an adult ed vocational school.

Why do you think it needs a torsion bar? Just one! Rusted at the floor? Forget that car if so.

Leaf springs - again why?

If you must do this just make sure car is properly supported on solid surface.

Best to ask one question at a time as things arise. I can't give you two year tech school education in one thread,


Response From Dark1s

Thank you for your imput Tom but we don't have the money or time to go to vocational school so we have been kinda winging it like they did in the ol day's. I purchased the repair manual because it's a complete rebuild guide as for as the basic parts. The leaf springs on my car are not in the best condition a bit of rust on them and the shackles on one of them looks very bent. We were just simply asking if it's a good idea to do the brakes and suspension at the same time since we are going to be taking the bottom of the car apart? And which one should we start working on first the suspension or the brakes?? We we're just hoping to get some kinda guideness or els we'll just have to jump in head first?

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

I'd make it stop properly first!

What you need is one heck of a good parts outlet. I would choose NAPA nearest to me for pro help. Springs (leaf) can be fixed and a good parts store would know who does in the area.

Near every dumb part you need is same day for a car that new or is for me. I drive an 1989 as a dailer driver - not this car but order by 10am parts are there by 4pm almost without fail!

Torsion bars are adjustable! If one is broken (I think this uses two) that's a different thing.

Suspension and front end parts. They wouldn't likely all be bad so learn how to look for the worn ones.

Brakes: Follow your guide to the letter! If you need parking brake cables you make any adjustments to them when brakes are done and proper first.

Short of dropping this off for resoration there are several trades involved. Front end and alignment specialty shops. Not worth buying some tools for many repairs. You will likely need an auto body shop and a body shop parts store for some common stuff. Know a good salvage yard. Special body parts won't be available new easily.

Special shops for different things:

Body work/finish work.
Auto Glass as needed.
Transmission work is frequently on it's own.
Front End parts and alignments not done everywhere - another specialty.
Uphostery! Need I say more?
A/C is frequently on its own too.
Welding is on its own short of smaller issues.
The list goes on forever.

Trying to say you need a good central shop and parts store as your "Ring Master" to do this as you simply won't be able to do everything yourself.

There are plenty of things you can do yourself and plenty that would cost you zillions to have the equipment/tools for.

I'd find a local or national club for Mopars and join it.


Is the car operational now? If rough enough you may want to buy a parts car of the same.

One thing at a time as you can't just wave a wand and it all be done at once nor at the same places.

Tools! Yikes you can go broke buying just tools. When something needs a special tool it frequently is better to just let that go out as the tool can easily exceed the whole cost of a job. Why own a tool for a one time thing?

Appreciate your energy but suggest you break things down into catagories and go for it one area at a time,


Response From Dark1s

Thanks. Appreciate you pointing us in the right direction. We are starting just one job at a time. Now we know to stick with the brakes first. The car is operational. So we're not trying to do everything at once. Trying to keep the job step by step. Right now what we're focusing on is the Brakes and Suspension, since that is what we seems to have the most problems. The A/C and all that other stuff can wait for later. We already found a local junkyard and pulled some body interior parts, so we're not completely dumb. We've done our research as much as a newbie can do.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Start with front brakes. I wouldn't even touch the rears till front is all done. If you place floor jack under lower control arm just lift it a couple inches. Pry up on the wheel still on and look for motion at ball joints then jockey it side to side and look for tie rod ends, pitman arm, idler arm for play. Just do that now so you know if you need those.

Take the front wheels off, caliper off of rotor and let's get going. The flex hoses unless this is a museum piece will give you a hard time where they meed the body and metal line. May break metal line and we can cross those bridges when and if they happen,


Response From Hammer Time

I can't give you two year tech school education in one thread,

Keyboard won' survive that........LOL