Rear suspension is certainly a key aspect of any Lowrider build, so we decided to bring you a glimpse into modernizing a car’s rear end set up. By now, you’ve probably heard the name “Currie Enterprises” as the Corona, California, company is known for their work in the arena. The company started in a garage in 1959, and has made quite a name for themself in the automotive industry for building some of the strongest rearends available in the automotive world marketplace.

We wanted to modernize the rearend on this ’64 Impala, so we decided to update the suspension with a Currie rearend. Currie specializes in off-road and muscle car applications because their housings are so strong, you don’t need to worry about battery weight wearing down the axle bearings to the point of losing them while you’re driving. This is a familiar problem with ’58-’64 Impalas. The Fab-9 housing that we are using is perfect for our Impala, as it is strong enough to take high volumes of torque without jeopardizing the car’s smooth ride.

While talking to Currie about our plans for the housing, they suggested their Johnny joints and tubular suspension as ideal solutions for our project. Some of their tubular suspensions have been around for years and can be seen in race cars and trophy trucks that run the Baja 500. This same technology is being applied to our car, making these arms and joints pretty fail-proof. With us adding the Johnny joints to our suspension, it will make the rear end become more stable and allow more travel to lock up and lay.

Combining rear disc brakes, the Currie trailing arms and Black Magic wishbone on this Fab 9 housing is going to bring modern reliability to our classic Impala. Now follow along, as we get this rear suspension upgraded on this 50-year-old car.

<strong>1</strong>. The rear end housing and parts were pre cut to our needs.<strong>2</strong>. Pre-polishing our rear end made it easier in the long run, once it was time to chrome.<strong>3</strong>. Since our rearend was ready to be assembled, Brian took it in for assembly.<strong>4</strong>. The tubes were welded to the center of the axle.<strong>5</strong>. The bearing ends were also spot welded, but not before being squared onto the axle.<strong>6</strong>. To make sure that there were no compounds or residue that might create a bad weld, the housing was hot-tanked.<strong>7</strong>. Once the housing was cleaned, the inner tubes could now be welded.<strong>8</strong>. The trailing arms brackets were welded onto the housing, this will allow us to finish mocking the housing before the whole rear-end is welded together.<strong>9</strong>. Going into this build, we knew that we wanted to eliminate the stock pan hard bar and upper trailing arm, so we called Black Magic and ordered up one of their wishbone upper trailing arms.<strong>10</strong>. While at Currie, they showed us how to improve our wishbone idea by adding Currie Johnny joints, which are stronger and will give us better and safer travel on our wishbone.<strong>11</strong>. The first thing we did was get a visual of how this was going to work.<strong>12</strong>. Next on the agenda was to remove a section of the center brace.<strong>13</strong>. We used a combination of cutting tools, and started off by using a cut-off wheel, followed up with the use of a plasma cutter.<strong>14</strong>. With a clear area, we were ready to start mocking up our wishbone.<strong>15</strong>. The wishbone tabs was tacked on.<strong>16</strong>. With the center wishbone straight, we were ready to square up the Currie trailing arms.<strong>17</strong>. These Currie trailing arms are perfect for the stock locations and will work on your Impala, from stock to active suspension applications.<strong>18</strong>. Since this was a custom application, we added heavy duty Johnny joints.<strong>19</strong>. Our new arms gave the car frame an additional 4-plus inches of travel.<strong>20</strong>. With the center brackets centered, Currie made a stencil, so a good bracket could be added and fitted perfectly.<strong>21</strong>. Roman cut off the tacked-on bracket.<strong>22</strong>. The jig was bolted on, and will give us the exact location that our bracket needs to be.<strong>23</strong>. Roman started on the new bracket.<strong>24</strong>. This new reinforced bracket will help keep the wishbone axle track straight.<strong>25</strong>. The trailing arms brackets were welded.<strong>26</strong>. With everything welded and the axle cooled off from the welding, it was checked and straightened out.<strong>27</strong>. Once the axle was straight, the support braces were trimmed to size.<strong>28</strong>. Before welding any of the braces, they needed to be pre-fitted.<strong>29</strong>. This axle was ready to be sent out to the chrome shop before assembly.

Tech Tip of The Month

Happy New Years all of you garage or driveway mechanics! Your resolution for this January 2014 should be to start the year off with this month’s Lowrider Garage “Tip of the month” advice and use the Lucas’ Deep Clean Fuel System Cleaner to clean and remove carbon deposits and help eliminate pinging noise in your engines. Lucas Deep Clean is blended with an exclusive Lucas additive package and specific carrier fluid that contains no diesel fuel, kerosene or anything else that can be harmful or useless to an engine. This special Lucas product also reduces NOx emissions, it will also eliminate the need for a higher octane fuel and deep clean the entire fuel system and combustion chamber. This is the perfect way to start off the New Year knowing that you will be getting better gas mileage too!

Key Benefits

  • Greatly reduces harmful NOx emissions
  • Removes carbon deposits
  • Totally eliminates knocking and pinging
  • Raises mpg and performance

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