This 63, being the first year for this suspension design didn't have any of these improvements.
What we have here is the original 63 model front end. It has manual (non power) steering, steel control arm bushings, no anti sway bar and awful drum brakes.
Since this is truly my dream truck, I have no plans to part with it, so I don't mind putting a good bit of time and effort into the truck to make it the best it can be. In light of this, I decided to update the front suspension and steering on this truck to later model spec parts to get all the advantages of 20 years of GMs improvements.
So, I put a wanted ad on Craigslist for a late model suspension. A fellow contacted me that had the whole front end off of an early 80's Suburban. All for 100 dollars.
The beauty of Chevrolet trucks, and one of the reasons I continue to come back to them time after time, is their sensible engineering. This phase of the project illustrates that. The complete front suspension can be removed from the 63 model frame by removing 14 bolts. After that, it rolls out from under the truck and you have bare frame rails. Then, this nice late model suspension with all of it's advancements simply rolls underneath the 63 and bolts back in with the same 14 bolts.
But, me being the OCD freak I am, I could not leave well enough alone. Before I install the later model parts, I wanted to completely refurbish them to better than new condition. So, I tore the suspension all apart and began the awful task of scraping the grease and grime off so I could rebuild and detail properly. I ordered every single new part available to refresh this suspension to absolutely 100 percent new quality. Any part that could be worn was thrown away and new ones ordered.
I got the upper control arms done today. I degreased, bead blasted and powdercoated them in semi gloss black. Then, I cleaned and powdercoated all of the smaller detail parts in a neutral silver. I replaced the rubber control arm bushings with new ones, but I did go ahead and upgrade even further to urethane bushings. These bushings will last infinitely longer than the rubber ones would.
I even ordered new coil springs for the front of the truck
To the layperson, this may seem insignifiant, but those two arms pictured above consumed about 6-8 hours of my hard work. This stuff is tedious and can only be done as a labor of love.