Hotchkis Rear Leaf 1.5 drop install

Discussion in 'Tips 'n' Tricks Topic' started by giggity, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. giggity

    giggity Veteran Member

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    I searched and didnt see a specific article about the Hotchkis Rear leaf 1.5 drop kit. So going to do my best on install.

    I was replacing the 10 bolt with a built 12 bolt, so I decided to change out all rear parts.

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    in process I cleaned out undercarriage

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    after cleaning, sprayed some black SPI epoxy

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  2. giggity

    giggity Veteran Member

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    the new leafs are painted and have rear bushings already installed.

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    One thing I didnt notice initially was that the kit comes with all new hardware. I actually blasted and cleaned the J-clips and bolts....it comes with everything you need. So bolts were added to my overflow cup...lol

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    I didnt get pictures of the brackets, but i went ahead and powder coated the brackets for the rear.

    I put in J-clips, in front, and attached front leaf bracket to leaf spring. tightened up snug...instructions are vague, but tell you not to tighten fully until you get car on ground.

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    I got friend to help carry rear over and place on leafs, I did this so we didnt have to heave the rear over the leafs after the fact.

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    I tried to lift with separate jacks and this didnt work.

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    I bought a new jack and 6 tons stands at harbor freight. my old stands dont go up as high, these stands go pretty high up, which allowed me to jack the rear up on center of rear to get rear leafs in frame.

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  3. giggity

    giggity Veteran Member

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    The rear bushings.

    I tried to put the bushings on the rear part of the leaf while the front part of the leafs were attached...I should have put the rear leaf bushings on with the leafs off the car, would have been easier to press in.

    Also the frame bushings were a bear to get in, I ended up using a large balljoint clamp to press them in. the bushing has a sleeve, I greased up thoroughly but was still a challenge to get in. The balljoint clamp put them pretty quick, I think they were getting tweaked a little when I was trying to tap them in.

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    I wasnt thrilled with the fact that I had the brackets powdercoated and the kit requires drilling out to 5/8 for the new U-Bolts.

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    Im glad the bolts are bigger and the kit replaces the inside little T-bolts to U-Bolts. But.....I had to grind off the brake tab where the inside u-bolt goes.

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  4. giggity

    giggity Veteran Member

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    I put on ground mounted wheels, to finish tightening.

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  5. Jfair

    Jfair New Member

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    Great job! I did the exact same thing to my 79 Camaro with Catracs except I kept the 10 bolt with C-clip eliminators. I regret lowering 1.5 I think it sits too low but I'm kinda stuck with it for now. I see you upgraded to rear disk. What kit did you use?
     
  6. dave@ztech

    dave@ztech Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Nice work, did you get all the brake lines and fitting installed before you put it in? I am getting a rear done, and because of switching to rear calipers the guy said I will need flex lines on each side before going to the hard lines , or it's a boich to service the brakes, so I asked them to install all the lines before they ship, as I am not skilled, and hopefully it will make for an easier install once I get it.
     
  7. giggity

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    actually working on this now. Im not totally sure you could do this before installing, I waited until after. the hard lines either need to be shortened and reflared, or you purchase new lines. Since mine was a 10 bolt to a 12 bolt , the rear end is physically different. I ordered the brake hose clamps and mounting tabs, the kit comes with weld on clips, but the rear is powdercoated and I dont want to mess that up. The parts should be in today. As for the lines, Im going to just run up to the parts store, they have fitted 3/16 straight lines, Ill shape and bend to the distribution block and to the rubber line connections.

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    I also noticed the distribution block on the housing is different between a 10 bolt and a 12 bolt, the cover for the 12 bolt doesnt have the relief cut into it to use the 10 bolt clip. Ill need to order a bracket that sits the distribution block behind the rear.

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  8. giggity

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    adding brake work done.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  9. giggity

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    The right stuff brake kit come with a tab that you have to weld to the axle housing, since the housing was powdercoated, I opted to to use the clamp kit I found at summit.

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    The only problem is that the right stuff kit has kind of a hex brake line hole to hold the line in place.

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    I tried welding a tab to the hex tab, but the tab metal was some sort of pot metal, and I wasnt happy with the welds. So I rounded off the edges from the brake lines to go into the round holes that came with the clamp kit.

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  10. giggity

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    I ordered a 69 camaro differential mount bracket to hold the distribution block for the rear brake lines since the 10 bolt bracket doesnt work on my differential cover, its a 1970 12 bolt no doubt, but it looks as though the cover was replaced at some point since the 70 cover has a relief cut out for the distribution block. This bracket works pretty good.


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    There was no kit to fit exactly, so I went to parts store and bought some length lines to use, I had to buy the correct fittings, and bent myself.

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