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1968 Corvette

Half Shafts and Strut Rod Rebuild

With the differential and trailing arms rebuilt, I can move on to the half shafts and strut rods. Everything was sandblasted and painted at the same time the differential was painted so all there is left to do is assemble it all. I bought the four universal joints from Zip Corvette Parts and decided for now that I would go with the basic stock replacements instead of upgrading to anything out of the ordinary like Spices. (Spices are universal joints found in trucks because of their durability that can also be used in high performance cars with a little modification to the u-joint ears and flange).

1968 corvette universal joints

I first started off cleaning out the retainer clip channels with the dremel tool to make sure that the clips can seat all the way.

retainer clip channel 1968 corvette retainer clip channel

I then took off the two removable ends of the u-joint, slid it in place, and used a hydraulic press to push the ends back on. Unfortunately, I didn't think to attach my home made tool to the back side but since it was clean debris I didn't have any problems. Looking back, it would have been good practice to have it attached to prevent any bent parts. I started out installing the universal joint on the flange first. It doesn't matter the order as long as you have the zerk fitting pointed in the right direction.

corvette u-joint install 1968 corvette u-joint install

Once both ends are pushed in, I installed both retainer clips.

1968 u-joint retainer clips

Just like the universal joint in the flange, I installed the u-joint on the end of the half shaft the same way.

corvette half shaft

corvette half shaft u-joint retaining clips installed

And the flange universal joint attached the same way.

corvette bent strut rod

The end result to absolutely beautiful half shafts.

corvette half shaft

With the half shafts assembled, I moved on to assembling the struts. It was incredibility easy. Here is the kit I bought.

corvette bushing kit

The kit for the 68' came with some very sticky grease but the bushings for my 76' did not. I am not sure what the reasoning is for the absence of grease in the other kit but I will buy some silicone grease when I get time to replace the bushings on the 76'. I have also read that marine grease is a good lubricant to use because it is water resistant. I applied the grease in all areas where the polyurethane is in contact with metal. It will help with installation and hopefully prevent any squeaking down the road.

strut rod bushing grease 1968 corvette

To install the bushings, I simply sandwich the two ends together with the strut in the center. I used the hydraulic press to press them together just because I have the press at my disposal but a vise or a hammer would work just fine.

Rebuilt corvette strut rods new bushings

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