Brake & Suspension Upgrade on the 85 Hot Air

Big Dawg

Hey everyone,

After cleaning up the engine bay on the Hot Air, I decided to deal with the suspension and brakes.

I had replaced the brakes 2 years ago with OEM replacements, but after reading and watching a few videos on YouTube in regards to doing the Blazer Brake upgrade, I slowly started gathering parts for the swap, as it seemed easy enough. The spindles were the most difficult to find as it seems there just aren't lot of 2wd Jimmy/Blazers in Canada. I will eventually swap out the rear drum setup with discs as well, but need to find some 2wd blazer replacement for the rear as well.

Along with the brakes I decided to upgrade the suspension as well. I purchased the Aldan American Coilover kit. The rears were fairly easy to install, but when I got to the fronts I realized the upper and lower ball joints, tie rod ends, idler arm, center link and sway bar end links were all cracked and had no grease no longer. Cannot believe i hadn't realized earlier that they needed done attention, so i changed all of them out to Moog parts, except the center link as it hasn't arrived yet.

I forgot how hard it was to repress the lower ball joints on these GM cars.....I had replaced them on my 442 about 10 yrs ago when I was a young buck. This time my back was so sore from using the braker bar and the ball joint press tool.

Here are some pictures of the parts that were removed...the rear springs were a few months old, but the res took the suspension parts were ready to be tossed. Like I side the brakes are fairly new, I will just put them on Craigslist and see if I can recoup some $$$ back for the spindles, rotors, pads and calipers....and the suspension parts as well.

I cleaned up the A-Arms with a wire brush disc on my grinder and resprayed it with rust preventative paint. Also installed all the Moog suspension parts.

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As far the brakes, I cleaned them all up...sandblasted them and sprayed them with some high temp VHT semi gloss black caliper paint.

All the parts were painted and given some time to cure before being reassembled. The wheel hubs and the cross drilled rotors are from Detroit Axle....very nice quality items!

I reinstalled the spindles, dust shields, wheel hubs, rotors and the Caliper brackets onto the car. They fit with no issues whatsoever.

I will hopefully be installing the calipers, pads and the new brake lines tomorrow sometime and will update with some pictures.

The Coilovers are all installed on all four corners....will still take a week or two to set the ride height and adjust them....the weather isn't to great here so will only be drive when it's dry.

Okay everything is buttoned up....just got back from the alignment shop. Even after taking my time getting all the measurement of the old tie rods, the car was still not 100% aligned. The handling and braking is incredible!

These blazer swap brakes are amazing.....I was going about 60 km and slammed the brakes and the brakes for a split second and they grabbed hard....did bit of a skid. The previous brakes did nothing close to this.

The ball joint, all 4 tie rods, sway bar links and the centre link are all replaced with MOOG.

Next thing to tackle is setting up the coilovers to my liking and cleaning up alot of that surface rust under the motor, like the A-arms!! Also doing a rear disc a lead on blazer rears...fingers crossed!