THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF MIDWEST MOPARS, INC. AUGUST 2021
1974 Duster suspension rebuild
By Member Bob Kruse
I’ve just finished rebuilding the suspension on my 1974 Gold Duster in preparation for a long road
trip this fall. When I bought the car in 2019, it had all of its original 238,000-mile suspension components, except for the lower ball joints which had been replaced in 1988. I contacted Lugnuts Garage in White Bear Lake, and Mike McAllister was nice enough to fit me into his schedule.
Mike and his son Matthew replaced the upper and lower control arm bushings, the upper and lower ball joints, the strut bushings, the tie rods, and the tie rod ends. While it was all apart, they also replaced the disc brake pads and turned the rotors. In the rear, the original 48-year-old leaf springs were sagging and were being supported with a set of coil-over shocks. These shocks are designed to reduce the weight on the leaf springs and restore the original ride height. Unfortunately, they also place a lot of weight on the rear shock mounts. These mounts were never designed to carry this extra weight, so I decided to replace the leaf springs with a new set from ESPO Springs and Things.
Matthew installed the new springs and shackles, then removed the coil overs and installed a pair of Gabriel Classic Black shocks identical to the factory originals. This eliminated the rear sagging and restored the car’s original ride height.
The last step was to send the car to the alignment shop, where everything was reset to the factory's original specs. I was very happy with the quality of work that Lugnuts Garage did, and my Duster now drives like a brand new car. I can give them my strong recommendation and would encourage any club members to bring their suspension work there. I’ve included their photo in front of my Duster along with a picture of the car itself.
Thanks, Mike and Matthew!