Best suspension upgrad??? - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 07, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Brad
 
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Best suspension upgrad???

I have a '67 camaro that is in need of desperate attention with the front end. Everything seems to drive and handle decent, but from what I can tell the bushing and componets are stock and worn out. Just to give you a quick background, the car underwent a small block to big block (396) transplant and from what I can tell, has stock springs and shocks as well. The car sits low in the front which is probably due to the extra weight on the stock suspension, but I like the overall stance. I need to replace all of the front end bushings, tie rod ends, ball joints, idler arm, etc. and should probably go ahead and replace the springs and stabilizer while I'm at it. I've seen different posts on PST, Moog, and others but don't know which direction to go. I have factory drum brakes, and will probably upgrade to disc in the future, but as you already know, money will dictate my pace. My questions are:

- What kit is the best to go with?
- Which compenents do you recommend replacing?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard is it for the average shade tree mechanic to do this?
- Given that I am going to do a disc brake upgrade in the future, will this effect what I do now (replace springs) since I'll probably have 2" dropped spindles with the brake upgrade?

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to do this right the first time and know that some of you have been here before. Thanks for the help

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1969 Camaro SS X55, 383 stroker, 12-Bolt, Hotchkis Suspension, Torq-Thrust II 18" Wheels
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 07, 02:37 PM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

I'm certainly no expert but I did replace every suspension component on my previous 69 w/small block and drums. I ordered the polygraphite "super front end kit" from PST as well as their front springs and KYB gas-a-just shocks. As a beginner (with some help from experienced friends) I thought it was fairly easy. I had the rear springs re-arched at a local spring shop. Major improvevment. I plan on doing the same soon on my current 69.

Chris
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 07, 02:43 PM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

1. Wear parts. Standard parts store moog or TRW stuff.
2. Poly a-arm bushings if you want, del-a-lum if you can afford them
3. sway bar, 1" or a 1/8", hotchkiss or addco.
4. good shocks
5. Hotchkiss front lowering springs, will stiffen things up but probably leave the ride ht where it is now with a BB and sagged out SB springs.
6. Do a search here for "guldstrand mod"
7. stay away from lowered spindles, they do nothing good for our cars.





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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 07, 03:08 PM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

replace all the rubber bushings with poly graphite
install a slide a link traction bar setup.
also a rack and pinion steering set up like steeroids is great
a good set of multi leaf rear springs


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 07, 09:04 PM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

instead of a rack and pinion you could save bookue dolares by doing the third gen steering box conversion. See the sticky for details. Now would be a good time to do it.

the learning curve is....expensive
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 07, 10:15 PM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

I went through this very deal.
Only I got the car after the motor was switched to BBC.

Energy suspension urethane bushings and bump stops everywhere you can.
I used a Moog spring that called out for BBC on a 67 Camaro and now it sits up like a gasser rod. Not good.
If you cut springs don't use a torch.

And most importantly:
MOST IMPORTANTLY:

Change the motor mounts and towers. It must be both. If you don't, your headers will sit right up against the steering box.
Mark my words. Motor mounts and towers for BBC in 1st gen Camaro.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 04:17 AM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

What's a tower?

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 05:16 AM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentmc View Post
What's a tower?
The motor mount frame stands that bolt to the crossmember.





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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

The previous owner did the big block swap and I'm not very impressed with the work. He improvised on the motor mounts, using the small block mounts, he put a spacer under the driver side mount to help clear the steering box. While this worked, it shifted and tilted the engine to the left and the passenger side upper control arm bushing and bolts are actually touching the exhaust manifold. The engine actually sits a bit off center and tilted left. As a result, I have to run a low profile air cleaner since it doesn't line up with the cowl opening. I'm thinking that in order to do this right, I'll have to pull the engine and replace the necessary components. I'll take some pics and post them this evening when I get home to show you what I'm talking about so that you guys can offer suggestions. What scares me most is that I know that I'm going to want to do alot more if I pull the motor $$$$$$$$$...

_____________________________________________
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 09:01 AM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

Midland TX?
Say hi to Jim Hall for me!

My web page has a section on motor mounts with part numbers. Just change the frame brackets to BB and the trans crossmember is offset 1" to the right too.
You can change those parts with the engine in the car, just use a bottle jack under the engine, put a block of wood across the oil pan. Remove the dist cap and probably the fan or fan shroud, keep the hood open or the engine will contact in those areas.
Energy Suspension has good non breakable mounts.
David

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 09:21 AM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

Assuming you want good road handling, Jim's advice is pretty much dead on (I've highlighted or added my choices/options):

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM View Post
1. Wear parts. Standard parts store moog or TRW stuff.
2. Poly a-arm bushings if you want, del-a-lum if you can afford them
3. sway bar, 1" or a 1-1/8", hotchkiss or addco.
4. good shocks Bilsteins
5. Hotchkiss front lowering springs, will stiffen things up but probably leave the ride ht where it is now with a BB and sagged out SB springs.
6. Do a search here for "guldstrand mod" or the ATS tall spindles with a 3/4" drop built in
7. stay away from lowered spindles (other than the ATS), they do nothing good for our cars.
If you go with the ATS spindles, you'll have to do at least the front brake swap now, which will likely also require 17" front wheels as well; but with the ATS spindles, the brake swap can be as simple as buying calipers, rotors and flex brake lines for the front.

The 3rd gen IROC box is a great swap - stay away from a bolt on rack setup. The Hotchkis rear leafs are a nice upgrade for the rear again with Bilstein shocks. You won't need a rear sway bar. You won't need traction bars unless you plan on drag racing.

Solid body mount bushings and weld in subframe connectors make a big difference.

You can cobble up a very safe coil spring compressor with a long 3' piece of 9/16 all thread and an appropriate selection of nuts and regular washers and fender washers. Everything can be done by anyone willing to take the time who is also willing to pay attention to what they're doing. There is a lot of good information on this site and David Pozzi's site.

Take your time, figure out what you want to do, search for advice on how to do it and don't think you need a kit for everything.

And listen to David Pozzi. He knows what he's doing.

Mike - '68 Camaro with lots of stuff done to it.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 09:39 AM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gignem View Post
What scares me most is that I know that I'm going to want to do alot more if I pull the motor $$$$$$$$$...
And the snowball rolls!!!!





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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

Wow! Great information guys. I appreciate the input. David, I went to your site and found the information on the brackets and mounts. The only thing that has me scratching my head is that the part #'s on the table and the part #'s in the info provide by "phel69" are different. Which ones do I need? Also, will ones from Year One, Classic Industries, etc. work or should I get them from GM? I'll probably go with the aftermarket mounts like the ones you referred to. Thanks again for the assistance.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old May 1st, 07, 11:56 PM
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

I'll have to check the chart, but often the early part numbers are superceded by later numbers.
I don't think GM has them, so Year One or other vendors will probably be the way to go.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 07, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Best suspension upgrad???

I noticed that there were two different motor mounts listed for a 396, one was referred to as a type-2. Does anybody know what the difference is. Also, I'm not sure what year the engine is. Where do I find the casting #'s to decode. I looked on the block deck that's in front of the passenger side cylinder head behind the alternator and didn't see anything. Is there somewhere else I should be looking?

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