69 ride height, 0-2in drop? cobos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 09, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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69 ride height, 0-2in drop? cobos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help

Hello,

I bought the car three years ago and i like the stance which is definitely lower than original because of the tired springs. I want to add new beaks and possbily some upgrades to the front suspension ( a-arms etc, spindlesm, etc ).

I don't know where to start because i like the current ride height which is definitely lower than original because of the tired springs on the 69 sbc

The car has 15 inch wheels.

Order of priorities
A. Front disc brake conversion
B. New rear leafs, the car hops more than peter cotton tail with 4.56 rear and tired 3 leafs. Car looks original so i am not adding traction bars.
C. Improvements to the front suspension. No need for a g-machine here. It would be nice if it handled as well as a 2002 Accord. All in, i dont want to spend more than $1k on front suspension ( excluding brakes).

Because i like a slightly lower-than-original stance, should i get drop spindles with the brakes ?

Seems like a lot of people must have faced this question already. Are there out-of-the-box combos that people are happy with ?

Thanks,
Brian
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 09, 07:52 AM
DjD
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Re: 69 ride height, 0-2in drop? cobos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help

Start out by measuring from the center of the wheel (spindle or axle flange) up to the fender lip. Once you have the measurment for both front and rear you can compare to other cars with modified suspensions. You'll find lots of cars listed in this thread... https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=103250

Drop springs are prefered over drop spindles, the drop spindles create clearence issues. You'll find the Hotchkis TVS (front and rear drop springs a very popular choice and for good reason, it works very nice. Tires will give you the best handling improvment for the money, even if you keep the 15" wheels find some lower profile tires to put on them. There are lots of good brake kits available, some fit your 15" wheels and are close to what the factory would have installed.

...Dennis

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 09, 07:56 AM
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Re: 69 ride height, 0-2in drop? cobos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help

When I got my car I loved the stance with the tired springs also until my first drive, the oil pan drain plug scraped on bumps but it looked killer. To raise it up a bit I bought hotchkins 2" lowering springs and it sits perfect and gets alot of compliments on the stance. Front wheel gap is about finger width and doesn't rub when turning.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 09, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 ride height, 0-2in drop? cobos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help

Thanks, this seems to answer one question which was : are my ride height decision and brake choices necessarily interdependent and the answer seems to be no. Am i right in saying i can choose brakes, forget about the spindles and modify the height with new springs at a later date.

Does anyone have a rear leaf suggestions that will keep the back from wheel hopping right off the road ? Do i need to just get a higher spring rate ?

Finally is it worth new A-arms and all that jazz if i am running 15 inch wheels ? I would like to improve the handling but don't want to drop $1,000 just to find out that the tires are the limiting factor. My 97 accord has better cornering.

Thanks again
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 09, 10:41 AM
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Re: 69 ride height, 0-2in drop? cobos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help

Brakes and Tire/Wheel choices have to be made together, suspension and ride height can be done independently...

I'm surprised you have wheel hop in a '69, worn springs and shocks will do it though. I think as I said the Hotchkis TVS kit is the way to go, 3 leaf rear springs with about 1 1/2" drop over stock. With a good shock you will not have wheel hop. The 2" drop coils that come in the kit will dial the front in real nice.

You don't need aftermarket A-arms to get nice handling from your Camaro. I've posted this before, here's a cut and paste:

Quote:
I believe this is the order you will see the biggest handling improvements.

Wheels and tires: Steel wheels and tall sidewalls don't cut in in the corners. The tall sidewalls may give you some ride quality but flex and give in the corners. The steel wheels are too ridged and low profile tires mounted on them will improve cornering but the ride will suffer. (This has nothing to do with bashing rally wheels with derby caps and trim rings, it's about seeing the biggest handling difference) A good alloy wheel with low profile wide tires will make the most noticable difference.

Shocks and springs: If you have good springs a quality set of shocks will allow them to work as they were designed. The best shocks can't make up for bad springs. Comparing to good condition factory type shocks and springs something along the lines of Hotchkis springs and Koni shocks will kick it up another notch in the handling department.

Sway bar: If you have a tiny 6cyl sway bar you will benefit from replacing it with something larger. If you already have a thick factory bar on the front the upgrade to a hollow 1 1/8" may not be that noticable.

Bushings: Stock rubber bushing will deflect more than urthane or solids. This will impact cornering but just how much on the street is the question I have. If what you have is in need of replacing and you have ride quality on the top of your list stay with rubber or urthane.

Sub frame connectors: Will add some regidity which will help cornering but may also detract from ride quality.

Then there are many other mods like tubeular A arms, rack and pinion and quick ratio steering boxes that will also help and may not really detract from ride quality. They all add up to the total package but there is a big difference driving around the track at laguna seca and driving on city streets. Finding the perfect combo for your liking is subjective. I had to do the changes I made one at a time do to finances and it's given me some insights into what did the most. If you just buy the parts and bolt them all up, stock today everything done tomorrow the total package will blow your mind but you won't be able to judge what really worked and what didn't. Hope all this helps...
Hope this helps...

...Dennis

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 09, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 ride height, 0-2in drop? combos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help

Thanks,
I took your advice and went with the TVS package and front conversion, and new rubber bushing kit. We are in a recession here and that is all i can afford. I told the wife that i was just getting disc brakes and justified the expenditure as necessary for safety.

Is there anything that is not obvious on the install. I assume that the order of operation will be bushing kit, tvs and then brakes. I spent a while this weekend looking for instructions but couldn't dig any up. Hopefully they will come with the kit. I have read a lot about the dangers of coil springs and think i will just get the correct tool for the job instead of using chains and jacks and other work arounds.

I am figuring 4 hours for the busing kit, a weekend for the TVS, and another day for the disc install.

Can't wait, while it may not corver on rails when i am done, hopefully i will be able to keep it between the lines !
thanks for the help,
Brian
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 09, 07:07 PM
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Re: 69 ride height, 0-2in drop? cobos? w/ 15 wheels. Need help

just did the front disc conversion on my 69. I have 15 inch wheels. You are right.........first the front suspension was replaced....a-arms upper and lower, all the ball joints, tie rods, idler arm....sway bar ends, shocks ect.... coil springs. You need a press from somewhere to do the ball joints and a-arm bushings........autozone rents them cheap. I went with the Hotchkis drop 2's coil springs for the front and am very happy with the results. I had the original 40 year old springs and liked the way the car sat, and these sit much the same way.
The disc conversion was another story and you may need to log more time for that. You will need to replace the master cylinder along with adding a brake booster. You will also need to replace ALL of the brake lines. The master cylinder will sit differently than the original and you will need to replace all of the lines for them to match up. Figure on 3 good days. Next on my list is the leaf springs as the car sits about 1 inch lower on one side than the other.
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