Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??" - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 10, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

I have a 1979 Camaro Z28 with about 550hp, I changed everything but the front control arms and spindles. I had changed the bushings and ball joints, this is my problem if I'm driving normal and even on the parkway at speeds of 70mph, the car is fine but If I take off from a stop with full throtle and let the gas pedal off the front of the car sways all over the road. I'm afraid to take it on the track cause of this problem. I had already did 3 wheel adjustments and like I said everything is restored on my car. I can't figured it out for the love of god, Please can somebody help me.....
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 10, 08:09 AM
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

If you nail the throttle in first gear, then let off suddenly you are going to unweight the rear of the car causing oversteer. This is because you first compresed the rear springs, when you hit the throttle, then when you let off it throws the rear of the car upwards. With soft stock springs, you might even bottom out the front on the bumpstops. I had a 79 Z/28 and it would bottom out up front fairly easily, it has very limited bump travel and half the bumpstop height is steel on steel. Try driving straight ahead and braking hard, does the car pull too one side and lock one wheel? This is a sign of bottoming out.

Step one is making sure you have good shocks. You may need new springs, if yours have sagged, you will bottom out even faster.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 10, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

davidpozzi are you talking about changing the rear spring?. I had KYB shocks all arounf and not to long ago I had changed the back ones to the Edelbrock Performer IAS Monotube Shocks. I will also be changing the fronts the same as the back. The front spring is Hotchkis 2" drop, I just put them in as I'm just changing parts over to see if it fixes the problem. The rear spring are bull**** ones I had bought from ebay. I bought them when I first started building the car and didn't know how hard core I was going to go with the car. I hope this helps alittle better for u.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 10, 06:56 PM
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

Make sure your rear end is aligned correctly. If one side has slipped out, it will do all kids of weird things.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 10, 07:10 PM
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

Have you set the toe?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 10, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

whats the best way to make sure the rear is stright and aligned?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 10, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

Ok I had taken the car out for a drive today. It kinda feels like the rear squats on take off and when I let the gas pedal off the rear comes back up and the front get loose. I hope this makes sense.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 10, 04:45 PM
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

You need to look at the rear springs . I was having something like this but with stiff springs . Also pulled the kyb gas shock, I went to a stiffer fluid shock, Koni adjustables, and set the ride to firm. Straight like pull . Car should squat some but tires remain planted. Wheel hop? What are you letting out of it for?

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 10, 10:49 AM
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

If you put Hotchkis coils up front, then get Hotchkis leafs for the rear.
With a lot of power, hitting the throttle hard in 1st gear, then lifting off will throw a lot of weight forward and unweight the rear, this is going to wag the rear end because it's lost weight and traction and the engine has a lot of leverage over the rear tires in 1st. It's like hitting the brakes on the rear wheels only. Stiffer springs and shocks will help reduce it, but it will always be unsettling to the car and worse if you don't have a lot of good rubber under it. Work on analyzing what is happening and making sure the suspension isn't bottoming out up front or even topping out the shocks on extension in the rear.

Watch out for bottoming out on the front bumpstops, it's very easy to do and the car will want to make big zig zag's when it happens.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 10, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

Ok, yes the front does bottom out, It hits the top of the front wheels, when I hit a bump. Now I figured let me get under the car and see if I can see anything, Well I found the front sway bar link bushing bolt stripped and the other side not sitting in right. I just changed to a new set. I think I will aslo changed the front shocks and the rear springs. But for now maybe the links did the trick. I didnt have time to take the car out for a test drive as all the school kids were coming out. Anyother info would be great. I had already put 34,000.00 into this car and it's killing me that I have to go threw this. I guess it's getting all the bugs out now. This is what happends when you do a full resto. Thanks again everybody for your input.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

Ok Guy's here is the update, I took my car out for a test drive after fixing the front sway bar links and the problem is still there it feels a little bit better. I'm trying to feel where it's happending from. I'm not sure but I think it feels like when I let off the gas pedal from heavy take off the rear is pushing the front and my nose of my car just don"t know what to do. What's my next step...
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

I just want to note that there is a different hights between the right and left. What I mean is the left side I can stick 1 finger between the top of the tire to the top of the fender and the other right side I can stick 2 fingers in between. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I'm just out of answers and every place I take my car to can't figure it out. They made me Install sub Frame connectors, soild body mount bushings, changed rear shocks, 3 wheel adjustments. If there is a car GOD please come save me....
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 10:00 AM
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

The sway bar bolts on the subframe can strip out too so keep an eye on those.


I would get the Hotchkis rear leafs. Spring rates need to be matched front to rear and right now I think your rear leafs are too soft. You should not cut the Hotchkis front coils. If yours were cut you WILL NOT have enough bump travel remaining on a 2nd gen. Did you cut the front coils to get the car lower? Do you have a big block engine or air conditioning?

I'm not clear on what you are experiencing when you let off the gas. Are the front tires losing traction? Does the car zig zag left/right? Do you turn the wheel and get very little/ reduced response? This is understeer indicating loss of traction up front, probably due to bottoming out. Are you hitting the brakes hard when this happens? Also check your steering for any excess play. There is an adjustment on the steering box for lash that usually helps but I doubt it is the cause of what you are reporting.
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Last edited by davidpozzi; Apr 21st, 10 at 10:29 AM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

Ok Dave, I'll answer all your questions. I have a chevy 360 engine, no a/c. I have not cut the front springs, but as we are talking about the front springs the drivers side is touching the side of the top perch of the frame. I had tryed to bang some of the perch to clear the spring from not riding on the frame. Maybe this is one of the problems and If so what would cause that to happen?. The front springs are a 2" drop. I don't know if you have springs with a 2" drop do you need the spindels to have 2" drop as well?. This is the problem when I try to race I floor the pedal the nose comes up and the rear squats. The nose is not coming of the ground but comes up. If I keep the gas pedal floored I'm ok, it's when I let off the pedal when I feel like the nose wants to go. I would say it goes left to right and I kinda think I feel the passengers side rear give a little push our like a kick something like that. I'm trying to feed you all the info so you can try to help me the right way. Could it be the drivers side lower control arm? How can you tell if a control arm is bend our tweaked?. I thank all of you for your help in me finding this messed up problem. I just don't want to start changing everything and it's not the problem.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car sways "NEED BIG TIME HELP??"

Oh dave if you like to speak to me email me your number and I'll give you a call. This is my email [email protected]. Thanks again
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