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Discussion Starter #1
Here's my situation. 1967 camaro. I'm ready to start working on my front end. I'm changing to power disc brakes. I figure since I'll have most of it apart I might as well replace all the bushings and hardware but I don't drive it that much. When I do I jump on it sometimes but I don't drive like I'm on a road course. It's a sunshine car like some others here. It only has 109,000 miles on it. I've owned it since 1977 (when I was a teen) and I've known of it since 1974 and that it was cared for. The steering is very tight the tires wear very even. The only complaint I have about the front end is when you push down on a fender you hear squeaking that sounds like it's coming from the A-frame bushings and they look dry rotted. So from what I've told you here what do you guys think is the best way to go about this? How much should I replace? What susp. kit should I get? Should I go with stock bushings or get poly urethane or graphite? How much hardware should I replace? I'm also worried about disturbing the shims in the A-frames how much trouble are they to put back right? I know you've answered these kit questions a lot before but nothing in the archives covered my situation. Thanks guys

 

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RamJam,

I'm sure your situation's been covered here before.

I'd replace the bushings for sure after 109,000 miles. Are the ball joints just as old? The tie-rod ends? Idler arm? Maybe even the rag joint.

When you replace the tie-rods, measure them first before you take them apart or throw the whole kit and kaboodle away. That way you can adjust the new one's to the same length. Also, record the number of shims at each point and keep the notebook with this info handy for re-assembly time. It might not make a difference if you're putting a kit into the front end but they might make a difference come alignment time.
 

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You could have it checked out for balljoint and steering linkage wear before going too far, but my 67 was shot at 100 thousand miles and the idler arm was shot before that. I think an idler arm is good for around 50,000 to 70,000 miles at most.

Your best bet may be to buy a kit like from PST or one of those. I'd go with stock bushings for a good ride and no maintenence, I'd upgrade to higher rate springs like at least the Moog 6308 380 lbs per inch, these are still soft, and will drop right in.
Get a 1" solid front sway bar and use polly bushings on it.
A rear bar is probably not needed.
Use the alignment specs on my web page use just a little neg camber like a half deg.

If you want to do it yourself you will need a buy bunch of tools or rent them.
You will need a Factory "Helm" manual, floor jack, tall jackstands, pickle fork, access to a press and press mandrils to fit the bushings, or a shop to do that.
The lower balljoints are pressed in, the uppers are riveted in.

You might want to shop a good deal on the parts and have them parts installed at a local shop. The money you would put towards the manual and tools will probably cover a third of the labor costs.

I'd go for solid subframe mounts if you get into doing yours. If you don't want to do them, you can tighten them up by removing the bottom of the bushing and inserting a large washer to shim it tighter.

Parts to replace:
upper and lower balljoints
outer and inner tie rod ends
idler arm
upper and lower A arm bushings
shocks

ft sway bar and bushings.

Parts to check:
pitman arm, don't replace if not loose, replacements are plastic lined and not as good as an origonal. Keep it greased and it will last a long time.

I'd stay away from polly for your use, but that's my impression. There are both good and bad reports on them.
David

[ 07-03-2003, 10:32 PM: Message edited by: davidpozzi ]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hwy,
"Are the ball joints just as old? prob. 15yrs
The tie-rod ends? prob. 15yrs Idler arm? yes Maybe even the rag joint? yes. I knew to measure the tie rods but don't know anything about the A-frame shims. Are they as much trouble as they look to be?

David, I didn't think you'd say to go with stock bushings but that's what I was thinking. How do I check the idler arm? Why do you think I need stronger springs? although years ago I did do wheelie hops sometimes (you know bouncing the frnt end) i'm sure that weakened them, how much will they raise the front end. I've been thinking about getting a new sway bar, i just thought since I'm not taking turns at 70 I probably didn't need one. My one friend has alot of tools so I think I'm good there. I have the Factory assemb and the Fisher body manuals what is the Helm manual? I have a how to camaro book that shows a guy using an air hammer with a dowel on the end to drive the bushings into the A-frames. I had the shocks replaced around 1981 but I had drag shocks put in, they are Monroe's and are 90-10's whats your thoughts on these shocks for street driving. I know that their main purpose is to transfer weight to the rear but now that I'm not racing it what are the cons? Can I check the pitman arm before I remove everything. Thanks

 

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Stock bushings aren't so bad especially since you won't be road racing everywhere you go

Those springs are about 60 lbs stiffer than stock, the ride height is lower than you'd get with standard replacement springs, but probably the same height as your current sagging springs.
There are several guys on this board that like them.

As far as the sway bar goes, it will improve the safe handling of your Camaro and bring it up to current day standards. No use driving a boat when you can have some control of your car.

The A frame bushings can be pretty easy, or can be the toughest things you ever did in your life. There is no way to tell till you do them, but you'd better have a plan "B" to turn to if it's hard to do them.

I don't know about the shocks, they aren't the best for all out handling but probably fine for street driving.

The best manual is "Chassis Service Manual, Chevrolet, Chevelle, Camaro, Chevy II, Corvette".
It is the Chevrolet factory manual and has more complete photos and instructions on all the steps you need to do.
I think they were available through a company called Helm and the order form was in the back of the Owners manual.
There is an Overhaul manual which is for rebuilding individual components like the steering box, rear axle, etc.
David
 

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I have a 67 that I drive on weekends. Although most people would advise against this, I used rubber bushings in the front end and subframe. My car has been lowered about 2 inches, and in this configuration, it rides and handles very good. I also used a 1 inch sway bar, and would recommend that also as it tightens up the handling of the car as others have mentioned. HTH,

Tim
 

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I won a local autocross championship with rubber lower A arm bushings in my car. I had solid steel Guldstrand upper bushings. I had to run against Corvettes up to C3, I beat them often enough too.

There is a mod to increase stiffness of a rubber bushing which I did.
David
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Chevy K, Thanks for your input.

David, I already changed the subf. bushings. Because of what I learned here I went with poly by Energy Susp.

You made up my mind I will go with the stock bushings in frnt end. I'll get a 1" sway bar who do you recommend Hotchkis? What's a good price on the frnt Moog coil springs who should I get them from? I found the Chassis Serv man. in Classic Ind. catalog around $30. I've been hearing stories on here about low quality hardware cominig in the kits from places like PST and others. They say Moog and TRW but it's a lower grade? What are your thoughts? How do I check the pitman arm? Thanks

 

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pdq67, yes nails!

Check the pitman by prying on the center link a bit with a small bar and see if it moves. I don't know if the chassis service manual has that in it or not.
The idler is checked that way too.
The Hotchkis is 1 1/8" hollow which is the same rate as a 1" solid. It's more expensive than a solid 1" bar, it's up to you.

I don't have a particular 1" bar in mind, but it should be crome molly heat treated to prevent bending of the bar.

Adco is sold by Summit, I believe, but if you have a large vibration damper, the bar comes close.
Quickor up in Washington state makes some good quality ones, but I don't know about fit.
David
 

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Discussion Starter #12
David,

I didn't know Hotchkis only had hollow sway bars. I don't really want a hollow one. I was looking threw the PST catalog what do you think of the G MAX they sell?

I'm guessing you didn't want to answer my above question about the quality of vendors parts. No problem I understand. Thanks
 

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RamJam,
I'm not up on the G MAX, haven't seen one.
If it has a good sized dip in the center, and is made of crome molly 4340 or 4130 heat treated, it will be OK.

I bought a Moog lower balljoint from a circle track supplier for around $20. it came in a plastic bag but said Moog on the bottom of the BJ.
I needed another one, and since the freight across the country was going to cost me, I figured to get one locally, the price was $50! It DID come in a nice yellow box though.

I heard of one new Moog upper BJ going bad right away, I think it was from PST. It is a good idea to be concerned about quality, but all I can say is to stick with Moog at the best prices you can find. Paying more is not any guarantee of quality.
David
 

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Discussion Starter #15
David,
Is a center link on a 71 Nova beefy like the 69 Camaro? I'm asking this because when I got my disc brakes from the bone yard that 71 Nova had the center link still on it. Besides being bent does a center link go bad?

Chevy Kid,
How close is your sway bar to the balancer. You got me wondering if a 1 1/8" bar will fit.
 

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Later firstgens have more chance of having the large centerlink. bigblocks or 69 Camaros, Novas up to 74. I think I have the diameters on my steering linkage page.
Look for it being bent, cracked, or the tapered holes having problems.
If slightly bent, it could be straightened in a press.
David
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Once again David your site helped me out along with you. So the only difference between the 2 links is the dia. meaning if I buy the susp. kit for my 67 it will still fit even with the beefy center link? I don't have power steering either.
 
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