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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm in the market for a complete suspension kit for my '69 Camaro SS. I'd like something that is 100% complete meaning it comes with front and rear springs, shocks, tubular upper and lower A-arms, etc.

What I've found so far are the following kits I'm looking at...

http://www.camarocentral.com/1967_1969_Camaro_Stage_2_TVS_System_Small_Block_p/sus-684.htm

http://www.rickscamaros.com/camaro-suspension-kit-complete-performance-package-1967-1969.html

Now the first one is Hotchkis which I know is a reputable brand. It's considerably more expensive than the second kit and for the most part seems to include all of the same parts.

Not sure what brand the second kit is but it looks like a pretty complete kit.

Anyways, the car is not a track car or a race car. It's just a fun weekend driver during the Summer that I would like to improve the handling on so it's more fun to drive. I'm not looking to slam the thing so I don't want to drop it lower than 2". It's sitting on 15 inch Corvette rally wheels that are 15x7 in the front and 15x9 in the rear.

Just looking for thoughts and opinions!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The less expensive one is from http://www.classicperform.com/. You will have to get C5(?) brakes for this kit, stock disc will not bolt up.
Ahhh, thanks for the heads up, didn't catch that! Does that kit require the use of the C5 spindles or can you utilize your stock ones for the time being?
 

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Yes, but you have to read the descriptions carefully. The pro-Touring kits do not come with spindles. Also, the discs in the stage IV kit would be too large for your wheels, I have been looking into the same for my 69 Camaro, it can be quite confusing since there are so many companies supplying these parts.

One more thing to think about, if you are lowering your car, choose lowering springs or coil overs instead of a lowering spindle. The spindle causes tire rubbing suspension part issues. I haven't bought anything yet but have been doing a lot of research.
 

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yes, but you have to read the descriptions carefully. The pro-touring kits do not come with spindles. Also, the discs in the stage iv kit would be too large for your wheels, i have been looking into the same for my 69 camaro, it can be quite confusing since there are so many companies supplying these parts.

One more thing to think about, if you are lowering your car, choose lowering springs or coil overs instead of a lowering spindle. The spindle causes tire rubbing suspension part issues. I haven't bought anything yet but have been doing a lot of research.
x2!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay thanks for bringing all this information to light. I wasn't aware about the kit not including the spindles and that the brakes wouldn't fit. I guess I am going to have to do a lot more research but at this point the Stage II Hotchkis might be my best best since it avoids the brakes for the time being. I can always tackle brakes later down the road.

I've never owned Hotchkis stuff before but from what I have heard they are quite reputable.
 

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Okay thanks for bringing all this information to light. I wasn't aware about the kit not including the spindles and that the brakes wouldn't fit. I guess I am going to have to do a lot more research but at this point the Stage II Hotchkis might be my best best since it avoids the brakes for the time being. I can always tackle brakes later down the road.

I've never owned Hotchkis stuff before but from what I have heard they are quite reputable.
Yes, Hotchkis makes great stuff. Other good names are Global West, SpeedTech, RideTech. Decide whether you want/need everything in a kit first, or if there are better deals to be had by piecing it together.
 

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Okay thanks for bringing all this information to light. I wasn't aware about the kit not including the spindles and that the brakes wouldn't fit. I guess I am going to have to do a lot more research but at this point the Stage II Hotchkis might be my best best since it avoids the brakes for the time being. I can always tackle brakes later down the road.

I've never owned Hotchkis stuff before but from what I have heard they are quite reputable.
You may want to do a lot more research. Why do you want tubular UCAs and LCAs? They're expensive and do very little for performance. In fact, nothing in either setup corrects the camber curve.

Do you know you'll need a rear sway bar? "Heavy duty" tie rod sleeves look good but, again, do little for performance.

As with any planned modification, you might consider starting out with what you want to accomplish with the car, and then research how that can be done. What things look like is certainly a valid criteria, after all it's your car, but you've asked questions that seem to indicate your budget isn't unlimited.
 

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I just kinda pieced mine together. Started with 17 x 8 and 17 x 9.5 rims and good performance tires. Then added the Hotchkis front and rear springs and front bar. Next I bought the SC&C stage 2 plus kit, which included SPC UCAs, Howe X-tall upper balljoints and tall outer tie rod ends. Next I added GW Del-a-lum delrin bushings for the stock LCAs. Somewhere in there I did the IROC steering box (dud) and added the Corvette/LS brakes. I'm using stock disc spindles. Last thing on my list is better shocks, looking at the Koni Classics. Only my opinion, but I wouldn't spend a ton on expensive bolt on susp/steering parts and use 15" wheels. Best bang for my buck were the bigger wheels and tires.

And you can go wayyyyy fancier than the basic stuff I did!!

Edit - Forgot - also added Hotchkis frame connectors at some point.
 

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Only my opinion, but I wouldn't spend a ton on expensive bolt on susp/steering parts and use 15" wheels. Best bang for my buck were the bigger wheels and tires.
I have said the same thing in the past. The single most noticeable performance upgrade was going from 15's to 18's. Well, I suppose the LS swap was pretty noticeable as well...:yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well my budget isn't unlimited. I would like to stay at 5k or under for just the suspension (not including brakes). The car isn't a track car or a drag car, it's just a car that I drive on nice days and probably only put 1000 miles on a year (probably less to be honest).

Anyways, I am looking for good handling because when I find back roads I want the car to at least handle decent trough the twisties. I don't expect it to handle corners like my M3 but it would be nice if it could at least hold it's own. Coilovers seem pointless since I don't see a reason to adjust the ride height. I have had coilovers on numerous other cars in the past and found that once I got them adjusted at the right height I never again adjusted them so it's rather pointless.

Tubular A arms isn't necessary, I just heard it was a decent upgrade but if there's little gains to be had from them on a street car I guess I don't need them, right?

I don't want to be paying for things I don't need obviously. All I am looking for here is a nice suspension setup for a street car. Something that will make the car much more fun to corner with.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have said the same thing in the past. The single most noticeable performance upgrade was going from 15's to 18's. Well, I suppose the LS swap was pretty noticeable as well...:yes:
I hear this all the time that upgrading to a bigger wheel from the 15" will make a huge difference. Now I am not totally clueless with cars but when it comes to suspension and wheels/tires I start to get confused. Why is it that a bigger wheel will improve handling so much? I thought that having a 15" wheel with a bigger tire would add more contact surface this improve handling? Clearly I am wrong, I just need it explained to me.
 

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I went with the Ridetech complete suspension kit Level 2 and threw in a monster bar also...came out to $3950 to my door on cyber monday.....haven't put it in yet, but it looks like it is built VERY well. Can't wait to get it installed.....this damn weather is delaying my progress!!
 

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You may want to do a lot more research. Why do you want tubular UCAs and LCAs? They're expensive and do very little for performance. In fact, nothing in either setup corrects the camber curve.

Do you know you'll need a rear sway bar? "Heavy duty" tie rod sleeves look good but, again, do little for performance.

As with any planned modification, you might consider starting out with what you want to accomplish with the car, and then research how that can be done. What things look like is certainly a valid criteria, after all it's your car, but you've asked questions that seem to indicate your budget isn't unlimited.
Wow. I'm with this guy. There isn't much appetite for this logic but it should be heard.
A 0.5" tall Howe upper ball joint, Delrin bushings,bilstein shocks and a 1" sway bar will take you further than most of the bolt on guys have ever been.
 

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I hear this all the time that upgrading to a bigger wheel from the 15" will make a huge difference. Now I am not totally clueless with cars but when it comes to suspension and wheels/tires I start to get confused. Why is it that a bigger wheel will improve handling so much? I thought that having a 15" wheel with a bigger tire would add more contact surface this improve handling? Clearly I am wrong, I just need it explained to me.
As was just stated, a bigger wheel means a tire with less sidewall. That means the tire won't try to roll over on itself. It also means better tire selection. When I went to 18's with a lower profile, the car went from sloppy to feeling like it was on rails. The other upgrades just improved upon that.

If I wanted the best bang for the buck, and wanted to keep a somewhat stock look I'd look into some 17" rally wheels with good tires. Upgrade the front and rear springs and shocks. Upgrade the front sway bar (rear if its in the budget). Refresh the stock control arms with some poly bushings, and do a front disc conversion. Nothing says you have to do it all at once.

I have some nice components, but I did it as the budget allowed. Just don't do something twice. You can always tackle the front end first, and the rear later, especially if you aren't racing it.
 

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Almost everyone knows the factory suspension geometry on 1st Gen F bodys SUCK which is why they handle like a beached whale when pushed in a corner. This is also why aftermarket suspensions are so popular right now. Despite what some say, the fact is tubular UCAs and LCAs will correct the crappy factory steering geometry and provide vastly improved handling when used in conjunction with larger diameter 18" wheels and good coil over shocks. Beware of 17" wheels as the tire selection is very limited compared to 18".

If you want to keep your stock subframe and bolt on a complete suspension, I recommend you take a look at Ridetech. Check out the write up on the 48 Hour Camaro as an example of what is possible with basically bolt on parts. http://www.ridetech.com/garage/new-48-hour-camaro/ This car is now very hard to beat in autocross competition. I also recommend you spend some time on http://pro-touring.com where you can read all about what it takes to make your car handle like a modern muscle car.

Ask me how I know!



 
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