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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:35 pm
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First Name: Darrin
Location: Libertyville, IL
Hey all, it's been a while, no? I'm having project withdrawal since I've done nothing to my car all winter. I'm thinking about total front suspension updgrade. So far I've purchased an Addco 1 1/8" tube sway bar and a rebuilt steering box/pitman arm (the IROC 12.7:1). My setup is stock except for Hotchkis 2" lowering springs and disk brake conversion. Last winter I swapped out the rear mono for Hotchkis multi-leaf which made a huge difference alone.

So the front, I'm looking at the SPC adjustable control arms - any thoughts, good, bad? I hadn't planned to do the G-mod, but could be convinced.

The L&H tall aluminum spindles look really sweet, but what do they really accomplish? Worth 750 bills?

For lower control arms, they all seem basically the same. It looks like DSE, GW, and Hotchkis are popular. Do the lowers really make a difference?

Coilover vs standard shock/spring? I'd just as soon keep the hotchkis coils in there. Besides, coilovers look pricey too.

Sorry for all the questions....thanks!

Jim & Harley, how you guys doing????

Darrin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:09 pm 
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First Name: Tom
Location: New Lenox IL
No expert here but here are a few of my thoughts.............

I have SPC uppers on my 2nd and I like them! They allow for both camber and caster adjustments without the use of conventional shims. It is usually much easier to gain more caster with the SPC over the stock UCA. The downside is they do not have bump stops that limit the downward travel of your suspension so you will need to use some kind of suspension travel limiter such as a nylon strap otherwise you could potentially "top" out the shocks and damage them, especially during a drag racing launch.

The tall spindle helps to increase positive camber gain and improves the overall camber curve when the suspension in compressed when corning. If this if for a mainly street driven ride I would suggest using the Howe Racing or similar tall upper ball joint and you should get similar results for less money. There may also be some improvement in bump steer with the tall spindles depending on the design and location of the steering arm.

Lower control arms gains you nothing other than an empty wallet unless they are designed to add positive caster by moving the lower ball joint forward. This would be desirable because if you use only the SPC uppers and go for the most caster you can get (usually +5* or more)which moves the upper ball joint back and also move the tire reward in the wheel well. This usually results in the front tires rubbing in the back of the wheel well. By using geometry corrected LCA you get the most caster possible and the wheel stays closer to the center of the wheel opening.

I would stay with your Hotchkiss springs in front and by a quality adjustable shock for all four corsers of the car. This will give you the ability to tune the handling to your style of driving better. If your are planning on any drag racing then I would recommend double adjustable shocks for the front. There are other options of course that would cost less money but would require more time and effort to switch between suspension modes.....drag, street and twisties handling.

Hope this helps out some. If you really want to get the low down on the best suspension options in your budget range for your car I would contact Marcus Savitske at SC & C, you can look him up on the net and give him a call. He is a bit hard to reach sometimes but well worth the effort to get his opinions. Mark is a dealer for SPC, Alston and many other suspension component manufactures. If you call tell him Tom Delso said hello!

Tom

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1980 Z28 Dark Blue w/ Tri Blue Stripes
600hp 383 Carbed SBC
Tremec TKO 600
Ford 9" w/ 3.89's & WaveTrac Posi


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:15 pm 
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First Name: Jim
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Hmmm, for someone who's "no expert" Tom's covered this stuff pretty well.

Good to hear from you BTW Darrin!

The stuff you all ready have is all good, same stuff I have, works great.
I also have the adjustable upper arms from SC&C, they work great, and they do stay in alignment. I grease them once a year, haven't had to touch em otherwise.
Shocks are big time important. I got single adjustable QA1's (got a heck of a deal on them) and they ride and handle really nice. I can't reach the adjustment knob through the springs so I've never messed with the adjustment.

Being able to reach the knobs, along with easy ride ht adjustment are the nice things about coil overs. I couldn't justify the cost. Double adjustable QA1 coil overs are big big bucks.

I have the GW lower arms. They look real nice under there. They did not give me any more caster and they didn't pull the front tire forward in the wheelwell. I got em for free tho. Best thing about them is the del-a-lum bushings, smooth as silk. If I had to pay for them, I'd put the del a lum bushings in the stoick a arms.

NO NO NO to poly. Had those, yuk. May as well weld the suspension solid. No, they don't deflect, but they don't let the suspension move either. To work, the suspension must be able to move, to react.

I've been told that my car rides and handles really well. I credit the very low friction of the SC&C uppers and the del as lum bushings in the lowers, along with the QA1's. Those hotchkiss springs are 600 lb/in, and yet she still rides like a very firm caddy.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:38 am 
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First Name: Tom
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I believe the SPC has LCA's out for the second gens that offer improved caster and I would think by now they should have covered the first gens as well. Give Marcus a call.

_________________
1980 Z28 Dark Blue w/ Tri Blue Stripes
600hp 383 Carbed SBC
Tremec TKO 600
Ford 9" w/ 3.89's & WaveTrac Posi


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:35 pm
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First Name: Darrin
Location: Libertyville, IL
Tom-
Thanks...great info! Do you know of any LCA that do increase positive caster? Otherwise, it sounds like keep the old ones, just replace bushings.

Jim-
On the 'poly' - you mean bushings on the UCA? The Del-a-lum are the greasable bushings, and what are delrin? I see those mentioned as well.

Also - what are you thoughts on subrame bushings? I put in Energy Suspension poly last year. When I removed the old ones, they literally fell out in a pile of sand and debris. I was thinking about doing subrame connectors, but i've read where you need solid bushings, not poly. I assume that's due to the frame flexing slightly with poly. It seems like solid bushings would make for a harsh ride.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:23 am
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First Name: John
Location: Louisville Ky
I dont know about needing solid bushings with sub connectors. The Hotchkis come with polly for the rear of the subframe.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:25 pm 
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First Name: Tom
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The SPC lowers may have added caster built into them but you would need to contact SPC or or Marcus @ SC & C to find out for sure.

Del-A-Lum bushings are made from Delrin which is a very slippery plastic with high wear resistance properties. They are solid bushing and get lubricated with a synthetic grease like Mobil one. The suspension reacts better and isn't mushy like with stock rubber bushings. They are available for both UCA and LCA as far as I know, check outr Global West for them.

I have solid aluminum subframe bushings and they are fine, I really never noticed the ride being worse with them.

_________________
1980 Z28 Dark Blue w/ Tri Blue Stripes
600hp 383 Carbed SBC
Tremec TKO 600
Ford 9" w/ 3.89's & WaveTrac Posi


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:35 pm
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First Name: Darrin
Location: Libertyville, IL
John, how much of an improvement did you notice with the sf connectors?

john68 wrote:
I dont know about needing solid bushings with sub connectors. The Hotchkis come with polly for the rear of the subframe.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:23 am
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First Name: John
Location: Louisville Ky
Sorry Darrin, They are still in the basement, Too lazy to get my tail in gear.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:26 pm
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First Name: Don
Location: Midlothian Illinois
I have taken rides in both Tom & Jim's Camaro. The ride with Tom was more "Spirited" Jim's handles as good or better than any new car, Tom's was solid and sure. Both are better than mine. Mine is way ahead of stock. I have the Hotchkis front/rear springs and swaybar. Comp. Engineering subframe connectors. Poly subframe mounts and rebuilt stock arms with poly bushings and 4 deg. of caster. I am in the process of welding in the subframe connectors and know I need to upgrade the stock power steering and pump. I had KYB shocks, they were terrible except on the smoothest of roads, went to Monroes, much better but a little mushy, finally got the Hotchkis Bilstein's and I am very happy with everything. Both guys would probably eat me up at a roadcourse but I have enough grip to make jim's wife uncomfortable while following me through the twisties in Jim's car. (I am sure Jim was unfazed) It all depends on your budget & what you want to do with the car.

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