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Author Topic: HELP with suspension upgrade?  (Read 3520 times)
nlpirr
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« on: March 21, 2006, 06:19:34 PM »

I desperately need to improve my suspension in my '69 Camaro.  My car springs up and down the highway like my 3 year old bouncing on my lap and every time I hit a  Texas bump, I scrape the pipe!

The question I have is what the heck do I need to get to keep it from spiraling out of cost control and still have a descent handling car?

I really donít care to keep everything stock, I have leaf springs (multiple) on the back and I was told to replace those with a coil over set?  So how do I know which height to get so my car maintains the same stance in height? I donít want it much higher and I donít think it can go much lower. I simply donít have the clearance room because of the low headers.

Any advice and favorite links to vendors would be appreciated. The magazines have so many adds I cant think straight!

Nick P.

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Ed Bertrand
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2006, 08:50:05 PM »

Nick,

First of all, if your car bounces up and down on bumps and dips, your shocks are shot! Invest in a good set of shocks before you do anything else and I guarantee you'll feel a difference. Also, before going crazy on high priced "performance upgrades", have the front end rebuilt. If your car is original, your bushings, ball joints, etc... are junk. I think if you start with a good baseline, you'll appreciate it.

Then, if you decide to go further, invest in poly bushings. They're much better than rubber but the drawback is noise. They really need to be greased up.

Anyway, start with the basics first then go from there.

Ed
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lakeholme
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 10:04:28 AM »

Here's an "Amen" to Ed's advice.† If you are bouncing that bad, new shocks will not only help with the clearance issue, but you'll be amazed how well it handles period.† Right after I got my 68, new shocks was one of the first things I did.† It felt like a new car!† The shocks that the previous owner had put on it were obviously not original, but they were cheap junk. 

All the "coke bottle" body cars had a different sense of handling when they first came out.† I drove a 65 Mustang in the late 60s and it felt like the front end was floating.† A front end rebuild will tigthen all that up (at least better than the worn out original stuff).† I've driven a 69 Camaro that had a brand new Corvette front end.† It handled great, but it no longer had that 1st Generation feel.† I still say when you get it all "tuned" right, there is nothing like driving a 1st Generation Camaro.† No, it does not respond as well as the little black sports car I drive every day, but I still love it!
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Phillip
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nlpirr
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 04:49:03 PM »

Thatís exactly what I was hoping to hear.

I'm going to start with new shocks. My original rubber bushings look like a bunch of squashed beetles and I will defiantly go for the new front end kit too.

Thanks for the help.

Nick p.


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nlpirr
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 05:45:16 PM »

I keep seeing KYB pop up in terms of new shocks?

Compared to Bilstein, how would you rate them? or any other brands out there?
Nick P.
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arocars
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2006, 10:38:34 PM »

I have KYB's.  I cant really compare them to anything since the shocks they replaced were Gabriel Hijackers (20 years old?) and some no-name shocks in the front.  I find the ride w/ the KYB's somewhat stiff however.  Personally, I'd prefer a little more 'give'. 
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sdkar
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2006, 03:05:43 PM »

After installing new ball joints and tie rods and shock...I highly recommend upgrading to the 1" or 1-1/8" front sway bar.  It costs between $100 - $150 for it.  You wouldn't think this slight difference would make a big difference, but it really does.  It won't help with your bouncing (the other stuff will take care of that) but it will handle corners better and be a little more firmer in the turning. 
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