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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done minor motor upgrades on the '96 RM(SSRI, Herter PCM, Flowmasters, 160 Stat) and now it's finally time to do the suspension. I've got SS wheels and tires, have installed the stiffer front-end bumpstops and also put in a Moog idler arm (helped a lot). I've read about a lot of springs/shocks/sway-bar combinations on the forum - so now I'd like to ask you guys for suggestions. I'm also considering the infamous body-bushing upgrade.

I'm looking for agressive performance (tighter than a stock ImpSS), dropped about 1.5 - 2 inches, but still a daily driver. I've got a moderate budget (not el-cheapo, but not rolling in the dough either). So - what do you think?

By the way - I've convinced myself that this really a matter of practical safety - this beast is way too soft to be going so fast (heh heh heh...) Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
to keep it as cheap as possible get your a** in gear and get all MOOG problem solver parts for the front suspension(Centerlink,tie rods, upper & lower ball joints) from a local parts store(Autozone, Advance Auto, Schucks, Kragen, NAPA...).

Get poly bushings for the sway bar end links & the mounts too.


Might be expensive but only moderately.

Sway Bar End links Sway bar Mounts
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My setup:

Hotchkis springs $200
Monroe Severe Service shocks $150
ZQ8 bumpstops $35
body bushings (it's a 9c1) $0 for me
BMR Lower Control Arms $175
B-bodyperformance.com swaybars $400

I haven't gotten to test out the sways yet but with all that other stuff I'm very happy with the handling even though my front end has seen better days...

The only thing I regret, since I have my father's SS to compare it to, is that his car rides 10x smoother... works better with the ladies than my car that rides more like a truck than a full size sedan on bumpy roads

But hey, I'm willing to sacrifice comfort for performance because I'm 20 years old and I haven't learned better :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
you could also look at the front end kit from power performance motorsports.they are an advertising vendor on the forum.i have hotchkis sway bars w/eibach springs and car handles nice.i just did the polygraphite bushings in black for the frame uppers and lowers.it is not that difficult just be patient.i have no results to post as i have no motor in car yet.
good luck paul.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You can get ahold of an ENERGY SUSPENSION kit for about 249.00
Get a 1" pair of universal energy susp bushings with the brackets at any parts store with a pair of 3" muffler clamps.
Put that on the rear swaybar between the pumpkin and the shock on each side and it WILL stiffen up the rear so it doesn't wallow around.
Get the greasable ones so they dont squeak or you will hate them every time you hit a bump.
If this sounds goofy,look under a S-10 EXTREME rear end.They have them to keep the center of the rear bar from flexing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No-I don't have any pics-i'm in limbo w/my internet connection and what I have is slower than snail sh**.
I'm on the list for a DSL install next week but until then it takes me 45 minutest to download 1 picture.Look under a S-10EXTREME and you'll see the idea.

1)The clamp goes around the frt part of the axle tube with the threads facing the rear bumper and down slightly on both sides.It may be neccessary to adjust the hard brake lines slightly for clearance but nothing major.Make sure the hard brake lines are OUTSIDE of the clamp or they WILL be damaged.

2)The bottom of the clamp goes on the rear side(bumper side)of the axle tube as if it was an exhaust pipe.Imagine clamping it together.

3)The bracket and bushing goes around the swaybar at the straightest part (most parallel)to the axle.They sit on the flat section of the clamp from step 3.

4)The washers and nuts go on and get tightened as evenly as possible.

It is neccessary to wiggle and move items in the area slightly for clearance but nothing needs to be cut,drilled or unbolted.
A large screwdriver or small prybar will aid in aligning the brackets.
Any questions PM me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi I like Hotchkis springs too.They are a moderate drop so you don't bottom out and also a progessive spring so you get that sports car type feel.But where are you guys getting them for 200$ ? They were very close to 300$ shipped when I checked this week. For sway bar and blisteen shock info go here http://www.theherd.com/tech_articles.html
He has info on adapting a 32mm front bar from 70-81 f body used with updated bushings,endlinks,bolts listed.If you found a used 32mm front bar and Herb Adams rear bar he talks about, you would only have slightly over 200$ in sway bars!
He does say this gives car a very slight understeer so depending on price I might go with the Herb Adams front bar also. On shocks the Blisteen over 400$ price turned me off.So what I did was go down to local parts store and looked for shorter shocks for older GM's.I found that a shock from a early Cutlass was apx. 3/4" shorter but otherwize the same.I'm hoping this will work with the Hotchkis 1.5" drop. If it does I'll have only 100-150$ into a good set of new gas shocks. Hey this might be cheap but I'm saving money for custom wheels,body and motor mods later!
Good Luck! Tim
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Buick SS:
I also have a RM. I have put on Eibach springs and dropped the front about 1 inch and the rear about 2 inches. I like the positive feel in the corners and high speeds. These were new on ebay for around $175. I upgraded to Edelbrock AIS shocks on the 4 corners ($300). Nice and tight, but not harsh by any means. Rear SS sway bar, and front sway bar is stock (for now). I also have SS sized rims (aftermarket), but the same tire size. For a 5K pound car this handles well without sacrificing ride quality.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again. I'm leaning towards F-body front swaybar, herb-adams rear (or ImpSS), Monroe Severe Service shocks, and hotchkis springs. I'll let you guys what I decide to do.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do a search before you go with the Hotchkis springs and that swaybar combination. I had that for a while and the car was just a little too twitchy for me with a slight tendency towards oversteer. I'm now running the HA/HO front and rear swaybars with Hotchkis springs and like that combination very, very much. This was written about pretty extensively a while back by me and others. HTH
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When you say Ha or Ho sway bars they are both the same as Herb Adams right? HO is just someone who sells Herb Adams sway bars? when you tried the stock 32mm /ft HA/rear did you do all the upgraded bushings,endlinks etc listed?How bad was the twiching? I think I already have a 32mm front bar. Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
to keep it as cheap as possible get your a** in gear and get all MOOG problem solver parts for the front suspension(Centerlink,tie rods, upper & lower ball joints) from a local parts store(Autozone, Advance Auto, Schucks, Kragen, NAPA...).
Get poly bushings for the sway bar end links & the mounts too.


Might be expensive but only moderately.

Sway Bar End links Sway bar Mounts
Your link calls out for a 9.5164 part number for the sway bar bushing; however, that part is for a 28.5mm (1 1/8") sway bar. The Impala SS sway bar is a 30 mm (1 3/16") bar - shouldn't it be the 9.5171 part number??
 
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