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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to make my new 9C1 the ultimate sleeper and when I'm satisfied with its performance then I'll go ahead and make it look badass too.

That said, for an ultimate handling setup, I know I need a 32mm F-body front bar, and the HA rear bar.

I already have 9C1 body bushings factory installed, but are they succeptible to wear? The car has 114K on it now so the bushings have 114 k on them too. If there are better ones that can be swapped in then I'll do that.

I have a Moog problem solver idler arm in there now, and plan on Mooging the rest of the front end really soon. Are there any specific parts for the front end that aren't Moogable and if so, what is the best I can do to them? Is there anything better than Moog for any sepcific parts from an ultimate handling standpoint (not worried about longevity, I can live with replacing stuff now and then).

I don't know if my 96 9C1 got the 5/8 or 9/16 balljoints, but I plan on replacing them anyways, and I will make sure they are the 5/8 ones. Can I simply machine the parts to accept the bigger balljoints, or do I need to replace them with the TSB parts? Is there any way to tell if it already has 5/8 balljoints short of taking stuff apart and measuring?

What are the best lower control arms to handle the HA bar out back? I don't want them extended, I want stock length, then I can keep the stock upper arms. I also want to go with the best noise free bushings and everything else for the entire suspension, front and back. I will gladly crawl under the car every so often and grease everything, so if that is a stipulation in keeping some of the parts noise free, its fine with me.

On to springs. I have decided on stock Impala SS ride height. I am planning on the Global west front springs which I understand will keep the stock ride height. What rear springs should I go with? I know the Caprice wagon springs are stiffer than the SS springs, but are they the same ride height?

For shocks I am either going to go with Koni adjustables of the HAL adjustables, I haven't decided which ones yet. I want adjustable so I can switch from handling to launching for a drag race without too much effort.

The tires is the point where I have to sacrifice ultimate handling for reality. I need to drive this car in the winter, I need to drive it on snowy days, through slush, heavy rain, I need all season rubber. I am going to stick with stock Impala SS rimSS. I am planning on either 275/40 or 285/40 whichever is more realistic and conducive to handling. Any reccomendations here, I don't have time or willpower to be swapping tires at the end of a season, so I need something that can handle winter. Even if they aren't superb in the snow, I can get by, I know how to drive a car in the winter. I mean lets face it, 275 or 285 tires are gonna suck in the snow anyways because they're wide, but I'd like the tread pattern and rubber compound to be a bit better than RE730's for the snowy season.

I also have to overcome the 9C1 axle. The rear track of my 9C1 is not quite as big as the rear track of an SS. I plan on doing wheel spacers to move the tires as far out as possible without risking them hitting anything on a major bounce or causing any unnecessary wear on axle bearings. The front track is fine with me for now. Extending the rear track should make the car handle better and will definitely make it look better. What is the best way to go about doing this, including the spacers and studs?

If I missed anything that will help please let me know, and if you know the answers to any of my questions please let me know. I'm off to do some research myself if I find any of the answers before getting a response, I'll post what I found.

Thanks everyone.

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to add, if you know any part numbers of any parts or where to buy any of them, please let me know. I'm pretty sure I'll have to order a lot of it, but if you can give me a company to order from that would be great.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just My opinion but...

If using stock arms the Del-A-Dum bushings by global west are tops. I understand they not only have the front bushings but the rears as well.

As to rear arms you probably want the Metco arms. They are the best and cost more...

Both the upper and lower arms on our cars are weak. If you decide to do alot of launching you may decide to get stronger arms so you don't twist the factory ones.
And with whatever you get make sure you check the pinion angle or have someone else do it.

If you find anything out about the bushings I would like to know.. My car has 180k on it... I now have del-a-dum bushings and 11/16" lower ball joints.

The '96 should have come with the 5/8" lower ball joints. They started using them in mid '95.

All the front end parts are "moogable".
Moog parts are lifetime warrenty as well. Make sure you get the "truck" part...
(Same part number with the T at the end..)
Some of those parts they don't make anymore and call them ENHANCED. (Basically the truck part being sold for both. The truck part is bigger and more durable.)

Springs I can't help you with.. I am going with air ride technologies air bag setup.
Love those 12 way hals!... Drag Race, autocross, or normal driving.. Only a few clicks away...

Not sure that I would mess much with the rear track. But if you must, spacers sound like the best option at this time.. When I get my rear end done maybe I will get it done with the Impala Track..

As to the tires.. Get the best handling tires in the wet or dry weather. (In my opinion the Gforce KDW's. Since everyone at dreamapalooza that won on the autocross or road race ran these... Must be better.. ;)
I currently am running on two older T/A's and two RE730's)
And put SNOW tires on your car for the winter. Get some 15's rims and some SNOW tires. Anything else and your just fooling yourself. The stock sized tires not only will suck in the snow but will be dangerous..
Running with snow tires and some weight in the trunk and you will be moving around better then most SUV's and be able to stop too! Not to mention if you live where they salt the roads it will not take long to eat up your rims...

If you don't want to take the time to change the tires on your car then your just lazy in my opinion. I am pretty lazy myself but I would rather know my car will handle real well in the snow. I don't want to fight with it or worry about if I will make it home without smashing it up.. Sure I have insurance but it really sucks if you have to get a new car cause yours got smashed up.
(You probably already know THAT part pretty well though..)

Ps, I used the 9c1 rims that came on my tires, went to SAM's club and picked up 4 Goodyear Pacemaker snowies for about $250 mounted and balanced with road hazzard. Not much more then buying ONE of the stock impala sized tires....

They are not Blizzaks but they work real well regardless...

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What are you going to do for brakes? If you go with one of the larger aftermarket set-ups (TCE, for example), you won't be able to put 15" rims on. For stock size all season tires, the consensus seems to be the G-force KDWS. That's what I'm planning to go with since my car is a daily driver and I know I will have to drive home in the snow from time to time. On the lower control arms, I went with BMR's in the stock length (I've got the F-body front/HA rear combination). Good price, easy to install and they've gotten good reviews on the forum. My handling is greatly improved, but I still need to install the new body-bushings (I got the PST kit from NAISSO, since it seemed to be the best alternative based on my research) and I'm in the middle of figuring out how best to deal with some play in the steering wheel. Good luck.

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mike454SS:
For shocks I am either going to go with Koni adjustables of the HAL adjustables, I haven't decided which ones yet. I want adjustable so I can switch from handling to launching for a drag race without too much effort.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you want ease of adjustability, forget the Koni's and go with the HAL's. I think the Koni's actually must be removed from the car to adjust them. Ed ????? I love the HAL's for the same reasons/goals you mention Mike.

Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I didn't want to mention it yet (I'm trying to not give away my future setup before I get there) but I do plan on going with the biggest Porsche brakes abvailable from Movit. It's a long long way off (because they are incredibly expensive) but all 4 corners will be getting them so I won't be able to fit 9C1 rims anyways.

I drove my old 9C1 last winter on my SS rims and KDWS tires, and I never felt unsafe, not to mention I detailed the rims every 2 days so they are fine too, plus I plan on stripping and polishing them and then getting a good clearcoat put on them.

And just to clarify, if the consensus on all season tires is the KDWS then the people making that consensus don't know what all the seasons are. The KDWS suck in the winter they are horrible horrible horrible tires for winter, I can't state enough how horrible they are, not to mention the suck in the rain and are marginal at best in the dry, and very noisy. If I have to find a set of cheap 17 inch steel rims (don't know where I'll find that) to fit over the porsches brakes I will change the tires for the snow, I'm not that lazy, but I also have nowhere to store 4 rims and tires, not to mention I want a full sized spare identical to whats on the car in the trunk at all times so I actually need 5 of them. I'll figure the rubber out last.

I definitely plan on going with aftermarket arms out back, up front, I don't think I need to so long as I do the global west bushings. I was assuming I could leave the stock uppers in the back because thats what Ed Runnion is running, and I'm pretty sure he has a good idea how to set up a car for Auto Xing

Well I gotta get to work, keep the feedback coming guys, I'll nail down a setup and start getting parts as soon as I fix my bumper cover.

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mike, on your steering linkage go with the Hotchkis solid tie rod sleeves. The Moog part is pretty much the same approach as the stock tie rods (a folded over piece of metal and two clamps) as opposed to the solid, machined and powdercoated Hotchkis sleeves.

On shocks, BowtieNut is exactly right, you need to get the QA1/HAL shocks. I can adjust all four of my shocks in under two minutes if I only stop to talk to one person while I'm doing it.

It has also been my experience that the G-Force KDWS's are marginal tires at best. I'll be interested to hear what tires you eventually go with.

Otherwise I'm afraid I can't really help you, as I'm running Hotchkis sway bars, springs and RCA's. The car handles great, though I could use a power steering fluid cooler for Auto-X. The ride with my springs is a little rough if I don't have my shocks set right, but that's easy enough to fix.



Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Anyone have the PN's for the QA1/HAL shocks? What do they cost? Who sells them? I have completed my suspension save for the shocks. I was going to use the 1104/0929's but they aren't cheap. I also like the idea of adjustability.


F-body/HA, ST's, Metco's, GT Rotors (wish I had the Movit!)+4 pads, Poly bushings, 285/40/17's all around an all Moog up front. She handles great but the shocks are in bad shape.

Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Global west makes tie rod sleeves too, any idea if either theirs or Hotchkiss are better? Thanks for the feedback guys, keep it coming. My 9C1 is gonna corner with the best of them.

Does a rake to the angle of the car (ie the rear being higher than the front) have a major affect on the cars handling? I guess it could affect the way weight transfers from front to back when applying gas and brakes in straight lines and corners, but I don't really understand it. If anybody knows please let me know.

Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a comment on the LCAs, from what I'd read (and what Ed had said a few times) the Metcos aren't the best RLCAs available, the Global West ones are. Other than that sounds like you're all set... can't help ya with snow tires though, we don't get much snow here

Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Rake tends to have an effect on weight transfer while accelerating/braking. With stiffer-than-stock springs in the front and rear, there won't be any weight transfer so it's a non-issue ;)


I wouldn't put too much effort into correcting the rear track width. 1.25" is pretty small when compared to the width of the car. Also, widening the rear track tends to decrease oversteer/increase understeer, which is not the direction that one typically wants to go with a stockish B-body.

I like the wagon springs out back, but you need to be well-versed in countersteering if you use them. Seriously, I'd be a bit concerned about recommending them to most people, just because they do cause a fair amount of oversteer when combined with the HA bar. They're only $90, though, so maybe you'll want to give them a shot. They cause the car to ride about 0.5" higher than the stock SS springs, but they don't sag with a full tank of gas, full trunk, full backseat, etc.

I'd recommend going with the HALs over the Konis. I love the performance of my Konis (set full-stiff front and rear), but I think they really hurt my dragstrip performance. It's not too tough to change the setting of the rear shocks (undo lower mount, compress and twist, reattach), but the fronts would require full removal to change the setting, and that's a pain in the butt. It depends how much you want to spend - there's definitely a price difference.

Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Eric, I also want to increase the rear tack for the cosmetics, look at a clone and an SS, both on SS rimSS and tires. Look at it from an angle so you see the entire side of the car, all other things being identical, I guarantee you will agree with me that the SS looks better because its rims aren't pulled too far into the wheelwells.

Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Cut n pasted from an archived post:

Here's the Moog "shopping list":

FOR ITEMS THAT ARE AVAILABLE AS STANDARD & "T" VERSION, I AM LISTING THE "T" PART ONLY. I AM ONLY LISTING THE HD BUSHINGS, ALSO. Note that Moog "M2 Technology" and "T" components have the same improvements. Prices are as of 27 March 2000. All prices are EACH, and CA tax will normally be paid unless special arrangements can be made for out of
state purchases-- CC direct to vendor, with pre-approval only.

Remember, some items require 2 each, one per side:
K6187T Idler arm HD Problem Solver $23.45 (1 per car)
K5208 Upper ball joint $15.93 (2 per car)
K6145T Lower ball joint, 9/16" $19.06 (2 per car)
K6141T Lower ball joint, 5/8" $23.60 (2 per car)
K6210 Upper control arm offset shaft kit $36.38 (1 per side) Includes K6198 "stock" bushing (use K6409 instead)
K6409 Upper control arm bushing HD (kit, 4 pcs) $28.94 (1 per car)
K6419 Lower control arm bushing HD (kit, 4 pcs) $37.49 (1 per car)
DS899 Center link, standard Caprice/ImpalaSS $63.42 (no steering stabilizer)
DS1405 Center link, Buick with steering stabilizer $83.45 (for TSB upgrade)
ES2019RLT Tie rod, Inner HD $19.80 (2 per car)
ES2020RLT Tie rod, Outer HD $18.34 (2 per car)
ES2004S Adjuster sleeve, tie rod $8.29 (2 per car)
K6203-2 Rear spring insulator (2 in box) $2.97 (2 boxes per car)

The Global West items we are using are in place of Moog K6409 & K6419:
Upper bushing kit #1016 $99.50
Lower bushing kit #1020 $115.00

also from Global West:
Front springs/pr no P/N $145.00
Tie rod sleeves #ADJ-3 $49.50 (I think)

The best way to do the changeover of the front suspension is to swap in lower arms already prepped--this is done on an exchange basis, as I can supply the arms ready to go. I just need your control arms back when you have completed the changeover.

Here's the Global West pricing of the mods to the lower arms:

Lower control arm mods: weld reinforcements & powdercoat $35.00
Modify ball joint press rings for 5/8" ball joints, plus above $80.00
I can also get the GM parts needed for the steering stabilizer for "cheap". See the parts list at the IGBA tech page:

Hope it helps....


Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rake tends to have an effect on weight transfer while accelerating/braking. With stiffer-than-stock springs in the front and rear, there won't be any weight transfer so it's a non-issue.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Um, Mike asked about the weight transfer with a rake, not I.

And Mike, I seriously doubt there is any real difference betweent the Global West and Hotchkis tie rod sleeves unless the GW ones aren't powdercoated or something. AFAIK they're identical. Go with whichever ones you can get easier would be my advice.

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