Chevy Impala SS Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gang,

in my quest to enlighten the Impala for solid 10's 1/4 mile runs I have taken out about 390lbs already. I have only accounted for changes done to body, frame and suspension. Enclosed a short listing:

frame + suspension changes:
1. custom build chrome-moly tube frame
2. Corvette C4 upper and lower aluminum A-arms
3. Corvette C4 rack&pinion
4. Shockwave bag-over vs springs&shocks

OLD NEW
1. front springs+shock 46 13
2. steering 48 12
3. frame 410 295
4. no ABS, no cruise 12 --
5. no fr. bumper sup. 39 --
6. upper a-arm 17 8
7. lower a-arm 29 15
8. no re. bumper sup. 39 --
total 630 343

body changes:
1. carbon flip front
2. aluminum radiator support
3. carbon/alu support structures
OLD NEW
1. hood 63 --
2. fenders 46 --
3. wheel well 14 --
4. bumper fascia 14 --
5. radiator support 35 12
6. tranny X-member 25 8
7. carbon flip front -- 58
total 197 78

so all in all I took an easy 406 lbs off, about 2/3 from the front end!

I have not yet accounted for losses due to removed engine cable harness (HESTEC DFI), no PCM, much other stuff nor did I account for carbon racing seats (in grey Impala leather with logo and no electric rails) or other light weight tricks doen to the interior. There would be another possible 120 lbs. From the outside and inside the Impala'a appearance must not change and keep all stock body lines.

Pictures in a few weeks when frame comes back from painter. I was loking in having frame polished but that looks sort of kinky.

Heinz - on a diet
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
CoolChevy,
I am still thinkin about getting an air bag system for my car, but I love drag and street racing. How do you think your car will preform with the air bag system? Any kind of advantage over a regular coil set-up?

TIA
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it depends. I had an ultra stiff custom made Penske/Carrera coil over suspension front, HA bars front and rear, Koni racing shocks and METCO arms in the rear for a few years. Had it lowered with Belltech drop down spindles and ST springs in the rear, car handled superb but ride was stiff, too stiff for long distance trips. Also way to stiff for drag racing, rear tire could not hook.

With the Shockwave in front and bags in the rear, but still HA bars, METCO arms and Koni race shocks in the rear road handling was unaltered. However, the feeling is much different because the bone jarring effect was replaced with sort of a cushioned feel. Still, with 120psi in the front this is far from floaty. Drag racing improved drastically, I can set the front HAL's to 0 and the rear to 10 AND I can put more air into the left rear bag. Helped street racing quite a lot. I would never go back actually.

Heinz
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
you also street race with 20's right? I am thinkin of using an 18x9 in the front and a 18x10 in the rear with some think like a 295 tire in the rear. I really would like some 20's but i know that they would really spin big time......


TIA
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah, I also street race(d) with 20 inchers to keep low profile. They actually hook OK (Yokohama 285's) but you need to kick the
sh!t outta them and run them with 18 psi only. Don't worry about spinning them, they spin like mad but eventually hook. But, the opponent will be scared because all this comes unexpected and they make mistakes. Street racing is different from drag racing especially when you bet money then fairness doesn't mean a thing, hehe.

Over the year I easily made a 2,500 bucks with low bets, favorite victims are either innocent Ferrari or arrogant Porsche dudes.

Hz
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Heinz,

I'm interested in how you went about creating the new frame. Looking to do something similar with my wagon in the future.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Heinz,

Good to hear from you from time to time! I'd like to hear about the Corvette C4 upper and lower aluminum A-arms and the Corvette C4 rack & pinion. Is this something that can be done to MY Impala without the custom built frame? I sure like the feel of the R&P verses our box steering. Heck, my 4x4 Durango has a turning circle smaller than anything I've ever driven! It has to be the R & P. Plus it give ME better road feel.

Anyway, good to hear your still doing well.

Murray
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Murray,

it can be done but it won't be bolt on. I got the idea from a company called www.progressiveautomotive.com which I found by coincidence. I was looking for an easy to build front suspension to help a friend to update his Hot Rod (and to get it out of my garage....)

Since C4 Vette parts are plentyful and after having weighted every darn single suspension piece I figured this is the way to go. The C4 R&P steering track width is only 2" wider then the Impala steering track width, shortening the end links is easy. Also, all Impala ball joint will fit into C4 arms !

On a stock frame, cut off the stock a-arm adjusters and reweld new mild steel adjusters. C4 arms are shimmed on the ouside, whilst ours are shimmed on the inside. Look at above Url's picture, you will see what I mean.

Regarding R&P on stock frame, you need to plasma cut a hole in the crossmember and weld in a tube. That gives you enough clearance for the new steering shaft without disturbing frame integrity.

I'd say, with prep work done, a weekend work for a skilled guy.

Another way would be to get a complete crossmember custom build for b-bdy frame (progressive can to this) and weld that crossmember into stock frame. Again, weekend work.

The fun part is that you took of 60 pounds !

Heinz
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heinz,

Can you adjust the air pressure in those airbags individually? One of the things I did that has really improved my launch over the years is to add airbags inside the rear springs. For the track, I run 20psi in the right rear and 0 in the left. The traction has been so good that I never did bother to change out the stock trailing arms.

HTH,
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yes, I can adjust each bag individually aka 4wheel control. In my case 35psi in left and 50psi in the right rear bag. Does wonders for launches on street tires.

hz
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Heinz,
what do you do for a living and does your company have an opening? :D I have no problem relocating to Europe. I loved it there.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Heinz, other than the tube frame, and custom aluminum and carbon fiber parts, what cant he average guy do to reduce weight?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
there are oly a few things. Each of the bumper support structures behind the fascia way in at 19kg or roughly 40lbs. Replace it with an aluminum structure, should be good for at least 25lbs each. If you eliminate the bumper shocks with aluminum tubes there are another 5lbs each. Everything else is either involved or costly like carbon hood. The hoos is by far the heaviest part with 30kg or about 70lbs. Then come the fenders with 11kg or 24lbs each.

If you want lightweight surgery is the only option, but then, a lot is possible !

I have no mercy for the stock frame altough it is perfectly straight. Whoever welded my frame probably just finished apprenticeship at McDonalds.....

hz
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top