Rear suspension and driveshaft questions - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Rear suspension and driveshaft questions

I am upgrading my rear suspension on my 96 impala. So far i have bought Bilstein HD rear shocks, UBolt kit from NavyLifer, BMR Rear Extended control arms upper and lower. Now i know its best to extend the driveshaft when installing extended control arms, so i will be getting a P71 driveshaft at the JY today. I have already ordered 1 Spicer conversion U-Joint from Summit. What other parts do i need for the driveshaft?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-06-2015, 03:58 PM
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Will (or have) you already replaced the sway bars? That would be a good time to replace the rear sway bar since you'll have everything torn apart. Any reason why you didn't go with Hothkis Xtended arms for the rear?

Why not get an Aluminum extended DS. I've had one on my SS for several years. It's lighter, well balanced, etc..

I'll be replacing my Aluminum with a composite DS in just a few weeks. My Aluminum will be up for sale soon.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 11:46 AM
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you should measure your DL angle before the swap and adjust your control arms to = that after the swap

I agree a sway bar like the Hotchkis is a good idea if you still have the stock one.

Bilstein shock and a Hotchkis sway bar for the front would be better overall balance for the car vs just replacing all the rear stuff and leaving the front stock

\'96 BBB 383/T-56
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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The plan was to do the front end first before the rear, but the Moog Problem Solver front end kit on RockAuto is out of stock right now so im playing the waiting game. The P71 DS is aluminum. Its 3/4" longer than the the stock DS. I havent took anything apart yet and i thought about the sway bars a couple times but now i will start looking. The BMR Xtended arms are 3/4" longer than stock also.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 02:38 PM
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I did the due diligence as I did not want to cause unforeseen issues. To that end I read and made several phone calls. I think the .75 extra length is probably okay.

That being said the data and coordinatioin seemed to lean towards a .50" extend in lieu of a .75. To me, the Hotchkis has a better design as well so I went that route. Hotchkis suspension including the front and rear sway bars with Bilstein shocks.

The information that I found seemed to suggest that the .75" extension was or could be a bit too much for that application.

The SS sits, rides, and performs fine with that set up. I'd do it again in a hear beat. Good luck with your mod effort.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dropped Fullsize View Post
I did the due diligence as I did not want to cause unforeseen issues. To that end I read and made several phone calls. I think the .75 extra length is probably okay.

That being said the data and coordinatioin seemed to lean towards a .50" extend in lieu of a .75. To me, the Hotchkis has a better design as well so I went that route. Hotchkis suspension including the front and rear sway bars with Bilstein shocks.

The information that I found seemed to suggest that the .75" extension was or could be a bit too much for that application.

The SS sits, rides, and performs fine with that set up. I'd do it again in a hear beat. Good luck with your mod effort.
Thats good info. I really appreciate that. Thanks
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 11:07 PM
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I have the Hotchkis springs, Bilstein shocks, HA rear sway bar and a Z28 front bar. I just installed some Hotchkiss extended upper and lower control arms and a Ford aluminum driveshaft. I feel that the setup is just about perfect. I went to an autocross with my Nephew and I did autocross this big ole' car. The course had a 300' skidpad designed into it and the Impala was great. All 4 wheels started to slip at the same time. Just a perfect 4 wheel drift and no body lean......at all. A bit more steering input could make it understeer and more throttle could have made it go all Ken Block oversteer if wanted. As a matter of fact I did that on purpose. The car is perfectly neutral handling.

My car is a 6 speed and I put 4.56 gear in it. I know (a friend told me) that there is no driveshaft vibration at 140 MPH. Sounds like you will have a great handling car.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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I have the Hotchkis springs, Bilstein shocks, HA rear sway bar and a Z28 front bar. I just installed some Hotchkiss extended upper and lower control arms and a Ford aluminum driveshaft. I feel that the setup is just about perfect. I went to an autocross with my Nephew and I did autocross this big ole' car. The course had a 300' skidpad designed into it and the Impala was great. All 4 wheels started to slip at the same time. Just a perfect 4 wheel drift and no body lean......at all. A bit more steering input could make it understeer and more throttle could have made it go all Ken Block oversteer if wanted. As a matter of fact I did that on purpose. The car is perfectly neutral handling.

My car is a 6 speed and I put 4.56 gear in it. I know (a friend told me) that there is no driveshaft vibration at 140 MPH. Sounds like you will have a great handling car.
On the driveshaft mod, did you use your original yokes or did you get new ones? I have the spicer conversion ujoint, but im trying to figure out exactly what else is needed before i start taking things apart.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 07:39 AM
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You can use the yoke from your original drive shaft. You are going to need 2 u-joints though; one to swap the trans yoke from your existing shaft to the P71, and another to connect the P71 to the pinion yoke.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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You can use the yoke from your original drive shaft. You are going to need 2 u-joints though; one to swap the trans yoke from your existing shaft to the P71, and another to connect the P71 to the pinion yoke.
Ok. This is the ujoint i already have. Anybody have a part # for the other one or do i need to have 2 of these ujoints?
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