Centering rear wheel, Good or Bad? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 09:11 AM
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Hello guys and gals, I am fairly new to the section and have a couple of questions. My first one concerns centering the rear wheel within the wheel well. I see kits with lower and upper arms to do this(I am aware of the pinion angle issue if both aren't done). What I am curious about is whether or not this is worth it. Does it make any noticable improvement in the handling, driving or braking? If not, I would just install new bushings in the stock arms.

Second, what recommendations and who supplies them, as far as sway bars? I would like a little flatter cornering. I am probably going to the HD Bilsteins as well, 9C1 versions.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 11:48 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Does it make any noticable improvement in the handling, driving or braking?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Guess I'd answer this two ways :
  1. <LI>Will it help versus stock components? Yes
    <LI>Will it help versus components of similar construction, but stock length (i.e. aftermarket arms, but stock length)? Nope. The added wheelbase hurts, plus it throws off things like spring and shock angles in back.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>If not, I would just install new bushings in the stock arms.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

VERY bad idea.

The stock arms suck for 2 reasons :
  1. <LI> The bushings are mush<LI>The more important reason : the arms themselves are made out of flimsy material. You can TWIST them with your BARE HANDS! Once you get them out of the car, it's gonna scare you how cheesy they really are!

Not to mention, aftermarket bars in stock lower arms is an accident waiting to happen. They pull the bolts thru the arms.

"Boxing" the arms only helps marginally : you're still stuck with the junk material on the rest of the arms, and those bolts holding the swaybars in WILL deform the bolt holes on the top of the arms in time.

If you're looking to stay stock length, go with an arm (ANY of the aftermarket control arms for the SS qualifies) with better construction.

For bars, two directions I'd look :
  1. <LI>For "all out" handling (but giving up some ride), go with the F-body front bar and HO Enterprises rear bar. Downside is the car gets VERY neutral with this setup, and extra caution is needed when driving in "less than ideal" conditions<LI>Hotchkis bars : not quite as much all-out handling, but a very nice improvement over stock. Well constructed bars, look great. Bit more biased towards understeer, so "safer" in less than ideal conditions.

Hope this helps. Look around on the Forum some for some more ideas.
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 12:45 PM
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Ed, you da man!
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 01:35 PM
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Thank you very much!!! Do you have a web site or number for H.O. Enterprises? Where could I get info on their bar?

post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 07:04 PM
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Do a search on the Suspension part of this forum. Contact info for HO Enterprises has been posted quite a few times in the last few months.

Also, just to be clear : the "F-body" bar is a 32mm bar from the front of a SECOND GEN (1977-1981) F-body. If you get a bar from a 3rd/4th gen, it WILL NOT work!
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 08:03 PM
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The HO bar is also available from Malibu Performance, search on malibu in suspension and you'll find contact info...

The 2nd gen F-body front bar is available for $99 from national parts depot (well, a clone of the bar, same thing though).
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-11-2002, 09:13 PM
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Just wanted to add that both Malibu Performance and National Parts Depot were very good to deal with. Here is the info you'll need for everything:

F-body 1.25" front bar (no longer available from GM)
National Parts Depot: part number C-7241-02A
price: $99.00 + $9.90 shipping
phone: (800)368-6451

HO rear bar
Malibu Performance ask for Ken
I don't know the part number or even if there is one, but
tell him you want the HO *Rear* swaybar for the Impala SS
(note HO also makes a front swaybar...also good, but not
as recommended as the F-body front bar)
phone: (818)222-6725
price: $179.50 + $15.55 shipping

For the front swaybar you should also get new end-links
and you'll definitely need new bushings because the bar is bigger than
stock. You'll also need new bolts because the Impala's bushing bolts
are one-time-use-only (the threads distort when tightened to the
right torque). Get the end-links and bolts
from Dal Slabaugh for the best price: 800-362-9494 (ask for Dal)
end-links part number: 10221779 ($7.00'll need two)
bolts part number: 15959689 ($4.50'll need four)

Get the bushings from Summit Racing (800)230-3030
Part number: ENS-9-5165G
These are Energy Suspension Greaseable bushings for 1.25" swaybars
$13.95 for the set (plus $6.95 shipping).

If you order all the parts above, you should have no difficulty
installing everything. I'd never done it before and I was able to
do it no problem. The part that takes the longest is jacking the
car up and getting the stock stuff off.

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