Ideas welcome on a boxy - Chevy Impala SS Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-13-2004, 11:37 PM
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I have a boxy which is more than a few years old. It does not have a rear sway bar. Believe it or not, it rides pretty good except for the rear jittering around bumpy corners. The body also sways a bit more than I care for.

I was thinking about a very modest suspension upgrade. Sport Bilstiens and Hotchkis LCR's along with a small diameter rear sway bar. I'm thinking about keeping the front sway bar stock except changing the bushings to poly units fitted with grease zerks and of course new end links. The springs seem fine too so no sense in changing them.

Does that seem like the typical upgrade? I pretty much want a smooth cruiser without a harsh suspension.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2004, 03:15 PM
Ron Nelson
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It sounds like you have a "civilian" 80's Caprice.

The biggest bang for your buck is to transplant in the suspension from a 9C1 (Police package) car:

Rear Sway bar (and front if its larger, I don't know for sure). New rear lower control arms (from the '91+ Service Bulletin kit) will provide a good method of fastening the rear sway bar on at an affordable price (works fine with the factory sway bar; not so good with any aftermarket rear bars).

Ideally, 9C1 front and rear springs.

Bilstein 1104 & 0929 shocks (which were an option on the 80's 9C1 cars).

I wouldn't bother with Poly bushings for the front swaybar; they squeak if not lubed often, and for your application will not be worth the bother. Stick with factory sway bar bushings.

You will be amazed at the improvement, for a modest investment.

My daily driver is a 1990 9C1, set up exactly as above. Its a joy to drive, with a much better (firm) ride than my stock suspension '96 SS. The SS is a wallowing pig in comparison.

Regards,

Ron Nelson
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-17-2004, 12:40 PM
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Ron, thanks for the reply. The way you set up your boxy sounds good to me. I like your idea if keeping it simple with factory parts.

The next question are,
where to buy the Bilstein 1104 & 0929 shocks?
where to buy the 9C1 lower control arms, springs and rear sway bar?


I have a 1977 2-door boxy, is there a compatability issue with the rea LCA's? I've seen the LCA's listed from 1978 to 1996. I'm sure there is no difference between the years of 77 and 78.
 
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-17-2004, 07:48 PM
protour4ever
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Goldmember(look! I'm dutch!)

One thing that may be a problem with a '77 is that the rear suspension hardware may be standard instead of metric. I put GW rear arms on my '83, no problem as everything was metric. The rearend I got was out of a '77-'78 Pontiac Bonneville, and the wrecking yard cut the arms in half with a torch. The ends that were left had standard hardware. I used the metric hardware on the lowers and can't remember having any problems, although I may have reamed the holes on the rearend-I did change the upper bushings out for later, metric pieces. The differance is very slight and may not even be that big of an issue for you, just thought you'd like to be aware of it.
I got swaybars from an SS owner here that was putting HA/HO bars on his car. Might be something to look into, place a wanted ad as most guys won't advertise them.
I am going to try the Monroe SS shocks as an alternative to the Bilsteins.

If you are interested I have some photos here ,it is a work in progress.
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-17-2004, 08:16 PM
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A rear sway bar from an SS sounds like a good idea.

I am going to make my boxy a daily driver. I put electric bucket seats from a Diamante in my car. The tan leather from the seats was a dead on match to the interior trim pieces.

After the suspension, I'd like to install a 4 speed tranny to replace my 3 speed unit. Then comes the engine swap. A fulie converted ZZ383 might be the way to go.

Is there a specific vendor to buy the shocks and suspension parts from?
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