quicker steering box - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 06:08 PM
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Just finished out my first autoX season in 18yrs with my '94 in SM2. Need faster steering. Does anyone now if a 12:1 or 14:1 one steering box is available for the '94 to '96's like the old IROC box that was available back in the '70's from GM or after market?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 10:03 PM
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Actually, it is.....and you have it! The 94-96 SS and 9C1 already have a 12.7:1 box.

As far as making it turn in better, there are several things you can do....some of which you may have already done, others you may not have :</font>
  • Alignment settings. Specifically go to over 0.5 deg neg camber and toe OUT the front settings a little (I'd suggest trying 1/16" to 1/8" of toe-out). Note your tire life will suffer as a result, but life isn't free [img]smile.gif[/img]</font>
  • If you haven't already done it, get the Del-a-lum bushings for your front control arms. Not cheap, but they are the best.</font>
  • Tires : something aggressive for the street, or an R tire (i.e. V700, 555R, R3S03, etc) for AutoX.</font>
  • Shock settings if you have adjustable shocks</font>
  • Swaybar settings</font>
  • Torsen rear differential</font>
Lots of things that can be done, so what is your setup now?
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 10:30 AM
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Hi Ed:
Thanks for the reply. You just saved me some money. I retired my car last fall and pulled out the entire suspension. I'm running 1 degree negative camber. I've got lower 9c1 control arms, Energy Suspension bushings throughout, including body, everything Hotchkis makes for the car, Bilsteins, 4.10 gear with Eaton posi, 275/40/17 Hooisers (road race compound), TCE 13" brakes front and rear. Lingenfelter 383 for go power. Run SM2 at SCCA. The other autocrossers get a hoot out of seeing a 4200 lb. 4 door flying through the cones.

It's the car that took 2nd and 3rd at the autox (if you want to call it an autox course) and 2nd and 3rd at Hallet in the race class at Tulsa this year. My car is the one that had the 367,00 miles on it.

I do want to go to wider rims and tires for next year. Harvey Clark's car had C5 18 inchers on his car and I am thinking of going that route. Any suggestions?
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 01:14 PM
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OK, knowing that....

  1. Tires/Wheels : just running the tires you are now on a 9.5" wide wheel will make a noticable difference (wider wheel means that you get more rubber on the ground and the sidewalls work better). My AutoX tires/wheels (which was NOT on the car in Tulsa....long story) is 17x9.5" front (275/40R17 V700s) and 17x11" rear (315/35R17 V700s). It is noticably stickier than my previous setup (and what I was running on "borrowed" in Tulsa from Les Brown), which was stock rims with 275/40R17 V700s all around.</font>
  2. Shocks : get the HALs. The adjustability of them will make you giddy! If you find you need to "fine tune" between runs, it's very easy with these shocks!</font>
  3. The Del-a-lums in the front arms will make the front end react quicker than the ES bushings. They also do not deflect and do not bind....at all!</font>
  4. You might need to adjust to different swaybars or springs, but I'd do the above stuff first before changing out springs or bars.</font>
  5. As for the 18s : you get a stiffer (shorter) sidewall but the rims/tires are not as wide as what I have (Harvey's rims are 18x9.5", with 285/35R18 tires). The wider tire in back really lets you lay down more power out of the corners.</font>
  6. Rear diff : I still think the Torsen works better for AutoX. That said, you're still miles ahead of stock with that Eaton.</font>
You missed one helluva AutoX course in Arlington this year! In Tulsa, Les was really constrained by the small dimensions of the hotel lot.
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-20-2003, 07:14 PM
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Thanks for the great advise. Who would of "thunk" after 18 yrs. I'd get back into autocrossing with this tank. Because the Impala is not competitive in any SCCA class, the adjustable shocks are a non-issue at this point. The car handled great at Hallett. The other two drivers I had driving the car at Tulsa were a 4 time national autocross champ and a SCCA Formula Ford driver. Neither had ever driven the car and both said it handled very well. The problem is, they both beat me.

I'm going to the Super Chevy shoot out in Atlanta in Nov. and then put it up on stands. Keep in mind I'm not a mechanic, so everything I do is a first. I'll get the Del-a-lums (what a name and how do you find them?).

Now the wheels/tires. What's a V700 and what wheels do you have? My Hoosiers are shot so I'm going to have to get new tires for next year. I'm want to go with Goodyear racing slicks and go to CP to race with good old American V-8 iron if I can find the same size tires to keep my programming for my 275/40's as I still drive it on the street every now and then.

I'll keep the Torsen in mind but next year the dollars go to tires and wheels and I'm going to get some race seats as I'm tired of holding on to the steering wheel to keep in my seat.

Also, if you have any pull with the National organization, please tell them (I'm also going to email them) that the autocross course at Tulsa was a joke and not worth driving a 4200 lb. car through. I know they were constrained with space, but who says it has to be at the hotel parking lot. I'm going to Vegas this year as my wife likes to gamble.
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