poll: Best handling suspension setup ? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2003, 10:00 AM
eracer
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sorry, i know this question has been answered in so many iterations but i just wanted to cut through the chaff and shoutout to anyone willing to toss in their two cents.

What is the best handling setup for a 95-96 ? i am considering all combinations including:
lowered progressive rate springs, dropped spindles, del-a-lums, front and rear bars, rear bags, 17 or 18 inch wheels.
I'm already sporting stiff bilsteins but the suspension is so worn out its time to do the whole darn thing.

thx in advance.

oops, one more thing i just saw in another post. I'm looking at the ultramongo harper arms but can anyone clue me into the upper arm offset shafts ??? sounds like a suspension geometry tweak... awwwwyeaaaa.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2003, 11:46 AM
mrthump77
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I think you might want to check the steering/suspension components (ie ball joints, centerlink, etc) because no matter how many other mods you do to the suspension, it just wont be fun to drive with sloppy steering. Hows that for a run-on. I redid my whole front end steering components from the idler arm all the way to the ball joints. On a stock setup it made a huge difference. I could actually keep it in the lanes on the hwy. Just my .02
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2003, 12:03 PM
eracer
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thx Thump,
forgot to mention that I did as you said haha; mooged from steering box to spindles. But the dang thing still handles like dog crump. I really want to get a feel for how some other board members setup their units... perhaps gettin into some alignment specs etc.
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2003, 04:16 PM
allen89
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B-body frames are.. well flexible and after many miles they may sag to the point where you can not align the front end. The offset uppers shafts allow more adjustment if your frame is down in the dumps.
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 12:11 AM
Mike454SS
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I rebuilt my whole front end with the spicer parts available through AC Delco...they came recommended highly and they're great. I supplemented it with Hotchkis solid tie rod sleeves and Global West Del-A-Lum bushings...the steering response is absolutely amazing now. I love how alive the car feels when I turn the wheel...and how easy it is to keep it on center.

Also I highly recommend following the FSM procedure for adjusting the slop out of the steering box...and if it's too far gone replace the box.

For allignment, little caster is gonna turn into somewhat insane response and also twitchiness in the car...I didn't like it...lots of caster on a solid suspension will still yield you a good amount of steering response, but it will take away a lot of that uncomfortable twiching and the car will stay on center on the highway a little better.

I like a little negative camber...not too much, just a little, and I also like a little toe in

When I first did all that I said "I'm happy with this suspension for a while now...long enough to wait while I do some other mods" and to an extent I am happy with it...it handles very well considering I still have stock swaybars...however that said, I am observing that I don't like how much understeer you get with the stock swaybars, and I want less...plus the body roll in steady state cornering is more than I'd like. So I'm looking into swaybars as well. I'll probably hold off a little while on getting bars (until I have some better rear lower control arms), and I'm also looking into different springs. I want the car to have an overall slightly firmer ride, so Global West front springs and I guess wagon rear springs combined with the right bars to get me to the way I want the car to be.

There is no "best" handling setup though...some want a little oversteer, some want a little understeer, some want a car that loves to stay on center...all depends what you have in mind for the car. Ed Runnion recently found that his massive rear swaybar was hindering him in AutoXing because he couldn't come into the gas on his way out of the corners as early as he'd like, so he went back to the stock rear bar and stiffer rear shocks...this works well in an AutoX because AutoX is almost all transient. In a roadcourse or something though, the bigger swaybar would perform better than the stiffer shocks.

How do you want to drive the car?
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 08:37 AM
eracer
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"How do you want to drive the car? "

Balls-out [img]graemlins/3.gif[/img] ?? Muahahahaha

Seriously, firm with limited oversteer. But not so stiff for daily driving. No twitchiness, it already tracks funny. SO i guess very little caster. Right now I have the dreaded skipping in the corners, puts me right into an oversteer condition at highway speed, Yikes ! I hate that with a passion, just makes me wanna dump it for a eurocar. Even my old 72 MB 280SE 4.5 handled better, whats up with that ??

As for the Offset Upper Shafts, wouldn't they be utilized when using dropped springs ? Adjust for camber when out of stock suspension position ???

OK, Thx guys. I'll keep it all in the biocomputer for judgement day.
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 09:48 AM
Erik
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On my car, I rebuilt the front end, including Bill Harper control arms with the offset shafts (just in case, really) and DelAlum bushings, new steering box, Global West tie rod sleeves, etc. and I have the HO front and rear bars from Malibu performance, Hotchkis springs, BMR LCAs, HAL QA1s and polyurethane body bushings (the kit that NAISSO sells). Net result: exactly what you said you're looking for.
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 02:07 PM
Mike454SS
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MORE caster = more stable tracking, not less.

On the skipping thing...you sure your rear shocks are still good?

Remember, our cars aren't like honda's. When you lower the car, you get more positive camber (top of the tire tilted out)...so you need more shims to bring it back. I do not know if the offset upper shafts are to help do this with less shims or not...for what it's worth though, I rebuilt my suspension around the stock upper cross shafts and they had no problem alligning it at all.

Sounds like you would be a candidate for big swaybars but stockish springs...because you don't wantthe car to ride much stiffer...just have better body roll characteristics. I'd say HA/HO/BMR rear bar (they're all the same) and then you gotta decide what front bar...there's a few choices out there that will help you taylor the car to what you want.
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-09-2003, 09:31 PM
Leardoctor
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik:
On my car, I rebuilt the front end, including Bill Harper control arms with the offset shafts (just in case, really) and DelAlum bushings, new steering box, Global West tie rod sleeves, etc. and I have the HO front and rear bars from Malibu performance, Hotchkis springs, BMR LCAs, HAL QA1s and polyurethane body bushings (the kit that NAISSO sells). Net result: exactly what you said you're looking for.
I Have the same as above except for Having Hotchkis Sway bars and Extended Control Arms.

I Love It.
[img]graemlins/7.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/7.gif[/img]
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-10-2003, 01:13 AM
AutocroSSer
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Quote:
I do not know if the offset upper shafts are to help do this with less shims or not...
Since others (and searches) covered the topic at hand, I'll answer the above.

The offset cross-shafts are INTENDED to be used to compensate for frame sag. Namely, with our "full frame" cars it's possible to end up with a frame that has sagged badly enough that you can't get to the "right" camber with zero shims (i.e. it'd be TOO negative even with zero shims...and as Mike pointed out, adding shims only makes it more negative). So, you throw in the offset shafts, get another degree or two of "adjustment" towards POSITIVE camber, and all is good again.

On MY car, I used the offset shafts but (purposely) installed them backwards from intended. In my case, it allows me to get more negative camber using fewer shims.
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