2nd Gen Front End Refresh/Upgrade

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by NM1989, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. NM1989

    NM1989 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    Location:
    Coastal Virginia
    I am focusing attention to the front end this winter and am developing a parts list. Up to this point I've put effort in the engine/trans/rear end but have neglected the front suspension. Initial look underneath makes me thing every part is original minus the center drag link and idler arm I replaced a few years ago.

    I know there are several posts about ball joints but can't find anything about "best replacement ball joints." I have my eye on a set of Moog's but that's just because I'm familiar with that brand. Any suggestions for good ball joint upgrades?

    I am also replacing control arm bushings, shocks, springs, and sway bar. Those parts I'd like to invest in a more performance set up. Everything else on the car is set up for a street/strip application. Does anyone have suggestions for a middle of the road performance upgrade for the parts above?
     
  2. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    19,329
    Likes Received:
    715
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Scott from Hamilton, NJ
    Moog or proforged.

    I'd use PF .5" taller uppers even on a stock rebuild.
     
  3. K1ng0011

    K1ng0011 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Location:
    United States
    Tall upper ball joints, aftermarket upper control arms, delrin control arm bushings, ws6 trans-am sway bar, dual rate coil springs, and shocks. This is basically the setup I run on mine. I find it works well. Just pick and choose what you can afford.

    Taller upper ball joints: Negative camber when the wheel goes up in the wheel well instead of positive camber like the stock hight ball joint gives you.
    Aftermarket upper control arms: Allows for more caster. Cast will make your car want to track straight.
    Delrin control arm bushings: Does not allow flex like rubber will and no squeaks like poly bushings.
    WS6 Trans-Am front sway bar: 2nd Gen Firebirds with the WS6 package had a larger sway bar than any camaro ever received. Typically way cheaper than aftermarket sway bars and bolts in.
    Dual Rate Coil Springs: Provides softer spring rate over small bumps and stiffer rate as the spring compresses further. Also will lower your vehicle.
    Ridetech Adjustable Shocks: Very good shock for our cars.

    Tall upper ball joints: https://www.ridetech.com/products/c...81-camaro-streetgrip-taller-ball-joints-each/
    Aftermarket upper control arms: http://www.customworksproducts.com/suspension.html
    Delrin control arm bushings (No Upper Aftermarket Control Arms): https://www.ridetech.com/products/s...o-streetgrip-delrin-control-arm-bushings-set/
    Delrin control arm bushings (Aftermarket Control Upper Control Arms): https://www.globalwest.net/camaro-d...ushing-kit-1970-1971-1972-1973-part-1017.html
    WS6 Trans-Am front sway bar: ebay, craigslist, ect
    Dual Rate Coil Springs: https://www.ridetech.com/products/s...amaro-streetgrip-dual-rate-coil-springs-pair/
    Ride Tech Adjustable Shocks: https://www.ridetech.com/products/s...maro-front-smooth-body-shock-hq-series-clone/
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
    MadMike and cadillac_al like this.
  4. grzewnicki

    grzewnicki Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,265
    Likes Received:
    101
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Location:
    Gordon from Jacksonville Fl
    Definitely want the tall ball joints and aftermarket upper control arms, suspension geometry has changed a lot over 50 years and those two items will get your car handling better. All the rest of K1ng0011 are valid for a cheaper way to upgrade your suspension. I went with one of our site sponsors protouring fbody for my control arms and tall ball joints plus springs front and rear subframe connectors and shocks. I cannot recall the name of the guy who owns protouring fbody but if you call and discuss what you are looking to do he will take the time to talk to you and put a plan together. http://www.pro-touringf-body.com/chassis_components.html. Keith at custom works also is a site sponsor and will take his time going through what you want to do. I try to support our site sponsors as much as possible, plus they both run 2nd gens with their parts so they know what they are doing. I got my tire and rims through Keith, perfect fit, no clearance problems, he knows what works.
     
    cadillac_al likes this.
  5. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,596
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Western, MA
    • Tall Ball Joints (included in control arms below)
    • SPC Upper Control Arms (with mounted "Nascar" screw in upper ball joint. I got my caster and camber in a much better place and it drives like a different car now. Would not go back to stock settings) 4.5* caster, -1* Camber, 1/16" toe)
    • Lower control arm bushings, Delrin or Steel. I have steel, If I could change I would go with Delrin
    • Hotckis Springs (600# spring, lowers about 2", was too far for me but I like the spring)
    • 1/2" Spring Spacer (all about what ride height you like, you can go from nothing to 3/4")
    • Varishock double adjustable shocks all around. (I really like the ride better than the Konis I had in there. I mostly cruise so I don't need as stiff a ride right now)
    • WS6 Front sway bar as suggested. I have a Rancho solid 1 1/4" but they are not easy to find.
    • 175# Landrum rear springs with Delrin upper shackle bushing and rubber lower shackle and front mount bushings. You REALLY need to make sure you don't have any binding in the lower shackle bushing. Needs liberal grease and only tightened to take out any slack or movement between the bushing and shackle. If it is even a little too tight they will bind and make for a rough ride. I think if I did it over I would go with 150# springs and maybe even 125#.
    I bought most of my front suspension stuff and shocks from SC&C (Mark Savitske) but had to buy my springs on Summit. Very, very happy with the set up now.

    Rear suspension from Custom Works.

    If you are interested and want to try them I have 4 Koni shocks with less than 2k miles on them that I will firesale for you. Shipping plus whatever you think is fair.
     
  6. 79T/Aman

    79T/Aman Veteran Member NastyZ28 Sponsor NazstyZ28 Sponsor Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    138
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Dickson TN.
    As others mentioned, tall upper ball joints improve negative camber gains, steering feel and response.
    Pro-Touring F-Body has a front control arm kit that gives you tubular upper arms, tall ball joints, Delrin lower bushings and lower ball joints for $599.00, this will allow you to maximize camber and caster, zero deflection in the bushing and will last a life time just grease them, we use Pro-Forged and Moog, and we sell them at the same price or LESS than Summit when included in the kit ;-) this goes for most parts we have.
     
  7. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,382
    Likes Received:
    406
    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    You'll have to decide how far you want to go past a normal rebuild. If you're just looking to rebuild the stock components, I would also say look into Pro-Forged. Summit Racing will likely have the best price or have them match someone.
     
  8. 79T/Aman

    79T/Aman Veteran Member NastyZ28 Sponsor NazstyZ28 Sponsor Lifetime Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    138
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Dickson TN.
    Summit does not always have the best prices and they have ZERO technical knowledge.
     
  9. badazz81z28

    badazz81z28 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,382
    Likes Received:
    406
    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    image.jpg
    They do not, however I have had good luck getting them to price match. I usually don’t rely on any of the big names for technical knowledge. There is always this site, google and this:

    This has been my friend before everything was on the internet.
     
    dcozzi likes this.
  10. NM1989

    NM1989 New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    Location:
    Coastal Virginia
    Thanks for all the input folks. This gives me a great baseline. I don’t think I’ll replace the control arms. I can’t swing the price right now. I’ll post back in here what I end up going with. Thanks again. This has been really helpful.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.