Suspension options

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by JWZ28, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. JWZ28

    JWZ28 Veteran Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    Anyone know of any affordable ways to upgrade the suspension on a 78...I've taken a look around the suspension section on here and seen some options but I'm not looking to break the bank

    Are parts, like front/read sway bars from other gm cars usable on these camaros to upgrade??
  2. Jason7504

    Jason7504 Veteran Member

    May 4, 2010
    Vancouver, WA
    yeah the 2nd gen T/A sway bars are interchangeable and larger. the largest are 1.25" front bars and 7/8" rear
  3. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Need to know what your goals are as well as your budget to give you some options and ideas
  4. JWZ28

    JWZ28 Veteran Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    Going in a pro-touring/street car direction. I want the car to go fast in a straight line (which i can take care of) but I also want it to handle like a champ in curves and corners. I don't mind saving to spend to by a $1200-2000 kit but if I can utilize some other options and save some dough that would be great. So any options you know of lay em on me. Thanks!!
  5. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Assess your current suspension and steering.

    Unless the bushings were replaced recently, you will probably need to consider replacing them. This is where you need to decide on what you want, can afford and can live with.

    Stock Style Rubber: Cheap and easy to replace but does not last long and will not improve the handling over stock.

    Plastic / Poly Urethane: These are not great out of the box since they cause binding and do not allow the suspension to move freely without having them hand fitted to each component. Even with the lubrication of this synthetic materials, the squeeking is not the problem, its the stiffness and lack of movement. They do last longer than stock rubber but are you willing to put the time and effort into custom fitting them to your control arms and leaf springs?

    Solid / Combo: Global West Del-A-Lum or Steel Nyliners with Delrin inserts. They will outlast the car and are fully able to be lubricated. They are firm but not overly harsh as many people state. They allow free and smooth movement but do need to be installed properly to give you trouble free performance.

    Make sure your steering linkages are in great condition! GM vehicles tend to beat up their Idler arms. Get good brand name quality products like Moog, TRW, McQuay Norris and you won't have problems.

    Check your steering rag joint coupler. Make sure it isn't sloppy.

    Check your Steering Pump and gear for leaks and smooth movement.
    You could upgrade your steering box with one from a 86-up IROC or GTA Firebird with 16" rims but will have to watch the connection between the gear box and your steering shaft for the right mating parts. The aftermarket has adapter joints available.

    Shocks, Brand new aftermarket is the only way to go! Stay away from KYB Gas-A-just but look towards Edelbrock IAS or Bilsteins. Some people like the cheaper Monroes but they do not have the valving or construction to last in a performance handling situation long term. If you can find some Gabriel shocks with VST valving, those are the least expensive ways to go. Tokico Illumina, Koni's, Spax are other brands that are higher cost and will be good for stock style suspensions

    Anti Roll bars from the T/A's are a cheap way to go and this is where the appilcation of Polyurethane bushings will work fine. Aftermarket bars are available in larger sizes but larger also equals more weight!

    Subframe bushings and connectors. This is the single most significant improvement almost anyone will notice! Replacing the stock rubber bushings with solid aftermarket will prevent flexing and also allow you to lower the front end 1/2". Adding subframe connectors will further reduce the overall flex from front to back and help steering response.

    Rear leaf springs and mounting. If your leaves are shot, replace them! Soft sagging springs will not help your performance or ride. Look into the Herb Adams mod for the front spring eye to help plant the rear end better.

    These are the most common and basic things I can offer you to consider for your car. Search the suspension and steering forums and you will find many discussions regarding these items I've outlined for you.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of 2nd gen modifications and improvements!
  6. NDZ

    NDZ New Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Fargo, ND
    Pffb -

    I just ordered a full front end rebuild kit, new shocks, springs front and rear, sway bars front and rear, bushings, upper control arms, ball joints, Delrin bushings, center link, tie rod ends, and full front end rebuild kit for less than $2k from PTFB! Not bad when compared to putting that together a piece at a time!
  7. A73

    A73 Veteran Member

    May 8, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    PTFB here as well and Dave is Da Man!!
  8. 5spd540

    5spd540 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Guyton, GA
    Me too

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