79 Z28 Suspension Rebuild

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by John Mangan, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. John Mangan

    John Mangan New Member

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    Hello everyone. i bought my 79 Z28 last fall and have been waiting to get it out of winter storage and start working on it. I have decided to keep it mostly stock. It was a 1 owner and I just want to have a fun cruising car.

    I know I need to redo the brakes and suspension. Is it better to pull the control arms and redo the bushings or would it be better to buy new ones and install. Shocks too. It is really sloppy handling right now and I want to get it back and make it fun to drive.

    Any recommendations are appreciated! Thanks
     
  2. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    I also have a 1979 Z-28 ,It is also an RS. A lot depends on your budget and mechanical ability. , And since you want to keep it fairly stock I would have the A arms bushings replaced ,New tie rod ends and ball joints.rear spring bushings, I like Moog stuff myself. Have the drums and rotors turned and or replaced , New sway bar bushings . And a good set of gas shocks ,KYB`s Koni s Carreas to name few.The you can just go up from there.Good luck to you 130044932860518017_26257430996_o (1).jpg
     
  3. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    New stock parts will make that old car feel like it's riding on rails. I also went with Moog on my front end rebuild. The control (A) arms are non wear items, just replace the bushings. If your disc and drums are within spec, you can have them resurfaced. Your local parts store will have rebuilt calipers, pistons, pads, and shoes. Check the condition of the rubber brake lines, they tend to get bad after 30+ years of use. For shocks with a budget minded stock rebuild, I've had good luck with Monroe gas shocks. While your doing all this, take a look at your body bushings. They're likely squished down and need replaced also. With all the bushings, stay away from poly. Unless you're going for performance, there's a reason the factory used rubber. And lastly, how to do's for brakes and suspensions can be found right here on NastyZ. Good luck, and happy wrenching.
     
  4. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Stay away from the KYB. If you are going to spend some extra coin, spend it on your shocks, Bilstein or KONI. Set the KONI on the softer ride position. Once the bushings are set the shocks will have the biggest effect on your ride quality. DOn’t take my word on the KYBs, research on here.....

    30 year old front springs are almost certainly well worn and sagging. Since the whole front end comes apart to replace the bushings you might as I’m well replace the front springs while you are there. Relatively cheap part.

    You can leave the rear springs for now and see how it feels when you replace the bushings. I feel that replacing the rear springs is an easy job so it is no big deal to pull them out again later. If you have the $, replace those too or at least have them re-arched back to stock if that is what you are looking for. I HATE doing the fronts springs as something always goes pear shaped when I do so for me if the front is going to be apart, do everything you can the first time up there.

    FYI, stock, these cars were always a little higher in the front than the rear. If you look at old stock photos you can see it pretty clearly so if that happens don’t panic.

    Lastly, I personally think if you are going to replace the body mount bushings to go with poly or aluminum. Lots of people say poly squeaks, but I found that is only if it is is the suspension parts and I would not go with poly in the control arms or springs. I went with greasable poly sway bar bushings and have no squeaking issues. If I had my choice to do it again I would do aluminum body mounts just because they are no longer a wear item anymore. If you leave everything else rubber except the sway bars I don’t think the aluminum body mounts will make the ride noticeably harsher, just firm up the handling a bit more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  5. John Mangan

    John Mangan New Member

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    Was reading that replacing the front coils will make the car look higher, so would you recommend going with the springs with the 2-inch drop? Any disadvantages to that? Thanks for the advice everyone, I have a plan now!
     
  6. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Well if the springs are really worn then new springs will most certainly make it look higher.....

    Measure from the center of the wheel hub to the fender lip. There doesn't seem to be a clear answer pon what that should be stock. It seems around 15"-15 1/2". See where you are today.

    Then spend a couple of hours researching springs and spring rates. Keith at Custom Works, Dave at PTFB, Hotckiss, global west etc. Many guys use Moog springs with great results but out need to research to figure out what part numbers will work for what you want.

    I put in lowereing springs with a 700# spring rate, but I needed to raise it back a 1.5" (3/4" spacer) to get to 13.5 or 13" (I can't remember but I recently posted the measurements somewhere) center of wheel hub to fender lip.

    I am very happy with my ride height at that level.Pics are in my build thread with it too low and where it ended up.
     
  7. dailycruiser81

    dailycruiser81 Veteran Member

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    Delrin from global west, very nice install and greasable. My car feels night and day. She is lowered with global west springs front and rear. No body roll at all. Look into stock delrin bushings
     
  8. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Bring it over for a visit and compare how my 80 sits and rides.

    Stock replacement springs and good shocks can make a huge difference compared to 35+ year old parts.
     
  9. azuber01

    azuber01 Veteran Member

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    This is my car with 2" lowering coils in the front from summit. And 2" lowering leads also summit brand. And I think it sits good. I have KYB shocks and they aren't the best so I'll be upgrading to koni eventually. And I did all poly bushings in front and back. With a bigger sway bar up front. IMG_20180423_141356_244.jpg
     
  10. Jeep43

    Jeep43 Veteran Member

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    I put 600# UPI front coils in. Supposed to be a 2" drop but to cancel out 1" of that I used 1/2" aluminum spacer. Not sure of the rear springs but I like the stance as I didn't want to deviate too far from stock appearing.

    I also installed global west del-alum lower bushings, new stock rubber upper bushings, alum subframe bushings, and a WS6 1.25" diameter front bar with poly bushings. The ride is fine and the car stays flat in the turns. I'm impressed.

    28472143_1802622346423017_6652740488175815237_n.jpg
     

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