Must have Suspension upgrades? (76 Camaro)

Jan 15, 2018
82
Orchard Park NY
Just getting some feedback on what you kids feel are basic upgrades that are "must haves" for just a weekend cruiser. I'm doing an LS swap now and it should be done in a couple of weeks so I'm starting to think about the next steps/upgrades. It's a basic 6.0, Stage 2 cam, long headers, Terminator X, TKX 5 speed and a couple of other performance mods (throttle body, injectors, intake manifold). I have 17-inch wheels but no tires yet. I did add subframe connectors but that's about it. My goal is a comfortable ride along with adding a little sporter handling (if I can have both). I would also like to lower the stance a bit but at the very least level it out. I'm thinking about a 2k budget. Thanks in advance.

P.S. I know a 76 is not a desirable year but I purchased it new back when I was junior in high school... So, it's time to get it back on the road again!
 

SPG

Bumblebee Builder
Gold Member
Sep 1, 2018
1,363
Sacramento
for a 2k budget I would just get new springs, and change all the bushings.
Since you're adding subframe connectors, solid frame bushings are a must.
for rotational components get rubber for comfort, or delrin/del-a-lum bushings for performance. People will say poly bushings but they're just a compromise all around, not really comfortable and introduce binding.

If the budget allows it, I would look into the traction bars from UMI
 

73Z L92

Veteran Member
Jan 25, 2011
505
Carlos, MN
I've used Hoctkis front and rear springs lowering springs with really good success. Firm but not harsh ride. I also like and use Bilstein shocks all around.
 

Zspoiler

Veteran Member
May 6, 2012
4,365
Federal Way, Washington
Another set up is to use a springs from a Z-28 with new bushings and rebuild the steering with Moog components. Frame connectors . 1 1/4 front sway bar and 7/8s rear .with a Herb Adam rear bar mount .With grease-able polyurethane sway bar bushing .And a good set of gas shocks . I have used this basic set up on my 1979 Z-28 .And you can always can go further if you wish.
 

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,318
atlanta, ga
Be sure to NOTE: for your spring purchase....you have an LS engine...big weight difference there.
Springs, bushings, bars....you should have a nice cruiser.
 
Jan 15, 2018
82
Orchard Park NY
Thanks for all the input guys! I really appreciate it. I’ll be shopping in a few weeks so I’m sure I’ll have questions as I go. I’m not a mechanic so I’m a knob when it comes to this stuff.
fbird, I have a LQ4 which is an iron block. I assume it’s close to my old 305 but I have been unable to find weight specs.
 
Last edited:

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,318
atlanta, ga
aj, was thinking ALUM .....iron is iron....not much diff between chevy 265 vs pontiac 455....so you will end up with about 600 lb springs
 

Lowend

Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca.
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Mar 25, 1999
16,777
San Jose, CA, USA
^^ that could be a bargain.

Suggestions:
1) You didn't mention if the subframe bushings were replaced when you did subframe connectors. If the SFB's haven't been done, that's mission-critical.

2) Replace anything that's worn in the front steering linkage. Inner/Outer Tie Rods, Centrelink, Pitman Arm, Idler arm.

3) Matching springs and shocks. There are a lot of options here
I've always been a fan of Customworks. The front and rear springs are well matched.
Hotchkis makes some nice stuff too. Stay away from coil overs and adjustable shocks.

4) Lots of people will tell you to go to bigger, matched swaybars. It's not bad advice, but I'd check what you have on the car first.

5) A 'real' wheel alignment. Once everything is done take the car to an alignment shop and have them do a non-factory wheel alignment.
Front Negative Camber 1-1.5 deg
Toe: 0
Positive Castor, as much as you can get.
 




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