What would make car ride smoother?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by Z28-79, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. ToolGuru

    ToolGuru Member

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    You can put the best shock in the world on the car but if your body mounts are all corroded away it won’t matter. Change em out. Poly or solid aluminum. New stock rate springs will do wonders as will a good modern shock. Air shocks belong on trucks towing trailers, not cars. Look for a sale on Bilstein or Koni classics. That’s all you’ll ever need.
     
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  2. snipescastle2

    snipescastle2 New Member

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    After many years of use/abuse/ bad roads, the springs will lose their “temper” causing them to sag, most notably, the rear leaf springs, which is why so many people put air shocks on their cars, to clear huge tires/wheels. A new set of “Re-Arc’d” leaf springs will help in that area.
    The fronts suffer the same wear/tear. Depending on wether you are running a big block or small block, you can just get a set of factory rated coil springs for your application. Things like swapping an all aluminum “LSX” engine may have another impact on your decision. If you know any dirt track racers that have access to portable weight scales, you can weigh your car at each wheel, and find out what your weight is at each wheel, making spring selection a little easier. That would help you in choosing shocks too. You would know how much sprung weight Your car has.
    I’d stay away from poly body mounts, they squeak like crazy, kinda like “bad ball joints”
    Hope this helps!
    Ben Smith
     
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  3. Robert stuart Bell

    Robert stuart Bell Rsb78LT

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    Replace both the leafs and the coils, new springs are stiffer. Pretty much any kind of name brand adjustable shocks are good and brands like energy suspension offer full bushing kits for around $450 if I remember correctly for 2nd gens, it comes with everything. Body bushings, control arm bushings, leaf spring pads and bushings and replacement dust covers for steering. I have that with adjustable qa1 shocks and new springs, my 78 LT rides better than most new cars and with adjustable shocks it floats like a cloud or launches like a rocket
     
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  4. Z-Life

    Z-Life Member

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    If you don't have any problems with tire clearance and want the car to launch better and still ride/handle well try competition engineering shocks, I have them on all four corners and just love the way the weight transfer is so much better than any air shocks or coil overs I ever had and they ride smooth. I have had air shocks, adjustable coil overs and stock rated shocks on a 79 Z28, and I'm happiest with the competition engineering shocks. I think they just compress easier and that makes all the difference. I also have new leafs on the back and new coils on the front. Like others have said replace all bushings, what I didnt see mentioned was the bushings on the sway bars front and rear, replace them too. Something else no one has mentioned is ball joints, when they are worn it will really bang and crash violently when you hit a bad hole or bump, and that makes a harsh ride for sure, so if its in your budget replace them. This is my second 79 Z28 I drove the first one for over 20 years, personally put over 125,000 miles on it. New springs, bushings, ball joints and the right shocks will do the trick.
     
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  5. monzaracer

    monzaracer New Member

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    Honestly look at Ridetech single adjustable shocks, you might even delve into a Street Grip kit. But the shocks make very noticeable difference.Also depending on your intentions switching to front Coilovers from Ridetech would give better control and some height adjustment as well. Also the Musclebars make older cars handle much better. Had friend with "other brand" coilovers and he said just those in single adjustable and new single adj on rear woke his car up.
    He then found several crack leafs a few months later so got the new Street Grip rear leafs over going bolt in 4 link, the single adj shock went to his sones car and he moved up to break bank with track quality triple adj and LOVES it.
    Said car was poised and solid but not harsh as his back was injured in Afghanistan by IED, not broken per se. But still it bothered him. Now he is ordering custom covered bucket seats for track days and he's even looking at TigerCage.
     
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  6. mikeceli

    mikeceli New Member

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    The OP is looking for a smoother ride and some are recommending (bad) OE rubber body mounts be replaced w/ firmer Poly or aluminium? Are yous kidding?

    Use rubber where the factory used rubber.

    My town is KNOW for the most potholed roads in N Ca. I installed Monroe Sens-A-Trac shocks, on my 1979 Y84, WS6 (performance suspension ) "Bandit" Trans Am. Any OE type Monroes or Gabriel, KYB (GR2, NOT Gas-A-Just) shocks would be fine. I used Poly on the anti-sway bar END LINKS only. It handles great and the ride is as comfortable as one could expect, on a 2ND Gen F Body.

    I have sold and installed thousands of shocks in my career. The BEST, IMO, were Edlebrock IAS Shocks. Unfortunately now discontinued.
     
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  7. johnnyiron

    johnnyiron New Member

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    Absolutely love my street grip system. Did all of the suspension work my self. Best $2500 I have spent on my 81.
     
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  8. DennisG

    DennisG Member

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    Get rid of the air shocks. Air suspensions are good on dump trucks.

    I'd also change the front shocks to stock ones. go to stock shocks front and rear.

    That may be enough. You may need new rear springs if the air shocks were supporting the car. The suggestion to oil the spring leafs was excellent. I take springs apart and grease them. Spring leafs should be inspected for cracks when you have them apart. If you get on the throttle hard enough the rear springs "wind up" that amount of stress will shorten their life.

    The springs and shocks should be designed to work together and that is one reason to use stock ones. If the bushings are bad, handling suffers but your use does not require hard bushings. If the bushings are worn out they don't do much for you The bushings isolate the car from running vibration. The harder they are the more vibration is transferred into the car body.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  9. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I also have a street driven only car. I replaced the shocks, and all bushings, (except body mounts), all with factory rubber. This was VERY cost effective. My car rides night and day difference from the old worn out items that I had replaced. I am very pleased with the results, as was my wallet as well. You may just do shocks, and see where that gets you. I'm not knocking all of this super better fancy suspension stuff..but for a street car, and expense, you may think it's not worth the extra cash and labor.

    For a shock recommendation...I'll get the bulk of the board upset here....KYB. I went with the KYB gas-adjust mono-shock, and my car rides great....this was 3-4 years ago BTW. I redid the suspension on my 06 Wrangler, and did alot of shock research again for that vehicle. The mono-shock is way better built than the twin tube type, and KYB fit that bill as well. Jeep rides great as well. I'll say that I put about 3500 miles on each vehicle a year. Any choice you make will net you a better ride that what you currently have, so you have nothing to lose.
     
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  10. biker

    biker Veteran Member

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    Making sure leaf springs are clean, freed up and free of rust build-up is great advice, but I would leave them dry, depending on the conditions you drive in. Oil and grease will attract dirt and sand to collect on the articulating faces, and make weird noises and eventually restrict movement. However, most of us don't drive these cars on dirt roads.
    How do I know? The shop I work at does anti-rust coatings, but we no longer spray leaf springs because the first few truck springs we did spray, all came back with the same spring noise complaint after about a month.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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