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Suspension Questions Chassis, Brakes, Springs, Shocks, Swaybars, Tire, Rims Etc Suspension Questions Chassis, Brakes, Springs, Shocks, Swaybars, Tire, Rims Etc

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Old 01-28-2020, 07:26 AM   #1
Bbcngineer
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Default *Is all the new pro touring stuff really needed?

Folks,

My first car was a 57 210 in 1982. Iíve had some kind of hot rod ever since (many different models). I want to build a 55 2 door. I am seeing so many of these projects now with X frames added and triangulated 4 link rear setups and tubular control arm front suspensions. I guess I need to educate myself on how these systems all work. To be completely honest, Iím not sure how to evaluate one of these cars. Yes, I can inspect for good workmanship and quality welds, but I canít tell by looking at them if they are installed properly. Since Iím looking at projects I canít drive them to see how the handle and know that the geometry is correct for at speed driving. Is there a good book or articles written that can help get me up to speed?

Kevin
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:36 AM   #2
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I think the answer depends on how you want to drive the car. If you stick with quality manufacturers like Art Morrison, Roadster Shop etc you cant go wrong imho.

You can educate yourself on these suspension systems starting here:

https://www.amazon.com/How-Make-Your...s%2C185&sr=8-1

Once you get through that this goes deeper:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Don
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:09 AM   #3
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There is nothing wrong with a properly rebuilt stock suspension, except you can't get enough caster for aftermarket power steering, for ever day driving and highway cruising. Upper control arms will solve that. My car has stock suspension with aftermarket uppers, with power steering and brakes. My wife agrees with me that it rides better than her Cadillac SRX. She had rather ride in the 57 than her car, if it has heated seats and a headrest.
Of course you have to eliminate all the rattles and add insulation to make it ride and feeel like a newer car. No amount of suspension changes in the world will make a noisey body feel like a newer car.
It's a different story if you want to drag race or autocross it, or if you want the bragging rights to say you have a $25,000 frame under your car.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbcngineer View Post
Folks,

My first car was a 57 210 in 1982. Iíve had some kind of hot rod ever since (many different models). I want to build a 55 2 door. I am seeing so many of these projects now with X frames added and triangulated 4 link rear setups and tubular control arm front suspensions. I guess I need to educate myself on how these systems all work. To be completely honest, Iím not sure how to evaluate one of these cars. Yes, I can inspect for good workmanship and quality welds, but I canít tell by looking at them if they are installed properly. Since Iím looking at projects I canít drive them to see how the handle and know that the geometry is correct for at speed driving. Is there a good book or articles written that can help get me up to speed?

Kevin
I think dhutton touched upon the closest answer - TASK? That's always what I like to ask all of my clients. "At Speed Driving" where? How will you drive the car is close, but just like horsepower, how may times will you need more? So, the question begs; purpose built for some form of auto racing like autocross, drifting, drag racing, road racing, historic event racing? Each, will have a specific set of criteria's that needs to be met for your safety and the safety of your competitors. If none of these fit your criteria, then as Don mentioned, stock is a workable thing. If it's just the next notch up in handling several quality manufacturers advertising here can certainly take your dollars - so, now comes the real question - Budget? Each alteration is going to be an expense and therefore the budget can be a limiting factor. The old adage, Speed Cost Money, How Fast Do You Want To Go comes to mind.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:57 PM   #5
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Thank you dhutton
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:27 PM   #6
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ok so in the spirit of full disclosure I am looking at a project car that has all the suspension / chassis work done. The asking price is way less than I could buy all the parts for. My problem is I canít drive the car. I will need to be able to evaluate if the installation was done correctly by inspecting and measuring. The workmanship is good. The welds are good and itís been painted well, no overspray etc. Heidts front tubular control arms upper and lower. This looks tight and right. The rear end scares me, because Iíve never seen one like this before. Iíve seen 4 links like in my 72 Chevelle. The X frame is from Art Morrison I assume this can only go in one way. The rear is from TCI.

Anyone got a list of things to watch for with these components?

Kevin
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:44 AM   #7
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As far as the front suspension goes, it's pretty simple. The afternarket control arms, brakes, springs, shocks, etc just bolt on. If the person you are thinking of purchasing this from can turn a wrench it's pretty hard to screw that up, but I'd certainly make sure everything is tight and installed correctly before driving.

Also, Heidts is high quality stuff...nothing to worry about there. Just make sure the ball joints and end links and all that stuff are rebuilt and castle nuts are tight and cotters in them. Not rocket surgery here.

There rear suspension is a lot more complicated. If it's the Heidt's 4 link, that's a great product...hard to say if it was installed correctly though. I'd ask what rear end kit it is and ask for details. You might look at the install instructions on the Heidt's website if that is indeed what it is...it'll give you some measurements to look at. I'd also ask what rear end is in it...Heidt's sells a bolt in 9" for their rear 4 link kit...if that what it is, well, it's a quality rear end for sure.

As with any project car, I'd anticipate having to re-do or fix a few things...hard to get around that in most cases.

Edit: Sorry...just noticed that you said the rear end was from TCI. I'd ask specifically which kit. Probably somewhat hard to evaluate weld quality, but I'm sure it's not hard to spot bad welds for sure. You might ask who did the welding and with MIG or TIG.

Last edited by hutchenc; 01-29-2020 at 02:54 AM..
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:55 AM   #8
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As far as the front suspension goes, it's pretty simple. The afternarket control arms, brakes, springs, shocks, etc just bolt on. If the person you are thinking of purchasing this from can turn a wrench it's pretty hard to screw that up, but I'd certainly make sure everything is tight and installed correctly before driving.

Also, Heidts is high quality stuff...nothing to worry about there. Just make sure the ball joints and end links and all that stuff are rebuilt and castle nuts are tight and cotters in them. Not rocket surgery here.

There rear suspension is a lot more complicated. If it's the Heidt's 4 link, that's a great product...hard to say if it was installed correctly though. I'd ask what rear end kit it is and ask for details. You might look at the install instructions on the Heidt's website if that is indeed what it is...it'll give you some measurements to look at. I'd also ask what rear end is in it...Heidt's sells a bolt in 9" for their rear 4 link kit...if that what it is, well, it's a quality rear end for sure.

As with any project car, I'd anticipate having to re-do or fix a few things...hard to get around that in most cases.

Edit: Sorry...just noticed that you said the rear end was from TCI. I'd ask specifically which kit. Probably somewhat hard to evaluate weld quality, but I'm sure it's not hard to spot bad welds for sure. You might ask who did the welding and with MIG or TIG.
Yes I pulled up the TCI installation instructions and read through them. It seems pretty straight forward. In a nutshell I am going to take a few measurements to ensure front to back on both sides is the same and positioning is perpendicular to the frame on both sides. Iíll check pinion angle and then look for any binding as I articulate the suspension. I feel much better after reading the instructions (imagine that).

I forgot to mention that it is all set up for power Rack and pinion steering too. I guess that makes the tubular control arm necessary.

Iím having a blast reading and learning about this stuff.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbcngineer View Post
ok so in the spirit of full disclosure I am looking at a project car that has all the suspension / chassis work done. The asking price is way less than I could buy all the parts for. My problem is I canít drive the car. I will need to be able to evaluate if the installation was done correctly by inspecting and measuring. The workmanship is good. The welds are good and itís been painted well, no overspray etc. Heidts front tubular control arms upper and lower. This looks tight and right. The rear end scares me, because Iíve never seen one like this before. Iíve seen 4 links like in my 72 Chevelle. The X frame is from Art Morrison I assume this can only go in one way. The rear is from TCI.

Anyone got a list of things to watch for with these components?

Kevin
Bbcngineer,

Welcome aboard! Sounds like fun, keep us posted on your progress!

This forum is a great resource, with a bunch of VERY knowledgeable folks here who know more about TriFives then I'll ever forget...if you can post up some pictures, or a link to the ad (if there is one) we may be able to assist with the evaluation.

Just a thought...good luck!
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:31 PM   #10
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might want to get a professional appraisal and/or an inspection.
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