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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, here I am, one more day agonizing over what route to go with my suspension rebuild / upgrades. My current suspension is shot (saggy leafs, exploded bushings, etc) so i need to address this. I have drop-spindles up front, lowering blocks in rear (i want to lose those, but maintain the lowered ride), disc-brakes, manual steering. I have it narrowed down a bit, but would appreciate feedback from all of you with more knowledge & experience. I am going the resto-mod route, so most options are on the table. I cannot affor the time / cost of doing a full-frame swap. Not really interested in the complexity (or perceived benefits) of going with air suspensions either. I want the car to handle really well, handle the added power / speed I will one day throw at it, but no plans to drag / autocross / etc. This is a drivers car. Eventually I want to be able to easily hop in with the wife and take a 300 mile road trip in comfort. That having been said, I'm strongly considering:

Option #1: Ridetech's Stage 2, full coil-over upgrade (includes tubular a-arms, 4-link rear-end, QA1 coil overs front/rear). At $3,600, this is the most costly route I wish to go.

Option #2: Tubular A-Arms (CPP, G-tech, Ridetech or ?), new coil springs, new lowered leaf springs, Bilstein shocks front/rear. This route seems to be cost effective & should provide good overall handling. I'm not sure on what brands to go with for the A-Arms & Springs. Seems to be some mixed feelings about the quality of the CPP A-arms... I believe thinner walled than say ridetechs. Springs seem to be equally controversial in terms of quality between suppliers.

Option #3: ???

Other notes: either route I go, I will also add sway bars front/rear, rebuild / replace all steering/suspension bushings. I plan to keep manual steering, upgrading / replacing tie rods as needed and using the "poor mans power steering" idler arm conversion. I've considered using the leaf-spring pockets, but not sure of the actual benefits and cutting welding frame seems a little daunting.

So... What do you think? What suspension combination / brands are you running?
 

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Heidts A arms are considered the best. I bought my uppers from Williams. They do a little modification to them to make them even better.
 

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My preference is for #2. I think coilovers are overrated and you can get into spring selection and lack of travel issues.

If you are sticking with manual steering, stay away from the tubular control arms, as they general have increased caster - too much caster for a manual box, as the extra caster increases steering effort.

Relocating the springs with a pocket kit gives you room for big tires, but unless you do a mini-tub along with it, you don't gain the full benefit. If you don't do it, you can run a 275 tire, but the backspacing must be perfect and tire clearance to both the fender and spring will be tight.

The sway bars are the biggest factor in good handling. Get some big ones, like the Hellwig 1-1/8" or 1-1/4" bars, along with their adjustable rear bar.
 

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For #3 I would suggest Newman's Car creation and their c4 mods to your frame.
I love the way my 57 handles the curves and cruises down the highway.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like I'm going to go with option #2, but also add the CPP 500 powering steering box. I didn't want to do that at the same time due to cost and added work. Plus I was hanging onto the manual steering which makes he car darned-near impossible for the wife to drive. :) I do like Jim '57's option #3, but simple can't afford that. You did say "their C4 mods to your frame" - I though they only build entire replacement frames? They can also modify my existing one?
 

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Steve.. love your 56 btw...

I do things kinda on a budget. My front suspension A-arms are stock (as Rick L says, the stockers work fine with manual steering). I went with Heidt's 2" spindles, and their 1" lowered front spring. The front wheels are standard 15X7" wrapped in 215/65/15's. The best handling advice is like Rick L said, go with a good front sway bar. I have a 1 1/8th, and WOW what a difference it makes. Out back I'm using some "lowered" rear springs from Cliff's Classic Chevrolet, one of our sponsors. To get the bigger tire/deep dish look, I have a 9" F**d that is 58" wide vs 60" (stock). This allows for a deeper dish 15X8" wheel (3.5" back space) and a healthy 255/60/15's. The overall combo is plenty low, it rides surprisingly well and oh, I didn't spend a fortune on it.

 

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I do like Jim '57's option #3, but simple can't afford that. You did say "their C4 mods to your frame" - I though they only build entire replacement frames? They can also modify my existing one?
Paul does have the entire frame now but he started out modifying original frames and still does, I believe.
Go to his web site and check out all the options he offers.
http://www.newmancarcreations.com/
Jim
 

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Steve.. love your 56 btw...

I do things kinda on a budget. My front suspension A-arms are stock (as Rick L says, the stockers work fine with manual steering). I went with Heidt's 2" spindles, and their 1" lowered front spring. The front wheels are standard 15X7" wrapped in 215/65/15's. The best handling advice is like Rick L said, go with a good front sway bar. I have a 1 1/8th, and WOW what a difference it makes. Out back I'm using some "lowered" rear springs from Cliff's Classic Chevrolet, one of our sponsors. To get the bigger tire/deep dish look, I have a 9" F**d that is 58" wide vs 60" (stock). This allows for a deeper dish 15X8" wheel (3.5" back space) and a healthy 255/60/15's. The overall combo is plenty low, it rides surprisingly well and oh, I didn't spend a fortune on it.

55MIKE, Your 55 looks simply "GORGEOUS". Man, I love everything about it , The stance, color,shape as in condition and Being a '55.:tu:tu:tu
 

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55Mike's little brother...same kinda setup..stock a-arms, lowered 3" in front, 2" in back with a narrowed F**D 9".

 

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Steve.. love your 56 btw...

I do things kinda on a budget. My front suspension A-arms are stock (as Rick L says, the stockers work fine with manual steering). I went with Heidt's 2" spindles, and their 1" lowered front spring. The front wheels are standard 15X7" wrapped in 215/65/15's. The best handling advice is like Rick L said, go with a good front sway bar. I have a 1 1/8th, and WOW what a difference it makes. Out back I'm using some "lowered" rear springs from Cliff's Classic Chevrolet, one of our sponsors. To get the bigger tire/deep dish look, I have a 9" F**d that is 58" wide vs 60" (stock). This allows for a deeper dish 15X8" wheel (3.5" back space) and a healthy 255/60/15's. The overall combo is plenty low, it rides surprisingly well and oh, I didn't spend a fortune on it.


I wanna be like 55Mike! One day maybe :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
55MIKE, great ride! I appreciate your feedback. I guess this is a good example of the balance we are constantly trying to strike... getting the best parts and results for the best price. Not always easy with these projects when our want for everything to be perfect can sometimes encourage us to spend more money than needed.
 
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