Looking to update suspension - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Looking to update suspension

My '67 has that boaty feeling, and it's time to go!

What upgrades would be recommended to start out with? There are so many things you can do, just wondering what will make the most difference and where to start. Thanks
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:16 AM
 
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Most importantly, what's your budget?

You can spend a few hundred or a few thousand on your suspension very easily.

Cheapest way to improve handling is polyurethane bushings all around and boxed or tubular rear control arms. That alone will make a big difference. Tubular front control arms tend to be kinda pricey. Swap out your original front sway bar with a beefier second gen Trans Am sway bar, and if you don't have a rear sway bar, buy one. Your shocks and springs need replaced as well, especially if they're the original ones that came on the car. This is the low to mid budget approach.

If you wanna get serious, buy a complete suspension package from Detroit Speed, Hotchkis, Spohn, or Global West.

"You Gotta Have Fun When You're Little!!"
-Dick Schindler

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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When you say "boaty feeling," are you comparing the ride it to similar vehicles from the era, or the ride of a more modern suspension? Matt

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 03:31 PM
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Both of my GTO's have stock suspension and are not 'boaty' in the slightest. It's important to have good springs, good shocks, and all components up to snuff with new bushings, etc. , as well as a front end alignment that is spot-on. Bigger sway bars can reduce body roll, and a rear sway bar helps a bunch. Simply installing a bigger front bar, a rear bar, and gas shocks will help a lot. If you want to modify it with aftermarket parts, the sky is the limit. Worn out old suspensions are 'boaty', fresh suspension systems, even with stock parts, really aren't.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 10:49 PM
 
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replacing old worn out shocks with new ones would be the first thing and the most noticeable improvement, then tighten up the front end with new bushings, tie rod ends,- all the steering parts that wear out.
Then of course if you want to upgrade skys the limit

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking maybe new shocks and springs. I had forgot about sway bars and will probably do that as well. I think I will start there and see how she rides.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have opinions on UMI performance?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 06:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainboy1 View Post
I was thinking maybe new shocks and springs. I had forgot about sway bars and will probably do that as well. I think I will start there and see how she rides.

Consider coil-over shocks and good front a rear sway bars. My 1967 GTO rides nice and tight with no body roll.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 12:03 PM
 
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Well, I think I've read just about every thread concerning suspension upgrades. But I'm still in the lurch about going with stock rubber ball joints/tie rod ends or polyurethane ball joints/tie rod ends up front. Just can't quantify the impact.

Several have mentioned that the car has a stiffer ride with polyurethane. So how bad is it? And they're noisier - how bad?

A couple have mixed & matched poly and rubber. Any follow up?

I'm looking to eliminate the "floating couch" feeling that some cars had from the day but I'm not racing. Weekend cruises and cruise-ins are the plan. And let's face it, it's a car for the weekend, not a daily driver. It'll never see weather and only get a couple of thousand miles a year on it.

Opinions?

Thanks!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 09:24 PM
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I've got a lot of Spohn Engineering parts on my 69, and I like the way it drives and handles.
A few tips in my opinion, depending on how much you want to spend:
Freshen up the front - that means ball joints, upper/lower control arm bushings, shocks, tie rod ends, steering link, idler arm, sway bar links --- basically everything that's rubber. I like polyurethane bushings on the front and I don't think my car is harsh or noisy at all (but then it's hard to hear much over the engine )
Good shocks are a must.
If you want to spend more/upgrade more, look into good tubular control arms and perhaps even a coilover system - but get ready to spend some money.

At the rear - don't go with urethane bushings unless you're also replacing both upper and lower control arms with some that have fully articulated/spherical joints (in which case those joints will replace the bushings anyway). Reason: the design of those triangulated rear control arms make it so that in order for the rear axle to 'twist' in the car (like when the body rolls in a corner) something in those control arms has to twist. Normally that will be the rubber bushings. if you replace them with hard urethane, something is still going to have to twist and it might be the arms themselves, or the mounts --- and stuff is going to tend to break.
Again, good shocks at the rear are a must and either fresh rubber everywhere, or upgrade to control arms with spherical joints. My opinion is that there really is no middle ground between those two options. You can add a 70-style factory rear sway bar set up if you can find one, but it also requires boxed lower control arms for the mounting bolts. Spohn also makes a rear sway bar that anchors to the frame (as it should) instead of to the control arms. That's what I'm running on my 69.

Another good add on is to install rear control arm mounting point braces to help control that twisting tendency I wrote about above, and also on cars that are carrying some power and can hook.

UMI is good. I'm running their control arm braces. As I mentioned I like Spohn also. Those are the only two companies I have first hand experience with, but I know there are others out there who make good stuff. QA1 comes to mind for their coilover systems and shocks.

The least expensive route is going to be just freshening up everything with factory parts and good shocks. You'll be surprised at how much difference that will make.

Bear

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