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Discussion Starter #21
I just redid the front and rear, upper and lowers on my 67, with Global West Tubular arms, UMI "stock height" coils, and Bilsteins. Yes, it all changes the geometry. If you simply push down on the front of your car, you can see the camber and toe in changing... I believe they call that bump steer.

I can tell you that when I just ditched my 55 year old coils, it completely threw out the alignment. It raised the front at least 2".

Personally, I love GTO's that sit high and level. I realize that's subjective. My 70 Vette sits high, too. In my experience, a well maintained and cohesive configuration, works better than simply lowering the car. If you're going for aesthetics, then there are many solutions, but if your concern is handling, then try and find an existing setup and follow their guidelines or components.

Hit up the Global West website. They have many A Body videos and they race these cars. They also answer the phone and are extremely helpful. I called them and told them that I was going to have trouble installing their parts, because of my headers. I figured that theyd laugh at me. They actually told me how to do it and save about 6 hours!

Army, when you instal front tubular upper a arms, do you use shims or is the new camber geometry already engineered into the unit itself?

I'm thinking about picking up a budget set like this 1964-1972 Chevelle Monte Carlo GTO Heavy Duty (4) Tubular Control Arms A Body GM | eBay
and replacing all ball joints with MOOG K5103 and K5108

Cannot afford GW, unfortunately.
also, did you have to "massage" the lower control arm into the frame on your 67 or was it an easy fit? I've read some of these overseas kits are a very tight fit requiring some minor grinding to squeeze them between the frame mounts.

Thanks!
 

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1967 400/400
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Army, when you instal front tubular upper a arms, do you use shims or is the new camber geometry already engineered into the unit itself?

I'm thinking about picking up a budget set like this 1964-1972 Chevelle Monte Carlo GTO Heavy Duty (4) Tubular Control Arms A Body GM | eBay
and replacing all ball joints with MOOG K5103 and K5108

Cannot afford GW, unfortunately.
also, did you have to "massage" the lower control arm into the frame on your 67 or was it an easy fit? I've read some of these overseas kits are a very tight fit requiring some minor grinding to squeeze them between the frame mounts.

Thanks!
In my research, it did appear that most of the companies were building positive caster into the arms, and certainly GW does. However, every car will be different when it comes to all alignment specs. The assembly variations from plant to plant and person to person, are probably enough to warrant it, but once you factor in 55 years of accidents, drag racing, and potholes, it's impossible to imagine a standardized alignment spec.

So, yes! Expect to need shims, and maybe you wont! If you do need them, they're SUPER EASY to add with tubular arms, so as long as you have a way to verify plumb on a wheel, you can check yourself and add them. It's very easy and cheap to rig up a rod which fits in your rim, and then you can buy any one of a dozen tools from Harbor Fright, for checking angles.

The GW arms dropped right in... However!

  1. If you have headers, the lower CA, rearward bolt can be tough to access. There will be clearance issues, as well as the potentially, standard... 55 year old, I hate you more than anything, rusted steel inside this rubber bushing factor. An air chisel and penetrating oil will get it, but be prepared to blow your chances of becoming a pastor, once you're done cursing. Also, it doesn't hurt to have spare bolts on hand, in case your originals are so rusted/ seized/ stripped, or have to be cut. These are hardened, so they wont be at the parts store.
  2. If you have headers, you may not be able to slide the upper control arm shafts off of the fame mounts (the studs where the shims go). However, those studs are pressed in, so if you have clearance and lverage, you can pop em out... but once again, unless Jesus is coming over to help, expect a fight. The work around? The studs are knurled like wheel studs, so: Either have new ones on hand, in which case you can just spin them out from the wheel opening, and then install new ones, OR since the new arms will now allow you wrench access to the back, stick em right back in... Which is what I did.
I was able to do my own alignment and the car rides perfect 120 MPH... but you can at least get it close. Napa has shims, you may need them, but start without them. Either way, don't be afraid of the job. I did both upper and lowers, with new springs and shocks, as well as tie rods, on a single Saturday, by myself.

I also have a 70 Vette, and since they have 4 wheel alignment, none of the local shops would touch it. I had no choice but to buy this... I know it's pricey, but if you have friends you can pay for it doing their alignments, or use it and then sell it.


140877


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By the way, I wouldn't be afraid to use the overseas kits, either. Most of them were designed here, by experts. Just because they're saving on manufacturing, doesn't mean that they suck. Plus, as long as you can either get them with or upgrade later to better balljoints and bushings, then it's an even sweeter deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Great info, Army, thanks.

i do have headers, so I'll have to go look at the car and see how gnarly they'll make this!

Did you use the floor jack method to let your lower arm down after unbolting the spindle to get the spring out? never done that, but seems a good method compared to a spring compressor, which I've had fits with in t he past.

Again, thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #25
So I see what you mean about the header issue. I will definitely not be able to 1. slide the upper control arms off the frame bolt studs without popping those pressed studs 2. will not be able to slide the lower rear bushing bolts out. For 2, I guess I'd have to cut the bolt head off and drive it out the other way, then on reinstal have the nut end facing the header?
 

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Did you use the floor jack method to let your lower arm down after unbolting the spindle to get the spring out? never done that, but seems a good method compared to a spring compressor, which I've had fits with in t he past.
The coils are well tucked inside the frame, plus you have the spindle and brake assembly between you and the spring.
  1. I unbolt the shock top, but leave the bottom shock bolts in. Which should hold the spring if it were needed.
  2. Then I loosen the lower balljoint nut, but leave it threaded on... back it off at least 1/8 from the spindle.
  3. Then use an air chisel/ hammer with a balljoint fork on it. The spring pressure will pop it.
  4. Then put a jack under it, undo the nut the rest of the way, and lower the jack. Use the air fork on the top, afterward.
  5. Reverse, install the upper arm.
  6. Install the lower arm.
  7. Put the coil in. Thread a spring compressor down through the shock hole. Crank it.
  8. Tighten the compressor and/ or jack the arm up until you can thread the nuts on the balljoints, and done.
I've never had one fight me yet.
 

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So I see what you mean about the header issue. I will definitely not be able to 1. slide the upper control arms off the frame bolt studs without popping those pressed studs 2. will not be able to slide the lower rear bushing bolts out. For 2, I guess I'd have to cut the bolt head off and drive it out the other way, then on reinstal have the nut end facing the header?
Yeah... Upper arm header clearance is impossible, but now you know what to do... It'll take minutes.

As for the lower arm, rearward bolt; once you remove the forward bolt, you'll likely be able to adjust the removal trajectory of the rearward bolt. I believe that I got it that way. The air chisel and penetrating oil combination, make quick work of it. I had no issue removing it, but it was close. I also have Dougs headers... I'm sure they're not all in the same place. Worst case, loosen the motor mount and jack up the engine.
 

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On reinstall, yes, put the nut on, any way that you can. Pretty sure that you'll get the R&R without issue. I did it on my back in the driveway. BTW... Husky/ Home Depot air chisel with fork attachment from napa.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
On reinstall, yes, put the nut on, any way that you can. Pretty sure that you'll get the R&R without issue. I did it on my back in the driveway. BTW... Husky/ Home Depot air chisel with fork attachment from napa.

sounds good. might give this a go. have hedman headers that are in the way in all the right places!

I'll probably just use a pickle fork and hammer. and I guess I may as well replace all my tie rods and center link joints while I'm at it...

do you have a resource for torque specs on all the suspension bolts?

thanks, Army! good stuff.
 

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sounds good. might give this a go. have hedman headers that are in the way in all the right places!

I'll probably just use a pickle fork and hammer. and I guess I may as well replace all my tie rods and center link joints while I'm at it...

do you have a resource for torque specs on all the suspension bolts?

thanks, Army! good stuff.
The GW stuff gave torque specs, but I've been working on cars for 35 years and have never been a torquer! I suck. It's so rare that I can get a T wrench where I need it... Plus, when I worked as an engineer fro Predator carbs, we never calibrated any of the wrenches, so they were all off. The specs are readily available if you need them, and I can photo my papers for you, too.

I bought the top teir tie rod ends and sleeves from NAPA. They're lifetime.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
answered my own question about torque specs

Front Suspension torque specs:
upper control arm shaft to upper control arm frame bolts…60 lb-ft
lower control arm bolts…80 lb-ft
spindle to ball joint (upper)…55 lb-ft
spindle to ball joint (lower)…85 lb-ft
Center link to pitman arm…35 lb-ft
Center link to idler arm…35 lb-ft
Idler mount to frame bolts…60 lb-ft
Pitman arm big nut…180 lb-ft
Tie rod to center link…40 lb-ft
Tie rod to steering arm…40 lb-ft
shocks to frame…8 lb-ft
shocks to lower arm…20 lb-ft
swaybar bracket to frame…13 lb-ft
swaybar link…10 lb-ft
 

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1971 GTO resto mod. Modified 428 HO, 4 sp (built by midwest muncie) Dana 60, 3.55 rear
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I've been reading through all of the posts in this thread with interest as I'm "in the middle" of suspension mods for my 71 Goat.. Regarding drop springs versus drop spindles, etc.. etc.. My aim is to correct a front suspension ride height problem since I have taken so much weight off the front end. First step was to cut one coil off the factory springs.. Left me way to high in the front end. Second step was to go with Hotchkis 1" lowering springs in the front and factory type HD springs in the back (which give you an additional 1/2-3/4" height). Now I'm looking at drop spindles.. Ran across several online articles and videos around this.. The two links below I found to be the best and most informative. I like the Chris Craft video because he explains things to where even my two little brain cells can understand it.. If anyone has already seen either of these, my apologies.. But one can never have too much info when it comes to suspension geometry..
Oh yeah, after all my research, I've chosen Detroit Speed products for this upgrade. Yeah they are pricey but in my 62+ years I've learned the hard way, you get what you pay for.. In the past when I couldn't afford the really well made/engineered stuff I went with the overseas part.. And learned.. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt..
Hope either of these two articles may help someone..
Suspension Tech: The GM A-Body -
 

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I've been reading through all of the posts in this thread with interest as I'm "in the middle" of suspension mods for my 71 Goat.. Regarding drop springs versus drop spindles, etc.. etc.. My aim is to correct a front suspension ride height problem since I have taken so much weight off the front end. First step was to cut one coil off the factory springs.. Left me way to high in the front end. Second step was to go with Hotchkis 1" lowering springs in the front and factory type HD springs in the back (which give you an additional 1/2-3/4" height). Now I'm looking at drop spindles.. Ran across several online articles and videos around this.. The two links below I found to be the best and most informative. I like the Chris Craft video because he explains things to where even my two little brain cells can understand it.. If anyone has already seen either of these, my apologies.. But one can never have too much info when it comes to suspension geometry..
Oh yeah, after all my research, I've chosen Detroit Speed products for this upgrade. Yeah they are pricey but in my 62+ years I've learned the hard way, you get what you pay for.. In the past when I couldn't afford the really well made/engineered stuff I went with the overseas part.. And learned.. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt..
Hope either of these two articles may help someone..
Suspension Tech: The GM A-Body -
Unfortunately, even though I've done upper, lower, front, and rear on several cars now, I'm personally not a "drop" fan, so I've never done any research on it. Adding geometry into the equation, certainly makes part selection much more critical. Nothing ruins your fun like a 450 HP car with crappy suspension.
 
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