Pontiac GTO Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been researching suspension systems and components that are available extensively. I have a fair amount of experience with suspensions mostly just on high end tune-able ones similar to what I plan to order, but mostly on later model F-bodies and Fox body and later Mustangs. I was the suspension specialist at a speed shop about 15 years ago, but much has changed since then.

I know I could very easily spend a lot more, and I know I could get away with less and probably be perfectly happy, but this setup sure sounds like a good bang for the buck and fun too. I've already switched out the stock manual steering gearbox with a 16:1 quick ratio unit (drastic improvement already).

1. Remove (leaking) Hooker Headers (that hang 2" lower than the rest of the undercarriage) and replace with factory RA IV exhaust manifolds. Have exhaust shop work from the manifolds back to the Magnaflow H-pipe exhaust and tuck it all up underneath as tight as possible.

2. Front- Complete front end rebuild kit from Ames: Upper and Lower Ball Joints, Upper and Lower Control Arm Bushings and Bumpers, Inner and Outer Tie Rod Ends, Tie Rod Adjusting Sleeves, Sway Bar End-Links and Bushings (which won't be used...new swaybar).
-Hotchkis 1 3/8" Front Sway Bar
-QA1 Double Adjustable Coilover Conversion.

3. Rear-QA1 Single Adjustable Coilover Conversion...OR
-QA1 Stocker Star Single Adjustable (12-position) Rear Shocks
-Hotchkis 1" Lowered Springs
-Hotchkis 1 5/16" Sway Bar
-Hotchkis Boxed Lower Control Arms
-Hotchkis Tubular Adjustable Upper Control Arms
-Hotchkis Control Arm Mount Braces
-QA1 Anti-Hop Bars

For $2600-2800, leaving the front A-Arms stock for now, I think that's a pretty good setup considering how easy it'd be to spend more (edit: on some kits I've seen and end up with less value). Any input on your experience, opinions, or suggestions for changes would be appreciated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
I've got a '69.
On the rear I went with 100% Spohn Engineering components. Fully adjustable chromoly upper and lower arms with their 'delsphere' ends, plus their 'pro touring' sway bar. Strange Engineering double adjustable shocks. I think having spherical ends on the rear arms is the single most important thing you can do on the rear. Stock rubber is too mushy, hard urethane won't let the rear axle articulate in corners without forcing the arms and everything they attach to into pretty serious binding/bending/breaking. I've also got UMI arm mount braces on the rear. In addition I have drag bags in my springs to make it a little easier to tune the launch.

On the front I'm running factory control arms with urethane bushings, Strange single adjustable shocks, Spohn sway bar.

I sent my original PS unit off to power-steering.com and had them rebuild it into a quick ratio unit. Love the results.

If I upgrade from what I have in the future, the next step will probably be coilovers on all 4 corners and good tubular front arms, mostly to allow easily playing with ride height. In terms of handling, my car is pretty dang good like it is :D

Bear
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've got a '69.
On the rear I went with 100% Spohn Engineering components. Fully adjustable chromoly upper and lower arms with their 'delsphere' ends, plus their 'pro touring' sway bar. Strange Engineering double adjustable shocks. I think having spherical ends on the rear arms is the single most important thing you can do on the rear. Stock rubber is too mushy, hard urethane won't let the rear axle articulate in corners without forcing the arms and everything they attach to into pretty serious binding/bending/breaking. I've also got UMI arm mount braces on the rear. In addition I have drag bags in my springs to make it a little easier to tune the launch.

On the front I'm running factory control arms with urethane bushings, Strange single adjustable shocks, Spohn sway bar.

I sent my original PS unit off to power-steering.com and had them rebuild it into a quick ratio unit. Love the results.

If I upgrade from what I have in the future, the next step will probably be coilovers on all 4 corners and good tubular front arms, mostly to allow easily playing with ride height. In terms of handling, my car is pretty dang good like it is :D

Bear
I was hoping for more input, but I thank you for yours. You did convince me of one thing and that's the spherical rod ends for the rear arms. I switched out the Hotchkis Adjustable Rear Uppers that I planned on for QA1 Adjustable Rear Uppers w/ spherical rode ends. Though, I decided to stick with the boxed lowers from Hotchkis. For the purposes of this car they will suit it just fine, and I if I want to use their sway bar I have to use their boxed lowers.

I'm familiar with Spohn, and they produce great stuff, but so does Hotchkis, and I've had great results running Hotchkis suspension setups in the past. They also have good name recognition when/if it comes to resale. You might notice that Spohn uses QA1 Coil-Overs in the products and kits that they sell. QA1 is top notch stuff.

I'll report back when it's all installed, or maybe as I'm installing. :smile2:
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,569 Posts
Have a friend who ran that big sway bar on the front with stock A arms on a '65 ragtop. The link pins tore through the A-arms due to the increased loads. (He had really wide tires for the time). You may want to beef up those mounting points by adding some steel plate, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Have a friend who ran that big sway bar on the front with stock A arms on a '65 ragtop. The link pins tore through the A-arms due to the increased loads. (He had really wide tires for the time). You may want to beef up those mounting points by adding some steel plate, etc.
Thanks for the heads up. That's much appreciated. Since I'm leaving the stock A-arms for now I've been thinking of having them boxed. I could have that mounting point reinforced at that time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I put the QA1 single adjustables and the big Hotchkiss front sway on my '64 rag top and am very pleased. I'll be adding the rear sway, a-arms, and boxed upper and lower control arms over the next few months and am excited about it. The double adjustable are great but I didn't see me getting the use out of them for what they do so I saved a little money there. Your setup sounds pretty sweet, you won't be disappointed.
 

·
64-67 Expert
Joined
·
8,569 Posts
Good plan. Those arms were engineered for a lot skinnier tires with a lot less side-load. As I recall, on my friends car, the arms didn't deform or twist, the link pins simply tore out of their holes, upward. 1/4" plate would no doubt cure that. The car had the then-high-tech 16" Z-28 wheels with wide Gatorback tires. Thing handled like it was on rails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,217 Posts
I went with the front coil over conversion, QA1 single adj. global west upper and lower control arms,2" cpp drop spindle, 1 1/8 sway bar ,QA1 single adj rear shocks, global west rear tubular control arms, edelbrock adjustable rear trailing arms, rear springs 1" drop,and a 1" rear sway bar. I am very happy with the performance of all of these products, after playing around a lot with ride height and shock adjustments initially. I have been riding around for about 4 years with zero issues and a great handling car. I have just noticed my ps pump is starting to leak a little so that upgrade may come soon.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top