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2002 Z28 Suspension Rebuild
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SMOKEmUP
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Joined: 30 May 2002
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1979 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: 2002 Z28 Suspension Rebuild Reply with quote

I'm rebuilding the suspension on my 2002 Z28. It's got 109K on it and something feels a bit lose on the front end so I decided to go through it. I want to improve the handling of the car so it's not going launch that great, we'll see how it effects the 60' times.

I'm re-bushing the front stock upper and lower control arms with stock bushings. I thought about going after market but feel the stock suspension is pretty good.

Went with aftermarket shocks/struts along with aftermarket springs. The springs are stiffer and going to lower the car approximately an inch. The car is low to begin with but rarely bottoms out, hopefully the loss of ground clearance will still be street friendly.

When I took the front end apart I found the front sway bar was broken. Since the stock bar was broken I decided to go aftermarket and went with aftermarket hollow front and rear bars. The swaybars are on back order and are the only thing I don't have yet.

For the rear I went with aftermarket adjustable lower control arms and aftermarket adjustable panhard bar.

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Paul P
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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should be a real corner burner.
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Knarley Darley
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes the cars handle better with the rear sway bar off, and a upgraded larger front sway bar. The theory is that the rear inside tire is actually lifted off the ground by the sway bar, and will get better traction because the inside tire will stay on the ground without it.
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clay
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Location: South Carolina
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1972 Chevrolet Nova

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man it sounds like you need to stop taking that thing off roading - broken sway bar - that's strange to me. Clay
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1979 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clay wrote:
Man it sounds like you need to stop taking that thing off roading - broken sway bar - that's strange to me. Clay

Off roading...not me. I'll blaming the wife on that one.

All kidding aside I was surprised to see it broken.

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Paul P
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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knarley Darley wrote:
Sometimes the cars handle better with the rear sway bar off, and a upgraded larger front sway bar. The theory is that the rear inside tire is actually lifted off the ground by the sway bar, and will get better traction because the inside tire will stay on the ground without it.


This is true. I know a guy back at the engine shop in the 90s who had a 67 Camaro with a 500HP 302 setup for road racing was having handling issues. What ended up working better for him was softening up the rear end instead of adding sways or more leaf springs. Kind of the opposite of what you might be lead to believe.

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2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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SMOKEmUP
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1979 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul P wrote:
This is true. I know a guy back at the engine shop in the 90s who had a 67 Camaro with a 500HP 302 setup for road racing was having handling issues.

Are you talking about my buddy?

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Knarley Darley
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the old muscle cars I have restored get a massive front sway bar and nothing on the rear. They have the feel of a modern car with just this one simple mod.
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Paul P
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Location: Townsend, Mass.
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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SMOKEmUP wrote:
Paul P wrote:
This is true. I know a guy back at the engine shop in the 90s who had a 67 Camaro with a 500HP 302 setup for road racing was having handling issues.

Are you talking about my buddy?


I don't think you know Frank from Tewksbury. He was the guy who lent me his BLP carb for testing when I had a tach signal issue with the projection.

_________________
2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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SMOKEmUP
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Joined: 30 May 2002
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1979 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been awhile but finally had time to work on the Camaro. I have all the parts installed except the panhard bar. The bar I got has a rod end on one side. The spacers sent were too big it was approx 2.5" when the stock one is about 1.875". I'm guessing they put the spaces from the lower control arms on by accident since they are the same size. Once I get this I can center the rear end then send it off for an alignment.

Paul or Jeep know any good alignment shops in the area?

I found some rust underneath the car Sad. It's where the floor pan meets the rear lower control arm support, both sides same spot. I was hoping to wire brush it down and POR15 it but after wire brushing it uncovered a couple small holes on one side. I'm tempted to use POR putty on it then POR 15 it and call it a day.

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10sec.et
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1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the POR-15 will seal it but wont actually kill or stop the rust. for a temp fix that is fine. long term, it needs to be cut out and clean steel welded in.
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SMOKEmUP
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1979 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went with the POR15 epoxy putty to fill the holes after I removed the rust. Eventually I'll replace it with metal but don't have the time for it right now.
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SMOKEmUP
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Joined: 30 May 2002
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1979 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The correct bushings for the rod-ends showed up today. Now I need to install the panhard bar, center the rear end, and get it aligned.

I did take it for a short spin last night and what a difference. Even with the alignment way off it handles much better. The ride is firm but not harsh (won't rattle your teeth out). Can't wait to get it aligned and push it a little bit.

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Paul P
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Location: Townsend, Mass.
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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! I have a lifetime alignment at Expert Tire up in Fitchburg. Worth every penny. Most shops have the latest equipment. The trick is finding some that really know how to use it.

I replaced the subframe in the focus that I painted with POR chassis paint. That stuff is hammer tough. Looks awesome should last a long time. surface rust was minimal under the frame. Some wire brushing and cold galvanizing spray and it was good to go. Alignment is 8am Saturday morning.

_________________
2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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SMOKEmUP
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Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 3169

65097.54 points


1979 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished putting the panhard bar in. I was surprised by how much the rear was off center, it was off by almost a half inch. I wound up shortening the panhard bar by approximately 1/4" from stock and now it's center. Now just need to get it aligned.
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I challenge you to push yourself.
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