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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some suggestions on front sway bar diameter and for a suggestion on a set of shocks for my 72. I would like to go as large on the sway bar as possible without moving away from a "bolt on" no hassle install. The old boat needs some suspension attention but I am not trying to get to an autocross level of performance I just want a nice solid road feel. The shocks are ANCIENT and I am looking for something on the stiffer side but i don't want shocks that will "bounce" the car to pieces on a rough road. Think in terms of a nice "firm" ride but not bone jarring.

I am afraid that is a bit vague but take a shot at it guys. Any info is better than what I know about this topic. BTW the car has a 454 and the front and rear springs are staying put. They are in pretty good shape so I am focusing on the shocks and sway bar for now. Oh yes the car does have a stock 1972 vintage rear sway bar with GM boxed control arms.

Thx!
 

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Talk to Ramey at UMI Perf as he should be able to give you some good advise
since they R&D their La Mons car for cross road racing

I bought UMI Perf's Front & Rear Sway Bar Kit # 403534
1964 - 1972 GM A-Body Solid Front and Rear Sway Bar Kit [403534] - $323.99 : UMI Performance, Inc.

Along with their Rear Lower Boxed Control Arms & Adj Upper CA Kit # 402126
1964-1967 GM A-Body Rear Control Arm Kit, Fully Boxed Lowers, Adjustable Uppers [402126] - $485.99 : UMI Performance, Inc.

These two Bolt on kits greatly improved my car's handling

but the best for ride and more improved handling also from UMI Perf was the Front & Rear Viking DA Shocks
Viking Performance : UMI Performance, Inc.
that I installed along with UMI Perf Front Tubular Control Arms

My car is more stable in corners and rides like a new modern sports car .

UMI Perf also sells some stock type shocks
UMI Performance : UMI Performance, Inc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Talk to Ramey at UMI Perf as he should be able to give you some good advise
since they R&D their La Mons car for cross road racing

I bought UMI Perf's Front & Rear Sway Bar Kit # 403534
1964 - 1972 GM A-Body Solid Front and Rear Sway Bar Kit [403534] - $323.99 : UMI Performance, Inc.

Along with their Rear Lower Boxed Control Arms & Adj Upper CA Kit # 402126
1964-1967 GM A-Body Rear Control Arm Kit, Fully Boxed Lowers, Adjustable Uppers [402126] - $485.99 : UMI Performance, Inc.

These two Bolt on kits greatly improved my car's handling

but the best for ride and more improved handling also from UMI Perf was the Front & Rear Viking DA Shocks
Viking Performance : UMI Performance, Inc.
that I installed along with UMI Perf Front Tubular Control Arms

My car is more stable in corners and rides like a new modern sports car .

UMI Perf also sells some stock type shocks
UMI Performance : UMI Performance, Inc.
I think this post of yours with accompanying prices highlights why I have an antique suspension on my antique car. Ouch those shocks are a "speedy" as they say in some places here in the US. $140 +/- can be a bit eye opening! Likely I will blow off the car control arms for now and just step up to a new front bar. As for the shocks ...I don't know yet not sure the double adjustment is needed but I am always up for something else to fuss with / tune / adjust. Thank you for the help!
 

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It is how you will use the car that also plays into what cost amount is applicable

I look at it this way
buy once for good parts or buy many times for not so good parts
that have to be replaced several times over the years

Any of the parts I have bought from UMI Perf I will likely never/ever have to replace again
that says me $$ in the long run as Brokerage fees/HST taxes/UPS delivery costs
are sometimes almost as much as the part's cost for me here in Canada

I once ordered some small parts from GrdUp, which is where I buy all my OEM parts,
and the Brokerage fees/HST taxes/UPS delivery fees were more than the parts cost,
that was the first and last time I went that route .

Every time I went to NAPA Canada, 4 City Blocks from my house, for parts
99% of the time they do not have/or carry/ and will not order them,
even thou the parts are listed on the USA site .

So in the long haul the cost of the Viking Shocks will save me $$ IMHO
 

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Looking for some suggestions on front sway bar diameter and for a suggestion on a set of shocks for my 72. I would like to go as large on the sway bar as possible without moving away from a "bolt on" no hassle install. The old boat needs some suspension attention but I am not trying to get to an autocross level of performance I just want a nice solid road feel. The shocks are ANCIENT and I am looking for something on the stiffer side but i don't want shocks that will "bounce" the car to pieces on a rough road. Think in terms of a nice "firm" ride but not bone jarring.

I am afraid that is a bit vague but take a shot at it guys. Any info is better than what I know about this topic. BTW the car has a 454 and the front and rear springs are staying put. They are in pretty good shape so I am focusing on the shocks and sway bar for now. Oh yes the car does have a stock 1972 vintage rear sway bar with GM boxed control arms.

Thx!
The "go to" sway bar rates for a street application with upgraded handling is 1" rear and 1 1/4" front.

Regarding shocks, I probably can't think of another suspension component that falls into the "you get what you pay for" category more so that shocks.
If your current shocks are clapped out anything you buy over the counter will probably be better than your current, But over the counter are just that! When your considering handling and upgraded suspension there's no substitute for a set of shocks that have the correct dampening forces.

Do yourself a favor and spend a little more than you would buying cheap shocks and like mentioned above you will probably save money in the long run and be a lot more happier with the results.

Craig
 

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I put Bilstines all the way around on my 69..

I made up a set of Veri rate jounce bumpers and mounted them on the lower front control arms.. It keeps the car nice and flat when cornering while keeping the nice ride they came with..

I'd try new end links on the front bar too..
 

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Interesting idea on the urethane foam bumpers (as many late model cars / trucks / SUVs use). What is the original application for the parts you used?
 

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The nice thing about the UMI package is it's all designed to work together and you can add on as you go. They did all the hard work.. My Bilstines are okay but I would much rather have a real good set like UMI suggested..
 

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The nice thing about the UMI package is it's all designed to work together and you can add on as you go. They did all the hard work.. My Bilstines are okay but I would much rather have a real good set like UMI suggested..
Thank you and correct. We designed the shocks to work with higher spring rates which is now a standard for most suspension companies. The suspension industry is becoming more and more advanced each year, new technology, new competition and new customer base. It keeps us manufacturers on our toes. What I am saying is- what worked 10 years ago may not be the best now. We also have coming soon a single adjustable stock mount shock, slim body to fit up through the a-arm as well. Stay tuned, we have some cool stuff in the works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you and correct. We designed the shocks to work with higher spring rates which is now a standard for most suspension companies. The suspension industry is becoming more and more advanced each year, new technology, new competition and new customer base. It keeps us manufacturers on our toes. What I am saying is- what worked 10 years ago may not be the best now. We also have coming soon a single adjustable stock mount shock, slim body to fit up through the a-arm as well. Stay tuned, we have some cool stuff in the works!
Ok on the higher spring rates but how do they respond to lower / standard rate springs. Springs may be in the future for my car but right now I need shocks and I sure don't want a "do over" as far as the shocks if I add heavier springs later.

The single adjustable shocks you mentioned....how far off into "tomorrow land" are they? I worked in the computer industry for a long time and the sales guys were always coached not to talk about "future ware" and not to sell things that were not anywhere near ready aka "Vapor ware". The engineers like me were always in a tight spot when sales tried selling vaporware to win a deal. Since you did mention the new product can you say where they might be in the design cycle? Are we months away? Was the product design launched last week? Just being silly with that comment but seriously...what can you tell us?
 

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Ok on the higher spring rates but how do they respond to lower / standard rate springs. Springs may be in the future for my car but right now I need shocks and I sure don't want a "do over" as far as the shocks if I add heavier springs later.

The single adjustable shocks you mentioned....how far off into "tomorrow land" are they? I worked in the computer industry for a long time and we were always coached not to talk about "future ware" and not to sell things that were not anywhere near ready aka "Vapor ware" but since you mentioned the new product can you say where they might be in the design cycle? Are we months away? Was the product design launched last week....just bing silly with that comment but seriously...what can you tell us?
They will be A-OK on standard and lower rates as well, no issues.

We are looking at 1-2 months on the new single adjustable shock. I have prototypes in my hand and we showed a few samples at PRI show last month. They are in production and we are adjusting valving as needed. I should have pictures in the next 2 weeks and a better release date. But these are a realistic release item, I too try not to mention far out future products unless I state they are far out. It always seems to add stress.

Thanks for looking!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They will be A-OK on standard and lower rates as well, no issues.

We are looking at 1-2 months on the new single adjustable shock. I have prototypes in my hand and we showed a few samples at PRI show last month. They are in production and we are adjusting valving as needed. I should have pictures in the next 2 weeks and a better release date. But these are a realistic release item, I too try not to mention far out future products unless I state they are far out. It always seems to add stress.

Thanks for looking!

I hear ya about creating stress. I worked as a field engineer for Hewlett Packard back when it was a real company. They printed up business cards that tried to make lite of the talking about "futures" situation. You have seen the "No Smoking" signs with the cigarette in the circle and a line drawn thru the circle I am sure. The cards had the same layout but instead of a cigarette the word "Futures" was inside the circle. It was tough to tell a customer "I can't talk about whatever the sales guys said is coming because we cannot be sure the product in question is really going to happen until it is on the price list". Usually putting the card on the clients desk was enough of an ice breaker to allow an unheated explanation of why we were so reluctant to talk about futures.
 

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very happy with my Hellwig Swaybars on 69 elcamino

I have the 1 5/16 front hollow. Hellwig 55703 Sway bar

For the rear i went with their pro touring bar 55868 1 1/8 Hollow.

pics in my thread
 

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On my 72 Convertible, I have KYB shocks all around, rear factory sway bar with boxed control arms, and a 1 1/4" front sway bar from a 2nd generation firebird/trans am.
 

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I've used a combo of Spohn and UMI on my suspension. When we circle track raced, we subscribed to the big bar, soft spring philosophy. I used the Spohn 1-5/16" front & 1" rear sway bars on my '68 Pontiac and they work great with the OEM springs that the PO put in years ago. I used the UMI A-Body Control Arm Reinforcements/Frame Braces. It has unknown UMI rear shocks I was told so I need to look into front shocks compatible with the BB/SS set-up. Hope this thread continues for awhile.

Oman, what did you end up doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've used a combo of Spohn and UMI on my suspension. When we circle track raced, we subscribed to the big bar, soft spring philosophy. I used the Spohn 1-5/16" front & 1" rear sway bars on my '68 Pontiac and they work great with the OEM springs that the PO put in years ago. I used the UMI A-Body Control Arm Reinforcements/Frame Braces. It has unknown UMI rear shocks I was told so I need to look into front shocks compatible with the BB/SS set-up. Hope this thread continues for awhile.

Oman, what did you end up doing?
Have not done anything yet, things keep getting in my way. Quoting Michael Corleone from Godfather III...."Every time I think I am out (free to work on my car) they pull me back"!!!!
 

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I as debating between Bilstiens and the UMI non adjustable. I am going to spend the extra money and get the UMI"s. The Bilsteins would probably be fine but it just seems the UMI guys spent the time to get theirs dialed in a little better for a muscle car with the heavier springs. Shocks in a area that I think spending an extra $150 to go with the UMI is a good investment.
 

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Whats the scoop on these we are at almost 2 months since we talked last.

Oman
I have a set of 4 ready for photos. I will post photos in this thread early next week. We will have them ready for shipment very soon. They have 20 clicks of adjustment, rebound adjustment but compression adjusts slightly with the rebound. Very nice unit... I am pretty excited about them.
 
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