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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I should be finishing up painting my chassis this week. Then, it's on to putting back together.

This is getting exciting again, I'm about to turn the corner on getting my convertible back up and running.

I'm looking to build a car that handles well and looks cool. I have no plans to race or autocross or anything like that, although its conceivable it may happen. It most certainly will make its way down the 1/8 mile near my house at some point.

Unfortunately I don't have a huge budget to work with. I can probably justify $3500 on the suspension, brakes, etc, including all the brake lines, clips, etc that I need to put it together.

Using POR15 instead of powdercoating saved me a big chunk, which is nice.

Anyway, here's what I have to work with that I think might be useful:

4.10 Posi 10 bolt rear end, complete but condition unknown.
built 350 with 200r4 trans
set of stock rear control arms, upper and lower, with rubber bushings.
extra set of factory boxed rear arms, no bushings
94 Caprice steering box
full set of factory front a-arms with rubber bushings and stock ball joints
complete power drum brake setup including spindles (from the Buick)
1 1/8" front sway bar with poly bushings
stock steel 15" Rally wheels with 225 tires (the ones on the Buick right now)
set of four aftermarket springs, brand unknown, removed from the Buick. These are pretty goofy and mismatched, so I'm not sure they're of much use.

I had upgraded the convertible in 97 with a PST kit, new springs, tie rods, ball joints, front disc brakes, etc, but most of that went on the Buick when I got sick of sliding sideways down the road whenever I hit the brakes. I have a few misc pieces left, like the tie rods, center link, and a few other bits and bobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
95 views and no comments?

Here's what I've got so far:

keep the stock front LCAs.
SC&C Stage II kit
stock spindles
Bilstein shocks
stock disc brakes, either buy a kit from some place like CPP or piece it together locally - perhaps someone can suggest a better performing option for not much more $$$. For instance CPP has a complete 4 wheel disc upgrade for $1200, which seems cheap. Don't know the quality of the parts though
reuse my old centerlink and tie rods (they were part of a PST kit from 1997 and don't have any slop in them at all)
reuse the front sway bar from the 77 TA
replace bushings with polygraphite from PST
set of 1" lowering springs from Hotchkis
reuse the stock boxed rear lower arms
add a rear sway bar
set of adjustable rear uppers with rubber bushings

Wheels and tires might complicate things. I was hoping to reuse the 15" rallies with the Firestone tires, but those might not be the best choice. Not really sure. If anyone has any suggestions for wheels and tires, that would be out of sight.

All together, this should keep me around $2500 (not including wheels and tires), leaving me some $$ for exhaust, brake lines, etc.

Looks like staying under $3500 might be doable unless I need to buy the wheels and tired, then all bets are off :(
 

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Motor is too small and the trans is too weak.:D

The build sounds good. I am not sure about the CPP brakes.

Maybe now you will get some comments.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
another picture of the cash

 

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That list looks pretty good.

I'd go with stiffer springs from either Eibach or Hotckis, and upgrade the shocks to the re-valved Bilsteins from Hotchkis.

For a rear sway-bar, I'd go with the Hellwig "Pro Touring" adjustable-rate rear bar.

You could spend a lot more, but with 15" Firestones, there's not much point... you're already being held back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That list looks pretty good.

I'd go with stiffer springs from either Eibach or Hotckis, and upgrade the shocks to the re-valved Bilsteins from Hotchkis.

For a rear sway-bar, I'd go with the Hellwig "Pro Touring" adjustable-rate rear bar.

You could spend a lot more, but with 15" Firestones, there's not much point... you're already being held back.
Well, ya, I've had that subject turning around in my head overnight. Seems kind of silly to skimp on the wheels and tires.

Might look into a set of 17" wheels.

The question remains, how much wheel and tire can fit in the stock wheel wells if the car is lowered by and inch with the springs plus what if any by the tall ball joints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hmmm, maybe I should play it safe and go with 17 x 8 with 245/45 front and 17 x 9 with 255/45 in the rear.

Actually, I really have no idea what I'm talking about :)
 

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Andy, I agree with Derek. You need 17" wheels just to get good brakes. I run 255x50x17s for the street, 255x40x17s for the track on all four corners.

Changing the geometry on the front and making sure the back is solid are the most important things for handling. You can get a number of different kits from Global West, Hotchkis where everything works together as an engineered assembly. That's what I would do.

Wheels have to come first though.

Ron
 

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Andy, I might can hook you up with my rear springs and shocks. They are Varishocks single adjustable out back and the springs are whatever SC&C is selling. PRS something or other with a slight drop. Shocks are still in the box, springs are sitting under the car, but the car is not finished yet. I am considering going with a coil over out back for clearance of exhaust/fuel pump/anti-roll bar stuff.


I cannot help with other advise though as my car is not yet on the road.
 

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Andy, I might can hook you up with my rear springs and shocks. They are Varishocks single adjustable out back and the springs are whatever SC&C is selling. PRS something or other with a slight drop. Shocks are still in the box, springs are sitting under the car, but the car is not finished yet. I am considering going with a coil over out back for clearance of exhaust/fuel pump/anti-roll bar stuff.


I cannot help with other advise though as my car is not yet on the road.
Off topic:

If Andy's not interested in the Varishock SAs for the rear, let me know. I'll take them off your hands, if the price is right. :yes:

On topic:

If you're considering going real wide out back, I fit 17x11, +6 (6.25" BS) 315/35 tires. (on the narrow side of 315s)
Using Currie adjustable uppers and hotchkis lower trailing arms with rubber bushings in the axle side of the uppers.
Rolling the inner quarters is optional, but recommended if you're planning on any high speed manuvers/track.

My car is lowered as well, maybe 4" in the front and slightly less in the back half. tucking a portion (1/2) of the 40series front sidewall and to a lesser degree, the 35series back.
 
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