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I am looking to buy the UMI Stage 2 Handling Kit with a 1 inch drop. because my suspension is a complete lost cause at this point. budget is under 3K and I have seen enough reviews to stay away from CCP. I am 99% ready to buy just based on what seems like great customer support. I just want to make sure I'm getting what is right for me and the car. I first reached out to Ramey but he is out till Monday and I would like to get this ordered today because they have about 5 week lead time at the moment. but I would like to get some advice first.

Is anyone running this kit, what's the ride like, how is the handling would you buy it again?

Car: is a 68 post car with a 396.

Uses: is going to be 90% street the other 10% Drag, Autocross, Road Course. (I know each event has different suspension needs and I'm going to make compromises but being most of my use is going to be the street I'm fine with that

1968-1972 GM A-Body Handling Package, 1-2″ Lowering- Stage 2 SKU: BF803-1-B
1968-1972 GM A-Body Rear Shock Tower Brace, Bolt In SKU: 4058-B


Thank you
 

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My personal opinion is the shock brace does nothing but lighten your wallet. I would go with the stage 3 kit with the adjustable upper control arms because your lowering the car.
 

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Your kit does not have the coil over rear shocks, so the shock tower brace really isn't needed. It is mainly to add strength in that area when the coil overs are used.
 
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So I bought the stage 2 kit from CCP years ago (maybe 12yrs) for the 70 as that's what I could afford at the time, and was cheaper so I figured I could get more for my money. Never had an issue. As I stepped up in HP and wanting better handling to include a better financial situation, I started to switch out to UMI and others manuf.

Assuming the 68 is a current driver, and had I to do over again? I would have focused on one area of the car and done it in stages at what I could afford. Better street handling, I would have started with the front in better A arms, shocks (coil overs), springs and sway bar, brakes. Then waited until I was ready for the rear. Adj. uppers first, then springs (coilovers), adj. lowers, then rear axle adj. brackets, rear brakes.

Had I done it like that, I would have done it all once, and got what I wanted with all the extras like full roto-joints.

Hopefully others will give examples of their experiences as many here have gone a lot cheaper and produced some great handling cars for not much money with just better shocks and springs. With lowering the front you will want the better spindles and a arms anyway.

Oh, and don't forget the body bushings. Plus doing it all in stages allows for a little cost overruns for the items you don't foresee.

Mike
 

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To get that A body to handle there a few issues that need to be changed not covered up. The stock suspension tilts the tops of the front wheels outwards during spring compression. This is called jounce positive camber and its a bad deal all the way around it. You need to change the upper and lower front control arms with modern arms that have tall .9 and .5 ball joints that will easily put you into 5 degrees positive caster. Or new spindles like Detroit Speed has. The Detroit Speed set up is one of the best! I use SC&C Stage three with tall Howe ball joints and fully adjustable upper control arms with Delrin sleeved bushings. But I would use another company like UMI, Detroit Speed, Spohn. There are a few others that sell quality parts.. SC&C is having issues at getting the parts to the people paid for them...
Make sure you use Delrin bushings with fully adjustable front upper control arms and fully adjustable rear control arms with spherical bushings sleeved with delrin. Do Not use Poly bushings...

On my 69 el Camino I used Spohn fully adjustable control arms with Delsphere bushings. If you use the Spohn make sure you ordered the right parts. There web site makes it easy to purchase the arms with the racing bushings that won't last 1000 miles of street driving..

Get a Lee 800 Series steering box.. I bought the 14:1 800 series with a 30 pound valve. I also have a 12.5" steering wheel this makes a big difference in how it steers and takes turns. Don't cheap out on the steering box. It's the cars personality...

Make sure you use springs that either keep the car level or make the front a touch higher..
 

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90% of handling improvements will be in springs, swaybars, shocks and tires.
At a minimum you need 17" wheels and modern tires. I did install all new moog rubber bushings throughout the suspension.
Then a decent set of 1" lowering springs; I used BMR ($250)
CPP swaybars, because anyone can make a decent solid swaybar - 1-1/4" front. 1" rear ($250 for both)
4 KYB monotube shocks ($150)
I forgot the steering box : a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee box from Rockauto for $150
$800 total
The tall ball joints and expensive control arms will help a small amount. I would do them later cause you might not want them
 
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DSE has a new 600 series box out or in development so that is something I would look into as well.

In fact - I am picking up a new to me '66 Chevelle with a stock suspension (may be lowered) and plan to start upgrades along these lines soon. I like the UMI stage 3 kit but I also like the DSE because using a 2" lowering spindle in addition to 1/2" taller ball joint via the UCA will really help the camber curve. UMI also offers this but they make it part of their race package where DSE makes it part of their stage 1 package. Which is an interesting point - I don't see the negative of a taller spindle and more suspension travel personally - granted it's more expensive and the benefits may not be all that much in a street driven car. I also like that DSE offers a different front spring for BBC vs. SBC. So those two has me personally leaning to DSE on the front anyway. Rear I may go UMI control arms as the DSE ones seem rather expensive for what they are and not sure I see there is much benefit vs. the UMI design with similar ends. I need to do more research there.
 

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Did you end up ordering it?

I purchased and installed the stage 2 kit on my '66 about four years ago. IMO it was well worth the money and if I ever build another A body I'd probably purchase the same kit again. The ride is slightly on the harsher side, but I also installed polyurethane body mount bushings at the same time (I'm sure it would be a little smoother with rubber body bushings). It isn't excessively harsh though, in fact it's pretty close to any late model car I've driven lately in terms of how smooth or harsh the ride is. More importantly, it corners about 500x better than it did before, the steering is a lot snappier, and the car stays pretty flat going around corners now. The only change I made was adding 1" spacers beneath the rear springs - I thought it sat too low for my liking compared to the front, and I didn't want to go lower up front so I decided I'd rather raise up the rear a little. FWIW though I have a small block with aluminum heads and aluminum intake. With the extra weight of a big block yours should be more leveled out.
 
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