View Full Version : Performance Suspension Setup using Stock Control Arms on 2nd Gen F-Body

F-Body International
02-11-2018, 10:02 AM
Anyone on this forum have experience with alignments and set up stock 2nd gen F-Body suspension?

I know this post is loaded with questions but I hope it makes for good discussion and hopefully is able to help low-budget guys who may not be able to afford high dollar parts like myself at the moment. Since I've sold my aftermarket PTFB frame to another forum member here (Thanks again Pro-Touring forum!) and started back up at school, I'm kind of back to square-one with a stock frame, stock control arms and low budget on my '79 Trans Am. At this point, I'm interested in keeping the engine bay stock looking and yielding as best a setup as I can get with the parts I have on a low budget. Since shopping around, I've come across some parts I'm interested in such as QA1 Ultimate ball joints, AFCO steel upper/lower bushings and possibly an offset cross shaft.

An interesting thing I've found with the QA1 "Ultimate" ball joints is that they're able to be rebuilt and you can swap the ball joint studs out for different heights. Their lower ball joint can be set up with a standard stud or you can swap out it out for a +1/2" stud to raise the roll center. An immediate "cool" thought I have here is that the car can technically be lowered 1/2" without losing compression travel of the spring. What other parts of geometry does raising the lower ball joint effect? What about the steering linkage since it moves as well?
Lower QA1's...

Upper QA1 ball joints are even more adjustable. The uppers have standard, +1/2" and +1" interchangeable stud lengths. Most people on the pro-touring forums I go on talk about upgrading to a +1/2" upper ball joint. What about a +1" extended ball joint? Where and when does playing with upper ball joint height come into play? Is this ideal for a stock control arm?
Upper QA1's...

How about the upper control arm shaft? Where/when/why is an offset upper cross shaft beneficial? Again, what about for a stock control arm application? For example, I see that Moog and Global West offer a standard and offset version of their cross shaft. I believe Dave at PTFB sells this as well but I haven't seen it listed on his website.
Offset Global West cross shaft...
Offset Moog cross shaft....

Anyone have experience installing or driving with solid steel upper/lower control arm bushings on stock control arms? I've been eyeing down AFCO brand steel bushings for low cost and they appear to be a bind-free design much like the aftermarket Pro-Touring F-Body control arms. When I had those, I was a big fan of the smooth bind-free movement due to that absence of a rubber/poly bushing.
AFCO upper steel bushings...
AFCO lower steel/nylon bushings...

Skip Fix
02-11-2018, 05:10 PM
A fair amount of autocross, street and 14 miles on solid lower and almost solid Herb Adams Nyliner upper A arm bushings.

Upper control offset shaft allow more caster camber with fewer shims. Limiting factor drivers side is steering shaft as well as threads on bolts/studs..

David Pozzi
02-12-2018, 12:02 AM
Here is what tall ball joints do to camber & bumpsteer: https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/73779-PPM-Proforged-tall-ball-joints-for-2nd-gen-Camaro

F-Body International
02-12-2018, 07:53 AM
Thank you for sharing your information David! Looks like you guys are many many years ahead of me on this subject.

Curious, since that post, did you ever get a chance to test with a +1” upper ball joint? I just spoke with Dave at PTFB and he was saying the QA1 ball joints are just like the Howe’s like your post mentioned.

F-Body International
02-13-2018, 09:57 AM
Just got off the phone with Dave from Pro-Touring F-Body. He’s going to help me set up my upgraded stock setup. I must say, even though I’m not chasing down tubular control arms, I’m pretty excited about the direction I’m going with suspension. Right now we’re doing the AFCO steel bushings and offset cross shaft. He also sells various various ball joint in the sizes like I mentioned above but I’m going with the rebuildable QA1’s. Once I get the parts in, I’ll start posting some pics.

F-Body International
02-18-2018, 07:49 PM
Looks like I've had a misunderstanding when I was ordering from Dave at PTFB. I ordered the AFCO steel lower control bushings but when I got them I found out that they were 1/2" and AFCO doesn't make a 9/16" all steel version of their lower control arm bushing. I will have to order the 9/16" steel/nylon version to get the correct size. Dave offered to drill out the center of the steel bushings but I'm just going to coin up for the correct size lower bushings when I can.

Gotta scrounge up another couple hundred now.