View Full Version : Aftermarket suspension components

08-27-2004, 06:54 PM
I am going to start building my 69 Camaro, I want it to be a Pro Touring car in all respects but I do not want to waste money. I have been looking at all the different suspension components available and there are a lot, however I was wondering what is necessary to get the car to handle good, and how much is just novelty. I am especially interested in coments regarding tubular control arms, taller spindles, coil over shocks, bushings, and the goldstrand relocation of the upper control arm mounting position. I do not want to spend money on pretty parts just functional ones.


08-28-2004, 11:09 AM
Well, first you need to decide how much you are willing to spend. The cheapest way is using stock arms with the Guldstrand mod and stiffer bushings. You could go all the way up to the DSE coilover conversion using tubular uppers and lowers and del-a-lum bushings. The cost difference is a few hundred for the former all the way up to a few grand for the latter.

One of the best bangs for the buck is going with the tubular uppers and del-a-lum bushings on both the upper and lower arms. Then get a set of properly valved shocks.


08-28-2004, 11:56 AM
I was leening towards the bushings and maybe DSE uppers, I know the coil overs offer flexible ride height adjustments but do they realy perform better than a good set of aftermarket shocks?

Ralph LoGrasso
08-28-2004, 03:25 PM
The DSE Coilover kit also relocates the UCA mounting point for added geometry.

08-28-2004, 03:30 PM

So my understanding is the new UCA position would replicate or improve upon the Goldstrand placement, is this correct? Also, do the coil overs out perform a good aftermarket shock like Koni?

Ralph LoGrasso
08-28-2004, 03:46 PM
From what I've been told, the new mounting point is designed to work with the geometry of the DSE arms. It is similar to the Guldstrand placement, but modified to work optimally with the DSE arm geometry.

The coil overs is a good question. One benefit is the ability to quickly change springs. I would like to think they would out perform, but I can't say for sure. an adjustable c/o would perform better than a regular shock, because you can tune it more, but you also have adjustable and double adjustable shocks from Koni. Maybe a more experienced suspension guru can chime in here.

spanky the wondermuffin
08-29-2004, 06:29 AM
i'm a pretty big fan of the dse coil-over kit.i went from guldstrand mod/hotchkis springs/poly bushings(with race track time,and i'm speaking of track behavior not street) to the dse kit and found the change remarkable.i can't say if the improvement came from the solid/sleeved bushings,the dampers(koni series 30),the lower spring rate or geometry changes,but it made my car fast.re-welding all the seams in the subframe is always a good idea.the guldstrand mod and a springs/damper swap is cheap and effective and may satisfy your needs.tires are always #1.effective brake cooling ducts should be installed before larger brakes if you already have discs.take off the dust shield.it's all money,honey.don't break the bank in one area and never finish the car for budget reasons.

08-31-2004, 11:15 AM
Sounds like a lot of work just to get the front suspension to work right Check out this link for more ideas

Call them if you like

08-31-2004, 06:07 PM
David welcome to the site and I am not trying to be a jerk, but that link in lame. It did not add anything to this discusion only a plug for your site. Please add some info on why these are good parts for next69 to purchase.

08-31-2004, 06:27 PM
I agree, my request was for technical information regarding the build up of a suspension package for a 69 Camaro. I know where to find the parts, I just wanted help figuring out which ones to buy.

Marcus SC&C
09-04-2004, 10:22 AM
Okay I`ll put my$.02 in. It depends a lot on what you`re looking to get out of your car. You sound like you`re not big on fluff so you`ll want to stick to fundamentals.

The 1st gen front suspension isn`t all that great out of the box. Stiffer springs (Hotchkis,Eiback,Global West,DSE etc.) ,better shocks (Koni,Bilstein,QA1 or even KYB) and a bigger front sway bar (1" usually works nice on a street car with no rear bar). We`ve had good luck with QA1`s Street Stocker adj. aluminum shocks. I don`t care for their coilover conversion,the spring is too short,limiting overall travel and the highest rate I`ve seen for them is 450lb/in. I`d rather see the front rate between 500-600lb/in depending on the rear rate and other factors such as weight distribution etc.

I like Del-a-lum bushings a lot,followed by high durometer rubber. I`m not a big fan of poly due to it`s non linear binding,cold flow and squeaking issues. I`ve even used greasable steel for UCAs with suprisingly good results.

The above mods,matched properly and combined with more modern alignment settings should make a huge improvement in the car`s cornering performance. The geometry is still fairly poor though. The Guldstrand mod helps a lot,improving the camber curves (although they`re still fair for performance use by modern standards) and raising the too low roll center a bit. Depending on the version you use it will allow more + caster too which is good for high speed stability and due to tilting the steering arm downward a smidge helps correct the factory bumpsteer a little bit. It`s all good,provided you don`t get carried away. Too much +caster will dampen steering response in transitions and make the car feel less lively. You can achieve similar improvements in + caster by using many makers UCAs but they will NOT alter the camber curves or RC height because the pickup points remain at the same height as stock inboard and out. They look neat though.

To make profound changes in geometry you need to move pickups. Penske solved the problem by having Chevy make a special run of taller spindles for his TA Camaros. To correct the bumpsteer racers often heated and bent the steering arms down 1/2" with varying degrees of success. Most folks are justifiably hesitant about doing that sort of thing on their street car. The circle track guys found another way years ago for some of their race cars. They use 1/2 ton truck UBJs with taller studs to raise the pivot (pickup) point of the UBJ the same as if it was used with a taller spindle. The applications they use have different tapers and reaming the spindle eliminates the height gain so they just run them mismatched which most will agree ain`t all that great of an idea. Howe racing recently came up with a great alternative though. They introduced a series of modular ball joints and tie rod ends that are stronger than stock,adjustable,rebuildable and can be use used with taller studs of the proper taper! I went ape when I saw these. Originally they were only available for race applications, fortunately one of these was G body GM. I`ve been doing computer and real world analysis on this chassis (and others) for years. I ordered a bunch of them for testing and also installed them in my daily driver `86 Monte with adj. Pole Position Racing UCAs (what we now call our Street Comp Stage 2 package). I`ve been so impressed with the dramatic different the revised geometry made that I convinced them to make more street applications and became a dealer. We`ve been selling Stage1 and 2 packages with these for some time now and the feedback has been VERY encouraging. After working with them over the last 6 months + I finally have the whole first production batch of 1st gen Camaro and `64-`72 A body tall upper ball joints AND tall tie rod ends! :) The tie rod ends correct the factory bumpsteer and the UBJs can be used either with or without the Guldstrand mod depending how ambitious your performace expectations are.

The Pole Position arms allow easy adjustment to make up for the taller UBJs (otherwise you may need a whole lot of shims), they also allow you to run any alignment settings you like and pick up a bunch of header clearance to boot (no shims and you can run bolts rather than long studs through the cross shafts).

Sorry for the commercial but these are parts most folks just aren`t aware of yet and I`m darn excited to have "discovered" them for street/ Pro-Touring applications. At this time several of the parts (including the tall 1st gen UBJs) are available only from us. If you`re interested check out SCandC.com ,if not that`s cool too. :) Best of luck on your Camaro project,this forum is THE place to get info for it. Gad Zooks how about this monster for a 1st post on the new forum! :lmao: Marcus SC&C

David Pozzi
09-04-2004, 07:42 PM
Good first post, but throw some paragraphs in there to make reading easier! :)

Marcus SC&C
09-05-2004, 07:10 PM
Good idea! Better? Marcus SC&C

David Pozzi
09-08-2004, 09:01 PM
Thanks, that's way better! :bananna2:

09-11-2004, 05:11 AM
Good thing about this site is that you have a big range of car crafters here. Drag racers, street racers, cruizers, track burners, cross country power tour riders, etc.... It all comes down to what you are planning to use the car for. If you are like the norm I would assume you are looking to use the car on the street with some occasional spirited driving here or there.

This is what I suggest. IF you are going to use the original control arms then pick up a polygraphite super front end kit from PST Your suspension is only as good as its weakest link., 1 1/4 front sway bar, bilstein or kyb shocks, subframe connectors and some fronts springs with about 500 spring rate. This combo along with doing the guldstrand mod wont break the bank and should make you more than happy with the results. If I were upgrade anything in this package, I would go with a set of Global west upper control arms or the DSE arms. Of course you will want to go with the most rubber you can fit under the car as possible.

Remember you can go soup to nuts when it comes to suspension, but basically you just want to get as much contact patch as you can squarely on the ground. I well planned suspension helps you accomplish this. I have done the above with three of my cars, two of which were convertibles. I was more than happy with the results.