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  1. #1
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    1968 Camaro: Help with Suspension Setup

    Hello, I have a 1968 Camaro Restomod. I bought it 5 years ago from a dealership, who purchased it from the original owner who restored it. They did not know what parts/brands were done, and lost contact with the owner.

    It's a street driven car only. I did an LS2 build last year, and now looking to upgrade the suspension for better, smoother handling. I know it's better to go with a full kit, such as Hotchkis TVS or ridetech street grip, however, I'm on a tight budget now so I only need a few parts to get me going for now.

    I did some digging to find out what has been done. Here's what I found out:


    • Coils: Looks stock, with a spacer (see photo)
    • Shocks: Gas-a-Just (horrible and stiff)
    • Multi Leafs: Unknown



    Goal:
    • Better handling
    • No wobbly on straights
    • Even out the car height (working on tire setup now Thread HERE) i might go with 245/45/17 & 265/50/17



    Question: Which OPTION would be better to go with for now? (which brand too?)

    Option A: Front Sway Bar & Leaf Springs (see photo of my leafs, do they look worn? btw right rear sits higher than the left)

    Option B: Front Coils & F/R Shocks



    Option C: Shocks & Leaf Springs.

    Few photos below. Thank you so much

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    1968 Camaro SS
    LS2/T56
    Ridetech StreetGrip


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Do Hotchkis coils in the front. Good shocks all around. Sub frame bushings and lose the poly pads On the lead spring perches in the rear and add a 1” lowering block and see where it sits. The front springs being bad can effect it sitting not level.
    Steve
    '68 Camaro - SBC, TKO600, 3.73 Moser 12-bolt, Speedtech, AFX, Hotchkis, Forgeline, Ron Davis and C5 brakes with Kore3 park brake kit. Soon to be EFI with Holley Terminator.
    Check it Out Here

  3. #3
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    Feb 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by eville View Post
    Do Hotchkis coils in the front. Good shocks all around. Sub frame bushings and lose the poly pads On the lead spring perches in the rear and add a 1” lowering block and see where it sits. The front springs being bad can effect it sitting not level.
    Thanks for the info!

    •Hotchkis coils say 1.5” drop however read reviews on summit that the actual drop is 4”

    •Shocks, which to go with?
    —Hotchkis (1.5” street or adjustable performance)

    ridetech HQ series

    •Sub frame bushings, hotchkis? Or Can you plz share a link of the item?

    •Poly pads, sorry which are you referring to? Still a rookie with classics

    •Which lowering block? Can you plz share a link of the item?

    Thank you so much
    1968 Camaro SS
    LS2/T56
    Ridetech StreetGrip

  4. #4
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    Feb 2017
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    Ok so after 5 days of researching i think I’ve decided what best to go with.

    Throwing out the rear leafs + front stock coils and getting a ridetech HQ coilovers front & back.

    Hows that for now?
    1968 Camaro SS
    LS2/T56
    Ridetech StreetGrip

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by majj35 View Post
    Ok so after 5 days of researching i think I’ve decided what best to go with.

    Throwing out the rear leafs + front stock coils and getting a ridetech HQ coilovers front & back.

    Hows that for now?
    I think you are in the weeds. Do you know that you will need a four link rear with coilovers? Are the front coilovers compatible with your stock control arms?

    Don
    1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
    1957 Buick Caballero - huge project
    1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
    1969 Mustang Sportsroof
    1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    A couple of pointers and general comments:

    - Priority number 1 - Those front springs are worn out and need to be replaced. There are lots of good options... BMR, Hotchkis, even stock replacement type Moog (potentially cut down a bit for lowering) if you're really on a tight budget. As mentioned above, there's a good chance your front springs are causing the car to lean, not the rears.

    - Priority number 2 - Those shocks are well known to ride stiff. They're an old school shock with stiff compression valving to make otherwise stock cars feel sportier. They're not necessarily bad, just misunderstood. Basically any other shock, even the cheapest parts store stock replacements, will ride better. Lots of people on here recommend the high dollar Hotchkis/Fox/ridetech/adjustable/etc shocks, which are of course better than the $100 per set replacement type shocks, but many people wouldn't notice the difference on a cruiser type car, especially if you don't have the "matching" springs. 90% of new cars leave the factory with cheapo $20/ea shocks (or struts), and they ride and handle very well.

    - Priority number 3 - I can't tell what kind of front sway bar you have on the car (if any), but a thicker front sway bar will make a big seat of the pants difference. Something like a 1-1/8" hollow would be good. You don't necessarily need a rear sway bar due to roll center height differences - it all depends on how you use the car and personal preference.

    - Priority number 4 - use lowering blocks on the rear leafs as needed. The height of lowering block depends on how you want the car to sit.

    Also, if your steering feels "wobbly," there's a good chance you have worn out front end components (could be in the steering linkage, bushings, ball joints, etc), and you should check your alignment and update it to more modern settings. There's lots of info on that in other threads.
    - Ryan

  7. #7
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    Yeah... just saw your plan to go with the ridetech coilover setup. That would be awesome, but I thought you were on a tight budget?
    - Ryan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
    I think you are in the weeds. Do you know that you will need a four link rear with coilovers? Are the front coilovers compatible with your stock control arms?

    Don
    That, I'm unaware of. Sorry guys I just got into classics so learning day by day. Especially that I got the car from a previous owner (no contact with him) so don't know what details / parts have been added.

    I don't know if the c arms are compatible, i did email ridetech before asking if the coils are just direct fit or need modifications/parts.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stab6902 View Post
    A couple of pointers and general comments:

    - Priority number 1 - Those front springs are worn out and need to be replaced. There are lots of good options... BMR, Hotchkis, even stock replacement type Moog (potentially cut down a bit for lowering) if you're really on a tight budget. As mentioned above, there's a good chance your front springs are causing the car to lean, not the rears.

    - Priority number 2 - Those shocks are well known to ride stiff. They're an old school shock with stiff compression valving to make otherwise stock cars feel sportier. They're not necessarily bad, just misunderstood. Basically any other shock, even the cheapest parts store stock replacements, will ride better. Lots of people on here recommend the high dollar Hotchkis/Fox/ridetech/adjustable/etc shocks, which are of course better than the $100 per set replacement type shocks, but many people wouldn't notice the difference on a cruiser type car, especially if you don't have the "matching" springs. 90% of new cars leave the factory with cheapo $20/ea shocks (or struts), and they ride and handle very well.

    - Priority number 3 - I can't tell what kind of front sway bar you have on the car (if any), but a thicker front sway bar will make a big seat of the pants difference. Something like a 1-1/8" hollow would be good. You don't necessarily need a rear sway bar due to roll center height differences - it all depends on how you use the car and personal preference.

    - Priority number 4 - use lowering blocks on the rear leafs as needed. The height of lowering block depends on how you want the car to sit.

    Also, if your steering feels "wobbly," there's a good chance you have worn out front end components (could be in the steering linkage, bushings, ball joints, etc), and you should check your alignment and update it to more modern settings. There's lots of info on that in other threads.
    Wow thanks for the info!

    I do plan to change everything when the time is right, but yeah right now it's just for street driving and ride comfort and handling.

    I did an alignment 2 days ago and the car is way much better, no wobbly. So maybe I can wait on the front Sway bar, right?

    I thought coilovers, since they come with springs too, and can replace leafs.

    So you're saying if I go with just front Coils and shocks would be better than coilovers front / back?

    Thanks again!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by stab6902 View Post
    Yeah... just saw your plan to go with the ridetech coilover setup. That would be awesome, but I thought you were on a tight budget?
    ya the coilover which comes with front back springs and shocks adjustable at $1,450

    Vs the StreetGrip kit at $2,500

    + in the market for a set of tires. lol

  10. #10
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    Judging by those few pictures, you're suspension is essentially stock as it came on the car in 1968.

    The only obvious things that have been replaced are those shocks, the screw in spring "helpers," and the poly leaf spring pads. Those could all be considered normal maintenance - they're not performance upgrades.
    - Ryan

  11. #11
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    The ridetech coilovers are a top of the line product and will for sure be way better than stock replacement type springs and shocks. However, they're thousands of dollars more expensive. You're looking at $5000+ for the ridetech coilover kit. There's way more to it than just the coilovers. Link: https://www.jegs.com/i/Ridetech/029/...caAg9BEALw_wcB


    Sway bars don't have anything to do with front end "wobble." They keep the car flatter in corners.
    - Ryan

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stab6902 View Post
    The ridetech coilovers are a top of the line product and will for sure be way better than stock replacement type springs and shocks. However, they're thousands of dollars more expensive. You're looking at $5000+ for the ridetech coilover kit. There's way more to it than just the coilovers. Link: https://www.jegs.com/i/Ridetech/029/...caAg9BEALw_wcB


    Sway bars don't have anything to do with front end "wobble." They keep the car flatter in corners.

    $5000? Im talking about the HQ series front and back $1450
    1968 Camaro SS
    LS2/T56
    Ridetech StreetGrip

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by majj35 View Post
    $5000? Im talking about the HQ series front and back $1450
    What about the mandatory rear four link suspension to use those rear coilovers? What about the lower control arms? What about the new custom exhaust to fit around the four link?

    Coilovers are your most expensive option when it is finally done.

    You would be doing yourself a huge favor if you would slow down and actually read and comprehend what folks are writing, not cherry pick the bits that suit you...

    Don
    1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
    1957 Buick Caballero - huge project
    1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
    1969 Mustang Sportsroof
    1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
    What about the mandatory rear four link suspension to use those rear coilovers? What about the lower control arms? What about the new custom exhaust to fit around the four link?

    Coilovers are your most expensive option when it is finally done.

    You would be doing yourself a huge favor if you would slow down and actually read and comprehend what folks are writing, not cherry pick the bits that suit you...

    Don
    I see now, like i said, just learning on these classics day by day. Did not know it needs a 4 link for those coilovers in the back. Thats good to know. I’ve probably read every thread lol. But at some point the convo steers away and dont get the answers that best suit my need right now. Ill keep digging into it and hear from you guys. Thanks a lot for the info
    1968 Camaro SS
    LS2/T56
    Ridetech StreetGrip

  15. #15
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    OP, we can help you out with your suspension. We are a top ridetech dealer so we can guide you through their products as well as other options that may suit better for a build as you go plan.

    Feel free to PM or call and we can discuss your setup.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    MCB - Matt's Classic Bowties
    5360 Gateway Plaza Dr.
    Benicia, Ca. 94510
    866-628-8746
    TEXT ONLY: 925-989-9091 (Replied 8-4)
    www.mcbparts.com

    Email: [email protected]
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  16. #16
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    Dec 2005
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    You have two problems...
    1) poorly fitting rear wheels. I addressed that in your wheel thread.
    2) worn out suspension

    I pieced together my suspension on a budget at times too.
    To fix your suspension:
    1) replace your shocks with the fox shocks from hotchkis.
    2) replace your front coils from hotchkis. It won't be a 4" drop. If anything, you'll need to cut the hotchkis after install to get the ride height you want. If you do cut the coil, remember one inch off the coil lowers the car 2".
    3) replace all control arm bushings, ball joints, tie rods, pitman, etc. Moog is fine. Do sub frame bushings too. Poly or solid. Stock height only.
    4) Modern spec alignment: +5deg caster, -0.25deg camber, 1/16 toe in.
    5) At some point, you'll want to replace your steering box. Lots of info here, IROC, Jeep, etc are cheap.
    6) If you don't solve your tire/wheel fitment issue, messing with the rear is going to be difficult. If you want the rear lower, add a lowering block. Eventually you'll want to do matching hotchkis rear springs. You'll probably still need a lowering block. I prefer not to run more than a 1" block, certainly not more than 2".
    7) Front sway bar, if you've gone hotchkis now, stick with it.
    8) Rear sway bar...

    You can replace hotchkis with ridetech, dse, global west or any of the other quality manufacturers. But for me, I think it's better to stick with ONE brand for springs and bars. IMO, they pick a shock that works on their stuff too.
    Steve
    '68 Camaro - SBC, TKO600, 3.73 Moser 12-bolt, Speedtech, AFX, Hotchkis, Forgeline, Ron Davis and C5 brakes with Kore3 park brake kit. Soon to be EFI with Holley Terminator.
    Check it Out Here

  17. #17
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    If you’re really on a budget, you can start with rebuilding your stock control arms with low friction bushings or hunting for good quality used aftermarket tubular control arms. Freeing up the control arms from bind will make your shocks feel softer. Afco has a pretty nice setup if you want to keep cost down using stock control arms...

    https://www.afcoracing.com/store.asp...-69-Camaro----

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eville View Post
    You have two problems...
    1) poorly fitting rear wheels. I addressed that in your wheel thread.
    2) worn out suspension

    I pieced together my suspension on a budget at times too.
    To fix your suspension:
    1) replace your shocks with the fox shocks from hotchkis.
    2) replace your front coils from hotchkis. It won't be a 4" drop. If anything, you'll need to cut the hotchkis after install to get the ride height you want. If you do cut the coil, remember one inch off the coil lowers the car 2".
    3) replace all control arm bushings, ball joints, tie rods, pitman, etc. Moog is fine. Do sub frame bushings too. Poly or solid. Stock height only.
    4) Modern spec alignment: +5deg caster, -0.25deg camber, 1/16 toe in.
    5) At some point, you'll want to replace your steering box. Lots of info here, IROC, Jeep, etc are cheap.
    6) If you don't solve your tire/wheel fitment issue, messing with the rear is going to be difficult. If you want the rear lower, add a lowering block. Eventually you'll want to do matching hotchkis rear springs. You'll probably still need a lowering block. I prefer not to run more than a 1" block, certainly not more than 2".
    7) Front sway bar, if you've gone hotchkis now, stick with it.
    8) Rear sway bar...

    You can replace hotchkis with ridetech, dse, global west or any of the other quality manufacturers. But for me, I think it's better to stick with ONE brand for springs and bars. IMO, they pick a shock that works on their stuff too.
    I'll second the above post. Especially, 1-5. I'm not familiar with the Hotchkis fox shocks but the ridetech fox shocks are great. And if you are buying the shocks and not the coil overs the single adjustable (what I would recommend) retail for only $185 each which isn't bad at all. And a dealer on the forum can probably save you a few bucks on those. Replacing the front springs, and all 4 shocks and any worn bushing should transform that car radically and may be all you need to do!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCB Matt View Post
    OP, we can help you out with your suspension. We are a top ridetech dealer so we can guide you through their products as well as other options that may suit better for a build as you go plan.

    Feel free to PM or call and we can discuss your setup.

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Hello, will be sending you a PM shortly. Thank you

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eville View Post
    You have two problems...
    1) poorly fitting rear wheels. I addressed that in your wheel thread.
    2) worn out suspension

    I pieced together my suspension on a budget at times too.
    To fix your suspension:
    1) replace your shocks with the fox shocks from hotchkis.
    2) replace your front coils from hotchkis. It won't be a 4" drop. If anything, you'll need to cut the hotchkis after install to get the ride height you want. If you do cut the coil, remember one inch off the coil lowers the car 2".
    3) replace all control arm bushings, ball joints, tie rods, pitman, etc. Moog is fine. Do sub frame bushings too. Poly or solid. Stock height only.
    4) Modern spec alignment: +5deg caster, -0.25deg camber, 1/16 toe in.
    5) At some point, you'll want to replace your steering box. Lots of info here, IROC, Jeep, etc are cheap.
    6) If you don't solve your tire/wheel fitment issue, messing with the rear is going to be difficult. If you want the rear lower, add a lowering block. Eventually you'll want to do matching hotchkis rear springs. You'll probably still need a lowering block. I prefer not to run more than a 1" block, certainly not more than 2".
    7) Front sway bar, if you've gone hotchkis now, stick with it.
    8) Rear sway bar...

    You can replace hotchkis with ridetech, dse, global west or any of the other quality manufacturers. But for me, I think it's better to stick with ONE brand for springs and bars. IMO, they pick a shock that works on their stuff too.
    This is great, thank you so much. Regarding the tires, I found tire rack who can ship out internationally. Same size wheels I have 235/45/17 & 275/40/17 Nitto 555 G2, so i might just stick with same size.

    Regarding #3: I don't know the condition of my control arms, bushings etc.. or if they are stock or aftermarket. If they're in good condition, will the shocks, coils fit right in?

    if not, would it be possible to send me a few links of these needed parts? Thank you very much.

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