71 SS454 upgrades - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 14, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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71 SS454 upgrades

For 2014 I had a big list of modifications to do, at least for me a big list. Given my limited experience, limited space, and limited tools, it's been taking longer than I would hope. Not to mention I don't bother to work in a non heated garage when its so dang cold up here.

This is what I had to start with. Stock 1971 suspension and brakes. Most the parts and bushings appeared to be original 1971 pieces, and they were well worn out.





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post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 14, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Time to remove the old junk.




Worn out sway bar bushings




Spring all chained up. First time removing coil springs, pretty nervous so I wanted to be safe.


Down to the frame
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post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 14, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Time for some new parts


AGR 12:1 steering box. This actually the wrong part that was mis-packaged. Sent back and now in the process of dealing with a squealing box that may need to be exchanged. NOT happy with AGR at this point.


Earls cooler for my power steering. They make great stuff.


With my crappy fabrication skills, I made this to mount the cooler. Designed it to be modular so I could move or add coolers in the future. Also it weighs about 1 lb.


SPC lower control arm. Latest design with the wrong coil spring insert. Still haven't gotten the right parts from SPC. They aren't off my ****list yet. The control arms look good though


A box of goodies to replace all the old worn out stuff.


Kore 3 hubs with 3.5" long 1/2" studs. IMO the studs are too long, but very strong and I love the quality of the hubs. Tobin is also A++ to deal with. Highly recommend.


Wilwood Superlite calipers with thermlock pistons. Made to handle high temps.


Viking double adjustable B204 shocks. As far as compression goes, I think the B205's may have been better, but extension wise my UCA's hit the frame before fully extended.


Custom brake bracket that I designed on AutoCAD, and had CNC'd to work with these calipers. Very happy with how they turned out. Painted with high temperature header paint.
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post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 14, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Installation:

Power steering cooler mounted. Had one AN fitting leak and had to replace the fitting and line on one side.


Not required to run front plates, so should get a nice shot of cool air.


AGR box currently mounted.


Test fit of the Viking shocks.
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post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old May 4th, 14, 7:21 AM
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carlo
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Chris
I can see the smile on your face as you're driving down the road. it's nice to know you've got quality parts where it counts. good luck the car should handle great.
hmardown

empty garage
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post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old May 4th, 14, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Once I get to drive it, I am hoping to feel a significant difference. The plan was to restore and update the foundation of the steering and suspension. But with the new spindles, that forced me to do the front brakes ahead of schedule.
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post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old May 4th, 14, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

L&H Spindles with steering arms. Appears to be a great product, shame the company seems to have gone out of business.


Wilwood 11.75x1.25 brakes with aluminum hat. Not a huge increase in leverage, but a big improvement in thermal/cooling capacity.


Safety wired
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post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old May 4th, 14, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

What a PITA it was to get the coil spring in with the shocks mounted from the top of the LCA. Even with a typical spring compressor, it would interfere when trying to seat the coil into the top pocket. Finally compressed the spring, and then used heavy duty steel straps to keep it compressed and then kicked it in. Bubble wrap to protect the UCA while under full droop. Been thinking about limiting straps.


Rotor test mounted.
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post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old May 18th, 14, 3:06 AM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

New brake lines for the Hurst line lock and adjustable proportioning valve. Wish I learned to do flares and had quality tools do it. I think in the end would have been a lot easier than bending pre-made lines of various lengths.


Brakes all bolted up. Required a centric ring to center the rotor on the hub. I talked to Kore 3 and Tobin said their hub was 2.77x", so I bought a 2.78" ID adapter. Well it didn't fit. A 2.80" adapter would have likely been perfect. 3/8" spacer shown, I plan to use 1/4" spacers I originally bought, but my brother has them on his car.


Suspension complete. One thing to note, the Moog tie rods on the passenger side are too long. I had to cut off 1/2" to allow proper toe adjustment. The SPC lower control arm has 3 holes for the sway bar end links. I didn't know which one is correct, but after test fitting all 3, it seemed like the middle one was the best fit.


Pretty shot of all the new hardware. We'll see how far off my eye ball alignment is.
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post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old May 18th, 14, 11:38 AM
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

I want!!
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post #11 of 93 (permalink) Old May 18th, 14, 3:05 PM
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

very nice! keep up the pics

72 Chevelle 454
-In the process of a frame-off resto-mod
https://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=396029
-This years snowmobiling video-http://youtu.be/0tD0d0-sXdE
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post #12 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 14, 4:07 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Had a hell of a time bleeding the brakes. Turns out I needed a second person to do it correctly. Went out for a test drive and was immediately disappointed.

The steering will not return to center at all. Mind you I have not done an alignment, but with the stock box and NEGATIVE caster, it would still return to center with ease. Since I've already deemed this AGR box that I'm running as faulty, it immediately makes me suspect it's the box.

As for the brakes, I just tried to bed them in, nothing crazy and I could feel some shuddering in the pedal under moderate pressure stops. I haven't sourced what that issue was. Bedding process was cut short, as the transmission jammed in 4th gear due to a loose shifter rod bolt.
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post #13 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 14, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

On the ground, ride height with 2 spacers did in fact bring it to about where it was with the stock control arms.


The brakes do fit with plenty of room.


How the control arms relate to the road at ride height.


Missile switch used for the line lock activate. NHRA states a momentary switch is required, but I feel this is better. Yet to be tested.
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post #14 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 14, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Chris
 
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Got the transmission working again so went out for another bedding process/test drive. I believe the shuddering/vibrating feel was the square edge of the brake pads hitting the slots on the rotors. I have never driven a slotted rotor car, but the feeling is going away with more miles.

I did a quick toe adjustment to center the wheel, but still no improvement on the centering issue. Playing with some fast left/right movements and taking some corners faster than I should have resulted in a vast improvement in handling. The car reacts very quickly. I think the responsiveness has a lot to do with the Moog replacement parts, and the amplitude of the responses are a result of the steering box fast ratio.

As for the brakes. A little disappointed. I was expecting them to grab a little better. They certainly slow the car better than stock, and the adjustable proportioning valve has cured my rear lock up issue I was having. Mind you so far all my tests have been with the rear pressure set at the lowest. No doubt the car will stop better with the rear brake pressure adjusted correctly. As for getting more power out of these brakes, it could be a couple things. Perhaps the M/C is tired, maybe the booster is too. So I may look at a 1" bore M/C, maybe a new booster, and I could also go with a more aggressive brake pad.
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post #15 of 93 (permalink) Old May 21st, 14, 10:49 PM
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Re: 71 SS454 upgrades

Good job , my question , was this a numbers matching car ?
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