Help for better handling on -69 - Impala Tech
Brakes & Suspension Conversion Questions & more

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sweden
Posts: 10
Help for better handling on -69


I have a -69 convertible with a 383 Turbo LT1, that needs a lot better handling.

Today i have 4-way airride and "standard" gas shocks.
I have also changed the steeringbox for a Grand Cherokee with better gearing.
The car has 20x8,5 and 20x10 wheels, and it is way to sensitive sideways, probably most because of the wheels.
I have bought a thicker swaybar for the front, but have not tested it yet.

I want better handling all over, and in which order shall i go further?
I know more caster is one thing i need, so maybe tubular upper arms is the first to go with?. Do anyone know how many degrees caster will be improved whith theese, and what alignments i should try to get on a lowered car with 20" wheels?

I have some ideas, but i do not know in wich order i shall try them.

Better bushings(new rubber in front, and old rubber in rear today)
Tubular upper arms
Tubular lower arms
Better shocks than "standard" gas
Rear swaybar
Thicker panhard bar

and so on..

Please come with ideas, and tips on good places to buy it on, with good prices..
capri is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,459
There are two approaches to better handling performance. The first and most important is to bolt on the biggest tire you can, to maximize the contact patch. That tire needs to be soft and sticky to maximize friction with the road.

here we have the sheet metal cut away to get the biggest wheel and tire possible:

Of Course with open wheel cars there is no sheet metal to worry about:

Of secondary concern: unless you are restricted by a desire to your car's preserve body lines; or to you are being restricted by a sanctioning bodies rule book, then it best to stiffen the frame as much as possible and your suspension to hold what little tire contact patch you have to the road.

Here we can see the reaction to turning forces in body roll and under steer:

With suspension work the body will not roll and the car handles better:

But then You have not named your poison. Perhaps you are looking for more straight line acceleration:

Once again it is all about the combination of tire and suspension work.

As with the Citroën above an air ride suspension doesn't do well with performance handling. The Citroën and Peugeot cars from France had an air or air over hydraulic suspension with no metal springs. They offered a smooth ride but you could get sea sick if raced.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-14-2014, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sweden
Posts: 10
Thank you for your answer!
I want a car that can go in a straight line without going everywhere on the road when a small bump appears..
Then i want better cornering, AND i want to keep the airide because i like the adjustment possibilities.
I hope this gives you a better picture of how i want the car to be.

About the Citroen, most of the France car models does not have the gas-hydraulic suspension. The CV on the picture i think has torsion springs, but yes, the handling is not good on that model(i have tried). But comparing that car with airride on an Impala is like comparing Bananas an Apples.. ;-)
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