Advice on suspension for 62 Impala - Impala Tech
Brakes & Suspension Conversion Questions & more

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Advice on suspension for 62 Impala

Hey guys I'll looking for advice on a simple and decently price upgrade/replacement for my 4 door Impy. I bought it as a parts car for my Bel Air but it actually turned out to be in better condition then my Bel Airs in .
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 11:38 PM
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I bought polyurethane in the past and loved it. Everyone is going to tell you to buy rubber to stay OG with a smoother ride. I still haven't decided what to run on my 66. I guess roll the dice and see what happens. The bottom line is if all your rubber stuff looks like a raisin, you'll probablly enjoy anything.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 08:18 AM
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The current rubber bushings sold today are not as durable or as hard as were the original bushings purchased from vendors like Firestone, Goodyear and B. F. Goodrich were when these cars were new. It could be that because they are all made overseas now, there is a difference in available materials, or more likely that modern rubber isn't as good as the presynthetic stuff we have now. But either way when compared to a durometer meter reading they will not wear as weall and are spongier than the originals.

Ployurethane is a bit harder than the original rubber bushings by about the same amount that replacement rubber ones are softer. They are easier to install and will last the life of the car. They are produced in either red or black, but they can be painted any color desired (such as flat black to look like rubber).

I would not recommend "Delarin" bushings (nylon plastic lubrication sleeves inside of a solid aluminum bushing) for anything other than a race car. Same for the solid steel heim joint (captured steel ball) or roller bearing control arm bushings used in Roundy round cars. These parts were common back in the seventies when these cars were beaten to death on oval tracks to entertain a bunch of people that like to go to the "races" to watch car wrecks.

Additionally on 1977 and up B-body rear control arms, where the upper control arms are angled in at forty five degrees; you have to use either a heim joint, or a rubber bushing on one end or it will put the suspension in a bind. This is because a polyurethane bushing will not give enough to move in more than one plane of rotation and the angled control arms require two planes of motion.

As your speed increases so too do the forces the control arms have to control (½mv² is the amount of kinetic energy store in the unsprung weight of the vehicle). Since these cars were designed for forty five mile per hour roads (the interstate system of limited access roadways didn't exist in the late sixties) brakes and control arms are designed to operate at a maximum of sixty miles an hour (fifty percent more safety factor than the design criteria). So in this case Ralph Nader almost got it right: "Unsafe at any speed [above sixty miles an hour]"

If you are going to be driving above sixty you will have to address the brake fade issues and control arms bending under stress. Better quality adjustable shocks and variable rate springs would really help as well. As would the addition of anti-sway bars or a bigger in diameter bar if one is already installed.

If you are willing to throw money at the problem these cars can be made to handle well:





But there is no cheap solution.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 10:12 AM
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Here is what I did on my 64 four door. The part numbers on the springs may differ for 62, if so look for the stock springs labeled "Heavy Duty" or "SS".

The stiffer springs, poly bushings, tires and anti-sway bar changed it from floaty out of control to firm but comfortable ride rather like a modern car.

Springs:

Moog 658A front (listed as SS springs)
Moog 6033 rear (listed as Heavy Duty)

Shocks
Monroe Sensa-trac

Energy Suspension Poly Graphite bushings all around
Complete kits:
http://www.suspension.com/chevy,fullsize.htm

245/60/14 Diamond Back III white wall tires (BF Goodrich tires T/A Radials with a white wall vulcanized on them)

Addco front anti-sway bar.

1964 Impala 4 door sedan

My Bloggy Thing: http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=2285

Last edited by dcairns; 08-15-2019 at 04:53 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 10:54 AM
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Except for the 1967-'69 427SS the words SS means bucket seats, not suspension or motor upgrades. SS only buys you chrome trim not performance. As such look to the station wagon or Police car suspension parts if you want to upgrade to a heavier duty than stock.

The F-40 option after 1969 when ordered with a new Impala bought you HD suspension: consisting of a stiffer spring rate stiffer valved shocks and sway bars comparable to what was included on police cars before that time. On a Chevelle SS or a Camaro SS (includes same parts as used on the Nova SS) the suspension upgrade that was part of the SS package was listed as F-41. However you could still add to it by ordering the F-40 HD suspension upgrade on top of the F-41 to double down on the suspension upgrades to the point were a lot of people took them to the track with just the factory installed parts (think TransAm road racing).

There probably are not a lot of early sixties police cars left in bone yard but I would consider looking for one if you want to upgrade your suspension parts. You can of course buy new springs wound out of the same size wire as used back then for police work, it is just a matter of looking in the catalogs. It would be much easier however to talk to a sales engineer at Eaton or Moog to talk with him about your desired handling goals and ride height. You can also buy today better shocks than were offered back in the day. The aftermarket offers sway bars that are bigger and better than the factory originals as well. Check out Hotchkiss or Affco catalogs to see what is available.

Keep in mind your car today is sitting an inch and half to two inches lower now than it did when new (Spring Sag). As such keep that in mind when ordering new springs, as it will rise up at least two inches when installed if you specify stock ride height. To lower it more than what you have now you would choose a lowering spring (generally two inches lower) and add to that a two inch lowering steering knuckle (where the spindle height is raised two inches higher on the steering knuckle to lower the car two inches).

The sales engineer is going to want to know what your car weight is so it has to be measured using a truck scale (accurate to twenty pounds) or trying to get the true four corner weight using portable scales. Your friendly DOT police officer has a set of scales in his trunk if you can bribe him with donuts and coffee at four in the morning to set them up for you in the parking lot of the closest chicken coup to your house. Also if you live in the south there will be in some industrial warehouse in your town a Roundy-round racer that has a set of four corner scales that might help you. Best way to find them is to cruise the warehouse districts in the evening as they work after hours on their circle track race car replacing sheet metal and freshening or adjusting the power train and suspension for there next demolishing derby.

Big Dave
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