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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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new to forum

new to the site, just got a 65 impala ss with a 454. it needs a little work but its a good start for the price i paided. i will need some help with the suspention.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 01:49 PM
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Welcome to the Team Mitchell!

Check to see how many rear control arms you have (three or four). If you have three you need to add the fourth control arm. Front suspension needs to be rebuilt to get everything up to speed. Parts wear and you want to start off fresh with everything replaced at once so everything starts to wear in evenly. Add new shocks all around and new bushings to make it handle like new. ad bigger than stock front and rear sway bars to make it handle better than new.

The original rubber bushings have probably all just about rotted out by now and need to be replaced with something better in my opinion (purists object to plastic and insist that rubber is better). Problem with currently available rubber bushings is that the compound used today isn't as hard as it used to be when new so the car and the suspension is able to move around a lot more. It is hard to keep your tires pointed in the right direction if they are wondering around on their own due to excessive deflection of the bushings.

The 454 puts out a lot more power than the 396 that was available as an option and most of that power is in low to mid range torque which you will feel on the street (if you don't break something first). Finally before you upgrade to bigger rubber be sure you have a 12 bolt rear end under the car instead of the base 10 bolt.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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ill have to see if it has 3 or 4. it has a 12 bolt in it for sure, it has disc brakes on the front already, i was thinking about changing the front a arms and the rear arms also. is it worth doing? im thinking about 450 to 500 hp out of the 454 with a th400 trans. it came with a be cool rad.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 05:04 PM
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If it has the pick-up truck "Peanut Port" heads then 400 horsepower is about the max it will see in power. Keep in mind horsepower moves you around the high bank oval track at Daytona (that is why they used to paint the HP numbers on the hood). It is torque however that spins the tires and pushes you back in your seat; and the 454 pick-up truck motor has torque in spades. You just have to change the cam to something a little more aggressive than the old EFI-TBI cam such as a RV cam.

If you have a set of open chamber heads off of a 1971-'74 Chevelle or Camaro with oval ports (not the tiny round ports) then you could reach your horsepower goals, but you will probably need a new set of pistons to raise your compression back up to get it there.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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for the suspention, is it worth putting after market a arms and rear trailing arms on it just for a good street driver to handle well? also is it better to lower the front with drop spindles or will coils do just fine
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:43 PM
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I prefer dropped spindles if they are made correctly. Unfortunately some vendors make a part that interferes with wider wheels (I have never encountered this problem myself) but I have read about it from others who have had problems).

If you replace your rubber bushings in the rear control arms with plastic and box in the original arms to make a structural member out of them they will work as well on the street as the higher priced replacements from the aftermarket. Same for the front stamped A-arms. Once boxed in they are quite strong.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:59 PM
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Welcome to the site. And got any pics of your "new" ride? I love the 65's!!

1965 impala 2dr
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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which drop spindles are the best ones? ill have to see if i can find some one to box them in for me or ill just buy they after market ones and see how they work. so if i use drop spindles then i can use stock height coils?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdfedewa View Post
which drop spindles are the best ones? ill have to see if i can find some one to box them in for me or ill just buy they after market ones and see how they work. so if i use drop spindles then i can use stock height coils?
If you can not box them in for yourself (you own your own welder and know how to use it) then it will be cheaper to buy aftermarket control arms from PST or some similar company. Hotchkiss makes the best parts out there as far as suspension upgrades, but they also charge the most for their product (funny how the best seems to cost the most).

Big Dave
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