increased caster and control arm options - Impala Tech
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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increased caster and control arm options

I just completed swapping out the original power steering on my 63 Impala with a intergral Borgeson unit. I am about 90% happy with the outcome. The 10% remaining is a little 'wandering' and some slight highway speed vibration.

The instructions that came with the new unit recommended 3-4 degrees positive caster. With my stock control arms I could only get a little over 1 1/2 degrees. I think if I could achieve the recommended value, the remaining issues would be resolved.

To get to the minimum recommended caster, I believe I have to install different upper control arms. I've seen fancy tubular arms from Hotchkis and Global West that advertise upwards of 5-7 degrees but they are expensive.

Are there any 'stock' like control arms available that are less costly and would work?

Also, I am new to this front end 'science' and please set me straight if my analysis is off base. My car is stock hight and I am running p215x70r 15" tires/wheels.

Thanks in advance for any comments/replies.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 10:19 AM
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There used to be a set of stamped arms sold by Speedway but that was about ten years or more when I last saw them. In this case Goggle or Bing or whomever is the way to go to find something that will work and be reasonably priced. Note the difference in price of the tubular arms sold to racers versus those sold for street driven cars. the difference in price is the insurance liability the manufactures have to carry.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
There used to be a set of stamped arms sold by Speedway but that was about ten years or more when I last saw them. In this case Goggle or Bing or whomever is the way to go to find something that will work and be reasonably priced. Note the difference in price of the tubular arms sold to racers versus those sold for street driven cars. the difference in price is the insurance liability the manufactures have to carry.

Big Dave
Thanks for the reply.

I certainly do not NEED the tubular arms for my usage, but so far, they are the only option I have found for achieving the increased caster.

I did find stamped arms for the tri-five (55-57) chevy that had a built in 5 degree of caster. Don't know who makes them and don't know if they will fit my 63.

Any older 'Corvette' parts that may work? I understand the front ends are very similar to my 63 Impala.

Thanks again.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 06:19 AM
 
 
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I borrow this thread, because i have the same problem with my 69 Impala, and would be very happy if i could get some advices about getting increased caster without spending big money.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 11:00 AM
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As to whether the Tri Five Chevy A-arms fit the newer 1963 X-frame (interchange) you need only consult with your local salvage yard. They have access to Hollander's Interchange manual (now on-line instead of a printed book). Hollander assigns a unique number to every part made for every car made in the world so if the part interchanges it will have the same number.

If that part has the same number, but has a letter attached to it; that means that it might be backwards compatible, with or without some modification, but it isn't the exact same part. Something may have been added (such as a tab with threaded holes to a steering knuckle to allow for a disc brake caliper to be bolted on that will not interfere with an older car using drum brakes for example). Hollander published paper interchange books that you can buy used on line that will cover your car (You want one that was published a year or three after your car was made that includes your car and as many future models as possible). If you buy a second Hollander book you want it to be published four or five years before your car was made to find older parts that might interchange.

Each book published covers about a four to seven year spread, depending upon series breaks in car production (examples for the Impala are 1955-'57; 1958-'64; 1965-'70, 1971-'76; and 1977-'99 have the mostly the same parts inside that series and some parts cover all of the cars listed such as the water pump gasket for the SBC).

I know the '55 used A-arms for upper and lower control arms. while the X-framed 1958-'64 had an upper A-arm but used a trailing link for the lower control arm. So the upper may interchange but there is no hope of the lowers working. I believe the 1965-'99 used stamped steel upper and lower A-arms again. As to whether any of these parts interchange only Hollander knows for sure.

Big Dave
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