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Build Thread: '87 442 . . . Time to turn and stop

Discussion in 'Chassis / Drivetrain / Suspension / Wheels' started by Canon_Mutant, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Canon_Mutant

    Canon_Mutant G-Body Guru

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    Hello all,

    Now that I have a 400HP/500lb.ft. Olds big block with a Level 3 Bowtie 2004R that makes my 442 actually go like a 442 should, I am finally getting around to making my '87 442 turn and stop.

    Though the car only has 28K miles on it, it has 30 year old springs and shocks so I would like to go in with a coil over swap first [looking at Viking] to just freshen the suspension up but also because the coil overs are so "tweakable", they will work with the factory A-arms, and still work when/if I go to aftermarket control arms later. I know that just decent new shocks and springs would be cheaper and would likely perform as well as coil overs but it is that tweak-ability I am thinking might be worth the extra coin front and rear . . . though I am less certain about the rear. Anyone running COs out back?

    While I have it scattered, I can bead blast my stock control arms, sway bars, bracing, and steering rods to pretty them back up and install some new and better bushings when I go back together.

    Out back, I would like to put new adjustable control arms [Looking at UMI but my mind is still open] to help hook this power up better. Right now, if I go more than 1/2 way to the floor out of the hole, I just sit there boiling the tires. I suspect part of that problem is literally from just not having ideal pinion angle. For now, I intend to leave my 8.5 3.73 gears alone until something breaks which helping it to hook up better might just do [??]. The car is just geared amazingly well the way it is so . . . if it ain't broke [??]

    Finally on the first phase, I would like to put on new spindles and rotors up front [looking at Baer SS4+] leaving the rears alone for now. I like the stock look of the SSIIIs so for now I don't intend to change that though I am running 245/60/15s all around now instead of the stock 215/65s.

    Later on, I will consider aftermarket A-arms, aftermarket sway bars and bracing, larger [taller] ball joints, rear brakes, etc.

    Does this approach make sense?

    Yeah, I know that's a loaded question but there is nothing about this plan that is etched in stone at the moment.

    Thanks a bunch . . .
     
    #1 Canon_Mutant, Mar 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  2. Dinosport

    Dinosport G-Body Guru

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    I have read that you need to change the control arms for coil era in the front because the stock control arms can't handle the weight on the shock mounts alone. Since your running a big block which is heavier i think that would wise to them together, front brakes I have the s10 set up. I haven't installed it yet but I hear it make a world of difference and still fits under 15s.
    As for the rear I have no idea. I'll read up on you do and see how it works. Lol
     
  3. Streetbu

    Streetbu Greasemonkey

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    If I were you, the very FIRST thing I would do is replace your upper balljoints with the taller ones that are available. That will change your camber curve and actually make it handle much better. You will need to get an alignment afterwards. Ideally at the same time, you should install the Baer tie rod end kit to fix the G-body bumpsteer issue. These two are cheap and will make a huge difference. If you want larger brakes without breaking the bank, go for the Blazer spindle swap at the same time.
     
  4. Dinosport

    Dinosport G-Body Guru

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    Hey Streetbu any chance you have part numbers on the ball joints? Or if I went to say napa what do I ask for to get these?
     
  5. Canon_Mutant

    Canon_Mutant G-Body Guru

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    Guess I should have included that, with Edlebrock Aluminum Heads and Intake and a couple other minor mods, the car with this BB weighs 40 lbs. less than it did with the small block.

    Interesting that taller ball joints make that much difference but that is why I am here . . . to learn.

    I've heard of the S10 and or Blazer spindle swaps. I will be honest that, since it is a show quality car, the looks of aftermarket brakes are part of their appeal. Factory spindles and brakes are new or rust, not much in between. Even getting those copper colored calipers [say that 10 times fast] to go with the gold [but frankly that same color] striping and SSIII wheel color accents would look nice.

    az%20copper.jpg
     
  6. Dinosport

    Dinosport G-Body Guru

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    Ive read even with the v6 on a gbody guys have had the shock go through the control arm. If looks are what your after on tha brakes that's cool. Let us know what you go with. Might give us some idea.
     
  7. Canon_Mutant

    Canon_Mutant G-Body Guru

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    Viking COs say they work on factory or aftermarket control arms. I appreciate your input though because I will certainly be checking this out "before" I spend any money. Like I said, if it wasn't for the almost unlimited tweakability the COs have, just some good aftermarket shocks and 1" lowering springs would be a LOT cheaper.

    I actually like the looks of the stock ride height so it would be nice to be able to tweak it to get the best of both worlds [looks vs handling]. I did toss those stupid factory air shocks right after I got it for just a 1" spring spacer and some [30 years ago] heavy duty Monroes and it sat and handled much better out back by just doing that. Still has too much of that sitting on a couch handling feel to it though . . .
     
  8. Canon_Mutant

    Canon_Mutant G-Body Guru

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    Also, do you know if they are busting the upper or lower?

    Here is the Viking sales pitch off the UMI site . . .

    Viking's front coilover kit combines a high quality hybrid spring with a 19-position double adjustable shock. The upper coil fits the upper spring perch on your vehicle while the lower part of the coil matches the coilover shock bottom. A coil spring compressor is not required, as the adjuster acts as the compressor. The optional thrust bearing and spanner wrenches allow for easy adjustment of ride height from factory to 3" lowering. The shock itself has independent compression and rebound adjusters to allow custom tuning for street, strip, auto-x and road race - all in one shock. Viking coilovers work perfectly with UMI's lower a-arm or your factory lower a-arm. Pair with UMI's geometry corrected upper a-arm loaded with a tall ball joint and head for the nearest high speed corner, 1/4 mile track or weekly cruise.
     
  9. Dinosport

    Dinosport G-Body Guru

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    I don't know to be honest. I know I was searching around looking for ideas about coil overs, I just want height adjust ability. While searching I came across a few threads that mentioned that the stock control arms weren't designed to handle the weight of the front end alone and stories about the coil-overs going through the shock mount. I don't know what brand they were using or if it was top or bottom. I just stopped there an figured I would wait till I can do both together before I got the coil-overs. If UMI has a set up that fixes that issue that would be pretty awesome. Can you send me a link to look at it.
     
  10. Dinosport

    Dinosport G-Body Guru

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    On the brakes btw, If you did the s10 set up it opens a world of options with out having to buy a different kit should you decide to changw things later on. I plan on painting the calipers nice and install them with some slotted rotors for now. In the future they sell brackets that allow you to install the corvette brakes and there are tons of options since the s10 is so popular so many companies make different set ups for them. Its also almost a direct bolt in if you use the stock set up.
     
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