Front suspension questions

Merlin1952

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 26, 2015
28
3
Eastern N.C.
I recently discovered the availability of front coil over shock kits for the GM 78 to 87 G-Bodies. I have a 78 Pontiac Grand LeMans that desperately needs the front control arm bushings replaced. I am not looking forward to removing and replacing the coil springs and thought these might be a good alternative as well as an upgrade to my current front suspension setup. Though the car has been setting in my shop now for a long time awaiting a frontend rebuild it had been used as an occasionally driven street/strip toy. What is everyone thoughts, opinions, and recommendations with this conversion, Thanks in advance for everyone’s input.
 

Dayzedandkonfuzed

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2010
969
93
Anglemont, BC
You will not be disappointed with coilovers, but you will want to upgrade the Lower control arms at the same time. The coilover mounts to the shock mount on the arm, which is no where near strong enough to support the weight. You can buy plates I believe, but the right way to do it is to buy a control arm built for coilovers.

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Merlin1952

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 26, 2015
28
3
Eastern N.C.
You will not be disappointed with coilovers, but you will want to upgrade the Lower control arms at the same time. The coilover mounts to the shock mount on the arm, which is no where near strong enough to support the weight. You can buy plates I believe, but the right way to do it is to buy a control arm built for coilovers.

View attachment 209530

View attachment 209531
Very interesting response, thanks. I hadn’t even considered needing a different lower control arm. Is there a preferred brand and/or source for the coilovers and control arms? Is anyone offering them as a kit? Thanks again for your help!!!
 

Dayzedandkonfuzed

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2010
969
93
Anglemont, BC
There are some kits, although they usually come with more than just the control arms and coilovers. For control arms, SPC is a very nice product. For coilovers, QA1 has been around a long time, they make some good stuff on the Pro-touring entry level, but there are a few others that are supposedly even better, Viking being one of them. Also, UMI, Speedtech and Southside Machine have some nice stuff and have proven to be very helpful on this forum.


SRD art UMI Sales Macguyver <---- Maybe these guys can chime in.
 
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bracketchev1221

Royal Smart Person
Jan 18, 2018
1,245
113
I'll be honest, for a street strip car, I would keep the stock stuff and use a light spring and quick extending shock. If you want to get crazy, get an adjustable shock and use the factory springs.
 
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UMI Sales

G-Body Guru
GBodyForum Sponsor
Oct 11, 2011
515
93
Philipsburg, Pa
I recently discovered the availability of front coil over shock kits for the GM 78 to 87 G-Bodies. I have a 78 Pontiac Grand LeMans that desperately needs the front control arm bushings replaced. I am not looking forward to removing and replacing the coil springs and thought these might be a good alternative as well as an upgrade to my current front suspension setup. Though the car has been setting in my shop now for a long time awaiting a frontend rebuild it had been used as an occasionally driven street/strip toy. What is everyone thoughts, opinions, and recommendations with this conversion, Thanks in advance for everyone’s input.

Good morning.

The Viking coilover is very popular for these cars. It's a hybrid style meaning stock fitment of the top half of the spring, coilover fitment on bottom.

You can email me, ramey@umiperformance.com, for a quote.

thx
 
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bracketchev1221

Royal Smart Person
Jan 18, 2018
1,245
113
I ran 10.30's at 130 mph back in the late 90's with stock suspension parts. Went low 1.40's in 60'. Maybe not as quick in 60' as they are now with all the fancy suspension parts but it worked. Later I backhalfed the car and went 9.30's with the same front suspension parts. If you look REALLY close at the second picture you can see the fancy Competition engineering 3 way adjustable shocks in the moroso trick springs. I think I went 1.28 in 60' like that??? Eventually went to a Strange Single adjustable front shock and the SAME springs and went 1.21 in 60' going 8.80's with more horsepower.
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Merlin1952

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 26, 2015
28
3
Eastern N.C.
Bracketchev1221, that’s a nice looking Chevelle. A slight improvement in quarter mile performance would be great but actually I have to rebuild the front suspension on the car and discovered the availability of coilovers. As they would allow me to not have to reinstall the original coil springs, that I actually should replace anyway, it seemed like an option worth checking in to. I do appreciate everyone’s input and any and all opinions and experiences on this topic are welcome. Thanks everyone!!!
 

Streetbu

Know it all, that doesn't
May 22, 2011
3,454
113
Central NY
Best part of coilovers is the adjustable ride height. No more cutting springs and guessing
 
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Merlin1952

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 26, 2015
28
3
Eastern N.C.
I still haven’t purchased any parts yet but currently considering these coilovers in the 550 spring rating and maybe this set of control arms. I suppose I could go with these control arms and just get a set of drag type springs and shocks but still like the idea of not having to deal with coil springs again someday. This will kind of be my winter project so I still have time to consider different options. But as they say, the clock is ticking.

Viking Front Coil Over Kit, Double Adjustable- Polyurethane - UMI Performance Inc.

BMR Suspension AA030H BMR Suspension A-Arms | Summit Racing
 

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