CUTLASS Need suspension guidance

oLdS1

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 25, 2018
48
61
18
40
Van Wert OH
#1
Hello anyone that can steer me in the right direction...

What I have is an 86 Salon that I am in the finishing stages of an LS1 swap on. Suspension and wheel and tire upgrades are my next mountain to climb. My question is what is the best route to take for the suspension end. I am looking to run an 18x9.5 rear and 18x8 front replacing the 14s on the car now. My suspension is all stock at this point and my budget is $2500(ish).

I've looked at the BMR stage 2 kit, the Ridetech Streetgrip and some others as well but prices are all over. If I can do this in stages I am not opposed to spending more if need be but am looking to get the biggest bang for the buck at this point. The car is a street car with a little lower and will not be raced. Just looking for good handling and more of a "sport" feel. If anyone can help I would appreciate it tons!
 

UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 6, 2016
2,525
974
113
53
Southlake, TX
ungn.net
#2
Buying everything in a "kit" can get expensive and some of the best bang for the buck improvements are the cheapest. There lots of variations but you'll pretty much need/want the following with any suspension build:

In Front you'll need:
springs:
shocks:
probably bushings:
Maybe Upper Control Arms:
Bump stop:
ball joints:
sway bar and Sway bar bushing:
steering improvements: fast ratio box, u-joint steering shaft:

If you want bigger brakes in front:
Spindles:
Brakes:

For the frame:
Jounce bars From a Cutlass:
GP bar:
adding the missing lower Frame mounts:

In Back:
springs:
sway bar:
shocks:
control arms:

People could fill in the blanks with their suggested components.
 

melloelky

G-Body Guru
Oct 22, 2017
527
365
63
38
mass
#3
If you're gonna spend your time and money go with a suspension that has something to offer.the bmr stuff looks nice but there's no alignment/geometry change to speak of.they're tubular versions of the stock parts.and there's nothing wrong with that if that's all you're looking for.if you upgrade to some parts that offer a better alignment capabilities,the car will drive and handle better.
 

oLdS1

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 25, 2018
48
61
18
40
Van Wert OH
#4
Being honest, suspension is my weak point. i squeezed the LS1 in without issue but am honestly not sure where to start. I kind of figured the BMR stuff was too good to be true but had to look into it after seeing a write up on it by one of the car magazines. Ill keep researching and listen to any advice that comes my way Olds Cutlass.jpg
 

UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 6, 2016
2,525
974
113
53
Southlake, TX
ungn.net
#5
Is it an Iron block or AL block LS1? Do you have A/C? You can run less aggressive springs in front with a lighter motor, but if you have an Iron block with A/C, I would stay towards the higher spring rates.
 

PartsFiend

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 28, 2018
7
7
3
30
Ghettos of So Cal
#7
In a budget aspect CPP upper n lowers could be had for like $800. With new moog springs from rock auto cut front for selected height, all inner outter tie rods from moog or desired brands. Also rock auto for best bang on buck. Used hallow sway bar from 3 gen f body along with a rebuilt gear box from ws6 or z28 third gen f body. Thats what ive been looking into. Keeping it budget friendly for myself. Hope it helps. If not speedtech suspension makes great trake proven stuff. We use speedtech at work n have seen it put 2 the test on the track at events and driven home.
 

fleming442

Comic Book Super Hero
Dec 26, 2013
2,856
1,120
113
#8
Sticky material....
 

UNGN

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 6, 2016
2,525
974
113
53
Southlake, TX
ungn.net
#9
Here is what I would do for a daily driver with an AL LS1 or V6:

In Front you'll need:
springs: Moog 5658 (put in first measure ride height, then removed and cut to perfect ride height after everything else put on)
shocks: Bilsteins
probably bushings: PST polygraphite Lower Control Arm bushings (uppers, too if you re-use stock arms)
Maybe Upper Control Arms: G-body parts UB Machine Tubular will work fine with 17X8's, could have interference with smaller diameter 8" wheels and tall ball joints.
Bump stop: ZQ8 GM 15956547, Dorman 31064
ball joints: Proforged 1/2" taller Upper 101-10020 and Lower 101-10048
sway bar and Sway bar bushing: Hollow 3rd gen F-body - Junkyard (34-36mm doesn't matter)
steering improvements: fast ratio box, u-joint steering shaft: 12.7 Steering box, '93-95 Jeep Grand Cherokee steering shaft or modified Astro Van Shaft, New Inner/out tie rods if more than 60K miles.

If you want bigger brakes in front:
Spindles: 1998-2003 2wd Blazer - Junkyard
Brakes: 1998-2003 2wd Blazer dual piston 11" - Junkyard

For the frame:
Jounce bars From a Cutlass: Junkyard, but yours should have this.
GP bar: Junkyard
adding the missing lower Frame mounts: Replace any Flat washers with 457915 Pink Lower Bushings

In Back:
springs: I would leave the stock and see how it handles
sway bar: A "pro touring" style rear sway bar
shocks: Bilsteins
control arms: Stock, with new bushings if needed
 
Last edited:

Anubis

Royal Smart Person
Mar 30, 2012
1,369
252
83
52
www.youtube.com
#10
Here is what I would do for a daily driver with an AL LS1 or V6:

In Front you'll need:
springs: Moog 5658 (put in first measure ride height, then removed and cut to perfect ride height after everything else put on)
shocks: Bilsteins
probably bushings: PST polygraphite Lower Control Arm bushings (uppers, too if you re-use stock arms)
Maybe Upper Control Arms: G-body parts UB Machine Tubular will work fine with 17X8's, could have interference with smaller diameter 8" wheels and tall ball joints.
Bump stop: ZQ8 GM 15956547, Dorman 31064
ball joints: Proforged 1/2" taller Upper 101-10020 and Lower 101-10048
sway bar and Sway bar bushing: Hollow 3rd gen F-body - Junkyard (34-36mm doesn't matter)
steering improvements: fast ratio box, u-joint steering shaft: 12.7 Steering box, '93-95 Jeep Grand Cherokee steering shaft or modified Astro Van Shaft, New Inner/out tie rods if more than 60K miles.

If you want bigger brakes in front:
Spindles: 1998-2003 2wd Blazer - Junkyard
Brakes: 1998-2003 2wd Blazer dual piston 11" - Junkyard

For the frame:
Jounce bars From a Cutlass: Junkyard, but yours should have this.
GP bar: Junkyard
adding the missing lower Frame mounts: Replace any Flat washers with 457915 Pink Lower Bushings

In Back:
springs: I would leave the stock and see how it handles
sway bar: A "pro touring" style rear sway bar
shocks: Bilsteins
control arms: Stock, with new bushings if needed

Some good input here ^^^^
 

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