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mymontesa70

the whole suspension she-bang!

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I apologize in advance for the lengthy post and many spelling mistakes.

 

Short story goes... have a 70 monte with a bench seat and a 350/350 set up that i bought when i was 17 and have general emotion for. waived back and forth on what powerplant to build but finally ( thanks to the gurus here) bought a big block and started a 496 stroker build. dumped a bunch of money into that and then remembered i have a wife finishing school along with my 2 year old son and very near future plans to upgrade to a bigger house(garage) so it just kind of sat there.. any way buttoned all that up recently and after reading countless forums and sleepless nights decided to really dive in. Sold the big block, sold the 350 set up, sold anything i could sell and now i have a lq4 with a 4l80e sitting on the stand ready to be torn apart. (rather now then later i figure im this deep in it already)

 

So, on to  why im posting in suspension. mine is shot (all of it) and the snowballs a rolling so i wanted your expert monte advice on what to get. 

 

"whats my purpose" thats a harder question then most will admit. in my head im like " yeah i totally want to  get into auto cross and go race my race car, ohh or drag racing i want that too." but really truth is i want to just have a solid setup . autocross and drag racing may come later and ill take out that second mortgage when it does, but for the time being my real goals are just to go to meets and car shows , finally make it out to a first gen meet and just cruise around with the family and stomp on it once in a while. 

 

so im thinking billstien shocks, hotchkiss 1 inch lowering springs, i already have a set of air lift 1000s in the rear, bushings and a nice set of  beefier sway bars. 

 

QUESTION IS .. do tubular arms have any real advantage or are they just pretty? becuase thats $500 i could not spend, but then what if i get everything in and set her down and go " damn i wish i wouldve gotten those tubular control arms" .  Im going poly bushings ( i know you guys have a strong hate for them) but i figure technology has come along way and if i grease and install properly the first time ill be a happy camper. where do you guys recommended i get sway bars and control arms from ?  im willing to bet half of you have done a suspension overhaul at some point. anything you would do different? anything else you would recommended while the car sits lighter? im not completely sold on the 1 inch lowering springs because i have this nagging fear it will be too low. 

 

i know i sound like a teenage girl but i have a hard time pulling the trigger on stuff ( see above mentioned motor) even though i can usually sell it if i change my mind and break even overall. 

 

i guess it boils down to this, i am pretty confident around motors but completely uneducated when it comes to suspension and i come here seeking your monte wisdom, 

 

thanks in advance as always.

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I had a friend who rebuilt his suspension last year and hates his Poly setup and is in the process of  changing it out.

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Not to sound like an [censored] Brandon but I would forgo the drop springs if you are going to use the air bags in the springs. I have poly bushings in the front of my 70 hotchkis springs with KYB shocks front and back. Car rode nice and smooth on a rough road even with the rear control arm bushing being shoot. I recently put UMI tubular arms on the rear with their rear sway bar but  haven't drive the car since the upgrade last year. My 72 has tubular front control arm with coil overs. The coil overs is the ideal way to go as you can change out the spring rate and the rebound of the shocks.

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if you are just looking to build a driver, stick with the stock suspension, I would stay with the rubber bushings except for the front sway bar, the poly bushings really help with that

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Sam, Larry and Rob that is exactly the advice i am looking for, thank you.

 

i will forgo the drop springs and just get the stockers. Springs are pretty cheap anyway so its not a huge deal and hit to the wallet to change them out if i decide i do want to drop the car on a later date. Same with poly, ill go rubber bushings and poly on the sway bars as per your suggestion Sam, id rather be happy with my monte now and if i decide to go autocross in the future deal with it then, that would be a minor dent in the wallet compared to some of the other investments autocross requires. 

 

any advice or reviews on where to source parts? does umi even sell rubber bushings with their kits? i suppose i can head back through the forums and find out the crowd favorites there. 

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I favor MOOG or GM parts, as for the sway bar poly stuff, energy suspension parts have been of nice quality 

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Brandon here is the UMI kit which is close to what I have on my http://umiperformance.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_32_42&products_id=602 . It comes with a 1" rear sway bar. And maybe this for the front sway bar http://umiperformance.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_34&products_id=287

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I've never had issues with my poly bushings (5 years old now). Some tubular control arms mimick stock setup so no advantage. Others are setup to improve the steering. Might be nice to have through the corners.

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Don't buy cheap tubular control arms, the stock ones are better. I bought some cheap ($379 for uppers and lowers) front control arms to try and save some money and the ball joint boots are already torn. I haven't even driven the car yet. The welds were terrible too and I worry about cracking. If you get tubular arms, go with a well known company. Bottom line is you get what you pay for.

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agreed to all. especially the get what you pay for part. there are a few deals i trust like the right stuff drop spindles seem to be pretty decent. 

 

i forgot to add im going with poly for tranny mounts but rubber for the engine. i figure i dont want the tranny twisting and i dont want the motor to shake every nut and bolt loose. seems good in theory.

 

thanks for the links, honestly seems really reasonably priced for what you get.

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i really like this write up as it seems to be non objective.

 

http://www.aftermarketsuspensionparts.com/blog/rubber-v-polyurethane-suspension-bushings/

 

check out the diy on installing rubber without a press. i like the dry ice method better.

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hey Ryan did you happen to get those arms through speedway motors? im curious becuase ive nothing but good things. especially recently (past 2 years) it seems suspension companies even the over seas stuff has really come along way

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No, it wasn't speedway. I was looking for them earlier and I can't remember what site I bought them from. I wish I had inspected them closer before slamming them on the car. I could have just sent them back

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Wow. Lots of opinions here, and different results.

I did everything all at once and it was a tremendous difference. I did the body mounts, suspension bushings, and springs. I chose polygraphite bushings for the  front suspension and body mounts, and stock rubber for the rear suspension. I used the 1" drop Hotchkis springs all around.

I have had no issue with anything except I felt the rear sat a little low to my liking. The cheap helper bags inside the rear springs solved that.

The important thing to remember with poly bushings is that they rotate around the bushing center tube. That center tube gets clamped in place when you tighten everything down, so it is motionless. The key to this knowledge is that the lubricant is put between the center tube and the poly bushing; not between the center tube and the thru-bolt. Drag racing is different: for drags, the thru-bolts are left loose and everything  pivots on the thru-bolts. So for good measure, apply lubricant to both the inside and outside of the center tube before assembly.

The end result for me was like getting out of a Monte Carlo and stepping into a Formula Firebird. Much, much better connected to the road, but not harsh.

 

New rubber bushings will give a good result, but poly might be better up front if you are willing to take the risk....there is hope.

My old bushings were toast; everything was oil-soaked and had turned to goo. I know with poly that won't happen again.

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