Suspension mods

From: Steve Bantz (sbantz at

For those of you who don't really like the way your SS handles carving
corners, here's what I did and how I accomplished.  Here's what I scribbled
in my notes from last summer.

Parts Guide:

Description                     Part#           Quantity needed
Bilstein shocks, front          b36-0949        1 set
Bilstein shocks, rear           B46-0929        1 set

Eiback springs                  depends         4

Energy Suspension:
Poly bushings, upper/lower      3-3129          1 set
Anti-roll bar end link kit      9-8819          1
33mm poly anti-roll bushings    9-5116          1
Poly ball joint boots           9-13125         1 set
Poly tie rod end boots          9-13101         2 sets
Low profile bump stops          9-9102          1 set

GM Brake stuff:

Front spindle, left             14012589        1
Front spindle, right            14012590        1
1LE 12-inch rotors              18016035        2
Dustshield, left                344023          1
Dustshield, right               344024          1
Dustcaps                        1400344         2
Washers                         457707          2
Nuts                            378137          2
Caliper bolts                   5463495         4
Caliper, left                   18015427        1
Caliper, right                  18015427        1
Wheel bearings, seals           

Hotchkis Performance:
Upper Trailing arms             HPTA02
Lower trailing arms             HPTA01
Trailing arm braces             HPBR01
Tubular upper A-arms            HPAA01
Tie rod sleeves                 HPTR01

Notes:  Hotchkis recommended Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs to optimize
        Whether it mattered or not, I chose to buy them. :)

I. Getting started - The front end

1.      Lower the control arm using a floor jack.  Then, remove the jack to
lessen the spring tension.  With a spring compressor (or pry bar if you feel
brave, but I don't recommend it) compress the spring and force it out of

2.      Remove the stock bushings.  I used an air chisel and worked my way
around the bushing until the crush fit released the bushing.  Tap the
bushing out with a hammer and 
punch.  Then, press the poly bushing into the arm being careful not to
distort the control arm tabs.

3.      Install the Hotchkis upper control arm.  It is pretty straight
forward if you look at it and take your time.  R&R is the same as the stock
one so if you run into trouble just reference a Chilton manual or something

4.      Compress the spring and reinstall.

5.      Install the new spindle on the lower control arm and raise the
entire unit back in to position with the floor jack.  Once you secure the
spindle, you can remove the floor jack

6.      Before messing with the tie rods, measure the length of the tie rod
to the stock adjustment sleeves.  This will allow you to be in the ballpark
for toe-in measurement so you can at least get to the alignment shop for a
professional job.

7.      Install the new tie rod sleeves.  I always use anti-seize compound
on the adjustment nuts.  These heavy duty sleeves will reduce the tie rod
deflection under hard steering.  Make sure you thread the adjustment sleeves
to the same measurement that you wrote down in step 6.

8.      Remove the stock anti-roll bar bushings and replace them one at a time.

9.      Install your new end links.

10.     Front suspension is done.  If are installing larger brakes (with
correct spindles) you can't use your stock master cylinder.  I used a master
cylinder from a 1974 Camaro.  Be careful, though.  Other cylinders will fit
the SS booster but be aware that late model cylinders have metric fittings.

11.     Continue on if you are doing the rear suspension, otherwise go to
your alignment shop and get the front end set to spec.  I listed my specs at
the end on section II.

II.   Rear Suspension:

1.      Get your trusty new Hotchkis upper and lower control arms from the
box in your closet.

2.      This is a simple remove and replace procedure and is very
straightforward.  First, lube the arm bushings with the Teflon grease included.

(for 3 and 4, do not thread the nuts on until step 9)

3.      Install the lower arms first making sure to align the anti roll bar
holes to the rear and the grease hole facing down.  I didn't do this the
first time. ;)

4.      Remove the emergency brake cable bracket above the pinion and remove
the the upper control arms.  Installation of the new arms is reverse of
stock unit removal.

5.      Fit the brace over the bolts securing the upper and lower control
arms.  You *may* have to notch the corner frame bracket on some G-bodies to
make this fit right.  I didn't have to on my SS but on a buddy's 85 Regal we
had to.

6.      Remove the axle bushing.  Tap in the replacement poly bushing and
insert the steel sleeve.

7.      To fit the control arm over the bushing you must raise the axle
slowly with a floor jack.  You will see the angles come into alignment as
you slowly raise the axle.  Align the bolt holes.

8.      Use Loctite on the threads of the control arm bolts.

9.      Torque the bolts to 70 ft/lbs.  Urethane bushings can be torqued
while at full suspension "droop."  If you reinstalled rubber bushings you
have to raise the axle to correct ride height before torqing these nuts.

10.     Reinstall the emergency brake cable bracket.

11.     Lower the car and get to your alignment shop right away to set your
car to specs up front.

Here is what I had mine set to:
0 degree camber
1/32 inch toe in
4.5 degrees positive caster, left
5 degrees positive caster, right

On the track you could try:
.25 degree negative camber
1/8 inch toe out
3 degrees positive caster left and right.
(don't drive on the street like this)

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