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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of redoing my 79 suspension but I do not know where to start or what to put in it. Every thing is stock now.This is a street car that might see the drag strip once a year. I don't have a lot of cash to start with, so I'll be doing my suspension in stages. What do y'all think of this?

-Composite Mono-spring from VBP
-Factory rear springs
-Bilstien Sport shocks all the way around

How much "seat of the pants" change will I feel with these upgrades?
 

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From that list, I think you'll 'feel' the biggest change from the shocks.

I have never experienced a C3 with a front mono leaf spring so I can't speak for it.

I know that all new rubber joints and tight steering makes a healthy difference too.
 

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I've got the front monoleaf and lightweight A-arms from VB&P. Along with Flaming River manual rack and pinion and 255/45-18" tires. It is so precise it's almost scary. It rides great and to change lanes I only have to move the steering wheel about 2 inches. I've also got VanSteel offset trailing arms with 275/40-18" in the rear with QA-1 double adjustable coilovers. The handling is great. Without the tires and wheels, the suspension mods were about $4000.00. Art
 

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If your looking for noticable difference on the cheep.

I recommend a Fiberglass rear spring to replace the heavy steel one in the rear, and then go with 550 front springs. you really dont have to do a mono spring in the front but if you do it will cost because you have to change the A arms and then you definetly want a fiberglass one in the rear to match.

but a good starting point is 550 front springs, fiberglass rear spring, billstien shocks and front and rear swaybars

also I recommend new tie rod ends while your at it as well as replacing ball joints if you havent done so. that alone will give you a noticable improvment

I have the entire performance plus system and it made my car feel like it drives on rails and I have it on the hardest setting. probably a little to rouph for most people. but on a flat road its glued down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the info and being to the point. I had some trouble with Corvette forum NCRS Nazis not giving me the best advice! :thumbsup:
 

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of coarse god forbid you want to IMPROVE your PERFORMANCE car from how it came from the factory lol.

it really annoys the **** out of me when someone tries to tell you you butchered a perfectly good car.

its one thing if its a rare 69 with a zl1 engine, but its another when you have a 79 or 82 that are a dime a dozon lol.

your not really ganna see a ton of value out of your car and to be honest you will get more money for it doing performance upgrades, it dont really fall into the matching numbers value crowd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One more thing do you know a good combo for the front and rear sway bar size. It's a small block. I'm thinking of 5/8'' in the rear 1 1/8" in the front.
 

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Most people (including me) have found that no rear swaybar gives better handling characteristics. If you really want to use one, use a small stock one. I think 7/16" was the smallest bar offered.

EDIT:
Someone also posted about what rear spring rate works nice with the 550 springs. I think it was said that 360 or 420lb springs work nice with the 550 front springs
 

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I have the entire performance plus system and it made my car feel like it drives on rails and I have it on the hardest setting. probably a little to rouph for most people. but on a flat road its glued down.
:agree: I also have the performance plus system and I have it set on the softest setting and it handles like it's on rails. Save your money and do it right if you plan on keeping your vette :thumbsup: Otherwise, just do fiberglass for the rear and coils up front with performance shocks.
 

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I have the 1-1/8" front bar, front monoleaf on the second softest setting, rear spring on the second hardest setting, no bar. With this setting, the car understeers just a little bit.

Every car will need different settings due to weight, wheel/tire setup, and driving style though.
 

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I have the 1-1/8" front bar, front monoleaf on the second softest setting, rear spring on the second hardest setting, no bar. With this setting, the car understeers just a little bit.

Every car will need different settings due to weight, wheel/tire setup, and driving style though.
Going to have to try that. Just got mine set up and trying to get rid of a slight amount of over steer. What shocks are you running.
 

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Going to have to try that. Just got mine set up and trying to get rid of a slight amount of over steer. What shocks are you running.
Whatever Bilsteins VB&P supplies with their performance plus kit. I think they are the sports? The high speed compression on these shocks is too much for my car. It is way to stiff for every day street driving considering how light my car is (2960lbs). On smooth roads they are great, but the car gets tossed around and unstable on bumpy curves.
Part of my understeer issue could be the additional camber I run on the front (I lowered the suspension more after I got my alignment). I think my suspension is too stiff to allow the tires to flatten out completely around the corners. I think slightly less camber might help out with the understeer problems, which would make the car pretty neutral.
 

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One more thing do you know a good combo for the front and rear sway bar size. It's a small block. I'm thinking of 5/8'' in the rear 1 1/8" in the front.
If you go with the VB&P Dual-Mount rear spring, you won't need a rear bar, as the spring in this arrangement acts as an anti-roll bar also.
 

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front mono spring

If your looking for noticable difference on the cheep.
replace the heavy steel one in the rear, and then go with 550 front springs. you really dont have to do a mono spring in the front but if you do it will cost because you have to change the A arms and then you definetly want a fiberglass one in the rear to match.

I recommend a Fiberglass rear spring to
but a good starting point is 550 front springs, fiberglass rear spring, billstien shocks and front and rear swaybars

also I recommend new tie rod ends while your at it as well as replacing ball joints if you havent done so. that alone will give you a noticable improvment

I have the entire performance plus system and it made my car feel like it drives on rails and I have it on the hardest setting. probably a little to rouph for most people. but on a flat road its glued down.
you dont have to replace the a arms to fit the front mono spring vbnp do a kit for the stock a armss
 

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I have the VBP A-arms ,front composite spring and dual mount rear spring for sale.I also have front and rear QA1 double adjustable shocks.I will take $750 for VBP parts and $700 for shocks.The shocks have 5000 miles on them and the suspension parts are 4 years old. I'am installing Van Steel coil overs.The parts will be removed in about 2 weeks.If anybody is interested call me @ 1-217-759 -7540 Thanks Charlie
 

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Rims and Tires.

I put the stock 15x8's on just to see what the difference was after I went through my suspension and what a difference!!!!

I did poly bushings everywhere.
Stock front Sway bar
Cut one coil out of front springs
10" Lowering bolts for the rear
Added rear sway bar
stock steel leaf in rear
Bilstein sport shocks all around

I'm like you, I'm doing the suspension in stages as I go along with the car so I can drive it between upgrades to see what I like/dislike.
After the suspension rebuild, the stock 15" tires were HORRIBLE!
I then put the 17/18" combo back on and LOVE it.
The car rides soooo nice. Here in Nor-cal, the crappy roads are just horrid, so I was afraid to put in a higher rate spring into a "street car". So, I'm perfectly happy with the setup right now. It absorbs bumps rather nicely. It handles flat.

One things I did, though. I installed a VBP rear bar (the small one) with RUBBER bushings everywhere. The front bar has Poly bushings everywhere.
It lessens the impact of the rear bar install. It helped the rear end stay more planted, but the rear of the car doesn't bounce and hop all over the place like a Live Axle car does over rough patches of asphalt or concrete on the freeway. I also don't get snap oversteer with this setup.
The shocks might be a little much, but I love them! the car drives very planted and secure. Lane changes are fun, too, hahhaahaha.

I will auto-X this car from time to time to see how my changes affect the overall limits of the car for my own testing.
Also, I haven't done a true alignment, just a garage one. But, I'm pretty close to what I like. I just need to dial in less camber in the rear for tire wear.
 

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I really don't think that you have to change the OEM suspension design to get really great performance from your car for the street. You just need to optimize what is there. My 78 L-82 4 speed Gymkhana suspended C3 which is basically stock has the following:

Front:

550 springs 1 inch lower than stock
Bilstein HD shocks with poly bushings
Upper and Lower poly control arm bushings
OEM 1 1/8 inch sway bar with poly everywhere
GTR 1999 Blue printed rebuilt steering box
255/45/17 ZR Summer only ultra high performance tires

Rear

360 monospring with poly cushings
Bilstein Sports (30% stiffer than the HD's)
Competition Adjustable Strut bars with Heim joint ends-NO BUSHINGS
3/4 inch OEM type rear sway bar with poly mounting bushings (this is a no longer offered OEM type bar, NOT aftermarket bar with non OEM end links-replaced 7/16 inch OEM rear bar)
255/50/ZR ultra high performance summer only tires.

These changes have been done incrementally over 25 years and the steering response, handling, and ride is unbelieveable versus an OEM C3.

Two other points:

GTR1999's steering rebuild eliminated ALL the play and slop in the steering-I would seriously consider his custom steering box rebuild before going the rack and pinion route. Does it steering and handle like my 2010 Z06-NO! Does it handle and steer like my other cars with Rack and Pinion-Yes.

Not to bloviate to much BUT all the C3's were setup from the factory to understeer including the Gymkhana suspended cars with the rear sway bar and the BB cars which are very nose heavy. A stock 78 vette has a weight distribution of 48% front and 52% rear and was setup from the factory to understeer. Running a C3 vette with no rear bar is a guarantee that the car will heavily understeer initially. The near 50:50 weight distribution on the small blocks means that the driver has to really be paying attention at the limit to get the most from the car. I added the 3/4 OEM TYPE rear bar to balance the inherent understeer built into the chassis from the factory and my car is very neutral now versus with the OEM 7/16 inch rear bar. I would highly recommend a small rear bar if it is an aftermarket type bar or bigger than stock bar if you can find an OEM type bar anymore. It all depends on how your car is setup but recommending no rear bar is misleading,

Hope that helps!
Bi
 

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I thought for sure you had to replace the bottom ones i thought the brackets were on the A arms, its been a long time since I looked at mine so I cant remember.
 

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I thought for sure you had to replace the bottom ones i thought the brackets were on the A arms, its been a long time since I looked at mine so I cant remember.
My 3/4 inch rear OEM type bar uses the OEM brackets that came with the car with the original 7/16 inch rear bar. The OEM rear bar end links allow much more movement of the rear trailing arms than the aftermarket bars that use the end links like the front bar. There is a reason that GM did not use the same end links on the rear bar as the front bar. Aftermarket rear sway bars with NON OEM type end links restrict the movement of the rear trailing arms and I suspect is the reason many folks complain of "snap oversteer" using non oem type rear bars. My car with the 3/4 inch rear OEm type bar is very neutral up to the limit where the rear gradually slides out. That's my car which I have owned for 27 years! Hope that helps.

One other point made by someone above-The OEM 255/60/15 S/T rated tires are worthless if you are really trying to maximize the handling of your C3-They are the limiting factor in the handling equation since there are NO performance tires offered in the OEM sizes with 15 inch wheels.
 
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