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So... lets be honest... El Caminos aren't the first name in precision handeling. But I'm looking to solve this issue... Thing is... I don't know enough about suspension components to figure out what the best options are for high performance handling. I'm planning on running a 17/18 inch rim and side pipes, so I'de like to avoid lowering as much as possible. Given that my El Camino is an 85' SS Choo Choo, does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance for all the help. It's greatly appreciated.
 

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Start getting the F41 Sport Suspension parts From 78-88 A & G bodys !

Front sway bar (they say from a camaro)
rear sway bar
frame braces (Jounce bars)
Grand prix bar
fender to radiator core braces
firewall to rad core braces from a 78-80 monte
radiator cross braces

That should help out on handling !
 

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Easiest suggestion is find the sway bars, steering box from a MOnte Carlo SS. Change all the suspension and body mount bushings out for poly. Add all the F41 suspension option stiffeners. Better springs such as the Hotckis 1" drop setup. With the 17 or 18" wheels that should still work with the side pipes. Depending on budget you might want to go with replacement control arms.
On the home page click on FORUMS at the top and scroll down to the suspension and handling section. Lots of good info. You can use the SEARCH feature if you narrow down what you are looking for.
 

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Get rid of the air shocks (if they're still there) and switch to air bags in the springs with a good performance shock in the rear and add a sway bar. I used Edelbrock's on my ride and what a difference in handling. Up front make sure the sway bar links and bushings are in good shape. And with the size tire you want to run CHECK EVERYTHING up front, balljoints etc. New performance shocks as well. If the truck had the F41 suspension package it should already have the jounce bars, but they could be stiffened with the Grand Prix bar that runs from the ends of the two jounce bars under the radiator support and connects them to form a triangle. There are also braces that might be there that run from the top of the radiator support to the fenders. The Jeep Cherokee steering shaft upgrade will help to make the steering feel a little less sloppy as it eliminates the rag joints in the shaft that connects the wheel to the steering box. A lot of guys swap the box on our cars to a quicker ratio box from a Monte SS. All of these add on's will help quite a bit but lets face it we're never going to run with the BMW's on the road coarse.
Good luck, Ang.
 

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don't forget to do the jeep steering shaft upgrade (do a search for several threads on here)

good gas performance shocks

make sure steering and suspension has all good parts!!! Your original parts are now 27 years old!!!!!! upgrade to polyurethane control arm bushings if you change them

you'll be surprised how well it will end up driving!

if you want a decent ride, go with 15 inch tires/wheels, the 17 and up wheels have so little give in the sidewalls (what sidewalls?) that the ride is much harsher
 

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Great ideas... I'd also suggest searching other G-Body forums for tips.
 

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17's and 18's clear no problem with up to 2.5 inch drop. running 45 to 40 series tires. a tall tire will cause more movement side to side. the tire can also roll over on to the side wall under hard turns. To get better handling you will have to give up some comfort of ride, thats not negotiable. old schoolers love their 15 inch wheels. but they are out dated and out of style. modern technology has built better tires then anything in the past. raditaor support brackets do nothing for ride handling. unsprung weight needs to be lightend and stiffer springs, bushings and control arms. body mounts should be polygraphite, less body roll means better center of gravity. metric frame g bodies are the most popular frame to be used for circle track and stock car racing (not NASCAR) you can do alot with what you already have with the correct setup and not a lot of cash. a few degrees of negative camber will help also. g body elkies where made to manuver thru parking lots, so they have positive camber to help them turn easier at slower speeds. here is a link for cheap suspension parts for racing applications, which will work great on a street car. lots of great info on last link. stuff in there for you A body fans also.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/metric-chassis-control-arms-th.html

http://www.circletrack.com/chassistech/ctrp_1108_metric_chassis_steering_upgrade/viewall.html

http://www.circletrack.com/
 
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17's and 18's clear no problem with up to 2.5 inch drop. running 45 to 40 series tires. a tall tire will cause more movement side to side. the tire can also roll over on to the side wall under hard turns. To get better handling you will have to give up some comfort of ride, thats not negotiable. old schoolers love their 15 inch wheels. but they are out dated and out of style. modern technology has built better tires then anything in the past. raditaor support brackets do nothing for ride handling. unsprung weight needs to be lightend and stiffer springs, bushings and control arms. body mounts should be polygraphite, less body roll means better center of gravity. metric frame g bodies are the most popular frame to be used for circle track and stock car racing (not NASCAR) you can do alot with what you already have with the correct setup and not a lot of cash. a few degrees of negative camber will help also. g body elkies where made to manuver thru parking lots, so they have positive camber to help them turn easier at slower speeds. here is a link for cheap suspension parts for racing applications, which will work great on a street car. lots of great info on last link. stuff in there for you A body fans also.

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/metric-chassis-control-arms-th.html

http://www.circletrack.com/chassistech/ctrp_1108_metric_chassis_steering_upgrade/viewall.html

http://www.circletrack.com/

That explains why I feel like an over ripe banana.

:???:
 

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Didnt mean no disrespect on the age comment. they just dont make any quality tires for 15's anymore. Anyone who drives an 80 or newer elky will know what its like at the car shows as your outcasted for not having a 72' or older. The metric frame g-body is one of the best frames ever put in production. If one wants to get great handling and performance out of it. it can be achieved. Making purchases from over priced companies claiming they know what their talking about just doesn't make since. You can purchase upper tubular control arms for g-bodies for $50 and they are IMCA approved for racing, so they can handle the mild abuse they will get on the street. Hell with the stock setup you can move thru corners fast if you set it up right. Tires are the biggest deal breaker when building a car that handles. get the wrong pair and you'll slide all over. Spring rates, shocks, center of gravity, bushings, body roll will all play a huge part also. the g body can make a BMW driver cry, when his 50k car gets past up by a 5k car. I hope this helps and I dont piss anyone off who purchased $500 control arms. Just lookin out for my elky brothers and sisters.
 

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. they just dont make any quality tires for 15's anymore.
I have BF Goodrich radial T/A 15's on both of my Caminos ! The ride is awesome in wet & dry !!
They are now made by Michelin & I think they make great tires ? :dontknow:
 

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I have BF Goodrich radial T/A 15's on both of my Caminos ! The ride is awesome in wet & dry !!
They are now made by Michelin & I think they make great tires ? :dontknow:

whats the spec of your tires? ?/?/R15
stock suspension?
 

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whats the spec of your tires? ?/?/R15
stock suspension?
my 87 has 245/60/R15 on all 4 ! Front & rear sway bars, jounce bars, KYB's Gas a just on all 4
my 84 has 235/60/R15 on the front, Will have 255/60/R15 on the rear in a few weeks !
Front & rear sway bars, jounce & grand prix bars, monte carlo & fender to rad core braces, PMT Boxed rear trailing arms, new bushings, new G-body wagon rear springs, airlift 1000 air bags, KYB's gas-a-just shocks on all 4 !
 

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my 87 has 245/60/R15 on all 4 ! Front & rear sway bars, jounce bars, KYB's Gas a just on all 4
my 84 has 235/60/R15 on the front, Will have 255/60/R15 on the rear in a few weeks !
Front & rear sway bars, jounce & grand prix bars, monte carlo & fender to rad core braces, PMT Boxed rear trailing arms, new bushings, new G-body wagon rear springs, airlift 1000 air bags, KYB's gas-a-just shocks on all 4 !
That makes it easier for someone who is looking for info when you give them some. Just saying you have bfg tires does very little. But I think most of you have missed his point. He wants to run 17's or 18's with out lowering if possible. You throw a 60 series tire on a 17 or 18 you'll look like you are driving a 4x4 truck. Probably have all kinds of rubbing issues. Point being, radiator support braces and jounce bars do very little if anything at all. Your body sits on rubber bushings, it moves independent of the frame. Gm did that so you would get less road vibration and noise. Race cars don't use body bushings. They don't have bodies. They have a shell attached to a network of tubing that makes up the frame and roll cage. Also incorporates the suspension in with it. Don't think he is going for that extreme.

Some one send me a link of real tests performed on these braces. Not what some guy said in a forum, and not what a company wants to sell me.

Stay on them 15's and keep making the elcamino the clown of the car shows.
 

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I did not miss he's point on 17 or 18's ! I was telling you they still make great 15 inch tires !! As you said " they just dont make any quality tires for 15's anymore"

I guess the GM engineers made all those braces just for looks ? :dontknow:

WOW ! "Stay on them 15's and keep making the elcamino the clown of the car shows "

I like the way the 15's look on my Caminos !!

 

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Looks like we now have a resident expert. The problem is, you joined 5 years ago and just now decide to join the fun. You don't even try to get to know anyone and ease in. Nope, just like arrogant as$ you come in and start telling us that none of us know squat. And that the GM engineers are stupid. Normally things dont piss me off like this but I've come to think of these members as family and when an outsider comes in and insults family it just pisses me off. You have no credibality. No matter what you add to the forum you are now just an arrogant outsider. Go back to where you came from.
 

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Didnt mean no disrespect on the age comment. they just dont make any quality tires for 15's anymore. Anyone who drives an 80 or newer elky will know what its like at the car shows as your outcasted for not having a 72' or older. The metric frame g-body is one of the best frames ever put in production. If one wants to get great handling and performance out of it. it can be achieved. Making purchases from over priced companies claiming they know what their talking about just doesn't make since. You can purchase upper tubular control arms for g-bodies for $50 and they are IMCA approved for racing, so they can handle the mild abuse they will get on the street. Hell with the stock setup you can move thru corners fast if you set it up right. Tires are the biggest deal breaker when building a car that handles. get the wrong pair and you'll slide all over. Spring rates, shocks, center of gravity, bushings, body roll will all play a huge part also. the g body can make a BMW driver cry, when his 50k car gets past up by a 5k car. I hope this helps and I dont piss anyone off who purchased $500 control arms. Just lookin out for my elky brothers and sisters.

It being made of mostly C channel, I can't see how it can be one of the best frames ever. maybe the design, but I'm not even convinced of that. And popular (for circle track/stock cars) only means affordable, easy to come by, and easy to find parts for.

:dontknow:
 

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I haven't been on the forum long enough to post what Jarhead said but I thought it.
It's to bad, he made some good points but the post could have been presented differently.
Ang.
 
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