mild handling improvements

edfiero

New Member
So what is the best bang for the buck to improve the handling on the GN? Not looking to race or autocross, just want the car to handle a little LESS like something that is 35 years old.

I tried doing a search on Hotchkis to see what of people thought of their front control arms and springs, but most of what comes up is people SELLING the stuff, so it must have not produced the desired results.

Hoping to spend 500 to 700 bucks.
Thanks
 

deezdad

Well-Known Member
I'd go to kirbanperformance.com and get new springs and Bilstein shocks all around along with a body bushing kit and all the braces he sells.. makes a big difference
 

~JM~

Wrinkled Member
Tires, shocks, springs, braces.

Might research 1"-1.5" lowering springs. Think Eibach is available through Summit.
 

1986 Buick GX1

GX1 #001 [The One and Only]
I'd go to kirbanperformance.com and get new springs and Bilstein shocks all around along with a body bushing kit and all the braces he sells.. makes a big difference

^^ X2
The next step would be lower A-arm urethane bushings, UMI upper A-arms with heim joints and 1” taller upper ball joints.
 

Turbo6inKY

Short Guy
So what is the best bang for the buck to improve the handling on the GN? Not looking to race or autocross, just want the car to handle a little LESS like something that is 35 years old.

I tried doing a search on Hotchkis to see what of people thought of their front control arms and springs, but most of what comes up is people SELLING the stuff, so it must have not produced the desired results.

Hoping to spend 500 to 700 bucks.
Thanks

You're not going to get it done for $700, but you can do it for under $1000

Since you're not racing, don't overthink it. Get it back to where it should be and make a few strategic improvements, and you can get almost all of it from AutoZone or O'Reilly:
1) Body bushing kit - $~190
2) Springs and shocks, Moog 5660 front and CC651 Rear springs, with the Bilstein shocks, ~$400-$450
3) Front poly Control arm bushings: $90
4) Rear rubber control arm bushings: $50
5) Tall upper ball joints, $80 - AFCO 20032-2LF Low Friction Upper Ball Joint, Extended Length
6) A good alignment, $70-100

That's going to make it ride and handle like a modern car for a shade under a grand. New steering components could add $150 or so (tie rods, idler, etc).

If the car's not rusty and the body bolts come out, and you get a ball joint press and the tool for pressing the old bushings out of the rear end, you can do all of this over a weekend with a lift. Without a lift, the front springs can be a bear. Autozone also sells fully assembled front control arms with new bushings and ball joints already installed. They'd be a HUGE time saver if you don't want to mess with the poly.
 

No disintegrations

Well-Known Member
Going from 15 up to 17 or 18 inch rims is a huge improvement. But looks and cost to consider. Hard to compare but I think this is the biggest factor to consider but I realize it's big bucks. Blown out shocks and worn parts will make it wallow big time too.
 

TurboSmart

Member
Going from 15 up to 17 or 18 inch rims is a huge improvement. But looks and cost to consider. Hard to compare but I think this is the biggest factor to consider but I realize it's big bucks. Blown out shocks and worn parts will make it wallow big time too.

Wheel size and backspace still apply when going to 17?
Front 7 inches and 4 backspace
Rear 8 inches and 4.5 backspace
 

GNICETRY

Cat&wife post starter
I would consider what deezdad said to be the absolute minimum. Definitely biggest bang for the buck.
Next step would be Turbo6inKY's list. I know that he was trying to keep it under $1000 but I would highly recommend that if you ever plan to hit the gas hard, especially not in a 100% straight line to get some beefy rear lower control arms too. My Global West ones pretty much eliminated my wheel hop.
 
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