Seeking advice on updating suspension, wheels & tires.

~JM~

Wrinkled Member
When I bought my car it came with 17" wheels, 2" drop spindles & 1" drop springs. It looks nice with this arrangement.

A few years ago I installed Bilsteins shocks.

Then last year I installed Metco lowers & some adjustable uppers with urethane bushings. The upper axle bushings were replaced with Moog bushings. Also have H&R rear bar & have removed OEM front bar.

Now that the car is headed more towards a street & strip type of car vs. imitation pro-touring car, I think that I would benefit from 15" wheels for some sidewall. Not sure if the drop spindles & springs are working against me. The front suspension bushings are original & should be replaced. Not sure if I would benefit from tubular A-arms. Do not want to sacrifice street cornering ability any if possible.

I've followed several suspension threads over the years & they seem to favor either straight line performance, or cornering. Can't recall if there was a happy medium.

While I'm at it, I would also like to upgrade the brakes.

What do you all recommend?

Thank you.
 
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TurboTGuy

Gray Beard Member
Well, when it comes to wheels and tires, I think I'm kind of a "one-of-kind". and I like it!

Complete HR parts rear end suspension, stock front end.

Weld Rod Lites, stock front Goodrich tires, 275 MT drag radials out back.
 

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dynoman

Well-Known Member
How much are you willing to spend ? Global West upper & lower A arms are about $1400 , Wilwood 12.19" 6 piston front brakes $1300 , QA1 double adjustable front coil overs are about $800 . That is what I have on my car . I switched to front coil overs to adjust front ride height to get the car to hook better . Also you will need to get the car scaled to make the proper suspension adjustments . I'm lucky enough to have someone that has the tools and knowledge to make the proper adjustments .
Also , if you find that the 2" drop spindles need to be replaced with stock ones , I have new ones in the box that I bought for my car . Because I was told when I bought it that it had drop spindles and It didn't .
 
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~JM~

Wrinkled Member
I have the original spindles in a box from the PO. What are the thoughts of using the Blazer spindles, discs & front brake components? Are they heavy? The wheel speed sensor may be desirable. New brakes will need to fit inside a 15" rim. I currently have a vacuum assist master cylinder.

What bushings would be best if I were to keep the OEM front control arms? I have a urethane bushing kit, but wonder about the downpipe melting the passenger side. I was thinking about a 1" taller ball joint (Pro-Forge?) on the upper for extra suspension droop. Also considering an anti bump steer tie rod end kit. I'm confused on spring selection. Searches reveal several recommendations.

Will my current Bilstein shocks allow enough lift & separation to hook up on the launch? I have a feeling they may not.

With the exception of my upgrades at the rear, the car has 136K miles on most of the suspension.
 

dynoman

Well-Known Member
My Wilwoods cleared both 15" Centerline Telstars & Champion billet wheels . I did a lot of measuring with a template because I wanted the bigger rotors and it was very close but they fit . I also have vacuum brakes with no issues .
 

hensleyt

Well-Known Member
drag strip is long enough you can get it wooed down before you get to the sand trap with stock brakes. I trap 118, I let off and apply the breaks around 85. I want to be first to the finish line. if he beats me to the time slip booth I don't care.
If its going to be a street strip car I would go OE spindles , spring ,and balljoint . Use your new bushings they can take the heat .
You have done good in the back just loses the 1' drop rear spring, to stiff and go OE, not Cargo spring OE. Shocks are good.
S10 wheel cylinders and two sets of breaks shoes to get 4 primary shoes work good for the back, can prove to be a bit challenging in the rain.
Removing the front sway bar is OK not needed with the HR, but it will drive better with it.
Do these cars bump steer YES AND PUSH AND a few other things ,But straight ling performance is not too bad
IMO the 15 in wheel 28 in tire works best with OE suspension. its just not high tech as these new cars running 17-20 wheels. 17 out front is OK.
I drive to the race track sporting a nice set of matching wheels ,with a set of lightweight 15's in the trunk. This works for me.
If I drive on the street with a set of drag radials I my be tempted to do a little Stop light racing.I have been in jail and not going back.
Im that But head with a glove box full of 11.5 time slips driving the posted speed.
 

TurboTGuy

Gray Beard Member
"If I drive on the street with a set of drag radials I my be tempted to do a little Stop light racing.I have been in jail and not going back."

We share some common ground....... ;)

'92 in my GN. 2011 in my Turbo T, 2018 in that same Turbo T.

Only went to jail for the GN, and I won't do THAT again........... I think it was the BIGGEST burnout I ever did.............on a city street. DOH!
 
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hensleyt

Well-Known Member
92 that was 30 years ago, (my math is better than my spelling )with age comes wisdom (some times)
it was 77 I got it for 150 in a 30 on my motorcycle .then 82 67 GTO on Speedway Bl. Tucson go me a night in Jail $300 impound and towing. my last moving violation tell last year in the GN 71 in a 65.
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
I've followed several suspension threads over the years & they seem to favor either straight line performance, or cornering. Can't recall if there was a happy medium.
There is a specific reason for that.
There are huge advantages in setting the car up specifically for the straight line vs a turn setup.
No in between.
What are your goals for the car?
Not be negative and if my memory serves me well but im not sure i do recall something about you having an a problem with me.
If that is the case let me know and I will now bow out of your thread and put you in the nigel category.
If you would like me to stay let me know.
 

turbobuick

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You can do both and have really nice street/strip/track day/autox car if done right. Not cheap or easy and you need to be realistic about your goals as everything is a compromise. Check out the thread I posted recently on my Ttype. It runs 10s pretty easily and capable of more. It wil 60' in the 1.50-60 range on a 16" Toyo DR or R888r and hooks the same on the street too. I took it road racing a week later then auto-x and only changed shock settings on the Viking CO. I just did a pro-touring event with the car and still discovering issues/problems I need to work through to make the car perform better on AutoX and road racing. On the strip the car is capable of much more than 10.70s but again some that comes with comprise to perform welll in other areas, IE no large FMIC with undersized SLIC. I am doing Drag N Drive event in November down in SC and plan to focus on the drag strip this fall hoping to get the car in the 10.20's with a little meth spray and 30psi. The car is fantastic to drive on the street and honestly the I am having more fun with this Ttype than any other Turbo Buick I have owned.
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
Seeking info capable of withstanding public scrutiny.
Not sure what that means
But inmo the 1st thing you should do is weigh the car,scale it to see where the weight distribution is,pick a power level,and have a goal of how fast and what distances you would like to run.
For example a car targeting and looking to run the fastest 1/8 it can run needs a different approach than running 1/4.
Also surfaces for distance,track or street,prepped street or no prep.
There are alot choices not sure what yours is.
15 inch tires will allow the tire to take the power vs the rim.
The sidewall needs to absorb the hit and continue to take it as it rolls
on a 17 sidewall and profile reduction will decrease and stiffness increases.
Exactly what you would want for lateral gs and grip but not for maximum acceleration of the tire itself.
3 things take power and g forces
tire, suspension,chassis.
Also ask yourself what tire you can fit and what you would like to drive on and what conditions.
Each tire has its strength and weaknesses also.
The suspension approach should be setup this as well.
 

hensleyt

Well-Known Member
You can do both and have really nice street/strip/track day/autox car if done right. Not cheap or easy and you need to be realistic about your goals as everything is a compromise. Check out the thread I posted recently on my Ttype. It runs 10s pretty easily and capable of more. It wil 60' in the 1.50-60 range on a 16" Toyo DR or R888r and hooks the same on the street too. I took it road racing a week later then auto-x and only changed shock settings on the Viking CO. I just did a pro-touring event with the car and still discovering issues/problems I need to work through to make the car perform better on AutoX and road racing. On the strip the car is capable of much more than 10.70s but again some that comes with comprise to perform welll in other areas, IE no large FMIC with undersized SLIC. I am doing Drag N Drive event in November down in SC and plan to focus on the drag strip this fall hoping to get the car in the 10.20's with a little meth spray and 30psi. The car is fantastic to drive on the street and honestly the I am having more fun with this Ttype than any other Turbo Buick I have owned.
just read a good article in Hot Rod about auto cross, Looks like you can get these old cars to do both forms of driving pretty good.
Im sure the mods are not cheep. But if I spent another 20-30 K on my car it would be cheaper than a new mustang Dark horse, I read about in the article. So what's to stop a person from building a GN to that standard ? I might have the cordage to drop a LS in a Monti SS but not my GN. But im old fashion.
 

TurboTGuy

Gray Beard Member
My opinion is, if some is going to do a V8 Regal, do just that, stuff it in a standard Regal and buy an aftermarket hood with a bump if you want.

Don't hack up a real GN or Turbo Regal to do it.

I know OP isn't planning to, but I just thought I would throw that out there.... :)
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
I think a phone call to say afco would really shed some light on what it takes to get the car to work.
I will tell you the valveing on the shocks are completely different between drag radials and slicks let alone setting it up for autocross.
Springs,pinion angle,travel,weight distribution,and instant center for straight line is totally different that whats needed for grip and lateral g force.
It will never be optimized for in between period.
These are hard facts.
Stiff suspensions dont work on the dragstrip let alone on unprepped streets.
Drop spindles,no sidewall,small footprint,stiff suspensions=wheelspin.
 
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