Questions about suspension and brake rebuild/upgrade.

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering, Brake & Wheel Topics' started by GageL, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. NOT A TA

    NOT A TA Veteran Member

    191
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    Feb 12, 2009
    Delray Beach Florida
    Those look like the correct tall uppers, I don't know the part number off hand. Usually customers buy them and have me install or I buy them from PTFB but I don't really look at the numbers, just make sure they look right, fit right, and have correct taper for the spindle. Pic below. I shoot them and the hardware with clear coat so they look nice for a long time. Just don't paint the taper or threads.

    Body mounts kinda depends on the aesthetics desired. If it's a pro touring type car with perfect looking painted everything then the nicely finished ones from Global west with the interlock or the DSE's for first gens. The bang for the buck deal is the PTFB ones but they aren't finished as nicely. The PTFB aluminum is a tumbled finish not painted or powder coated. I do like the steel sleeve the PTFB's have for strength and bought them for my own car before I was sponsored by PTFB. I clear coated mine and have painted them black for other peoples cars.

    I don't know if Centric has the non slotted high carbon rotors for 2nd gens but if they do I'd get those over the premiums if you're going to Auto-X. The slotted ones may be the high carbon steel ones and why the extra cost and worth the loot if you're gonna compete. Be realistic with yourself, the expensive brake stuff is really for repeated hard braking and not as good for around town normal driving. Most of the brake kits I install on F bodies are Wilwoods & Baers that come with rotors so I'm not as familiar with the Centrics.

    I haven't had any problems with any name brand wheel bearings that are properly lubed and correctly installed. Usually bearing failures I've seen is from DIY guys tightening the bearing bit too much trying to get to the next cotter pin slot in the nut causing overheat.

    Yes that's the brake fluid, I get it at the local Ford dealer so I know it's fresh. Swap fluid regularly because it's humid here and brake fluid is hygroscopic. Moisture is absorbed by fluid and that's what lowers the boiling point which can be a problem on track or auto-X where repeated hard braking occurs.

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  2. GageL

    GageL New Member

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    0
    Jun 17, 2013
    United States
    On the body bushings, what do you mean by aesthetics? Like how high or low they make the body sit on the frame? Or by there painted or bare look?

    Is there a certain brand of grease that you like to use for the wheel bearings and the joints/bushings?
     
  3. NOT A TA

    NOT A TA Veteran Member

    191
    48
    Feb 12, 2009
    Delray Beach Florida
    How the body bushings look, some are painted, anodized etc and look really nice.

    Amsoil synthetic grease is my favorite. Anything like rear spring eye bushings made of polyurethane I use poly bushing lube.
     
  4. GageL

    GageL New Member

    23
    0
    Jun 17, 2013
    United States
    Okay, im not so concerned with looks as i am with how well they work and that the fit is nice. I can always just hit it with some paint if needed.

    I will check out that grease.
     
  5. Jon Randolph

    Jon Randolph Member

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    1
    May 22, 2017
    Barrington, IL
    NOT A TA, you got that wheel nice and close to that control arm. I know it's been a while since you've got those wheels but good job on the backspacing! I was just surfing through the forum just now and noticed this thread. Since I'm now back to being on a budget, it looks like I'm going to be using mostly stock parts.

    I was shopping around and found these steel upper control arm bushings by Allstar and they look fairly interesting for $10.99. They appear to convert the stock style upper shaft to a no-deflection steel bushing with a greasable zirk fitting. This is kind of how Dave's (PTFB) upper cross shaft is in theory. Have you had a chance to deal with these at all?
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/aaf-all56242

    While shopping around further, I found the AFCO steel lower control arm bushings, low-friction lower ball joint and tall low-friction upper ball joint prices out to $307 on Summit. I'll have to measure and double check some of the dimensions with the stock control arms but here are some of the links I was looking at. I've been eyeing down the Global West control arm rebuild kit for a while now but $499 is a lot in comparison to $307 for the AFCO and Allstar parts. This might just be a better alternative cost-wise.

    AFCO steel lower control arm bushing are $25 x 4
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/afc-20076
    AFCO tall low-friction ball joint $39.99 x 2
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/afc-20032-2lf
    AFCO low-friction lower ball joint $39.99 x 2
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/afc-20039lf
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  6. NOT A TA

    NOT A TA Veteran Member

    191
    48
    Feb 12, 2009
    Delray Beach Florida
    Front backspacing is 6" on those 18X10 Rushforth wheels. Hopefully I won't loose much if any turning radius by going up from a 275 40 17 with 5.5 BS on a 9.5" rim to a 285 30 18 on the 10" rim. The 1 1/4" PTFB high clearance solid adjustable anti-sway bar appears to have a little more tire clearance than the hollow 1 3/8" front bar I ran before which the 17" tire rubbed at full lock. Going to put the car on the ground in the next couple days and check turning radius.

    I don't have any experience with installing the solid steel bushings in upper or lower stock F body arms. When installing the aluminum Global West ones in stock arms I use a special support I made in the arm when pressing the bushings in to avoid bending the sides of the arms. I would expect you'd need the same type of support when installing the steel ones.

    The Global West Del-A-Lums work very well. I installed them in my own car back around the turn of the century before tubular arms that allow more castor or tall ball joints were available. I ran that set up along with the old version of their offset upper control arm shafts for many years with no issues at all. When I took them off to go with PTFB tubular arms, I sold the stock upper/lower arm/Del-A-Lum/offset shaft set up to a customer and installed them on his 70 TA where they're still performing well and he's had no issues with them. When properly installed and greased occasionally, the Del-A-Lums are very, very, smooth when the suspension articulates. At the time I ran them with Bilstein shocks and NVH was low with excellent ride quality considering I was running 35-40 ratio sidewall tires. While I installed those parts for road race course track use I also drove the car on vacation trips as long as 4000 miles where NVH differences would be noticeable.

    True offset upper control arm shafts like the ones that GW sells individually allow you to get some additional positive caster and negative camber with stock arms. In my opinion they really help handling during spirited driving and auto-X/track use. The additional castor and negative camber they allow helps turn in and cornering noticeably.

    If you add the cost of offset UCA shafts to the estimates you made for the steel bushings and ball joints it comes up to near the $499.00 list price of the GW Del-A-Lum kit but probably at a weight penalty. The GW Del-A-Lums being aluminum and delrin are light weight. My stock upper and lower arms with Del-A-Lums and offset shafts weighed less than tubulars. I would check to see if the GW kit includes tall upper ball joints or regular ones before ordering if you consider that combination, then look for a sale or discount, free shipping, or whatever.

    I shipped those stock lower arms back to you a couple days ago so they should arrive beginning of the week. Thank-you again for letting me have them to use so I could keep moving forward on the car till the new pre production tubulars showed up.
     
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  7. Jon Randolph

    Jon Randolph Member

    58
    1
    May 22, 2017
    Barrington, IL
    I'm definitely interested in the Global West setup for stock control arms after hearing your experience. Like you, I've been more interested in keeping things tame and not-as-crazy with the mods at the moment. Staying in a doable budget getting back to making progress is the most important for me right now.

    I've been eyeing down some ideas now that I need to work with stock control arms. I was looking online earlier and found QA1 has an interesting set of ball joints. They're able to be rebuilt but one thing I noticed was they offer standard, +0.1" and +0.5" extended length ball joint studs for the upper and lower ball joints. I haven't seen anyone chase down extending the lower ball joint stud. Other than lowering the car a slight amount, I'm not sure how that would play into geometry. Seems like something I have to investigate.

    Thanks again for sending me the lowers. Your package will be in the mail from me asap.
     
  8. Texwhaler

    Texwhaler New Member

    2
    1
    May 2, 2013
    houston texas
    I went with QA-1 adjustable front and back,1.25 solid front sway bar,and one inch rear. Bought 2' lowering blocks and cut 1/2 inch off,lowering the rear 1.5. Detroit speed frame connectors,and 6 point cage. The car handles like a dream. Totallly adjustable. Also tall upper ball joints!
     

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    Rene Melten likes this.
  9. ks71z28

    ks71z28 Veteran Member NastyZ28 Sponsor NazstyZ28 Sponsor Lifetime Gold Member

    2,108
    21
    Oct 10, 2004
    chico, ca, usa
    It's a good idea to not use repurposed parts, lol. I would suggest using one supplier and go with them to try and get a good balanced/matched set up. We offer a lot of different options for all levels and budgets. We also build complete cars so we have a lot of experience with what's good and what's not on the market. We also make a lot of unique parts. Also, we ONLY focus on 2nd gens! Check out our website and shoot us an email or call and we can discuss your options!
     
  10. Jon Randolph

    Jon Randolph Member

    58
    1
    May 22, 2017
    Barrington, IL
    I hear you on that Keith. One supplier is ideal. That's cool you actually build cars in the shop as opposed to just selling suspension. I live by the old PTFB shop. In the past I've just bought from Dave as I didn't have to pay shipping but the shop moved to Tennessee now. I believe Dave is working on cars out of there like you as well.

    After looking around some more I found the AFCO sells part # 200-1004 which rebuilds the entire front control arms with low-friction ball joints and steel bushing. Good deal at $369 but it doesn't include a cross shaft. It's basically designed for stock or replacement Moog cross shafts.
    https://www.afcodynapro.com/AFCO/193533233

    Global West is most comparable but it includes an offset cross shaft at $499.
    http://www.globalwest.net/firebird-...976-1977-1978-1979-global-west-suspensio.html

    One thing I've noticed about these kits is that neither mention anything about the upper ball joint. I see that many people online talk about the extended length upper ball joint but they're not offered in kit form for our cars. We'll see what happens. I've obviously been bouncing around a bunch of ideas but haven't pulled the trigger on anything.
     

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