upgrading the suspension on a c-4



upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » October 13th, 2008, 3:00 pm

take the time to read thru the linked info, its well worth the effort


viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2735&p=7113&hilit=press+hydraulic#p7113

viewtopic.php?f=71&t=1770&p=12626&hilit=press+hydraulic#p12626

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=11058&p=49146#p49146

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

http://www.streetdreams.org/interactive/

http://www.vansteel.com/index.cfm?fusea ... Group=1972

http://temp.corvetteforum.net/c4/vader8 ... joint.html

http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/tec ... kDSAhA9mqE

owning a low cost hydraulic press and a drill press will sure make the process go smoother, obviously if you do work frequently youll tend to want better than bargain basement tools

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-sho ... 33497.html
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http://www.harborfreight.com/heavy-duty ... 38144.html

if your car shakes or pulls its usually a symptom of a suspension, or tire related problem, swapping the tires from side to side will usually tell you if its tires, because the location of the problem should change with the tire swap[/color]
but its usually well worth the time and cost have a decent corvette shop, or dealership or tire store you trust, inspect and check your ball joints and control arm bushings,wheel bearings,brakes ,shocks and motor and transmission mounts

these components can and do fail and result in different symptoms with shaking at higher speeds being far from rare


http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ENS-3-18123R/

http://vette.ohioracing.com/susp.html

http://corvetteactioncenter.com/tech/c4/susp_chart.html

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replacing c4 corvette suspension bushings

http://webpages.charter.net/khasting/ut ... hings.html

http://corvettes.about.com/od/restorati ... ndling.htm



http://www.banskimotorsports.com/C4_Rea ... sioin.html

http://www.oddfiddlythings.com/2009/roc ... uspension/

http://www.corvettemagazine.com/suspens ... joint.html

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvette_l ... eaf_spring

http://www.idavette.net/hib/c4/sustunch.pdf

http://www.miata.net/sport/Physics/

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=2031&p=5411#p5411

http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/kb/ ... l+Corvette


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AS AN EXAMPLE,I recently helped install a front end suspension upgrade kit ,in my opinion its component parts were just barely functional and the parts were of low quality, the grease seals all the ball joints had flaws

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the owner got a DEAL on IMPORTED ball joints, we took them out of the packaging and noticed the crappy grease boot seals, as cast body and metric thread,s I suggested returning them, but we had them and the owner felt returning them would be difficult and waste a week or more time, they were difficult to press into the lower a-arm so we measured the diameter of the clamping surface diam. where it inserts into the a-arms, the original ball joints measured 2.070, the replacements measured 2.085" obviously they needed to be carefully machined to the slightly smaller diam.
a bit of research showed the import ball joints sell for about $30 each, the American made replacement parts sell for about -$57-$110 each depending on the vendor and brand selected, locally so its no surprise that many guys select the less expensive route, but it may be a mistake, the quality looked to be significantly lower, the parts needed to be slightly modified to fit and the grease boots were leaking right out of the packaging.
ON a C4 corvette,(1984-1996) the OEM ,top or upper ball joints are installed with rivets that need to be drilled out and replaced with bolts
the lowers are pressed into and out of the lower a-arm so youll need a decent press to install or remove those

these look to be better in the picture but I have not seen these personally
http://www.mamotorworks.com/corvette-c4 ... -1122.html
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KITS SOLD BY MANY VENDORS INCLUDE LESS THAN DESIRABLE QUALITY PARTS (IMPORTS OF UNKNOWN QUALITY)TO KEEP THE PRICE LOW, THIS IS ONE AREA WHERE IT PAYS TO SPEND A BIT MORE AND SELECT BETTER QUALITY PARTS

THESE JOINTS BELOW APPEAR TO BE MUCH BETTER QUALITY

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/detai ... K6345.html

http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/detai ... K6346.html

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_7649253_replace ... te-c4.html

MOGG and Mevotech make a decent replacement ball joint

The C4 Corvette was produced from 1984 though 1996 by Chevrolet with a control arm-based front suspension. This suspension incorporated both upper and lower ball joints. Ball joints require replacement over time. Ball joints cannot be repaired and should be replaced when the rubber boots are split or worn out. Signs of wear can include uneven tire wear, poor handling and movement of the front wheel when inspected.

Difficulty:
Moderately Challenging

Instructions
things you'll need:

Wheel chocks
Floor jack
Jack stands
Metric sockets
Breaker bar
Pliers
Hammer
Ratchet and extensions
Metric wrench
Hydraulic press
Lower ball joint
Light lubrication oil
Torque wrench

1

Engage the emergency brake and place wheel chocks behind and in front of the rear wheels. Raise the vehicle using the floor jack, place the jack stands and lower the Corvette to securely rest on the jack stands.
2

Remove the front wheels with the assistance of the metric socket and breaker bar.
3

Place the floor jack under the front control arm and raise the jack to compress the shock absorber. Remove the two bolts securing the shock absorber to the lower control arm with a ratchet, extension and socket. Remove the cotter pin from the lower ball joint with the aid of pliers. Remove the nut securing the lower ball joint with a metric wrench. Gently tap on the lower ball joint with a hammer to disconnect it from the suspension mounting point. Lower the floor jack and pull it away from the car.
4

Remove the four bolts that secure the control arm to the cross-member. Use a wrench on the nut side and the ratchet with a socket on the bolt side to loosen each bolt.
5

Remove the two carriage bolts that secure the lower control arm to the chassis. Use a ratchet and socket to turn the bolt and a wrench to secure the nut. Pull the
6

Remove the lower control arm from the car and position it in a hydraulic press. Use the hydraulic press to apply pressure to the top of the lower ball joint. Press the ball joint out the bottom of the control arm.
7

Apply a thin coat of oil on the control arm, in the hole for the lower ball joint. Insert the new ball joint into the control arm. Use the hydraulic press to seat the ball joint into the lower control arm.
8

Replace the lower control arm into the brackets attached to the chassis. Insert the two carriage bolts securing the control arm to the chassis. Tighten the bolts to 96 foot-pounds of torque with the torque wrench.
9

Insert the remaining bolts used to secure the control arm to the cross-member. Tighten each bolt to 96 foot-pounds with the torque wrench. Raise the control arm with the floor jack to install the shock absorber mounting bolts. Tighten the mounting bolts to 22 foot-pounds of torque.
10

Insert the shaft of the lower ball joint into the steering knuckle. Install the nut securing the lower ball joint to the steering knuckle and tighten to 33 foot-pounds of torque. Insert a cotter pin into the lower ball joint and secure the cotter pin using a pair of pliers.
11

Install the wheels on the hubs and secure using the lug nuts. Tighten each lug nut to 100 foot-pounds of torque with the torque wrench.
12

Use the floor jack to remove the jack stand and lower the Corvette. Remove the wheel chocks and release the emergency brake.


http://www.harborfreight.com/four-wheel ... -4065.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/14-piece-m ... 66958.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-sho ... 32879.html

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keep in mind that if you have BOTH a two post LIFT and a HYDRAULIC PRESS, an the tools listed above you can press the lower ball joint IN AND OUT while the A-arms still on the car in MANY cars if you can move the press into the wheel well, and raise the car to the correct height to use the press
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » November 25th, 2008, 11:40 am

http://www.dougrippie.com/

The DRM coil overs and a alignment ( per DRM specs ) will turn your C4 into a different animal . (quote from pleased customer)Image
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http://www.dougrippie.com/
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » August 24th, 2010, 4:29 pm

IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » September 19th, 2010, 11:33 am

obviously theres the higher cost option of swapping to an aftermarket frame that gives the cars suspension a great many more options
[color=#8000FF]info on spring rates

http://www.banningcohen.com/buick/handl ... 0chart.pdf

If your planning on using a C4 frame for another project I have bad news the C4 is sort of a hybrid unibody.
its designed with a structural (BIRD CAGE)
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heres a few potential sources
[/color]
http://www.vettetech.com/
(posted these tips)

http://www.sriiimotorsports.com/196382corvette.html
Art Morrison
SRIII
Car Creations (Newmans)
http://www.newmancarcreations.com/63-82-corvette/
Jim Meyers
Corvette Connection
Jamisons
Street Shop
etc.

Things to consider:
cost to do the swap, obviously
Front Suspension Options
Rear Suspension Options
Modifications to body if any
Engine and Transmission options
Bolt on?
Fuel Tank Requirements if any (Stock or aftermarket)
Exhaust (Stock or aftermarket?)
Wheel and Tire limitations?
Price
Weight
Shipping?
Design (Strength)
Customer Service
Finish Options (Paint or Powdercoatin)
Roller Available?



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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » February 22nd, 2011, 5:35 pm

Ive always been a bit amused at the guys that want the racing look and that rather lopey race car engine sound, who want to lower their cars,but don,t want to bother with actually boosting the engines power or actual improving handling, or having increased braking efficiency,stiffening the chassis, increased engine or transmission cooling, better lubrication,and improved acceleration of the car,and guys that seem to think, changing the cars ,appearance, and engine sound , so they think they are looking like a racer without the slightest concept of actual improving their cars performance , some how gains them status.
just a question gentlemen, I,m well aware that lowering the cars center of gravity and roll center and adding a few carefully selected suspension components and better tires can improve handling,and carefully selecting light weight components, larger brakes and a roll cage can improve handling and traction, but from what I see 90% of the lower corvettes skip the additional enhanced suspension components and about 60% or more skip adding significantly better tires, so if your not doing whats required to really improve the handling significantly, lowering the car effectively gives you a bit more of that (RACER STANCE" and a good deal more chance of speed bumps and higher than ideal manhole covers to radically and almost instantly do massive lower oil pan and transmission damage and not much else?
so if your not racing the car why bother, its not like the stock suspensions that bad for street car use?

bits of related info

http://www.greenwoodcorvettes.com/C4s.html

http://www.corvettephotographs.com/c4ve ... rmance.htm

http://www.mamotorworks.com/corvette-te ... -3862.html

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=13

http://www.shop.banskimotorsports.com/c ... tegoryId=9

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://books.google.com/books?id=1Ti3kH ... &q&f=false

http://www.teamzr1.com/vetfacts.html

http://www.zfdoc.com/c4beamplate.htm

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » April 15th, 2011, 2:16 pm

tools Id suggest you have as it makes the job easier

http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticl ... index.html

youll want a decent floor jack and jack stands or a lift to gain access to the suspension
youll want to use a drill of about 3/16" on the 4 rivets on each upper ball joint, you don,t need to drill deeper than 1/2" max, but you will need a center punch to get the drill centered on the rivet, once the 3/16" bits drilled 1/2" deep swap to a stepp drill opr a 3/8" bit that will shear off the upper rivet from the main shaft , once thats done you can drive out the rivet from the top with a 1/4" drift.
the bolts that hold on the new upper ball joint should inseart from below so the ball joint grease seal has max clearance from the bolts as the bolt threads will extend upwards out of the nuts.

youll need a drill to remove rivets a punch to remove rivets, a hammer, cutting oil for the drill , wrenches for the bolts and clean up solvent, to remove crud,
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http://www.harborfreight.com/14-piece-m ... 66958.html

the lower ball joints PRESS OUT and youll need a large adapter or socket to press them out and a press to re-install the lower ball joint but measure the old then the new ball joint mating surface diameter as cheap parts rarely have the correct diam, and may need to be filed, belt sanded etc. before they fit correctly, and don,t forget to use a good grease gun on them once installed
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » April 26th, 2011, 6:35 pm

IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4 LD85 posted this

Postby grumpyvette » February 13th, 2012, 9:58 am

LD85 posted this

I did this a couple of months ago and thought I would post some pics if you have not seen them.

OK, I bought the Coil-over part list from Mo's website, www.ndneyes.com

Since the 1985 shock towers are wimpy and narrow, I cut them as seen in the pic below.

Then I machined some 1/4" thick 1018 CRS to match the same angles as the stock towers and ol'RJ welded them up.

The last pic is just the mock up of the new QA1 in the new tower.

Once the wheel well area was cleaned it was repainted,
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Just an FYI, vette2vette.com and tabercorvetteparts.com had 1990-1996 front shock towers you can buy and weld onto your 85-89 (not sure where the thin towers end and the wider towers begin) to replace the factory towers.

The early years shock towers use .125" thick steel and the later years use .160" thick steel. I used .250" thick on the sides and .375" on the top due to the larger span

I would say that it would take @ 4 hours to cut off both towers,
1. IF you had a decent air compressor using a cutoff wheel
2. and a spot weld drill bit,,,
3. and if you removed the lower ball joint nut and swing the a-arm up out of the way.
4. Then you need access to a 220volt welder of your choice,


85 Rear Coilover mod
Well, in short, it looks like the 1985 Rear Upper Mount is not the same as the later years, so I can't weld a washer onto the mount plate and move it, I am not surprised really.

And to top it all off you can see that the mount hole is offset towards the edge of the frame (towards teh car center) and there is a rolled up edge there that prevents you from mounting anything flat on that edge.

It looks like I will have to weld up a mount bracket that replicates the factory mount,, then cut the factory mount off, and weld the new bracket on becasue I can't see how you can get into the boxed frame to put a nut on the mount bolts.

Spoke with QA1 tech today, their big issue with C4's and Coilovers is they say the mounting bracketsare flimsy,, well, I can take care of that, probably will use .250" thick CRS like I did on the front CO tower.

For you guys that have done this mod on later years,,,, do the pics look similar to the later years, except for the shock mount?

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Here is a pic of the new spherical bearings that came today, this will help with the apparent misalignment on the shock loop.

You press out the Poly bushing, then press the bearing in and install a snap ring on the ID of the loop on both sides of the bearing. Part # QA1 EMB8-102pk
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I cut the Towers off both sides. They are only @ .110" thick so we'll heli-arc weld .125" thick SS to the sides of each tower which will make them @ .245" thick,, then stick weld them back to the car hopefully tomorrow night.
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Well, we welded 1/8 thick SS to the side of the stock mount, it ain't pretty, but its pretty strong, it was .105" thick before, now its .235" thick afte rthe SS was added
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We also welded a larger base to the mount in an effort to spread out the load, the base is 1/4" thick 1018 CRS
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Welded on and moved forward 1.250"

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Painted and since I kept the factory mount in an effort to make this reversible in the future,, I put a rubber bushing in between the Spherical bushing and the mount wall, I will search out a better solution for this but with teh tires on, you dont see it.

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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » December 30th, 2012, 7:33 pm

I posted this info else ware on the site but Id point out that when we bleed the brakes we made sure to remove all old brake fluid and you can usually tell the old fluid very easily because, I place a section of 1/4" I.D. clear vinyl tube over the nipple on the bleeder and old fluid tends to look yellow or brown due to rust forming due to moisture absorbed over time in the brake fluid, as old brake fluid tends to absorb water from the air,, over time, and once brakes get really heated due to hard use, in performance driving that moisture turns to STEAM, and you brakes stop working correctly, in fact if the brakes get really hot the brakes just stop working which can be a HUGE problem.
new brake fluid looks almost clear
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YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THESE LINKS

viewtopic.php?f=71&t=1848&p=16080&hilit=brake+fluid#p16080

viewtopic.php?f=34&t=380

I spent a good deal of time today helping my brother-in-law install new brakes on his 1974 big block corvette , he bought 4 new (rebuilt) brake calipers and brake fluid, brake pads, etc. from advanced auto parts because they said they had a life time guarantee , he also bought brake cleaner etc. we put the car up on the lift and pulled the wheels , pulled the calipers, 3 of the 4 looked like they had leaks , two of the ones that leak were obviously defective,one looked like the bleeder was loose.
further inspection showed the 3 leakers needed to be replaced, the pass side rear was the first caliper we pulled off and as we went to put on the rebuilt caliper we quickly found that the caliper re-builder had failed to notice the core they rebuilt had totally stripped threads on the hydraulic line location, I called around the area and eventually located a store with a replacement (different chain store) and while we were checking parts we found one package of brake pads, were obviously not for the corvette, so I made a trip back to exchange those, and took the old worn pads to show the parts counter guy the difference.
the end result was about 2 hours of UN-necessary running around to get replacement parts we already had to do the job, the car eventually got put back together and the brakes worked great, but I still feel that the jerks art advance auto could do a better job, after all one package of brake pads that don,t even fit the car and stripped threads on a "NEW" part are not what you should be dealing with, but Ive come to expect this, many of the local parts stores either don,t have the parts in stock and they must be ordered 24-48 hours in advance or the parts that come in are defective far too often,or the parts are just for the wrong car.
now I know its partly because they don,t give a crap, they get paid minimum wages, but it gets old fast!
I especially like the deer in the headlights stare , the parts guys give you when you point out the parts they sold you two hours earlier, are not even similar to the old part you bring in to show them. or guys that want to argue about if the part they sold you 2 hours ago is really defective.
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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Re: upgrading the suspension on a c-4

Postby grumpyvette » February 21st, 2014, 4:20 pm

C4 Corvette Suspension Chart, spring rates & broadcast codes
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Track Width Comparison
C5 Z06:

Length 179.7 in - 4565 mm
Width 73.6 in - 1869 mm
Height 47.7 in - 1212 mm
Wheelbase 104.5 in - 2655 mm
Front track width 62.4 in - 1585 mm
Rear track width 62.6 in - 1590 mm

C6 Z06:

Length 175.6 in - 4460 mm
Width 75.9 in - 1927 mm
Wheelbase 105.7 in - 2684 mm
Front track width 63.5 in - 1612 mm
Rear track width 62.5 in - 1587 mm


C3:

Front 58.7, Rear 59.5 -- 68-82 Chevy Corvette

Rear hub to hub (w/o rotors): 57.165

C4:
Front 59.6, Rear 60.4 -- 84-96 Chevy Corvette

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just a few pictures I found posted that easily demonstrate internal tire damage can cause serious issues with stability, braking and control, and yeah, hitting a few curbs, chuck holes and speed bumps with your corvette,or muscle car,will be unlikely to help tire durability
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
grumpyvette

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