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Buick Suspension


Shakadula
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I bought suspension bushings and steering linkage from kantor for my 1967 GS400 convert and found them good to do business with. Prompt and product was of good quality.

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Considering that most of the OEM spec replacement parts will be the same regardless of where they might come from, shopping price and service can be important. Just because they might come from a big name hobby supplier does not mean they are any better than what you can get from NAPA or from someone that carried Moog or Perfect Circle suspension parts. All the hobby supplier might do is sell them to you in a "kit" instead of individually (as the auto parts suppliers sell them to the hobby suppliers or independent garages or individuals themselves). Many times, "one stop shopping" and "convenience" can come at a price so don't forget to check with NAPA or a local large auto parts jobber that might carry the name brands I mentioned (or similar). Then, if something goes wrong, your gas will be cheaper and quicker than freight charges--plus it gives you someone local to do business with that can probably get the same things the "out of the area" vendor can at comparable prices (or less).

As for the polyurethane bushings and such, there are reasons to use them and places they need to be used, but also consider that anytime you take compliance out of the suspension pivots, it will do two things--make whatever steering inputs you make to the suspension somewhat more positive and it will also transfer more of the road shocks and impact shocks to the chassis for absorption/dissipation. On a body/frame construction vehicle it might not make that much difference in ride quality and road noise concerns, but the possibility exists they could deteriorate some.

Polyurethane link bolt grommets for the sway bars are good things (as it makes the bar act 20% larger) to resist lean and such. I think that if I was going to use polyurethane bushings to replace rubber bushings in the front suspension pivot areas, it would be for the upper control arm shafts. That would leave the lower control arm bushings to carry the weight and still have some compliance for noise isolation issues and make the upper control arm bushings stiffer to better handle the braking and cornering forces. Hopefully that way, a good compromise for improved handling without much compromise in ride comfort.

Also, you can do the prior times method of putting small finishing nails in the rubber to stiffen it up some too. That was in the days before the polyurethane items were even thought of.

Some good sway bars, front and rear, some performance oriented shocks (KYBs, KONIS, etc.), a 70 or 60 series tire (to your liking) on a 7" wide rim, and good suspension condition would provide a pretty dang nice driving and handling vehicle. Stock ride height would be a plus too (at least to me).

Don't forget the steering gearbox as it might need some tweaking too. You could also get it rebuilt with the fast ratio (constant ratio) guts or the variable ratio guts from the larger cars of the later '60s. Lots of possibilities there too.

As for the "Ferrarri like handling", that car will probably be about 2-3" lower than stock, have stiffer springs, massive sway bars front and rear, plus a handling oriented shock absorber. As such, the ride will be substantially stiffer than a firmed up factory calibration. Tires will also be wider and shorter too. For all of that enhanced handling, the car will probably have a much more specialized use than a cruise in the country (where you'd find out just how rought that road really is). Everyone has their own priorities and I respect that.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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  • 3 weeks later...

From the factory I believe their was some sort of rubber gasket at the bottom of the spring perch. Most of these are missing or deteriorated on our old cars. To prevent spring squeaks you can cut a rubber hose and wrap it around the bottom and top of the springs where they contact the A-arms.

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For an enlightening discussion of mid-60's 'A' body front end upgrades, take a look at:

http://www.v8buick.com/

Go to the 'Whoa and Sway' discussion. There is a lot of technical info on brake and suspension swaps for our cars. Of particular interest are the various discussions on the 'A' body upper A arm replacements offered by Fatman Fabrications ( http://www.fatmanfab.com ) that revise the front end geometry and allow the installation of 'B' body disc brakes (11"). Fatman also has disc brake kits and full front end kits. They also have a good discussion on the pros/cons of polyurathane components. It's a good read.

JMC

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  • 10 months later...

P-S-T parts were perfect. Everything fit just right. The springs are another thing. Hemstreet sent Skylark springs and the car was sitting on the ground after I installed them. I had to pay shipping to send the springs back and realized that Hemstreet didn't know the difference between a GS and A skylark. I still have to install the rear springs cause George Henstreet said install them and see how they look. This guy is too much. I should have used Year One.

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