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10/1/12 8:37pm - Original Message: 'Shock??? Your Thoughts'
Almond81Vette
Former Member
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Stanley, NC - USA

Vette(s):
1981, dark blue w/carmel interior. 350 stock, auto tranny, Q-jet carb, ECM box

Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 91
Looking to swap out the shocks on my' 81 since appears still the original ones on the car. What do you guys feel is the best to put on?
 
AC Delco Hydraulic
Monroe Hydraulic
KYB Gas-A-Just Hi-Pressure
The rear seems just a bit low, not bad so wanting to regain possible a bit higher so let me know what you think or tell me a 4th option.

Also have any of you used the Adjustable Strut Rods replacing the cam adjusting type? The adjusting one just requires lossening the nut and turning the rod clockwise or counter-clockwise to adjust camber on rear. Thinking of this too but seek your input if these are worth the $110 buck


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Tommy
 
   
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10/1/12 9:17pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2376
From what I hear Bilstein's are supposed to be the best.

I put on KYB adjust a gas shocks back in 2001. I like the way they ride. The price was right back then too.
My car originally had a 9 leaf steel spring because it is a manual trans car. I switched over to a 7 leaf heavy duty spring and actually get compliments on how well the car rides.

Your car being an automatic should have the fiberglass leaf spring. You mentioned that your car seem to be riding low in the back. Shocks will not raise your ride height really unless they are air shocks. Sounds like your leaf spring may be loosing some of its strength.

What is the distance from the ground to the center of the wheel opening? Check all 4 corners on a level surface and let us know.

As for the adjustable strut rods for a driver I think its a waste of money. Unless your going to go road racing then yes.
How are the strut rod bushings? Are your strut rods straight not bent?


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GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes
Borgeson Steering Box
Born 8/1981
Sequence #3975




Click here to see more pics of my Vette on CarDomain.


Lifetime Member #26
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10/2/12 6:46pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
Almond81Vette
Former Member
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Stanley, NC - USA

Vette(s):
1981, dark blue w/carmel interior. 350 stock, auto tranny, Q-jet carb, ECM box

Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 91
Sarge, doing my best inside of my garage I measured the following distance from the top of the innner fender to the ground:
LF 27-1/2"
RF 27-1/2"
LR 27-5/8"
RR 28.0"
 
   Also using a level on the rims it appears my rear tires are about 7/8 of a bubble out at bottom or rather negitive camber.
   The bushings are all original from what it appears and many of them are cracked and appears hard. So maybe a total bushing replacement job will help?


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Tommy
 
   
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10/2/12 8:17pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
I'm looking at a big box from Amazon that I'm assuming are two new KYB Gas-a-just's for the rear of mine.  (I'm going to order the two fronts as well).  I'll let you know how I like 'em after I get 'em installed in the next week or two.  I agree with Sarge, though: everything I've heard says Bilstein's are the best, just not a good choice for me due to the $$$!

FYI, the reason I'm replacing shocks is I currently have KYB GR-2's all around.  I wouldn't recommend them, just not a good choice for a Corvette.  




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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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10/2/12 9:39pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
Sarge81 Lifetime Member
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WEST SENECA, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Blue Ice Met. w/pearl ghost flames TKO500 5speed. LS1 Swap 3.45 Dana 44.

Joined: 12/3/2001
Posts: 2376
Almond81Vette said: Sarge, doing my best inside of my garage I measured the following distance from the top of the innner fender to the ground:
LF 27-1/2"
RF 27-1/2"
LR 27-5/8"
RR 28.0"
 
   Also using a level on the rims it appears my rear tires are about 7/8 of a bubble out at bottom or rather negitive camber.
   The bushings are all original from what it appears and many of them are cracked and appears hard. So maybe a total bushing replacement job will help?


That seems like the springs are sagging a bit. Those were close to the measurements back when I changed out the original springs. My measurements as of today are 28-3/4" all the way around. I replaced all the springs and bushings in 2001.

I'd say if your going to keep this car for a long time and your going to do a lot of cruising, take the time and money and go through the whole suspension. And make sure you find a shop that will take the time and effort into setting up the alignment properly. I found a lot of shops won't mess with the trailing arm shims. But a good shop will. Expect to pay around $250-$300 for a proper alignment after you redo the suspension.

Today I just had my car realigned because I put a new Borgeson Steering Box and they recommend adding 3-4 degrees of caster. Even though I had it done last back in '07 the alignment changed in the rear also. They had to redo the shims on the trailing arms. I knew the chamber would be slightly off due to me changing out the differential. The guy that did the alignment used to restore C2 and C3's. He say they should technically be done once a year. But at that price I'll go every few years myself. lol.



____________________________________

GEN III 5.7L "LS6" Engine swap
TKO500 5 spd.
3.54 Dana 44
'69 "N11" Sidepipes
Borgeson Steering Box
Born 8/1981
Sequence #3975




Click here to see more pics of my Vette on CarDomain.


Lifetime Member #26
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10/2/12 11:06pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
KDADDY79
Former Member
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Dutchess County, NY - USA

Vette(s):
White '79 Corvette. It's a driver.

Joined: 8/27/2007
Posts: 2484
Tommy,
I put the KYB's (Gas Adjust) on all fours of my '79. I have no complaints at all as I don't do anything like autocross. I just drive it and go to the occasional cruise night.
I also replaced the original rear spring with a stock metal replacement. This definitely put the rear ride height back where it should be.
If I had to do it again, I'd still get the KYB's but I'd spend a few extra dollars and get a fiberglass rear spring. Everyone who has one seems to really like 'em.
I hope you finish this up without too much trouble.
Kevin


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10/3/12 4:24pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
The Rook Lifetime Member
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Pittsburgh, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1979 L-82, 3 spd auto, car was originally Lt. Beige currently painted Sportsman Red, Doeskin leather interior, 103,000 miles......

Joined: 12/4/2002
Posts: 600
I replaced my old steel leaf spring with a fiberglass spring and my old worn out Monroe shocks with the KYB's and it made a huge difference. As you can see from my signature pics that was what my car looked like before.
 
Now its sits much higher in the rear and rides and handles a million times better. 


|UPDATED|10/3/2012 1:24:26 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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10/3/12 6:02pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
Almond81Vette
Former Member
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Stanley, NC - USA

Vette(s):
1981, dark blue w/carmel interior. 350 stock, auto tranny, Q-jet carb, ECM box

Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 91
Sarge, to get more detailed......funny how we do that with our vettes, looking at the Service Manual and seeing the chart on Trim Heights I just checked all the measurements based on the manual and found the following:
 
Fronts measured 30.50" back from c/l should be 8.68" and I had 27.5" on left and right fronts
Rears measured 24.00" forward from c/l should be 8.57" and I had 7.5" on l/r and 7.9" on r/r
 
So seems on average about an inch low +/- a faction all the way around. So will do shocks first and see where at and then look at alignment shop, we have a good one in Charlotte I'm told that a couple of our C3 friends have used before.


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Tommy
 
   
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10/3/12 6:49pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
I just got done doing the rear suspension on my 72. This included all the bushings as well as replacing the spring insulators for my original 9 leaf spring. I did the shocks as well but you must keep in mind that shocks do not hold the car up. They cushion the ride and keep the car from rolling up and down when traveling over bumps. There are many theory's on which shock to use. Truth in my opinion is any good shock will work very well if your not racing. I did put Bilsteins on the 72 with the rebuild but on the 74 I used gas Gabriels. They do a very nice job and you cant tell a difference between the ride on one from the other. The biggest difference will be the springs and bushings. Theres where you will see the greatest improvement. The 72 has the original springs front and rear. As I said earlier I did the insulators on the rear, I replaced all ball joints and rod ends as well as control arm bushings for the front. In the rear I replaced the trailing arms and bushings, Although you can just do the bushings in the arms, Replaced the Strut rods with adjustable rods. Will make alignment much easier for the tech (who in my case will be Rich tomorrow night!) Also Rear Spring Mounting Kit, Rear Spring Mount Bolts,
Upper & Lower Rear End Mount Cushions, Differential Carrier Bolt set. It made the suspension smooth and quiet. What a difference. My height ended at front 27.5 and the rear is 28 3/4.
Best of luck to you. If theres any information i can pass your way just ask.
Rodney


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10/19/12 11:02am - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
daveo76
Standard Member
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
Got my KYB Gas-A-Just shocks installed the other night and drove it to work yesterday.  Me likey!  Big smile  Good, crisp ride and the back end feels so much tighter going over big bumps.  

____________________________________

 

1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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10/20/12 12:23am - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
dskopp
Former Member
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Oak Creek, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Great White Shark. Red Interior, 350/190hp. PS, PB (SS), A/C CC, T-Tops, Going to remain as Stock as possible. Served three years in Active Duty Army, then Retired Air Force after 34 years! Badger State Vetts Car Club. 175,000 Original miles!!

Joined: 5/21/2008
Posts: 1956
As far as as I know, I am still all original at 149,000 miles!!!
Dan


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2/12/13 8:39pm - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
hcspeed
Former Member
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cataula, GA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 stingray ,tired like me

Joined: 12/23/2012
Posts: 4
just priced a set of bilsteins through summit $390.00 , I.m gonna do it, my vette handles like a mustang and that ain't cool

|UPDATED|2/12/2013 5:39:04 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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2/15/13 11:21am - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
knotacare
Former Member
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Newark, DE - USA

Vette(s):
1968 Conv, 454HO,500HP-600TQ, TKO-600,3:70 HD rear,hotrod air, custom paint & suspension,1973 Ruby Red,T-top, 383 Stroker, TK)-500,frame off restro, 1977 Yellow (1 of 51 ) L-48 4 spd, 99% original.

Joined: 7/26/2004
Posts: 453
You can get them cheaper here
http://www.vbandp.com/C2-C3-Corvettes/C2-C3-Suspension-Products/C2-C3-Shocks/Bilstein-Sport-Shocks-set-of-4-1963-82.html
Alan


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2/16/13 8:48am - Reply: 'Re: Shock??? Your Thoughts'
tonytheroofer
Former Member
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Rochester, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1980 L- 82 fully restored and upgraded.

Joined: 6/12/2012
Posts: 95
Not sure about shocks ,, but I have seen few other dark blue metallic 1980 corvettes like mine ,, Nice to see yours !! 

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1980 , ZZ430 , 3.92 rear , 700R4 2400 stall NEW EZ EFI 
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