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Topic: '78 Replacement shocks

in Forum: C3 Handling Components


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'78 Replacement shocks (1/15)
 10/14/23 11:36pm
gdefran78
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Hillsborough, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary, red leather interior, 18500 miles, AM/FM/8-track player, L-48, auto, mirrored T-tops, alloy wheels, Goodyear GT Radial tires. 2015 Z06 convertible, 7spd manual, 9600 miles, 3LZ pkg, Torch Red.


Joined: 10/22/2004
Posts: 19

I'm considering replacing the shocks on my '78. It rides well but I feel that the handling could be better when pushed a bit. The car is all stock. Anyone have any thoughts on or experience replacing either with AC/Delco or other aftermarket shocks? Pros, cons? I appreciate any input.



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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (2/15)
 10/15/23 1:41pm
NorskyLifetime Member
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Burke, VT - USA

Vette(s):
SOLD - "The Toy" - '70 Convertible
SOLD - "The Beast" - '90 ZR-1 (#682)
SOLD - "Betty" - '28 Ford Model A Tudor
Still have - "BLKBRRD" - '78 Pontiac Trans Am


Joined: 1/23/2002
Posts: 7218

I'm far from an expert on the topic but would guess that most of the major brands are probably very similar, some just have more options in being able to dial in the comfort versus handling aspect.  A chat with a tech support person at any of the major parts suppliers (Summit Racing, et al) or builders (Detroit Speed, et al)  might shed some light on what would be the best solution for you.



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Jim Olson 

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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (3/15)
 10/15/23 2:22pm
F4GaryGold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1427

I'd go with the HD Bilsteins.



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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (4/15)
 10/15/23 7:56pm
johnu
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Scottsdale, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Corvette Two-Tone Claret color, 4 spd, C7 Vert


Joined: 5/23/2007
Posts: 616

I use KYB’s. Nice “pillowy” ride with a glass rear spring.  I might try Bilsteins at some point.

I used A/C Delco gas once but not impressed.



|UPDATED|10/15/2023 4:56:34 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (5/15)
 10/16/23 2:13pm
Vette78RLLifetime Member
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Lawrenceville, GA - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary. Restored in 2012. All new 'complete' suspension f & r, engine, trans, exhaust, interior. Car is driven - garage kept but not a trailer queen.


Joined: 10/21/2013
Posts: 28

I have Bilstein heavy duty shocks frt & rear (2 Bilstein #24-009461 front, 36mm & 2 Bilstein #24-184649 rear, 46mm) along with a heavy duty fiberglass rear spring.  They're more expensive than regular shocks like AC-Delco but to me they're worth it.  We do and prefer mountain driving on curvy switchback-type roads in North Georgia and especially Dragon's Tail in Tennessee.  When the suspension was all rebuilt, it was done with that in mind.  All bushings are poly and all parts are heavy duty.  In these C3 vintage-years, stock will not get it done and sometimes will break when doing this type of driving.  All depends on what your intentions are.  If it's just cruising or touring, stock should be fine as long as it's in good shape.  But mountain driving requires beefier components.    

 

Re: '78 Replacement shocks (6/15)
 10/18/23 1:08pm
Kentvetteuk
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, - France

Vette(s):
1978 L48 Auto. Red with Oyster Leather interior. Owned since 1990.


Joined: 8/21/2002
Posts: 101

When we fitted our composite rear spring we went to Koni Classic Adjustable shocks all round.   We have them on a fairly soft setting, but we prefer that.  I admit that they could be a tad stiffer, especially when we spent a few days in the French Alps a couple of years ago!



|UPDATED|10/18/2023 10:08:28 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (7/15)
 10/19/23 12:02pm
LenWoodruff
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Frisco, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Annivesary L82. Black Interior


Joined: 7/22/2022
Posts: 13

I put AC Delco gas shocks on mine a few years ago.

Re: '78 Replacement shocks (8/15)
 10/19/23 12:10pm
gdefran78
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Hillsborough, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary, red leather interior, 18500 miles, AM/FM/8-track player, L-48, auto, mirrored T-tops, alloy wheels, Goodyear GT Radial tires. 2015 Z06 convertible, 7spd manual, 9600 miles, 3LZ pkg, Torch Red.


Joined: 10/22/2004
Posts: 19

What did you think of the AC/Delco Len? Any pros or cons?



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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (9/15)
 10/19/23 1:08pm
LenWoodruff
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Frisco, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Annivesary L82. Black Interior


Joined: 7/22/2022
Posts: 13

I think they are a good option and much cheaper than the Bilistiens & KYB's.

If you don't track the car these are all you need for the street.

Re: '78 Replacement shocks (10/15)
 10/19/23 1:16pm
F4GaryGold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1427

I have the AC Delco shocks on my '72.  I don't have anything to compare them to as that's the only ones I had on this car.

I've just been told that the HD Bilsteins are better. 



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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (11/15)
 10/20/23 11:33am
LenWoodruff
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Frisco, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Annivesary L82. Black Interior


Joined: 7/22/2022
Posts: 13

What is their recommendation based on Gary?

Re: '78 Replacement shocks (12/15)
 10/20/23 1:42pm
F4GaryGold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1427

Ride and handling.  The HD Bilsteins (B6) are softer than the Sport Bilsteins (B8). 



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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (13/15)
 10/31/23 8:55pm
nlora
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Alliance, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Red T-Top


Joined: 8/25/2023
Posts: 1

I would recommend the Bilstein shocks for your car. Probably HD's all around.

On my '80 I just recently replaced my stock AC Delco shocks with Bilstein HD's up front, and Bilstein Sports in the rear. I chose the sports for the rear since I have a stock FE7 steel leaf spring stack in the rear. Old shocks had zero pressure in them. 13k original miles and this summer was first time on road in 20 years. The ride now feels tight but the rear feels a bit bouncy, if that makes sense. Seriously considering putting in a single fiberglass leaf spring this winter, hoping it will eliminate the bounce. And by bounce I may be just describing feeling every bump in the road. This is my first Corvette and I just don't have anything like this to compare to.

78 shocks (14/15)
 11/1/23 12:47pm
aceintheholeLifetime Member
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Manteca, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1978,two tone,Metalic Rootbeer & gold 1975 L48 4 speed


Joined: 11/20/2005
Posts: 3623

I've had 4 C3's and found that KYB gas shocks are the best investment. Actual lifetime shocks. I've never had to replace a set.



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Jimmy B.
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Re: '78 Replacement shocks (15/15)
 11/16/23 7:40am
JoeTrecca
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Charlottesville, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary L82 Previously: 1965 300hp Coupe in 1967. 1967 435hp Coupe in 1968-70. 1969 350hp T-top w/ac and all power options.


Joined: 9/3/2010
Posts: 104

My L82 '78 with F41 suspension owned over the past 20 years, came with worn out Delco shocks = BAD. Replaced with Delco = GOOD. Changed to KYB = BETTER. Then went with Bilstein = BEST.  Joe



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Joe T
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