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Old 05-03-2003, 09:47 AM
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Post 1962 Corvette suspension mods

Howdy Gang! I am new to the site and hoping to take advantage of the knowledge here.

I have a 1962 Corvette 327/340HP T-10 4:11 ratio. I am doing a body off frame mostly "factory correct" restoration. I want to take advantage of modern parts where I can without losing too much originality or drastically changing the character of the car. Maybe I should restate that, radial tires alone will drastically change the character of an old Vette, but I think you get the picture. I plan to drive this car, weather permitting and may take the occasional short road trip. I also plan to have the car judged. Stuff line SS brake and gas lines are a no brainer, even if they mark me down a little in judging. I plan to use the original drum brakes too. Found alot of good info here on brakes. Just worked and maintained to be the best they can be. Learned alot today about brake fluids. I pretty much decided not to go with silicone. I'll just change it more often instead.

As far as the suspension is concerned, what is the best set up for a compromise between all around handling, comfort and the occasional trip down the quarter mile?

For those familiar with 50's era Chevy pickups, you have a pretty good idea of the frame and suspension.

The entire front suspension will be new stuff but I have to decide on the bushing type. I was considering polygraphite bushings up front and on the rear sway bar but with rubber in the leaf springs. I will use the tapered front wheel bearings which are supposed to be a big improvement over stock. I also plan to use gas charged Delco shocks with a good set of radials and a 60's era mag, like Torque Thrusters for driving. That should reduce unsprung weight at each corner even though tires will be larger than stock. For any one familiar with the old Vettes, having "too much" tire on the front can cause fast wear of the king pins, third arm bearing, or some other component, I'm not sure. I could use some help here.

When I got the car it had a traction bar set up that was a weld and bolt-on combo from the spring plate to the front hanger. That set up worked well but won't be reinstalled. I know I may have some rear wheel hop without a traction bar. Would poly bushings in the rear leaf springs help? What are the advantages vs disadvantages. I know they make a special front bushing for Chrysler leafs but I don't think anything similar is available for an early Vette. I like to be able to launch without wheel hop but hard core dragging and 60 ft times are not on my agenda. While I do plan to drive this car, I'm not going to run the crap out of it. Most of the time it will just be cruising. Remember, my goal is to preserve originality while improving performance. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have for helping me come up with the best over all compromise for my old Vette chassis.

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Old 05-03-2003, 08:02 PM
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I have a 69 Vette and if you plan to be in a show that is looking for an original car, I would get a list of their rules before you buy any parts. Those judges are real particular and unless you are I would not go this route.

If you don't mind a change for the better, the polygraphite bushings can be bought in black which look stock and they last much longer than stock. Also, the radial tires will make the car handle better and ride smoother. I could tell a big difference in my car when I went to radials.
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Old 05-06-2003, 07:01 AM
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HotRodMan, Yes I plan to have my car judged at NCRS and Bloomington events. My goal is "Gold" and "Top Flite". I would score more if I used rubber bushings than polygraphite, but the points markdown is minimal. Same goes for SS exhaust and SS brake and fuel lines. If you plan to have a car judged to their standards, you need to have two sets of wheels and tires, one for judging and one for driving.

Since my car was an original and unmolested example, a factory correct restoration is the best way to preserve and enhance value. For example: the factory painted the car with acrylic lacquer, tough to get today, most newer restorations now use newer paints. As long as the painter applies to obtain the acrylic "look", not too shiny or obvious clearcloat, it will pass judging.

There are a few things you can do, bolt on wise, that won't affect judging too adversly. At least that is my understanding. Since I plan to drive this car I want to make changes where I can for the max performance benefit and least penalty.
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