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Old 05-29-2009, 02:43 PM
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74 Nova Brakes/ Suspension Upgrade

I have a 1974 Nova with disc/ drum brakes and stock (worn out) suspension. I'm looking for advise or experience from someone with an aftermarket suspension they installed. Do I really need tubular upper/ lower control arms. This will be a street machine but I do want to get rid of all the lean and have better control. I know the front end components and the springs/ shocks will have to be replaced. Is one brand better than another? Is a coil over set up that much better? What are the benifits? Lastly any budget friendly brake upgrades? The max I want to lower the car is 1". If it stays stock height that is fine. Thanks for the help. Rich

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Old 05-29-2009, 05:52 PM
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If it were mine I would do a complete steering and suspension rebuild with OE type replacement parts, using a quality name brand like Moog. New front springs and depending on condition (sag) of rears likely those also. I would look into adding a rear anti roll bar and maybe a larger front bar, depending on how it handles with everything else being new, I would go with urethane roll bar bushings but would stay with rubber on the suspension unless you like the ride quite firm.
I would install a quality shock like a Bilstein, coil overs are nice but not really needed and can be pricey, same with tubular a-frames. If you wanted a flat out canyon carver then the more exotic parts would be warranted.
Others could probably speak better on the brake upgrades, there may be something available in larger rear drums, not sure. There is always rear disk conversions.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:58 AM
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Agree with 1ownerT, complete suspension rebuild, go to polyuerethane bushings if you want more Corvette-esque handling than Cadillac-like. Tubular arms are really not necessary unless you want to really corner hard. Definately replace springs front and rear, stock heavy duty replacements or parts meant for the 69 Z28, (The 68-74 Nove shares a suspension with the 67-69 Camaro). Stock front disc/rear drum systems work quite well when fresh, unless you are looking for more like a rear disc conversion.

I guess this all depends on how far you want to go -- road course wanna-be or just a nice solid capable street cruiser? Or somewhere in between?

We did poly bushings front and rear with just a tubular front upper arm and 175 lbs/inch rear leaf springs(35 more than stock) in a '74 Z28 and it was a really nice street car. Handled as good as a 70's Vette, not harsh at all.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:29 PM
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I used factory big block springs that I cut to the height I wanted, replaced every bushing with polyurethane, and installed a 1 1/8 front sway bar. It was the best thing I ever did. It rides a little harsh but can take a turn at any speed I'm brave enough to try. Another thing to not over look are sub frame connectors. They also make a very noticeable difference.
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the input. I'm not looking for the canyon carver so I will just replace the bushings, new springs all the way around and most likely add the sway bars and sub frame connectors. Just wonder what benifit you get from installing new upper A-arms? Does it keep give the tires better grip in the turns? Thanks again
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:25 AM
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Don't forget the rubber subframe-to-body bushings. Some of yours might have been replaced by air if they haven't been changed yet.
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