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Old 09-05-2007, 11:41 PM
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Narrowing a '73 GM B-body Front and Rear Suspension

One of my projects uses a '73 GM -B-body chassis and suspension. The front wheel track needs to be narrowed 3" to 4" to get the wheels under the fender.

I could use rims with different backspacing, but I would like to keep the existing wire rims and nobody seems to make wire rims with enough backspacing to help anyway. Also, it looks like I'd be sacrificing some turning radius and the car has a 12" lengthened wheelbase, so that would just make things worse.

I've been told I can swap in same-year A-body control arms and narrow up things a few inches, but have not been able to confirm this.

It would also be nice to lower the front a few inches as well. I don't see any aftermarket arms of spindles for the '73 B-body. It must be such a great suspension package in stock form! (Actually, I read that the pre-'73 suspension mods duplicate the post-'72 GM "RTS" geometry, so it can't be that bad).

I could replace the entire front suspension with a Mustang II-type unit. The car weighs about 3400 pounds, so that could work OK.

The rear needs to be narrowed the same amount for the same reason. That's a little more straightforward, but maybe not unless I change the OEM unequal- length four bar suspension as well. That leads me to . . .

I could get one of those nice new extended wheelbase frames from Art Morrison and get the wheel track I need from the beginning, a totally new suspension and all the benefits that entails.

I'd also need a new wife for that last option to be a reality, so I need to try to do this in the cheap.

Any advice? last time I asked, no one had any.

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:27 AM
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Why not get a narrower chassis to start with, say an S10...........? They are a dime a dozen..............pun intended.

What are you trying to put this under?
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:56 AM
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This is all from memory, and I am reasonably sure of the following...A while back a friend of mine put an early 70's Caprice front end under a 40 Pontiac. He sawed a 3" section out from the middle of the crossmember, then welded it back together. The drag link was shortened by cutting it, putting a tube over the joint and rosette welding the tube to the draglink. IIRC he had to mess with the motor mounts and sway bar, but it was easy to sort out.

My friend said it all worked fine, and I have no reason to doubt it.(he owned a tire, brake and alignment shop at that time.)

I could try to contact him for verification. (it might be a good test of my memory )....

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