72 olds cutlass suspension - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans Advertise
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Suspension - Brakes - Steering
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-19-2015, 04:29 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 3
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
72 olds cutlass suspension

Hi I'm new to this forum. Anyway I will soon be looking to finally buy my first project car. I've been looking at a 1972 olds cutlass supreme. But before I pull the trigger on buying it I have been researching performance parts for this car and was wondering if any of you could suggest suspension upgrades that don't cost an arm and a leg. I will only have about $3,000 to put into the suspension right now any help would be appreciated.

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-19-2015, 06:01 PM
Old(s) Fart
 
Last wiki edit: Wheelbase database
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 5,461
Wiki Edits: 1

Thanks: 131
Thanked 662 Times in 566 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotrod81 View Post
Hi I'm new to this forum. Anyway I will soon be looking to finally buy my first project car. I've been looking at a 1972 olds cutlass supreme. But before I pull the trigger on buying it I have been researching performance parts for this car and was wondering if any of you could suggest suspension upgrades that don't cost an arm and a leg. I will only have about $3,000 to put into the suspension right now any help would be appreciated.
Did you really mean $3K? That's a generous budget. Does that include wheels and tires? Bigger brakes?

The Cutlass chassis and suspension are the same as a Chevelle. The biggest improvements you can make are taller spindles to change the camber curve and increased caster (which may require aftermarket upper control arms. Get a quick ratio steering box. Upgrade to boxed lower control arms in the rear and larger front and rear anti-sway bars. The A-body cars are understeering pigs from the factory and the best-handling versions use a larger rear bar than front bar to correct this. Herb Adams used to sell a 1.5" rear bar and run that with a 1.375" front bar. You can still find these used.

Also, if you plan to use polyurethane bushings in the rear, do not put them in both ends of the upper rear control arms. The four link rear suspension requires some compliance in twist in the upper arms. The stock rubber bushings are soft enough to allow this without binding. If you run poly bushings, get the upper arms with a metal ball joint in place of the front bushing to avoid the binding.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-19-2015, 06:27 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 3
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes if at possible to do the suspension and brakes for around $3,000 but kinda have my doubts I'd be able to fit wheels and tires into that budget. I want the car to handle more like a newer car.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2015, 09:53 AM
kso's Avatar
kso kso is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 473
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 3
Thanked 94 Times in 83 Posts
An older pic of our BB El Camino we've had since the mid-'80s, this has the same GM suspension as your '72 Cutlass:



Suspension was done in the low-budget style you are interested in, and similar to what Joe Padavano outlines above. There was a little cutting and welding. It worked great, beyond what I would have expected, and does drive like a newer, smaller car than what it is. My family had a '72 350 Chevelle new, which was a lurching bouncing understeering pig...this car is nothing like that.

Front spindles are the taller GM style, from a '70s Cadillac Seville w/ 12" 4-wheel disc option and 1LE Camaro rotors. The a-arms were modified to accept these and increase the caster to 6 degrees, catalog parts are available for this if you don't do fabrication. Springs and front swaybar are original SS-396 stuff, and bushings are urethane. Very important to all this working well for cheap was bigger shocks (not more expensive ones), from a '70s Dodge half-ton truck, the a-arm holes had to be ground out a little bit. Steering box is '80s Cutlass, which is not the total hot ticket but faster than stock.

The rear swaybar is also GM, because it acts directly on control arm angles and not from partway up, the rr is normally smaller than the front (proof you have it right comes when the handling is about neutral). Springs are again stock, with stiffer shocks. Control arms are boxed upper and lower per original SS, as mentioned above while this makes them stiffer it also defeats their ability to twist so compliant bushing must be used (and on this car the urethane/rubber bushing combination works fine for normal driving but wants to hop at the drag strip and needs something different if used that way). 12" rear discs are from the same Cadillac as the front, requiring a spacer ring, slotting the wheel stud holes and shimming the diff c-clips to reduce side-to-side play.

Wheels are stock SS, modified from 14x7 to 15x8 (that used to be a big job but now you can buy them that way) and tires are 275-50R15s.

The frame is boxed per normal El Camino, has original SS rear control-arm bracing (an add-on) and an extra rectangle-tube crossmember there, and up front there is bracing from the front crossmember to under the firewall such as on '73-77 cars, and various other reinforcing to eliminate cracking such as normally happens with big-block cars.

Maybe this all cost $500...probably less...but of-course was some work. You could buy it all for under two grand now I imagine.

I used this with a mild 396 and a Richmond 5-speed manual, for probably 100K 'til the rod bearings wore out. What a great driver, it did everything well (albeit at 14 mpg but that wasn't the question here). It sits in the barn, waiting for a fresh motor, new paint and it's turn to come around again.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2015, 10:52 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 3
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks joe padavano and kso for the tips I love the 72 cutlass body style and unfortunately they are among the few remaining classic cars from that era that don't cost too much to buy. I don't have any fab or welding experience but I am comfortable turning wrenches I was a mechanic in the army for 5 1/2 years. Do you guys have any recommendations on parts suppliers I've checked out summit racing and opg but don't know any others
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2015, 11:14 AM
RWENUTS's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Bowser, BC, Canada
Age: 68
Posts: 5,097
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 458
Thanked 727 Times in 659 Posts
Maybe these guys could help you out!
HOTCHKIS SPORT SUSPENSION SYSTEMS, PARTS, AND COMPLETE BOLT-IN PACKAGES Home - HOTCHKIS SPORT SUSPENSION SYSTEMS, PARTS, AND COMPLETE BOLT-IN PACKAGES
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2015, 12:51 AM
ericnova72's Avatar
More for Less Racer
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: S.W. Lower Michigan
Age: 53
Posts: 18,001
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 280
Thanked 3,334 Times in 2,793 Posts
You can also check out Detroit Speed and Engineering.(DSE)

Just about any circle track suspension supplier will have parts for the "64-72 A-body chassis, it has been used a lot in racing. Good place to find cheaper tubular A-arm alternatives, along with stiffer springs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Suspension - Brakes - Steering posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Olds Cutlass rummer Introduce Yourself 1 05-15-2014 08:20 PM
71 olds cutlass camountaingoat Introduce Yourself 1 09-26-2011 10:18 PM
68' Olds Cutlass jcclark Hotrodders' Lounge 5 09-18-2009 08:09 PM
72 olds cutlass questions Sparksfarm1 Engine 3 08-27-2004 01:17 PM
89 Olds Cutlass 80Camino Body - Exterior 2 01-25-2003 10:05 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.