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#1052866 - 08/10/17 09:38 PM Suspension geometry effects of higher ride height?  
Joined: Apr 2011
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Hunter79764 Offline
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Hunter79764  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 803
Grand Prairie, Tx
Probably due to a lack of sleep coupled with too much coffee, I've had some ideas about a very mild lift and offroad style tires on my Monte. I know there a ton of people that will hate it, but I'm not destroying a clean SS, it's a low mile base car that has already been modified enough to lose any value from originality, and doesn't gain much value from my modifications. I built the car to have fun, and that's what it does for me.

Humor me here, this is more of a thought experiment rather than "I'm going to do this next week". I don't want to drop it on a K5 frame, I don't want to put 26" rims on it, just more like the old school Baja Oldsmobiles, or the charger from Fast and Furious 7. And I'd hate to dig in only to find out I'd take some poor geometry and make it worse. Obviously autocrossing wouldn't be in my future, but I'd like for it to not wallow and bumpsteer and understeer like crazy every time it hit a dip on the highway...

Anyway, I know that the front geometry is bad at stock settings and generally worse when lowered with drop springs. Does it actually improve when going higher to the tune of 2" or so? I'm thinking maybe installing taller but soft springs (maybe start in the catalog for Oldsmobile diesel springs or 2WD S10 lift springs), or using 2WD S10 2" lift spindles to maintain stock geometry, but not sure what either of those options does to bump-steer.

For the rear, I'd like to upgrade from the 7.5 and use an Explorer 8.8 and go with a truck-arm setup. From what I've seen so far, the biggest drawback of the Truck Arm arrangement on a Monte is the clearance underneath and the cost of any kits that are good enough at tucking up under the car. If I was to raise the rear a couple inches as well, it seems like that would give me the room to install a setup based on the older Chevy trucks, or possibly just a complete homemade kit.

Any thoughts? I've got my flame suit on...


Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer...

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1052891 - 08/12/17 09:20 AM Re: Suspension geometry effects of higher ride height? [Re: Hunter79764]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,432
SSLance Offline
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SSLance  Offline
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Posts: 5,432
Smithville, MO
For the front, raising the ride height with just springs will probably add negative camber. With a stock setup camber went positive under compression and negative under extension. As far as where this puts the centerlink in relation to the steering arm...good question. I would never suggest this as a fix or anything even past way temporary...but you might put coil spring extenders in the stock springs and give it a whirl. You'd have to check and reset your toe and camber for sure but it'll give you an idea anyway.

Not sure what the triangulated 4 link would do when raised...never even thought about that lol...


Lance
1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car
#1052907 - 08/13/17 01:12 AM Re: Suspension geometry effects of higher ride height? [Re: Hunter79764]  
Joined: Apr 2011
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Hunter79764 Offline
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Hunter79764  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 803
Grand Prairie, Tx
I suppose the rear might not be too detrimental, I've run air shocks at full pressure and an empty trunk before which probably gets it close to the height I'm envisioning, but that would just be an intermediate step until I got a better axle under it...
On the front, that's a good point. "Shim" the springs a little higher and see if it becomes unstable. Even on the current wheels and tires I could see if it went too far south.

I know lifting these chassis can be done and is done all the time, but I don't know how much technical advice I want from the 26" chrome dub crowd...


Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer...

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1052938 - 08/15/17 11:35 AM Re: Suspension geometry effects of higher ride height? [Re: Hunter79764]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,150
SickSpeedMonte Offline
10+ Year
SickSpeedMonte  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,150
MD
The front geometry actually gets slightly better when you lower it and align it. When you lift the car, the tires camber negative, so your camber behavior would be backwards. With the short upper arm, jacking could be a problem too. It certainly wouldn't be ideal, but how much do you care about handling with that setup?

#1052942 - 08/15/17 03:06 PM Re: Suspension geometry effects of higher ride height? [Re: Hunter79764]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 803
Hunter79764 Offline
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Hunter79764  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 803
Grand Prairie, Tx
Typical handling won't be much of an issue, but probably the biggest thing I want to avoid is making bumpsteer worse. I wouldn't be carving corners by a long shot, I hardly do that now, I just want to make sure it wouldn't go from bad to massively worse.
I think I know what you mean by "jacking", but can you clarify? And would the 8.5" circle track arms help? I'm running the 8" (right side/stock length) arms right now, not ideal but cheap and effective for the little use I put it through.


Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer...

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway

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