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Shocks???? Which One

Tommy Almond

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Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
73
Location
Stanley, NC
Corvette
1981
Looking to swap out the shocks on my' 81 since appears still the original ones on the car. What do you guys feel is the best to put on?
AC Delco Hydraulic
Monroe Hydraulic
KYB Gas-A-Just Hi-Pressure
The rear seems just a bit low, not bad so wanting to regain possible a bit higher so let me know what you think or tell me a 4th option.

Also have any of you used the Adjustable Strut Rods replacing the cam adjusting type? The adjusting one just requires lossening the nut and turning the rod clockwise or counter-clockwise to adjust camber on rear. Thinking of this too but seek your input if these are worth the $110 bucks.
 

6880 Mike

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Jun 30, 2006
Messages
2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
What are you wanting to do with the car? The Delcos or Monroes are fine for a stock driver/cruiser. The KYBs are a step up if you want to go that route. Ride will be a little stiffer with the KYBs.

You do not need adjustable strut rods on a driver. Keep the money in your pocket.

:thumb
 
Last edited:

Yoda

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Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
I agree with Mike. Unless you plan to do a lot of autocross racing or intense mountain driving, I wouldn't spend the big bucks for shocks without addressing the entire suspension ;)

I changed my shocks out back in 1999 with ACDelco Gas Shocks, along with the Front Sway Bar Bushings (I prefer the rubber over the poly bushings), and the Rear Suspension Bushing (with the rear... I adjusted the ride height for both left and right rear sides).

I have done a whole lot more since then, but started off KISS and added as time went by ;)

Bud
 

Tommy Almond

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Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
73
Location
Stanley, NC
Corvette
1981
Mike just looking at improving the ride since appears the shocks on it now are really bad looking and have some age. No road course or other hard running. Spoke with Riks Corvette Parts today and they sell more of the KYBs instead of the Delco for they feel the Delcos are softer than original. So still looking at options gathering thoughts for a winter project and may add in replacing the bushings too since some of them are looking rough too.
 

Peer81

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May 21, 2003
Messages
2,497
Location
Netherlands
Corvette
'81 Black
Koni! :upthumbs Yes a Dutch company part on my 81 vette :D
You can also make them stiffer or softer as you want by turning the shaft when the shock is off the car :)

Greetings Peter
 

Tommy Almond

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Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
73
Location
Stanley, NC
Corvette
1981
A little more details I hope. Doing my best inside of my garage I measured the following distance from the top of the innner fender to the ground: LF 27-1/2"
RF 27-1/2"
LR 27-5/8"
RR 28.0"

Also using a level on the rims it appears my rear tires are about 7/8 of a bubble out at bottom or rather negitive camber.
The bushings are all original from what it appears and many of them are cracked and appears hard. So maybe a total bushing replacement job will help?
 

6880 Mike

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Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
2,723
Location
The Bluegrass State
Corvette
1968 convertible; 1980 L-82
...just looking at improving the ride since appears the shocks on it now are really bad looking and have some age...

Any brand new shocks will improve the ride.

...Spoke with Riks Corvette Parts today and they sell more of the KYBs instead of the Delco for they feel the Delcos are softer than original...

And the KYBs are stiffer.

:thumb
 

Tommy Almond

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
73
Location
Stanley, NC
Corvette
1981
Trim Height Measured By the Service Manual

To get more detailed......funny how we do that with our vettes, looking at the Service Manual and seeing the chart on Trim Heights I just checked all the measurements based on the manual and found the following:
Fronts measured 30.50" back from c/l should be 8.68" and I had 27.5" on left and right fronts
Rears measured 24.00" forward from c/l should be 8.57" and I had 7.5" on l/r and 7.9" on r/r

So seems on average about an inch low +/- a faction all the way around. So will do shocks first and see where that leaves me. Any thoughts are always helpful and thanks for all you guys being here keeping these '81 beauties on the road.
 

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