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Great forum! I have a 86 cpe that needs some help. I want to rebuild the suspension and want to know if its something that a guy can do at home or is it something better left to pro's. Also what kits have folks used, and any recommendations?
Welcome To The Corvette Action Center jmur!

Hope you enjoy yourself here. :upthumbs

The suspension modifications that I had done on my '87 were handled by Guldstrand's simply because I don't have the tools or the ability to undertake it on my own.

If you visit My Corvette page, there is a description of what I've had done, along with some links to the actual piece that was installed. ;)
Thanks for the advice. I have the car in the gargage for the winter so i have a while. I checked out the gulstrand sight, seems like i've got alot to learn about.
I would ask a question back... :)
Is there something wrong with your suspension now? or are we talking about modifications?
If your shocks are weak, faded, leaking then a new set of Bilsteins woud go a long way.
If you want the Z51 type suspension then you need the HD shocks and different sway bars. That is DIY project that isn't too painful.
If your springs are almost flat and want to replace them or lower the car then I would go with Ken on that and let someone else do it who has the tools and knowledge to do it.
I'm probably going to have my Vette lowered. I won't do the work on that. I've got someone who has built Vettes for years that can do the whole job, including alignment, in a day.
The lowering can be done in a day in your own garage. I did it with a friend. The hard part is if you don't have a spring compressor(flattener), you have to lift the car pretty high to get it to slid out. It is possible to do with a floor jack though. The back it so easy, its silly.

Thanks so much

Thanks so much for all the advice. This is exactly the info I needed. I will be looking at the kit today.
If I lower the car, how much does that effect ride quality?
Thanks again,
technically...none. It does not affect the ride quality. The only thing that I have noticed is that it has take a little travel out of the back. It is not noticable untill you hit a good gutter (you know, those dips at the intersection). There is only one in the area that bothers mine. Then again, I have the back as low as it will go on the bolts provided, so that is part of it.

The ride is as before. There is less body roll as the center of gravity is a touch lower.

mister jmur,

I have a '86 coupe also, and the roads in The netherlands are not as good as in the states. So we need the best here. But for a '86 coupe it isn't easy to find what I want.

The best you can do is, new polybushings and remove the leafs and use coilovers! At this time I don't know someone who has a set which is easy to install. I know Geoff Jeal who has a set of spacks, but you have to adapt a set for '90-er.

I'am informing, maby I know someone who can produce SACHS shockabsorbers with Eibach springs. If I know, I let you know.

I've been reading about the coilover sytems for the C4. I ve had experience with them on race cars and they are very adjustible and offer many spring combos. I wonderif anyone has made this change or has any feedback.
85 Z51 coupe

Dang its cold here in Mich.....15deg F

I am trying to get the coilovers under my car for 1,5 years now. And I know a lot these days. I will share the knowlige I have.

First, there is a difference between '84 till '87 vette, '88 and '89 vette and '90 till '97 vette. The coils you can buy today are made for '90 till '97. You can buy them at DRM and they cost $1000.

I have driven a ZR1 with coilovers, and it's awsome!

Good shocks are Billstein but not the raceversions, the raceversions have unibolts and that's only for race!!!! So you need a streetable shock, with rubberjoints.

So for the vette you have and I have, they made a conversionsetup, how? I don't know yet. I am still waiting for pictures, how to do it.

I will have a look, for the coilovers next year, and I will let you know.

Maby you can have a look for me too. Please contact Exotic Muscle for me, take a look at the coils they make. They say they have a set for our cars. Thanks!


Just finished helping one of Nikki's high school students replace all the front suspension busings and joints on his old pontiac. I have been there done it a few times and must tell you that you must have at least a good press available to make the job go smooth. Event with that, it is a pain.

This is not a job I would recommend if you don't already have all the tools you need and the space to have it pulled open for a while.

With the age of these cars now, pretty much everybody from 91 and down is looking at needing new suspension bushings. I don't know your level of mechanical experience or tools, but if it is pretty low, make sure and get with somebody that can help guide you through.

As far as the coil overs go, that is up to you. If you are not road racing, autocross, or severe performance driving the car I think you will find that to be a waste of money. The lowering kit works pretty well. If you can tackle that, then taking it to the next step and pulling the control arms off for the bushing replacement is not much more work.

Good luck.

Thanks Johnny, I'm looking into it . Sent a couple e-mails for some info. I post the results.
Racer 78, you bring up a question I pondered myself. I even went and looked at the car to see what I thought. The brackets are welded and bolted to the frame rails. I think they are pretty tough. I dont believe there would be much difference in the amount of force they would realize in comparison. The spring and the shock will absorb most of the load. The race versions they use are subject to alot of load and they havent reported any failures. In my experience ,you usually can run much softer springs because of the angles of spring/shock. Also , each wheel would be sharing only its portion of the load by not transfering it thru the leaf spring, they call it cross talk . Having adjustable sway bars would be another item that would help too. you could load the bar to facilitate wieght transfer. I'm going to look into this in more depth before I would go with it. The ride i know would be much better and handling could be awesome. Truley independent. I'm not an engineer , just know what I've learned . Maybe someone with engineering background could help. ;help

:w Corvettes are awesome!!! :J
Nothing boring there, quite interesting . I agree with what you say. I didnt realy explain myself very well on some points ,but you got me straightened out.....lol.....I dont think I'm going to worry about roll couple and rollcenters unless I want to change some geometry, or move things around.....maybe if i want to head to the track....I do have electonic scales though .
Maybe I should just leave well enough alone and learn to like the stiff ride. :)
Keith, Dave,

Okay this is talking. At exotic muscle you also can have different stuff for adjusting the handling. Look for your self.

I think that I will stick with a factory spring. I think I will go with the urethane bushings and new springs and sway bars. I want a car that will perform better than new, and handle a significant increase in power. Thanks to all who spke up.
Hey guys,
topless, how much did you lower the car?
and for anyone else,
i was told to lower the car 1" front and back or possibly 1.5" in the back. that would still keep the rake to the car that it is supposed to have.
now here is where i'm confused. how does lowering a vette a mere inch have any value at all? seems like just a tiny amount that it would be negligable and not worth the effort.
please help enlighten the suspension challenged :confused
With the coilovers, it has to be 28mm from tire till fender, all around. When you lower the vette with the normal suspention, it's set by the faktory I think. Next week, I have lowerd my car, with a set like this, I think its 1" in front 1,5" in the rear.

I do not have the coilovers yet, I am working on it.
Well. I'm locking up my bumpsteer guage and my scales and my suspension dynamics manuals and sticking to the basics. I think I'm getting over the" I JUST BOUGHT MY 1ST VETTE AND I'M GONNA CHANGE EVERYTHING" mode :z :crazy. Its going to get all new bushing and shocks and maybe a couple of mods. Re build the motor ,basicly stock and put in the Richmond 6sp. That should keep me busy Besides I'm gettin to dang old to go too fast ,I might hurt myself LOL :D. ( got my AARP card too ) :L.

Soooo, I'll crank up the heat in the garage and get busy. Besides it hasnt stopped snowing since xmas and I just finished remodeling my kitchen today ....WOO HOOO...ONE WHOLE YEAR!!!
:BANG. IT'S VETTE TIME . The wife says I can go out and play now :D.

Sounds like a plan to me

Dave :w


I am doing this also, but I am almost 40 years old and I wanted to have one in my live the ultimate sportscar. This you can't buy, you have to made it.

So, I was wondering, what's your age Dave? And your occupation? And why are you doing it? You keep me informed about that Richmond 6 speed thing, won't you.

Good Luck

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