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Lowering an '87 GT by Monkeyman
Started on: 04-08-2015 11:09 PM
Replies: 29 (1022 views)
Last post by: Monkeyman on 04-11-2015 07:48 AM
Monkeyman
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Report this Post04-08-2015 11:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What's the best (and hopefully, cheapest) way to lower an '87 GT approximately 2". I'll be adding 17" or 18" wheels at some point but will be running stock wheels/tires for the time being. RD has a 1" lowering ball joint but 1) it requires welding (which I can't do), 2) it's only an inch and 3) it does nothing with the rear. Because of this, I assume I need a complete set of springs. Are coil overs better than springs (or worse)? Is there a difference in performance (which is always a plus)? Difference in cost? All I know is that I will NOT cut coils on stock springs. I'm glad that some have had success doing that but I'm just not doing it.

Thanks, every1.
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Report this Post04-09-2015 12:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IanT720Click Here to Email IanT720Send a Private Message to IanT720Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

What's the best (and hopefully, cheapest) way to lower an '87 GT approximately 2". I'll be adding 17" or 18" wheels at some point but will be running stock wheels/tires for the time being. RD has a 1" lowering ball joint but 1) it requires welding (which I can't do), 2) it's only an inch and 3) it does nothing with the rear. Because of this, I assume I need a complete set of springs. Are coil overs better than springs (or worse)? Is there a difference in performance (which is always a plus)? Difference in cost? All I know is that I will NOT cut coils on stock springs. I'm glad that some have had success doing that but I'm just not doing it.

Thanks, every1.


Honestly cutting springs is way to go, I cut a coil off the rear and haven't had one issue. It looked killer and stiffened it a bit. However I picked up a set of ST springs, they're discontuined but pop up for sale. They give a big drop front and rear. Rear cou lovers would be sweet, will do them eventually. I also have adjustable upper BJ's to get the camber back in spec. You do have to cut and weld the front bump stops if you want any kind of drop. It's super easy I have a cheapo mig welder. While I had the crossmember out I put all poly bushings, joints etc... Can't wait to drive it!! Should be on rails. But seriously just cut the springs, use a wheel not a torch. I cut 1.5 coils off our roadmaster and it still drives great 20k miles later.

------------------
1987 Fiero GTX 3800 Turbo... My Build, ST3 Cam, Lowered, Wheels, and pics enjoy!http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/089483.html

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Patrick
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Report this Post04-09-2015 12:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

What's the best (and hopefully, cheapest) way to lower an '87 GT approximately 2".

...welding (which I can't do)


Don't even think about lowering an '84-'87 Fiero 2" without cutting down the metal cones that make up the front bump stops. And it requires welding. Otherwise, you'll have NO front suspension.
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Removing a coil or two from the front springs works great. Not so much for the back springs... IMO.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-09-2015).]

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jetsnvettes2000
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Report this Post04-09-2015 12:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jetsnvettes2000Send a Private Message to jetsnvettes2000Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You can see in the last page of my build thread cutting down the bumpstops and modifying them so they still act as bumpstops. i have mine lowered 2 inches with 18 inch wheels

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...3/HTML/000125-5.html
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Monkeyman
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Report this Post04-09-2015 12:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So how does someone someone without a welder lower a Fiero? (All of my previous Fieros were stock height.) I doubt everyone with a lowered Fiero has a welder. There has to be some way around it. Can the bumpstop be removed then taken to a welding shop? Or does the whole car have to go?
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Report this Post04-09-2015 12:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

I doubt everyone with a lowered Fiero has a welder.


I suspect a lot of lowered Fieros are bottoming out their front suspension. It makes the car handle like... well, use your imagination.

It needs to be done. Find a friend with a welder. And I doubt you'll want to remove the entire front cross member to have this done without taking the whole car to wherever the welder is.
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Monkeyman
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Report this Post04-09-2015 01:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So, can a shop with a welder remove the springs, cut down the bump stops and reinstall the springs easily? Or do I need someone familiar with Fieros? What's a reasonable charge for someone to do this?
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Monkeyman
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Report this Post04-09-2015 01:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Monkeyman

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quote
Originally posted by jetsnvettes2000:

You can see in the last page of my build thread cutting down the bumpstops and modifying them so they still act as bumpstops. i have mine lowered 2 inches with 18 inch wheels

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...3/HTML/000125-5.html


Not seeing much other than a pic of the bumpstop. Do you need to cut down bumpstops on the rear, too? Or just front? What do you do about bumpstops with coil overs?

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Report this Post04-09-2015 01:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

So, can a shop with a welder remove the springs, cut down the bump stops and reinstall the springs easily? Or do I need someone familiar with Fieros? What's a reasonable charge for someone to do this?


No Fiero guys in your area? I wouldn't trust a shop, but that's just me.

The following shows what needs to be done... HERE.

The rear bump stops aren't really an issue.

Info in This thread (read both pages) from when I re-did the suspension on my '84 duke will apply to your '87.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-09-2015).]

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Monkeyman
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Report this Post04-09-2015 02:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I only know of one Fiero in the area and I can pretty much guarantee he doesn't know the word "modification". (Probably a good thing since his '86 GT is pristine.) I would think any shop that does suspension work could figure out "cut here, take xx" out and weld the pieces back together". How much of the front suspension needs to be removed in order to access those bump stops well enough to cut/weld?

I keep reading about cutting .75" out. Is that just for the common 3/4-1" drop? I'm thinking about going 2". Would I need to cut 2" out of the bump stops?

Anyone in north central Indiana know enough about Fiero (and have the right tools) to do the job??

[This message has been edited by Monkeyman (edited 04-09-2015).]

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Report this Post04-09-2015 03:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

How much of the front suspension needs to be removed in order to access those bump stops well enough to cut/weld?


The springs gotta come out of there, so...

 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

I keep reading about cutting .75" out. Is that just for the common 3/4-1" drop? I'm thinking about going 2". Would I need to cut 2" out of the bump stops?


If you read the thread I linked to , you'd know that .75" is the maximum you can remove from the metal bump stops without the shocks bottoming out.
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Monkeyman
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Report this Post04-09-2015 03:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I DID read it but I must have missed that. I'll have to start looking for someone to do the job. Lowering the car is one of the first things I want to do.
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jon m
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Report this Post04-09-2015 06:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jon mSend a Private Message to jon mEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I did mine I got lowering springs for the front which I believe was purchased from jc whitney and removed aprox 18mm from the bump stop here - http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/091794.html

and made the rear coil overs at this link http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F.../HTML/000018-12.html part way down the page you will see my post where I made slight modification to the spring plates to keep the spring central.

here is the result

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/092205.html

Jon

[This message has been edited by jon m (edited 04-09-2015).]

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Monkeyman
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Report this Post04-09-2015 07:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks, jon. Unfortunately, like most pics more than a couple years old, they're gone. I can't see any of the pics and I'm a very visual person. (If I don't have pics, I don't even attempt something.) I see why some forums insist that they host all the uploaded pics instead of leaving it to the poster. I've been looking through a bunch of threads tonight (including the Girls Without Fieros thread....hehehe). I might get to see 1 in 20 pics. Very annoying.

I suppose I'll just end up buying a set of premade coilovers for the rear. How much is your Fiero lowered in front? Did you have to modify your suspension to get the coilovers and/or the wheels/tires to fit? I'm planning on either 17" or 18" wheels/tires (depending on what kind of deal I get).
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Report this Post04-09-2015 09:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jetsnvettes2000:
You can see in the last page of my build thread cutting down the bumpstops and modifying them so they still act as bumpstops. i have mine lowered 2 inches with 18 inch wheels

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...3/HTML/000125-5.html


That says you have the Intrax springs. Did you cut those springs to lower the car even further? If not, I doubt you are lowered 2". It's more like 1.4-1.5". See http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F.../HTML/128250.html#p6 for example. I have the ST springs on my car (the one on the right in that pic), and they are 1.6" drop. 2" drop with 18" wheels and you'd almost certainly be rubbing.

Here's what my 87 GT with stock wheels looks like with the 1.6" drop of the ST springs:


The Intrax and ST springs are both no longer available anywhere though. You might get lucky and find a used set somewhere though. Another option would be to use the lowering ball joints from Rodney Dickman. Those will give you an inch of drop I think.
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Report this Post04-09-2015 09:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

dobey

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quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:
I suppose I'll just end up buying a set of premade coilovers for the rear. How much is your Fiero lowered in front? Did you have to modify your suspension to get the coilovers and/or the wheels/tires to fit? I'm planning on either 17" or 18" wheels/tires (depending on what kind of deal I get).


If you get the right offset, and can get tires that are the right profile to give you the same diameter as the stock wheels/tires, then you won't have a problem with rubbing; but the ride might be pretty harsh from the low profile on the tires, combined with the lowering. Wider wheels/tires, or with an offset that pushes the tire out further, will almost certainly rub with the amount of drop you're saying you want.
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Report this Post04-09-2015 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
dobey --- Whatever you have seems to work well, especially if your car is a daily driver. I'll be running the stock wheels/tires for a while (17s/18s aren't cheap and my budget is small). It looks like a good compromise for a daily driver. With a +1 or +2 set up (either 1 or 2" bigger rims with tires that will be wider but will still carry about the same diameter as the stockers), it looks like it will fill up the wheel wells just right.

Exactly what did you do to your suspension?
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Report this Post04-09-2015 10:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:
dobey --- Whatever you have seems to work well, especially if your car is a daily driver. I'll be running the stock wheels/tires for a while (17s/18s aren't cheap and my budget is small). It looks like a good compromise for a daily driver. With a +1 or +2 set up (either 1 or 2" bigger rims with tires that will be wider but will still carry about the same diameter as the stockers), it looks like it will fill up the wheel wells just right.

Exactly what did you do to your suspension?


My car isn't a daily driver (and I haven't driven it in over 3 years, as it's been down from a blown head gasket), but I haven't had any problems with the ride on it.

When I lowered it, I had the suspension pretty much all redone. Suspension Techniques lowering springs, poly bushings all around, new KYB shocks/struts, and new ball joints. It was a bit squeaky over bumps for a while, from the poly, but it sits at just about the perfect place now, and the ride was still fairly smooth and not too harsh.
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Report this Post04-09-2015 07:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetsnvettes2000Send a Private Message to jetsnvettes2000Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:


That says you have the Intrax springs. Did you cut those springs to lower the car even further? If not, I doubt you are lowered 2". It's more like 1.4-1.5". See http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F.../HTML/128250.html#p6 for example. I have the ST springs on my car (the one on the right in that pic), and they are 1.6" drop. 2" drop with 18" wheels and you'd almost certainly be rubbing.

Here's what my 87 GT with stock wheels looks like with the 1.6" drop of the ST springs:


The Intrax and ST springs are both no longer available anywhere though. You might get lucky and find a used set somewhere though. Another option would be to use the lowering ball joints from Rodney Dickman. Those will give you an inch of drop I think.


Ya I got a full 2 inch out of it but I did use Rodneys ball joints as well. When you guys lower these cars you need to install your lover a arm and cycle it with the spring in after you cut the bump stop to figure out the right place to weld in the bottom part of the bump stop for the bumper to stick in, in my case i flipped the cut off part over and pounded it into the bottom of the bump stop tower I will call it, up side down and welded along the lip kinda like cutting a Styrofoam cup in half flipping the bottom half over and then inserting it into the top half . It took me a few tries to get it where the bump stop was still used as it was intended to prevent damaging the shocks from bottoming out. I have not noticed any difference in ride Quality doing it the way I did it but then again I made sure It had full travel and the shocks I used were slightly shorter than stock ones as well. so I would imagine that helped. Dont ask me what size they are I forgot long ago what we came up with but all I can say is they work well and it does not bottom out so far and I have hit some pretty nasty pot holes with it. I got my intrax springs from a bone yard I was out there with Steve one day and we noticed purple springs under the car and investigated sure enough we found the sticker from intrax on them. Oh and I have 18 inch wheels with a 225/40zr18 tire and the wheel before i got them were on a dodge gen 1 avenger so use that far as your offset figure.

[This message has been edited by jetsnvettes2000 (edited 04-09-2015).]

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tebailey
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Report this Post04-09-2015 08:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you could get up to Bay City some nice warm weekend I could cut and weld your bump stops. Just did mine last fall before it got cold.
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Report this Post04-09-2015 10:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jwct7Click Here to Email jwct7Send a Private Message to jwct7Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Buy the Held Sport suspension and dial in your height. I swapped out the cheap shocks for QA-1's and 8" Springs........... Koni Red's on the rear, but there are cheaper options. You will have to chop out the bump stop, but no welding req'd.
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Report this Post04-10-2015 02:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by tebailey:

If you could get up to Bay City some nice warm weekend I could cut and weld your bump stops. Just did mine last fall before it got cold.


It's quite a ways up there but it's possible. Might be a fun trip towards the end of summer.

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Report this Post04-10-2015 02:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Monkeyman

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quote
Originally posted by jwct7:

Buy the Held Sport suspension and dial in your height. I swapped out the cheap shocks for QA-1's and 8" Springs........... Koni Red's on the rear, but there are cheaper options. You will have to chop out the bump stop, but no welding req'd.


It would be cheaper for me to buy a welder and take a welding class than to buy Helds stuff. Not that I don't think it's great quality but I'm on a fairly tight budget.

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Report this Post04-10-2015 09:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:
It would be cheaper for me to buy a welder and take a welding class than to buy Helds stuff. Not that I don't think it's great quality but I'm on a fairly tight budget.


There is no more Held anyway. It's Arraut Motorsports now, and the quality is nowhere close to what it used to be, unfortunately. :-/
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Report this Post04-10-2015 11:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IanT720Click Here to Email IanT720Send a Private Message to IanT720Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I mean seriously just go to harbor frieght they have a 99 dollar mig welder, that will do it for you. I took the whole crossmember out because I got it sandblasted and made it easy putting all the new poly in too.

------------------
1987 Fiero GTX 3800 Turbo... My Build, ST3 Cam, Lowered, Wheels, and pics enjoy!http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/089483.html

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Report this Post04-11-2015 03:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jon mSend a Private Message to jon mEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here is the front bump stop which was reduced in height with the bottom part that holds the rubber stop re welded back



this was the piece taken out approx 18mm of the bump stop there is somewhere on this forum the measurement of where to cut



these are the springs I got 2nd hand from a member on here - there are st (suspension techniques ) springs which I was told you can buy just the fronts from jc whitney



this is the rear coil over that I used again I got it from a member on here but found that he had set it up wrong so I modded it a little look through the "how to make thread" they are very easy to make once you study the thread the springs you can buy from summit I believe they are qa ones



this is the spring top (if you like) that holds the spring I welded tangs to keep the spring central this also helps prevent rubbing on the aluminium thread at the base of the strut





The Result








and one happy driver

They are not that hard to do just a bit of patience and common sense - the stock front springs can be cut down if you want to save some cash - (I didn't in case if I wasn't happy with the result I could put them back on again)

hope this helps

Jon
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Report this Post04-11-2015 04:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jon m:

...one happy driver


And one nice looking GT.

Jon, I doubt you see too many other Fieros in England, eh?
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Report this Post04-11-2015 04:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jon mSend a Private Message to jon mEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
H Patrick long time no chat - there is a handful in the u.k and when I first bought mine in the Netherlands I did research for parts etc and found this forum and then found an owners club in the u.k which was about 25 miles from where I live.
Although that club isn't going now.

jon
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Report this Post04-11-2015 07:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by IanT720:

I mean seriously just go to harbor frieght they have a 99 dollar mig welder, that will do it for you. I took the whole crossmember out because I got it sandblasted and made it easy putting all the new poly in too.



I tried to weld at a job a number of years ago. Let's just say it wasn't a pretty sight.

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Report this Post04-11-2015 07:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Monkeyman

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Jon --- That's exactly the stance I'm after.
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