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What is the best way to lower the front end of an 88 GT? by MadMark
Started on: 07-11-2014 10:00 PM
Replies: 25 (682 views)
Last post by: olejoedad on 09-02-2014 12:38 PM
MadMark
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Report this Post07-11-2014 10:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have an 88 GT with a 3800 SC swap and it sits too high in the front. I realize that the 88's were purposely higher by design from GM, but how can I lower it without affecting the handling too badly.

Mark
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Report this Post07-11-2014 10:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The best way is with dropped spindles ($550). Almost zero change in front suspension geometry, your car will be lower, and you get the added performance benefit of your pocket book being lighter!

Cut springs and lowering springs have the same impact on geometry (not an improvement), only difference is the spring rate which helps determine under what conditions you will hit the bump stops (you can trim them to restore suspension travel).

Rodney's lowering ball joints have very similar geometry changes as the springs, but the arc length between the lower a-arm bushing and the ball joint pivot becomes a very small amount longer. The real downside for the ball joints is they complicate running larger brake rotors because they change how the nose of the a-arm moves (relative to the backside of the rotor) as the suspension cycles.
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olejoedad
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Report this Post07-11-2014 10:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What he said.
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MadMark
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Report this Post07-11-2014 11:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks guys for confirming what I was thinking.
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Patrick
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Report this Post07-11-2014 11:39 PM 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
I was going to cut some pre-88 front springs for the front of my Formula, but I was given some Fiero Store '88 lowering springs (hey, I got lucky!) and they've worked out quite well for autocross (along with KYB shocks, Sensa-Trac struts, and zero-lash end links in the front). I also removed all rubber isolators from the spring perches.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 07-11-2014).]

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MadMark
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Report this Post07-14-2014 03:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Patrick. I too would like to do some Autocross and have done one shot at it against some Corvettes. Had a lot of fun, but they got a little bit nervous since my front brakes were creaking a little bit. I ended up changing the front and rear calipers and everything is OK, no noise now. I started out pretty tentatively and every run I gained at least 2 seconds on my time. After the third run I was close to the times of the Z-01 Corvettes. I have also had some work done on the tuning of the car and the transmission. Before it would shift out of 1st if I let off on it so in the slow sections I ended up in 2nd gear which was not optimal for the area around the tight cones. I would love to go again and see what I could do now. The engine pulls a lot harder now too, and goes about 700 RPM higher and my shifting is quicker too. I also had Sinister Performance program in my performance shift option on the 4T65E-HD tranny too.

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MadMark
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Report this Post07-14-2014 03:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

MadMark

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OK, so I have pretty much decided to go with the lowering front spindles. Who do I buy them from? I have seen the ones from Held/West Coast, are there others that might be better?
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Patrick
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Report this Post07-14-2014 03:41 PM 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 MadMark:

I too would like to do some Autocross and have done one shot at it against some Corvettes. After the third run I was close to the times of the Z-01 Corvettes.


The local Corvette club runs several autocross events here during the warmer/dryer months. I love buzzing around the course and beating a lot of the Vettes.
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MadMark
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Report this Post07-14-2014 04:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

The local Corvette club runs several autocross events here during the warmer/dryer months. I love buzzing around the course and beating a lot of the Vettes.


Yeah, for some reason they never invited our club back after that day. Funny huh?
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Patrick
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Report this Post07-14-2014 04:33 PM 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 MadMark:

Yeah, for some reason they never invited our club back after that day. Funny huh?


The BC Corvette Club is a pretty good bunch of men and women... the majority of which are older guys in their 60's and 70's. Most of the Vettes that come out to autocross events are the later models, but occasionally there'll a model or two from the 1960's. I'm old-school, I love the sound of the old Vettes with side pipes.
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Report this Post07-14-2014 04:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MadMark:

OK, so I have pretty much decided to go with the lowering front spindles. Who do I buy them from?


Their quality control hasn't been the greatest in the last year, but they are the only ones selling dropped spindles for the 88.
http://www.arrautmotorsports.com/parts/suspensions
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Report this Post07-14-2014 07:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cyrus88Send a Private Message to cyrus88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:


Their quality control hasn't been the greatest in the last year, but they are the only ones selling dropped spindles for the 88.
http://www.arrautmotorsports.com/parts/suspensions


Their quality control wasn't so good when I bought a set of 2" drop spindles from them about 15 years ago either.

The holes for the ball joints and tie rod were too big and the nuts for those components would not tighten before running out of threads. They told me to use some washers.

I didn't think that was a good idea, so I took them off and they've been paper weights ever since.

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MadMark
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Report this Post07-14-2014 09:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So if West Coast is the only supplier and their quality is suspect, what do I do? I can contact them and talk to them about their spindles and see what they say.

I also saw Rodney Dickman has lowering ball joints. Are they a decent option?
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Report this Post08-24-2014 08:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hdryderClick Here to Email hdryderSend a Private Message to hdryderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would like to lower the front end of my '88 GT daily driver.
Has anyone had good results with the Arraut Motorsports dropped spindles?
I am mostly interested in the with 1″ drop units, but don't want to spend that kind of money if the quality very poor.

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Report this Post08-25-2014 10:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pdemondoClick Here to Email pdemondoSend a Private Message to pdemondoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hdryder:

I would like to lower the front end of my '88 GT daily driver.
Has anyone had good results with the Arraut Motorsports dropped spindles?
I am mostly interested in the with 1″ drop units, but don't want to spend that kind of money if the quality very poor.


I have been using a set of their spindles for about 3 years on an 88 GT.
I have put a lot of miles on the car and have not had any problems.

The only change I made was to use an axle spline in each hub bearing assembly instead of the big nut that they came with.

I believe you can also order the spindles with a modified caliper location to accommodate larger rotors.
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Report this Post08-29-2014 11:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Mark be careful don't go to low. One of the Previous owners of my car must have done springs. With the tires the last PO installed it was to low and had some rubbing issues. I put some spacers in and it sits better in the front and doesn't bottom out now.

Steve
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MadMark
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Report this Post08-29-2014 11:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MadMarkClick Here to Email MadMarkSend a Private Message to MadMarkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by solotwo:

Mark be careful don't go to low. One of the Previous owners of my car must have done springs. With the tires the last PO installed it was to low and had some rubbing issues. I put some spacers in and it sits better in the front and doesn't bottom out now.

Steve


Yep, that is a worry for me too. I have some pretty big tires on in the front already 225 R45 18. If I go too low it will rub, but an inch I think I can get by with. The 88's come from the factory about an inch higher in the front anyway because someone thought that they were too low. I would like to get it down a little to get the tires to fill the front wheel well better and to give my HID lights a better shot too.
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Report this Post08-30-2014 11:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for qwikgtaClick Here to Email qwikgtaSend a Private Message to qwikgtaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hdryder:

I would like to lower the front end of my '88 GT daily driver.
Has anyone had good results with the Arraut Motorsports dropped spindles?
I am mostly interested in the with 1″ drop units, but don't want to spend that kind of money if the quality very poor.


Its hit and miss with them. I dropped some serious $$$ last year and bought a full tubular front end, coil over kit, dropped spindles and the 13" brake kit. Almost every part of the "kit" has been modified by me to fit, and i'm talking almost EVERY part. Nothing has gone as planned, and they are "so/so" on helping. My gut tells me that they don't really know the parts they are selling, (they purchased the business already selling parts), they have $HIT for quality control, I mean, what they cant even look at the parts they box up and ship out. I've called and asked about why some to the parts don't work/fit and they don't have any answers for me. They have a "list" of parts to sell with the kits and thats the extent of their knowledge. Also, their Powder Coat guy sucks, so don't pay for the PC, do it locally here in VB.

They are the only game in town for some of these parts, so you don't really have any choice if you want the dropped spindles, i'd just suggest getting on the phone and talking with them, tell them your interested in the parts, but folks have warned you about quality control, and your concerned about spending the $$$ for crap parts. So buy at your own risk.

[This message has been edited by qwikgta (edited 08-30-2014).]

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olejoedad
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Report this Post08-31-2014 08:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If unsprung weight is a concern to you, the drop spindles they fabricate are very heavy.
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Report this Post08-31-2014 10:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GodSendClick Here to Email GodSendSend a Private Message to GodSendEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

I was going to cut some pre-88 front springs for the front of my Formula, but I was given some Fiero Store '88 lowering springs (hey, I got lucky!) and they've worked out quite well for autocross (along with KYB shocks, Sensa-Trac struts, and zero-lash end links in the front). I also removed all rubber isolators from the spring perches.



Hrmmm.. I have an 88 and was hoping to trim just a little off the front too. Will any year front springs work (I would like to keep those 88 springs in tact).
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olejoedad
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Report this Post08-31-2014 11:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Pre-88 springs are slightly larger OD and do not fit the spring pocket or perch.
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Patrick
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Report this Post09-01-2014 12:37 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 GodSend:

Will any year front springs work (I would like to keep those 88 springs in tact).


 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

Pre-88 springs are slightly larger OD and do not fit the spring pocket or perch.


olejoedad, I'm puzzled by your statement as removing a coil (or more) from a set of pre-88 front springs and using them in the front of an '88 is actually quite a common mod with the 88's.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 09-01-2014).]

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Report this Post09-01-2014 08:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

olejoedad, I'm puzzled by your statement as removing a coil (or more) from a set of pre-88 front springs and using them in the front of an '88 is actually quite a common mod with the 88's.



He might have been referring to the rear, as the 84-87 rear springs are much larger in diameter at the top than the 88's and the spring perches are not interchangable.

But the fronts are close enough to work just fine... done it many, many times. You can also use cut front springs in the rear if you make a new upper spring hat to support the spring.

If you want an even stiffer spring, you can cut down a Chrysler cirrus front spring and get close to a 400 lb/in spring rate (its what I am running now).
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Report this Post09-01-2014 09:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the correction.
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Report this Post09-02-2014 09:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Mark Arraut Motorsports is in Nunica, just a few miles west of Coopersville.
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Report this Post09-02-2014 12:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by solotwo:

Mark Arraut Motorsports is in Nunica, just a few miles west of Coopersville.


This is West Shore Fabricators that has had some quality issues.......

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