1986 Rear Suspension rebuild or 88 cradle swap (Page 1/1)
TVS FEB 09, 12:32 PM
Hey guys new to the forum. I bought a 1986 GT for my son and I to rebuild for his first car. Its a one owner 68k mile car but its been sitting for 15 years. I know we are going to rebuild the rear suspension and replace all the bushings. Doing that my question is the 88 rear suspension that much better to make it worth getting a 88 cradle and rebuilding it instead of the 86?
Spadesluck FEB 09, 12:43 PM
Welcome to the forum.

Most will say that the 88 cradle is the best bet. You will however have a couple that will disagree. In my opinion the 88 suspension is a better design from a stock standpoint. There is a reason the 88 is a highly sought out year to purchase. I will not comment on aftermarket setups because there are too many factors.
cvxjet FEB 09, 02:02 PM
The 88 suspension is a properly designed suspension- each link basically does only one thing, so it can be specifically set up for that job....The trailing arm, which locates the wheel fore-&-aft, has large bushings to absorb impacts, while the two lateral links have thin bushings to keep the wheels from turning, eliminating bump-steer.

There are two problems with swapping to the 88 rear suspension; A) You must convert to coil-over spring/shock setup and drill new holes in the towers for the tops of the struts to be located farther in, and B) Finding an 88 donor car is not easy (Seriously, anyone who sees an 88 in a JY near you should grab the rear subframe/suspension- do not let them go to the crusher!)

When I converted mine, I obviously also converted the rear to 88 brakes....so I then converted the front to 88 brakes also...a guy on here (Sluppy123) makes adaptors and also aluminum hubs that make this conversion easy.

[This message has been edited by cvxjet (edited 02-09-2024).]

Raydar FEB 09, 02:39 PM
If I ever got an 84-87 that I considered a keeper, I would probably plan on doing an 88 cradle swap.
But then, again, I'm not just starting out driving, either.

The stock one will probably be fine for him. I would install poly - or even solid - bushings, where the cradle mounts to the car, though. Just removes one area of potential "squirreliness".
88 cradles are solid mounted, right out of the box.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 02-09-2024).]