Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Emphasis on low buck boys and girls: 1. Install 70-81 F Body 1.25" front antisway bar. This has a shorter ...
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    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Emphasis on low buck boys and girls:

    1. Install 70-81 F Body 1.25" front antisway bar. This has a shorter lever than the stock 1 1/8" or 30mm (1.18") bar we have, so the bar is much more in control than we have now stock. 9C1, FE2, Impala SS FE4, bars are all the same 30mm, they are NOT the F-Body 1.25" bar....The Hotchkiss bars are hollow, the HA/HO bars are rare, and the 1.25" F-Body bar is still made aftermarket and very very effective compared to the rest.

    2. Install 70-81 F-Body lower control arm to crossmember to frame braces (often removed and tossed when headers installed). Note these were later WELDED in the 92-96 cars (not 100% sure on 92-93, but they should have been). These were bolt in on the 70-81 F cars and 77-92 B cars. The 80 Turbo T/A had shorter LCA to frame braces that were simpler and easier to work with, but not near as effective as the weld in 92-96 braces.

    3. Install 1990 9C1 (cop car) Caprice shocks, most expensive ones you can afford, I have had very good results with Gabriel Ultra's for only $30 each.

    4. Widest and lowest aspect ratio tires you can fit. Shoot for 275 60 15's if you can fit them.... But you rarely can keep whitewalls, so it gives away the sleeper aspect. 17in Impala SS wheels are a nice upgrade. But often don't fit low buck.

    5. Lower the car 1 inch, rarely noticed if done all the way around, but good improvement in handling.

    6. Relocate battery to trunk. Mount it properly, and run FAT cable, but relocating 50-80 lbs from 6 feet in front of center of gravity to 8 feet behind makes a MASSIVE improvement in handling. Better than all the mods above combined. And winter traction greatly improved, dry 1/4 mile traction improved, tire wear improved, front suspension life increased (especially ball joints). Position as far back on right side as low as you can get. Ensure proper venting and mounting! MBenz is OEM like this, Bentley is OEM like this, etc. You will LOVE it.

    7. Alignment. Shoot for around 0.5 degrees negative camber, 4.5 degrees positive caster, and 0 toe, and very tight cross camber. If you can afford the tires and drive aggressively, then go for a little more toe out and 0.75 degrees negative camber. Careful with caster/camber, too much of one will either exceed mech specs GM has set on how thick the stack of shims is, or too much caster and you will start losing camber. Don't sacrifice camber more than 0.25 degrees negative and no less than 3.5 degrees positive caster. Make sure you design in some crown offset, your alignment guy will know how much...

    8. 9C1 body bushings. Get em! Cheap too!

    9. Don't use polyurethane bushings unless they have nyliners. They bind without them and wear fast and are noisy as heck....

    10. 9C1 power steering box, 92 Trans AM WS6 power steering box, etc. 92 Trans AM Power Steering box has a constant 12.7:1 ratio. Much more desired than variable ratio.

    11. Cop car springs if you like stiff. FE2 Fleetwood springs are same RATE as Impala SS FE4 springs, but the Impala SS springs are just shorter. Often cheap on the net used.

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    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    I forgot one...

    12. Camber Correction Kit: It relocates the upper ball joints to improve the camber curve of the suspension. Like the SLA or Short/Long Arm suspension on the 4th Gen F Body cars. http://www.ramairrestoration.com/cat...roducts_id=140

    I've run the numbers, it shows up to 89, but the arms are all interchangeable..... up to 96, so not a problem! See me for more details if you are nutty enough to learn more about this one....

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    If budget isn't a concern, then Bilstein shocks are the best choice. After that, Monroe Servere Service shocks are a good option. I have Bilsteins on my 95 SS, and the Monroe SS on my Roadmaster wagon. Both ride firm, though. However, if the concern is handling, then firm is ok.

    New swaybar endlinks and bushings are a good safe bet for cheap/easy handling improvements, too.

    Proper air pressure in tires (meaning ABOVE factory "comfort" settings) - your handling AND gas mileage will improve.

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Factory 93-96 FWB tire pressure is 30/30, V4P is 35/35 (when towing), I see pretty good results with 38/34 and good balance. Rules in Solo2 Autocross was NO car was allowed on the track with less than 32 psi because the risk to break a bead in a hard corner was high below that pressure. A zillion variables at work, but generally, good rule.

    Good point, end links and upgraded bar to frame bushings are excellent upgrades and very low buck. The 4th Gen F-Body Nyliner lined bushings are great upgrade pieces direct from GM.

    I haven't tried the Monroe Severe Service, but might next time around. And Bilstein's although $$ ($75-$100 each) are EXCELLENT shocks, and to comment, they last a very very long time, upwards of 200K miles. So well worth the upgrade, but can be just outside the budget, but might be a deal where you buy one shock every month or 2 and swap them in pairs.

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Pretty useful tips .I must admit I had not thought that relocating the battery would improve the handling

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    I have done it on 2 out of 3 of my RWD cars (80 Turbo T/A, 85 Cutlass and soon to do to my FWB if I can find a good place to mount it). The S430/S500 Benz even has it down low, low right rear fender. Awesome place for it. If I can put it by the power antenna and hide it, I will!! But gotta securely mount it.

    But the difference is sooo dramatic. It is rumored that it is the same change as moving the engine back 10 inches in the frame. Very very dramatic. You will find front end bumps are soo gentle now, the car is balanced through turns, you can accelerate harder without wheelspin, winter traction is much improved, and so on and so on. But you CAN run into starting issues with a marginal starting/charging system. You need to run dual cables, one ground one hot to the starter, and good frame to batt grounds in the rear. Also, it is a very good idea to install a kill switch just in case (if you race). But in the trunk is a nice place to hide stuff.... The long frames we have will really respond well to the mod.

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    More useful advice from Nodih. I'll be putting it to good use if I move forward with my 91 SS project. The fate of my 78's ebay auction will dictate the future. If that car doesn't sell, than that will be modded instead. The 78 already has some suspension bits and pieces.

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Like the battery idea a lot but not sure if I want to tackle it myself. Who would be a better choice to do this job, a qualified mechanic or maybe a reputable stereo shop since they would be more familiar with the proper running of cables?

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    I am looking at these from a friend of mine.

    http://www.drtchassis.com/balljoints.html Look at the third one down. They bolt in, are an easy cheap swap and improve the suspension geometry. Only the ones he has are extended several inches, this makes the suspension much more like the 4th Gen F-Body front suspension.

    That friend of mine is concerned that the upper arm might need to be shortened, but I don't think so, that was in the G-Body the upper arm needed to be shortened as the B-Body spindle is changed and different than the G-Body spindle.

    As for running battery cables to the trunk, you'll probably need to find a hot rodder who understands how to run them. It isn't hard, but you need the time under the car to map out where you will run it, how you will run it all, where it will pass through to the trunk, ensuring it is in safe places from the exhaust or spinning things. It must be secured safely so the cable isn't damaged due to vibration/movement and rubbing. It takes some time. I have done a few. Takes some time, some trial and error.

    Make sure all pass throughs are grommeted, so the wire won't rub on a sheetmetal hole and cause a major battery short circuit. If you are really good you can make make connectors and plug it in. Or use some permanent terminal blocks to do the pass though.

    In all honesty the guys who do high powered car stereo's would be a good choice, they do this sort of wiring often.

    Run as fat wire as you can, like 00 or 000 gauge. Don't go wimpy. Make sure the grounds are perfect too, the negative of the battery if you can run it to the starter too will be very helpful to ensure improved starting power. Basically duplicate what GM did. If you have access to a 2000-up S430/S500 Benz or a 2001 Bentley Turbo R, they have the battery(s) factory in the rear. They know the importance of the battery relocation.

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Would relocating the battery cause hight issues port-to-starboard, since the battery is 50-80lbs on one side of the front clip?

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH View Post
    If you have access to a 2000-up S430/S500 Benz or a 2001 Bentley Turbo R, they have the battery(s) factory in the rear. They know the importance of the battery relocation.
    I owned a few late MB's including a 2000 S430 and they are all located in the trunk now. BMW especially....whose main focus is handling posts there batteries in the trunk. I would always laugh when a friend would need a jump start and I would pull my trunk close to the front of their car and pop it. I would always recieve an akward look until they knew what I was doing.

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    It could, depending on the car. I have seen some FE1 cars in Chevy's have a stiffer right front spring and softer left due to the AC and Chevy likes the battery in the right front.

    Pontiac typically puts the battery in the front left and moving it to the right rear is REALLY dramatic.

    80 lbs moved from way forward of CG to WAAY rear really is dramatic to the car. Well worth the effort.

    I am toying with the idea of mounting a Optima underneath, as there is really tons of room, but the fuel tank is right there. The Bentley has it in between the rear bumper and the trunk, accessible in the trunk, but 2 batteries essentially one where our back up lights are on the 93-96 cars, just a little more forward. If the Optimas are sealed, the are ideal, but either way you need a battery box for safety's sake.




    Quote Originally Posted by My_favorite_Brougham View Post
    Would relocating the battery cause hight issues port-to-starboard, since the battery is 50-80lbs on one side of the front clip?

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Do you know if the last generation 9c1 caprice body bushings will fit on a 77-79 deville/fleetwood? The originals on mine are shot and i'm looking for some good replacements. Any ideas? Thanks - Justin

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Wow thanks for digging up this old topic! great read!
    csbuckn and csbuckn like this.

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    Re: Low buck tips to improve handling on the 77-96 D Body cars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleetwood472 View Post
    Do you know if the last generation 9c1 caprice body bushings will fit on a 77-79 deville/fleetwood? The originals on mine are shot and i'm looking for some good replacements. Any ideas? Thanks - Justin
    Yes, they will. However, some have been discontinued by GM. If you can grab a full set from a car, that will be the best bet.

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