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Username Post: Any Ridetech complete suspension reviews?        (Topic#353587)
jesus 
Poster
Posts: 5

Reg: 01-19-14
10-24-18 02:21 PM - Post#2749458    

Hi everyone, newbie here. I've been a lurker on this site for a while and Chevytalk has been uber-informative. This is my first post. I own a 1970 Impala Sport Coupe 2 door and have been contemplating on purchasing a complete Ridetech coilover suspension. This board has several posts on the topic but I haven't seen any overall, in-depth reviews. Those who own and have installed the suspension kit, what are your thoughts and experiences? How does it handle? How does the car feel? Do you need the grease or keep an eye on the spherical bushings constantly? Is it pro-touring capable? Will it handle daily driving duties? (My 70 will be mostly street driven in LA traffic). I'm wondering if this suspension kit is worth the cost?



Edited by jesus on 10-24-18 02:22 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 




toro455 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 510
toro455
Loc: Western NY
Reg: 06-15-02
10-24-18 07:24 PM - Post#2749494    
    In response to jesus

Welcome to CT!
I do not have experience with the Ridetech coilover system but based on your post I wouldn't limit my thinking to coilover. Global West seems to have embraced our cars and they make some nice conventional option parts. There are good shock options and changing the front bar to 1 1/8" is a change a lot of people are doing. Some things you can even do incrementally to see how much difference and feel each item makes. If the stock suspension is in good shape a set of performance shocks and the 1 1/8" front bar I would think would make a noticeable difference. There's another thread along this same line where the OP started the discussion on the lines of steering gear change so you may want to check that topic out... I think it was in the '65-66 section but the cars are pretty similar.

One comment regarding coilover and I will admit it maybe a paradigm but you are basically supporting the function of the spring via the shock mounts which I've never loved the idea of.

Scott



 
jesus 
Poster
Posts: 5

Reg: 01-19-14
10-25-18 06:48 AM - Post#2749524    
    In response to toro455

Thanks for your input, Scott. Here is my other option: I have spoken with Mark at SC&C and I am also considering the package that he put together. Just like you suggested, he recommended front (1 1/8") and rear (1") sway bars, double adjustable shocks (highly recommended), rear upper and lower trailing arms from UMI with adjustable panhard bar, front upper tubular control arms, and SD coil springs with no more than a 1" drop (from Detroit Eaton). I have read many posts on this forum of how people purchase coil springs, install it in their B Body vehicles and the nose sits higher in the front (I currently have that problem). I'm a bit apprehensive about that, especially when purchasing a new set of coils that I may not be able to return. I could cut the coils, but I do not want to tamper with the spring rate.
I absolutely do not doubt Mark's advice. He's very knowledgeable and he did spend a lot of time explaining things to me. He's a really stellar guy and really knows his stuff. From a cost perspective, Mark's recommendations may be a bit cheaper than the Ridetech package.
I do not have a preference towards coilovers. I would like to keep it simple and stick with coil springs, but the higher nose has me a bit apprehensive. Also, the Ridetech package seems to be all inclusive.



 
Steve_Chryssos 
Poster
Posts: 1

Reg: 10-25-18
10-25-18 02:17 PM - Post#2749556    
    In response to jesus

Doing my best to answer your questions directly: Your driving experience will feel much more modern, assuming you use a good set of tires. Crappy old rock hard tired, not so much. The quality and valving of the shocks are to thank for that as well as the no-bind R-Joint trailing arm bearings and Delrin AF bushings. R-Joints and bushings do not need lubrication. Ever. A huge benefit to the system is adjustability—You can fine tune ride height to your exact preference, dial in shock rebound to your exact preference and, if need be for any reason, easily swap out springs down to 25 or 50 lb increments.
Yes you can drive your car daily. No you do not have to worry about “shocks and springs sharing the same mount”. The double sheer coilover mounts are plenty sturdy and thoroughly tested—even in hardcore racing.

The ride quality and manners will blow you away and the shocks have a 1,000,001 mile warranty. Yes I work for RideTech.

Thanks for looking,
Steve






Edited by Tony on 10-29-18 01:57 PM. Reason for edit: Removed advertising link.

 
toro455 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 510
toro455
Loc: Western NY
Reg: 06-15-02
10-25-18 02:38 PM - Post#2749559    
    In response to jesus

Here's a link to that other thread I was referring to. You are discussing some unique things here but it's worth following that discussion as well I think.
https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?t...

I've also read a lot of threads where members had issues with ride height. The body is not sitting on mine yet; basically just a built out chassis. I used Global West springs on all 4 corners. I liked the way their set-up felt on my Chevelle and that's why I selected it for the Impala. What I noticed about their springs is they are much shorter free-standing than the originals but they are higher rate. On the Chevelle they sit slightly lower than stock but in the range of 3/4" to 1" as I recall. I also like how they carefully select the material for the bushings. Sometimes they even end-up using a different material for one end or the other to avoid bind as an example. I avoid urethane due to cold forming or plastic creep under constant load. There are places where I've used it but I generally won't. Some people have used urethane in areas which I won't and claim to have no issues.

Even if you don't select GW I would still read some of the information on their site and watch Doug’s videos. They normally tell you why they selected certain materials for certain positions. Their hardware is pretty pricey so I tried to use it selectively this time but there is a lot of work and knowledge going into what they do.

A couple of other related observations:
-The GW front springs were a bear to compress. There were 3 of us working on it and at times it was scary. The threads on one spring compressor even stretched while installing them.
-There was a small hole in the top where the front springs mount under. It is an indexing access point. It was not easy to tell that the spring was exactly where it should be. If it's not that can be a cause of the front not sitting as it should.

I rebuilt my front suspension on my '03 GMC Sonoma ZQ8 about a year ago. For the spring all I did was detail the original ones. When I put everything back together I could swear that was riding higher in the front and had the springs been new I would have been convinced they were at fault. I took pictures of the springs for indexing and kept track of which end was up vs down (I wasn't even certain it mattered but I had the Impala posts burned into my brain). It seemed to settle and now it seems to sit normally.

Some people pointed out on previous threads that the late sixties cars actually sat a little higher in the front than the back. There are places on this site in the reference material where you can quantify it. I like a car to look more-or less level. That's what looks "normal" to me even if my impression of normal is not true to original. Anyway that was also pointed out as one reason people have experienced ride height issues after changing the front springs.





 
emil 
"4th Year Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 99
emil
Age: 75
Loc: Belle Mead, N.J.
Reg: 07-02-12
10-25-18 03:11 PM - Post#2749564    
    In response to toro455

Having been through the exercise a few times limited to 65-70 "B" body suspensions spring changes with big block engines only, I have had good luck getting a nice stance with small block w/air conditioning pieces from Moog or Eaton. With all the aluminum parts like heads, water pump, intakes, etc.,I have, so far have avoided the nose high look. Keep in mind I really do not like the lowered look so you will have to make your own choices relative to that challenge. Handling is fine with 1 1/8 front sway bar and a good rear bar too. This presumes you have addressed the front suspension. I do like the Global West front strut replacements. I also use high end Viking adjustable shocks but there other choices out there. Tubular A-frames permit greater front end adjustments and UMI makes rear lower control arms that permit using the stock F-41 rear sway bar that tucks up nice under the rear end housing. For handling, steering box is important. Too fast a box for me is not comfortable given the size and weight of these beasts. Again a personal use and preference based choice. Money helps big time!

emil
69 Kingswood 4-sp
69 Impala SS 4-sp
66 Biscayne 511 BB Legends 5-sp
69 Biscayne 468 BB 4-sp
71 BelAir 250 250-6 3-sp
95 Caprice Classic wagon
2000 2500HD Chev 5-sp
2016 Ram Rebel
4 Harleys


 
toro455 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 510
toro455
Loc: Western NY
Reg: 06-15-02
10-25-18 07:15 PM - Post#2749588    
    In response to emil

I second what emil wrote "Too fast a box for me is not comfortable given the size and weight of these beasts. Again a personal use and preference based choice."

These are big cars in the same family, even though different generation, as the '94-'96 Impala SS. They had about 3.25 turns lock to lock. My ZQ8 Sonoma also had the same number of turns lock-to-lock. Those are both examples of more modern heavy vehicles which GM decided to make performance minded versions of and so I thought they served as a good reference.

I also recalled that I did use the Ridetech panhard bar. I remember phoning them before selecting it. I remember they were both helpful in answering questions and they were not pushing a sale. The PN I have on the car for Panhard bar is: RideTech ART-11289000.



 
jesus 
Poster
Posts: 5

Reg: 01-19-14
10-26-18 07:13 AM - Post#2749609    
    In response to toro455

Thanks for your input everyone! It's been really helpful. There are many things to consider that everyone has brought up and I do need to make a decision soon. If anyone else has any other input or suggestions, please chime in!



 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1479
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
10-26-18 12:42 PM - Post#2749633    
    In response to jesus

Spend the money on a good hybrid coilover. By time you buy good springs and shocks, the cost will be within $100 anyway. And you'll not have that adjustability. Use a good aftermarket lower arm, and you'll not have any issue with the entire front end bearing on the shock mount. It'll be built for it. The stock arm I wouldn't trust to do that.
Research tells me you should also make sure the hybrid has a spherical lower joint and bar. You want no bind in the shock during travel. It'll wear out or even destroy the shock if it does bind. And you'll also want a Torrington bearing between the spring and adjusting collar. Cheers.

1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
jesus 
Poster
Posts: 5

Reg: 01-19-14
10-29-18 07:09 AM - Post#2749865    
    In response to mjc1

MJC, I saw your thread on the Viking coilovers. When you lowered the coilovers, did you run into any issues with the shock bottoming out? Also, did you install coilovers in the rears?



 
mjc1 
Senior Member
Posts: 1479
mjc1
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada
Reg: 09-15-04
10-29-18 01:10 PM - Post#2749912    
    In response to jesus

No bottoming out. But the springs have settled a bit, so I might dial them back up a turn or two. No coilovers on the back, just a pair of Ridetech shocks, which work very well.

1967 Grande Parisienne 4DR HT
My Flickr page



 
jesus 
Poster
Posts: 5

Reg: 01-19-14
10-29-18 01:26 PM - Post#2749915    
    In response to mjc1

MJC, what springs are you running in the rear?



 




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