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911 SC Suspension - Time for a refresh

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Coming up for 6 years since I hooked up with my SXC blonde and now she (should cars be gender neutral now?) is like many 41 year olds, getting a bit saggy and spongy while moving around.

Current setup ( or how I bought the car ) is Green (HD I Think) Bilstiens on the rear and Boge Struts on the front but not known if they have had the inserts replaced, the rear shocks had stickers on them indicating they had been rebuilt/refurbished at some time. I have already purchaced the Elephant racing spring plate rubbers and was intending using the same on the front, along with replace ball joints as one has a torn rubber dust cover and replace the strut top,sway bar and trailing arm bushing as a matter of course. The LF strut has a slight weep and the gap on the spring plate outer cover (the indicator to how worn they are apparently) is suggesting the time is near.

Just looking to hear what people have done and experienced with their own suspension (don't need theory have the web for that) and not looking to track the car but want better than stock and aiming for a compromise between comfort and performance. 

Questions:

  • What did you use and why?
  • Was it better or worse?
  • What problems did you encounter?
  • What Tips can you share?
  • Replace and or upgrade torsion bars?
  • Anything else you can think of?

Cheers

Mike

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtVZNzOHTJ3/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1xhneq18qmlpq

 

 

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Hi Mike. 

Sounds like a very similar setup to my car (1980 SC)

I replaced the front and rear control arm bushings with polyurethane/graphite parts to tighten things up for the track days I was doing at the time. I left the shocks and torsion bars as original. Worked a treat with excellent control and feedback. BUT, even with the graphite in the bushing material and a liberal coating of graphite grease, the bastards still squeak.  I’ll probably use the Elephant Racing OE style parts to replace them now that it’s only getting road use.  

 

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Bilsteins all round

ER polybronze front bushings

Stock torsion bars and sway bar

ER rubber rear spring plate bushings

New ball joints + turbo tie rods

Front strut brace

I did not want my enthusiastically  driven  car leaping off road imperfections .
8 years on , mostly street car , no issues. 
Obviously for track or billiard table smooth canyon carving you could beef things up a bit.
The car would be harder to sell on I suspect.
 

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2 hours ago, tazzieman said:

Bilsteins all round

ER polybronze front bushings

Stock torsion bars and sway bar

ER rubber rear spring plate bushings

New ball joints + turbo tie rods

Front strut brace

I did not want my enthusiastically  driven  car leaping off road imperfections .
8 years on , mostly street car , no issues. 
Obviously for track or billiard table smooth canyon carving you could beef things up a bit.
The car would be harder to sell on I suspect.
 

8 years on.... I like that bit😉

which Bilstiens did you use?

Polybronze.. how would you describe the difference from those to the previous rubber bushes?

Already done the Turbo Tie rods but hadn’t considered the strut brace, good point as relatively inexpensive and easy to fit and remove too.

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Bilstein sport.
Not much noticeable difference bw Polybronze and new rubber though on a track the lack of deflection would help precision.
When you pull out the old bushings you may get a shock at how distorted they are.
Polybronze do need greasing but it's no bg deal.

John Bowe recommended a strut brace , even for street/country driving.
Overall the car is a bit tighter than stock , but they aren't soft roaders so you can endure a little bit of what makes the car handle better!

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I went with the full elephant racing suspension restoration package.

 

REAR

It really went from some noisy sloppy handling to how I am sure it would have been from the factory, it felt like a new car again!

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The stock setup is IMHO a tad soft, particularly for modern tyres (I have TOYO R1R which are fairly soft).  My suspension was very tired!

My setup:

Bilstein B6 all round (you need to check your struts to see if these will work for you)

21mm solid TBs front.

28mm hollow TBs rear.

New front ball joints.

Rennline strut tops - harder rubber (probably the same as those supplied by ER).

New Turbo tie rods.

Stock sway bar but new bushes.

Stock A arm bushes.  I have a set of ER Polybronze bushes but decided in the end to keep it stock in the bush department.  I have Polybronze in my rally car and agree with Tassieman that they are not noticeably harsher than stock, but for a road car I can't see much advantage in them.

New Sport engine and transmission mounts.

Stock rear sway bar but new bushes and drop links.

New Rennline adjustable spring plates (they have harder bush material).

Have not checked the trailing arm bushes yet...

Wheel alignment by someone who knows these cars and what they are doing.

Also did the brakes while I was at it - new disks, braided flex lines, caliper rebuilds all round, PAGID pads, Castrol SRF fluid.  Brakes work much better than I expected!

Not a track car as that would require a somewhat more aggressive setup.

Most parts supplied by James at Autohaus although I had a few bits on the shelf.  Total cost about $5K including brakes if DIY and including wheel alignment.

Hope this is of some use.

See here -

 

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Mike

I just changed out the suspension in my 77. 

Car is still in the air till I get a chance the bleed the brakes. I went with Bilstein B6 inserts front and shocks rear. Elephant Racing rubber control arm bushings. Changed the ball joints, wheel bearings, rotors.. Car already had 21mm torsion bars.. not sure what is in the rear. Hope to let you know how it goes later this week.

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Just reviving this thread.

I need to sort the suspension rubbers on my SC and working out do I do the whole package as per @cafe_racer

Did you use the restoration pack or resto sport pack 1?

My 1980sc is predominately used for sprinted monthly SMT, maybe a work commute every fortnight and may do a couple of PCNSW track days. Street tyres and I don’t want a hard as nails drive every time on SYDNEY roads.

I do note A few mentioned polyurethane vs rubber and all 3 kits use rubber 

Thoughts and experience on will I be happy with just the straight restoration pack?

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Hey mate, I went with the straight restoration pack.  I was mainly looking to refresh suspension and keeping it feeling as new from the factory as opposed to making it a bit sportier.  It was the first thing I did with the car and don't regret it for a moment!

 

Night and day difference and really made it feel tight and fresh to drive.

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For a good street setup to get rid of the factory understeer I would do

New shocks of choice, maybe re valve rears 

Bigger rear torsion bars 27 or 28, leave front stock. I am not sure why many tend to make the front so stiff.

De cambered ball joints.

Strut brace

Get rid of the rubber bushings. They really cause the suspension to react quite slowly. I have had both. The difference is huge.

Use the Rebel racing bushes.

https://www.rsrproducts.com/product-page/rebel-s-racing-rsr-front-bushing-set

https://www.rsrproducts.com/product-page/rebel-s-racing-rsr-rear-bushing-set 

Mono ball or hard rubber strut top and rear trailing arm.

Stan at Performance 9 can probably help with some of the bits so you don't have to buy all from the US

http://www.performance9.com.au

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I'm in the process or a semi-restoration. I used to do track days and ran the car with upgraded sway bars, lowered, Koni adjustable rear shocks, stock torsion bars, turbo tie rod ends, bump steer kit and strut brace. It handles great but still a bit low for the street and I need to be careful.

I've decided not to put the car on the track anymore so I'm keeping the upgrades  and replacing trailing arm & spring plate bushes, spring plate covers, and rear sway bar drop links. I'm not touching the front at this stage. It should be running again in a few weeks.

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My setup as outlined earlier is fine for the street (Tassy has some ordinary streets). Any harder it would feel like a Toyota 86 , and that gets a bit old if you aren't on a track or smooth road.

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I am doing a similar job on a friend's 1971T.  We have fitted new from Koni inserts, steering universal, drop link bushings, lower ball joints, stabiliser bushings and stripped and refurbished the A/Control arms. We bought what seemed to be decent rubber bushings for the control arms (URO).  The ER ones I have fitted on another car quite easily. I still have the ER tools for installation. However fitting the URO rear bushings on the A arm into the so called 'fanbloc'/ torsion bar adjuster moulding on the crossmember seems impossible.  It crushes up at some point during insertion. I could be that the bushings we got are just too soft or wrong sized but even with plenty of soap lube and a suitable long clamp, we can't get them to go in properly into the rear tube.

I noticed that all the Elephant Racing videos all show the REAR of the two front bushings on each A arm as having a removable carrier for the torsion bar adjustment screw. This 1971 model has no such (apparently) removable carrier on/in the rear of the control arm or in the crossmember housing. It seems a single moulding. I am not keen on removing the cross member at this stage but I will if needed and might also get the harder ER rubber bushings.
 
What am I missing here?
 

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There actually is a removable 'carrier' section in the 'fan bloc' mounting on the cross member.  It was just completely rusted over, covered with underbody sealant and stuck.  It surrendered eventually to a pry bar and some heat.  All cleaned and new bushings mounted with the ER tools I had and long clamp.  Indexed the front and rear mounting brackets to 21 and 14 degrees respectively and all should be good to go back in!

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On 05/06/2019 at 10:32, sus911 said:

I'm in the process or a semi-restoration. I used to do track days and ran the car with upgraded sway bars, lowered, Koni adjustable rear shocks, stock torsion bars, turbo tie rod ends, bump steer kit and strut brace. It handles great but still a bit low for the street and I need to be careful.

I've decided not to put the car on the track anymore so I'm keeping the upgrades  and replacing trailing arm & spring plate bushes, spring plate covers, and rear sway bar drop links. I'm not touching the front at this stage. It should be running again in a few weeks.

Did you do the installation yourself or a shop?

i just received the quote from a P car specialist and was a tad surprised 😮 

whilst im a little handy I don’t have the knowledge, space, time or all the tools to do a full suspension replace. Was thinking of acquiring the parts and asking a reputable shop to do it.

any SYDNEY area suggestions? I have one suggestion from Ryan just scouting others thoughts and experience

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Tips,

Autowerks on the Central Coast might be convenient for you too if you live close to a train station.  

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Ps.  I went Elephant Racing level 2 von shocks and matched larger torsion bars (21/27 or 21/28?) in my street driven only targa hot rod. Fantastic setup. 

I have the level 5 von shocks in my group s car with matched 24/34 t bars - again, cracking setup. 

I prefer the Vons over Bilsteins etc. 

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On 24/06/2019 at 18:23, Tips said:

Did you do the installation yourself or a shop?

i just received the quote from a P car specialist and was a tad surprised 😮 

whilst im a little handy I don’t have the knowledge, space, time or all the tools to do a full suspension replace. Was thinking of acquiring the parts and asking a reputable shop to do it.

any SYDNEY area suggestions? I have one suggestion from Ryan just scouting others thoughts and experience

I did it myself, except for pressing in the trailing arm bushes.

It's pretty straight forward and I had time on my side to have parts stripped/blasted then re-electroplated/painted/coated.

It's a good opportunity to get acquainted with the suspension on these cars.

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Update to the suspension refresh on my SC.

i didn’t have the space, tools or time to diy the refresh, so I just threw money at the problem 🙄

I got some local quotes from specialists and as expected varying opinions and prices. I ended up at East Coast Suspension in Taren point. Not close to me but after a recommendation from @OBRUT and speaking with Dave I left the car with him. 

Picked the car up today. I went with a level 1 set up with Koni shocks, turbo tirods, and rubber over neoprene on Dave’s recommendation, being a mix of road and occasional track use. The stance is just how I wanted low but not slammed. Being over at Taren Point I decided to take a run down through the national park 😉. WOW what a difference, car handled like a dream and certainly faster through the corners, no skipping, sweet as.

looking forward to the 16th at the farm.

 

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