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bluecalais79

1996 Cutlass Supreme 3.1 front end

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I'm about to put my 96 Supreme away for the winter, but come spring I was looking to upgrade/improve/replace my front end parts to try and get a better handling ride and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on what would be a good kit to buy and or what is needed. This is a 60,000 mile car with all the original parts and that includes the struts. I now have on a front shock tower brace (exclusively found on the convertibles) and this has helped IMMENSELY to improve the handling, but I'm thinking new stuff to replace the rusted original parts may help.

 

The rear struts were replaced with Moogs. They are a bit noisy and I might ditch them or try and find out why they are making noises when going over bumps. It sounds like something is loose on both sides but I'm thinking it's just what they do. 

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As you have a 96 you have the "best" w-body brakes all around.

 

Most of us here use KYB struts on all 4 corners

 

Some of us use intrax front lowering springs and a birchmount rear spring.

 

Some have built there own coilovers on all 4 corners (must remove the leaf spring) with good results.

 

I imagine coilovers will handle the best but we're limited because of the lack of strut choices.

 

Besides springs/coilovers

 

I'd look to replace subframe bushings, front control arm bushings with poly, 34mm front sway bar, and new strut bearings and struts.

 

Rear I would upgrade trailing arms and use 2nd gen lateral arms and a rear strut tower bar and addco 7/8 rear sway bar.

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If you watch my threads I'm going to be outlining poly bushing upgrades. There's a great A-Arm bushing FAQ now but it got wrecked by photofuckit. I'm also going to do poly subframe bushings so I'll have p/n's in a thread.

 

I just did an upgraded thread on rear lateral link bushings.

http://www.w-body.com/topic/56104-rear-lateral-link-poly-bushings-2017/

 

GOT2BGM (Chinese Matt) fabricates shortened rear adjustable lats (like I'm running) and rear STB brackets. It may be a good idea to shoot him an E-mail or PM if your planning upgrades next year and start collecting parts nowish.

http://www.w-body.com/topic/50939-aweb80-rear-strut-tower-braces-for-1st-gen-w-bodies-pricing-in-thread/

 

But essentially poly bushings are going to make for a large improvement and larger sways will help, real stb will help reduce understeer. Honestly I wouldn't put too much thought into coilovers at this time. It's a cool upgrade but the other stuff would reduce tire roll which is the real enemy when it comes to handling and coilovers is a BIG ordeal that could be done later.

 

There's the obvious stuff as well like running a sport tire with a softer compound and maybe a higher max pressure than stock (someone will probably flame me for saying higher pressure than stock) but it's all about keeping the road off the sidewall.

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Outside of spending a pocketful of money to improve your front end .......

 

 

one of the cheapest alterations you can do to improve the cars overall handling is to dial in a bit more negative camber. Positive camber is fine for the mom + pop car where everyday handing is concerned.

 

If you want to lessen the sidewall roll, reduce the front end understeer (plowing) and improve the steering response.....pick up a set of these alignment shims to alter the front end camber...it's a trial & error approach to find the setting that suits you best.......as for me my front wheels are at -.5 degree camber. The OEM setting is +.7 degree, I've installed a 1 degree plus a 1/4 degree shim to get what I'm happy with. No visits to an alignment shop are necessary, all you are doing is altering the vertical camber angle.

 

When I installed the replacement rear shocks I set the camber to -3/4 degree, the OEM setting is +.10 degree.

 

With no other alterations except the 235/55/16H summer tires (in my sig pic) the vehicle does go around corners better,

 

this of course is with a fresh set of KYB's at all 4 corners, KYB's are a single acting, non variable shock. They are a bit soft but there's nothing out there in the way of a performance shock for the 1st gen cars.

 

Hopefully next year I will get the front ST lowering springs in & a custom single leaf *steel* rear spring in to drop the rear end for the stance I am looking for.

 

 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2054436.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XGM+W+body+front+camber+shims.TRS0&_nkw=GM+W+body+front+camber+shims&_sacat=0

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As you have a 96 you have the "best" w-body brakes all around.

 

Most of us here use KYB struts on all 4 corners

 

Some of us use intrax front lowering springs and a birchmount rear spring.

 

Some have built there own coilovers on all 4 corners (must remove the leaf spring) with good results.

 

I imagine coilovers will handle the best but we're limited because of the lack of strut choices.

 

Besides springs/coilovers

 

I'd look to replace subframe bushings, front control arm bushings with poly, 34mm front sway bar, and new strut bearings and struts.

 

Rear I would upgrade trailing arms and use 2nd gen lateral arms and a rear strut tower bar and addco 7/8 rear sway bar.

Im a little late on the springs, but which set for the fronts? Their website dosent have a listing for Pontiac......also what is a good drop for the rear monoleaf? I've seen where Birchmount does custom springs. Wouldn't want to slam it to low really, but just a nice lowered stance to possibly match the front if I can get some intrax springs! Appreciate the info

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Need to buy a set for 95-99 Monte Carlo and only use the fronts. They may sel just the fronts. Need to ask!

 

I think most went with a 2 inch drop in rear. I have a birchmount but can't remember the drop.

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Need to buy a set for 95-99 Monte Carlo and only use the fronts. They may sel just the fronts. Need to ask!

 

I think most went with a 2 inch drop in rear. I have a birchmount but can't remember the drop.

Thanks!

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Intrax is a Dutch manufacturer,

 

the springs that they at one time made for the front end of the 1st Gen W bodies are now made of *unobtanium*.

 

You might *if you're lucky* come across a set of ST Suspension lowering springs for the same 95-99 Monte's. They too have been out of production for a number of years.

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I highly suggest a proper inspection of the coil spring seats in the front ends of these cars.  Even on minimally driven vehicles, water gets in there, gets underneath the powder coating, and eats the metal as there is nowhere for it to drain properly.  Unfortunately the only way to inspect is to actually remove the entire front spring/strut/ball joint/bearing assembly :(.  

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I didn't realize they were out of production! As much as I hate to say you can cut the springs to lower. Alternatively if you don't like that idea I'd loook into building cool all around.

 

 

I saw an advertisement a few months ago for the birchmount. That should still be able to be ordered!

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I didn't realize they were out of production! As much as I hate to say you can cut the springs to lower. Alternatively if you don't like that idea I'd loook into building cool all around.

 

 

I saw an advertisement a few months ago for the birchmount. That should still be able to be ordered!

 

A member on here refabricated his front strut cartridge to be able to use coilovers and springs from QA1. 

 

http://www.w-body.com/topic/54062-a-different-approach-to-1g-front-coil-overs/

 

It would be an interesting read. Sadly he doesn't come on here as much, but I think Imp558 is doing something similar.

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