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2002 Suspension overhaul

 
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billy101
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2001 Chevrolet Impala
2010 Chevrolet Malibu


PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:01 pm    Post subject:  2002 Suspension overhaul Reply with quote

I'm looking to do some stuff to my 2002 pretty soon (should have a job soon).

Found out that the struts on my 02 were replaced in August of 2009 at about 150k miles (called the woman we bought the car from) I know I need two new rear strut mounts because they are making some noise. The car now has 190k miles on it so approx 40k miles on the replaced struts.

Now, where I'm headed to. I have new front sway bar end links, new front and rear sway bar bushings as well.

We want to lower the car, maybe 1.5inches in the back and like 1.6 in the front so it has an even look? What else should be replaced? I know the rear sway bar end links need to be replaced, and I should be ordering the DonRome brackets for the rear strut tower brace pretty soon.

Will I be able to get by with just replacing the springs, strut mounts, and ordering pogo washers? I already have about .5" shorter dog bones, and pretty much everything else is new. Only other thing I have been considering is the rear GMPP sway bar from ZSPOT because they're only like $55 and are completely solid, unlike our hollow sway bars. Also, maybe replacing the trailing arms with solid ones.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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outonthetiles
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2000 Chevrolet Impala
1990 Volvo 240
2000 Buick Regal


PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

You can get away with just the springs, strut mounts, and pogo washers, but you're going to blow out your stock struts pretty fast.

The rear sway bar, upgraded trailing arms, and rear STB are all great upgrades though..

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SuperImpala00
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

second that on the rear STB/sway bar upgrade, unless the bushings are bad with the trailing arms I would say don't bother. Replacing them doesn't produce much of a improvement over stock. Did you replace the control arms?
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billy101
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

The control arms have not been replaced. I think we will replace the bushings in those as well though. The trailing arms that are OEM are "boxed" I believe is the word, and easily flex. For $22 for both of them in the new solid design, I'll just replace them. I've heard that the rear STB does a great job at firming up the back of the car, what will I notice when replacing the rear sway bar with GMPP?

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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IffyG
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2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue
2009 Chevrolet Malibu


PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

The more stuff you upgrade, the tighter the car will feel in corners. I'm not gonna bull**** you, it still drives like a pig, but its a much more well mannered pig with the upgrades. I can tell you there is a massive difference between my nearly fully modified Monte Carlo suspension and the fully stock suspension on the Intrigue, but it doesn't come close to something designed to handle out of the factory.

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billy101
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

IffyG wrote:
The more stuff you upgrade, the tighter the car will feel in corners. I'm not gonna bull**** you, it still drives like a pig, but its a much more well mannered pig with the upgrades. I can tell you there is a massive difference between my nearly fully modified Monte Carlo suspension and the fully stock suspension on the Intrigue, but it doesn't come close to something designed to handle out of the factory.


I don't expect it to perform like a brand new Mustang or a Charger, but it's good to know that those small upgrades help. I'm just looking to replace things to make the car more reliable, and perform better as well. My transmission is holding up, and I'll probably put another 75-100k on the clock now, so I'm trying to get everything else up to par.

Is it hard to change out the control arm bushings? I can see small tears in my bushings, and they don't seem to expensive to replace, but how hard is it?

The rear STB bracket and rear GMPP sway bar & solid trailing arms seem to be next in line to be replaced.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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IffyG
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2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Yeah, the more stuff you upgrade the better it handles, but it definitely makes for a rough ride. Gotta decide if the trade offs are worth it.

Changing out the control arm bushings is difficult, but it can be done if you have the proper tools available. That being said, you can get new control arms for like 60 a side and replace the whole damn thing.

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billy101
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

IffyG wrote:
Yeah, the more stuff you upgrade the better it handles, but it definitely makes for a rough ride. Gotta decide if the trade offs are worth it.

Changing out the control arm bushings is difficult, but it can be done if you have the proper tools available. That being said, you can get new control arms for like 60 a side and replace the whole damn thing.


To be honest, I wouldn't mind for a rougher/sportier ride. I feel like the car is floating when I'm driving, and I often find myself speeding because I don't feel like I'm going that fast. Everyone who rides in my car goes, "wow! it really doesn't seem like we're going 55mph right now, your car like floats on the road". Not that I'm complaining, I just wouldn't be turned off by a rougher ride.

I asked my dad about replacing the control arm bushings, he said he could replace just the bushings no problem. The ball joints on both are brand new, just the bushings are worn out, so it doesn't really warrant replacing the entire assembly. They're not even rusty, I can wipe them off and get them clean like new.

_________________
2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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