67-70 Eldorado suspension upgrades for autocross/drag
This also applies to many other cars-and it will help the FWDs 0-60 times.
67-70 Eldorado Suspension:
Start with shocks. Best autocross shock for the money that I have found to date is: Monroe sense-a-matic for the front. rear to if available-if not, do Gabriel High Jackers for the rear if you want to keep the air ride. (Keep it unless you want to add leaf springs, since these rear shocks support the rear of the car.) An air line separator kit can be purchased for the rear shocks, if you are not using the automatic load level system. This will keep air from traveling from shock to shock to reduce body roll. These shocks are less than $40 each. Air line kit is about $20. 0-60 time can be increased in this car by airing up the back shocks to force the weight to stay over the front tires for increased traction.
Polyurethane bushings in stock sway bar. (geaseable ones are available from Summit and Jeggs-no noise-$13.95 for the pair. Polyurethane end links. If possible, keep the stock end link bolts, and use just the bushings. If bushings are a different inside diameter, then use the replacement end link bolts, but be sure to shorten the metal sleeve so that the bar is level. The sock end link sleeve should be a good guide if the car has not been lowered. If the car has been lowered, be sure to shorten the end link bolts to level the bar(stock or replacement) if the goal is autocross style sport car handling. And make the bolts snug, but not too tight, or the bending bar will bend-and eventually break-the end link bolt. Stock front sway bar is: 1 and 1/16" thick. This is fine for a street car that is not autocrossed much. I used the stock bar with stock bushings in my first autocross. My second autocross in this car was with the stock bar and the polly bushings.....night and day difference!
A arm bushings and ball joints: this is a heavy car and these items wear out. If car has over 50,000 miles on original bushings , I would change them with quality parts, and get a front end alignment. Surprised at what a difference that made in my car.
Body bushings: make sure they are tight. Smog eats at the rubber, and can cause the body to roll on the frame in corners.
Higher performance: Step 2 if desired. Add,a rear sway bar (available through Addco last time I checked) Caution, rear bars are made to fit around stock exhaust and they don't guarantee fit if you have custom exhaust. You might need to check salvage yards to find a bar that will fit. (The bars for '79-85 Eldos are available, but are designed for independent suspensions, I would target the Camaros/Trans Ams for a donor. (get all brackets-the mid '80s Camaro/Firebird has a neat bracket that bolts to the frame's rails.)
Retro fit a 1 and 5/16" or a 1and 1/3" bar (from a later Caddy or truck if possible) and use polly bushings. If the fittings are the same for some truck shocks ( I am still working on the answer to that one) then use Monroe Reflex shocks in front (ride quality will go away a little as they are STIFF shocks)
Find polly body bushings and A arm bushings (have not got a clue yet as to what car they will change with) or use stacked metal washers with, or in place of body bushings. (be sure the washers are painted so they won't cause a rust problem.) I have not done this yet, but am thinking about it for my 70 Eldo.
Stockton and others custom make wheels: Easy upgrade. Get two 15 X 8" wheels made to fit under the front fenders, leave the back alone, put the hubcaps on and run performance rated 255 or 275 wide tires up front and run 245s on the stock rear 15 X 6 wheels. Step 2, have 15 X 9.5" wheels made for the front, and put the 15 X 8s in back. Still use hub caps and as wide a tire that will fit.
Step three. Custom built 17" or 18" wheels for front and rear. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Need I say more about that?
Driving: If autocrossing, at the very least, lower the arm rest between the seats, and use a pillow on each side of you to keep you from sliding out from under the seat belts. My first hair pin turn in my fist autocross was embracing, because coming out of the turn, I wan on the passenger side! Almost wrecked the car into a light pole. Keep the seat belts tight, and have the seat forward, and as high as you can get it without causing the helmet to push into the head liner so that you can see the pylons over the large front fenders.
Finally, night before the first race, go to a parking lot and practice. You will be surprised how much 15 minutes of getting the "new feel" of the seat location (while wearing helmet) will help get you used to the driving conditions of the race. And, it could save some embracement.
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