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 Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes

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Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:46 am

Write-up is here:
http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t5154-write-up-1996-to-1998-front-suspension-swap-w-f-body-brakes?p=177823


____

i finally got all my parts together!
here is what i have (everything is new, save for the calipers and knuckles):

2 KYB GR-2 struts from a '98
2 fbody dual piston aluminum calipers (fully rebuilt)
set of morse brake pads
2 rotors (Chinese no )
2 1997 front spindles with hub bearings
2 zzp 20.5 inch SS brake lines
3 bottles of DOT4 synthetic brake fluid
2 Moog strut top mounts
4 Moog spring insulators (2 top/2 bottom)
2 Moog strut bearings
4 Eibach ProLower STS springs (rear is already in)
2 camber bolts
misc hardware (cc washers, bolts, etc)

i will be reusing the strut bumps and dust cover. and the upper isolator (if it fits)

hopefully i wont run into any problems or areas where things dont fit up.
this is only the 3rd time, that i am aware of, someone has done a front end conversion on a 95/96 to newer 97+ stuff.
if anyone needs anything off my old setup i'd be happy to part out happy this setup is costing me over $1000 but it should be worth it to have new suspension on all 4 corners, and great brakes.
here is a pic of all the stuff before it gets installed next Sunday! (29th)



i will be taking lots of picture along the way in case of a write-up.

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1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.


Last edited by Mr.Riviera on Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:19 am

Good luck! you will really enjoy the change in your ride.


I did notice on thing the strut top mounts are they 97 or 98? because I think the 98 have a plastic tab on them and I think that won't work with the 96 as that whole for that tab is not there. I used 97 strut mounts.

Also do you have the spindle to Caliper bracket bolts?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:34 am

i got 98 top mounts frown
can i just cut the plastic tabs off? provided all the holes line up the same.

and yes i have the caliper bracket bolts.

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1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:51 pm

ok the white tabs pop out of the top mounts. now i just hope they line up to the holes on the strut housing.

also i noticed the bump stops i was going to reuse are pretty bad looking and deteriorating from age. this may be a dumb question, but can i leave them out?

and one final question, can i reuse the upper isolators from my 96 on the 98 top mounts? (the rubber piece that goes between the mount bearing and the upper spring seat.)

i went to AZ and rented the spring compressor and a 33mm axle socket. (had to actually buy that b/c they only had 34/32mm to rent gripe )

anything i am leaving out or need to be prepared for?

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1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:07 pm

I left my bumpers out by mistake, and it didn't seem to impact anything in 100k miles or so.

The 34 mm socket would have worked.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:22 pm

without the bump stops, if you hit a really bad bump in the road your wheel will bang into the upper part of the wheel well. I would say Get new bump stops! I had purchased a spring compressor from awful zone before and i returned it when i was finished with my install thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:32 am

i am having major problem with this install. where to start...
the 98 strut top mounts would not fit on the 96 body, so i installed the old 96 top mount since it seemed to fit. as soon as i got everything together and lowered the car i could see why it was not going to work. the rod or the strut was smaller than the 96 style so the rod protruded out the top marking up the hood.
ok not a problem, i'll just drill out the top of the strut housing where the holes need to be. ok i got that done and got the 98 top mounts put on the 98 struts and it fixed that problem. however...
i have absolutly no brake feel. the peddle goes straight to the floor AND my abs and trac light are now on.
ok no prob ill do another bleed and take it from there. let em just get a trest drive in....
i take it out around the corner and imediatly notice the right bearing making a screeching noise. must be a bad hub from ed morad, even though it didnt have any play.
i pull back into my garage and rebleed the brakes. still the same problem! no brake action.
could i have let air into the abs pump making the light go on?
my plan is to take it to the shop in the morn to get an allignment and a bleed from them. and if they have to tools i will have them see if i need a new hub.
i know this is all just rambled out, but i'm tired and frustrated to hell with this right now.

_________________
1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:42 am

Niiiice!!! so jellause!happy
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:24 pm

ok i got the brakes figured out. i didnt remember to swap the left and right side and they were not bleeding properly.

got the struts back apart and dremeled out the isolator material that was interfering with the bearing so now the spring actually move separate from the strut.

fixed some of the alignment issues so it is drivable.

NOW...i still dont have ABS or traction. brakes work very well (extreamly please with the mod). i guess i need to see which hub is bad. (maybe both?)

and one more issue has poped up: i noticed something is rubbing or knocking somewhere. i took a quick look and nothing looks rubed out. i dont know if it could possibly be the bad hub making the noise or something else.
i do know it changes with speed, and is most noticalbe under light braking (too soft to hear under throttle or with windows up).
from the sound of it it is like something on the outside of the tire making contact every revolution, but again i see no rubbing.

any ideas??

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1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:40 pm

Check the hoses. Any contact with the tire?

How tightly did the pads and rotors fit? Mine were so tight they rubbed for a day or so until everything situated. Describe the noise in more detail, and the frequency it occurs.

Are the caliper bolts still tight?

Is the nut at the top of each strut tightened down?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:50 pm

the hoses dont rub. i had to tie the driver side down.

i striped one of the screws on the driver side top mount, but 5/6 should be ok untill i get a new one from lowes.

pads and rotors were pretty tight. i have no problems stopping and the peddle feels good.

i'll check the caliper bolts tomorrow and pull the wheels checking for marks in the sunlight.

the noise is kind of like when you run over a nail and hear the click,click,click as the tire turns. but it's more of a knock than a click. and i dont have any nails.

_________________
1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:25 pm

Does the noise change when going over a speed bump or crack in the road?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:00 am

Mr.Riviera wrote:
i striped one of the screws on the driver side top mount, but 5/6 should be ok untill i get a new one from lowes.

Which bolt, and what do you mean by 5/6?

Sounds like you are getting this figured out, if you are still having major issues post up some pics.

The clunking could be a number of things. Are you using new rotors? Used rotors could be pre-warped for you, or have a rust-patch on them that needs to scrub off...
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:23 am

rotors are new.
i have 5 out of the 6 top mount bolts on the car. 3 on one side and 2 holding the passenger side off b/c i sheared the threads on one bolt and need a new one.

_________________
1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:39 pm

ok, last update for now.
i took the car through some twists back behind campus where i go all the time. before i would take the turns at an avg speed of 50-55 and it was fun keeping the car in the lane.
now i am taking the same corners are 65+ and the car feels like it could go faster, but i'm scared to without abs to save me in case something happens.
also the car actually accelerates in the turns where before it just kind of bogged down and stayed the same speed.

and something kind of weird happen on my way back from class. i got out of the parking garage and the abs/trac light was off. not sure why, but i'm guessing there is an air bubble somewhere. it came back on at the next stop light. but i was able to manualy turn on/off trac and it was working. then when it came back on the brake pulsated a bit. i may try another brake bleed this sunday.

_________________
1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:04 pm

Quote :
also the car actually accelerates in the turns where before it just kind of bogged down and stayed the same speed.
I notice this as well. Remember in geometry class, a change direction is a form of acceleration. That's why the steering wheel wants to straighten out when you let go. So, using the car's inertia, you have a free form of acceleration in taking a corner. For this reason, you can improve your fuel economy numbers a large amount in taking advantage of this.

Good suspension = improved efficiency

As for the ABS thing, I think you're onto something with the bubble theory. I got a little vacuum pump for $30 that works much better than gravity. You can bleed the entire system in 30 minutes or less.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:47 pm

Mr. Riv, i was doing sum searching on part numbers and found that the '97 left axle has a different part number than the '96 axle. my question is did you run into any problems with this on the left side? are the connectors for the hub the same?

oreilly's p/n for '97 left axle:60-1255
oreilly's p/n for '96 left axle:60-1249
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:24 pm

my 96 axle fit right into the 97 hub. i even later swapped out with new timekin hubs and they fit fine too.
my guess is that the axle is different on the transmission end because of the different transmissions and differentials used.

_________________
1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:05 pm

cool. where do i get the brake lines from? what about the braket hardware, will the bolts from the f-body fit?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:07 am

Everything is ordered that I needed. I'm just going to stick with the 96 struts for now because I can't justify the cost of new springs just yet, and my struts don't need replaced just yet. My shopping list:

L and R knuckles from a 97+ Rivi/Aurora/Seville.
Pads/rotors are just cheap ones for now. Pads include the special metal things you need. Some don't, so watch what you're buying.
97+ hubs/wheel bearings. The "new" knuckles don't have them and I would probably destroy the OEM ones if I tried taking them out.
98-02 F-body calipers.
SS brake lines (already installed).
Outer tie rod ends because for the price of replacing a blown boot you can just replace the whole tie rod.

Oi, this better be worth it. The knuckles and control arms will be getting the same blaaaaaack treatment that the calipers got. Anyone think I should do the ball joints while I'm in there? The plan is to do everything up and then just throw it on as an assembly this weekend or next depending on when parts arrive.

Everything was bought new with the exception of the calipers and knuckles.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:26 am

Its been a long time since i did this mod, but I dont know for certain if the 96 struts will bolt up to the 97+ knuckles. I think the holes and width of the mount point is different.
If it were me doing it, i would order the strut/spring combo kit from rockauto and be done with it.
Also, be careful with the cheapo tie rod ends (deeza and off names) I have used them on 2 occasions and they failed in a short amount of time (2 yrs or less). Id stick with the delco replacements even though they are a bit pricier, i hate doing the work twice.
Another thing you will need are the caliper bolt inserts from McMaster -carr. the fbody write up should have the part # listed.

_________________
1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:45 am

Don't use insert sleaves to mount your calipers - you'll regret it after 5k miles or so. See warnings about this in the f-body brake thread.

Also, aren't lower ball joints included with new control arms?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:16 am

AA wrote:
Don't use insert sleaves to mount your calipers - you'll regret it after 5k miles or so. See warnings about this in the f-body brake thread.

Also, aren't lower ball joints included with new control arms?

I was going to drop the caliper brackets off today or tomorrow to be tapped out, don't worry.

I'm not getting new control arms, just painting the stock ones to clean them up.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:17 am

Lower ball joints are included with new LCA's but if you are not replacing them i wouldnt worry too much about it. Ours seem pretty robust and even at 200k miles when i did one of mine i didnt feel any play in the old one.
As for the sleeves, ive had the original sleeves on mine since the day the fbody's went on, almost 100k miles and a least 4 rotor/pad changes and i havent had a problem with them.
I suppose the "right" way is the way mentioned in the warning thread, but that not to say the sleeves dont work for some either.

_________________
1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:58 am

Mr.Riviera wrote:
Its been a long time since i did this mod, but I dont know for certain if the 96 struts will bolt up to the 97+ knuckles. I think the holes and width of the mount point is different.
If it were me doing it, i would order the strut/spring combo kit from rockauto and be done with it.

I checked the bolt holes from my stock struts to the new ones I have for 97+ and they seemed to line up perfectly. I'll go out and measure again today or tomorrow to be sure though.

People have had issues with the combo kit sitting to high (namely Charlie). That and I wanted to get the STS lowering kit or F41 or FE3 springs.
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