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

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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:14 pm

Just out of curiosity, say the new knuckle doesn't fit and the hole is off by about an inch. Would it be safe to just drill out the strut to make it work or would this cause alignment issues due to the added room that I would create (as in the camber bolts slipping up or down)?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:13 pm

Elongating one of the strut holes a little in the horizontal direction will help with camber alignment.
Im not sure what it would hurt in the vertical direction other than potentially changing the ride height a little. If the bolts are tight after the alignment and one of them is seated in the knuckle, i would drive with it like that.

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:05 pm

There isn't enough room to move the holes vertically on the strut. They're too close together. Even if you could, the metal would be too thin to support the car.

I elongated just the upper holes of my struts to get -.8* camber on both front wheels. Stock max camber is -.7*.
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:09 pm

Abaddon wrote:
I elongated just the upper holes of my struts to get -.8* camber on both front wheels. Stock max camber is -.7*.

That's exactly what I'm talking about. Not changing the position of BOTH holes, but just elongating the upper holes to adjust for the new knuckle if necessary.
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:20 pm

That's fine, but you certainly aren't going to move it an inch. I only had to remove about an 1/8" of material, and that was even too much as far as wheel camber goes. I ended up with -2.0* on one wheel. Adjusting that was fun on the alignment rack.....
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:38 pm

But you had that "camber, yo"
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:05 am

So matt how did this turn out for you? Were you able to use your 96 struts? Did you have to modify them in any way?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:36 am

69GSColorado wrote:
So matt how did this turn out for you? Were you able to use your 96 struts? Did you have to modify them in any way?


I posted somewhere that I couldn't get the axle out of the hub because they were rusted together. I'm just going to wait until I have everything for the new struts and throw it all at a shop because they can superheat the hub and knock the axle out. My only other option right now is to get new axles and remove the old ones from the transmission side. Even if I could get them off I would rather pay a shop to just mess with the existing ones.

As far as everything bolting up it looks good to me. I could even reuse the 96 hub bolts on the 97 style hub even though the design is slightly different.
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:25 am

Question: After calling around I got a quote of $400 installed for everything (price may be slightly negotiable). Is this a good price?
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PostSubject: 911 EMERGENCY   Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:08 pm

I know that this should go in the 96 brake upgrade thread, but I figured this title will get more attention for the time being. I ask the mods to please leave it as this until my issue is resolved and then move it to the appropriate thread. Thanks.


I got my axles separated from the hubs. YAY

The newer style hubs fit the old axle and ABS plug. YAY

The new knuckle has a different hole pattern than the existing one for the camber bolts. NOT YAY.

I have the newer style struts and the spring might be able to go on them. I'm in the process of disassembling the old strut to see if that's the case.

Here are some pictures. I might be able to elongate the upper hole upwards and the lower hole downwards. The upper one should still have some material all the way around the hole, but the lower one may not.



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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:32 pm

Here are the differences in the struts. I don't see any issues but I'm not a strut expert. The bottom rubber thing is a full circle so it would need cut for the new strut.







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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:55 pm

Old spring is on new strut. It has a ton of wiggle room. I think I may have to hit the junkyard in the morning...........
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:27 pm

Update/action plan.

Junkyard tomorrow to get springs (maybe even whole struts even though I have new ones)

Hardware store to get some bolts that I need tomorrow

Tie rod ends, steering knuckles, hubs are all on tonight. Caliper brackets will be tapped out tonight hopefully.

Can anyone tell me the correct way to assemble the strut top mounts? I might reuse my old ones if I can since the holes are different for the new ones.
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:55 pm

Alright I figured it out. Mods you can move this back to the appropriate thread.

The spring settled down quite nicely on the strut once I took the compressors off. I'm not concerned about it anymore. Looks like this project will get done tomorrow morning as planned.

Robo - If you see this thanks for making me buy the camber bolts. They're freakin' sweet.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:52 am

you gonna try n cut a coil or a coil and half off the spring and see if you can lower it a little? bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:54 am

charlieRobinson wrote:
you gonna try n cut a coil or a coil and half off the spring and see if you can lower it a little? bounce





Nope. I scrape enough as is. Half the driveways around here are like 45* (including ours)

On a brighter note I'm almost done happy

Drivers side is put back together. Brakes assembled, lubed, cleaned, ready to bleed.

To Do:

Disassemble passenger strut, transfer stuff over to new strut, install back on car.

Get passenger side hub/knuckle attached to the strut with camber bolts.

Tighten strut top mounting bolts .

Assemble passenger side brakes.

Bleed brakes/check functionality of used calipers.

Tie rod ends.

Wheels back on, torque axle nuts.

DIY alignment.

Get new tires mounted/balanced.

Autocross.

smoke


WHAT WILL TRANSFER OVER FROM 96:

Strut top mounts/boots/springs.

Hubs.

Tie rod ends (I'm replacing mine anyways).

Axles.

Ball Joints.

WHAT WON'T TRANSFER OVER FROM 96:

Struts.

Knuckles (obviously)

Calipers/rotors/pads (hurdurrr) gavel
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:11 am

Nice work on the modding! Enjoy! smoke
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:15 am

charlieRobinson wrote:
Nice work on the modding! Enjoy! smoke

If this doesn't tickle my pickle I might go mental.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:42 am

matt270avian wrote:



WHAT WILL TRANSFER OVER FROM 96:

Strut top mounts/boots/springs. I dont think this will work with the 97+ struts either. The top mounts for the 96's are a completly different design and i believe the only ones that will work with the new strut rod and not hit the hood are the moog complete kits with the metal washers.


Hubs.

Tie rod ends (I'm replacing mine anyways).

Axles.

Ball Joints.

WHAT WON'T TRANSFER OVER FROM 96:

Struts.

Knuckles (obviously)

Calipers/rotors/pads (hurdurrr) gavel

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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   Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:00 am

[quote="matt270avian"]I know that this should go in the 96 brake upgrade thread, but I figured this title will get more attention for the time being. I ask the mods to please leave it as this until my issue is resolved and then move it to the appropriate thread. Thanks.


I got my axles separated from the hubs. YAY

The newer style hubs fit the old axle and ABS plug. YAY

The new knuckle has a different hole pattern than the existing one for the camber bolts. NOT YAY.

I have the newer style struts and the spring might be able to go on them. I'm in the process of disassembling the old strut to see if that's the case.

Here are some pictures [DELETED]. I might be able to elongate the upper hole upwards and the lower hole downwards. The upper one should still have some material all the way around the hole, but the lower one may not. [\quote]

Wish I'd read this earlier.

For those knuckles, it would be a little fiddly but I would weld steel plate onto the strut's mounting flanges, and not modify the knuckle at all. Then I'd drill/grind holes in those flanges as needed. I would consider making the hole a little oblong in the appropriate direction in order to allow a little adjustment, maybe 1/8" or so. Not sure if the oldstyle strut would work with all the other changes.

Albertj

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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:54 am

albertj wrote:
For those knuckles, it would be a little fiddly but I would weld steel plate onto the strut's mounting flanges, and not modify the knuckle at all. Then I'd drill/grind holes in those flanges as needed. I would consider making the hole a little oblong in the appropriate direction in order to allow a little adjustment, maybe 1/8" or so. Not sure if the oldstyle strut would work with all the other changes.

I made the new struts work. Even though I have access to a welder I'm not to sure about welding ears onto the old ones.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:34 pm

Welp, after 6 flesh wounds and multiple bruises I did it. I'm now the 4th(?) person to convert to a 98 style front end. Springs and struts work beautifully. Old struts wouldn't go back up after being compressed. Front end feels nice and tight for the 2 minutes that I got to drive.

Unfortunately, I need to rebleed the brakes. I ran out of fluid otherwise I would have it done by now. The pedal goes to the floor and the car keeps going. Not good. They initially worked when pulling out of my driveway but then the pedal gave way. Fluid level did not change from when I left and got back so there's probably just a bunch of air in the line.

The car is also a little creaky when turning but I blame reusing the strut top mounts and tie rod ends.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:10 pm

matt270avian wrote:

albertj wrote:
For those knuckles, it would be a little fiddly but I would weld steel plate onto the strut's mounting flanges, and not modify the knuckle at all. Then I'd drill/grind holes in those flanges as needed. I would consider making the hole a little oblong in the appropriate direction in order to allow a little adjustment, maybe 1/8" or so. Not sure if the oldstyle strut would work with all the other changes.


I made the new struts work. Even though I have access to a welder I'm not to sure about welding ears onto the old ones.

Yep this is one of those things that is easier to show than to tell. Basically grind the paint off the outsides of the flanges, weld on flats, grind to shape, drill/grind desired holes. The old flanges would stay in place, they'd have 2 layers when done and would be stiffer than stock although I doubt it'd be noticeable.

Good job on the conversion and nice pictures.

Albert
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:30 pm

Rebled the brakes and fixed the calipers (I had them on the wrong sides). After that they worked AMAZINGLY. Honestly, how have you '97+ people not done this yet? You have it so much easier than us 95-96 guys. Granted you all stay with the same size rotor but still.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: 1996 to 1998 Front Suspension Swap w/F-Body Brakes   Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:29 pm

Your bleeders were pointed down? Hard to get the air out, right?

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