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    How do I make my B-body handle better?

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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:03 am

    "Borrowed" from somewhere on the web.


    How do I make my B-body handle better?


    First off let me say that this is directed primarily at the 77-90 cars, those without the F41 or 9c1 suspensions and is directed at the budget minded owner. This is not the ultimate handling setup for a B-body, it's how to make it much better for very little money.

    Change your front sway bar
    Most 77-90 B-bodies, that don't have the F41 suspension package, have hollow front sway bars. You can determine this by looking at the ends of the sway bar. Near the holes for the end links, on the bottom side of the sway bar, you will see a drain hole. There should be one on each side. These bars are nothing more than hollow pipe and they will rust from the inside out and break. Change that out for a 9C1 sway bar, GM P/N 457923 using the stock end links and bushing will net a big improvement in handling and a considerable drop in body roll during cornering.

    Want even better handling?
    A 2nd generation F-car('70-'81) WS6 front sway bar, GM P/N 356534. This part is no longer available new from GM. But thousands are out there in junkyards, go get dirty for once.
    Combine this with the '95-'96 1LE sway bar end links, GM P/N 10221779. You'll need two(2). And also the 4th gen. ('93-present) F-car sway bar bushing, GM P/N 10288551. You'll need two(2).

    More? You want more?? Replace your Bumpstops. Add the 2nd design S-10 ZQ8 micro-cellular progressive jounce bumper, or the foamy bumpstop GM P/N 15956547. You'll need one for each side.
    Add a rear sway bar - The sway bar mentioned below applies only to sedans. This swaybar will NOT fit wagons.
    Quite a few, perhaps most, 1977-1990 Bodies came without a rear sway bar. In this case you will need to change the rear lower control arms to be able to add the rear sway bar. The cheapest way to do this that I've found is the 9C1 Lower Control Arm Kit GM P/N 10289786. The Lower Control Arm kit is an upgraded pair of LCAs and the necessary mounting hardware from a technical service bulletin(PRODUCT SAFETY CAMPAIGN 96-C-18) for 91-96 9C1 and 9C6 equipped Caprices. These will also fit all 77-90 model b-bodies. If your car is not equipped with a factory rear sway bar, these or an aftermarket set of LCAs will be required to install a rear sway bar.

    The kit includes:
    2 Lower Control Arms
    4 LCA Attaching Bolts
    4 LCA Attaching Nuts
    4 Stabilizer Bar Attaching Bolts
    4 Stabilizer Bar Attaching Nuts
    4 Stabilizer Bar Washers
    4 Stabilizer Bar Brackets
    4 Stabilizer Bar Adapters

    The best bang for the money rear sway bar would be the 9C1 rear sway bar. It is still availble thru GM P/N 10207649.
    A great improvement over this would be the HO rear sway bar for the 1994-1996 ImpalaSS.
    Check with Summit Racing or Jegs for these.
    For you wagon owners get in touch with Bruce Allison at Malibu Performance. e-mail malibruce@earthlink.net (818) 222-6725. He should be able to set you up with an HO rear sway bar for the b-body wagon.

    For swaybars, also check with Year One. They offer Addco bars(front and rear) for sedans AND wagons.

    Add the Buick Frame Brace
    The Buick Frame Brace, GM P/N 10225142, from TSB #921046. This will help on two fronts. One - it reduces exhaust noise or "droan" by stiffening the frame. And two - Guess what else stiffening the frame does....Makes the car handle better! This is literally the cheapest and easiest handling modification that you can do. Want the same benefits of this and be able to tow something??? Installing a hitch will have the same effects. Once again the Buick Frame Brace will fit only sedans and will not fit on wagons.

    Add Airlift 1000 air bags
    The Airlift1000 air bags will do a couple of things. First, they will give you added load hauling capabilities. Second, they will give you the ability to adjust the preload on the suspension to aid the off the line traction for accleration. I recommend installing them with seperate air lines for each bag rather than using the "T" fitting included in the kit. You can drill two holes behind the license plate braket to mount the air valves. That way they are both hidden and you have easy access to them.

    Change your shock absorbers
    Even if you don't have a 9C1(Police Package) B-body, I recommend getting a set of shocks for a 9C1 in your favorite brand. I used the cheapest ones I could find, Gabriel Red Ryders, on my 1986 Caprice. This modification turned the mushy, couch driving ride into a more responsive, firmer ride.

    Change Your Springs
    Now if you want to do this on the cheap, I usually do. Get a set of used 1994-1996 ImpalaSS springs. They will lower the car an inch or so overall. If you have more $$$, get a set of lowering springs made for the 1994-1996 ImpalaSS. These will lower the car even more. Your ride will suffer though.




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    Post  GM B-Body Forum Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:29 pm

    yeah this is from b-body.org, moved to "upgrades" also
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:52 pm

    GM B-Body Forum wrote:yeah this is from b-body.org, moved to "upgrades" also

    Actually, no. It might be there too, but I got it from another site. Smile
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    Post  solo79 Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:09 pm

    There's another way.lol Certainly not what most would do but it's interesting to me. My first 79 Caprice had major body roll around turns when it was factory suspension even after new shocks, springs, bushings, end-link kit etc. After installing hydraulics a couple of years later with 2 ton coils in the front, 1.5 ton coils in the rear, making custom swivel shock mounts to keep rear shocks and removing the front sway bar completely, it handled like it was on rails with zero body roll at any ride height. Why? I don't know, but it handled 80% better and rode well with very little bounce.
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    Post  GM B-Body Forum Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:00 pm

    Sweet Seventy9 wrote:Actually, no. It might be there too, but I got it from another site.
    Haha well its on at least three sites now lol
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    Post  JusSko77 Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:32 am

    Anyone know of what cars we can use tubular upper and lower control arms from?
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    Post  Myloth Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:26 pm

    http://www.streettrendsinc.com

    This place has lot of stuff for B bodies.

    The later B body arms works the arms they are all pretty much

    the same arms you may have to play with shims and get it aligned that's about it.

    If you read forums many say they have used the 70-81 Camaro arms upper and lower

    to replace stock arms on B bodies. Even the brakes are the same parts, that's GM for you.

    A lot of parts manufacturers and retailers don't know or bother to find this out.
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:42 pm

    JusSko77 wrote:Anyone know of what cars we can use tubular upper and lower control arms from?

    2nd Gen F body are exactly the same. Some aftermarket companies make ones specific to B bodys and charge more but the specs are identical.
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    Post  JusSko77 Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:08 pm

    You two have not only made my day better, namely cause down with the sickness.
    But, you have given me more hope than the entire 8 years of the Obama administration.
    Thanks for throwing me into a direction and reminding me to get off my lazy ass and start cross referencing things.
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:48 pm

    Glad to help.
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    Post  terry cronk Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:22 am

    And where does this go?  Is it across the back of the rear bumper as if having a hitch?

    That's added weight at the rear.

    What about behind the crossmember? There's a lot of open frame there. And its at least 18-20 inches (est.) long.

    That seems to be a weak point at best. Any answers to that?

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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:10 pm

    terry cronk wrote:And where does this go?  Is it across the back of the rear bumper as if having a hitch?

    That's added weight at the rear.

    What about behind the crossmember?   There's a lot of open frame there.  And its at least 18-20 inches (est.) long.

    That seems to be a weak point at best.   Any answers to that?

     


    Huh? What are you talking about?
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    Post  Gooched78Caprice Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:43 pm

    terry cronk wrote:And where does this go?  Is it across the back of the rear bumper as if having a hitch?

    That's added weight at the rear.

    What about behind the crossmember?   There's a lot of open frame there.  And its at least 18-20 inches (est.) long.

    That seems to be a weak point at best.   Any answers to that?

     


    I'll give this a shot!

    And where does this go?  Next to that, right over there.

    Is it across the back of the rear bumper as if having a hitch?  Nope, but getting warmer.

    That's added weight at the rear.  What's wrong with a little junk in the trunk.

    What about behind the crossmember?   What ever you're into, Im not here to judge.

    There's a lot of open frame there.  Yup 

    And its at least 18-20 inches (est.) long.   No need to brag

    That seems to be a weak point at best.   That depends on who's view you're coming from.


    Any answers to that?

    Am I anywhere close Terry? Even with my limited mechanical abilities I feel like I did a damn good job answering these ones. Normally I'd leave the hard questions to those more in the know. lol!
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    Post  terry cronk Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:19 pm

    You probably should leave the technical answers to someone who knows.

    Try not being a wise cracker to a question posted.  

    I did order the part only to have it not available.

    My question was about the Buick Frame stiffener.

    GM P/N 10225142, from TSB #921046 (where is this place)


    PS; Technical Service Bulletin -- OK!
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    Post  Gooched78Caprice Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:36 pm

    Who you calling a Cracker?

    I am sure most of us who read the question knew exactly what you were speaking in regards to. Even with my limited technical abilities I knew you were referncing the Buick brace mod.

    The responses you receive are normally based on a way you form a question. Questions from out of left field... will tend to get answers from a similar location.

    Now on to answer your questions. A quick search shows that there's a great pic right at the bottom of this Buick Frame Brace thread that SS9 posted.

    https://www.gmbbodyforum.com/t21-buick-frame-brace?highlight=buick+brace
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:43 pm

    Gooched78Caprice wrote:
    terry cronk wrote:And where does this go?  Is it across the back of the rear bumper as if having a hitch?

    That's added weight at the rear.

    What about behind the crossmember?   There's a lot of open frame there.  And its at least 18-20 inches (est.) long.

    That seems to be a weak point at best.   Any answers to that?

     


    I'll give this a shot!

    And where does this go?  Next to that, right over there.

    Is it across the back of the rear bumper as if having a hitch?  Nope, but getting warmer.

    That's added weight at the rear.  What's wrong with a little junk in the trunk.

    What about behind the crossmember?   What ever you're into, Im not here to judge.

    There's a lot of open frame there.  Yup 

    And its at least 18-20 inches (est.) long.   No need to brag

    That seems to be a weak point at best.   That depends on who's view you're coming from.


    Any answers to that?

    Am I anywhere close Terry? Even with my limited mechanical abilities I feel like I did a damn good job answering these ones. Normally I'd leave the hard questions to those more in the know. lol!

    LMAO !!!!!!!


    I'm still laughing!!


    Dude, that killed me!
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    Post  Sweet Seventy9 Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:48 pm

    terry cronk wrote:You probably should leave the technical answers to someone who knows.

    Try not being a wise cracker to a question posted.  


    C'mon Bro, relax.  He was only kidding.

    BTW, you can make a frame brace for like $1.75. I did.
    Cut a piece of tubing to the proper length. Compress the ends in a bench vice. Drill 4 holes. Mount. Done. Very Happy
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    Post  terry cronk Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:48 pm

    Thank you Sweet Sevent9. I think I can easily make one of those. Thanks again.

    For the "WISE CRACKER", there wasn't a picture posted initially. But thanks anyway.

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    Post  Gooched78Caprice Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:35 am

    No prob and always glad to help TC. I'll remember that you take yourself more seriously on here when I see your post.
    Don't forget the search engine on this site works very well. It can be found in the upper left corner of the web page and has helped  me save hours of time and frustration with all the info you can find on here.
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    Post  JusSko77 Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:46 pm

    terry cronk wrote:You probably should leave the technical answers to someone who knows.

    Try not being a wise cracker to a question posted.  

    I did order the part only to have it not available.

    My question was about the Buick Frame stiffener.

    GM P/N 10225142, from TSB #921046 (where is this place)


    PS; Technical Service Bulletin -- OK!

    How do I make my B-body handle better? 050d9ad2b86bc19795216a269ea819af2691e3-wm
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    Post  383Falcon Wed May 20, 2020 7:44 pm

    This info is still pure gold, thanks again!!
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? Empty WS6 Sway Bar on 1979 LeSabre

    Post  rkjjeep Thu Jul 06, 2023 10:31 am

    I am working on making my 1979 LeSabre more enjoyable to drive.  It's only a 301 but the biggest issue with the car was body roll.  I read the earlier post in this thread about the WS6 1 1/4 bar so I ordered one used from Frank's Pontiac Parts.  I removed the original 1" solid bar and set it on top of this one.  Looked good ( I should have measured).  When I Installed the bar with new 1.5" bushings and frame brackets both new end links wind up tilted at the top toward the front of the car.  I took the bar off and made some careful measurements - this bar is about 1" shorter front to back than the stock bar.  It seems perfectly symetrical with no signs of damage.  I put it back on - both end links are tilted toward the front of the car.
    The 1.25" bar DID improve the handling significantly.  You can actually hustle this thing into, thru and out of turns and it is fun to drive.
    I am hooked now so I'll be on the lookout for a bar made for the B body - bus based on my experience with this the 2nd gen F Body bar is not a perfect fit.

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    Post  rkjjeep Thu Jul 06, 2023 8:11 pm

    rkjjeep wrote:I am working on making my 1979 LeSabre more enjoyable to drive.  It's only a 301 but the biggest issue with the car was body roll.  I read the earlier post in this thread about the WS6 1 1/4 bar so I ordered one used from Frank's Pontiac Parts.  I removed the original 1" solid bar and set it on top of this one.  Looked good ( I should have measured).  When I Installed the bar with new 1.5" bushings and frame brackets both new end links wind up tilted at the top toward the front of the car.  I took the bar off and made some careful measurements - this bar is about 1" shorter front to back than the stock bar.  It seems perfectly symetrical with no signs of damage.  I put it back on - both end links are tilted toward the front of the car.
    The 1.25" bar DID improve the handling significantly.  You can actually hustle this thing into, thru and out of turns and it is fun to drive.
    I am hooked now so I'll be on the lookout for a bar made for the B body - bus based on my experience with this the 2nd gen F Body bar is not a perfect fit.

    Drove it and enjoyed it today and crawled under still puzzling about the WS6 bar.  Noticed after a close look that the eyelet end of the bar is not parallel to the lower control arm but rather it points down toward the ground a bit.  Looks like I need links with sleeves about an inch or so longer to get things parallel.  The links I used were the one's suggested in the "how to make your B body handle better" post.

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    How do I make my B-body handle better? Empty sway bars

    Post  blacknred79 Fri Jul 07, 2023 1:54 am

    rkjjeep wrote:
    rkjjeep wrote:I am working on making my 1979 LeSabre more enjoyable to drive.  It's only a 301 but the biggest issue with the car was body roll.  I read the earlier post in this thread about the WS6 1 1/4 bar so I ordered one used from Frank's Pontiac Parts.  I removed the original 1" solid bar and set it on top of this one.  Looked good ( I should have measured).  When I Installed the bar with new 1.5" bushings and frame brackets both new end links wind up tilted at the top toward the front of the car.  I took the bar off and made some careful measurements - this bar is about 1" shorter front to back than the stock bar.  It seems perfectly symetrical with no signs of damage.  I put it back on - both end links are tilted toward the front of the car.
    The 1.25" bar DID improve the handling significantly.  You can actually hustle this thing into, thru and out of turns and it is fun to drive.
    I am hooked now so I'll be on the lookout for a bar made for the B body - bus based on my experience with this the 2nd gen F Body bar is not a perfect fit.

    Drove it and enjoyed it today and crawled under still puzzling about the WS6 bar.  Noticed after a close look that the eyelet end of the bar is not parallel to the lower control arm but rather it points down toward the ground a bit.  Looks like I need links with sleeves about an inch or so longer to get things parallel.  The links I used were the one's suggested in the "how to make your B body handle better" post.

    I'll be watching for updates! My car has an aftermarket sway bar on the front that looks oversized. I don't recall what size it is. It appears to actually be rubbing in one or two places and a previous owner even stuffed a piece of hard rubber between the top side of the sway bar and the frame. I've always felt this car did not ride anywhere near as 'soft' as it should. I have swapped out every last steering and suspension part front to back (all new shocks, springs, control arms, bushings, ball joints, etc.) and was surprised to find that there was no real noticeable difference in how the car went down the road. It still felt too 'rough'. The best way to explain it is to compare it having the tires over-inflated by 10 lbs. It handles o.k. in the corners with very little body roll. I even yanked the rear aftermarket sway bar off the car and it changed nothing! The only part I have not changed or removed is the front sway bar.

    How do I make my B-body handle better? DSC04649-vi
    How do I make my B-body handle better? DSC04648-vi
    How do I make my B-body handle better? DSC04399-vi
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    rkjjeep
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    How do I make my B-body handle better? Empty hard ride?

    Post  rkjjeep Fri Jul 07, 2023 7:57 am

    what you describe doesn't sound like it's caused by the bar.  If the rubber in the links and frame mount bushings is OK that is - and those links look new.  You say you have swapped control arms and bushings etc - did you go with OEM style bushings or something else?  The big bar I put on the buick did not add any hardness or harshness. All that said - can't hurt to remove the bar and see if the hardness gets better.

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