Changes that improved ride and handling
One of the first changes was to replace stock Caprice springs with SS springs. The SS springs are a couple of inches shorter.
I'll never forget the feeling when those new Impala rims showed up. Even though I wasn't able to get tires for a few weeks, I had to see how those rims looked
Finally the tires arrived. As a highway cruiser I was more interested in comfort and traction on wet roads. Michelin MXV4 filled my needs. I went with 235/55/17 as the are the same height as the stock Impala tire to fill the wheel wells but slightly narrower and higher profile to give a smooth ride and none of the front end hunting so often found with the stock size tires.
Although I have run Hotchkis sway bars for years, I am going in a new direction and am going for the smooth factory ride. Now I'm running Factory SS front and rear swaybars.
In back I've upgraded to Rustic Racing upper and lower arms. These are made for Rustic by Currie, who is a leader in performance control arms for cars and trucks. Being fully adjustable I was able to lengthen them 1/2 inch to center the rear wheels in the wheel wells without putting undue strain on other suspension parts
When using extended trailing arms the pinion snubber needs to be off set. Energy Suspenion part number 9.9150G works perfectly to prevent the snubber from hitting the driveshaft yoke
AC Delco shocks give me the ride I want
Dennys driveshaft is precision balanced and made from 6061 alluminum. I had it extended 1/2 inch to compensate for extending the rear control arms
When using adjustable rear trailing arms you must check and set the pinion angle. A digital meter like this makes the job fast and accurate
GM left out 2 front body bushings on all the 94-96 Impala's and Caprices except for the 9C1 police cars. While adding the missing bushings I replaced them all with the firmer and better fitting rubber bushing from GM. The cost was low and the job easy and corrected much of the front end movement found in these cars
My car came with a 2.93 axel ratio. I went with 3.42 gear, then 3.73. I tested performance and economy of all in real world testing and have settled with the 3.42 for my style of driving. The car felt best with the 3.73 around town but 1/4 mile times were no better than with the 3.42. The deciding factor was gas mileage. The 3.73 ate much more gas than the 3.42. Valvoline GL 80/90 with GM additive is my choice of gear oil
If you have ever noticed a clunking coming from the steering column it may be a bad bushing at the lower end of the column. This is a very common problem and is inexspensive and very easy to fix.
Felpro differential gasket has better degign for lubricating side bearings than the origional gasket.
Chevy used one anti vibration damper on only one side of the exhaust. Cadilacs used them on both sides of the exhaust to reduce exhaust system vibration. I added the missing one to keep it quiet inside and still hear the mufflers