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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Evening,

I have a 1966 Impala, pretty sloppy handling car. What is the best approach to tighten up the handling and ride firmness. Are complete rebuild kits available within a reasonable price.

What are some of the indications of a bad steering box?
 

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Replace it all. Centerlink, idler, tie rods, ball joints, bushings, etc. Stock rebuild will make it feel new. Use quality Moog components, not chinese white box stuff. Adding poly bushings will tighten up further. Add Bilstein shocks for top level damping. Change rag joint, check box for free play and adjust (see manual) or replace with rebuild. Add larger front sway bar, add rear sway bar for great upgrade in cornering competence. Use stock height new springs with higher rate (or .5 or 1" drop) for even better handling and feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all of you for your help and recommendations. Finished up the rebuild with all Moog parts and the composite bushings.

With the new parts the front end of the car is raised considerably I have attached a picture does this look normal?

I compared the springs that came off car they were the same. I realize the smaller tire in the front presents the look to have a lot of space. My concern is the angle up of the front end.
 

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Thanks to all of you for your help and recommendations. Finished up the rebuild with all Moog parts and the composite bushings.

With the new parts the front end of the car is raised considerably I have attached a picture does this look normal?

I compared the springs that came off car they were the same. I realize the smaller tire in the front presents the look to have a lot of space. My concern is the angle up of the front end.
You're definitely riding high in the front. Did you torque all the new steering/suspension components you added with the suspension loaded or were the front tires off the ground?
 
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You also need to index the front springs correctly. The ends need to go in the right place, or the car sits too high. Unless you bought big block/AC springs for a small block car...
 

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It also takes a couple of weeks for a spring to settle if you replaced the springs. Free height (the height of the spring as it comes out of the box, the wire diameter, and the spring rate (heat treatment) will determine the ride height. The spring rate is the "biggie" of the three variables because if you put a BBC with A/C spring on a six cylinder no option car like a Biscayne then it will ride high in front. The spring rate is anticipating a higher curb weight to compress the spring down. So if you increased the spring rate to get a firmer ride it will prbably sit higher unless you chop a coil (change the free height).

Reverse is true if you replace your BBC springs with six cylinder springs. That is something that I did on my Nova and Camaro builds intentionally for drag racing. The Nova with a BBC under the hood and a six cylinder spring would drag the front bumper, but lift the nose to the sky on launch with the wheels dropping to stay on the pavement (easier to steer that way). The taller six cylinder spring would store all the energy it took to compress it and pick up the front end weight and transfer it to the rear tires on launch. Not to great for the street though which is why my race car lived ion a trailer.

Big Dave
 

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You mention the ends need to be in the right, could you describe the ends
The end of the coil spring must be visible through the inspection hole in the frame. Look on top of the frame near the upper control arm. If it's filled with grease or gunk you might have to hunt for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The end of the coil spring must be visible through the inspection hole in the frame. Look on top of the frame near the upper control arm. If it's filled with grease or gunk you might have to hunt for it.
At the risk of sounding stupid could you be a tad more specific at the location of the inspection hole on the frame. Thanks for your input
 

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