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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for recommendations on good front and rear suspension upgrades.
Front: control arms,coil over, disc brakes from drum.
Rear: Drum to disc, coil over or ?
Street and strip.
 

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Welcome to the site..! I believe that car should have a disc/drum package as it is. A disc brake conversion for the rear is not a problem as there are a number of options available for it from factory swaps to all kinds of aftermarket setups. You mention street/strip in your post so I’m going to suggest Global West for their suspension options to make your car more effective on the strip while being streetable. Drag racing requires a weight transfer on the launch so the front suspension needs to lift in order to facilitate that requirement. You can go a couple of different ways with Global West. You can reload your control arms with their Delalum bushings or buy their tubular drag race control arms with the same type of bushings. These bushings are low friction which allows the arms to drop without resistance and are not going to distort as rubber bushings do. 90/10 shocks are probably a good way to go when running a drag race springs like Moroso offers. Global West probably has a drag race spring application as well. I haven’t studied all of their drag specific suspension parts but they have a pretty big selection of suspension offerings that should put you down the strip in the right direction.. You will probably want to run a pretty big rear sway bar to keep the car flat if you keep the leaf springs and adjustable shocks or consider the Caltracks system with their split-mono leafs. This system behaves like a 4 link and is a bolt on setup..
 

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Hello and welcome to the site!

It really depends on your budget and your goals.
I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. I own a 74 Nova and the handling was very poor. I finally decided to rebuild and upgrade my front and rear suspensions. I wanted to keep my ride height stock, but improve overall handling. I did a lot of research on what was available and how to get the “best bang for my buck”. There are popular handling kits that are offered by several vendors (Ridetch, Detroit Speed, etc) but I decided to purchase my suspension components separately. I did reuse my stock front coil springs and stock rear multi-leaf springs.

I started off by replacing all of the body bushings with Energy Suspension’s polyurethane kit. While I was doing the body bushings, I also installed some Competition Engineering “bolt-on” subframe connectors to help remove body flex. Next, I installed Global West tubular upper control arms (with Delrin bushings) for the caster gains. I also removed the original upper ball joints that came with the Global West upper control arms and installed Proforged 1/2" taller upper ball joints to change my front end geometry to negative camber gains (unfortunately, Global West does not sell the upper control arm without ball joints). I reused my stock lower control arms… but I installed Global West Del-a-lums inserts/bushings and new Proforged lower ball joints.

I also installed new Proforged taller tie rod ends to help with bump steer. I installed a CPP 1 1/8” front sway bar and used regular KYB Excel-G gas filled front shocks both front and rear. The other items I upgraded was switching over to a close ratio (12.7:1) power steering box. Good radial tires with a “modern spec” front end alignment will help handling.

If you install aftermarket upper tubular control arms that provide increased caster, I recommend the following front-end alignment specs (taken from Global West website).
Caster: Drivers Side = 5° Positive / Passengers Side = 5 ½° Positive
Camber: Negative ½° both sides
Toe-in: 1/16”- 3/32”
If you keep your stock upper control arms, the most caster you can expect to get is about 2.5°- 3° positive and still maintain a negative .5° camber on both front wheels.
Whatever you do, don’t let any shop set the front-end alignment to stock specs for your year Nova. Stock specs were based on using bias ply tires.

For brakes, I just kept the stock power front disc and rear drums... they work just fine for me. If you are converting from front drums to discs, try to find a "zero offset" upgrade kit that maintains the stock hub location of your front wheels. There are several front drum-to-disc upgrade kits that will push the front wheels out towards the fenders by 1/2"... that may cause clearance issues depending on the offset of your front wheels and size of your front tires.

For the rear suspension, I used my stock multi-leaf springs, but installed a Global West Del-a-lum rear spring shackle kit. I also installed Caltracs to add traction and eliminate wheel hope during aggressive acceleration from a start.

I learned how to proceed with all of these upgrades by reading many forums. Just do your research and take your time. Tackle one project at a time.

While I do not consider myself “Pro Touring”, I think my Nova handles great. There is not one squeak while bouncing the front or rear suspension and the ride is not harsh at all. I am very happy with the results of these upgrades.
 
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