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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had two 3rd gen Novas in the past. One in high school (no money) and one in the Navy (no money). They both had what I call the ghetto parts of 90s era Novas. Shackles and or Air shocks. I now have a 1970 Nova I purchased. I don't want a jacked up 90s Nova. I want t a modern pro touring style Nova Restomod. The body on the car is great, but the powertrain and suspension are not. Luckily, that's the parts I like to do. This is a BBC car. It has noisy crappy air shocks, multi leafs and a 12 bolt rear with drums. I think I want to do a four link in the car. Why? Four links are cool. I like the adjustability of coilovers for dampening and ride height. I would like to have bigger than a 275 tire, and that requires minitubs and a four link. But do I need one? I don't know.

How do they ride compared to the nicest street setup you can get with leafs? Can I get the same comfort as rear coilovers? Do coilovers only buy me more granular ride height controls?

For those of you with four link what drove you to this decision? Which one did you buy and why? If not which "street" setup did you buy instead?

I have a lift in my garage but no welding skills. Paying a shop to install a four link will add considerable cost so I am wondering if I can get the Ridetech or QA1 street setup with front coilovers and rear shocks, fit my 275 tire, and spend my money on EFI and a crate motor. This car is used for street only, but will have 500 hp. Money isn't really the deciding factor. I just try to get best value and do it right the first time. My plan is to do the supporting pieces and do motor and or trans last.

Also, is there a kit for converting rear drums to discs? I have rear drums and PDB for front. I want to upgrade front and rear, but am not quite sure what I need to buy for the rear.

Thanks for reading my first post.
 

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If I were you I would take the money it would cost me to have a shop install the 4 link to buy a good welder. Welding is not that hard and there are a ton of videos to teach you how online if you don't know anyone who welds that can teach you. This way you will have a nice piece of equipment and a new skill for the cost of having someone else do it for you. I'm sure people will give you reasons to either do it or not do it and I have driven many vehicles with either suspensions and they all ride well if set up properly. As far as disc brake kits there are many for converting the rear brakes from like $225 for a super basic kit from right stuff https://www.jegs.com/i/Right-Stuff/965/AFXRD01/10002/-1 on up to higher end kits from wilwood or other companies.

Miles
 

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Serious southern boy living in Jax Fl.
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It will be very hard to have a balanced pro touring car with a big block. If you are insisting on a tire wider than 275 then yes a different rear suspension may be necessary. Leafs properly set up will perform quite well. Had I been willing to keep the 245 series tires I would have stayed with my leaf spring suspension as it provides a significantly softer ride while also providing good cornering.
 

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I’d stay with the rear leafs and add a sway bar out back and either an adjustable or tuneable shock. The front end will also benefit from a larger sway bar and tubular uppers, along with corrected geometry.

You’re going to give up some smoothness for handling though, even my CTS Caddy wasn’t an overly plush ride, but it cornered really well. You would also benefit from a set of aluminum heads to reduce some nose weight and greatly improve handling.

I had air shocks and shackle extenders when I bought my car, so I left them on the first year it was on the road, but absolutely hated them. I replaced my rear leafs with a new set of OE aftermarket one and added a set of tuneable QA1’s. The ride quality is so much better since doing so. I have my car set up for straight line, so the front skinnies and the BB don’t do anything to improve its cornering lol.
 

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It really depends on what kind of performance expectations you have and how youn plan to use the car. Leaf springs can do a pretty decent job if setup properly but they have their limitations.. Big blocks can create a lot of torque and depending on how potent an engine you have those limits might be marginal.. If you are going to launch a car down a drag strip a leaf spring will wrap up if not aided by a traction device. The next level would be to go to a four link setup which is more suited to straight line racing applications.. That said, four links are not really great at articulation and a car that is going to be called upon to handle well and take corners in stride might not be as competent as some other suspensions.. I’ve personally become more inclined to lean towards torque arm rear suspensions.. They articulate well, eliminate wheel hop, and package well which means you shouldn’t have to carve up your trunk and rear passenger seat area to make it fit. There are aftermarket kits available for your car.

So you described the car as a Protouring type of build and that can be interpreted in a number of ways but the way you see your car is the only interpretation that matters here..

This is a factory 3rd/4th gen Camaro/Firebird torque arm rear suspension set up. This happens to be from a ‘95 Z28 but it is only to give you an idea of what the setup looks like..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. This is only a street car, but I think tire width alone may make this decision for me.

I may just give Ridetech a call tomorrow. i love that the StreetGRIP is all bolt on, but will limit tire size and I really want to have some good meat for the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It really depends on what kind of performance expectations you have and how youn plan to use the car. Leaf springs can do a pretty decent job if setup properly but they have their limitations.. Big blocks can create a lot of torque and depending on how potent an engine you have those limits might be marginal.. If you are going to launch a car down a drag strip a leaf spring will wrap up if not aided by a traction device. The next level would be to go to a four link setup which is more suited to straight line racing applications.. That said, four links are not really great at articulation and a car that is going to be called upon to handle well and take corners in stride might not be as competent as some other suspensions.. I’ve personally become more inclined to lean towards torque arm rear suspensions.. They articulate well, eliminate wheel hop, and package well which means you shouldn’t have to carve up your trunk and rear passenger seat area to make it fit. There are aftermarket kits available for your car.

So you described the car as a Protouring type of build and that can be interpreted in a number of ways but the way you see your car is the only interpretation that matters here..

This is a factory 3rd/4th gen Camaro/Firebird torque arm rear suspension set up. This happens to be from a ‘95 Z28 but it is only to give you an idea of what the setup looks like..
Any experience at all with BMR Suspension? Just found them in an old thread. I had never heard of them before but it looks like their torque arm is completely bolt on. Looks impressive. Anyone know anyone on the forum that has their kit? I love the look of Speedtechs TA but 5k just for the rear is really more than I want to spend.
 

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Any experience at all with BMR Suspension? Just found them in an old thread. I had never heard of them before but it looks like their torque arm is completely bolt on. Looks impressive. Anyone know anyone on the forum that has their kit? I love the look of Speedtechs TA but 5k just for the rear is really more than I want to spend.
I am familiar with BMR but have no first hand experience with their stuff. They cater more to the F body platform but 3rd gen Nova’s share many components and are largely similar to the F bodies. You can look into the Torque arm type suspensions that are available from TCI and Chassis Works. I too like the Speedtech system but not so enthused about the cost..
 

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Hell u don't "need" your Nova....lol
I'd keep it leafs...everyone has different tastes, likes etc...
I'd rather have weathered patina'd exterior...mint nice interior... factory appearance outside...and run 9's....
Thats just me though and what I've grown to like/want...
Cuz it's more possible within my skillset and Nova I currently have...
To me fat ass wide tires/four link...u better be backing it and running faster than 9's..otherwise I see it as a waste...well cuz cars are running that fast...and not tubbed etc...
So now you've got me wanting to Google fast novas with big blocks and their suspension setups...thanks lol
 

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Leaf springs can be made to work well, both handling and straight line. They are lightweight and easy to tune with the right shock and a simple traction bar. If I was starting from scratch that is what I would do. My car had the TCI 4 link set up in it when I bought it. I certainly would not have spent $1700 for this set up, but now that I have it, I have to admit it works very well.
 
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