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Pontiac of the Month

Shakercars's 1972 Trans Am

2019 August
of the Month

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Stewy

Renovatio

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Wow! Quite a bit of work you’ve done to it. Looks great! I especially love that trunk lid. 

Some good “go” mods as well 👍

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Very nice ride, awesome mods.  Any chance of making the last all Pontiac show show of the year at Sellers??? Sept 22,   38000 Grand River Ave in Farmington. 48335.   Sounds like your close enough to Frosty that you could hook up and drive together.  We try N save parking for our lil group.  

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Nice adds! Look good! Did you do anything with the sway bar links or sway bar bushings? Any work to the front lower Aarm? Struts?

Just wondered? 

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@Last Indian

Hey Gary. Right now I still have, in both front and rear, the OEM sway bar links. I've been itching to swap them out for ones that are serviceable (i.e. have the zerk fittings on them) but I haven't been able to justify the cost at this point (albeit RockAuto has the zerk fitting equipped ones for a reasonable price but since the OEM ones are still good... 😕).

The same goes for the sway bar bushings. One of the things (along with a few others) on the to-do list is to replace them with polyurethane bushings. I know there are dividing thoughts on the poly bushings but in my experience I'm a poly fan. I'm currently running polys in the upper engine to core support dog bones and have been pleased with the feedback in the steering wheel. Another item on the to-do list is to replace the trans and block mounts over to polys. My research shows in that case, however, the feedback in the wheel may be too much for my taste so we'll see.

Oddly enough (at least I think I'm odd :)), regarding the MacPhersons, I have factory's at all four corners. When the time comes, to be completely honest, I'm planning on putting OEM shocks (possibly new coils, too) back in. In my '99 Grand Prix I was running KYB GR-2's and while I didn't have any complaints per-say, I feel the OEM setup in my '05 provides a better ride and handing response (but, again, that's just me and I'm "different" :) ).

 

@JUSTA6

Hey Steve. Thanks for the invite - it's appreciated! Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend 😞. That's the day the family is getting together to celebrate my daughter's birthday 🎂. Maybe next year... ?

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19 hours ago, Stewy said:

@Last Indian

Hey Gary. Right now I still have, in both front and rear, the OEM sway bar links. I've been itching to swap them out for ones that are serviceable (i.e. have the zerk fittings on them) but I haven't been able to justify the cost at this point (albeit RockAuto has the zerk fitting equipped ones for a reasonable price but since the OEM ones are still good... 😕).

The same goes for the sway bar bushings. One of the things (along with a few others) on the to-do list is to replace them with polyurethane bushings. I know there are dividing thoughts on the poly bushings but in my experience I'm a poly fan. I'm currently running polys in the upper engine to core support dog bones and have been pleased with the feedback in the steering wheel. Another item on the to-do list is to replace the trans and block mounts over to polys. My research shows in that case, however, the feedback in the wheel may be too much for my taste so we'll see.

Oddly enough (at least I think I'm odd :)), regarding the MacPhersons, I have factory's at all four corners. When the time comes, to be completely honest, I'm planning on putting OEM shocks (possibly new coils, too) back in. In my '99 Grand Prix I was running KYB GR-2's and while I didn't have any complaints per-say, I feel the OEM setup in my '05 provides a better ride and handing response (but, again, that's just me and I'm "different" :) ).

 

@JUSTA6

Hey Steve. Thanks for the invite - it's appreciated! Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend 😞. That's the day the family is getting together to celebrate my daughter's birthday 🎂. Maybe next year... ?

Just as a informational source, sway bars, as you know make a huge difference in handling, but the real weak link in the 6th & 7th generation GP’s were the links! Without the right configuration for the front end links, there is only about a 40% impact on handling! The front links are to tall & too small in bolt diameter! The rear links are just plain abominable! They have less then a 20% impact on handling! Take a look at the bar diameter and than look at the end link rod diameter! 

Yes, the poly bushings will make a vast improvement in the performance of both bars, but only when you change the end links! With the stock links the improvement is negligible. The good news is those improvements really have very little impact on ride quality! AKA soft vs stiff.

Likewise the upper motor mounts in poly is good! They help control engine rotation and using poly makes that even more effective, which in turn helps deliver more of the available torque to the wheels via the transaxle. The lower engine mount and transmission mount on the other hand really don’t. They are for dampening, thus they simple transmit more resonance frequency to the frame structure, causing more of a uncomfortable underlying vibration. Yes you will feel it in the wheel, but its not feedback, its just structural resonation, not power or handling feedback.

You need to be happy with the ride you create, but the KYB AGX is a better, far different strut than the Gr2. If you set the ride control to the softest setting they ride quite well, but if I remember right have a larger shaft than the Gr2 and definitely larger than the OEM strut and the AGX are just a different mechanical design than the Gr2. That shaft is the only upper connection of the entire front suspension. The smaller that shaft the less stable the entire wheel assemble is and the more flex there is in that assembly. So even strut tower braces can’t help that! 
Likewise the lower control arm/Aarm is a weak link at the bottom because of the ineffective, illogical vertical front bushing which is one step away from worthless, IMO. This coupled with a smaller than necessary strut shaft account for most of the reason for torque steer in these cars.

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Holy wow the past few days have been insanely busy (hence my going dark)! I've spent the last several days being severely sleep deprived so yesterday was devoted to literally sleeping most of the day away. Two vehicles detailed and ready for winter and two more yet to go 🥴. Labor of love coupled with living with snow (I updated my fall detail regimen to start playing with the new "hybrid ceramics" that are hitting the shelves so we'll see how that goes - but I digress) .

@Last Indian

Hey, Gary. Thank you for your input. It shows that you  know quite a bit about (among other things, I'm sure!) the suspension realm! I've had similar thoughts to yours - changing handling based on a multitude of inputs - shocks (adjustables or non-adjustables), coils, to lower / not to lower, control arm bushings, spacers, sway bars (stock, GMPP, otherwise), sway bar bushings (poly, stock, other), sway bar connecting rods, trailing rods, engine (lower & upper) mounts, and so on.

Where things stand now, I have a specific target (setup-wise / modification-wise) in mind of where I would like to go with my Grand Prix. Aside from two (technically three) more things I have left, the car has "arrived". I fully appreciate and respect your thoughts, for sure!, that there is yet quite a bit that can be done to firm up ride and handling response, that's not really where I want to invest my focus. Based on my previous Grand Prix where I did, comparatively, more aggressive ride / handling modifications, I am staying more conservative with my 2005 Grand Prix versus my 1999 Grand Prix.

I came up, a while back, with a Venn Diagram of "automotive modding" and what I could identify as the minimum number of categories which could explain why a given person modifies their vehicle. With my '99 Grand Prix I was weighted more heavily to the "performance" and "perception" categories (hence more modding relating to, among other things, suspension tuning) while with my '05 Grand Prix I am more heavily weighted to the "performance" and "preservation" categories (hence taking more of a conservative approach to the "what" I do and "why" I do it).

Anyway, these are just my thoughts and views of where I would like to see (have seen) my Grand Prix arrive at. One thing I enjoy considering (especially when at car shows / events) is seeing each person's creativity and their, essentially, personal expression of what they bring out in their vehicle. Shoot, I even can appreciate what would otherwise be a horrendous vehicle (e.g . a 1980's Monte with a lift riding on 22's with a sparkly neon orange paint job) because I know it reflects that individuals creativity :).

 

x.jpg.c203f9d3d9fcd404561fed669ecf7db2.jpg

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10 hours ago, Stewy said:

Holy wow the past few days have been insanely busy (hence my going dark)! I've spent the last several days being severely sleep deprived so yesterday was devoted to literally sleeping most of the day away. Two vehicles detailed and ready for winter and two more yet to go 🥴. Labor of love coupled with living with snow (I updated my fall detail regimen to start playing with the new "hybrid ceramics" that are hitting the shelves so we'll see how that goes - but I digress) .

@Last Indian

Hey, Gary. Thank you for your input. It shows that you  know quite a bit about (among other things, I'm sure!) the suspension realm! I've had similar thoughts to yours - changing handling based on a multitude of inputs - shocks (adjustables or non-adjustables), coils, to lower / not to lower, control arm bushings, spacers, sway bars (stock, GMPP, otherwise), sway bar bushings (poly, stock, other), sway bar connecting rods, trailing rods, engine (lower & upper) mounts, and so on.

Where things stand now, I have a specific target (setup-wise / modification-wise) in mind of where I would like to go with my Grand Prix. Aside from two (technically three) more things I have left, the car has "arrived". I fully appreciate and respect your thoughts, for sure!, that there is yet quite a bit that can be done to firm up ride and handling response, that's not really where I want to invest my focus. Based on my previous Grand Prix where I did, comparatively, more aggressive ride / handling modifications, I am staying more conservative with my 2005 Grand Prix versus my 1999 Grand Prix.

I came up, a while back, with a Venn Diagram of "automotive modding" and what I could identify as the minimum number of categories which could explain why a given person modifies their vehicle. With my '99 Grand Prix I was weighted more heavily to the "performance" and "perception" categories (hence more modding relating to, among other things, suspension tuning) while with my '05 Grand Prix I am more heavily weighted to the "performance" and "preservation" categories (hence taking more of a conservative approach to the "what" I do and "why" I do it).

Anyway, these are just my thoughts and views of where I would like to see (have seen) my Grand Prix arrive at. One thing I enjoy considering (especially when at car shows / events) is seeing each person's creativity and their, essentially, personal expression of what they bring out in their vehicle. Shoot, I even can appreciate what would otherwise be a horrendous vehicle (e.g . a 1980's Monte with a lift riding on 22's with a sparkly neon orange paint job) because I know it reflects that individuals creativity :).

 

x.jpg.c203f9d3d9fcd404561fed669ecf7db2.jpg

Nathan, I agree 100%! All should enjoy their own choices in how they choose their car to be! 

As I said, when I wrote it was informational, it wasn’t directive or assertive. The thought behind giving that information was because it seems some of your perceptions of certain suspension mechanics seem a little conflicting, and I apologize if my perception is off. 

As a example, you keep mentioning firming up the ride and handling response, which to me makes me think you relate the two as one in the same or interrelated! If you do, and I am not saying you are, they are not! Springs, shock/struts and certain bushings affect the ride, as do certain structural materials like the frame, a “99” had a steel frame I believe the “05” has an aluminum one. This all affects the ride, I.E. hard, soft or in between. The center of gravity, the roll center, sway bars, end links and certain bushings affect handling, Yaw and the like! You can have a relatively standard OEM ride and still have a car that handles/corners at the level of a sports car! If your choice is a OEM car, I applaud you! That is just as difficult to maintain as a modified car, sometimes harder! I just what to make sure we are speaking the same terminology.

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We're on the same page. I may not have explained things clear enough but rest assured we're on the same page.

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