The ever popular second-generation Corvette remains the shortest-lived production run of all the Corvettes. With only five model years, the C2 also offers limited availability, which certainly affects the aftermarket parts supply. Luckily, the C2 shares the same chassis platform as the C3, which leaves aftermarket suppliers the ability to manufacture parts for '63-'82 Corvettes. While the C2 Corvettes are some of the most beautiful of all Vettes, the handling and drivability leave something to be desired. SpeedDirect has the solution.
SpeedDirect's Shark Bite aluminum upper control arms along with a set of Shark Bite coilover shocks work to greatly improve handling and enjoyment that comes with Corvette ownership. The suspension geometry, which directly translates to handling and cornering ability, gets a much needed boost from the Shark Bite upper A-arms due to the increase in positive caster. This adds stability in the corners and reduces bumpsteer. The Shark Bite arms also relocate the front roll center which makes for a significant increase in handling. They are also lighter than both stock and steel tubular control arms. Each arm reduces 4 lbs over the stock control arm; any weight savings is valuable, so even 8 pounds can make a difference. The A-arms require no modification to the vehicle, making them easy to install and won't detract from the value of the car. When ordered with the optional Howe ball joints, the kit is complete and ready to go.
The process begins with dropping...
The process begins with dropping the spindles. This can be a little tricky, especially since our '67 is currently just a bare frame. The coil springs require a fair amount of height to fully decompress. Once the tension was removed from the spring, a pickle-fork was used separate the upper ball joints.
The Shark Bite coilover kit adds to the handling and cornering improvements by adding not only better shock absorption, but also adjustability. Coilover shocks allow 4 inches of total ride height adjustment, and with a set of spanner wrenches, they can be adjusted in minutes. The kit includes QA1 double-adjustable shocks. The shocks feature independent rebound and compression adjustments, with 24 individual settings, for a total of 576 unique combinations. If you can't get what you want out of these shocks, you are never going to get it. While that number may be a little intimidating, the reality is that the shocks are easily adjusted and once you get close, the fine tuning is pretty simple. A good place to start is right in the middle, then drive it on various types of road-city, rural, highway, etc-to get the feel for them. You will probably have them dialed in within a few days, though it is a good idea to break in the suspension for a few hundred miles before tweaking the settings.
We ordered a set of Shark Bite upper A-arms polished, as well as the Shark Bite coilover kit with big-block springs for our '67 roadster. This is a full frame-off restomod project, and these parts are just what were needed to add the much needed improvements to the handling and drivability. Red Line Auto Sports in Wilson, Oklahoma, performed all of the work on this project and let us hang out for a day while they added some bite to this shark.
|Difficulty Index - 3 Wrenches|
|Anyone’s Project: no tools required||1 Wrench|
|Beginner: basic tools||2 Wrenches|
|Experienced: special tools||3 Wrenches|
|Accomplished: special tools and outside help||4 Wrenches|
|Professionals Only: send this work out||5 Wrenches|
The spindle can be left in...
The spindle can be left in place; you don't even have to remove the rotor or brake caliper if you don't want to. We are going through everything, so it was not an issue.
The upper A-arms are held...
The upper A-arms are held on by two studs on the frame. When pulling the arms, make sure you save the original alignment washers as they will get it close until it can be properly aligned.
While you're at it, now is...
While you're at it, now is a great time to do some preventative maintenance, like replacing the lower ball joints.
The upper arms slid on the...
The upper arms slid on the original studs. It may be necessary to rotate the arms to clear the frame mount.
Then the original hardware...
Then the original hardware was reinstalled to secure the arms. 50 ft lbs of torque is the required spec.
The spindles were reinstalled...
The spindles were reinstalled and torqued to spec on the lower ball joint.