Cruiser, Cornering, Drag Car: How To Improve Your Impala
Cruiser, Cornering, Drag Car: How To Improve Your Impala's Suspension
You love your Impala, but the wayward steering and squish-tastic suspension leave a lot to be desired. We’ve been there. Whether you’re looking to sharpen up your full-size Chevy for the street, convert it into a corner carver or prep it for the drag strip, we’re here to help.
Where should you start?
Great question. And the answer depends on your plans for the car. Full-size Chevys are more versatile than people give them credit for. With that in mind, we’ve put together suspension recommendations to suit the most common ways people get out and drive their classic Impalas, Biscaynes and Bel Airs.
The casual cruiser that might see track time.
There’s nothing wrong with a car that drives well, rides comfortably (without feeling like a total recliner) and looks great without being a track monster. In fact, these are some of our favorite cars to run around town in and use on a daily basis. There are upgrades you can easily bolt onto your Impala to achieve exactly that. They’ll also help you have more fun if you decide to run down the drag strip or try your hand at a track day.
Gain adjustable ride height to achieve your perfect stance while improving the ride and handling. You can still adjust your shock valving to stiffen things up if you want to take on corners—without sacrificing everyday comfort on the street.
Front sway bar
Our front sway bar allows you to keep your stock lower control arms while adding lateral stiffness and reducing body roll, which is a fancy way of saying “your car won’t try to tip over when you look for a parking spot at 5mph.” You’ll feel the added stability every time your car hits the road, even if you aren’t pushing it at track events.
Tie rod adjuster sleeves
A quick and easy upgrade, our sleeves are stronger and more adjustable than stock split sleeves. They’ll help you dial in the perfect alignment without battling rusty, seized OE parts.
The true corner carver that’s built to be pushed.
Your b-body isn’t just a Sunday driver; it’s a pro touring machine designed to be hucked around road courses and cones. In that case, it’s time to get serious. Improve overall performance while skewing further toward “handling” than “couch” on the ride comfort scale. In other words, still streetable—but you’ll feel more feedback from the road’s imperfections.
Upgrade to double adjustable coil-overs for independent adjustment of compression and rebound valving. This well help you fine tune handling characteristics for improved cornering capabilities—aka, make you faster. If you want to get the max out of your pro-touring setup, upgrade to MOD Series Shocks for a more aggressive force curve to offset the weight of your heavy Chevy.
Tubular upper and lower control arms
Going from stamped stock control arms to tubular components will help you drop weight and increase front-end rigidity. And it gets better. Our pro touring control arms use an extended upper ball joint to increase camber gain during hard cornering. And they’re designed to work with coil-over shocks, ensuring you get the most out of your front-end geometry and your upgrades work in harmony.
Front and rear sway bars
Use a front sway bar designed to work with tubular control arms. Add a rear sway bar to the mix to further lock your car down, keeping it flatter during cornering—even when it sees serious lateral Gs.
Adjustable panhard bar and trailing arms
An adjustable panhard bar will help reduce lateral axle movement to keep the rear end planted for added grip and a more confident driving feel. No more unplanned four-wheel steering. The adjustable tubular upper and lower trailing arms improve anti-squat to get you off the line in a hurry and adjust pinion angle to maintain proper driveline alignment.
The street-strip (or strip-strip) machine.
If you plan to chase ETs and 60-foot times, this is the section for you. The upgrades below will help you launch harder and increase straight-line stability at speed. Both good things. At the same time, your car can still be used for the street.
If you plan to be more strip than street, we offer coil-over vehicle kits that maximize performance. Upgrade to double-adjustable coil-overs all around for even more tunability. Controlling weight transfer with individually adjustable rebound and compression up front goes a long way in improving your runs.
Double-adjustable front shocks, single-adjustable rear shocks
This is where you should start if you’re serious about getting faster. Double adjustable front shocks will help you fine-tune weight transfer from front to rear. That means you’ll get more power to the ground at the tree.
Rear sway bar
Use a rear sway bar to keep your car from rolling over off the line, ensuring both tires get traction and put power down. Not only does that get you down the track faster. It also reduces chassis flex to put less stress on your car.
Adjustable upper and lower trailing arms
Improve anti-squat with trailing arms to control chassis separation and ensure you have traction throughout your trip down the strip. Paired with double-adjustable rear shocks, these can also help you battle woes like tire shake and adapt to changing track conditions.
Adjustable panhard bar
Add a panhard bar to keep your rear end centered throughout suspension travel, ensuring your car tracks straight and reducing bind in the rear suspension.
Want to take your car even further?
Opt for tubular front control arms to take weight off the nose and improve your rear percentage. This also changes out your rubber bushings for low-drag poly bushings that reduce bind and improve front-to-rear weight transfer.
There’s always room to grow.
Like anything else with cars, there are always more tweaks and upgrades that can be applied. Don’t feel like you have to upgrade all at once to get out and use your Impala, Biscayne or Bel Air. They’re meant to be driven, so do what feels right to you and allows you to get the most smiles per mile out of your ride.
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