Suspension and brake swap recommendations

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Suspension and brake swap recommendations

Postby tkordick » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:27 pm

My son bought a 73 Vega (rust free :th: ) and we are in the process of swapping to 5 lug S10 components. He also purchased a 75 Vega GT for parts and a 87 S10 for parts.

We have removed the S10 rear axle and cut the brackets off the 75 vega parts car rear axle to weld onto the S10 7.5" rear. I am concerned about wheel hop and I have found the no-hop bar drawings on this site. We plan to fabricate them and install. Has anyone used straight upper control arms like used on the larger 'A' body cars? Are adjustable brackets worth the money or should we just box in the originals.

On the front we plan to use the S10 spindles with the ball joint tapered sleeves. Should we use the 75 Vega GT lower control arms? Are the 75 lower control arms the deep pocket design? Any recommendations on springs? Will the S10 springs work? Anything we need to be aware of on the ball joints or control arm bushings?

On the brakes, we plan to use the S10 brake components. The S10 had power brakes, with the exception of the studs being on the booster, has anyone swapped the S10 booster, master cylinder and proportioning valve along with the front and rear S10 brakes?

Thanks in advance. He is a high school kid on a tight budget but I am trying to help him out.

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Re: Suspension and brake swap recommendations

Postby cosvega76 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:32 am

Welcome to the site, Tom!

Sounds like you have a solid plan going there. To answer your questions, in order:

Are you talking about the no-hop bars that raise the rear mount of the upper control arms? If so, then, yes, you can fabricate straight upper arms. My Vega had fabbed arms using rod ends and straight tubing. That also allowed adjustment for pinion angle. For the lowers, I just boxed the original arms.

To use the tapered sleeves, you'll need '75-and-newer lower ball joints with the larger stud. The body of the ball joint will fit the early arms, but since you have a parts car, it is probably easier to just swap the arms. Yes, those are the deep-pocket arms. You didn't mention what the plan is for the engine, but, depending on what ground/header clearance you may need, I would just start with the '75 Vega springs, especially if the car had A/C. S-10 springs will be too tall and stiff for the Vega. I liked my Vega low, so I used 4-cylinder, deep pocket Monza springs with a coil cut off, with my shallow pocket control arms.

While it is easier using the ball joint spacers, you will probably find that you won't be able to get enough positive camber with the S-10 spindles. There are several threads here on how others combated the problem. Many modified the stock control arm to use the S-10 ball joints in a modified location.

Using the S-10 brakes is a good plan, especially since you'll be using the S-10 rear axle. I'm not sure if anyone here has used the S-10 booster and master, not sure how well the booster would bolt up. I ended up using a Vega/Monza booster, and when I was using the S-10 brakes, a 7/8" bore Monza master cylinder. The S-10 proportioning valve should be okay, I used an adjustable one.

There are a bunch of folks here with lots of ideas and experience. They'll provide their input, too, I'll bet.

Good luck with your project!

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1973 Chevrolet Vega GT

Re: Suspension and brake swap recommendations

Postby Smiley » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:45 pm

Monzamouse here on the forum makes new brackets with the raised upper mount location.
this does the same thing as hop-stops.
Once you raise the UCA mounting point you can use straight upper arms.
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Re: Suspension and brake swap recommendations

Postby tkordick » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:43 pm

Thanks for the information! :th:
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