Mechanics

CHEVROLET NOVA SUSPENSION PROBLEM

1976 Chevrolet Nova

I have a 1976 chevy nova want put a 5 inch body lift but cant find one 4 a nova so can u give me a car an year that would fit right on
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Hortonlove
November 7, 2012.



No professional is going to help you change anything to do with the ride height of the suspension system. Besides looking ridiculous, that will open you up to a potential lawsuit. Insurance investigators love to find these kinds of modifications. A shrewd lawyer will convince a jury that you were partially at fault for the crash when the other guy ran the red light because you were less able to avoid the crash, and he will be right.

Suspension and alignment mechanics get real picky about measuring and correcting ride height. When the car sits just a little too low you can still adjust the alignment so the numbers look good on the alignment computer but there will still be unsatisfactory tire wear, and handling and braking will be compromised because the geometry of the suspension system will not be correct.

Your car is old enough to have the very heavy and tough "short-arm long-arm" suspension system. Dropping the suspension to raise the car WILL cause excessive tire wear and miserable handling. Raising the body on the frame will cause a major misalignment of the steering column to the shaft. As I recall, your car doesn't have a full frame in the rear. That means you'll have to do something corny with the springs to lower the rear axle, and that will change the carefully designed-in drive shaft angle. At the very least you will get an annoying constant driveline vibration. At the worst one or both of the universal joints will bind resulting in a snapped retaining strap or broken u-joint cross. It can also damage the pinion bearing and seal in the differential.

And let me remind you, it will look stupid. I did a lot of stupid things to my cars so I know stupid. I'm smarter now that I've been a suspension and alignment specialist for 28 years and I want to share that experience and training. Your car might not be a collector car or a muscle car, but I would much rather be driving it than anything newer with all the unnecessary computers. In fact, I have an '80 Volare that is very similar to your car and I have some Dodge Challengers. Every one of mine are exactly at the specified height and have the specified tire sizes. No lawyer is going to be blaming me for his client's fault.

Caradiodoc
Nov 8, 2012.