- Introducing Project Buford T Justice – Our 1987 9C1 Chevy Caprice – The Adventure Begins!
- Project Buford T Justice: Our Cop Car Cruises Home and Then We Beat on It!
- Driveway Tech: Bodywork on Buford T Justice – We Close Our Roof Hole For Fun and (NO) Profit!
- Project Buford T Justice Hits the Strip with Some Pretty Shocking Results!
- Project Buford T Justice Hits the Dyno and Goes KABLOOEY! CARNAGE VIDEO INSIDE!
- Project Buford T Justice Will Be Saved For About A 100 Bucks With a 15 Year Old Transmission
- Project Buford T Justice Update: The Trans Thrash is ON!
- Buford T Justice Update: It Lives Again Thanks to a Down and Dirty Driveway Thrash and Junkyard Parts
- Buford T Justice, Our 1987 9C1 Chevy Caprice Goes Through Final Testing Before the Upgrades Begin!
- Buford T Justice 9C1 Update: The Parts From Hotchkis, Cragar, AFCO, and Mickey Thompson
- Update: Hotchkis Suspension & AFCO Bushings Transform Our 9C1 Caprice
- Buford Update: Our 9C1 Caprice Gets Real With Mickey Thompson Tires and Cragar Wheels
- Driveway Tech: How To Swap A Jeep Steering Shaft Into Your GM B-Body or G-Body Car With A Trashed Rag Joint
- Buford Update: We Flog The Suspension, Unveil a Mountain of Speed Parts, Spill Our Wild Drag Strip Plan
- Project Buford T Justice Update: Drag Strip Thrash Squashed By Ma Nature – We Learn Stuff – Plan B!
- Project Buford T Justice Quick Update: Where The Hell Has Our 9C1 Caprice Been?!
- Project Buford T Justice: We Go On Hot Pursuit Of Horsepower-Our 9C1 Caprice’s 350 Gets A Slap!
- Buford T Justice 9C1 Caprice Update: Metal Fab,Head Work, A Good Surprise, An Awful One
- Buford T Justice Update: Headers, Cheap LS Technology, New Valvetrain Parts, More Compression, Fun!
- Buford T Justice Update: A TCI 700R4 And Breakaway Torque Converter Get Our 9C1 Caprice Shifty!
- Buford T Justice Update: A Very Frustrating Day On The Dyno And How We’re Planning To Fix It
- Project Buford T Justice Update: Where Has Our 9C1 Caprice Been Hiding?
- Buford T Justice Update: We Install A First Gen Chevelle Flowmaster Kit On Our 9C1 Caprice!
- Project Buford T Justice: Our Caprice 9C1 Gets The Shaft! A Dynotech Drive Shaft That Is!
- Project Buford T Justice Our 1987 9C1 Caprice Hits The SCCA Autocross – Photos And Video!
Last week we put Buford T Justice, our project 1987 Caprice 9C1 through the last set of paces on the stock suspension and tires. The car performed as we pretty much thought it would, wallowing some, sliding around on the junky tires, and acting like a 25 year old car with suspension that has had the tar kicked out of it since the Regan administration. Today, we’re going to take you on a tour of the car and show you the areas we’ll be upgrading and what we’ll be upgrading them with.
We’ve worked with some of the best names in the business on this part of the car. You’ll see names like Hotchkis Sport Suspension, AFCO, Cragar, and Mickey Thompson throughout this story. A big car requires some big, beefy parts, so the upper and lower rear control arms, sway bars, and other components are extra strong to handle the added stresses of nearly 4,000lbs through the corners. We’re almost sad to be putting these parts under the car, they look too damned good to hide!
For more information on the products we highlight in this piece, please visit the websites of their constructors! Links below -
Hotchkis Sport Suspension
Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels
Scroll down as we’re telling this story in the photos and captions below!
Here's the current center link, idler arm, and tie rod situation. We're pretty sure this is all factory original stuff. Thankfully, Hotchkis Sport Suspension has literally everything a guy could dream up for a B-Body, so this is all hitting the scrap heap.
Here's all the new stuff that will be replacing what's currently on the car.
These billet sleeves are a nice touch and are far more robust than the factory pieces.
Hasta la Vista, baby!
This ancient end link certainly tells a sad tale, eh? It, like most of the components on the car it is shot to pieces.
Yeah, even the sway bar bushings are trashed. They put in their time. Now it is time for them to go!
The new end links from Hotchkis Sport Suspension….
Along with these new sway bar bushings from Hotchkis, will mount…
This totally new and 100% bad ass sway bar from Hotchkis as well. This hollow bar is about as big around as your arm and we cannot wait to get it on the car.
These Hotchkis springs will both lower the car to give it a better stance and center of gravity, but they will also work in conjunction with the shocks and sway bars as a matched package.
The shocks are as played out as the rest of the car. This one is obviously leaking oil out of it.
The shocks are sourced from Bilstein by Hotchkis.
The control arm bushings are junk, too. We went a little different direction than you would expect on these. Instead of a typical polyurethane, we were feeling more hard core. Instead we went with…
AFCO solid steel pieces! Yes, they will require us to be diligent with the grease gun, but they will absolutely not deflect under any circumstances. Plus, with a 4,000lb car we plan on driving hard, rubber or poly bushings would be mangled pretty quick. We think that these will work good in our application.
These things are dead sexy and they are reasonably priced as well.
Before we move to the rear suspension, let's talk wheels. Cop cars are known for having very robust steel wheels, capable of being bashed and smashed in numerous ways on the road. The 1987 Caprice 9C1 was no exception. It used the 5×5 bolt pattern of trucks and heavy 15" duty steel wheels. Since 15" steel wheels are about as cool as Lawrence Whelk, we're ditching these things in a hurry. Our choice?
17×9 Cragar Soft 8s. These are by far the least expensive 17" wheel on the market, they are built like anvils, and we think they are the perfect match for our goals with this car. Yes, they are beefy, weighing in at 40lbs a wheel. If you are building an all out road racing car, these are not for you, but if you are building something that will be driven for fun and will perform far above stock, you cannot beat these wheels. We're going to keep the cop vibe going with ours by running some 9C1 centers on them. Should look boss!
This is a big, strong wheel. The added width and depth of these babies will really make the Caprice looks mean, especially with the new stance.
The 17" diameter will allow us to use a really good performance tire on them, which again, we're going down a new and different road with. What tires are we using? Read on!
As we've joked in the past, the rubber coming off the car was good at doing two things. (1) Being black and (2) being round. Other than that it was pretty much junk to the 10th degree. The tires carried us home from PA, took us down the drag strip a bunch of times, and survived the slalom, but now it is time for them to go in favor of…
These! Mickey Thompson is providing a set of their brand new…we're talking barely available to the public yet, Street Comp tires. MT has worked for years on this design and has been testing them like mad up against the biggest names in high performance tires with awesome results. We're bolting on four 275/40/17s on the Caprice. All of these suspension upgrades don't mean squat without good rubber and this is the best rubber that will be on the road!
Moving to the rear, the factory used wimpy stamped upper and lower control arms. These can twist, bend, and deflect like crazy under hard acceleration and cornering. So, they're going in favor of…
These guys from Hotchkis. We don't even need to explain the differences here. They're 1000% better than the stockers.
The lower arms are of the same stamped construction and have the added stress of acting as the mounting points for the rear sway bay. Like the tops, these are hitting the dumpster, along with the swap bar.
These lower control arms could be used for home defense purposes! Built out of steel rectangle tubing and tig welded all around, they are up to the task of both controlling the rear end and acting as the mounting point for the sway bar.
With bushings installed and ready to go!
Much like the front sway bar, the rear is of the huge diameter variety. We were impressed with the construction of this piece. The mounting pads are monsters as they should be. We'll be putting this baby under some major stress soon!
Like we said…built to last!
The factory springs have done their time and will now be heading to greener pastures.
Here are the new rear springs from Hotchkis. We cannot wait to see the car with a new, lower stance.
Finally, we'll install the rear shocks, which are the matching sisters to the fronts also sourced from Hotchkis. The boys at Hotchkis worked with Bilstein to tune these shocks for the application. This is going to rule!