RideTech TQ Series CoilOver upgrade – 1966 Chevelle

Pro-Touring enthusiasts Chris and Lynda Jacobs were seeking improved ride quality for their 1966 Chevelle convertible. The car, affectionately referred to as “Wimpy” is street driven on a regular basis.  Lynda loves to drive her Chevelle to work as often as possible. Wimpy also enjoys regular long distance road tours and gets raced frequently at local SCCA autocross events in addition to numerous Pro-Touring gatherings.

Needless to say, the Jacobs’ Chevelle gets driven a lot. They both agreed that ride quality was lacking. They were likewise concerned that it might actually be degrading. They want the best for their Chevelle. Our plan was to replace their existing double adjustable, twin tube coilovers with our triple adjustable monotube TQ Series coilovers. While we do not work on customer cars as a course of business, we were eager to evaluate the improvement afforded by swapping coilovers.

The experience was enlightening for all involved.  First, one of the pre-existing shocks was broken. It failed just before making the trip down to our headquarters.  Logically, it is possible that the shock had been failing for a while. That, no doubt, contributed to the car’s poor ride quality. As RideTech shocks carry a 1,000,001-mile warranty, the Jacobs will never worry about failure again.

Another interesting fact is that you cannot always swap coilovers. Wimpy came to us with especially short coilovers. In lieu of an upper hat, the pre-existing front coil springs seated against the car’s frame. All RideTech coilovers are completely self-contained. Though, we tested our shortest possible coilover with the existing control arms and uprights, it became clear that the best possible course of action was to swap these part in conjunction with a longer coilover.  We installed StrongArm control arms as well as SpeedTech dropped spindles (uprights).

Rear suspension was changed as well.  We installed StrongArms in conjunction with our new R-Joint delrin rod ends and delrin bushings. The process was more direct.

With the car back on the ground, we performed a precision four-wheel alignment and plugged Chris Jacobs into the driver’s seat. Anxious for feedback, we road tested the new setup on a variety of Southern Indiana’s best and worst roads. Chris commented that the difference in ride quality is night and day with far less body movement, quicker transitioning and less road texture finding its way into the cockpit. The broken shock was an unexpected variable, but Chris commented that the car rides better than it ever has in days past.

After almost running out of gas, we let Chris Jacobs and Wimpy loose on our private test track. That’s a rare privilege, as we don’t allow access to “civilians.” We have raced side-by-side with Chris on numerous occasions, so we made an exception. Though we took good parts off the car, Chris noticed improvements with respect to balance, turn in and overall grip.  In Chris’s words: “The handling improvements are icing on the cake. We really set out to improve ride quality and make the car more enjoyable to drive. The new RideTech setup accomplishes that goal with ease.” The Jacobs will have the opportunity to further dial in their new TQ Series triple adjustable coilovers over the next few weeks. We look forward to receiving additional and ongoing feedback.

For now, consider this project: Mission Accomplished.   Having already competed in two driving events, Lynda just won Ladies Grand Champion at the Northeast Musclecar Challenge. Congratulations Lynda. Enjoy your beautiful Chevelle. We want a ride!

What started out as a simple coilover change escalated into a full suspension swap. We changed control arms, bushings uprights and, of course, coilovers.
Though already equipped with Speedtech uprights, we changed from standard pin height to dropped pin height to compensate for geometry changes to restore the ride height, comparatively.
“Wimpy” is one of our all-time favorite pro-touring cars. When we heard that it was riding poorly, we offered to help.
It may look like an old-school big block, but there is an LS engine with 1×4 EFI hiding under the faux valve covers. Also shown are our coilover remote reservoirs during installation.
We scaled and aligned Wimpy — Twice.  We were dissatisfied with the stance (shown) after the first try, so we took the car apart and upgraded the front suspension, as well. Here, RideTech Nation Believer, John Martin, serves as Chief Inspector.

Click HERE for secret access to our TQ Series Coilover Suspension System (with Triple Adjustable Coilovers. SpeedTech Spindles not included)

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