"One of the primary problem areas in classic muscle car suspensions is the use of rubber bushings. They are cheap to manufacture for mass production, and provide isolation from road noise and vibration. However, a significant tradeoff of rubber is its relatively soft durometer, which allows for significant deflection of chassis components under load. The rubber bushings twist and deform as the suspension components rotate, causing premature wear and unpredictable handling. Rubber eventually dry rots when exposed to the elements, and degrades in the presence of grease and oil. Enthusiasts quickly recognized the shortcomings of rubber bushings, and began replacing rubber bushings with custom-made solid steel or bronze inserts. Performance was great but the resulting harshness was unreal. Eventually, polyurethane was selected as a near-zero deflection alternative, but with one critical drawback. Regular polyurethane is too sticky, causing the suspension to squeak as the bushings rotated with suspension travel. Finally, PST perfected polyurethane with the introduction of Polygraphite, a special formula incorporating a low-friction graphite lubricant into the actual bushing material. With Polygraphite, you get the near-zero deflection performance of polyurethane with a quiet, self-lubricating bushing. As an added benefit, Polygraphite is impervious to grease, oil, weather, and other natural elements, and will never dry rot."
Street Car Handling
Not all hot rodders want to pound on their muscle cars on the autocross, but many still aspire to improve their car's handling for regular street driving. Fortunately, PST has the perfect solution. "One of our Polygraphite frontend rebuild kits is a great starting point, and is usually the first upgrade that an enthusiast will make," Brian explains. "To pump up handling and improve safety, a set of our KYB shocks, G-Max 1-inch lowering springs, and G-Max sway bars is a great three-pronged approach to tighten up steering and reduce body roll without breaking the bank. The combination of a firmer shock, higher-rate spring, and a lower center of gravity along with nice, tight steering from the rebuilt kit will really wake up your muscle car and provides performance capabilities far beyond that of a stock suspension."
Ball Joint Replacement
Removing and installing ball joints can be tricky, but Brian has some good advice to make sure you don't get stuck. "If your car has original bolt-in style ball joints, use a grinder to grind off the rivets. The ball joints should then come right out," Brian explains. "Press-in style ball joints can be a little more difficult. Many parts stores have a press that you can rent at little to no cost that really makes the job a breeze. If you're not comfortable doing any of this work yourself, we always recommend taking the control arms to a qualified mechanic for assembly. With Polygraphite bushings, always disassemble the bushings first and lubricate them liberally with the supplied grease. Along with the graphite-impregnated bushing formula, this will help cut down squeaks and creaks."
Springs and Sway Bars
A question we get asked all the time is whether it's best to install lowering springs and stiffer sway bars as a pair, or install one or the other individually. In our opinion, although stiffer springs and sway bars work great as individual upgrades, it's best to install both at once to take full advantage of the performance benefits. We often design a sway bar specifically to work with a set of firm lowering springs, and the combination works together as a complete system. PST tries to stay away from very stiff springs or very stiff sway bars, as this can lead to a harsh ride. Instead, we use a midrange spring rate and a reasonably sized sway bar. When combined, this significantly reduces body roll without rattling your teeth loose when you go over a bump.