Author Topic: 1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks  (Read 1199 times)

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Offline wallabat

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1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks
« on: January 28, 2018, 02:46:13 PM »
Hey guys,

I'm new to the forum and have got to say its great to see all the interest in the TA and the passion everyone has for them. After being without one since 1982, I finally got around to picking one up in 2015 from Florida and bringing up to Ottawa. It's a 1980 Pace Car which at the time had 7500 original miles, all original interior and about 80% original body (touch ups and exhaust).

I am starting to get some mild bottoming out in the rear end going over bumps. Can you guys tell me what you think are the best aftermarket shocks for the TA's with the WS6 ? I'm not looking for a modern high performance unit, not because of cost but I want to keep the ride and performance as close to original as I can. I hear a lot about Kyb's when it comes to replacement but want to know what you think....

Cheers,

Andrew
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 03:31:50 PM by wallabat »

Offline TA400FL

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Re: 1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 07:38:00 AM »
I would check the condition of the leaf springs also.  Don't spend the money on just the shocks if the springs are weak.  You do mention low miles but if original, they are very old.  I got my 78 TA back in 1983 and the springs were already pretty shot when I got it.  Not sure if they were made a little on the weak side or what.  Leaf Springs are not too expensive and that might really tighten the back end up.
ERIC

Offline NOT A TA

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Re: 1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 10:22:41 AM »
Does it still have the original shocks?
John Paige


Dear Not A TA,
This is Tin Indian's wife. Would you please stop posting pictures of your car? Especially ones with er, ummm, sidepipes. I'm dizzy already and have to get up early in the morning.  :-X

Offline wallabat

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Re: 1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 06:49:37 PM »
Thanks for the comments. Yes, the suspension is all original. In my drive to keep as much of the car original as possible, I was hoping I could just swap out the rear shocks. But that is a good point with the springs. The question then becomes whether I switch out the suspension all around. Not crazy about having front end original and rear aftermarket. I haven't driven a classic since I had my new TA back in 1980 and compared to today's cars, this drives a bit like a bus  ;) albeit a great handling bus.

So back to the original question on best brand to reproduce the original feel. Any ideas guys ? 

Offline TA400FL

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Re: 1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 12:37:52 PM »
Sorry, can't help with "original feel" suspension parts.  I installed a complete front and rear Pro Touring F-Body suspension on my 78.  I was going for max handling.  One day I am hoping to run on some autocross courses.  I am sure someone out there will have some good info on replacement OEM components. 
ERIC

Offline Brett

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Re: 1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 08:45:20 AM »
I have a 1978 TA. I highly recommend the Bilstein shocks. They cost a little more but really are the best shock in their price range. They made a huge difference on my car. I would also look closely at at all rubber components on the front and rear suspension and replace anything thatís worn, which is highly likely. Springs and leafs as well but only if worn out. Hope this helps.

Offline F-body International

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Re: 1980 Trans Am aftermarket shocks
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 06:28:18 PM »
I would check the condition of the leaf springs also.  Don't spend the money on just the shocks if the springs are weak.  You do mention low miles but if original, they are very old.  I got my 78 TA back in 1983 and the springs were already pretty shot when I got it.  Not sure if they were made a little on the weak side or what.  Leaf Springs are not too expensive and that might really tighten the back end up.
ERIC

X2 on this one!  I at one time broke two shocks in my car before I realized that my leaf spring was cracked half way across the main leaf right in the middle...very dangerous.  My best assumption looking back is that the leaf spring must've been overextending on that side of the car and probably why the shock shaft had pulled right out of the body of the shock. 

In regards to shocks, most of the pro-touring guys like Viking for a bolt-in adjustable shock.  Other options are the Koni Classics (also adjustable) and the Bilsteins.  Pro-Touring F-Body supplies a nice AFCO nonadjustable combination as well.