You love your car, but maybe it’s not perfect. You know, it doesn’t corner the way you think it should and it’s just the way it sits on the road, it could look better. Well, lets turn to our Dan Maffett for some cost-effective ways to upgrade your car’s suspension on MotorWeek’s “Your Drive!”

DAN MAFFETT: Suspension upgrades on a car are one of the most important things you can do. Now, if you have a classic vehicle, chances are your control arms look something like this. Now, this is a stamped steel control arm. These have been around since cars have been invented, so they’re tried and true, they work, but they’re limited. Even if you upgrade all these bushings, and all these ball joints and you get them optimal, it’s still an inferior product because of the stamped technology here; it’s going to always want to flex, it’s going to always want to move.

So, if you put big power behind your car and you’re driving on modern roads, you’re going to notice a little bit of wiggle and wobble out of the suspension.

So, one of the things I like to do is jump up to something like this. Now, this is kind of middle of the road. This is a tubular fabricated suspension. So, it replaces these fabricated, these stamped a-arms with fabricated arms, and it gives you new shocks, new springs, and it even can give you dropped spindles for the wheels, so that you can lower the car without having to do a whole bunch of work to the geometry.

Suspension Upgrades 1

Now, this is kind of middle of the road because you can actually adjust the suspension and the type of shocks for towing, for long driving, for autocross, pro touring, even drag racing. Or if you just have a daily cruiser you want to ride nice, this is a good setup.

Now, air ride technology is something that’s been around since the 50’s. But, it’s come a long way. You can now take this shock and spring out of the center, and replace it with something like this, which is a flexible airbag that you can adjust on the fly. Now, the vehicle behind me is a ’57 Caddy. It’s one of the first vehicles to be equipped with a factory air ride setup. This setup didn’t hold up over time, so we’ve replaced it with something like this, and it’s a full airbag with a control module which allows you to go from a nice ride height like this all the way down to sitting on the ground.

So, as you can see, the Caddy is where it should be, sitting on the ground, and that’s the benefit of an air ride suspension. You’re able to get these presets in a program and tell it: I want this position for ride height, I want this position for going through a parking lot with speed bumps, and then I need this position where it’s laid out to look cool at a show.

So, as you can tell, if you do any kind of driving in your classic car, and you’re serious about it, suspension upgrades should be really high up on your list. And as always, if you have any questions or comments, hit us up right here, at MotorWeek.