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Thread: 85 Celebrity suspension upgrade

  1. #1

    Default 85 Celebrity suspension upgrade

    Hello, new to the forum and I hope I'm posting this in the right place. But I've got a 1985 Celebrity Eurosport sedan. My struts are indeed of replacement and haven't been in 15 years or so. Originally would love to lower the car but after a some research lowering springs or coilovers dont exist....sadly. But I dont wana go stock and would like to stiffen the ride if I can.

    But I keep reading about a U-Van? Guessing the 1991-1995 Chevrolet Lumina Apv. You can run the springs for a stiffer ride and better handling I've learned. But my question is can I just buy the whole U-Van strut assembly and it be a direct fit to the celebrity? Or do I need just the springs? And just add them to the Celebrity strut. I plan to do the rear springs also. I've seen a lot on this topic but I just need some clarification. I've never Frankensteined car parts before. Seems that's the only way to upgrade the A-body.

    And another question is will the spring conversion raise the ride height or will it stay the same? Thanks!



  2. #2
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    U-van springs will raise the ride hight.

    You can do a front coilover conversion, it's something that's been covered here before. It's something I've been meaning to do on my '86 Celebrity. I've been "temporarily" running some spring clamps on the front springs, it turns out it works very well. It lowered the front close to an inch and I'm very happy with the resulting spring rate. It's firm, but comfortable.

    Out back I run a pair of early U-van springs. I think I cut 1.75 coils off of them, but that was years ago and can't remember for sure now. There's posts about it here though, somewhere.

    The plan was also to run a U-van front sway bar (a tad thicker) and an Addco rear sway bar. But I've never got around to it, mostly because the car handles so dang well just as it is.

  3. #3

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    Okay cool. I've looked into the coil over conversion before. Something about cutting up a stock strut and adding in the coil over parts? But I'm not a fabricator or own any welding equipment. So its sorta not much of an option for now.

    But I like the idea of the clamps and just cutting a bit off the rear U-Van springs. Do you just use the clamps on stock Celebrity springs?

    Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, on the stock Eurosport springs. I was installing the bigger van brakes a few years ago and I had the spring clamps leftover from another project. I figured I'd try them out, just to see what happens. I'm pretty sure I only used one clamp on both front springs, I'd have to go look to be sure. The goal wasn't to slam the car, but to get the stance just right.

    The U-van rear springs made a BIG difference in how the car drove. The stock Celebrity (and all other a-bodies) rear springs are just way too soft for any application. You have to get the early van springs without the tapered end, '90-'92 I think.
    -Andy

    '86 Eurosport VR coupe
    '86 Eurosport sedan
    '88 Eurosport VR coupe
    '89 Eurosport wagon

  5. #5

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    So lowering the car and improving the handling dosent seem to difficult then. I'll be sure to do this when a u-van pops up in my local junk yard. Im not trying to slam the car either just enough to improve the body roll and appearance. Right now the car is about to get some fresh paint. Waiting to get this over with before I start on other things.

    Also one more question about the 6000 STE rear disk break swap. I've read on the topic but haven't seen anyone say it's a direct fit to the Celebrity rear axel. Have you done the disk conversion on yours?

  6. #6
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    Yes, did the conversion long enough ago that the new rotors and pads (at the time) are worn and need replaced. It all bolted right up and worked OK with my stock master cylinder. But the front-rear balance is better with the '92-'96 U-van brakes installed up front.

    The problem with the front brakes is, I don't think the factory 14 inch rims fit. I've never actually tried it, but it doesn't even look close to clearing.

  7. #7

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    Okay cool this is good to know. I have a 91 6000 little over an hours drive away from me. But no way to know if it has the rear disk brakes. Couldn't find a straight answer online but seems like some also had drums. Might just wait till one shows up locally. I hate how late I am to the show and these cars become more rare by the year. Should have done this stuff years ago but when looking up parts for Celebrity all you get is OEM stuff and figured that's all I had to work with....

    But you're probably right about the bigger brakes. I've got the 14" rallye 5 spokes and it dosent seem like anything bigger than stock is gonna fit behind them. When the day comes I splurge on new wheels I'll up the brakes size too. Now are these front u-van brakes also direct fit?

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    A '91 6000 will have rear drums. The rear discs need to be from a non-AWD STE, which makes that '84-'88 I believe. Around '87 or '88, they gained rear ABS and the hardware changed slightly to accommodate it, but it all still mounts up the same. Fiero rear calipers work too, but you still need the STE caliper mounts. Rotors, pads, e-brake cables and brake hoses are (or were) available from the parts stores.

    The front van brakes are a direct swap, but it requires several van parts for it all to fit together. Besides the rotors and calipers, you need the steering knuckle, the ball joints and the tie rods for the van. You will still use your stock wheel bearings, as the van bearings have a larger opening for the CV axles. From what I remember, the front calipers are the same as what's found on similar year Bonnevilles, Park Aves, etc, and also the '93-'97 Camaro/Firebird.

    And these brake swaps are all based on the assumption that you have the JA-2 brakes and the 5 on 115mm bolt pattern. If you have the little JA-1 brakes, it will require more parts and also a new set of wheels.

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    And you are very correct, it is soooooo much harder to find used parts for these cars than it was just 10 years ago.

  10. #10

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    I think its JA-2 I dont have the spare tire cover to read the Info off it. Can I find out on the vin? I believe the bolt pattern is 115mm. It is the 85 Eurosport with the 2.8 MPFI V6. The same as engine as Camaro and Fieros at the time. Internet is telling me with that engine it should be ja-2. But I'll have to measure it.

  11. #11
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    If you are looking for a front sway bar try and find 93-5 u van Pontiac transport , Oldsmobile silhouette with the 3.8 cause they have the 27.6 mm sway bay or 28mm close enough lol . I have a spare one in my garage cause it was 10 bucks by me at u pull it collecting dust

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    The V6 cars didn't come standard with the JA-2 brakes, it was an option. If you have the larger bolt pattern, then you have the JA-2 option.

  13. #13

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    So those sway bars are a direct fit to the celebrity too. I was looking to upgrade the sway bars also and bushing or just replace them. But I'd rather improve what ever I can if possible. Thanks for the info!

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    Eurosports usually had a pretty fat front sway bar too. I have a Eurosport bar out in the garage, as well as a front bar from a '95 Trans Sport with the 3.8 V6. I just put a micrometer to them and the Celebrity bar was 27.2mm compared to the van's 27.7mm. I don't think a .5mm difference is worth the effort. Both bars are solid too.

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    Also from my experience, the biggest improvements in handling will come from rear springs, tires 16" or bigger, and a proper alignment.

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