Since this is a build thread...
Pedders 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Suspension Evaluation
The new Chevrolet Camaro is derived from GM’s Global Rear Wheel Drive ZETA platform designed by Holden in Australia. Chevrolet has refined the ZETA chassis to create the best Camaro ever built with the chassis designated ZETA II. We took delivery of our Camaro from Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Berger was a leader in COPO Camaros Back in the Day and is still deeply involved in the Camaro Performance Community. We are proud to have the Berger 5th Gen Camaro using Pedders Suspension.
We do most of our R & D in the USA at Witt Buick / Pedders in Muskegon, Michigan. Our first Camaro R & D project was a Victory Red Six. Pedders is fortunate to have worked with Nickey Chicago, Fessler Moss, John L. Sullivan Chevrolet and Hennessey Performance Engineering early on in the refinement of our Camaro range while we waited on delivery of our own Camaro. The Nickey road course testing video is available on YouTube. The Pedders USA Camaro is used as a rolling test bed and pushed to the extreme limits of operation by some of the best drivers and engineers in North America. Using a ProCharger they have more than 530 RWHP available. Cadillac CTS-V brakes are an improvement to the already excellent Brembo SS package. Forgeline 19 x10.5 wheel with titanium hardware reduce unsprung weight, even with Bridgestone RE-11 305/30/19s all around. Add to this Pedders Suspension and we are doing things with our street driven Camaro that many would consider impossible. While we abuse this gorgeous vehicle to improve our bits and range we show it frequently. We are just like all the other Camaro owners. We love our Camaro and like to show it off.
Our impressions of the Camaro after several thousand miles of bone stock use are that the Camaro is well built, very well built. We have in our fleet a GTO and a G8. The GTO is a solid automobile, even with more than 40 thousand hard development miles. Every 4th Gen owner that has been in it was impressed by the level of quality, refinement and noticeable absence of rattle or squeaks. The G8 is more solid than the GTO with a vastly improved ZETA suspension and with almost 30 thousand miles of development abuse is still rattle and squeak free. We love our GTO and the G8 is one of the most dialed in vehicles we have ever driven -- fully Pedderised and ProCharged. The 2010 Camaro is another level up from the G8 in terms of structural integrity. It is one solid vehicle. Run over the biggest bump and the entire vehicle travels the bump as a single unit. We have yet to detect any racking or cowl shake with 10 thousand miles of combined track and street abuse.
Pedderised NASCAR Pace Car
The 5th Gen Camaro is an impressive automobile that is at home on a suburban street or the Nurburing in complete OE trim. In Pedders USA form, a 5th Gen Camaro runs faster lap times than a full race Cadillac CTS-V on the same track with the same driver. For those that do not fully appreciate the significance of this statement you should know that the Fastest Production Sedan to ever run the Nurburing is a Cadillac CTS-V. A full race version, caged, lightened, Penske Racing Suspension and full slicks is faster yet. The Pedders USA street driven Camaro on street tires driven by the same racing / professional driver out performs the race version of the CTS-V.
Make no mistake, a Camaro off the showroom floor needs no modifications to be a great automobile and it is. If you would like your Camaro to be more capable, then the pages that follow are written for you.
How good is Pedderised Camaro?
The Camaro is quiet. It is almost library quiet. They paid attention to detail and maybe borrowed an engineer from the Buick area in controlling cabin noise. If there is any wind noise, I can't hear it. There are no squeaks or rattles. The cabin feels as secure and quiet as anything I have ever driven. This is probably related to the structural strength that was designed into the ZETA II chassis.
As for driving, keep in mind we are very spoiled guys with some great cars in the fleet. The G8 and GTO are both ProCharged. They both ride on full Xa Track eXtreme suspensions and then some. They both have custom wheel and tire packages. They both have brake upgrades. They are built cars that have been carefully dialed in. The slug in the garage has been the HHR SS with a Stage II GM Turbo and Pedders Xa coilovers and it can pull up the inside rear wheel on a hard turn with GM issue wheels and tires. These cars have our benchmarks for performance set quite high. The OEM Camaro is a super car and one that thousands will be thrilled to own -- but out of the box in OEM trim does not measure up to the rest of our fleet. What follows are our opinions personally and professionally. They do not make us right. They do not make us wrong. These opinions make us Pedders.
Just how well built is your 5th Gen Camaro? Take a close look at these crash test videos.
Watch the engine move while the front sub-frame remains almost stationary at 14 Seconds
When GM designed the Camaro they built it well, very well. It was engineered to have an exceptionally strong monocoque
. A solid monocoque translates into a higher perception of quality while enhancing performance and function. In the following series of pictures you can see how the 5th Gen Camaro has numerous 'chassis braces' built in at the factory using state-of the art design in the form of shape, construction and materials --
(HSLA) steel is a type of alloy steel that provides better mechanical properties or greater resistance to corrosion than carbon steel. HSLA steels vary from other steels in that they aren't made to meet a specific chemical composition, but rather to specific mechanical properties. They have a carbon content between 0.05–0.25% to retain formability and weldability. Other alloying elements include up to 2.0% manganese and small quantities of copper, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, vanadium, chromium, molybdenum, titanium, calcium, rare earth elements, or zirconium. Copper, titanium, vanadium, and niobium are added for strengthening purposes. These elements are intended to alter the microstructure of carbon steels, which is usually a ferrite-pearlite aggregate, to produce a very fine dispersion of alloy carbides in an almost pure ferrite matrix. This eliminates the toughness-reducing effect of a pearlitic volume fraction, yet maintains and increases the material's strength by refining the grain size, which in the case of ferrite increases yield strength by 50% for every halving of the mean grain diameter. Precipitation strengthening plays a minor role, too. Their yield strengths can be anywhere between 250–590 megapascals (36,000–86,000 psi). Due to their higher strength and toughness HSLA steels usually require 25 to 30% more power to form, as compared to carbon steels
Martensitic Ultra High Strength Steel
Maraging steels (a portmanteau of martensitic and aging
) are iron alloys which are known for possessing superior strength and toughness without losing malleability, although they cannot hold a good cutting edge. 'Aging' refers to the extended heat-treatment process. These steels are a special class of low-carbon ultra-high-strength steels which derive their strength not from carbon, but from precipitation of inter-metallic compounds. The principal alloying element is 15 to 25% nickel. Secondary alloying elements are added to produce intermetallic precipitates, which include cobalt, molybdenum, and titanium.
Photos originally posted 11.11.2008 by aston70
Rear Sub-Frame Forward Bush / Bolt Area
Rear Sub-Frame Rear Bush / Bolt / Locating Post
The large bush in the right of these two pictures has a ferule that fits over the Locating Post. This not only centers the sub-frame, but anchors it much as a weld would to the monocoque. The movement in the rear sub-frame is relative to the voids in the OEM rubber bushes. If the voids are filled with urethane inserts or the OE bushes replaced with higher durometer full urethane, movement of the rear sub-frame is virtually eliminated.
The front sub-frame mounts with six bolts and two locating pins. There are no rubber bushes. The front sub-frame connects well forward and well behind the front ‘axle’ for strength and stability. As you could see in the frontal impact video the engine was moving backwards from the impact (at roughly 14 seconds), but the front sub-frame remained well located.
What does all this mean to a 5th Gen Camaro owner in terms of suspension performance?
Pedders Camaro Running Race Car Speeds on Track
It means YOU own a bad XXX automobile.
It means you own more car than you probably thought you had purchased. It means your Camaro will remain tight and solid for many years and thousands of miles. It means your Camaro will respond exceptionally well to suspension modifications because it is such a robust and stable platform. It means you can drive your 5th gen with confidence knowing that it is built by Chevrolet to exceed your expectations. It means your suspension will work as designed when driven to the limits on track or down a roughest city street.
The 5th Gen Camaro off the showroom floor is a very good driving experience. You will notice that the ride is supple over bumps. This is due to the advanced design of the ZETA II chassis along with the very large wheel and tire package. There is substantial lean and roll, yet the 5th Gen sticks in turns. The steering is a bit softer than we would like. The SS Brembo brakes are very good, but the pedal feel not as sharp as we would like. Drive to 7/10, pushed hard the IRS has too much movement and creates rear end step out. It undermines driver confidence. Having said this, a bone stock 5th Gen Camaro blistered the Nurburing. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being a perfect car, we rate the 5th Gen a 6.5.
Pedderised NASCAR Pace Car
How could it be better? If the 5th Gen were built for a price point of 38 or $40,000 it would be capable of being close to a 10 from the showroom floor. Urethane is far more expensive than rubber. The low hanging fruit for the Camaro owner is in urethane inserts for the radius and sub-frame bushes. Installing Pedders EP6578 and EP1200 inserts addresses the feel of steering and brakes while settling down the IRS. These inserts work with the OE parts to make your driving experience more rewarding.
Lowering the Camaro with drop coils designed to work with the OE dampers and bumpstops reduces body lean and roll while maintain a high quality of ride. Using Pedders Xa coilovers would be the next level of excellence. For Pedders perfection only the 52mm Remote Reservoir Independent Bound and Rebound Adjustable Supercar Coilovers will do. All three address body lean and roll at the source.
Pedderised NASCAR Pace Car
With these foundational elements in place we suggest adding sway bars. A 27mm front bar will reduce body lean and roll resulting in a more enjoyable drive for the vast majority of Camaro drivers. For the more sporting Camaro driver a matched set of 27mm front and 27mm rear bars are the solution. For drivers with professional credentials Pedders Competition Sway Bar solution with work with your other modifications to create velocity induced oversteer. In the hands of a professional driver with these bits the 5th Gen Camaro is capable of performing like a race car – with a street friendly ride. A fully Pedderised 5th Gen, a Camaro like the Pedders USA, LLC Camaro, is thisclose to a Perfect 10.
The 2010 INDY 500 and NASCAR Camaro Pace Cars run on Pedders Xa coilovers. GM designers wanted the cars to have a more menacing stance. Pedders height adjustable Xa coilovers are perfect for height adjustment as suspension travel is the same regardless of the set ride height. As always, Pedders delivers more than requested so each of these Camaro Pace Cars includes 27mm front sway bars, 27mm rear sway bars, Xa coilovers radius and sub-frame bush inserts. GM has joined the rest of us as enthusiasts and our desire to personalize our cars. As you read through the pages that follow you will understand how to personalize your Camaro and make it a Perfect 10 for the way you drive.
GM redesigned the radius arm on the ZETA II Camaro. It uses a large hydraulically damped bush on one end and a ball joint on the other. The arm is more linear to deliver improved steering feel. Drivers that are tuned into their Camaro will notice slight softness in steering feel, the brake pedal and perhaps describe it as isolated. Pedders started early on and worked on a full urethane bush for a very special project with GM – the 2010 Camaro GS Race Car Concept shown at SEMA 2010. This video walks you through the OE and Pedders bushes with Jason Debler from http://www.camaroz28.com/
Replacing the hydraulically damped OEM radius rod bushes will help with steering and pedal feel. While the NVH properties are excellent, they are too soft for performance driving in our opinion. Pedders offers three solutions for this. The first option is a direct replacement street-friendly urethane insert for the OEM rubber bit. The firmer urethane insert removes some of the compliance in the bush improving brake pedal and steering feel. Using an EP6578 is as simple as removing two bolts, removing the soft OEM rubber insert, installing the Pedders urethane and bolting it back together. You may wonder if such a small part can make a difference in such a large automobile. You will be pleasantly surprised on their first test drive.
The full urethane bush replacement is Pedders EP6577 Camaro Urethane Steel Jacketed Radius Rod Bush. This is one robust bush with holes and voids designed to make our street friendly urethane mimic the NVH characteristics of the OEM bush with the performance of a urethane bush. If you track your car, the EP6577 will be the most durable solution. The inserts work to reduce motion, but the basic issue of the OEM bush remains -- it is hydraulically damped and can potentially fail on track. Pedders EP6577 is virtually indestructible on or off the track.
The third is an EP6579 full face Camaro Front Extreme Radius Rod Bush Insert replacing the soft OEM rubber insert with a very high durometer piece. The combination of bonded rubber ferrule steel jacketed bush with a full face high durometer urethane insert is outstanding. This solution is extremely firm and may lead to premature wear in the tie rod ends or the steering rack. This is the solution we have installed on the Pedders USA Camaro because we prefer the extra control. This is a hardcore option for the most demanding driver.
Some bushes should be left alone. The Front Lower Inner Control Arm Bush is one of them.
There have been a number of threads and posts in the last two weeks suggesting that the front LCA bush was a problematic bush, too weak for any type of performance driving and in dire need of replacement. Reading the posts motivated me to walk into the shop and cut a 5th Gen LCA bush in half to graphically tell a story of control and stability. Take a close look.
GM used a shaped ferule to increase bush stability. The ferule operates in a thin layer of rubber encased in a steel jacket. The bush rubber is bonded to both the ferule and the jacket making it exceptionally strong. This is an excellent bush design as it provides superior control and stability. When Pedders performs our evaluation of a chassis we look for the things that the OEM has done well and for things that can be improved on. The front LCA bush is good to go out of the box.
The last element is the differential. The ZETA II differential is mounted with three steel jacketed rubber NVH voided bushes. The Camaro has a long history on the track. It covers both strip and road course. While the overall setups for these types of cars are different in many ways, a stable differential that efficiently delivers power is common to both. Pedders addresses this need with a set of three high durometer urethane bushes in our EP1167 kit. The EP1167 works extremely well up to 450 RWHP. You'll experience crisper launches and stronger shifts with the EP1167 installed. For those who like Pedders choose to build their Camaro well past 450 RWHP our EP1167HD is the solution. The HD version does not have the voids found in our Sports Ryder version. The durometer is higher, for the loads delivered by higher output engines. There is a difference in cabin noise level with the EP1167HD. This is directly related to the elimination of voids and the increase in material hardness. It is a trade-off for ultimate performance with Delrin like performance, but with Pedders durability. Even if you run OEM spec power, but you hit the track HARD, you'll find the differential bush upgrade allows you to have a finer edge of control in the application of the loud pedal.
The wheels and tires are too big in circumference and diameter. We don't understand why GM used a set of tires and wheels better suited to an SUV. Actually we do understand and blame the designers and the public that love the look of these SUV tires and wheels. They love these big wheels and tires so much they want BIGGER wheels and tires. Our experience with the package is that the Camaro will be a much better car with smaller diameter wheels and tires that weigh less -- a lot less. It will get out of the hole better. It will stop better. It will not be as silky smooth, but it will be better. That is why we have selected Forgeline light weight racing wheels in a 19 x 10.5 size. The Forgelines will be covered with Bridgestone RE-11 305 30 19 performance tires. The RE-11 is arguably the finest street legal performance tire available. The combination of tire and wheels reduce the unsprung weight by 34 pounds while dramatically increasing the tire contact patch. The increase in traction combined with the decrease in weight improves everything from acceleration to handling to braking.
This is not a fitment that is in compliance with the OEM requirements. The sticker in the door shows a Maximum Load of 732 pounds plus the vehicle weight of approximately 3,900 pounds equaling roughly 4,600 pounds. The Load Rating stamped on the OEM tires is over 8,000 pounds. Speaking off the record with different OEM engineers Pedders is comfortable with the over 6,000 pound Load rating of our RE11 tires. We have suggested to GM marketing that they consider releasing an informational statement with an alternative range of acceptable wheel and tire sizes to the truck load ratings on the OEM package. Most wheel and tire shops will not sell or install a package with a lower load rating than shown on the OEM tires for liability reasons. Bridgestone, General Motors and Pedders do NOT recommend this tire and wheel package for your vehicle. This vehicle is built for Pedders to test the limits of the suspension design of OEM and Pedders components. Should GM modify their position on the Load Rating for Camaro tires, we may be able to make this our official corporate recommendation. Until , if or when that occurs all we can say is this is the best tire and wheel combination we have found for our testing and track use.
There is more to our choice of wheels and tires. Talk to any engineer with race experience and from a sheet of paper they can tell you why a Camaro in OEM trim suffers from significant understeer. The tale of the tape tells the story.
Front Track 63.7"
Rear Track 64.1'
Front Wheel 20 x 8
Rear Wheel 20 x 9
Front Tire P245/45ZR20
Rear Tire P275/40 ZR20
Weight Balance 52/48
Front Sway Bar Diameter 24mm
Rear Sway Bar Diameter 23mm
The understeer is built into the vehicle from the ground up. Pedders felt it necessary to bring out the true potential of the ZETA II Camaro to alter the car from the ground up.
Front Track 65.7"
Rear Track 64.6'
Front Wheel 19 x 10.5
Rear Wheel 19 x 10.5
Front Tire 305/30/19
Rear Tire 305/30/19
Weight Balance 52/48
Front Sway Bar Diameter 27mm
Rear Sway Bar Diameter 32mm
When the dimensional changes are combined with upgraded suspension components the Camaro become a virtual Supercar. We are at 141 MPH in 4th gear pulling effortlessly to redline. 175 MPH is the fastest we have run the car and we can tell you she was not breathing hard ready to for more. Only a fool will find the limits of a Pedderised Camaro on public road ways and depending on the race track, given there is no cage in the car, we doubt we will ever take our Camaro to the limit ANYWHERE.
When you are considering the modifications you choose to make to your Camaro, we strongly suggest you take a holistic approach and discuss the entire range of modifications with your Pedders Suspension Specialist. They can guide you through the selection process to make certain that each modification compliments all the others to create the best possible custom Camaro for your personal use.
There is a noticeable rear end step out in turns while applying power or brakes and dealing with bumps in the 5th Gen. This is due to the voids in the OEM Sub-frame bushes. It is not unique to the Camaro. It is typical of IRS systems installed with rubber bushes to isolate the passenger area from road noise. The larger and stickier your rear tires the more pronounced the sub-frame movement becomes. The same is true with increased RWHP.
The Camaro features much larger sub-frame bushes than the G8. These were improved to handle the higher loads created by larger rubber and high RWHP found in the Camaro. While they are an improvement, we do not feel they are stable enough for the way we drive a Camaro so we designed two solutions.
Pedders EP1200 Sub-Frame Inserts are good up to 500 RWHP. The inserts fill the OEM voids in the rubber sub-frame bushes from both the top and bottom. The control surfaces are dramatically increased. Since the OEM bushes remain in place, this is more than just a great upgrade. It is relatively easy to install the EP1200. These eight pieces transform your Camaro and are probably the single biggest bang for the buck modification you can make.
For those taking the Camaro beyond 500 RWHP, drag racers and hard core corner lovers the best solution will be Pedders EP1201 full urethane Sub-Frame Bushes. With these robust bushes installed and well over 500 RWHP your Camaro will launch cleanly and track true under load. In these photos you can almost feel the improvement in performance. For ease of assembly there is a 3/4" OEM ferule holes through which a 14mm bolt is passed. Those sloppy OEM ferules are replaced with Pedders and holes suited to the 14mm bolts used to secure them. This change means there is no possible movement in the assembly under any load that doesn't bend or shear a sub-frame bolt. The increase in control surface is nothing short of MASSIVE. Your rear sub-frame will now follow your Camaro and not attempt to steer your Camaro. Switch backs are tamed. Drag launches are harder and crisper with a more efficient transfer of power.
For ultimate in IRS control Pedders has developed the EP1201HD. Racers use Delrin bushes machined from stock. These are hard plastic suitable ONLY to a race car. They require frequent replacement. Pedders EP1201HD is a urethane of high dura that when captured by the Camaro sheet metal performs like Delrin, but has the durability of all Pedders urethane products. These bushes do transmit more road noise than the EP1200 inserts or the EP1201 full bushes. In the Pedders USA, LLC Camaro we barely notice a difference because the aggressive tires we run. The EP1201HD is not a typical Pedders bit. It is designed for ONLY the most dedicated enthusiasts. In the video, you will see that there is NO visible sub-frame movement, even with a 3 2 downshift with wide open throttle.
When Chevrolet introduced the Convertible they also made a change to the sub-frame bushes to address rear-end-step-out. If your Camaro was built in 2011 chances are it has the revised sub-frame bushes. The revised OE bushes have a bit more rubber in them and less NVH void space. They are an improvement over the earlier versions, but we at Pedders still feel they could be better and advise the 5th Gen owner to start with the foundation, to start with the sub-frame bush inserts or full bushes. Pedders EP1200 inserts will require a trim to fit in the revised sub-frame bushes. In this photo you see the fingers on the inserts that fill very thin voids in 5th Gens built prior to late March.
To fit a Pedders EP1200 Insert Kit on a 5th Gen with the revised bushes, use a pair of side cutters to trim the very thin fingers off the inserts. In this photo, we have covered the fingers with white paper. As you can see, what remains in a lot of material to fill the voids that remain in the revised OE bushes.
Btw, I wonder where GM got the idea to fill in at least part of the void in the sub-frame bushes
The OEM Camaro cruises well and after hours of driving you feel fresh and ready for more. However, going back to our G8, the Camaro suffered by comparison. This is not a comparison to a stock G8, but to our Pedderised G8. While the comparison is not fair, it is what we demand of our vehicles and what we are accustomed to -- precision in our daily driving experience with almost OEM comfort. The Pedders USA, LLC G8 rides well and handles as well – we struggle to find an appropriate description as it is so good -- yet our G8 is still street friendly and comfortable. Pedders does not build race car suspensions. We build suspensions for the enthusiast driver that would like their Camaro to handle like a race car AND ride like the OEM suspension. Anyone can build a rock hard suspension that handles well on the track. The trick is to come close to a track prepared vehicle in handling with an almost OEM ride quality. Delivering that driving experience is Pedders specialty.
GM’s ZETA chassis is so good stock and so GREAT Pedderised it blew by a BMW M5 at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. The professional drivers said there was no comparison because the Pedders G8 was so superior to the BMW M5. A stock Camaro doesn't feel that way. A Camaro can and ours does PEDDERISED. To be clear stock is VERY GOOD. Our Camaro and we suspect many of your Camaros will need to be as dialed in as our G8.
These were not specially prepared track vehicles, they were daily drivers. The Pedders USA G8 was driven with the family from Michigan to New Jersey and driven back again. They perform like race cars, but are as civil as OEM. Any company can make a rock hard track suspension. Pedders delivers track ready handling while retaining most of the comfort you expect in a luxury performance automobile. Look at what Paul Tracy can do with a Pedderised 5th Gen Camaro.
Suspension starts with a sound foundation. The foundation for any vehicle is the bushes. If the bushes are not spot on, then adding coils, improved dampers or bars will never get it right. They all become like lipstick on a pig. It looks or fells a little better but it is what it is. We have already addressed two crucial weaknesses in the ZETA II Camaro chassis -- sub-frame and radius rod bushes.
If you want to look for virtual perfection in the ZETA II chassis check out the OEM composite sway bar bushes. They are made of rubber, fiber reinforced plastic and steel. If you stay with stock sway bars, there is absolutely no need to change the OEM sway bar bushes. The same is true for the inner front control arm bushes. Both perform well and do not require upgrades or replacements.
The same is not true in the rear suspension. The upper rear control arm bushes are relatively soft and highly compliant. We feel strongly they should be replaced with Pedders EP7322 Urethane Upper Rear Control Arm Bushes. These higher durometer bushes control the loads generated by an enthusiast behind the wheel of a 5th Gen. With the upper rear control arms and sub-frame Pedderised, we move to the Toe Link, Trailing Arm and Knuckle Bushes. All of these will benefit from Pedders EP7323 upgrades. This is how Pedders delivers track like handling with OEM like ride. We take a little compliance out here and a little there. No one part is doing all the work. A lot of incremental upgrades deliver a driving experience that is far greater than the sum of the individual parts. The only control arm weakness left to address is the inner rear control arm OEM bush. We upgrade that to a Pedders EP7264 Steel Jacketed Urethane Bush. The rear suspension is almost fully Pedderised at the foundational level.
Your Camaro's Pedderised foundation is now as stable as a Chevy rock and matches the best of class and approaches best in the industry monocoque. Everything is now performance matched for the enthusiast. Now we move on to address coils, damping, endlinks and the final tuning element -- sway bars.
We will start with the OEM coils and ride height. Why the Camaro delivers at 4 x 4 like ride heights is the result of a range of government regulations and GM engineering requirements. Unless you plan to take your Camaro off road, lowering will address a range of weaknesses and improve her already good looks. The first hard corner you take in your Camaro the most lasting impression will be just how much body lean there is. That is a direct result of the tall ride height -- even in SS trim. The SS delivers at 694mm front and 700mm rear measuring from the lower wheel lip, up through the wheel center and to the painted edge of the fender. That is 20 mm too tall in our opinion for a daily driver in the hands of an enthusiast.
Pedders has designed three solutions for ride height. One is the fully adjustable Xa Coilover range that dominates the Camaro after market in sales.
You have seen Pedders Camaro Xa coilovers on the highest profile Camaros in North America: Jay Leno's Six, the entire GM display at SEMA 2009 and on the Camaro Pace Cars used in NASCAR and Indy racing series.
The second is Pedders SportsRyder lowering coils. Our SportsRyder lowering coils will work on both the six and the eight with a 657mm front ride height and either 675mm or 660mm rear ride height. These are no ordinary coils. These are coils manufactured to Pedders standards of +/- 1mm. Each coil is fully scragged and height verified before it is placed in a Pedders box. Coils that literally do not measure up are discarded as junk, not reworked. Coils that fail this test are not reworked. They are shipped out as scrap metal. When you purchase a Pedders Camaro Coil Set you have purchased what some brands would call a race matched set.
Video: Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension
May 2, 2012 by Carter Jung
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension
Pedders Suspension is a brand that might be familiar to enthusiasts of the domestic aftermarket. For more than six years, Pedders has offered suspension components for Chevy Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Pontiac GTOs. What most don’t know is that the company is far from an upstart in the chassis game. Pedders Suspension has been in business in their home country of Australia for over 60 years, starting back in the mid-1950s rebuilding shock absorbers.
Headquartered in Keysborough, just outside of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Pedders Suspension has a unique business model for their domestic market. Their products are distributed solely through franchised Pedders Suspension retailers, of which there are over 130 in Australia. Think Jiffy Lube, but for suspension needs that range from the inspection and alignment all the way to polyurethane bushings and coilover swaps.
Here in the U.S., Pedders’ business model is completely different, utilizing a more traditional distribution route. In their short time in the American market, Pedders’ products have been used by GM, Lingenfelter and Saleen. Pedders sells the gamut of chassis components, including coilovers, polyurethane bushings and CV shafts, but their core product is springs. In fact, Pedders likes to refer to their manufacturing facility as the “World’s Best Spring Plant.” While that’s up for interpretation, having witnessed the birth of a spring, firsthand, we can attest that quality is very much at the core of their values.
Here’s how Pedders Suspension springs are made:
Birth of a Pedders Spring - Step1
Pedders’ springs begin life as steel from BlueScope Steel, an Aussie company headquartered in Melbourne. Instead of sourcing cheaper materials from China or India, Pedders insists upon using steel that is ISO accredited.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 2
For heating of the metal rods, Pedders relies on gas instead of electricity. With the latter, dips and irregularity in power can cause inconsistencies in the metal. Each rod is baked close to 980 degrees C.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 3
After the steel is heated up to temperature, the glowing rod is then coiled around a mandrel. The solid steel mandrel does not flex or bow with repetitive use. Pedders has more than 100 different steel mandrels in varying shapes and sizes for varying applications.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 4
The next stage in the spring production is quenching, a process in which the hot coiled steel is cooled by oil. The spring is still soft at this point, lacking any memory.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 5
Once the spring is cooled, it goes back into the tempering furnace where the coils are cured. Temperatures are adjusted to suit the gauge of the wire—the thicker, the hotter.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 6
After another cooling phase, each spring is ground to appropriate size and fitment.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 7
For the final step in strengthening the steel, each spring is shot peened with military grade shot.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 8
Pedders scrags 100 percent of their springs. Scragging is a quality-control process where each spring is fully compressed, testing its load for up to 2 mm in variance.
Birth of a Lowering Spring: Inside Pedders Suspension - Step 9
Before they are boxed and shipped around the world, the springs are powder coated. Powder coating gives a spring its brand-distinctive color and protects it from the elements.
Posted with the permission of R & T
The third option is the best in class 52mm Remote Reservoir Independent Bound and Rebound Adjustable Supercar Coilovers. The shear mass of the pistons and the volume of oil work to make them silky smooth. The ability to click tune and Game On!
When we corner weighted the Pedders USA Camaro we were shocked as just how much attention to detail had been invested by the engineers at GM. We were able to adjust our Xa coilovers to bring the front wheels within ONE pound and the rear wheels to within 10. The cross weights were so close we kept checking the scales to make sure they were working properly. What this means to you is that your Camaro has tremendous potential and that your aftermarket coils or coilovers should be made with the same attention to detail as GM put into the development of ZETA II. Pedders understand how much you care about your Camaro. We feel the same way. It shows in our product, on the track, in your daily drive and most important of all -- how we value you as a customer.
Pedders Camaro coils have been designed to work with your OEM dampers and the OE bumstops. The SS dampers particularly are very well done from the factory. When matched to a set of Pedders coils, you can expect your Camaro to ride almost like factory even though it has been lowered and handle with a more aggressive edge.
For those who want the best of the best with track like performance and OEM like ride comfort and more drop than available through lowering coils Pedders 160086 eXtreme Xa Coilovers are the most popular choice in the 5th Gen community. The Xa coilover has a full range of travel when close to OEM height or fully dropped. This is functionality is the result of the unique fully threaded 46mm monotube damper body that screws into or out of the lower mounting bracket leaving the coil and suspension travel unchanged. The front coilovers use the OEM bearing and coil mount and cylindrical coil. The rear structure for the ZETA II Camaro requires a cone like coil wind to be compatible with the large four bolt upper OEM spring perch. Pedders takes great care in the design of a coilover to make certain that it is fully compatible with the OEM mountings.
To meet the needs of the enthusiast driver without camber plates, Pedders designed a 10mm wider clevis. The extra clevis width increases clearance between the sidewall and coilover. You can use this extra clearance to increase negative front camber. The Pedders Camaro clevis mounts accept the OEM brake lines and ABS wiring just like the OEM strut. Installing Pedders Xa coilovers is as easy as take off the OEM black and install the Pedders Red Xa unit.
Spring and rates and damper mapping are mission critical to the enthusiast and exceptionally well done with the R & D for the Pedders Xa Camaro application. Using 8kg coils front and 10kg coils rear the spring rates bring balance to the factory 52 / 48 weight distribution. There is a motion ratio at work in the rear of the Camaro making the spring rates almost perfectly matched. There are 30 positions to the Xa damper settings from OEM soft to R compound tire race track ready hard. The positive click adjustments are easy to make and alter the bound and rebound as well as the high and low speed circuits. Many adjustable dampers only allow the end user to change the low speed settings. For the enthusiast having the ability to alter both high and low speed operation is a huge plus.
Pedders made the decision to give the end user control over both circuits because it is what we would want on our personal vehicles. We choose to fix the bound to rebound ratio on the Xa range so that even a novice user can confidently make damper adjustments.
The difference between full soft and full hard feels as though the coils were actually changed on the vehicle. This range of damping adjustment makes the Pedders Xa Camaro coilovers well suited to a vehicle that will be driven daily and when take to the track quickly clicked into a track ready state.
Pedders USA, LLC is proud to offer the most advanced coilover application for the 2010 Camaro. These are the SMOOTHEST MOST CONTROLLED coilovers money can buy for 5th Gen. Pedders Supercar coilovers are 52mm monotubes. Our Xa coilovers, which are spectacular in their own right, are sized like most coilovers at 46mm. Basic fluid dynamics tells you that the larger the volume of oil, the smoother the action, control will be. Comparing a 46mm diameter disc for surface area to a 52mm disc we find there is 27% increase in surface area. Couple the 27% greater disc surface area with remote reservoirs the size of Coke or beer cans and the volume of oil is increased by more than half. Couple this HUGE amount of oil with 30 independent bound and 30 independent rebound adjustments and you have race car like control over your 5th Gen suspension. There is nothing better you can buy for your 5th Gen Camaro. Make your Camaro a true Supercar with Pedders Supercar coilovers.
The shear mass of oil, the diameter of the piston assure you of silky smooth operation. The Supercar coilovers include all of the Xa features and none of the headaches normally associated with remote reservoirs. The Supercar reservoirs are mounted to the coilovers, so Pedders Supercar coilovers install with the same ease as our Xa coilovers. The adjustments are positive clicks with no guess work. Adjustment of the damping is as easy as Click, Tune -- Game On!
Pedders foundation as a company is more than just a range of bits, we are suspension specialists committed to delivering a Pedders Driving Experience. A lowered vehicle should have a full range of alignment adjustments. The Camaro delivers from Chevrolet with a fixed Castor position. The radius arm bolts into round holes with no available adjustment. Front Camber is adjustable from the factory. There is a threaded hole for front Camber Adjustment Bolt / Screw, but no bolt is installed and no part number is listed by Chevrolet. The rear OEM eccentric adjusters for Toe and Camber provide approximately one degree adjustment range. For an alignment specialist, this is unacceptable. You want to get your Camaro perfectly setup. This is what Pedders is all about. Our solution is a set of cadmium plated eXtreme Alignment Bolts. While GM made the hole round for the front Castor Adjustment or lack thereof, they did weld in brackets for an eccentric to work against. Your local Pedders Dealer can create a slot to provide Castor adjustment with Pedders Camaro Alignment Bolts. The kit provides the front Camber screws that GM didn't.
The knuckle on your Camaro has provisions for the same Camber adjustment screw that was standard on the Holden built Pontiac GTO and G8. While the threaded hole is on your Camaro knuckle, no camber adjustment bolt or crew has been provided. In fact, the alignment instructions do not even refer to it. A Pedders Alignment Bolt Front or Complete Kit includes two cadmium plated Front Camber Screws.
The Camaro ships with no provision for front Castor adjustment. Castor adjustment is critical in eliminating front end pulls as a repair or adjustment. Castor is also critical to the demanding driver or competitive driver. Higher Castor settings speed the return to center of the steering wheel making your vehicle more responsive. A Camaro Front Alignment Bolt Kit allows your Pedders Professional to increase the Castor or adjust Castor to the optimal range.
Pedders Rear Eccentrics are virtually bullet proof with approximately 2 degrees or double the factory adjustment. With the Camaro alignment Kit installed your Camaro can be setup for the drag strip, road course, auto cross or every day flawless driving. Even better, Pedders alignment eccentric bolts carry a unique warranty feature. Should a Pedders eccentric ever fail while you own the vehicle we will replace it. You get a superior alignment, improved driving experience and a life time warranty with Pedders Camaro Alignment Bolt kits.
The only components left are endlinks and sway bars. The OEM endlinks are designed for OEM anticipated driving. The front endlink is 10mm and the rear is 8mm with modest sized ball joints. The front endlink is mounted high up on the strut or a high roll center mount. Connecting the sway bar high up on the strut increases the efficiency of the bar. It helps the car roll or lean less. The rear sway bar mount geometry is not as efficient. The endlinks mount well in board on the lower control arm making it far from ideal. This is arguably the weakest design feature of the ZETA and ZETA II architecture. The Camaro delivers with a staggered wheel and tire package and bars almost identical in size but not in function. This configuration creates a solid driving experience until the vehicle is pushed passed 7/10s. (When we say 7/10s what we are referencing is the absolute capacity of a car. Race cars are rarely driven at 10/10s. Driving that hard causes failures. You may see a race car being pushed to 10/10s for the last few laps of a close race. Racers spend most track time running n in the 7 to 9/10s range.) Generally automobile testing is done at 7/10s or below by OEMs. Of course there are exceptions. A Camaro at 7/10s is a very fast automobile. Press on past 7/10s and at this level of aggressive driving understeer becomes dominant. Continue to press the range and you can plow the North 40!
There are several solutions to this, but before we go there allow us to explain our philosophy on sway bars as the final tuning element to a suspension. Everything starts with foundational bushes. We have to have a stable foundation before we change or tweak anything in the suspension. That is why we always start with the weakest foundational bushes first. After the bushes come the coils and dampers. Now that the suspension is solid from the foundational level on up, we can tune with sway bars. Adding sway bars before any other key component is the same as placing a Band-Aid over a bleeding artery. It might look better. It might even feel better, but the foundational issues are still there.
Not all sway bars are created equal. At Pedders we expect a sway bar to be made of high quality spring steel. We expect the bars to be heat treated after they are bent to restore the spring in spring steel with maximum function. That means a Pedders bar made of the same diameter steel with many times be stronger than a brand-x bar made of the same material.
There is a fine line between R & D testing and having fun with our fleet. We cross it constantly because it is the best way to develop product for our enthusiast clients. It is one thing to test drive a vehicle for a day or two. It is a very different experience to live with a vehicle month after month. We believe it is the only way to understand your Camaro driving experience.
We have determined in our testing and daily driving that a 27mm front bar 428020-27A is correct for the Camaro in a variety of configurations. When a car starts to slide, the first action of most drivers will be to ease of the gas and / or get on the brakes. If you are in an understeer mode, as speed is reduced the slide will reduce. Lifting off the gas or hitting the brakes does not cause any dramatic reaction when in understeer mode. This is why mass produced vehicles are designed to understeer. It is what drivers are most accustomed too. It is the safe and conservative path. If you want to change your sway bars you have to ask yourself what you want to accomplish.
The vast majority of Camaro owners would be changing bars to reduce body lean and improve turn in. Keep in mind that driving a Camaro past 7/10s means you are making extremely high speed maneuvers. Many Camaro owners will never experience factory understeer -- because they don't push that hard when they drive. That doesn't mean they would not have a superior driving experience with a larger diameter front bar. A larger diameter front bar will greatly reduce the lean you feel on the highway or in a turn. It will improve turn in to a point, but when it goes into understeer, it will be worse than with the factory bar. Up to that point, it will provide a very rewarding driving experience. This 27mm front bar has three adjustment positions to allow you to vary your setup. Camaro Solution A Pedders 27mm front bar that ships with urethane D Bushes, Brackets and a Pair of 424218 Adjustable Endlinks. This installation requires the OEM front strut endlink mount holes be drilled to fit the larger 424218 endlink studs.
For the more aggressive enthusiast Camaro owners, those that want a rewarding driving experience and a reduction in actual understeer Pedders Solution B will be the answer. In this configuration, the front bar is 27mm 428020-27A and the rear bar is 27mm 429020-27A. The transition from slight understeer to slight oversteer will be predictable based on the velocity of the vehicle. The faster the vehicle travels, the faster the vehicle will enter oversteer in a turn. This setup requires the driver to know the difference between understeer and oversteer as well as how to react to both. You have to know when you can lift and when you cannot lift or things will get worse fast. Both bars are adjustable. Start out with the rear bar set to full soft and the front bar to full hard. Work through the adjustment range until you are comfortable with your setup. We encourage ALL Camaro owners to take a performance driving class to learn how to safely operate a high performance vehicle. Camaro Solution B includes 27mm front bar, 27mm rear bar, Urethane D bushes and 424218 Adjustable endlinks. This installation requires the OEM front strut endlink mount holes and the OEM rear lower control arm endlink holes be drilled to fit the larger 424218 endlink studs.
For drivers that are SCCA or NASA qualified, those expert car control drivers, Pedders has put together a track ready sway bar package. The front bar remains at 27mm 428020-27A, but the rear bar increases in diameter to 32mm 429020-32A. The larger rear bar allows you to adjust in the amount of oversteer you desire. Between the front and rear bar adjustments you can create a very loose and very fast track ready Camaro. Make no mistake about it; this is an aggressive setup that ships with a disclaimer. The disclaimer makes clear these are for track use only. We do want you to send us your Podium Finish Pictures and have no interest in your damaged rim from a street incident. We told you before you bought these bars they were for SCCA and NASA qualified drivers for TRACK USE. Once again, you must know your driving limits. This setup is designed for track use by qualified drivers with years of high speed cornering experience. Camaro Solution C includes 27mm front bar, 32mm rear bar, D Bushes and Brackets along with 4 4242218 Adjustable Endlinks. This installation requires the OEM front strut endlink mount holes and the OEM rear lower control arm endlink holes be drilled to fit the larger 424218 endlink studs.
The first step in upgrading sway bar function is to improve the endlink. Pedders 424218 Adjustable Endlinks are more robust at 12mm than the OEM 8mm and 10mm endlinks. They also use a large ball joint with a larger stud. Installing these on OEM bars requires drilling out the bar as well as the strut and lower control arm mounting brackets. While this is an improvement, it is not a solution. The solution is to increase the bar diameters. The question is how much should we increase them and for which type of driver?
Pedders sway bars are made of solid stock. We choose to use solid stock for consistency in production. In a hollow bar, the thickness of the wall determines the strength of the tube. Anything less than a perfect bend reduces the strength of a hollow bar more than the same imperfection would in a solid bar. Solid stock is far more forgiving of less than perfect bends consistently delivering superior strength. The weight savings of a hollow bar becomes less and less significant as you study the application of material. First the weight is not unsprung so five or ten pounds does not radically alter the function of the suspension. It is not spinning mass as would be a brake rotor or tire and wheel so the weight doesn't not radically alter the function of the brakes. It is weight placed very low in the vehicle creating a very slight shift in vertical CG, but that too is of little significance. In the end, a 27mm solid bar is stronger than a 27mm hollow bar with a slight weight disadvantage. (There is much confusion on the subject of solid vs. hollow bars. One of the best discussions from independent sources is available on the BMW forum. BMW Thread. The second post by Matt M. has the most comprehensive information.) It is our view that in volume production for a street enthusiast vehicle a solid sway bar will be the most consistent solution. Pedders provides the informed and educated Camaro owner with three sway bar solutions to match your driving skills and style that not only include the standard mounting hardware, but also include adjustable double ball joint endlinks to deliver the best possible driving experience.
With the foundational components are in place you will find Pedders Camaro adjustable bars to be a significant improvement to your OEM bars. The center adjustment position delivers 27mm front bar performance. Each position you move toward the firmer setting, toward the sway bar mounting D bush will increase the sway bar rate 1mm. The same is true moving away from the D bush toward the softest setting. With this range of adjustment built into both the front and rear bars and Pedders range of bars you should be able to adjust them to match your specific Camaro setup requirements. Keep in mind, that buying sway bars BEFORE you have installed EP1200 or 1201 Sub-Frame Inserts or Bushes along with at least the EP6578 Radius Bush Inserts is a mistake. You'll never enjoy the full benefit of the bars until you do. Many who follow this advice will find they don't need a sway bar upgrade. The weakest elements in the Camaro are the Sub-Frame and radius Bushes -- not sway bars. Build a solid foundation using Pedders bushes, dampers and coils and then use sway bars as the final tuning element.
2012 and On FE4 / FE5 Sway Bars
The Camaro SS FE4 suspension moves the rear sway bar endlink / drop link mounting close to the knuckle to increase efficiency. The stock bars are now solid 23mm front and 24mm rear. The ZL1 will have 25mm solid front bars and 28mm solid rear bars. Chevrolet moved from hollow to solid bars for strength and durability. They did well, very well
Pedders exists to take Modern Muscle to the next level and we have a particular affinity for the 5th Gen Camaro. Our FE4 / FE5 sway bars are solid. The front is 27mm and adjustable. The rears are 32mm. Our bar sets are sold with high efficiency OEM quiet front end-links and fixed position drop- links. How do they perform, do you really need to ask? The owner of this Camaro is a law enforcement professional with countless hours of driver training. His professional opinion -- 'Holy shit, man! The front HOOKED not even CLOSE to breaking traction and the back end stayed right with it. I mean....when the car turns, it TURNS.'
Our FE4 / 5 rear sway bars can be retro fit to any 5th Gen Camaro. The new Camaro rear lower control arsm have the 'old' style close to the differential endlink mounting tabs and the 'new' close to the knuckle mounting hole. This is a smart choice by Chevrolet as one coomon part number can be used on all versions of the 5th Gen Camaro. The new OE lower rear control arms are inexpensive.
Why did Chevrolet make the change in rear sway bar geometry and size? To make the 5th Gen handle better. From day one of the 5th Gen the bias of the car has been heavy on understeer. This is a function of weight distribution, wheel base, track, wheel and tire size and of course sway bar strength. The FE4 addresses both with improved rear sway bar geometry and sway bar strength. The old bars were hollow. The new bars are solid, the material is stronger. The old bars were almost the same diameter (strength) front and rear. The new FE4 rear bar is 1mm larger than the front. It doesn't sound like much, but coupled with the increase in efficiency of the new outboard mounting position it is a big difference. The FE4 Camaro is far more balanced that the FE3 SS. It is more neutral and handles better in the corners.
The new FE5 ZL1 takes this all on steroids. The front bar goes up in size to 25mm and the rear bar a huge jump to 28mm. Talk about balance from the factory
At Pedders, even great isn't good enough. We have been using a dumbed down rear alignment with a 32mm bar to reduce understeer and improve cornering. We set the rear camber to half the front camber or even less. The on track results were excellent. We feel we had a ZL1 two years ago with our Pedders USA Camaro. Now, there is a ZL1 so we have been hard at work with our partners at Lingenfelter on the L/28. When you next see the L/28 it will be running Pedders new FE4 / FE5 / ZL1 sway bars.
Here is the new rear bar complete with Pedders drop-link.
The new 32mm bar takes up space, but there are ZERO clearance issues.
To get the aggressive alignment we wanted Pedders Extended Range Rear Camber and Toe bolts are necessary. They increase the adjustment range by 1 degree or in layman's terms a lot. We achieve this result my moving the eccentric to the outer edge of the bolt. The eccentrics are cut on a water jet, assembled in a jig and welded. This is a time consuming process. To finish the bolts we have them cadmium plated.
Eccentrics have a bad habit of drifting under high loads. We address that with more material. We make our eccentrics out of stock that is much thicker than the OEM bolts. More material means more strength and improved holding power.
We use a thick 'holding' nut and a thin jam nut. Unlike quenched nuts, you can use these again and again.
FE4 / FE5 / ZL1 Track Alignment
Caster: Max it out with Pedders Caster Eccentrics
Camber: -2.3 Do NOT run a strut tower bar, let the car work for you in the turns. If you have one, take it off
Toe: OUT .5
Toe: IN .20
Pedders Full Camaro Alignment Kit is required.
Heath Bratcher, owner of American Muffler / Pedders in Fredericksburg Texas, Jimmy his lead Pedders Tech, myself and TAG UR IT
Our Pedders USA Camaro continues to evolve. Some of the changes are cosmetic. Working with Nickey Chicago and ACS she now sports a functional Stinger II hood and ACS grill with functional brake ducts. Other changes are purely functional.
The OE SS calipers and rotors are fine for an OE vehicle, but as you increase performance, expand the operational range better braking became important. Pedders reached into GM rather deep parts bin and came out with Cadillac CTS-V brakes and rotors. The six piston rotors are perfect for a road course and resist fade. CTS-V street pads are great for the street, but we are going to upgrade for our next track session to a dedicated track pad.
The most significant upgrade we have made since our testing last fall is the additional of Pedders Supercar 52mm Remote Reservoir Independent Bound and Rebound Double Adjustable Coilovers. Our Xa coilovers are 46mm monotubes and very good. The oil volume and piton size of our 52mm is 27% greater as measured by only by tube size, not including the remote canister. The larger the oil volume, the larger the piston diameter the smoother they can function with greater control. These are smooth operators.
Setting up a car for street use would typically be soft and cuddly. The advanced engineering built into a ZETA II Camaro matched to a set of Supercar coilovers delivers a great street ride with full track settings. This is a true statement for West Michigan. If the car were operated daily in Detroit with arguably the worst roads in the country, you may choose to dial it backs a bit. Here are the settings we used for this testing session.
Supercar Damper Settings from Full Soft
Front Bound 18
Front Rebound 16
Rear Bound 23
Rear rebound 16
New Parts Evaluated in this Test Session
Cadillac CTS-V Brakes
The CTS-V brakes tested well. The bias is absolutely perfect for the car. The feel is great. The OE pads are a great combination pad for street and light track use. We don't do track light with our Camaro. We like to run hard. The next time we run our Camaro she will have new track pads and the CTS-V brakes will be great in all aspects.
We are never satisfied at Pedders and are constantly trying to improve. If you don't test, you don't know. The new sway bars earned a FAIL. We will go back to the track with our Solution C Sway bars. They were the best choice last year and are still the best choice. If you don't test, you don't know.
Grading the Supercar Coilovers is a real challenge. There is really nothing on the market to compare them too. They are the best solution available for the Camaro. We knew that going in. Aside from sitting next to me in the car the best way for you to see them in action is by video. We did not run hard because of the brake pads, but we still ran well!
We thank you for taking the time to read through our evaluations and solutions for the ZETA II 2010 Camaro. We hope it was informative. Feel free to contact Pedders with your technical questions or to contact your local Pedders Dealer. Our customer service starts well before the sale and continues well after the sale. The final thought we would like to leave you with is our best advice on how to purchase a suspension modification for your Camaro. This is the same advice we have been offering our prospective clients for years.
Don't believe what you read about Pedders or any other suspension product. Get a test ride or drive in a Pedderised Camaro. Let your backside and the real world experience make the decision for you. There is a reason we run with the catch phrase -- NO BULL! There can be no bull when you are in the car and feel for yourself why so many have joined the Pedders Nation.
Caution: Test driving any Pedderised vehicle can be dangerous. Pedderised vehicles have been known to induce suspension envy and sleepless nights filled with longing. Before test-driving any Pedderised vehicle, check with you banking and accounting professionals. Pedderised vehicles are known to induce credit card bills and reduced bank balances. There is no antidote. Only genuine Pedders can cure Suspension Envy.
ZETA and ZETA II Notes
GM's GRWD platform was designed by their wholly owned subsidiary Holden in Australia. The first production release of ZETA is found in the Holden built Commodore. It was followed by the Holden built Pontiac G8. Chevrolet worked diligently with Holden on the revisions made to ZETA to create ZETA II for the Camaro. The changes are subtle, but significant. ZETA II is a more robust platform that has been designed to handle the higher loads created by higher RWHP, larger wheels and tires, bigger stronger brakes and in general the demands of a true sports car. Some ZETA components are interchangeable, most are not. Pedders has had the benefit of working on ZETA in Australia and then working on the GS Camaro that will run in the Grand AM Challenge originally designed by GM and now built by Riley Tech.
The development never stops. Now we are into thermal management.
Our 2010 Camaro is making over 560 RWHP and 499 RWTQ. It is also making a lot of heat. It makes so much heat it discolors the paint on the lower rear fascia and has melted some of the fascia. We can live with that, but losing power because of high IATs -- unacceptable.
ProCharger has developed a Stage II kit for the 2010 Camaro. We now run a larger intake tube and filter with a MASSIVE race intercooler. The new intercooler includes a mount for the MAF. My tuner believes that the air flow in the intercooler is less turbulent and allows him to tune more effectively. We did not gain RWHP but we did gain between 20 and 30 RWHP and RWTQ between 3 and 6K. We also dramatically dropped the IATs and should not see any on track power loss.
In addition to the new intake and intercooler we did more thermal management work. We wrapped the headers, removed the sound insulation from the plenum, wrapped the heater hoses and finally wrapped the intake charge tube to isolate it from engine compartment heat. The crew at Witt Buick did a great job for us.
We'll track test in a little more than two weeks, but the street and dyno results are very encouraging.
We do not suggest you remove the OE mufflers because they are part of the under car OE aero engineering. The shape of the mufflers flow air past the rear fascia. The OE mufflers prevent the rear fascia from becoming your drogue chute, they reduce drag at high speeds.
Under your engine cover is a plenum cover. This cover is installed to reduce air flow noise in the passenger area. We suspected it was also holding in heat. As we look to make the intake charge as cool as possible reducing the temperature of the plenum made sense.
The foam is relatively thick. With the cover removed you can lay your hand on the plenum after a hard run comfortably. It may not be scientific, but it is an effective measurement. With plenum cover -- too hit to touch. Without the plenum cover -- warm but comfortable.
Jeff at Witt Buick wraps the heater hoses that lay across the plenum. We wrapped the hose to reduce heat transmission from the hose to the plenum. Anything that we could do to keep the intake air cool and maintain all the OE creature comforts we did.
Thermal management is straight forward, but time consuming. It takes longer than you would think. Our complete project including tuning took 3 and 1/2 days.
To wrap the headers we had to remove them. Coating may have been as effective, but the full race guys we spoke with seemed to think that wrapping was more effective. We apologize to our good friends at ARH for wrapping their wonderful SS 2010 Camaro headers. Sorry about that Nick.
When it comes to wrapping headers the best thing to do is go slow. It seems that no matter how much care you put into the project there will be a gap here and there. We did the wrap and sprayed a coat of protective silicone. When the coating has dried we went back to wrapping until we were satisfied.
Jeff from Witt Buick sprays protective coating.
This header is 90% complete. If you take a close look you'll find some gaps. We wrapped and sprayed again.
Header #2 gets wrapped.
Our data logging did not detect any electronic issues. That said, as long as we were taking these extreme thermal management measures we insulated the spark plug wires.
The engine compartment was shaping up as far as the wraps for stage one of the project.
The standard ProCharger, 2.5 Quart Fluidyne Oil Cooler and supplemental power steering cooler are shown here. Take note of the collector / tanks being on the top and bottom with the cores running vertically.
The original ProCharger Intercooler was sufficient to make our Camaro the fastest 2010 on a road course and at the Optima Challenge. We would have been faster with our current setup. We would have been faster because we would not have lost power due to high IATs and timing being pulled out of the tune by the on board engine computer.
The new intercooler is larger by dimension and use side tanks instead of top and bottom tanks. It also includes a mounting point for the MAF. The old system had the MAF in the charge tube. The metal tube and mount would get hot. The heat from the metal tube influenced the MAF temperature reading making the computer think the air in the tube was hotter than it actually was. The new MAF location will read accurate air temperatures. Not only with the reading be accurate, the air will be cooler due to the improved intercooler. On the dyno our supercharged air was only 2 to 3 degrees warmer than the ambient air temperature. We did our dyno work with a single fan. Recovery was almost instantaneous. With air moving at track speeds we should be seeing supercharged air at ambient temps.
The Fluidyne 2.5 Quart oil cooler is mounted above the new ProCharger Stage II intercooler. Today the ambient air temp was 91 degrees. The in car temperature gauge / model showed oil temps to be 210 degrees when the water temp was 194. Using a direct reading thermal probe on the oil tank the reading was down to 150 degrees. The intercooler after the same 30 minute expressway drive was found to be 91 degrees or the same as ambient air.
The oil cooler is plumbed with -12 lines. -12 stands for REALLY BIG OIL LINES!
In this picture look at the left lower corner where you will see the OE bumper mount un- cut.
In this picture you can see where we trimmed the bumper mount to create clearance for the new MAF location.
This is the new intake charge pipe test fit into place. The only difference is there is no MAF mount on the Stage II pipe NAKED.
We insulated the Stage II pipe from rubber hose mount to rubber hose mount with left-over header wrap. On the headers, the wrap keeps heat in. On the intake pipe we are using it to keep heat OUT. With the MAF reading IAT at the intercooler we wanted to make certain that the air entering the engine was the same as it was in the intercooler.
Here you can see the intake charge pipe installed with header wrap. We are only Stage I in our process. We need to add the 'astronaut' sock.
Stage II required the installation of an 'astronaut sock'. This reflective heat barrier is made of the same material as header wrap with a foil outer shell to reflect heat away from the pipe. Ryan at Witt Buick did a great job of lacing up the 'astronaut' sock in relatively tight spaces.
All of our insulation materials were purchased through Lane Automotive in Waterviliet Michigan.
The 2010 5th Gen Chevrolet Camaro is an American Muscle Car. You can see we tip our hat to acknowledge the heritage with Red White and Blue lacing. We are confident that the insulation will deliver supercharged air within a degree or two of the air measured at the new MAF location of the intercooler. The proof will come at our next testing session when we can compare data from previous runs to the new runs we make using Thermal Management.
If we had it to do all over again, we would have had the headers coated and still wrapped them. The LS3 is a furnace and anything we can do to lower the engine compartment temperatures is a good thing. The same is true of all the other things we did. On our next project car I can assure you we will do this the first time around and not install so many of the same parts twice.
I should also point out that we run our 5th Gen hard, really hard. The harder you run them the more care you have to exercise regarding Thermal Management.
This video segment from WCC has a good video summary of the essential 5th Gen suspension modifications with some good TV on the front and back ends.
Lift the car on a two post lift and raise it.
Loosen the following bolts/nuts:
---Inner Control Arm Bushing
---Inner Radius Rod
---Trailing Arm Bushings (both ends)
---Toe Rod Bushings (both ends)
---Lower Control Arm Bushings (Inner)
---Upper Control Arm Bushings (Rearward)
---Lower Strut Bushings
Lower the car and drive it around the parking lot SLOWLY
and on to the alignment lift.
With the weight of the car on the wheels tighten all of the nuts/bolts to spec.
Align the car at the new ride height.
Front and Rear Bolt Torque Values
NOTE: Torque specifications that read XX torque value and XX degrees are usually TTY and require replacement of the bolt, nut or both. If replacement parts are not available from GM the minimum acceptable torque will be those values stated along with a liberal application of a thread locker i.e. LocTite.
5th Gen Drag Race Setup
The Lingenfelter Black Pig runs a 1.3 60' with the ZETA II IRS. Setup is more important on an IRS than a traditional solid axle because there are so many more variables in an IRS. Now is a good time to talk about wheeel hop.
The #1 source of wheel hop on a 5th Gen Camaro is found in the OEM SUB-FRAME
bushes. That would be the reason Chevrolet upgrade the sub-frame bushes by partially filling the Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) voids starting with the 2012 5th Gen Vert. The OEM sub-frame bushes are still biased toward NVH concerns and not burn-outs, or performance at the drags or road course weekends. The NVH voided original or slightly improved OEM sub-frame bushes allow the entire IRS to shift side to side while under-load. This motion changes the dynamic alignment of your 5th Gen creating rear end steer, rear end step out and contributing to wheel hop
The #2 source of wheel hop, particularly on lowered Camaros is INCORRECT ALIGNMENT
. Too much negative camber places the load of launch primarily on the inside shoulder of the rear tire. Spinning an inch and a half strip of tire doesn't take much HP. Aligning your 5th Gen to less than -.5 degrees rear camber with a TOE IN .17 improves your drag launch by using 90% or more of your rear tires to put power down.
The #3 source of wheel hop is deflection in the toe link bushes. We are not talking about toe link arm deflection we are talking about bush squish in the arm. How do I know? Hard engineering data. When GM built the Leno Twin Turbo Camaro they were not satisfied with the handling. Jay's Camaro has a very aggressive set of wheels and tires that increase the load on the suspension. In speaking with some members of the build TEAM I suggested a couple of Pedders upgrades in addition to the Xa coilovers that were already installed at the Milford Proving Grounds. Being a structured and data driven company, the build TEAM decided they should measure and document the issues on a shaker.
You can see a Camaro on GM's Shaker Rig at 55 seconds in.
What were the results of Leno's car on the SHAKER
? The data and data points belong to Chevrolet and GM. The EP1200 sub-frame inserts and EP7323 Toe Link Bushes may be on Mr. Leno's Camaro, but they belong to me.
The #4 source of wheel hop on a 5th Gen is the tie and tread compound. Check aorund the forum and see what happends with wheel hop when you run on drag rubber or shorter tires.
The #5 source of wheel hop is a combination of modest spring rate and a damper map biased a bit too much to ride comfort. We spent a long time working with Lingenfelter to develop a dedicated set of drag coilovers. The front coil rate is 4.5kg and the rear is 12kg. The front monotube has a longer stroke than stock. The rear monotube is a massive 52mm diameter unit that is maxed out for bound control. High RWHP Camaros with slicks bite so har the launch is violent. They compres the rear suspension so fast that it bounces off the bumpstops. Keep in mind this was measured using a well known set of brand-x coilovers on the LPE Black Pig. When we bolted on out of the box Pedders Supercars the Black Pig picked up 2/10ths in the 60'. After we tested, refined and tested and.... you get the idea the LPE Drag Coilovers delivered more than 3/10ths improvement in the 60'
The #6 source of wheel hop is related to side to side load distribution. The factory rear sway bar 2010 to 2011 is a 23mm hollow tube that mounts inboard close to the differential. It is a light weight bar by any measure. The 2012 FE4 features an improved sway bar mounting position that is close to the knuckle. This is a HUGE improvement in geometry and function. The ZL1 comes of the assembly line with a 28mm SOLID bar. The change in geometry coupled with the change in bar strength (GM is now using solid sway bars just like Pedders Camaro sway bars) more effectively distribute load on hard launch. Upgrading to OE Rear Lower Control Arms with the new FE4 / ZL1 sway bar mounting points and a ZL1 28mm solid rear bar will imporve your drag launch. If you are looking for even more improvement your ONLY option is Pedders new 2010 to 2011 ZL1 32mm solid rear bar complete with GM ZL1 Arms and Pedders Droplinks. If you have a 2012 all you'll need is the ZL1 Rear Sway Bar Upgrade.
The #7 source of wheel hop is driveline movement. Driveline twist or driveline torque is a mini-wheel-hop motion. Replacing the OEM NVH biased differential bushes is the first place to start. The front two differential bushes are under heavy load, but that load is dwarfed by the load that the rear differential bush carries. Our solution is the new EP1167HDZ
. The front two bushes are very high durometer urethane and the rear bush is machined Acetal for maximum control for optimized launches.
When you are serious about your 5th Gen performance on the drag strip your solutions are found at Pedders and Lingenfelter.
ZL1 Upgraded OEM Toe Links
The Camaro TEAM has made so many improvements to the ZL1 it is hard to keep track of them. It is good to see that the Camaro TEAM is following Pedders advice in the IRS. They have improved the sub-frame bushes, more on this in a later post, and addressed the compliance in the Toe Links.
The steel ferule bonded rubber bush that has been and is used on all other models was too compliant. To address this the ZL1 comes with new bushes.
These are are larger steel jacketed bushes with rubber encapsulated rose joints similar to those used in the hub where the rear upper and lower control arms bolt up. They are similar to Heim joints or spherical bearings in function, but encapsulated in rubber will provide years and years of quiet operation as they are protected from dirt and debris. You could call this the Super Duty 5th Gen Toe Link
The bad news for us at Pedders and other aftermarket companies is the new arms are too good
If you have a ZL1 coming you will not need Pedders toe link bushes.
If your 5th Gen isn't a ZL1, the new toe links are available as an upgrade from your local Chevrolet Dealer P/N 22845487
Pedders R & D on the 5th Gen never ends. This week we ran at Road America with our friends from the OPTIMA Challenge. We got great data and great results. I want to than Mike Copeland, his wife and our driver Danny Popp for a great day! We spent the weekend testing with the Lingefelter L/28. The results were impressive and we got great data. The L/28 was brutally fast. We are going to make a few tweaks based on our data along with tire temps and input from our driver Danny Popp.
Videos from all Three Optima Events
Steady State Average Gs Across the Events and Lap Sectors 1.2 Gs.
That is the AVERAGE. The theoretical limit on a street tire is 1.3Gs. we saw that number and then some across the events.
Top Speed on a Short Straight at Road America 148 MPH.
That is screaming on the short straight.
Danny is extremely fast behind the wheel. His driving style is very aggressive. We found the front setup with -2.2 degrees of camber and caster adjustment maxed out to be virtually perfect. The tire temperatures inside to out were very even. The LPE motor puts down 590 at the rear wheels. Danny's style along with 590 all motor normally aspirated RWHP were roasting the inside of our rear tires. We'll dial down the rear camber to help Danny put down more power coming out of the turns. We have a few other tweaks in mind that we will share with the C5 community as soon as we test and get good data.
If the L/28 were a street car and not a street car wants to be a race car driven by a hot shoe we would leave the setup almost exactly as it is.
Our intent is to still be a street car want to be a race car with even more bad attitude.