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Old 08-23-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
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Ultimate street suspension – what order of installation?

So I have been reading a bunch about suspensions. It’s easy to get way “into it” and want to build a total track ready car reading about all the options and builds here! Lots of folks here running on the tracks, but really I’ll be just on the street. I want to be able to hook up the best I can (305’s or 315’s in the rear), minimize wheel hop, and not have to brake on the curves when hitting a curved exit ramp. Will be FI at some point for sure.

The more I read and get ideas the more I feel like I am heading toward swapping the entire suspension out down to the last bushing! Now I know I don’t need to do all that but sometimes reading here it seems like I do. I want to feel like I am on rails, but the reality is I’m going be on the street so hitting turns regularly at 100mph is unlikely .

I’m sure lots of people on here have similar goals to me, and limited knowledge like me. Could some of you in the know help lay out in order of priority what should be changed to attain the goals of great street handling and hooking up off the line? Something might be ready to have some fun on an auto cross but maybe not being built specifically for it? Maybe mention changes that would take it from wild street machine to perfect auto cross rod.

My thoughts at this point are as follows. I will do Coilovers due to the superior ride quality and ability to adjust ride height if needed (intend to lower 1.25 to 1.4”). Seems to me like sway bars are also a first round swap for a big change in handling. End links seem to be “optional” unless I get a 2012 then they should be changed. Trailing arms and toe rods also seem to be high on the list to stop wheel hop. Frame connectors also seem pretty up there. Including all this seems like a solid build and will meet my needs. Looks like there is a Pedders Street package with a lot of this in it.

My question beyond looking for confirmation that I am on track with my thoughts thus far is the rest of the bushings or things I might be missing. I’ve read changing all the bushings can make the ride too stiff. I also read about changing some knuckle or steering bushing that was supposed to make a big difference.

So, assuming you started having Coilovers, budget allowing, what would be the order of installation and parts you’d recommend doing as finances allowed? (I likely will do it as one shot deal since I can afford it, but I am sure others might be reading this that will need to do it piece by piece). I plan on spending $4-5K - less would be nice, more if I need to.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #2
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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The Pedders pace car kit with a set of sway bars would be a great fit for your type of use,the coil overs are the way to go for the ride quality and adjustments.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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start with things like bushings and sway bars.

alter your ride height last, after everything else you will ever do. why? because a lowered car sucks to get a jack underneath. sucks to get up on ramps. sucks to drive over speed bumps, etc. I'm not saying never lower it, just do it last so you can enjoy it and not start to hate it every time you want to get under your car.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce@raymondsperformance View Post
The Pedders pace car kit with a set of sway bars would be a great fit for your type of use,the coil overs are the way to go for the ride quality and adjustments.
bruce is absolutely right. the pedders pace car package is the way to go. i daily drive my car and have the kit and just wow. amazing handling and just as amazing ride quality
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgs Boson View Post
start with things like bushings and sway bars.

alter your ride height last, after everything else you will ever do. why? because a lowered car sucks to get a jack underneath. sucks to get up on ramps. sucks to drive over speed bumps, etc. I'm not saying never lower it, just do it last so you can enjoy it and not start to hate it every time you want to get under your car.
what he said.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:26 AM   #7
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love my pedders XA's. ride is close to stock but with a cooler lower stance and shock adjustability for track days.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:33 AM   #8
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Subframe and rear differential bushings are really the first thing you should do. Until then you're just putting lipstick on a pig. Sway bars are IMO the last thing you want to do.

Actually before I go off on my suspension thoughts, OP - have you read Pedders' Book on Suspension? It's a thread on here. I think it's titled something like "Suspension: The Book". I highly recommend reading it, it'll teach you a lot about how your suspension system works and what impact certain mods have.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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When considering coilovers don't forget that the setup is a bit more complicated than lowering springs. You might want to find a local shop that can set the corner weights and do an "Agressive street" alignment. You will also want to research alignment kits to get the suspension geometry back to OE and even beyond for track specs, at 1.4" of lowering your caster will be way out and camber will be limited. Pedders makes a set of eccentrics to aid in alignment.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:53 PM   #10
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Read "The Book"

Go to Pedders USA website,find the Camaro evaluation,then make a decision.I chose Pedders Pace Car Kit With ZL1 swaybar conversion.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Subframe and rear differential bushings are really the first thing you should do. Until then you're just putting lipstick on a pig. Sway bars are IMO the last thing you want to do.

Actually before I go off on my suspension thoughts, OP - have you read Pedders' Book on Suspension? It's a thread on here. I think it's titled something like "Suspension: The Book". I highly recommend reading it, it'll teach you a lot about how your suspension system works and what impact certain mods have.
Fantastic advice. I have less HP than you but the same driving environement/needs. I'm starting with Pedders subframe bushings (EP1201) and radius rod inserts (EP6579) based of tthe "book" info and talking to a number of people. Not sure where I will go after that.
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rockrau View Post
Go to Pedders USA website,find the Camaro evaluation,then make a decision.I chose Pedders Pace Car Kit With ZL1 swaybar conversion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramsman34 View Post
Fantastic advice. I have less HP than you but the same driving environement/needs. I'm starting with Pedders subframe bushings (EP1201) and radius rod inserts (EP6579) based of tthe "book" info and talking to a number of people. Not sure where I will go after that.
Thanks guys. For those that haven't found The BOOK Click Here It was just updated with information on the new 2013 strut mounts.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #13
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Check out this article written by our very own Mark Rossetti called "The Practical Guy's Guide to Muscle Car Handling." http://www.onallcylinders.com/2012/08/21/hotchkis/ . In it he talks about how to build the best suspension possible when working on a budget by going step by step. Though the article war originally written regarding suspension on classic muscle cars there is still a lot to take away from it.

For a car with modern suspension setup like the one that is found on the Camaro I would suggest the following:

1) Start with a good set of Performance Coil Springs. These will lower the center of gravity of the vehicle, help to minimize body roll, and make your ride look a bit more aggressive. But spring rate is a major factor to think about. Hotchkis spends a lot of time choosing just the right spring rate that is frim enough to keep the suspension from bottoming out yet is compliant enough to still absorb small bumps in the road surface and not rattle your teeth out on a daily basis.
2) The next step would be a good set of adjustable sway bar(s). These will really help to control understeer/oversteer and allow you to dial in the response of the car to suit your driving style and tire selection. Typically you will see the adjustment only on the rear bar.
3) After you have done those your next step is to look at chassis rigidity. The two main parts of the 5th gen Camaro that really help with rigidity is the front strut tower brace and a under-car chassis brace. The strut tower bar "completes the box" of the front suspension by eliminating the flex at the top of the strut towers. The under-car chassis brace triangulates the frame rails to reduce chassis twist and flex, improving traction during hard launches and high-speed cornering.
4) The final product to look at to round out your Camaro's suspension would be a set of upgraded front and rear end links. These pieces are going to be stronger than stock and stand up the abuse of track days and other spirited driving much better than the stock pieces. On top of that they allow you to corner balance the suspension (a much overlooked final step in dialing the handling of a car for the track).

Now if you are on a budget each of these products can be had independently so that you can work your way up to a complete suspension. This allows you to see the difference in handling each piece makes as well as make smaller adjustments as you start dialing in the handling of your car. However you can also go straight for the complete TVS (Total Vehicle System) and get all of the parts you need right away.

Here is a picture of all of the parts I have just talked about:


Check out what Autoblog and Road and Track have to say about how the handling of a Hotchkis-equipped Camaro compares to stock:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/03/12/h...r-than-before/

http://www.hotchkis.net/_uploaded_fi...5thgen_zz1.pdf
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