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Suspension / Brakes / Chassis All suspension, brakes and chassis discussions.

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Old 09-22-2012, 04:37 AM   #1
Jimmy Superfly
 
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Cool Pfadt FE4/ZL1 kit installed (Thanks to Apex)

I kind of teased this thread a little bit with some other posts I made but I honestly didn't want to make the thread without getting a bit more driving time in and taking a few (crappy cellphone) pictures.

I started taking my Camaro to local road racing events a few months ago and I have to admit it is far more addictive then drag racing. I wouldn't hesitate to say that the FE4 cars (2012 and up) are certainly no slouches when it comes to handling. But I quickly realized that I desired a little more.

I PM'ed Apex Chase and asked him what sort of upgrades are typical for people just getting into road racing. As always, he responded with sound, trustworthy advice. We talked a bit about the new Pfadt FE4 kits that hadn't been released yet and what they would do for me. There is a reason why Apex is a Pfadt forum authorized dealer. Chase understands not only the product he sells but more importantly what his customers needs are. He recognized that I wasn't just dropping my car for looks but also that I am not yet serious to the point where I need/can afford adjustable coilovers. Furthermore he stressed the importance of the upgraded front end-links so that the bars could reach their full potential without damaging my car. I decided to order the adjustable sway bars (front and rear), the drop springs, the front end-links and a set of stainless steel brake lines.

While I have only had these mods installed for a very short amount of time it is already very clear just what a huge impact they have had on my car. If you haven't already seen it here are my very first impressions after the drive home.

Quote:
I have only had mine on for a few hours and I know exactly what you are saying! I drove home on some of my favorite back-roads and was shocked by the cornering speeds of my car. Not only can you take corners faster, but the car corners so smoothly that you don't realize the speeds you are going.

There was one reasonably-tight hairpin corner in particular that I usually take at about 25-30 km/h... let's just say that when I accelerated out of it the car got a little sideways (car was in competition mode) and I realized that I was going twice as fast as I normally would.
I didn't mention it in that post but its also important to note that while the car did get sideways it was very easy to correct. Sure I probably looked like a 'dukes of hazard' stuntman but I never felt that I lost complete control.


Its still early, but I stand by what I said. I never would have imagined how huge an impact these parts have had on my car. When cornering I am now more limited by the grip of the tire than I am by the ability of the car's suspension. I have driven a lot of miles in a BMW 135i and I honestly feel more confidence in my Pfadt Camaro. It's never going to be as nimble, but it feels FAR more capable.

I love when mods have unexpected side effects. When I added my CAI I expected the power but I didn't expect the added sound. I expected these parts to make the car handle better but I never considered the effect it would have on my cars acceleration. The rear feels much more planted during hard acceleration and I truly feel that I am making full use of the available grip to put all of my horses to the pavement. Additionally I should also mention that the heavier steering feel makes the car easier to keep in its lane while on the highway.

Its certainly true that an upgraded suspension will allow you to feel every crack in the road. But I maintain that there is a fundamental difference between feeling cracks/bumps in the roads and having them hurt you because your suspension is too aggressive for the street. I definitely feel more bumps in the road but not to the point where I couldn't daily drive the car in comfort.

As I mentioned before it is still early, but I feel like I have no choice but to admit that am completely overwhelmed by the benefits of the Pfadt parts. Sure you could make a better handling Camaro by spending more, but for my personal needs this kit gives me exactly what I was looking for.

Thank you Pfadt for the great product and thank you Chase & Paul for your excellent customer service.


PS. I barely mentioned them but upgrading to stainless steel brake lines and DOT4 fluid made a very noticeable difference in pedal feel and stopping ability. I would also recommend that upgrade to any other beginner level road-racers.


Here are the crappy cellphone pics:







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Old 09-22-2012, 05:40 AM   #2
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Great write up. Feedback like that is by far the most helpful thing for those considering how they should upgrade their car. I sincerely thank you for your business and for your feedback concerning myself and Apex Motorsports. It is a lot of fun to see our customers enjoying their upgraded cars.

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Old 09-22-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
woodside783
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How mutch are those sways
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
Jimmy Superfly
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodside783 View Post
How mutch are those sways
Send Chase a PM and he will give you some numbers.

I had my bars, springs and brakes (lines and fluid) all installed at the same shop (along with alignment) so it was quite the installation bill. On the other hand If you have the ability/resources to install them yourself then the 'bang for the buck' ratio is off the charts! I am very happy with these products!
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodside783 View Post
How mutch are those sways
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Superfly View Post
Send Chase a PM and he will give you some numbers.
PM sent.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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Awesome! Thanks for the review!

A set of sway bars is definitely our number one first modification to the 5th Gen Camaro, and our ZL Spec FE4 sway bar package is a fantastic first mod.

Let us know if we can do anything else for you!
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PfadtRacing View Post
Awesome! Thanks for the review!

A set of sway bars is definitely our number one first modification to the 5th Gen Camaro, and our ZL Spec FE4 sway bar package is a fantastic first mod.

Let us know if we can do anything else for you!
Sway bars are one of the biggest bang for your buck upgrades you can make.
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