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Old 03-05-2014, 02:01 PM   #1
LONEWO1F
 
Drives: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT RS
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Beating a dead horse

Ok, so I know there is a ton of threads about this. Many will tell me to use the search bar. I actually have probably looked at all or most of the posts. I still want an opinion to see if I'm thinking clearly.

1. I am lowering only for one thing - the appearance. Obviously this is not a track car, and although it's not an every day driver, I care about the ride quality. I have a lift on my Wrangler as my daily driver, and I'm used to getting beat up every damn day. Fun as hell, but I don't want that in my camaro. I want close to stock ride quality - #1 priority.

2. I had an impressive sound system installed and even though everyone assures me that the back is not lower than the front, to me it is. Will I be able to ensure with springs that the back is not dropped as low as the front so it's more even? Sorry if I sound dumb, I'm still learning.


I have literally been a click away from purchasing Eibach lowering springs for my 2012 RS (V6). I got a quote to install them at 125/hr, and probably about 5 hours with alignment. There are coil overs for around 1200-1300 range and I got a quote to install at around 250-300. Evidently they are easier to install? Or am I way off base here? The car is still under warranty if that makes a difference - I've heard switching back to stock if there's a problem is an option with the springs.

Anyways, for what I'm looking for, does it not seem that spending an extra bit for coil overs - and it doesn't seem like that much considering the install - that coilovers are more what I'm looking for? I want good ride quality, and adjustability? As in, I want to set the ride height and then leave it.


Please give me some feedback if you can. Like I said, I'm really not knowledgable. I love this car and I want to stay happy with it.

Sorry for beating a dead horse, but surely some people understand that even if you read all the threads, sometimes you want to ask about your car in particular when you don't know everything. Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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I don't know about #2, but for #1 I was in the same boat you are. I don't track my car either, and it's a daily driver. I wanted to get rid of my fender gap, especially with my aftermarket wheels. While ride quality was a factor, my main concern was tearing up my splitter. My Pfadt springs are better than I had hoped. They closed the fender gap and ride quality is near stock. Handles better through turns too. I've still been able to drive around without hitting my splitter either.

As for install, I was charged 3 hours labor + alignment. I can't speak for coilovers, but I'm sure they're awesome! I know Pfadt isn't around anymore, but have heard that ride quality is great with BMR and Hotchkiss as well.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:44 PM   #3
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Hey thanks for the input. I'm glad to hear that springs don't seem to sacrifice that much ride quality. Maybe I can ask around and get someone closer to the 3 hour mark to bring down the price and widen the gap between springs and coilovers.

gorgeous car by the way - i'll be getting the transformer stripes in matte black once i get my sinister hood. clean look with the white cars/ black stripes. like what you did with the wheels.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:55 PM   #4
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I have a bit different experience but a different car as well...2012 Convertible (still has the FE3 instead of the FE4 that was put on the coupe) I used BMR 1" lowering springs all the way around...the rear of mine is lower than the front and the ride was much harsher than factory.

With that being said, convertibles weigh more in the rear for everything that makes the top work...and I have added some weight with the stereo upgrades. So it makes sense that the rear would drop more than the 1" on my car.

The ride was enough of a difference that I am now looking into CoilOvers. I am not bashing BMR in any way...I will probably be using them on some other parts with the new set up since Pedders and PFADT closed doors...with that being said, you can assure yourself a level ride and a more stock feel with CoilOvers instead of springs...just because they are adjustable...the springs are not...if it comes out not just like you want...you can change the set up on the CoilOvers...personally, I wish I had went that way from the start...but that is also one person's opinion and my set up is a little different than yours. Best of luck with however you go!!!
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:03 PM   #5
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I had 1" Hotchkis springs before I went with coilovers. Once I got the bushings timed I thought it was a pretty decent ride. Not as good as what I can get with my coilovers but those are adjustable and springs are not.

5hrs @$125 is outrageous. I did my own install but around here you can get springs installed for about $200. An alignment can cost anywhere from $70 - $150 depending on where you go.

Here is a what mine looked like on a 1" Hotchkis spring and then at about 1.5" on coilovers. With my street settings my even lower coilovers ride better than the 1" springs on most roads. There are a couple roads around here that give my car hell but that didn't matter if I had springs or coilovers.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:04 PM   #6
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Oh....and here....just because I could.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:05 PM   #7
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If you can afford coilovers, it's the better way to go. And caverman is right: that's way too much for an install…

If you're the mechanical type, check the DIY section for the coilover install procedure. It's not that difficult at all.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:16 PM   #8
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I can get you coilovers for less than you are posting about, PM me if i can help with anything.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:57 PM   #9
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It really depends on how bad your roads are there. I have a 2LT RS and dropped it using Pfadt Springs, I spent around 400 -500 for install. Ride is not as good as stock but not bad enough to make me want to put back. I would also consider changing your front and rear struts at the same time once you figure out what springs you want. I just purchased Koni Str because my OE struts are end of life. Now I have to spend another $500 to put new stuts on.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:03 PM   #10
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damn ok. thanks for the feedback. and haha caverman that picture pretty much describes this post.

our roads are not good at all. I know this because an afternoon of riding around in the Jeep and you feel like you're off road. I'm sure springs wouldn't be that harsh anyway, but I definitely want smooth.

with coilovers will i have to replace struts as well bigpunn?
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:14 PM   #11
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Coilovers replace the struts and springs completely.

The issue you run in to with lowering the car with just springs is that the stock struts don't handle the drop all that well.

Upgrading to a coilover system that can start at about $1000 you get much better ride since they are designed with a different purpose in mind than the stock struts did.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:54 PM   #12
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haha thanks Rob@Wretched. You can see how ignorant I am on the topic.


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Old 03-05-2014, 06:15 PM   #13
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only questions that are stupid are the ones that are not asked,
you'll never see me making fun of anyone for asking questions,
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #14
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An added info on coilovers when I test fitted my wheels they kind of rub on the inn rear strut but when I added my coilovers and lowered it, it gave me a couple inches of room. No more rubbing.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamey_2012 View Post
Ok, so I know there is a ton of threads about this. Many will tell me to use the search bar. I actually have probably looked at all or most of the posts. I still want an opinion to see if I'm thinking clearly.

1. I am lowering only for one thing - the appearance. Obviously this is not a track car, and although it's not an every day driver, I care about the ride quality. I have a lift on my Wrangler as my daily driver, and I'm used to getting beat up every damn day. Fun as hell, but I don't want that in my camaro. I want close to stock ride quality - #1 priority.

2. I had an impressive sound system installed and even though everyone assures me that the back is not lower than the front, to me it is. Will I be able to ensure with springs that the back is not dropped as low as the front so it's more even? Sorry if I sound dumb, I'm still learning.


I have literally been a click away from purchasing Eibach lowering springs for my 2012 RS (V6). I got a quote to install them at 125/hr, and probably about 5 hours with alignment. There are coil overs for around 1200-1300 range and I got a quote to install at around 250-300. Evidently they are easier to install? Or am I way off base here? The car is still under warranty if that makes a difference - I've heard switching back to stock if there's a problem is an option with the springs.

Anyways, for what I'm looking for, does it not seem that spending an extra bit for coil overs - and it doesn't seem like that much considering the install - that coilovers are more what I'm looking for? I want good ride quality, and adjustability? As in, I want to set the ride height and then leave it.


Please give me some feedback if you can. Like I said, I'm really not knowledgable. I love this car and I want to stay happy with it.

Sorry for beating a dead horse, but surely some people understand that even if you read all the threads, sometimes you want to ask about your car in particular when you don't know everything. Thanks in advance for the advice.
I like how your questions are short, honest, focus, and to the point so i will beat on this dead horse too.

If you are concern with ride quality, skip the springs and go with height adjustable only coilover with fixed damping. There are 3 things that degrade ride quality.
1) Increase spring rate
2) Mismatch damping rate to the spring rate
3) Insufficient suspension travel

Lowering springs suffer from all 3. Stock suspension have about 2 inches of bump travel before you hit bump stop. If you lower the car by 1 inch, you need to double the spring rate to compensate. If you double the spring rate, stock dampers cannot control the springs. There is no way you can make this work without screwing something up really bad. What most lowering spring manufacturer choose to do is screw all 3 up a little bit instead of screwing one thing up totally. That means, they increase the spring rate a little bit which causes the ride to firm up a little bit. The ride will also feel a little floaty because stock dampers will not keep up. Suspension will bottom out more often on medium and big bumps because the spring rate increase is not sufficient for the amount of lowering. This is why I recommend you to skip lower springs. Lowering spring can work for you if the roads you drive on only have small bumps, you drive slower than everyone else on the road, and you don't mind your car floating around (less control).

Ride height adjustable (fixed damping) coilover is what I think you should go with. Coilovers usually have shorter body damper to restore travel at lower right height. For example, if the damper body is 1/2" shorter and the shaft is 1/2" shorter, your ride height will be 1" lower but suspension travel will only be reduced by 1/2". That means spring rate doesn't need to increase that much to prevent bottom out. Also, dampers in the coilover will be matched to the slightly firmer spring rate. I think this is the best option for you.

Let me say something about damping adjustable coilover since some of the lower end models are in the same price range as some quality non adjustable models. The damping adjuster knobs on the coilovers don't do what you think they are suppose to do. It is better for you to have 1 good setting on non-adjustable model than to keep switching between 30 bad settings on adjustable model never finding the right one.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:02 PM   #16
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Lots of good advice in this thread! You will feel a difference in ride comfort with drop springs. No way to get around it, they are a stiffer spring rate. That being said, most coilover systems are also performance oriented and are designed for "sports car" feel and handling. But if you get a good adjustable version, you can soften them up by lowering the compression and/or rebound settings to obtain some more ride comfort.

As Rob said, the OEM struts/shocks have a hard time keeping up with the lowering springs. BMR does sell the non-adjustable Koni STR.T's which are a much better match with the lowering springs and are a good match for "performance" street driving.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:08 PM   #17
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Where are you in Charlotte? I'll take you for a ride if you'd like to feel the ride quality after lowering.

I just moved to Lowell/McAddenville, but can be in downtown charlotte in literally 15 minutes.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:28 PM   #18
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The Hotchkis springs will give you the best ride, real close to factory. I have installed all different brands and those are what most people like when they just want the look.

As far as to what you have been quoted, that's steep. We are getting just under $650.00 out the door here, parts, labor and tax. Springs are easy in these cars, 3 hours labor and a 4 wheel alignment max.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:06 AM   #19
LONEWO1F
 
Drives: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT RS
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again, thanks everyone for so much really good advice. I checked with a few more places and have gotten a little lower on install, but nothing definitive. They keep saying it depends... .ugh.

45th anniversary, that would be really awesome. I guess I need to change my location - I'm actually moved up to Chapel Hill (attending the university)
I still come down to charlotte every couple months. Would I be able to hit you up when I do visit? i would greatly appreciate being able to experience it for myself! very nice of you to offer!
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:53 AM   #20
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Just make sure they follow through on any work they promise. I've had my car to three different places and this last place (Performance Alignment in Blue Ash Ohio) did an awesome job! If you company you take your car to doesn't know what "index bushings", "time bushings" etc DON'T let them work on your car. I repeat DON'T let them work on your car.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:04 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamey_2012 View Post
again, thanks everyone for so much really good advice. I checked with a few more places and have gotten a little lower on install, but nothing definitive. They keep saying it depends... .ugh.

45th anniversary, that would be really awesome. I guess I need to change my location - I'm actually moved up to Chapel Hill (attending the university)
I still come down to charlotte every couple months. Would I be able to hit you up when I do visit? i would greatly appreciate being able to experience it for myself! very nice of you to offer!
Go Heels! Sure, give me a couple days notice before you come down and I'm sure we can meet up.
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