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Old 08-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #1
x2martell24
 
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Hotchkis Race Pack order and install!

So, I am ordering the race pack suspension kit from Hotchkis today and want input from those with this package and those who have installed it DYI!!
Plus any info on alignment issues/tips/concerns would be awesome!!!!

I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
steeleshark2


 
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I do not have the race pack but I do have everything that comes in it even though not all Hotchkis. All I can say is the ride and handling is AWESOME!! You will not believe what a few suspension parts will do for this car. After the install, find some curvy roads and then reply back on what you think!! Have fun and be safe!!
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
x2martell24
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steeleshark2 View Post
I do not have the race pack but I do have everything that comes in it even though not all Hotchkis. All I can say is the ride and handling is AWESOME!! You will not believe what a few suspension parts will do for this car. After the install, find some curvy roads and then reply back on what you think!! Have fun and be safe!!
Did you have the suspension parts installed or do them yourself?? You are really close to me actually, and I am (though I do all my own mods) am wanting some help on this one. I am living here on a contract and don't have any of my tools and I KNOW this job wont be that easy with no good tools. Is there a good suspension shop/speed shop near us other than Atlanta??
Can't wait to let you know how it feels to have real suspension!!
Thanks a ton!
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
comm54
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The Hotchkis Race pack is an Awesome improvement to your vehicle!!! Most of the stuff is easy to install but I recommend using a professional for the alignment.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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I'm on my second NASA season with the car now. I drive in the advanced group, and the Camaro has been surpsisingly competent to run with other well prepped cars. I am still very happy with the Hotchkis Race Package.

I answered a similar question back in March of this year, before the NASA season started:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133068

I've had it on my car for 1 NASA season, which was around 10 track days/5 weekends. I'm an intermediate/advanced HPDE driver, basically a perpetual student.

Installation is relatively simple if a lift is available and the instructions are pretty good. If a lift is not available, the swaybars/bushings and the chassis brace seem tough to do on jackstands. A spring compressor is needed to install the springs on the struts. There were a few places where torque values were left out of the instructions, so I had to call them up twice, but they were very helpful.

A 4 wheel alignment after installation is very helpful. Hotchkis gave me alignment and camber settings that work well for track use and don't seem too hard on the tires. I think it's -2 front, -1 rear.

The adjustable rear swaybar at it's softest setting is still a little rough for street driving, but tolerable. At it's stiffest setting, it's jarring on the street, but great at the track. It is adjustable without lifting the car once you see where the fasteners are.

Overall I'm happy with the purchase, the cost is reasonable for what you get, and the performance gain is significant for a car that will see both street and track duty. It may be one of the best "bang for the buck" in Camaro suspension. I might have gone in a different direction for a track-only setup, but I probably would have also gone with a different car too.



Quote:
Originally Posted by x2martell24 View Post
So, I am ordering the race pack suspension kit from Hotchkis today and want input from those with this package and those who have installed it DYI!!
Plus any info on alignment issues/tips/concerns would be awesome!!!!

I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Hotchkis Race Pack
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:31 PM   #6
x2martell24
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericedelman View Post
I'm on my second NASA season with the car now. I drive in the advanced group, and the Camaro has been surpsisingly competent to run with other well prepped cars. I am still very happy with the Hotchkis Race Package.

I answered a similar question back in March of this year, before the NASA season started:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133068

I've had it on my car for 1 NASA season, which was around 10 track days/5 weekends. I'm an intermediate/advanced HPDE driver, basically a perpetual student.

Installation is relatively simple if a lift is available and the instructions are pretty good. If a lift is not available, the swaybars/bushings and the chassis brace seem tough to do on jackstands. A spring compressor is needed to install the springs on the struts. There were a few places where torque values were left out of the instructions, so I had to call them up twice, but they were very helpful.

A 4 wheel alignment after installation is very helpful. Hotchkis gave me alignment and camber settings that work well for track use and don't seem too hard on the tires. I think it's -2 front, -1 rear.

The adjustable rear swaybar at it's softest setting is still a little rough for street driving, but tolerable. At it's stiffest setting, it's jarring on the street, but great at the track. It is adjustable without lifting the car once you see where the fasteners are.

Overall I'm happy with the purchase, the cost is reasonable for what you get, and the performance gain is significant for a car that will see both street and track duty. It may be one of the best "bang for the buck" in Camaro suspension. I might have gone in a different direction for a track-only setup, but I probably would have also gone with a different car too.
Excellent info!! Thanks a ton for taking the time to post!
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:28 PM   #7
steeleshark2


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x2martell24 View Post
Did you have the suspension parts installed or do them yourself?? You are really close to me actually, and I am (though I do all my own mods) am wanting some help on this one. I am living here on a contract and don't have any of my tools and I KNOW this job wont be that easy with no good tools. Is there a good suspension shop/speed shop near us other than Atlanta??
Can't wait to let you know how it feels to have real suspension!!
Thanks a ton!
All my suspension parts were installed by a shop since I was deployed at the time. Sways and the brace is actually pretty easy though (helping friends). As for the springs, I never tried myself. I have a guy in Jacksonville, Fl that can do this.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:42 PM   #8
REAPER SS
 
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I installed the Hotchkis race pack and the difference is night and day on handling. They have always made great products. I used them on my fourth gen and now it makes my 5th gen handle like its on rails......As far as install, I did it myself and the only special tool needed was the spring compressor or you can take the shock assembly off and take it to a local shop and have them put the springs on.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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How much does this kit run you?
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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X2martell24 – Thanks for your questions. It looks like you’re getting some good info from the other members. We sent you a PM which included this information.

Thanks for your questions. We do appreciate your continued business as well as in the past. We’ve had many customers install kits at home with the right tools. Don’t forget to have your suspension aligned after you’re done with the installation.

You’ll receive a copy of our detailed instructions with your kit, but you can take a look at the PDF installation documentation beforehand so you can get an idea of what you’re in for.

http://www.hotchkis.net/_uploaded_files/80117.pdf

We also have this helpful video to show how to snake the sway bar out of the car.



The Race Pack installation instructions leave out the spring installation steps, so here’s the PDF to perform that task:

http://www.hotchkis.net/_uploaded_files/19110.pdf

We stand by our instructions as the best tips, but if you read through this thread you may find more tips:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...ps#post1615488

You may find additional tips by performing a search on Camaro5.com for keywords like: sway bar install

You might get more tips from members if you start a new thread with the following title. Help me with tips on installing my new Hotchkis RacePack

Call us toll free (1-888-735-6425) if you have questions during the installation process. Thanks again and good luck!
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #11
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Just make sure that you have your bushings timed for the new ride height prior to the alignment. There are several threads in here about doing it. You can either pay the alignment guys to do it (if they know what they are doing) or you can loosen all the bushing points yourself, do a couple slow driving circles, tighten it all back up and then get it aligned.

I can tell you first hand (I didn't do it the first time) that it helps. I could feel the difference.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for being helpful. That’s what’s great about this forum.

X2martell24 – Reaper SS has a good point about the springs. You’ll need a spring compressor or take them to a shop and have them swap springs for you. It would be prudent to locate a shop that will remove and install the springs on your strut assemblies before starting the project.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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The pack was an fairly easy install. I used a buddie's lift to make it easy on my back and neck, but doable on stands. Sway bar on the front needs some space to get out. I had to jack the motor a bit, but very simple to do. Two bolts and lift. Bar slides right out and in. As for the springs, no compressor was needed. Let me state this is relative only to the stock camaro spring set. The replacements required no compression other than the strut nut. To disassemble I simply put it on the floor and with an impact wrench I zipped the nut off. Parts weren't under that much pressure. I too had apprehension about this. All I suggest is you do it in an area where the nut and washers wont fly under something or out a door. Really was a piece of cake otherwise I wouldn't suggest it. With the install docs I got there was no clear designation as to which spring set went where. It is obvious once you place on the strut, the contact areas line up proper or they don't where the coil meets the seats on the strut. Not a big deal but would have taken a question mark out of the process. The chassis brace was a piece of cake. Watch for clearance issue on the tunnel brace if running a larger than stock exhaust. I do believe they could have designed it better in that regard, too much hardware in the tunnel area. Major issue it is not, a simple spacer resolved it. It would have helped a lot if they had fixed studs pointing downwards for the tunnel brace attachment. Creating much needed room. Heck even a carriage bolt would have been better.

The biggest pain was dealing with the inside top rear strut bolts.

My install was painless for the most part. I do believe I am experiencing one small issue, but very annoying. I believe the rear right strut pops on the trunk floor under certain body flexing conditions. I have reinspected the install and verified all parts and connections. With some research I understand this is a known manufacturing variance that only seems to impact some cars with lowering coils and increased spring rates. Simple fix if it is what I believe it to be, only have to pull the strut to do it.

I have heard no commentary from Hotchkis on this but I have not inquired either.

Alignment is mandatory!

Night and Day results.... Get R Done
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:28 PM   #14
x2martell24
 
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You guys have all been more than helpful! I am leaning toward getting the install and alignment done professionally depending on the cost. I am pretty sure with my experience and all of your tips I can pull it off even with limited tools. The spring compressor is a must! May have forgotten that one! Thanks!
I am sure I will be getting the kit on Monday of next week, so following that, you can all more than likely expect to here from me on here with questions and posting pics of before and afters!

This forum is amazing!!
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