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Old 08-28-2011, 06:25 PM   #1
Rogan
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Question about Bushings

I have a few suspension mods happening over the next two weeks. However I read somewhere (can't remember now) that bushings are crucial even if I put sway bars and coilovers.

My car will be tracked a few times a year 6 autox and 6 road course events. I like how she is on the streets and don't want to turn her into a go kart. Should I just leave the bushings alone if this is the case or is there some bushings that work well for street / track combo?
If so which bushings would you suggest be the first to change?
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
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My first suspension mod for my daily driver was the Pedders Street I. I highly recommend it. Steering response is quicker. Acceleration in a straight line and out of a corner improved. Going over rough surfaces is more stable. And the rear-end steer is gone.

As for noise & harshness, I didn't notice any negative impact. These bushing inserts are a great first mod.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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Either cradle inserts or full cradle replacements. It won't alter daily driving but will make a big difference with launching and handling.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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bushings are absolutely critical and should be the first mod on any comaro seeing so much as spirited driving even before sway bars and coilovers.

we start with our super street 1 package that comes with front radius rod bushings, cradle insert bushings, and diff mount insert bushings. This kit is foundation for the 5th gen camaro chassis. While the Camaro chassis is GOOD from the factory these are the three areas in which HUGE improvements cn be made. In the rear the cradle has a TON of movement. Eliminating this movement is crucial so that the suspension can actually do its job. Also in the rear under acceleration there is a serious amount of movement in the rear diff housing. We need to eliminate this for smoother power transfer both at the drag strip and in cornering. Finally under hard braking and cornering there is a substantial amount of movement in the front radius rod bushing. For improved braking and more responsive steering these must be replaced.

Now that we have found the weakest links and addressed these we can look at tune ability in the suspension. There's no question the camaro suffers from understeer. The most cost effective way to eliminate this is with a proper alignment and a set of sway bars. Jumping up to our super street 2 package adds 27mm front and rear 3 way adjustable sway bars from Whiteline. Setting the front bar to the center position and the rear bar to the stiffest setting transfers more grip to the front tires and eliminates the understeer issue.

Finally in order to make a serious competitive autocross/road race car without losing its street ability we need to look at lowering the height. The BEST way and most cost effective approach to accomplish this is with a set of BC racing BR series single adjustable coil overs. With 30 way dampening these coil overs are ideal for guys who want a comfortable ride on the street but the ability to take their car to the track. By jumping up to our Super Street 2 package with coil overs you now have the ability to lower your ride height for better cornering stability as well as better damper control for those days you're hitting the track. But rest assured that the ride comfort for daily driving is actually improved over even the factory all because of the 30 way damper control.

In my opinion the Super Street 2 package with coil overs is absolutely the best bang for the buck for the 5th gen camaro that's out there today. However you don't have to take my word for it. I would PM member Kbui who has this exact package and ask for his honest opinion first before making your decision.

I hope this answers your question and always we are available to answer your questions via PM, email, or phone!
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:18 AM   #5
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you should watch the Pfadt video on there rear solid cradle bushings, they make a big difference. You can even go to youtube and watch videos on this.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
I have a few suspension mods happening over the next two weeks. However I read somewhere (can't remember now) that bushings are crucial even if I put sway bars and coilovers.

My car will be tracked a few times a year 6 autox and 6 road course events. I like how she is on the streets and don't want to turn her into a go kart. Should I just leave the bushings alone if this is the case or is there some bushings that work well for street / track combo?
If so which bushings would you suggest be the first to change?
Sway bars and coil overs will definitely make an improvement however to get the most out of your Camaro you need a solid base to work from. As Synner and Whiteside already pointed out your first suspension mod should be cradle (subframe) bushings. There are two options for this, inserts or full bushings. The inserts fill the voids in the factory rubber bushings while the full bushings replace the entire rubber bushing itself. The inserts can be installed much easier but do not control as much of the movement as the full bushing does. We generally recommend the inserts for stock to lightly modified vehicles or for vehicles that see limited track use. If you do not fall into these two categories I would suggest the full bushings.

Inserts:


Full Bushings:



Other critical areas are the rear trailing arm bushings and front radius rod bushings. Trailing arm bushings take a lot of abuse on the autocross track when you are on and off the throttle, allowing the rear hub carriers (spindle) to rotate and counter-rotate excessively during these on/off throttle transitions. Some companies make trailing arm bushings for the OE arms but value-wise you will get way more out of an aftermarket trailing arm that has greaseable, better designed bushings. A more rigid arm coupled with a greaseable high-durometer polyurethane bushing will only cost slightly more than the bushings themselves but will make a bulletproof setup that you will never have to question.

Whiteside already pointed out the benefits of upgrading the front Radius Rod bushings. Braking puts a lot of stress on these bushings which is amplified in a competition environment. Our dual-durometer bushings have a high durometer center "puck" to handle the loading and soft, low durometer outer "hats" to allow the necesarry articulation required of this bushing.
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:41 PM   #7
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Ditto to what whitside and BMR said.

Do the bushings, they are your foundation.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:47 PM   #8
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I have PFDAT Trailing Arms and Solid Subframe Bushings (the orange ones)...

Night and day difference even with 560RWHP/520RWTQ.. The stock tires don't hold the pavement well, but, they hold it straight and flat on the ground with no bouncing around, no rear shifting, etc.. The car feels much more planted on the ground during cornering as well.. I don't have DRs, so I can't comment on much that holds true when the tires aren't the weak point; but, I can tell you that the bushings do make a difference... What good is a solid set of parts if the pieces holding them all to the car are weak?
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
I have a few suspension mods happening over the next two weeks. However I read somewhere (can't remember now) that bushings are crucial even if I put sway bars and coilovers.

My car will be tracked a few times a year 6 autox and 6 road course events. I like how she is on the streets and don't want to turn her into a go kart. Should I just leave the bushings alone if this is the case or is there some bushings that work well for street / track combo?
If so which bushings would you suggest be the first to change?
I suggest you read THE Book on 5th Gen Suspension here on Camaro5. It is the most comprehensive resource available for a 5th Gen owner. Once you have read through it you will be able plan out your suspension upgrades to your driving style.

Enjoy the read.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:28 PM   #10
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How much experience do you have on a road course?
Have you had your Camaro on a track yet?

The reason I ask is that many people believe that the obvious solution to going fast is to spend vast sums of money on high performance parts, rather than seat time and driver training.

If you decide to change your bushings, the suspension will lose some of it's forgiving nature. If you are a very experienced driver on slicks, that's probably what you want. If you are a more novice driver on street tires, that forgiveness may help keep you safe and on the track. The more you stiffen up the car, the less forgiving it will be of an error or overcorrection.

Good luck with your choice. If you have an road course questions, I'll be happy to help out with whatever I can. I'm not an auto-x guy, so someone else may have to help you there.

Eric

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
I have a few suspension mods happening over the next two weeks. However I read somewhere (can't remember now) that bushings are crucial even if I put sway bars and coilovers.

My car will be tracked a few times a year 6 autox and 6 road course events. I like how she is on the streets and don't want to turn her into a go kart. Should I just leave the bushings alone if this is the case or is there some bushings that work well for street / track combo?
If so which bushings would you suggest be the first to change?
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericedelman View Post
How much experience do you have on a road course?
Have you had your Camaro on a track yet?

The reason I ask is that many people believe that the obvious solution to going fast is to spend vast sums of money on high performance parts, rather than seat time and driver training.

If you decide to change your bushings, the suspension will lose some of it's forgiving nature. If you are a very experienced driver on slicks, that's probably what you want. If you are a more novice driver on street tires, that forgiveness may help keep you safe and on the track. The more you stiffen up the car, the less forgiving it will be of an error or overcorrection.

Good luck with your choice. If you have an road course questions, I'll be happy to help out with whatever I can. I'm not an auto-x guy, so someone else may have to help you there.

Eric
Eric,

You are dead nuts on about the driver making the car fast. The more seat time and on track education you get the faster you will be. You are also correct about suspension stiffness, wheels and tires. It remains true with aftermarket tires and wheels do to limited space in the wheels wells.

A Formula 1 car weighs about 1,500 pounds at the end of a race. The rear tires are 'limited' to 13" wide. The SS Camaro with a half tank of fuel and driver weighs in at about 4,000 pounds or 2.66 times the weight of a F1. The best setup we have found are 305/30/19 on 19x10.5 rims all around and I would still like more rubber.

There is nothing more skittish on track than an over sprung, over damped, over bushed, over barred and under tired car. When the GMPP people were trackside with the Pedders USA Camaro they were amazed at how well the car drove and even more amazed at the ride quality.

While all of that is good, I agree with you 100% about high speed driver training. Nothing will make you faster.

I would disagree with your evaluation of how bushes would impact a novice driver. There are three elements of the stock 5th Gen that work against the novice driver.

#1 Rear End Step Out. The 5th Gen IRS attaches to the monocoque through four large rubber bushes with voids for Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). The IRS shifts under load -- acceleration, deceleration in turns, over road imperfections and so on. Rear end step out, rear end steering is unpredictable to an expert driver and more so to mere mortals like me. Installing sub-frame bush inserts or full sub-frame bushes virtually eliminates rear end step out. They make the 5th Gen easier to drive. It allows the suspension to work as designed and does not in any way degrade ride quality.

#2 Soft on Center Steering Feel. The front bush in the radius rod is fluid damped. The factory uses a rubber insert, a snubber to control fore and aft shifts in the arm. These shifts change castor dynamically. These unwanted shifts contribute to the soft on center feeling in the steering. While we were working with GM on the built at Milford Proving Grounds by GM Grand Am Challenge prototype one of the most crucial elements they addressed were the radius bushes. A GM engineer asked Pedders to make full urethane replacement bushes for them. He also suggested a urethane snubber. We made one set of urethane snubbers that are identical to the OE rubber snubbers, except they are much harder. The harder snubber reduces unwanted movement and unwanted castor changes. With reduced motion in the radius arm the on center steering feel is improved. There is a slight increase in road feel through the steering wheel, but no change in ride quality. Improved feel in the steering wheel delivers better information to both novice and expert drivers.

#3 Averaged Factory Alignment. The alignment contributes to understeer and the soft on center steering feel. We can sharpen the feel of the wheel and dial out some understeer with alignment. We add a bit of negative camber to the front wheels. We pull some toe out of the front. I like close to Zero toe in the front. In the rear we reduce camber to half of the front camber. i.e. -1 front camber -.5 rear camber. These alignment changes improve the feel of the car, but are not close to what we would use on a road course car. They are designed to improve steering feel, to balance the car and not eat up tires.

In Pedders Speak, these three foundational components of 5th Gen setup create a 5th gen we feel should have delivered from the factory. Ride quality is unchanged. Steering feel is improved. Rear end step out is a thing of the past. Novice and expert drivers of a Street I Pedderised 5th Gen have better control allowing them to make better decisions with a more predictable platform.

We are so confident in these components that I personally offer a money back guarantee. Install a Pedders Street I. Drive it. If your 5th Gen doesn't demonstrate the improvements I said they would I'll refund your money. I have been making this offer since the Camaro started going through Chevy showrooms. No one has ever asked for thier money back.

I am easy to find.
PGB@PeddersUSA.com
O 248.522.8021
JusticePete on Camaro5

Please excuse the length of my reply, but I wanted to respond in detail to your post. It deserved nothing less.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
Eric,

You are dead nuts on about the driver making the car fast. The more seat time and on track education you get the faster you will be. You are also correct about suspension stiffness, wheels and tires. It remains true with aftermarket tires and wheels do to limited space in the wheels wells.

A Formula 1 car weighs about 1,500 pounds at the end of a race. The rear tires are 'limited' to 13" wide. The SS Camaro with a half tank of fuel and driver weighs in at about 4,000 pounds or 2.66 times the weight of a F1. The best setup we have found are 305/30/19 on 19x10.5 rims all around and I would still like more rubber.

There is nothing more skittish on track than an over sprung, over damped, over bushed, over barred and under tired car. When the GMPP people were trackside with the Pedders USA Camaro they were amazed at how well the car drove and even more amazed at the ride quality.

While all of that is good, I agree with you 100% about high speed driver training. Nothing will make you faster.

I would disagree with your evaluation of how bushes would impact a novice driver. There are three elements of the stock 5th Gen that work against the novice driver.

#1 Rear End Step Out. The 5th Gen IRS attaches to the monocoque through four large rubber bushes with voids for Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). The IRS shifts under load -- acceleration, deceleration in turns, over road imperfections and so on. Rear end step out, rear end steering is unpredictable to an expert driver and more so to mere mortals like me. Installing sub-frame bush inserts or full sub-frame bushes virtually eliminates rear end step out. They make the 5th Gen easier to drive. It allows the suspension to work as designed and does not in any way degrade ride quality.

#2 Soft on Center Steering Feel. The front bush in the radius rod is fluid damped. The factory uses a rubber insert, a snubber to control fore and aft shifts in the arm. These shifts change castor dynamically. These unwanted shifts contribute to the soft on center feeling in the steering. While we were working with GM on the built at Milford Proving Grounds by GM Grand Am Challenge prototype one of the most crucial elements they addressed were the radius bushes. A GM engineer asked Pedders to make full urethane replacement bushes for them. He also suggested a urethane snubber. We made one set of urethane snubbers that are identical to the OE rubber snubbers, except they are much harder. The harder snubber reduces unwanted movement and unwanted castor changes. With reduced motion in the radius arm the on center steering feel is improved. There is a slight increase in road feel through the steering wheel, but no change in ride quality. Improved feel in the steering wheel delivers better information to both novice and expert drivers.

#3 Averaged Factory Alignment. The alignment contributes to understeer and the soft on center steering feel. We can sharpen the feel of the wheel and dial out some understeer with alignment. We add a bit of negative camber to the front wheels. We pull some toe out of the front. I like close to Zero toe in the front. In the rear we reduce camber to half of the front camber. i.e. -1 front camber -.5 rear camber. These alignment changes improve the feel of the car, but are not close to what we would use on a road course car. They are designed to improve steering feel, to balance the car and not eat up tires.

In Pedders Speak, these three foundational components of 5th Gen setup create a 5th gen we feel should have delivered from the factory. Ride quality is unchanged. Steering feel is improved. Rear end step out is a thing of the past. Novice and expert drivers of a Street I Pedderised 5th Gen have better control allowing them to make better decisions with a more predictable platform.

We are so confident in these components that I personally offer a money back guarantee. Install a Pedders Street I. Drive it. If your 5th Gen doesn't demonstrate the improvements I said they would I'll refund your money. I have been making this offer since the Camaro started going through Chevy showrooms. No one has ever asked for thier money back.

I am easy to find.
PGB@PeddersUSA.com
O 248.522.8021
JusticePete on Camaro5

Please excuse the length of my reply, but I wanted to respond in detail to your post. It deserved nothing less.
Now that's confidence right there, and for good reason

Just about everything outlined above are going to be at the top of the list of my mods'. Even before adding much more power, these things will be my priority, because all the power in the world doesn't mean jack if your chassis can't put it to the tarmac. Even if you're not just burning the rubber off the tires, in controlling the suspesion (the rear specifically), you're going to reduce the chance at spitting axle/differential parts out the rear of the car. You might spend something getting pretty close to $1K on completely going through all the bushes on the car, but you're car will thank you for it, because after the car coughs out some ring gear teeth, you'll be into it a lot more to replace that carnage...

JMVHO. My whole thing has always been to make the most of what I have and then add more power. It makes no sense not to improve the foundation before anything else, IMVHO.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #13
Rogan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericedelman View Post
How much experience do you have on a road course?
Have you had your Camaro on a track yet?

The reason I ask is that many people believe that the obvious solution to going fast is to spend vast sums of money on high performance parts, rather than seat time and driver training.

If you decide to change your bushings, the suspension will lose some of it's forgiving nature. If you are a very experienced driver on slicks, that's probably what you want. If you are a more novice driver on street tires, that forgiveness may help keep you safe and on the track. The more you stiffen up the car, the less forgiving it will be of an error or overcorrection.

Good luck with your choice. If you have an road course questions, I'll be happy to help out with whatever I can. I'm not an auto-x guy, so someone else may have to help you there.

Eric

My 5th Gen hasn't been on the track yet. However I've done about 6 road course events in my 4th Gen and my C5. And in a zr1 did a 3 day class out in Vegas. Probably the best 3 days in my life - after my honeymoon.

The C5 had a lot work done to it before I purchased it and the 4th gen I kind of built up then decided I should get the C5. As far as autox between my is350, 4th Gen and C5 I've done about 20 to 25.

I'm not looking to just up and throw money at the car to make her faster. I do want to correct a few shortcomings that I know I will feel right away. One of them is understeer. Unless I'm a total idiot adjustable sway bars will dial this out. Or is their another item I should be looking at to correct this? I read on here from another member that coilovers got rid of a lot of his understeer by stiffen the rear.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:01 AM   #14
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Order of importance.

1. bushings - foundation of everything
2. Sway bars - tuning out understeer (alignment is crucial as well)
3. coilovers - lower ride height for better roll center and damper control
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteside Customs View Post
Order of importance.

1. bushings - foundation of everything
2. Sway bars - tuning out understeer (alignment is crucial as well)
3. coilovers - lower ride height for better roll center and damper control
Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #16
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I think most people (and even the vendors!) agree that a stiffer rear sway bar and wider front wheels/tires gets you pretty close to a neutral handling car. That's what I'd do first, and then go drive it for a while until you get to the limits of the suspension. You'll overwork the factory brakes before you overwork the suspension on a track, Auto-X may be different. Then you can modify the brakes.

There's no disadvantage to doing the suspension a little at a time - your car will require periodic alignments from track use.

If you plan to continue to drive the car on the street, you may not enjoy the car as much once you have changed out bushings. The firmer urethane or aluminum replacements will transmit noise and vibration into the car. Not a problem on a track, not so enjoyable on the street.

Also, when you go to the track, see what other cars are doing. There aren't going to be a lot of Camaro's there yet, but there will be plenty of Mustangs and C5 and C6 Corvettes, and you can see what's working for them.

Good luck!

Eric

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
My 5th Gen hasn't been on the track yet. However I've done about 6 road course events in my 4th Gen and my C5. And in a zr1 did a 3 day class out in Vegas. Probably the best 3 days in my life - after my honeymoon.

The C5 had a lot work done to it before I purchased it and the 4th gen I kind of built up then decided I should get the C5. As far as autox between my is350, 4th Gen and C5 I've done about 20 to 25.

I'm not looking to just up and throw money at the car to make her faster. I do want to correct a few shortcomings that I know I will feel right away. One of them is understeer. Unless I'm a total idiot adjustable sway bars will dial this out. Or is their another item I should be looking at to correct this? I read on here from another member that coilovers got rid of a lot of his understeer by stiffen the rear.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:21 PM   #17
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Eric thanks for the input. I want some suspension performance upgrades, but I don't want to make the car uncomfortable for the street. Z06 in my plans within the year - so that will by the track strictly for track days like how my c5 was.

I will probably do something bushings wise or insert wise for the steering.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Rogan View Post
Eric thanks for the input. I want some suspension performance upgrades, but I don't want to make the car uncomfortable for the street. Z06 in my plans within the year - so that will by the track strictly for track days like how my c5 was.

I will probably do something bushings wise or insert wise for the steering.
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