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Old 06-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
Dropspeed
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Needed: Specific 1LE lowering Springs!

Disclaimer...I am not an engineer, only an enthusiast (and claimed "driver") so my thoughts below are only derived using deductive reasoning from racing and real world experience. Take them for what you will.

My 1LE is a weekend, open track day and drag raced car. I will use it when I instruct and want it to perform and behave on the track......It is not currently a dedicated race car (or daily driver) so I have been looking at lowering springs to lower the center of gravity (cg) and reduce the gap between fender and tire. Coil overs will come later....but not yet!

What I have found is that the springs on the market now were all developed for the 2010+ SS (non 1LE) YES, we do have SS springs but GM went through the trouble to sort out the car and provide a neutral balance instead of a platform that under steers with the 1LE. I want to keep it that way.

I did talk to a couple of springs companies this week and I do appreciate their honesty and most had the same response that "most customers are more concerned with ride height / looks"

If the numbers I found online are correct the SS comes with:

165FR and 370RR (lbs/in) spring combo.

Most aftermarket companies are increasing the front to:

210-220 lbs/in or about a 30% increase. (BMR 220, Pfadt 210, Eibach 143-222,)

The rear spring rates vary from 395-485 or 21% to 34.5% increase (Pfadt 210, BMR 460, Eibach 143-222).

The closest I can find to a (close to) equal increase is with the Eibach (34.5% FR / 31% rear increase) but I wanted to stay away from a progressive rate springs (Eibach, Pfadt, SLP) and use a linear spring. Now Progressive rate are much nicer for the street, but that is not my focus.

BMR and Pedders offer linear rate springs. Pedders does not publish springs rates so they can not be considered unless I can find/see those.

I spoke with Kyle at BMR and they offer a 220/460 combo for the V8 and a 200/430 combo for the V6. The V6 is lighter, but I asked if I could order a V6 front spring 200 lbs/in and a V8 rear 460 lbs/in and I can. That would increase the front rate 21% and the rear 24%. It sounds great in theory, but my concern then turns to ride height as I fear the front V6 Springs will sit lower than the rear V8 Springs. the only way to find out would be to try it....So what now? I'm not sure....

Please feel free to correct, interject or discuss...

-Matt
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:13 AM   #2
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Well i am work right now but i put a set of ZL1 rear spring on the back of my 1LE . The ZL1 rear spring will drop the back of the a 1/2 inch and even out the ride high on the car. I took some cell phone pick today at work and will post springs NP and pic when i get home to night.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
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Well i am work right now but i put a set of ZL1 rear spring on the back of my 1LE . The ZL1 rear spring will drop the back of the a 1/2 inch and even out the ride high on the car. I took some cell phone pick today at work and will post springs NP and pic when i get home to night.
Interesting...

The front ZL1 springs are linear spring but the rear ZL1 springs are progressive. (I believe 260-400ish lbs/in) This is fine on the ZL1 as it has ride height sensor and magnetic ride can adjust/control the shocks (make them stiffer as needed)

This may work fine on the street, but I have got to believe mixing a linear front and progressive rear has got to be unpredictable at the limits (on a track).

-Matt
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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Finally nice to see someone actually buying springs for the right reasons and not just throwing off the shelf springs onto a car to lower it and never considering how the performance will be affected! I will be watching this thread Matt!

This is one of the big reasons why I have not really pursued any springs for my car yet. I'd rather go with a suspension that I know has been engineering to work as a system.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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Get some good 3 way coilovers, have the car properly corner balanced and aligned and then take it to the track and run a 2-3 laps with each setting, adjust to where you like your car and then have fun. I had some KW V3 Coils on my old Genesis Coupe 3.8 and also have owned some track specific cars (92 VW GTi VR6 Swap with about 10K in suspension work). This is the method ive used for years now and it works great... but be prepared with extra tires.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropspeed View Post
Coil overs will come later....but not yet!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozz1LE View Post
Get some good 3 way coilovers, have the car properly corner balanced and aligned and then take it to the track and run a 2-3 laps with each setting, adjust to where you like your car and then have fun. I had some KW V3 Coils on my old Genesis Coupe 3.8 and also have owned some track specific cars (92 VW GTi VR6 Swap with about 10K in suspension work). This is the method ive used for years now and it works great... but be prepared with extra tires.
lol...just playin. sounds like good advice, but he's focusing on springs here.

i'm in here for information, i could stand to learn some things about suspension
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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Dropspeed you mite surprise at how well this works with the stock rear shock . The springs are 55 dollars each new so if you put them on your self have the rear aline the way you like for about 200 dollars you can put a set on and give them a try .
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
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Well i am work right now but i put a set of ZL1 rear spring on the back of my 1LE . The ZL1 rear spring will drop the back of the a 1/2 inch and even out the ride high on the car. I took some cell phone pick today at work and will post springs NP and pic when i get home to night.
Can you tell us more about the results (driving dynamics) you have with them compare to stock?
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:40 PM   #9
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I am interested as well. Although I will not see a track for a few years, I don't want to throw off the balance and capability built into this car for the sake of appearance. If I upgrade hard parts, it will be for the right reasons.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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In my opinion you gain lower cg on a heavy car and lots more camber in front and rear ( we both bottomed out at 0.8-0.9 negative on rear including another local guy). Both of these will help a lot. Spring rate wise you are going stiffer because you lost coils and have less travel, so assume you take stock spring and cut 1-1.5" off. This will tell the stiffness of ur stock spring lowered so go pick the option closest to it.

Dont shy away from progressive springs for dual purpose cars like ours. You will roll less from lower cg and the springs are all stiffer. A little prog spring cleans up your ride without busting your kidneys.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:57 PM   #11
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Ok home from work .

How dose the car drive with the ZL1 springs on the Back ? Well first off I see the spring in three ways soft , med. and hard be it the right or wrong way to look at the spring .

When just putting down the road you are on the soft part of the spring rate. The car ride better with the ZL1 spring .

The hard part of the spring is when you hit a big ass bump with speed like 80+ going down the road this move you into the hard part of the spring rate the stock shock on
the 1LE dose a half way good job with the ZL1 spring . I think the stock shock could use a bit more rebound damping for this part of the spring.

I know were there this really bad bump that I test my spring and shock on with my last car all at speeds 80 + and a full tank of gas . I look or should say feel, if the back of car kills its bounce stop
and my lower back from the shock of the fast spring compression and bonce upward if it makes through this with out hurting my back and maintains good control over the car than I am happy. The 1LE pass.

The middle part of the spring rate is about the same as the stock spring.
it feels the same as you go through this part of spring as the stock spring.

I know it a bit of a shoot from the hip set-up but over all I like how its working out for me .

Here the ZL1 rear spring NP #20942619 I got them from here http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/results.cfm here a pic of the car
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:02 PM   #12
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Sorry for posting the pic twice was trying to learn how to do that part .
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:58 PM   #13
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Damnit, where was this post two days ago when I ordered a set of springs!!!!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1leNPP View Post

How does the car drive with the ZL1 springs on the Back ? Well first off I see the spring in three ways soft , med. and hard be it the right or wrong way.......

I know it a bit of a shoot from the hip set-up but over all I like how its working out for me .
There is nothing right about it with the exception of the cost and stance. You are correct in that with a progressive rate spring the rate increases as the spring is compressed.

You have a linear rate spring in the front of the car that has the same spring rate at all times as your car is pitched into a corner. Your rear spring is going from a soft rate to a hard/higher spring rate as the car leans into the corner. Your are effectively stiffening the rear end of the car only as you corner.

This makes the car unpredictable and possibly dangerous as it may be prone to unexpected oversteer. If you do not drive the car hard this may not ever be an issue, but even an unexpected lane avoidance maneuver in cold weather or rain could spell distaster.

It is your car so you can do as you want. But there is a reason GM did not use these on the 1LE, which they could have easily as they are cheap. I would take them off or swap to an aftermarket set of progressive rate springs if you like the ride.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:16 AM   #15
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I'm in to see the results too like several others.

I have a set of BMR springs setting new in the box waiting to be installed but I was just on the fence if I was going to really "gain" what I was looking for with them. First a Pedders rear sway bar is going in before installing the springs to see how things are effected.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropspeed View Post
I did talk to a couple of springs companies this week and I do appreciate their honesty and most had the same response that "most customers are more concerned with ride height / looks"

If the numbers I found online are correct the SS comes with:

165FR and 370RR (lbs/in) spring combo.

Most aftermarket companies are increasing the front to:

210-220 lbs/in or about a 30% increase. (BMR 220, Pfadt 210, Eibach 143-222,)

The rear spring rates vary from 395-485 or 21% to 34.5% increase (Pfadt 210, BMR 460, Eibach 143-222).

The closest I can find to a (close to) equal increase is with the Eibach (34.5% FR / 31% rear increase) but I wanted to stay away from a progressive rate springs (Eibach, Pfadt, SLP) and use a linear spring. Now Progressive rate are much nicer for the street, but that is not my focus.

BMR and Pedders offer linear rate springs. Pedders does not publish springs rates so they can not be considered unless I can find/see those.

I spoke with Kyle at BMR and they offer a 220/460 combo for the V8 and a 200/430 combo for the V6. The V6 is lighter, but I asked if I could order a V6 front spring 200 lbs/in and a V8 rear 460 lbs/in and I can. That would increase the front rate 21% and the rear 24%. It sounds great in theory, but my concern then turns to ride height as I fear the front V6 Springs will sit lower than the rear V8 Springs. the only way to find out would be to try it....So what now? I'm not sure....
Seems that people even in this thread are skipping right past that red-bolded item . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ↑↑↑ . . .

Re-tuning the ride rates without affecting the handling balance is more complicated than increasing the front and rear springs by the same x%, unless you're also considering adjustable-rate sta-bars. Even then, you may want to consider maintaining the flat-ride pitch characteristics if you'll be driving it on the street much (think front to back head toss), and there is an approach for this as well. This is a front spring rate, rear spring rate, shock/spring damping, wheelbase, and range of speeds anticipated thing, not just springs.

At some point, the amount of damping that the OE shocks and struts can provide will start to matter. Best grip is attained with two to three times as much
"% critical damping" as you want for best ride, and % critical damping is tied to spring rate and corner weight. So with the general assumption that OE damping falls somewhere between best ride and best grip, keeping the same shocks and struts and stiffening the springs moves the % critical damping slightly away from performance toward ride quality. This can be felt, if you have some idea what to be "feeling".

Roughly, as spring rates increase, you need more rebound damping to keep their extension under control. For a more reasonable street ride, a little less bump damping, though going too far with stiffer rebound/softer bump damping can result in the shocks and struts jacking the car down.

The impression I always get is that a lower CG is given more credit for performance than it deserves. When you start to go through the numbers, a 1.5" lowering only reduces the lateral load transfer by about 7%, which does not buy you the full 7% more grip. And there are some geometric consequences - strut roll centers drop faster than you lower the ride height being one (so some of the extra rate of new lowering springs gets eaten up holding roll per lateral g where it was to begin with). And the camber curve changes, with poorer camber recovery being a characteristic of lowering a strut suspension.

I'm not trying to discourage lowering here, just pointing out that there is a good bit more involved if you want it to be technically right as a priority. Fortunately, the adverse effects can be addressed, or at least they can if you aren't running under a rule set that prohibits doing so (such as SCCA's Solo regs for any autocross class with the words 'Stock' or 'Street' in it).


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Old 06-23-2013, 12:37 PM   #17
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Pfadt is probably your best bet. I believe those are linear springs. I got LG G5 lowering springs and I'm not too happy with them. Initially they feel softer since they are progressive.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:41 PM   #18
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In my opinion you gain lower cg on a heavy car and lots more camber in front and rear ( we both bottomed out at 0.8-0.9 negative on rear including another local guy).
While you do gain in terms of your static camber, you lose on a strut suspension in terms of how fast it recovers camber in roll against the chassis roll trying to make the cambers go + on the outer tire. On a strut front / most any IRS or stick axle rear suspended car with a halfway sane camber setting for at least occasional street driving, this implies heavier understeer.


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Old 06-23-2013, 01:12 PM   #19
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Ur camber curve depends on ur linkage, so lowering it will follow same curve as not lowering it, gains could be different depending on where u start on curve. However, increasing static camber while lowering cg and having highere wheel rates, results in less roll. Hence you could have better camber at full lat gs due to this vs stock. Tires dont lie, and my tires at -1.4 are worn on the outside.

Get the basic mechanical grip first, which is camber etc. And then you can worry about transient tools like dampers. Transients are for polishing lap times, ur lucky to get even half a second gain with perfectly set up dampers per lap vs. What comes onthe car.

U can argue suspension geometry and theory for years but basics like a solid alignment get u there 90% of the way.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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I am putting a set of Eibach Pro Kit progressive springs (#38144.140) on my car within the next few weeks. They are sitting in a box in my garage. I will never track my car, it is mainly just to piddle around town and go to the gym. I am expecting a little rougher ride vs an already rough riding car! I am lowering it to get rid of the 4x4 stance. These car companies put so much money into design and then leave a huge gap between the fender and wheels. I guess they are in the bed with the aftermarket companies!
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #21
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Dropspeed

Look with the parts that are out there wright now the only way to do it right is to put a set of coilovers on the car. No one making a shock and struts that have adjustable damping so you can have a chance to set up a set of lower springs so they work right . The spring you can pick from suck it not like were working with your old EVO (I had a EVO-8 ) where you had just a ton of stuff to pick from.

So in the short term till we get more stuff to pick from that spring even out the ride high , give you the most travel your going to get in the back of the car (only lowers it 1/2 inch) and the stock shock dose a good job with it. The cost is low if you don't like how it work change back .

My last car being a Mustang we had the same problem for some time now with the back end of the car and right now there a group of guys with Boss 302 that are running a liner rate spring in the front and a progressive spring in the back and tracking there car with out the world coming to a end. The only thing that most of them wanted was adjustable sway bars so they could set there under and oversteer to there liking for there tire set-up.

Now its it the best no, but it dose not mean it can not work even out on the track. ( noting trying to be a dick or rude I just think your over think it for what we got to work with)
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Ur camber curve depends on ur linkage, so lowering it will follow same curve as not lowering it, gains could be different depending on where u start on curve. However, increasing static camber while lowering cg and having highere wheel rates, results in less roll.
I'm not exactly arguing with that, only that the gains in terms of reduced roll are less than what either the increase in spring rates or the lowered ride height would suggest. IOW, 20% - 35% stiffer springs as in OP's situation will not reduce roll by that much, nor would a 5% lower CG (about a 1" 'drop') result in a 5% reduction in roll if you held the spring rates constant.


Quote:
Hence you could have better camber at full lat gs due to this vs stock. Tires dont lie, and my tires at -1.4 are worn on the outside.
That certainly suggests that you're better off then you would be with OE springs, OE preferred camber, and OE ride height, even when I don't know what you've changed away from OE other than camber.

What that also tells me is that -1.4° isn't far enough negative for however enthusiastic your cornering is (hopefully there isn't a toe issue clouding the picture), while certainly not being too far negative for however much hard braking you do. But I'm not entirely surprised at your observation - I'm getting virtually dead-even wear across the treads of both my summer and winter tire sets with front cambers (also a strut suspension) set at -1.8°. Mostly enthusiastic street driving, so let's call that about 5/10ths, maybe 6/10ths on occasion.

A lowered car absolutely should be faster and drive better once you retune your static camber setting and all the other little things to work better at the lower ride height, instead of simply whacking an inch or so off the ride height, letting them fall wherever they may, and hoping for the best.


Quote:
Get the basic mechanical grip first, which is camber etc. And then you can worry about transient tools like dampers. Transients are for polishing lap times, ur lucky to get even half a second gain with perfectly set up dampers per lap vs. What comes onthe car.
I'll suggest that a lot of the 1LE's goodness comes from these refinements, and that transient behavior and "feel" are more what's noticed in the street part of one's driving.

Quarter turn adjustments with Koni single adjustables can make for noticeable improvements in overall composure, and slightly coarser adjustments are enough for me to note differences specifically in tire grip (making no other adjustments) . . . and I'm strictly an amateur at this sort of test-driver evaluation.


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Old 06-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #23
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Thank you for all of the responses and information.

I find it interesting that none of the forums suspension sponsors have chimed in.

-Matt
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:08 PM   #24
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Thank you for all of the responses and information.

I find it interesting that none of the forums suspension sponsors have chimed in.

-Matt
I was thinking the same thing. Almost disappointing that they have not at least said his concerns are unnecessary. At a minimum I expected a "for what you are looking for your only real option is coilovers" response. Instead they have all remained silent. I know they are busy but it's disappointing nonetheless.

Almost seems to add credibility to the argument that they are needed but not offered since most people just want the look. Why reengineer the right part if the one on the shelf is already selling. I hope one of them comes along soon to help clear things up.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #25
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I was thinking the same thing. Almost disappointing that they have not at least said his concerns are unnecessary. At a minimum I expected a "for what you are looking for your only real option is coilovers" response. Instead they have all remained silent. I know they are busy but it's disappointing nonetheless.

Almost seems to add credibility to the argument that they are needed but not offered since most people just want the look. Why reengineer the right part if the one on the shelf is already selling. I hope one of them comes along soon to help clear things up.
I know the production numbers are not in, but possibly the volume of 1LE's produced does not warrant the engineering cost to develop the product?
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