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Old 08-17-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
Andymon
 
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Need help with suspension upgrade (experience and opinions)

Hello everyone. I have gotten a lot of help from the vendors on here but now am looking for help from my fellow forum members. Please give me your option on my options as well as if you have done the same thing.

Let me start by outlining what I am looking for. I want to upgrade my suspension for my new found power level of around 600rwhp. I do not auto-x or take the car to the drag stip and I do not want to drop the car very much. I plan on keeping it around oem ride height or maybe 0.5 drop. I want something that will support my power level, reduce wheel hop, and leave my ride quality oem or better.I am looking for an upgrade on handling for spirited street driving as well. Pretty much a better feeling ride. I got the chance to drive a ZL1 and felt the difference. Now I know the SS is not to that level but hope to close the gap somewhat.

So in short I hope to:

Uprade handling for spirited driving
Reduce wheel hop
Reduce body roll
Keep oem or better ride quality
Replace the week points in the FE4 suspension
Have a strong foundation for 600rwhp.

Now here are the parts I am considering in order:

27/32mm swaybar set
Subframe bushing
Radius bushing inserts
Upper control arm bushings
ZL1 Toe rods
Trailing arms with bushings
Xa coilovers
Alignment Bolt kit

Now here are some of the questions I am hoping to answer:

If you have done how has the items changed your vehicle both good and bad? How has oem ride quality changed? Over bumps and rough roads?

What parts would I notice the best "bang for my buck"?

What parts would you recommend getting for a fair weather fun car that doesn't need every performance or handling advantage possible?

Would coilovers be overkill or a waste of money for what I am looking to get out of my car?

Again no track use in mind. Thanks for any help.

Last edited by Andymon; 08-18-2013 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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I know you asked for some Members help but I wanted to also throw in my suggestion.

Pfadt Stage 3 kit!!

http://store.pfadtracing.com/camaro-...e-kit-stage-3/

This kit has pretty much everything you need. It stabilizes the rear end during hard launches, plants the power to the ground, eliminates wheel hop, and limits alignment changes that typically takes place under load.

We just installed this kit on a Whipple Supercharged SS and I have to say, it was a completely different ride!

PM or Call me with any questions.

Thanks

JT
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #3
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You asked about best bang for your buck. If you're not hitting the track, your list looks like a pretty expensive upgrade and it would probably be overkill if you did everything.

You could probably reduce the list just to lowering springs and a rear sway bar. Maybe add a couple of bushings for the 600 RWHP, not sure which would be best. Since you're looking for OEM or better ride quality, try to find springs that are not too low or too stiff (they go together). In any event, you will end up with a stiffer ride and it won't be as good as OEM ride quality. But the reward is better performance.

My Camaro's primary purpose is the road course, so I am springing for Supercar coilovers, but that was a hard decision. A lot of labor and expensive parts. If I didn't track, I wouldn't do coilovers.
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Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team STILLEN View Post
I know you asked for some Members help but I wanted to also throw in my suggestion.

Pfadt Stage 3 kit!!

http://store.pfadtracing.com/camaro-...e-kit-stage-3/

This kit has pretty much everything you need. It stabilizes the rear end during hard launches, plants the power to the ground, eliminates wheel hop, and limits alignment changes that typically takes place under load.

We just installed this kit on a Whipple Supercharged SS and I have to say, it was a completely different ride!

PM or Call me with any questions.

Thanks

JT
Exactly, something like this would be ideal. A lot less expensive than coilovers and the rest of your list.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
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I would do coilovers before lowering springs. I don't want that much of a drop. Also would probably go the pedders cradle bushings over a solid one.
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andymon View Post
I would do coilovers before lowering springs. I don't want that much of a drop. Also would probably go the pedders cradle bushings over a solid one.
The ZL1 springs lower the car but not as much as the typical lowering springs. Worth looking into. Just make sure you price the labor too, I had sticker shock when I found out how much it costs to have coilovers/bushings/sway bar done by a reputable shop. I guess it depends on budget. If you have a big budget, coilovers are the best solution.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Crush 1LE View Post
The ZL1 springs lower the car but not as much as the typical lowering springs. Worth looking into. Just make sure you price the labor too, I had sticker shock when I found out how much it costs to have coilovers/bushings/sway bar done by a reputable shop. I guess it depends on budget. If you have a big budget, coilovers are the best solution.
I don't have a huge budget. Kind of don't want to spend a ton...already did that on go fast parts. My thinking was to do as much as I could all at the same time to save on labor and another 90 minute trip to the pedders dealer. Mind if I ask how much you spent on your setup?
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andymon View Post
I don't have a huge budget. Kind of don't want to spend a ton...already did that on go fast parts. My thinking was to do as much as I could all at the same time to save on labor and another 90 minute trip to the pedders dealer. Mind if I ask how much you spent on your setup?
Sure, I'll PM you the details
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Crush 1LE View Post
Sure, I'll PM you the details
Thanks. I don't plan to do anything with the shocks/struts/springs unless I go all the way and do coilovers. With coilovers I would keep it close to stock right height with damping set lower for comfort.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:31 PM   #10
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Andy,

Have you read this yet?
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...s+5th+gen+book
Start there.

Then call Bruce at Raymonds Performance in Indy, since he is the closest to OH, and talk to him about your goals. He is a vendor on here.
http://www.raymondsperformance.com/

T.
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"Horsepower is something that looks great in a Magazine article, but suspension is what actually gets you around the track fast.." Jack Olsen
The drag strip is like sniffing glue, it's cheap, it's a decent buzz, it doesn't last long and they are all the same.
Road racing is like China White Heroin, the buzz is stronger, the high lasts for hours, it's extremely addictive and they are all different.
I can't wait for my next
Track fix.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBone View Post
Andy,

Have you read this yet?
http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...s+5th+gen+book
Start there.

Then call Bruce at Raymonds Performance in Indy, since he is the closest to OH, and talk to him about your goals. He is a vendor on here.
http://www.raymondsperformance.com/

T.
Thanks Tbone. Yes I have ready "the book" on suspension. My main question right now is are coilover worth the cost on a street only car that seems to only do spirited runs from time to time.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andymon View Post
Thanks Tbone. Yes I have ready "the book" on suspension. My main question right now is are coilover worth the cost on a street only car that seems to only do spirited runs from time to time.
I think the simple answer to that question is no, to be honest. For someone who only does spirited street driving, a few bushings, springs, and sways are more than enough for street duty.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:17 AM   #13
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I think the simple answer to that question is no, to be honest. For someone who only does spirited street driving, a few bushings, springs, and sways are more than enough for street duty.
And that's what I was looking for. I am not getting springs so I guess I should leave the stock stuff alone.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:51 AM   #14
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Any other input?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:05 PM   #15
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Added some questions.

If you have done how has the items changed your vehicle both good and bad? How has oem ride quality changed? Over bumps and rough roads?
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:13 PM   #16
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I thought I should add that, for traction to support your goal of 600 RWHP, it's typically better to have a soft suspension to allow weight transfer. Once you stiffen it with coilovers, you will likely hook up less. Lots of other factors though. So for that reason, sticking with the stock springs but beefier sways and bushings seems best.

I had a 630HP '95 Camaro, it was downright dangerous with the Eibach Sportline (if I remember right) springs/shocks, I could smoke the tires at 60+MPH accidentally. So I swapped out that suspension for drag suspension (soft springs and shocks in front, special torque arm, 315 drag radials, Etc.). Then it hooked up like nobody's business.

The more I think about it, you may want a 1LE-like suspension. Not lowered, handles fantastic, not too stiff. You could mix and match OEM and aftermarket stuff. I'd probably do Pedders sway bars, 1LE OEM shocks, plus some key bushings. You will not believe how well it handles, and traction is decent.
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:18 PM   #17
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Just wanted to jump in,
Actually that is not correct.

On solid rear axle cars that is 100% correct, however on IRS car's like the 5th Gen Camaro it's best to control the rear of the car from compressing. If you allow the rear of the car to compress, you also allow negative camber to increase, and thus the contact patch of the tire goes away. On a Camaro to launch best you want to keep the rear of the car at a level that the Camber doesn't go too negative.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:24 PM   #18
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Interesting Rob, thanks. I didn't realize, but it does make a lot of sense.

So how do you get traction with IRS? What do the guys do when they are focused on straight line performance?
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Willow Springs Raceway, 1:33.78: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343624
Buttonwillow Raceway, 1:57.47: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354128
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:31 PM   #19
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Getting the rear of the car down is important, but with the stock alignment bolts you can't get the camber near 0. This is where the Pedders alignment bolts come in, as they allow more adjustment, and can typically get the rear camber at or close to zero while still allowing it to be lowered a bit. Sometimes even getting the camber a bit positive works well too for straight line.

Xa Coilovers are helpful in this situation since you can not only adjust the height where it works best, but you can stiffen them up to help in the launch.
Supercar Coilovers are even better with this since you can adjust the compression and rebound independently, helping even more.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:35 PM   #20
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I think what Andymon is looking for is people that have the parts on their car, and how they feel about the differences in ride quality vs stock.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Crush 1LE View Post
I thought I should add that, for traction to support your goal of 600 RWHP, it's typically better to have a soft suspension to allow weight transfer. Once you stiffen it with coilovers, you will likely hook up less. Lots of other factors though. So for that reason, sticking with the stock springs but beefier sways and bushings seems best.

I had a 630HP '95 Camaro, it was downright dangerous with the Eibach Sportline (if I remember right) springs/shocks, I could smoke the tires at 60+MPH accidentally. So I swapped out that suspension for drag suspension (soft springs and shocks in front, special torque arm, 315 drag radials, Etc.). Then it hooked up like nobody's business.

The more I think about it, you may want a 1LE-like suspension. Not lowered, handles fantastic, not too stiff. You could mix and match OEM and aftermarket stuff. I'd probably do Pedders sway bars, 1LE OEM shocks, plus some key bushings. You will not believe how well it handles, and traction is decent.
That sounds like an idea. I was thining about piecing things together.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rob@WretchedMS View Post
I think what Andymon is looking for is people that have the parts on their car, and how they feel about the differences in ride quality vs stock.
Yes thank you.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:37 PM   #23
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Rob is Da Man too!!!!

And yes coilovers are worth it on the street, like Rob says, for the reasons stated.

On vacation guys but will be back later this week. In the mean time listen to Rob.

T.
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"Horsepower is something that looks great in a Magazine article, but suspension is what actually gets you around the track fast.." Jack Olsen
The drag strip is like sniffing glue, it's cheap, it's a decent buzz, it doesn't last long and they are all the same.
Road racing is like China White Heroin, the buzz is stronger, the high lasts for hours, it's extremely addictive and they are all different.
I can't wait for my next
Track fix.
DA HAWKS used to OWN DA CUP!!!!!
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #24
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I would not install 1LE shocks if you want the ride quality to remain about the same as the stock SS. The 1LE shocks are stiffer and less compliant than the SS shocks are.

I would stick with the stock shocks or do coilovers, but not the FE6 shocks from the 1LE
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:49 PM   #25
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Rob is Da Man too!!!!

And yes coilovers are worth it on the street, like Rob says, for the reasons stated.

On vacation guys but will be back later this week. In the mean time listen to Rob.

T.
Yes I know...he is the man!!
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