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Old 11-16-2009, 04:56 PM   #1
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Suspension comparison

What kind of handling differences can one expect if we compare a set of coilovers to a set of drop springs and sway bars? I don't auto-x but I'd like to get to a track someday so I just want to compare benifits between the two for street use.

To start I see several drop spring kits require modification to the bump stop, which I don't think is good. Is this typical with all drop kits?
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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My suggestion is the only reason to do coilovers is for adjustable ride height and shock valving adjustment. Regardless if your racing or not. Most guys with coilovers will never hit the tracks maybe drag strips but thats about it.

if you dont want to spend 2- 3k on the coilovers for the parts and labor then do the springs and soon enough January i hear revalved sport shocks will hit the market and satisfy most.

Springs are around 200 bucks and labor around 4 hours with alignment. Shocks should run around 400-600 i guess retail so you way ahead of the game than coilovers.

I dont think the Camaro will be a good autocross car but apprantly it does very well in Grand Am cup but its also heavily gutted and modified.

I have tried lots of stuff so far and will be fine tuning I hope very soon.

cutting bumpstops is a tough discussion alltogether because Eibach nor H/R suggest you do so.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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I took my 2ss autocrossing this last weekend bone stock and beat many modified and much lighter cars. This also was my first time doing it. I think the big American muscle car surprised many import drivers.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:55 AM   #4
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The first thing you need to do is get educated on Camaro suspension. the link below is the best Camaro suspension review out there.

http://www.peddersusa.com/products/21/73

Now the next thing is to establish what rear hp ncreases you will do, what size wheels and tires, what type of driving you will do, what you hope to obtain, and of coarse, budget. With all this data, making decisions as to the level of suspension you want, will be much easier.

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Old 11-17-2009, 08:51 AM   #5
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Adjustable coilovers were a solution to the problem of finding the right spring rate for driving conditions that are variable. Changing springs again and again to try and find the "right" one was/is a hassle. Adjustable suspension components allows you to tune the car's suspension to driving style and conditions.

A "lowering" spring is shorter than the stock one and changes the designed safety of suspension travel under sudden and adverse road conditions. Imagine doing 60 and hitting a sudden dip in the road. The wheels drop down in the dip, the body and all the weight start to follow it but by the time all that's moving down the road has risen and now the wheels are coming up to meet it. The springs and shocks are designed to prevent a hard contact of suspension components which could break something and/or cause you to lose control of the vehicle. The bump stop anticipates that even with designed safety there's still a possibility of hard contact and it's there to try and prevent that in the last possible few inches. Cutting the bump stop lowers that final margin of safety; not a good idea.

My opinion is don't compromise the car's safety just for looks; your life and the lives of those with you and around you is far more important. Do it right or don't do it.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
A "lowering" spring is shorter than the stock one and changes the designed safety of suspension travel under sudden and adverse road conditions.
But are they not "stiffer" to make up for the lesser travel?
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
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But are they not "stiffer" to make up for the lesser travel?
All drop coils are in fact stiffer to compensate for the reduced travel. This is a requirement. What gets into style and engineering, is the amount of spring travel, comfort and performance enhancement. There are variations with this for sure

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Old 11-17-2009, 09:13 PM   #8
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I know the coilovers have more travel than the drop springs. That is what really worries me about drop spring kits, you have less travel, some require the bump stops to be cut, so I think this all leads to creating a harsher ride. I have a set of Pedders XAs (actually 2 right now because my friend wasn't able to buy his Camaro...sad state of the economy for some). I've just been wondering if it makes sense to save a little money by going the route of springs in sway bars but like I said nobody has convinced me I'll be happy with a spring kit and bars.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:06 PM   #9
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There is far too much stressing going on with drop coils. You are currently bottoming out on your OE springs on a regular basis. The primary reason drop coils have higher spring rates, is to compensate for the reduction in travel. I would not cut the bump stops. Now the design function of the drop coils from one manufacturer to another are quite different in this area. Great design will utilize more active coils. I have not seen all the drop coils that are being used on the Camaro, However, I have seen a large amount on other platforms that we service. It appears the low end providers will in fact use less active coils and more filler coils than the more expensive units. On a GTO for example, there is a aftermarket coil that is very reasonable, that will utilize 1 coil only for the back end. Add a couple of buddies to the back seat, and you may find yourself on the bump stops before you even take off.

But to conclude, do not worry about the travel. You have a bump stop to protect this problem. If you have a concern about travel, then a coil over like the Pedders Xa has full suspension travel no matter what height the dampers are adjusted to.

Hope this helps,

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Old 11-17-2009, 10:43 PM   #10
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I have been doing alignment and suspension work on all kinds of cars since the late 70's.I have never seen a set of lowering springs that did not take away ride comfort.The advantage that the pedders xa coil overs will give you ,is that it does'nt shorten up the suspension travel.Which in turn helps keep the ride comfort that the car came with and if you want to change the performance you only have to turn a knob on the struts to increase or decrease the stiffness for performance driving when needed.Last but not least is you can make your car set at the height that makes the car look right for you.I have installed many drop springs over the years and hardly ever do two of them set the exact same height.Hope this helps.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymo1 View Post
I have been doing alignment and suspension work on all kinds of cars since the late 70's.I have never seen a set of lowering springs that did not take away ride comfort.The advantage that the pedders xa coil overs will give you ,is that it does'nt shorten up the suspension travel.Which in turn helps keep the ride comfort that the car came with and if you want to change the performance you only have to turn a knob on the struts to increase or decrease the stiffness for performance driving when needed.Last but not least is you can make your car set at the height that makes the car look right for you.I have installed many drop springs over the years and hardly ever do two of them set the exact same height.Hope this helps.
This is a tradeoff with the higher spring rate. Just so happens you'll have to have a stiffer spring to keep from bottoming out. The same goes for coilovers though. Lowering your car period comes with this problem. The fact is, "most" enthusiast cars could use a little stiffer spring to help the ride and decrease body roll. It may not ride like a Caddy but a Camaro isn't suppose to. IMO, lower springs are a nice blend of lowering and stiffer ride to firm up the car and help handling for the VAST majority of enthusiats. For those that NEED the extra adjustability, the coilovers fill that niche better. Then there's the price difference. For me it's hard to justify spending $2k on a set of coilovers just to lower the car when that same $2k can get me a GOOD set of 1in drop springs, better sway, strut tower bar, poly bushings, and a few other things. It's all about how much you want to spend and what your actual needs are. As DMS stated, there are variations in the different brands which offer different stances and harsher rides. From my limited experience, the H&R and Eibach sportlines have a harsher ride and happen to lower the car a bit more than the others. The Eibach Prokits and Pfadt's lower a bit less and have a slightly firmer than stock ride. Not sure about Peddlers since all i've seen is their CO's. As with everything, what YOU can tolerate is your choice. Some don't mind a stiff ride at all while others like the stock feel. I like something in between. A ride that won't beat the hell out of me on a long cruise but won't float over the bumps either.
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