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Old 03-17-2010, 09:11 PM   #1
robertway

 
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Pfadt-ening things up Phase 2: Drop Springs

After having received my Pfadt Springs last week I finally got the chance over the weekend to get them installed. I already had the Pfadt front and rear sways installed so I got to see what impact they alone had on the car, my full write-up on the sways is here; http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64099

I am not going to go into a huge how-to as there has already been a good number of those and the documentation that comes with the springs and available from the Pfadt site is plenty to give folks some insight into what their in for. I did the install in my garage on jack stands and the total job took me about four hours across two days just taking my time.

I started out by just taking a basic before shot of the car, not the best ligthing and view of the gap above the wheels but you can see she sits pretty high on the stock springs, and before anymore mentions it, yes the CCW's are filthy, we've had a lot of rain and snow in the Northeast so cleaning them up after the springs were installed was on the list....




The front wheels had just over a 5.5" gap from the edge of the fender to the top edge of the rim;


The rears sat at about 5.25" for the gap;


Put all four corners up on stands (useless filler shot I guess), I put some 2"x3"x6" blocks of wood up against the pinch welds before setting the car on the stands so the pinch weld doesn't have the burden of the full weight of the corner.


The one tip I will offer up is being aware of where your current camber is set before you start unbolting things, to make sure I got right back to where the fronts were set (understanding negative camber would increase with the drop) I put a 10mmx1.5 bolt into the both fronts so when I put everything back together I would not have to guess where it was set or try and line up a chalk mark.


The rear eccentrics were marked from the factory so even though you don't have to unbolt this lower control arm bolt I was going to be re-timing all the pertinent bushing and with this being one of them I at least had the factory markings to get back to where the eccentrics were if I twisted the bolt while re-timing the bushing. As an aside, when re-timing the toe link, be sure to pay attention to the inner toe-link to subframe bolt because it too has an eccentric bolt on it for adjusting the toe in the rear wheels, hence.... toe link, so just be mindful of keeping the bolt right where it is while you loosen the nut to free up the bushing and then tightening it down again. Like a jackass I was loosening the bolt and saying "hey, look at the rotor turning in and out as I loosen this nut"... luckily the eccentric washer had left an nice outline showing where it was from the factory so I just eye-balled it back up and tightened it back down and have my fingers crossed until I take it to a shop to get things neatened up. I paid a lot more attention to that bolt on the other side of the car


One thing I also did before starting was to take a rough measurement of what kind of camber the car had from the factory. Now I know this was not an exact scientific way of determining the camber of all four wheels but it gave me a reference point. Using a carpenters level that was cut short enough to touch both the top and bottom and then I used, don't laugh. the level app on my iPhone up against the carpenters level to get a rough measure of the negative camber. First I laid the carpenters level on the floor of the garage and zeroed out the iPhone level to the garage floor before measuring the wheels. The results I got were -1.5 on both the front right and front left wheels, -1.0 on the rear left, and -1.4 on the rear right, I measure each wheel 5 times and the iPhone came back to the same negative reading each time on each wheel so I knew I at least had a good "before" reference. As an aside, how the rears are half a degree off from each other from the factory is beyond me but I guess that is why there is a "tolerated range" in the alignment specs.

Here is the car after all four springs were installed and the car driven around the corner to make sure the wheels didn't fall off, sits much lower now like she should;


After the springs the fronts had a gap of 4.25" from the fender to the rim edge, this is the advertised 1.25" drop from Pfadt


The rear wheels had a little bit different result in that after the springs they were measuring at 4.5", the before measurement was 5.25" so the drop was only .75", about a half inch off what it should have been in theory.


Having pointed out the before and after drops I did want to mention that when the after shots were taken, I had already re-timed the front bushings into their new "happy place" but hadn't done the rears so I figured maybe the rear bushings were propping the rear end up a bit so it may drop a little more after re-timing. I got around to re-timing the four main bushings recommended by the Pfadt folks today but the 0.75" drop remains so I am assuming that is why it is recommended to drive around for a month or so to let them settle so I will keep and eye on the rears over the next month and when/if the drop a bit more and settle into a constant measurement I will get my realignment done.

Speaking of alignment, after the drop, I gained a very consistent -0.5 camber at all four corners so the fronts were now sitting at -2.0 measured with the iPhone, the rear left at -1.5 and the rear right at -1.9, still confirming that half degree the rears are off from each other from the factory. Now I doubt these are my ACTUAL camber settings but at least I had a before/after measurement to gauge how much negative camber was added from the drop, just like getting dyno numbers done, if you keep going back to the same dyno after mods and a tune you at least get a pretty real representation of you GAIN. I had taken the after measurements after I had re-timed the front bushings but before I did the rear bushings, so while I was re-timing the rear bushings today I adjusted the rear eccentrics to try and pull out some of the negative camber and at least get back to where I was before the drop. I plan on doing the same with the fronts tomorrow giving each of the 10mm bolts I inserted a half turn at a time and see how much negative camber it pulls out to get me back to my baseline measurement of -1.5, once again using my iPhone as a "close enough for now" gauge so I am not driving around with a ton of negative camber for a month while everything settles in. So am I an alignment specialist now... far from it, just some common sense measures to see before/after camber impact. I may actually try and do a true alignment the old school way with some levels and string once I give it time to settle and then bring it into a shop to see just how close I was.

I did get a chance to take the car out for about an hour or so both yesterday and today and will say that the ride quality has not suffered at all, you can feel that the ride is a little more firm but it is nowhere near harsh. Of course the terms "firm" and "harsh" are defined differently by everyone but to me, the ride is still comfortable on all but the rougher roads in my area. I have also noticed an even further reduction in body roll beyond what the sway bars had initially done, I still have to get out and really push her through the corners but not only does she sit down nice in the turns as a result of the Pfadt sway bars but she is rolling a lot less too.

Here is a much better shot of how the car sits, now I don't feel like I am looking at a monster truck with the stock gap that was in there.


This is probably how I am going to leave the car for a while, eventually when my driving skills ever get to the point where I am wanting more from the car I will go down the coilover route (was initially on the Pfadt waiting list but a dead refrigerator and a desire to keep the food in our house from rotting forced me off that wait list to free up the dough to buy a new fridge and go the springs route for now). I'll also probably do a full replacement of all the suspension bushings as well but that work is quite a ways out so I am just going to enjoy her for what she's got now because it is more than I have had in any car previously so until the driver gets ahead of the car I am done with suspension mods.

I Just want to extend my thanks once again to Aaron and the rest of the folks at Pfadt Racing as well as Brandon at IPS Motorsports for helping me out along the way and in the background. It continues to be a pleasure to deal with these folks.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:58 AM   #2
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Great write up, and nice car you've got there!!!
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:31 AM   #3
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The stance looks good. Nice post.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:41 AM   #4
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Nice. I'm waiting (impatiently :-)) for delivery of Pfadt sways and end links, rear trailing arms and KW V3 coilovers (and upgraded brake pads).
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:50 AM   #5
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looks fantastic, although I am biased
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for this write up, Robertway! As always, great job. Just curious, but did you bounce the front and rear suspension both before and after the install, before you took of those measurements? There are a couple of reasons why you may not have measured the correct before or after value, on the rear. Just a thought.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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Looks awesome, so you had to cut the bump stops for those? Does that cause a problem at all?
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the compliments, the car definitely sits a lot nicer than the stock ride height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PfadtRacing View Post
Thanks for this write up, Robertway! As always, great job. Just curious, but did you bounce the front and rear suspension both before and after the install, before you took of those measurements? There are a couple of reasons why you may not have measured the correct before or after value, on the rear. Just a thought.

Thanks again!
The car was driven around the block couple of times after the install with some swerving back and forth thrown in for good measure. I re-timed the front bushings under load with the front end up on ramps and when I re-timed the rears, the car was up on jack stands and I did one side at a time using a jack to fully load the suspension from under the lower control arm to the point that the car started to raise a bit off the jack stand then I basically bounced the suspension by standing in the trunk, good thing my wife didn't see me, she woulda checked me into the local mental institution. I measured several times and will continue to over the next week or so to see if the springs indeed do start to settle.

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Looks awesome, so you had to cut the bump stops for those? Does that cause a problem at all?
I cut the bump stops as per the Pfadt Racing recommendation. I know there is some back and forth going on regarding this but I am ok with it based on the explanations I have seen.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:08 PM   #9
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Wow Robert...

Like usual, you have the best writeups. You should freelance for a car magazine. They are always looking for new talent !!!

Thanks a bunch !!

The car looks incredible with its new stance.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
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Do you find that you have any problems going in and out of driveways that have any sort or rise to them? I have a quote to have IPS Motorsports to do the Pfadt drop springs, sway bars, and endlinks. My only concern is that the nose of the car will scrape pulling in and out some driveways. I know this sounds silly, but it's of concern to me.

Your car looks great. Thanks for the write up.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:44 AM   #11
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No problems yet with driveways, my driveway has a slight incline to it starting from the street and I usually ease my way into it, the front skirt has 3.75" of clearance at its lowest point which is good enough for me but not most rabbits and squirrels . My neighborhood has what they call "speed tables" as opposed to speed bumps (kinda stupid if you ask me, some municipal idiots sat around a table and came up with that one) and they are not really pronounced for driving over them at lower speeds, the front tires don't drop off the far side before the rear start to come up so I have no issue with the underside of the car scraping but regular speed BUMPS I will be a little bit more cautionary with but I don't come across them too often in my driving. I wouldn't let this concern stop you, slowing down a lot more or angling into/out of driveways usually does the trick on the steeper ones as you usually have more clearance at the corners of the skirt
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:43 PM   #12
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Robert,
Those wheels are just plain awesome! Get some window tint, then Ill buy your car AWESOME
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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Thanx for the write up Robert.
I'm doing this install tomorrow and your tip on the 10mm x 1.5 bolt is genius. I would have never thougt of that. As others have pointed out, your write ups are the best.


You have very good taste and been an inspriation! My CCW 505a's will be on in a few weeks. Although I'll have to admit that I was lusting after them before you got yours. It was your write and pix up that got me scrimping and saving to make it happen though.
I'm not building your evil twin, my cars CGM. SIM was my second choice though.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:06 AM   #14
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Robert,
Those wheels are just plain awesome! Get some window tint, then Ill buy your car AWESOME
I'll get some window tint as long as you pay for all the tickets I would get here in Jersey, tint laws are very strict around here which is why you see homey's rollin in their slammed 300c's with blacked out back seat windows and nothing on the front side windows. I would do 25-30% in a second but just haven't found a good "medical reason" for it yet.

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Thanx for the write up Robert.
I'm doing this install tomorrow and your tip on the 10mm x 1.5 bolt is genius. I would have never thougt of that. As others have pointed out, your write ups are the best.


You have very good taste and been an inspriation! My CCW 505a's will be on in a few weeks. Although I'll have to admit that I was lusting after them before you got yours. It was your write and pix up that got me scrimping and saving to make it happen though.
I'm not building your evil twin, my cars CGM. SIM was my second choice though.
Thanks for the compliments, I enjoy writing this stuff up and trying to give back to the community as I have gotten so much from you folks. Funny you say SIM was your 2nd choice as CGM was mine...
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:00 PM   #15
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Looks good dude. I was waiting for you to lower it and make those CCW's look even better. Try to get some more pics whenever you can. I'd love to see more angles of the drop.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:40 PM   #16
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Looks good dude. I was waiting for you to lower it and make those CCW's look even better. Try to get some more pics whenever you can. I'd love to see more angles of the drop.
Thanks G, meant to get more pictures but I had one of my daughters with me and she was pecking at me to go to the park, she kept saying "Daddy why are you taking pictures of your own car?"... She's 5, just doesn't get it yet
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:04 AM   #17
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Thanks G, meant to get more pictures but I had one of my daughters with me and she was pecking at me to go to the park, she kept saying "Daddy why are you taking pictures of your own car?"... She's 5, just doesn't get it yet
Haha. My gf still asks me the same thing. I hope she gets it one day too.
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Old 03-26-2010, 04:00 PM   #18
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OK, adding some more shots....




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Old 03-26-2010, 05:04 PM   #19
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AWESOME PICS! Thanks for sharing. Keep them coming!
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:39 PM   #20
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I'm hoping IPS gets the sway bars in this week. They've been on back order for a little while. I'm waiting to have IPS Motorsports do my Pfadt Sport Suspension+ this week. Those pictures of your car, Robert, want me to have it done now! Great looking car.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:41 PM   #21
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very nice.... my sport package should be here next week!!!!!!

are those 20" wheels?

i'm considering some iForged 3-piece wheels and did not want to go any larger in size than the stock 20s.
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:43 PM   #22
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Man I can't wait till my CCW's get here!
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:05 PM   #23
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Dayum, the new pics are hot. Looks perfect dude.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:20 PM   #24
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Real nice.....
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:56 PM   #25
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Very nice
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