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Old 06-20-2016, 09:31 AM   #1
LaN-
 
Drives: 2014 SS Convertible
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 38
Butt dyno gains!! BMR to the rescue!!

I've been on a quest for the past year to change the IMHO Buick with a LS3 into a Camaro. Like a lot of us here I threw more power at the problem with some bolt on's.

My mods (CAI, headers, cam 3.91, tune) helped, but when I found a good entrance ramp to enjoy I felt like I was at home in the lazy boy watching a YouTube video. The speedo on my TV would jump, but I've got my feet up relaxing.

Initially my mind went straight to boost, turbo, LSA, NOS, etc....but after driving the car more it kinda pissed me off. I've got roughly 450rwhp and yes this car is a big girl, but come on where is the "muscle". It doesn't take very long at all to hit 100mph on the free way and that number is only going to get higher with boost. So wanting to keep my license and stay out of jail I went to suspension mods.

**Side track**
Months ago I took my buddies basically stock mini cooper for a ride and was blown away by how much of a blast it was. Sure it was lacking a good amount of power, but it was still fun. The best part however was the extremely scientific fun/butt dyno to actual speed ratio LOL. Feel like you're going fast without having to go an insane speed.....Anywho

BMR to the rescue!!!

So not wanting to rip the car apart more than once I purchased pretty much every product BMR offers for my car. (Mod list is in my signature) Although I'm still craving a tad more power I would say this was the smartest thing I could have ever done. Not only does the car feel 10x faster, but it feels 10x safer now as well.

Sure if I'm in a subdivision that has some crappy roads, or are driving down one of Michigan's many neglected roads you'll get throw around a bit, but IMHO that's what owning a sports car is all about. The other 90% of the time its a very enjoyable ride.

Engine Mounts
Although I don't have any pictures here, I wanted to make a specific note regarding the poly engine mounts. Initially I did not purchase them due to the conflicting responses regarding NVH, but since I was in the middle of tearing everything apart I figured I'd take a gamble.

I too was a bit surprised by the added NVH upon the first startup, but after a few hundred miles I love them. They have mellowed out a bit and just like the suspension mods you "feel" more of the car. I can't comment on any added noise though. Whenever I drive the car the top is down so I wouldn't be able to hear them anyway. Also I have electric steering so I'm not sure if there would be more NVH for the manual racks.


So in closing, if anyone is like me and doesn't want to just throw power at the car to have more fun suspension mods are for you!

Convertible Side Note
If you're a convertible you'll need to do some more research on what parts to buy. I ran into some issues since the 2014 (maybe 2015) convertible has the FE3 suspension not the newer FE4. The majority of places only list parts based on year, not year and SS body style. I'm going to do another post in the convertible forum when i have some more time to review my mistakes.


P.S - If anyone is looking for a way to fit their lawnmower and Camaro in the garage pulleys work great...(last picture) LOL
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Engine: 1 7/8 headers, VMS 2.5 Cam, Roto Fab intake, ADM Scoop. BMR engine mounts, 3.91

Suspension: Koni Yellows, (BMR everything) 1" drop springs, toe rods, trailer arms, non adjustable LCR, FE4 sway bars, sub frame connectors, delrin sub frame bushing and upper control arm bushings. Front bushings.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:15 PM   #2
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Car Looks Great!
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T.C. Davis
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tc@bmrsuspension.com
813-986-9302
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:26 PM   #3
briancamaross
 
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Drives: 2011 ss 2ss auto camaro
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: mary esther florida
Posts: 231
So whats the easy bushing and hard bushing to do ? I plan to do the cradle bushings very soon.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:16 PM   #4
LaN-
 
Drives: 2014 SS Convertible
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 38
So apparently I didn't have notifications setup for this thread.....

The short of it is.....it's all pretty easy, but a torch, a press and the proper tools are your friends.

The long is....

-----The Rear-----

Subframe Bushings

These were pretty simple. I used a large socket, a torch and the weight of the car to push these out.

Rear Trailing Arm Bushings

These were kinda a pain since the knuckle is bulky. I heated them up and drill them out with a hole saw.

Sway Bars

These are a simple bolt on if you're not a convertible. I ordered the 2013 - 2015 Sway Bar kit and found out the hard way that I didn't have any FE4 end links.

Springs and Shocks

Easy enough except 1 of my springs came off the upper mount and i had to tear it all apart and put it back together once. Koni's instructions suck BTW

Toe Rods, Trailer Arms, Lower Control Arms, Delrin Upper Control Arm Bushings

Unbolt old and bolt in the new.

Diff Bushings

I did these last year, but don't try to do this with the diff in the car. It's almost impossible. Pull the diff, drain it and heat them up and drill them out. Finally sawzall the steel sleeve and fold them in with a hammer.

Subframe Connectors

These were pretty straight forward, BUT!!!! prior to even putting these on the car run a tap, or a wire brush through all of the bolts. Paint was on some of the threads and I didn't notice until it was to late. I somehow cross threaded one of the bolts and had put the impact on it to get it out. With the bolt and nut ruined I had to cut it off and get a buddy to weld on a new nut. After that one happened, I noticed the paint and almost did it again, but caught it and cleaned up all of the nuts before I screwed myself again.


-----The Front-----

Per BMR's website the Front Suspension Bushing Kit is for 2010 - 2015 models. This is only 2/3 true. I have the electric steering rack so I didn't need the poly steering rack bushing. Ordering the 2 of the 3 that are actually for my model would have saved me 20 bucks, but whatever.

Radius Rod Bushing

This was a PITA. Even with my little harbor freight 6 ton press I couldn't push the steel sleeves out. I ended up pushing out the inner bushing and cut the sleeve with the sawzall and beat it out.

Lower Control Arm Bushing

These were easy to get out, but kinda scary putting the new ones in. Press the OEM ones out and then try to squeeze the new ones in. The bushings are larger than the opening so you really have to "squeeze" them in. I had the press and pieces i was using to push everything together explode on me a few times, but i eventually got it.

Front Sway bar Endlinks

These are an easy bolt in, but you need to be real careful to not mess up the boots. You have to get a wrench in-between the strut tower and the end link, but there isn't much space so you end up compressing the boot a little. I messed up one, but was able to repair it.

Engine mounts

Just thinking about these still boils my blood a little. I had to remove the drivers side header just to gain access to 1 of the bolts. The rest of the bolts are such a pain to get out. Putting the new mounts back in wasn't as bad, but it still wasn't fun. Torquing them to spec was even harder. Although this was such a pain, I honestly love these.

-----Clocking the Bushings-----

Once everything was on and snug it came time to torque it all to spec. I cut 2x12's into 2 feet sections (24 in total). Took 3 at a time and screwed them together with 8 really long bolts. Ended up with 8 "blocks" which i used to set the car on. I used 2 blocks per wheel which worked out well since there was roughly 1 inch of horizontal movement when the car started to settle. It was a slow and painful process, but eventually the car was sitting on the wheels 10-12 inches in the air.

At this point you have to go through BMR's instructions 1 at a time to figure out what bolts get torqued to what spec.


Finally when it was all done the car was just ready for an alignment. I had some rubbing on the front wheels and strut tower, but that was due to the camber was all the way in. Just in case I got some 5mm spacers, but this was really more for looks. I wanted to wheels to be more flush with the body.

SO yeah.....it was a blast, but 150% worth it. I'm still playing around with the Koni Yellows and what settings are the best, I'll also need to play with the swaybar adjustment, but I'm still somewhat recovering from the entire ordeal and the thought of jacking the car up just makes me cringe right now LOL.
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Engine: 1 7/8 headers, VMS 2.5 Cam, Roto Fab intake, ADM Scoop. BMR engine mounts, 3.91

Suspension: Koni Yellows, (BMR everything) 1" drop springs, toe rods, trailer arms, non adjustable LCR, FE4 sway bars, sub frame connectors, delrin sub frame bushing and upper control arm bushings. Front bushings.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:18 PM   #5
LaN-
 
Drives: 2014 SS Convertible
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR Sales View Post


Car Looks Great!
Thanks, you guys do great work and I'll always recommend you, but your website needs some convertible love.
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Engine: 1 7/8 headers, VMS 2.5 Cam, Roto Fab intake, ADM Scoop. BMR engine mounts, 3.91

Suspension: Koni Yellows, (BMR everything) 1" drop springs, toe rods, trailer arms, non adjustable LCR, FE4 sway bars, sub frame connectors, delrin sub frame bushing and upper control arm bushings. Front bushings.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:23 PM   #6
LaN-
 
Drives: 2014 SS Convertible
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancamaross View Post
So whats the easy bushing and hard bushing to do ? I plan to do the cradle bushings very soon.
I hope my giant post answers your questions, but if you're going to drop the subframe do the upper control arm bushings (I went with the delrin kit) and the diff bushings if you haven't already. It's one of those things you only ever want to do once in a great while. You also have the opportunity to put synthetic fluid in the diff.

Finally do it right and get solid bushings. Again I got the stupid expensive delrin for fear of long term issues with mixing metals. Something about aluminum bushings in the steel subframe just didn't give me warm fuzzies.
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Engine: 1 7/8 headers, VMS 2.5 Cam, Roto Fab intake, ADM Scoop. BMR engine mounts, 3.91

Suspension: Koni Yellows, (BMR everything) 1" drop springs, toe rods, trailer arms, non adjustable LCR, FE4 sway bars, sub frame connectors, delrin sub frame bushing and upper control arm bushings. Front bushings.
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