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Old 05-09-2010, 08:01 PM   #1
RyanG
 
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Suspension Upgrade Advice for Rural (Crappy) Roads

Folks,

Looking for some advice on suspension upgrades. The issue is I live in Eastern Canada where 80% of the roads suck (New Brunswick). What I don't want to do is make the ride so stiff that on the bad roads it feels like the car going to shake the teeth out of me.

I had a 99 Trans Am and had a front tower brace and sub frames and really liked it. Then I had a 2001 firehawk with the "autocross" setup, it handled like a dream on a good highway but on the normal roads it was hard to take.

If I put sub-frames, front brace, and better sway bar would that "harden" the ride too much?

So far I like how the Camaro rides stock on the crappy roads but would like a bit beter handling on the highway.

Any suggestions?

Thanks so much for any advice.

~Ryan
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:37 AM   #2
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So some info would be helpful

1. What are your goals
2. What wheels and tires are you running or going to run
3. What hp do you have.
4. Do you want to lower your Camaro
5. Do you have a budget
6. What type of driving will you be doing besides bad roads

thanks
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:32 AM   #3
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Answers

Answers to the questions:

1. What are your goals?
A: Just to make the car handle a bit better, eliminate and body flex. Minimize body roll on the highway when passing someone a little too fast. bascially better handling than a 2011 Mustang GT or Shelby.

2. What wheels and tires are you running or going to run?
A: Stock tires and wheels that come with the SS/RS package (20” wheels and Pirellis)

3. What hp do you have?
A: Only thing I have added a SLP LMII and CAI to the car. All I plan to do for 2-3 years.

4. Do you want to lower your Camaro?
A: No. Roads too crappy.

5. Do you have a budget?
A: No, looking for best solution for my needs. Looking to spend less than more. Like a Stage I type of situation.

6. What type of driving will you be doing besides bad roads?
A: Just daily driving, no racing or drag racing. Just looking for better handling when hitting the off ramps aggressively

Thanks Mike!

~Ryan
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanG View Post
Answers to the questions:

1. What are your goals?
A: Just to make the car handle a bit better, eliminate and body flex. Minimize body roll on the highway when passing someone a little too fast. bascially better handling than a 2011 Mustang GT or Shelby.

2. What wheels and tires are you running or going to run?
A: Stock tires and wheels that come with the SS/RS package (20” wheels and Pirellis)

3. What hp do you have?
A: Only thing I have added a SLP LMII and CAI to the car. All I plan to do for 2-3 years.

4. Do you want to lower your Camaro?
A: No. Roads too crappy.

5. Do you have a budget?
A: No, looking for best solution for my needs. Looking to spend less than more. Like a Stage I type of situation.

6. What type of driving will you be doing besides bad roads?
A: Just daily driving, no racing or drag racing. Just looking for better handling when hitting the off ramps aggressively

Thanks Mike!

~Ryan
Here are some recommendations based on the following:
1. better handling than a 2011 Shelby
2. Maintain ride height

Camaro Street XA
Merlin P/N is CAMARO STREET XA

This is a value Package with a kick. The new state of the art Pedders eXtreme Xa coil Overs are revolutionizing the auto community. The Mono tube 30 way adjustability will give you the ultimate in desired ride; a flexible ride. Maximum comfort when you want, to killer control when you have to show the world you are on top of your game. This package will include the critical bushings of Street 1. Plus our alignment package will give you full alignment extended alignment capabilities front and rear and adds 1 to 1.25 degrees of positive front caster!
P/N Part Description
160086 Camaro eXtreme Xa Multi Adjustable Coilover Kit By Pedders with 8kg/mm Front and 10kg/mm Rear Coil Rates
EP1167 Zeta Rear Differential Bush Kit
EP1200 Zeta II Rear Extreme Sub-Frame Connector Kit
EP6578 CAMARO Front Radius Rod STIFFENING SNUBBERS (new)
PDUSACAMFULL CAMARO REAR EXTENDED CAMBER, TOE ADJUSTERS, FRONT CASTER ECCENTRICS & CAMBER ADJUSTERS

Then add Camaro Solution B sway bar kit:
CAMAROSOLUTIONB 27MM FR. & REAR BARS WITH 4 ADJUSTABLE ENDLINKS Larger HD end links require enlarging mounting holes.

Here is a better, more complete kit that will exceed your needs:

CAMARO TRACK II with Xa Coil Overs
MERLIN STORE PART NUMBER IS CAMARO TRACK II
The Track II combines all the components of the Street II and adds sway bars, all bushes and adjustable HD Endlinks. With the virtual pivot point design and the advanced rear suspension you tracked Camaro does not need to be over sprung and over damped. In complete OE trim it will out perform many respected marquees. With a Track II System we are going hunting for the big boys with big dollar stickers. We add more urethane bushes to create greater control. These are Pedders exclusively designed urethane bushes that use voids, shapes and volume of urethane to increase control while maintaining an OE like ride. There are no squeaks. It is not rough. It is AMG like control. It has long been the Pedders philosophy that sway bars are not used to correct deficiencies in your suspension. Sway Bars are the final tuning step for a properly sprung, damped and bushed vehicle. Pedders sways offer four positions of adjustment front and three positions of adjustment rear. They include Pedders urethane bushes. They are perfectly matched to provide an amazing level of control as they compliment your Pedderised ZETA II Camaro, PLUS the flexibility to fine tune the control rates to fit your needs. This kit uses our Pedders eXtreme Xa Coil Overs that give you a massive amount of flexibility, custom tuning to your individual driving habits and needs. You will have complete suspension travel no matter what height you set the Xas at. This will give you the same comfort at a 2 inch drop as you would have at a 1/2 inch drop. For the SS Camaros with Brembos, we strongly recommend adding our Complete Brake Hose Kit for added performance and security. PDUSACAM2800
P/N Part Description
160086 Camaro eXtreme Xa Multi Adjustable Coilover Kit By Pedders with 8kg/mm Front and 10kg/mm Rear Coil Rates
CAMAROSOLUTIONB 27MM FR. & REAR BARS WITH 4 ADJUSTABLE ENDLINKS Larger HD end links require enlarging mounting holes.
EP1167HD REAR ZETA HD DIFFERENTIAL BUSHING KIT
EP1201HD CAMARO VERY HD REAR SUB-FRAMEBUSHING REPLACEMENT
EP2112 Zeta Steering Rack Bush
EP6577 CAMARO Front Radius Rod Bushing
EP7264 Zeta rear lower control arm inner
EP7322 Camaro Only Rear Control arm - Upper inner rear.
EP7323 Zeta Camaro Rear Toe, and trailing arm links in and out.
EP7323 Zeta Camaro Rear Toe, and trailing arm links in and out.
EP7323 Zeta Camaro Rear Toe, and trailing arm links in and out.
EP7323 Zeta Camaro Rear Toe, and trailing arm links in and out.
PDUSACAMFULL CAMARO REAR EXTENDED CAMBER, TOE ADJUSTERS, FRONT CASTER ECCENTRICS & CAMBER ADJUSTERS


For better handling, we need some higher performance coils. But you do not want to dorp the vehicle and due to your roads, you still need to maintain suspensipon travel. Our Xa coil overs will do this. You can get to OE height, and maintain full suspension travel, and yet have the flxibility to adjust damping levels when you require a more spirited control.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, just ask

thanks
mike
dms
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:01 PM   #5
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Thanks Mike. When I get the rest of my pennies saved for this I am calling YOU.

The info has been a great help, and I bet helped some others as well.

~Ryan
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanG View Post
Thanks Mike. When I get the rest of my pennies saved for this I am calling YOU.

The info has been a great help, and I bet helped some others as well.

~Ryan
It is my pleasure. You are wise to ask questions and would expect more to come as you digest it all.

I will continue to be here to assist you

thanks
mike
dms
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
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If you're not looking to lower the car and you want to keep the ride with as much travel and compliance possible then a set of good swaybars would be your best bet IMO for a beginning mod.

If you DON't want to lower the car and you drive on rough roads I wouldn't recommend coilovers.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:03 PM   #8
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With our Pedders Xa coil overs, we offer extreme diversity with the 30 way detented damping levels. At the 0-5 clicks you are at the OE damping levels. At 10-14 clicks, you are at aggressive street ride. At 20 clicks, you are at roadracing levels. So with our Pedders Xa coil overs, they will be able to handle rough roads and full suspension travel without any problems. It will be sportier than OE, but I will remind all that the thread poster expects the Camaro to outhandle a 2011 Shelby. The 2011 Mustang GT has some advantages over the current model Camaro SS.

mike
dms
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:04 PM   #9
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:02 PM   #10
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I'm familiar with the Xa coilovers. I personally wouldn't recommend them for someone who doesn't want to lower the car, make it any sitffer or lose ride quality on rough roads though. Mind you I'm not recommending other similar coilovers either.

I think the OP would be happy with a track pack from Hotchkis. It will tightren up the chassis with the Max chasis brace and the swaybars. However it does include lowering springs, which while they will improve handling, will also lower the car which he stated he didn't want.

So in lieu of that I would recommend swaybars, and the max chassis brace and front strut tower bar for a stiffer chassis and better handling without compromise on the stock damping or travel.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:12 PM   #11
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Stiffening up the chassis will not make the Camaro outhandle a 2011 Shelby, which was one of the requirements the poster has made. Adding controls to reduce the camber change in the front by approximately .005 degrees, which is not even measurable on any current alignment machine will do little to improve the handling.

The 2011 Mustange has a much stronger set of sway bars, far better tires , a lot firmer and lower shock and damping levels and a serious weight advantage and a better front to rear bias ratio than Camaro. So sway bars only will not do it.

We have almost as much experience now with the new Mustang as we do with the Camaro. We are just not talking about it yet because we have not introduced our product yet for the Mustang, with the exception of the Xa coil overs, that are far better than the Topiko and Steada units now being offered. But I am not going to bore this community with all the Mustang stuff. But the new Mustang GT or Shelby is a very fine platform just like the ZETA II platform is on the Camaro.

Camaro has the disadvantage coming out with a system that was better than the 2009 Mustang GT. So Camaro raised the bar, then Mustang jumped. Now What might be coming down the road for Camaro will change the playing field again.


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Old 05-12-2010, 10:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Circuit Motorsports View Post
If you're not looking to lower the car and you want to keep the ride with as much travel and compliance possible then a set of good swaybars would be your best bet IMO for a beginning mod.

If you DON't want to lower the car and you drive on rough roads I wouldn't recommend coilovers.
I'd have to agree. Not lowering, keeping travel, eliminating body roll, no racing, these are all characteristics of items that can be addressed by installing a good set of matched swaybars. This is a great recommendation, especially for a beginning mod, that wont break the bank. These are upgrades you would still want to pursue even if you were to install coilovers, so you may as well start there, and then address any perceived lack of performance after you get used to the new handling and balance of your Camaro.

We also offer a strut tower brace to stiffen up the chassis, as well as solid subframe mounts. We have had a TON of customers install these on street cars and love them. I am not sure how bad the roads are where you drive. I would forgo the subframe bushing recommendation for this very reason.

Give us a call if you have any questions, on our products or other wise.


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Old 05-12-2010, 11:15 AM   #13
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^ Agreed.

Pfadt and Hotchkis, both good companies for swaybars and chassis braces.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:28 AM   #14
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MTI makes great sway bars. They made a huge difference in my SS/RS
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by PfadtRacing View Post
I'd have to agree. Not lowering, keeping travel, eliminating body roll, no racing, these are all characteristics of items that can be addressed by installing a good set of matched swaybars. This is a great recommendation, especially for a beginning mod, that wont break the bank. These are upgrades you would still want to pursue even if you were to install coilovers, so you may as well start there, and then address any perceived lack of performance after you get used to the new handling and balance of your Camaro.

We also offer a strut tower brace to stiffen up the chassis, as well as solid subframe mounts. We have had a TON of customers install these on street cars and love them. I am not sure how bad the roads are where you drive. I would forgo the subframe bushing recommendation for this very reason.

Give us a call if you have any questions, on our products or other wise.
SO.... Rough roads out in WY also and to achieve better handling (not track racing), maintain smooth ride, on twisting mountain roads that occasionally can be washboard, etc, a good bet is the sway bar kit and tower brace combo ONLY- no bushings, etc?????
Thanks
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:04 AM   #16
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I would suggest a three way adjustable front and rear sway bar set to just start out with. That way if you add more you can adjust for it. Try that out then move on up from there. You don't really seem to be a full coil over type of situation. You don't want to road race. All you want to really do is improve handling a little better to help pass on the freeways and on ramps and a coil over seems like over kill for that. If possible find a local club that may have some cars with different setups that you could take a ride in them. That would help you out a lot i think.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanG View Post
Folks,

Looking for some advice on suspension upgrades. The issue is I live in Eastern Canada where 80% of the roads suck (New Brunswick). What I don't want to do is make the ride so stiff that on the bad roads it feels like the car going to shake the teeth out of me.

I had a 99 Trans Am and had a front tower brace and sub frames and really liked it. Then I had a 2001 firehawk with the "autocross" setup, it handled like a dream on a good highway but on the normal roads it was hard to take.

If I put sub-frames, front brace, and better sway bar would that "harden" the ride too much?

So far I like how the Camaro rides stock on the crappy roads but would like a bit beter handling on the highway.

Any suggestions?

Thanks so much for any advice.

~Ryan
We'd have to throw in our vote with the "keep it simple" suggestions, sway bars and a brace. As much as we love springs, you probably don't need them for what you plan to do with the car. If you decide to go road racing later, you can always change springs then.



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Old 05-14-2010, 04:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by wyocamaro View Post
SO.... Rough roads out in WY also and to achieve better handling (not track racing), maintain smooth ride, on twisting mountain roads that occasionally can be washboard, etc, a good bet is the sway bar kit and tower brace combo ONLY- no bushings, etc?????
Thanks
Hey! It's not that we wouldn't recommend bushings, but they are really more of a secondary concern for upgrading, based on the OPs goals. It is our opinion that this should be left up to the customers discretion as to how rough the roads are in their area, and how that will affect their ride quality. We have engineered bushings that reduced friction values, for excellent street use. But, some customers are more sensitive to installing poly at a lot of locations.

We always recommend, as Hotchkis seems to agree, to keep it simple for the time being. Going overboard right away can lead to less than desirable results, and the customer not having a good idea of which part they are not happy with (if any).

It is really going to be on a case-by-case basis, the users end goals, and their sensitivity to perceived NVH concerns. All of these factors play an integral role in recommendations.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:46 AM   #19
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Is it possible to remove and install sway bars without jacking up the motor and loosening the mounts?
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:26 AM   #20
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Yes it is possible to do it without jacking up the motor.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:10 PM   #21
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How easy or hard is it to install a sway bar kit and tower brace? Can you do this in your garage listening to some music and sipping a drink? This is an easy bolt on right? And what do you guys recommend? Want to tighten up the handling some before doing more major mods. Baby steps...hehe
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:08 AM   #22
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yes you can do this in your garage. Little cussing with the front bar when twisting it out but not that big of a pain.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:20 PM   #23
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Is it possible to remove and install sway bars without jacking up the motor and loosening the mounts?
Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's easier. While it is possible to get the bar out without lifting the motor, it takes a specific routine which I find time consuming and very aggravating, especially when it is so much simpler to just lift the motor. What most don't realize is that this is not like older cars where you have to relieve pressure from the motor mounts, unbolt a cross-bolt, then spend an hour trying to re-align it again when you put it back together. The mounts sit on stands and are aligned via studs. You can physically lift the motor in 5 minutes - loosen two nuts, jack up the motor, and you are ready. The swaybar practically falls out this way vs. wrestling and twisting it out of the car when not lifting the motor.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:15 AM   #24
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For some the thought of lifting the motor is a little daunting. I do agree it is a faster way of doing it if your comfortable working on cars.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:40 AM   #25
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For some the thought of lifting the motor is a little daunting. I do agree it is a faster way of doing it if your comfortable working on cars.
There is absolutely NO reason to lift the motor to remove the front sway bar. Lift the car. Remove the front wheels. Remove the four bolts that hold the steering rack in place. Slide the OE bar out. Before reinstalling the four steering rack bolts you have the oppotunity to install Pedders EP2112 steering rack mount to compliment your new sway bars. Replace the rack bolts.
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