Suspension and Chassis Questions about your suspension? Need chassis advice?

Suspension How To...

Old 02-04-2011, 08:49 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

im pretty sure you can, but its difficult to remove the pitman arm off the steering get off the car.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:29 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by captainchadl View Post
can the steering gear box be removed without pulling of the pitman arm?

To pull out the steering box the pitman arm must either be removed from the box itself, or detached from the center link.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:57 PM
  #53  
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Re: Suspension How To...

My project started out as a simple upgrade to LS1 brakes on the front. One thing leads to another and now I find myself rebuilding the entire front end. The information I've found in this forum has been really helpful and made jumping into this project a little easier.
I have already reworked the lower control arms with new ball joints and poly bushings and will be painting them with POR Blackcoat while I wait for UPS to deliver the Sphon Performance Front End rebuild kit that I ordered along with new sway bar bushings, endlinks, bumpstops and hardware kits.
I have a questions about springs. I'm not planning to lower the car and want to keep the ride comfortable and not harsh. I'm thinkng of installing Moog 5660 springs on the front as they more closely match the stck springs. Has anyone tried the Moog 5660 springs and how do you like them?
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:25 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I have a set of the Moog Iroc springs that Spohn sells. I don't recall the numbers or springrates or anything (been a few yrs) but they're very nice pieces. Car rides nice and handles well.

Not apples to apples, but I have a set of Bilsteins on my Z28, and they're AMAZING shocks for the price. I definately want some for my 87, and I feel they'd go great on a 3rd gen with iroc springs.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:22 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

im going to get the moog springs, i found them for $49... http://www.3guysautoparts.com/ShopBy...prings&mode=PA
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:41 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I bought all the Moog parts for front in. I was wondering what you guys think is a fair price for someone to put it all together? My parts are, Ball joints, all bushings,Front frame, sway bar links,Upper and lower tie rods, control bushings, all Moog parts. Not cheap. I would do it and only wish I was mechanically inclined. I am a women and not real strong..lol
I wish there was a camaro guy here in the tucson area that could teach and help me learn how! lol
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:15 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I dont mean to take over your thread, but would this be a proper spring compressor that i could use on an fbody?

http://www.google.com/products/catal...=0CJ4BEPMCMAc#
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:15 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by silentkillzr View Post
I dont mean to take over your thread, but would this be a proper spring compressor that i could use on an fbody?

http://www.google.com/products/catal...=0CJ4BEPMCMAc#

I own several of those style compressors and none of them will fit through the hole in the bottom of the A-arm. So the answer to your question is no.

Here is a picture of the only one I can get to work(its snap-on brand):
Firebird005-1.jpg?t=1300767283
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:18 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

yeah i see one of those online, i just dont understand the bottom fork to well i guess, how do you get that in the coil when its on the car?
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:27 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by silentkillzr View Post
yeah i see one of those online, i just dont understand the bottom fork to well i guess, how do you get that in the coil when its on the car?
Its tough to describe but the single pointed end goes on the inside of the a-arm. Once the coil is fully installed(nut on the ball joint, and threaded rod removed) you knock it down the ramp of the coil with a hammer and it just comes right out. Sounds goofy but it works and my WS6 springs were a bear.

The only down side is the initial compression of the spring as its tough to get situated just like any other spring compressor.

EDIT: And this is just for installation. To take the springs out just use a jack and lower the a-arm till the spring comes out(sometimes it needs a little coaxing).
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:30 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Thanks for the descriptiodescription, sounds not too hard, ill get that one and let you know how it goes!
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:58 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

They have the internal type spring compressors like the one shown above at most auto parts stores. I rented one at O'Rielys when I rebuilt my suspension. Kind of awkward and it really takes some cranking to compress the spring where it will fit into the lower control arm but it works. You will want to tape the spring insulator to the top of the spring to ensure it stays in place.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:04 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by silentkillzr View Post
I dont mean to take over your thread, but would this be a proper spring compressor that i could use on an fbody?

http://www.google.com/products/catal...=0CJ4BEPMCMAc#
I've never used any but the one above. Worked without issue. Note the pipe nipple in post #5 in the link to follow:

https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/susp...nt-spring.html

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Old 03-22-2011, 11:11 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Thanks James, i appreciate the insight, much useful.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:42 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

ok i need some HELP!! i blew my wheel bearing out and i am trying to change them. i got the wheel out got the pin nut and washer out but the race that seats the bearins want come off!!! dose any one know how i can get it off? i cant get it to budge and idk if its just stuck or if it skrews on. PLEAS help reply to my email [email protected]
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:37 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

You will need to remove the brake caliper and then remove the hub / rotor assembly from the car. Clean the grease from the inside the hub and then use a hammer and punch to remove the bearing race. You have to tap out the race from the back side by working your way around the race. Take your time and once you get the hang of it they come out fairly easy. You will also want to borrow a bearing race driver from your local auto parts store to seat the new races. Keep in mind you will need replace the rear seal as it normally get damaged when it's removed. Good Luck.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:53 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I am replacing the stock shocks with Lakewood 50/50 drag shocks. My question is:

Does anything like a washer attach to the top of the shock, before the shaft goes through the car (under the rear seat)? There is a clean spot that looks like a washer underneath the car, but the two "washers" and the rubber spacer are supposed to go INSIDE the passenger area, after the shaft goes through the chassis.

I am just thinking there is something that attaches to the shaft before mounting the shock shaft to the vehicle. I'll probably call customer service tomorrow morning.

(I'm also installing an adjustable torque arm, and Lakewood tubular control arms. The car makes over 400 horses with a Chevy 406 and had bad wheel hop)
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:11 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

They go in this order:

Shock + washer+rubber, Mount to car, then from the top inside the car you add the last rubber then washer then the nut and tighten.

Nut
washer <
rubber <
car body <---stack sequence
rubber <
washer <
shock
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:34 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

yeah thanks. I just noticed I posted in error. I think Lakewood expects me to use one of my old rubber spacers because they only put ONE in the bag for the shock. I ordered only one shock, thought it was a pair. I'll call them tomorrow.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:15 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Consider LCARBs and LCAs. These will assist in eliminating wheel hop. Also, a tubular torque arm would be a plus, but is more than a LCARB/LCA set and two tanks of gas in most situations.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:15 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I forgot to post!
One: The people at streetsideauto shorted me one of the rubber spacers, and it's NOT a problem because they sent me a new shock at no cost, with all the hardware.

Two: I installed the Lakewood tubular control arms......

Three: I went to a swap meet, and found a Random Adjustable Torque Arm for 100 bucks! It is regular like 400.......
THE CAR IS NOT THE SAME CAR, I HAVE $320 INTO THE REAR SUSPENSION.... IT REALLY HOOKS UP WELL...... It's been raining all week, and still raining, I have some Street ET's which are slicks, when I get to Milan Dragway I'll let you know how it ran. I have almost $1,100 in the car and we expect to go low 13's.... of course it will go a lot faster when I get the smog pump off there and get the 570 carb replaced with a 750 double pumper......... still have the 2 1/2inch exhaust too. The car has so much more potential...... but it DOES smoke em' real nice now with NO wheelhop at all.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:48 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Great info, thanks. I have a question though: There are standard and oversize balljoints available for the front lower arm. Aside from visual inspection, is there another way to determine which one is applicable to a 91 Z28 5.7 Liter? I am currently located overseas and have no way comparing the current ones to spare parts.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:27 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by babadioum View Post
I have a question though: There are standard and oversize balljoints available for the front lower arm. Aside from visual inspection, is there another way to determine which one is applicable to a 91 Z28 5.7 Liter?
The larger ones are called something like "problem solver" ball joints. Unless your car has experienced issues in that area, it'll require standard ball joints.

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:03 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

got it Thanks much.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:46 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

what about lowering spindle vs spring?
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:05 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by 71-iroc-rs View Post
what about lowering spindle vs spring?
If you are happy with your spring rate and present handling, and just want to lower it, lowering spindles are the preferred way to do it.

Lowering spindles will give your car a "tail up" stance that may be correctable by simply replacing the rear spring pads with heater hose around the top coil. That will level it out some without affecting your handling. Except then your pinion angle may change, calling for an adjustable torque arm. Or it may raise your LCA's off-level, so you'll need adjustable LCA mounting plates.

It never ends.

The real potential problem with lowering spindles is clearance at the tie rod ends. Stock, the tie rod ends are just above the inside edge of the front wheels. Lowering spindles will put the tie rod ends at the same level as the wheel rims. If you have wide wheels up front, the tie rod ends may prevent you from mounting the wheels. In which case now you're buying a new set of steering arms. If the steering arms you get are the same height as stock, just set in at the ends, that changes the steering geometry. To fix that, you get matching pitman arm and idler arm. Or a rack and pinion upgrade.

Again, it never ends.

Basically, ANY way you go about altering the car's ride height, front or rear or both, it's going to affect the geometry of the car somehow, so it WILL affect the car's tracking or cornering or hookup. And many times the results are not good. You really need to look at the whole suspension as a unit, and be prepared to alter/modify/correct the whole unit somehow.

That is, if you want it "right."
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:34 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

thanks for info in tierod ends, had not thought of it. running stock IROC, with 255, eagles. would relocate shock towers rear up 1.5 steel fab, for full travel shocks, on eibach springs, struts up front suffer from travel distance on short springs. Before installing 1.5 eibachs, getting what is best , thx
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:36 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Not trying to bring a dead thread (kinda) back. But i am having such a problem with my front strut removal i didnt know what else to do.

ive searched, ive looked at videos, nothing helps.
4 trips to auto stores for things that would help, still nada.

I cant figure out how to get the Strut to spindle bolts off.
do i need to take the brakes off?
i even bought a impact wrench and sockets, but still wont even budge( ive even jumped on it) NOTHING!!!

im at a lose. yes ive used WD-40 and a type of PB Blaster, still nothing.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:39 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I once used the longest breaker bar I could find, then slipped a pipe over it to make it longer. Worked.

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Old 07-08-2012, 08:48 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Use heat my friend. Heat around the bolts for awhile and get them off
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:50 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

wont the heat damage them? and i would use a breaker bar, but it wont fit in the wheel wells, and that still doesnt help with the 2nd bolt that is covered by the brakes

and i have put alot of strain on the bolt im worried that the bolt will start to get rounded..

Last edited by aqualordx93; 07-08-2012 at 08:55 PM. Reason: forgot
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:28 PM
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you prolly need to take the brakes off to remove it. too much in the way. heat won't hurt them. heat around them not the bolts so much. Then give it a good jolt should come right out


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Old 07-08-2012, 09:29 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

removing the brakes....exactly what i didnt want to do. but ok. thanks
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:32 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Heat it up and let it cool down a few times. I also add penetrating fluid during the heat/cool down cycles, and the heat helps pull the fluid up into the threads. I use a tight socket with a really long cheater bar I also keep a steady pressure on it until it breaks free. Impact type sockets and safety glasses are a good idea as well.

Some come off easy and others are quite a chore. You may find that you'll need to use a hammer to get the bolt free as well. I put a sacrificial nut on the end of the bolt so that I could use the bolt again.

Last edited by Scorpner; 07-09-2012 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:04 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

If you have a manual you'll discover that those nuts are installed at about 200 ft pounds so yah, it's going to be tough taking them off
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:23 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

There is more information here than in David Shelby's outdated (but very popular) CAMARO PERFORMANCE 'Handbook'.

Maybe it's time for some of the 3rdGen.org guy's to whip out there own book to market to HPBooks.....


$$
I think I used about 6 different books, 2-4 websites, bought-replaced & then replaced again, used increasingly more and more increasingly expensive and narrow focused performance shops; all to do what was just shared in less than two pages of well documented notes.

This should be a 'mandatory reading' sticky;ie, you can't post a question in the suspension/front-end format till your Avatar has initialed that your mama's read you this sticker....!
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:40 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Sup guys. I was just given the ok to restore my gf's dad 86 rs. It had hydraulic about 10 years ago. And hasn't been touched or driven since. Im an import guy and must say iy.looks easier haha so my question is is. For the front springs do we need to take out the ball joint ? Or can we just lower the a arm until it comes loose ?
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:21 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Question: I just ordered a set of Koni yellows, do I need to replace my strut mounts as well? Or should they be fine? Thanks.

Last edited by Mancha87; 10-30-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:46 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by Mancha87 View Post
Question: I just ordered a set of Koni yellows, do I need to replace my strut mounts as well? Or should they be fine? Thanks.
if you want to see the most benifit from the front end upgrades, a set of new aftermarket mounts with bearings instead of rubber pucks, will be a great addition.

but no, you dont HAVE to change them
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:52 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

It partially comes down to how many miles the car has on it AND the type of abuse the front end has been subjected to. If it's 70K original miles and mostly freeway commute miles, then you're probably fine. If it's 150k any type of miles then you're in the marginal area. So you then have to weigh in what your long term goal is.
Usually us wrenchers on the board install the Koni's due to our goal of wanting to be able to handle some auto-cross, embarass the locall 911 drivers, etc. But then we also rebuild the entire front end with good, strong Moog parts AND, as was mentioned, install professional grade strut mounts- which can be pricy.

There's nothing wrong with the factory replacement strut mounts and I happen to have a new set sitting in my eventual 'for sale' pile that I used while I was mocking up my front end and waiting for a custom set of strut mounts to arrive. It's not difficult to replace them, either; however you will need to get a new alignment afterwards.

What's the end goal for you and the Street Rod? You actually asked a very good question. Nitro-Nicky
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:56 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by Mancha87 View Post
Question: I just ordered a set of Koni yellows, do I need to replace my strut mounts as well? Or should they be fine? Thanks.
Personally I'd replace them with some caster camber plates. Pop one of the dust caps off and bounce the suspension up and down by pushing on the fender while watching the rubber in the strut mount. If you car is anything like mine was you'll see quite a bit of movement in the rubber.

I got mine from Founders and they are some quality pieces. The ones from Founders cost pretty much the same as new stock strut mounts anyways. They'll firm up the suspension and allow the struts and springs to do their job better.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:30 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I didn't know the Founder's unit was available; and for the price, that is FANTASTIC!
Thanks for posting that info up, rsmith085, and for the logical 'test'.

A few years ago, there was nothing available aftermarket, so it's great to see something like this. My unit was part of a limited hand-built batch, just for a small group of people on the board, and I was really grateful to get a set. What's unique about mine, is that it's 'deep set', so it actually lowers the front end without resorting to lowering springs or spindles.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:55 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I'm a longway from autocross. Right now its my dd and I'm wanting improved ride quality. I plan on redoing the entire suspension. I may as well get new strut mounts. I'll probably just stick with the stock replacements since I won't be doing Nything serious yet.

I got koni because they are top of the line and I feel like if they were to make our cars today they would have something similiar....

Thanks for the quick response guys. I will be getting some inner sfc's next. I'm really excited about the improved ride quality!
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:32 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

If you want a smooth ride I'd stick with tee stock style mounts. The plates really do firm things up, between them and the eibach springs it makes for noisy ride and you'll definitely feel bumps. Mine is my dd and it doesn't bother me it just depends on your preferences.

The founders piece raises the strut mounting point about 2". It actually doesn't lower the car just keeps the strut from bottoming out if you're lowered. If our struts were coil overs it would but because the spring is between the a arm and k member it doesn't.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:39 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by neagan View Post
I didn't know the Founder's unit was available; and for the price, that is FANTASTIC!
Thanks for posting that info up, rsmith085, and for the logical 'test'.

A few years ago, there was nothing available aftermarket, so it's great to see something like this. My unit was part of a limited hand-built batch, just for a small group of people on the board, and I was really grateful to get a set. What's unique about mine, is that it's 'deep set', so it actually lowers the front end without resorting to lowering springs or spindles.
Strut mounts have no effect on ride height. It does however make it a lot easier for typical struts to work properly with lowered cars.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:32 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

I just installed a set of koni yellows. They are awesome! If ur debating rather or not they are worth money, they ARE! I'm gonna go with hotchkis springs after reading this.

I will be adding a panhard bar and lcarbs from hotchkis afterwards. I've read that those parts can reduce ride comfert. Is this true? If so what can I do to about it? I want to replace those parts but I'm aiming for maximum ride comfert. Could someone that's done this share there experience?

If I want to make the ride as smooth and comfortable as possible should I avoid certain after market parts?
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:04 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Mancha87-
-So your concern is that you: "....want to make the ride as smooth and comfortable as possible...."


*I happen to have several spine problems due to an injury and this was my same concern as I started buttoning down my 88 IROC's suspension completely from front to back.
I'm going to point you to the magical 'SEARCH' feature on this website, because this question has been asked and answered possibly a minimum of 150 times each year. Only you know the full reason why you want the soft suspension ride, and if I'm understanding your post(s) correctly, with the following info, you'll be able to discern more of what you really, truely need as a full answer.
First, the factory IROC suspensions are considered relatively 'soft' compared to the load rates of any of the aftermarket manufacturers.

There are basic ways to approach a suspension build for a 'driver's car'. Either start with softer spring rates and build from there, or go with the opposite. I would suggest you study out a suspension build that starts with a softer performance spring rate. You'll be able to dial in any extra stiffness with your new Koni's (great choice and investment purchase, by the way!).

The other thing to be aware of is to NOT limit your suspension travel. Our 3rd Gen's lack suspension travel and it is easy to loose what we need by using too large of a front sway bar; by not matching it with the correct size end links & end link placements.

Lastly, your Camaro suspension needs to moooove around. Replacing all those soft rubber bushings with hard plastic pieces transfers all the vibrations and binds travel in areas where it's needed. Use the SEARCH function and design up a completely new replacement suspension. This way you will know what type of parts to get when you do stumble across deals, or suddenly have to replace a part or an area.
Once you do all of this, you will be able to ask more relevant questions, such as, with the softer spring approach, should you entertain a progressive rate spring? Should you even lower the stance of your 86 IROC now? (etc)
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:09 AM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Spherical joints (delsphere by spohn, or rotojoint by UMI) are the best compromise between soft rubber and hard plastic, and they perform very well with little to no bind.

Del-alum bushings in our front control arms are supposedly the best, although i have poly and yes they squeak on every bump and groove. It's annoying when the window is down.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:02 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

Originally Posted by Mancha87 View Post
I just installed a set of koni yellows. They are awesome! If ur debating rather or not they are worth money, they ARE! I'm gonna go with hotchkis springs after reading this.
You need to come up with a solid set of goals for what you want this car to feel like, and how you want it to handle. THEN pick your parts recipe, realizing that you will always have to compromise. Comfort and performance together are possible up to a point. But once you cross a performance line, comfort will start to degrade. And vice-versa.

For instance, you say--
Originally Posted by Mancha87 View Post
If I want to make the ride as smooth and comfortable as possible should I avoid certain after market parts?
So why did you get Koni Yellows? The yellows are built with "a higher initial valving baseline to give a sportier feel and work on vehicles with higher performance parts." (From the Koni web site.) The REDS are the comfort shocks: "...engineered to maximize the ride comfort with good handling performance for each vehicle application."

Notice Koni's wording, and how there is a compromise involved. You can have sportier performance or maximum comfort, but not both.

Originally Posted by Mancha87 View Post
I will be adding a panhard bar and lcarbs from hotchkis afterwards. I've read that those parts can reduce ride comfert. Is this true? If so what can I do to about it? I want to replace those parts but I'm aiming for maximum ride comfert. Could someone that's done this share there experience?
The panhard bar will not affect comfort. It will tighten up the rear end as far as side-to-side movement goes, and possibly give you some alignment adjustment (if you get an adjustable bar).

The LCARBs can affect comfort if you go too far with them. Again, it comes down to why you are getting them. Are you lowering the car? Sounds like you are since you mention the Hotchkiss springs to go with them. If you lower the car, you will likely (but not certainly) have a stiffer ride. If your lower control arms are not level (the purpose of getting the LCARBs in the first place), then ride can suffer along with handling.

Check your car's setup now, before buying LCARBS. You might be surprised. For example, I thought I would need LCARBs when I lowered my Formula almost two inches. But when I got under and checked, I found that the car's stock tall stance actually made the LCA's slope upward from axle to body. Lowering the car actually put the LCA's at the correct level position, without LCARBs.

The Hotchkiss springs are generally firmer than stock IROC springs. Hotchkiss says, "Our springs provide a firm, but not harsh ride." Or "...offer improved performance and handling while offering a comfortable ride." It's up to you to define "comfortable." In my opinion, the Hotchkiss springs cannot offer you better comfort than the stock IROC springs, simply because they are stiffer. Stiffer = more jolt on bumps. Plus you would be lowering the car an inch, which shortens the suspension travel, as neagan mentioned.

When you get under there and start altering the suspension, you'll probably find that your suspension's bushings are all pretty well shot. Do it now, while you're taking it all apart anyway. You can get OER replacement rubber bushings, and keep the comfort and quiet. Polyurethane bushings for firmness, but might squeak on bumps. (I got PolyGraphite bushings for mine. Quiet, but not quite as firm as pure polyurethane. Compromise). Or you can get solid joints like Del-Alums, as hellz_wings mentioned. Great handling and feel. Feel every seam and bump and hear them, too.

Sit down and really think out what you want, and set real goals before you ever buy a part or turn a wrench. Think about the consequences of each part decision, and understand what you give up with each one. Plan it out. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:44 PM
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Re: Suspension How To...

@ SR-71

Now that I got the Koni's the car feels smoother, it does not bounce up & down as much as it used to.

So I guess what I want to do is make the car nice & solid (stiff)

What I don't want is a bunch of squeaking! That would drive me nuts. So i'm glad you guys mention that the poly squeaks. Now you mentioned del-alums(solid joints) being the best for handling & firmness & then you said you'll hear them too. Did you mean they will squeak? If so I will probably be going with the polygraphite.

My next buy will be alston SFC's & bushings+ball joints. I will be doing research on the ball joints.... I have been looking at alot of UMI's stuff, thanks for recommending them hellz. They seem like a great company and the rotojoints they offer seem to be exactly what I am looking for.
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