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Suspension set up

This is a discussion on Suspension set up within the Road Racing / AutoX forums, part of the Racing Forums category; I'm looking into doing some autoXing this summer and i was looking into a suspension set up that would work. ...

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    WS9 + Y82 = Trans Am 6speedTAthistime's Avatar
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    Suspension set up

    I'm looking into doing some autoXing this summer and i was looking into a suspension set up that would work. I know these cars are not the best handling cars, but i want to prove that F-bodys can handle.

    Also i'd like to go up to Mid ohio and do some road racing.

    I have a Shock Tower Brace, PHB(adjustable), PHB Relocation, RLCA, and Subframe connectors.

    I'm looking into a good shock/spring , sway bar, and torque arm set up.

    the only thing i'm worried about with shock/springs is that the car would be too low and scrap the long tube headers.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

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    i would spend $$$ on driving before doing any mods.
    1 thing that comes to mind... your LCAs, PHR, are they rod-ends, rubber, poly-urethane ?
    i just hope they are not poly-urethane... they bind and result in increased spring rate behaviour, causing your rear-end grip threshold to be before what it should be w/ rod-ends or rubber bushings.

    If anything, get good shocks, keep the springs you have.
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    I'm with Eugenio_SS start on the driving part first. Also meet up with other Fbody guys that are doing the Road Racing/Auto-X thing. There are several of us in the Ohio area. Ride in different cars with different setups so you can start seing the differences and can make a decision base on your driving style and taste. If you must do something now then put some Koni Single adjustable shocks as was said before as this is a good foundation no matter what springs or other suspension components you end up in the end.

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    BTW you may want to check out NORA's events. Also the North Ohio Region Porche Club of America they put good driver school events at 3 of the local tracks including Mid-Ohio. The events are open to all makes and model cars and they are reasonably priced. I'm thinking of attending the one at BeaveRun myself as I have heard good things about the track (especially for beginners). I go to Nelson Ledges whenever I can but it is not a great track for beginners as it doesn't have a lot of runoff and if you screw up you can end up riding home in a tow truck. I'm not saying not to go there just if you do go with someone that has been there before and get a lot of advice from other experience drivers as they can point you in the right direction as far as driving the course safely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6speedTAthistime View Post
    I'm looking into doing some autoXing this summer and i was looking into a suspension set up that would work. I know these cars are not the best handling cars, but i want to prove that F-bodys can handle.

    Also i'd like to go up to Mid ohio and do some road racing.

    I have a Shock Tower Brace, PHB(adjustable), PHB Relocation, RLCA, and Subframe connectors.

    I'm looking into a good shock/spring , sway bar, and torque arm set up.

    the only thing i'm worried about with shock/springs is that the car would be too low and scrap the long tube headers.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    contact sam strano .....should be a GREAT help in what your looking for ...as already said SHOCKS would be my first mod ...koni's

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    I would stay away from Koni SAs. Good shocks but you don't need set up issues right now. aset of Bilstien HDs is plenty of shock.
    Personally I'd do eibach prokit springs even w stock decarbon shocks. springs before shocks, or w bilstiens from Sam.

    The real key to being a better driver is Seat time, Seat time, seat time.

    BTW, Fbods handle great and are Fierce at the track

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    Quote Originally Posted by dregsz View Post
    I would stay away from Koni SAs. Good shocks but you don't need set up issues right now. aset of Bilstien HDs is plenty of shock.
    Personally I'd do eibach prokit springs even w stock decarbon shocks. springs before shocks, or w bilstiens from Sam.

    The real key to being a better driver is Seat time, Seat time, seat time.

    BTW, Fbods handle great and are Fierce at the track
    you must be kidding i hope !!!
    prokits w/ stock shocks, worse than leaving everything stock.
    better off spending the $ on driving skill improvement rather than car improvement... plus he doesn't necessarily know what improvement goals he's trying to achieve yet.. and last thing we want is him learning the hard way like me, for example, and going through at least 4 whole different suspension setups.

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    From what i understand the new Bilstein shocks arent much better than the stock Decarbons. They were at one point but not anymore.

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    you must be kidding i hope !!!
    prokits w/ stock shocks, worse than leaving everything stock.

    Have you tried it?

    I'm not a big fan of decarbons but if the car is sprung right it will turn better regardless if the shocks are soft or hard, also, lowering the CG helps cornering.

    If you talk to Sam Strano, he will probably tell you that optimally the shock rate needs to match the spring rate, but stock bilstiens, and hds, don't match a prokit's spring rate either and you'll never find it on an adj either, so as long as everyone is on a suboptimal suspension and turning decent lap times, If I had to choose one or the other, I'd take good spring w lame shocks over good shocks w lame springs, especially if body roll is the issue.
    You'd be hard pressed to find a better mod the a set of 4 springs at $169, (summit prokit copies). If he could afford both, I'd get custom Bilstien HDs, he also asked about a TA, spon is most affordable good unit, Unbalanced Engineering is the best race unitif wanting spendy.

    I actually had custom valved and fully adjustable Bilstiens from Sam and Shoctec w a prokit, SFCs, (another low cost, great track mod) full track suspension etc on my 99Z

  11. #11
    Jesus died to save you! Killer_bluebird's Avatar
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    Let me try to be gentle here....

    Quote Originally Posted by dregsz View Post
    I'm not a big fan of decarbons but if the car is sprung right it will turn better regardless if the shocks are soft or hard, also, lowering the CG helps cornering.

    If you talk to Sam Strano, he will probably tell you that optimally the shock rate needs to match the spring rate, but stock bilstiens, and hds, don't match a prokit's spring rate either and you'll never find it on an adj either, so as long as everyone is on a suboptimal suspension and turning decent lap times, If I had to choose one or the other, I'd take good spring w lame shocks over good shocks w lame springs, especially if body roll is the issue.
    Stiff springs without the ability for the shock to dampen them will lead to unpredictable handling characteristics. Not only that but the shock will suffer from an early death which you will hardly notice because the shock wasn't able to control the spring properly anyway. As for the center of gravity yes a lower center of gravity helps but if the shocks are not able to control the chassis movement and weight transfer of the car a lower center of gravity alone will do little for handing improvements. Also the body roll is controlled by your sway bars and shocks more than the springs.

    As far as fast cars out, there are great drivers out there that can make a minivan outrun faster cars on the track. Which brings me to my next point
    Quote Originally Posted by dregsz View Post
    You'd be hard pressed to find a better mod the a set of 4 springs at $169, (summit prokit copies). If he could afford both, I'd get custom Bilstien HDs, he also asked about a TA, spon is most affordable good unit, Unbalanced Engineering is the best race unitif wanting spendy.
    If you are that short of money to spend on the shocks don't buy anything. Spend it on track time and learning events where they provide instructions. That will be your best spent money period. Putting springs on the stock shocks will just make you have to buy new shocks anyway in a couple of months also a Torque arm will do very little for your handling.

    If you want to start saving to do mods here is how my mod list would go:
    • Performance alignment (Max negative camber, 4.5-Max positive Caster, 0-1/32nd toe out)
    • Brake pads, Blank brembo rotors, ATE Super Blue Racing or Motul Brake fluid (Hawk HP Plus fronts, stock pads rear is fine, skip the flashy slotted drill rotors)
    • Tires (Nitto's R555II or NT01, BFG G-force KD's, Hankooks Ventus RS2, Falken Azenis 615)
    • Swaybars (Sam's set up is nice, alternativelly Suspension Techniques front with 21mm 1le rear)
    • Strut Tower brace (mostly because they are cheap)
    • Koni SA ( at minimum 4 gen fronts with 3rd gen rears)
    • Springs (Strano Springs for stock design spring, Adjustable ride setup either ground control or global west will allow you to choose exact spring rate that you may want, but are harder to install and set up)
    • Adjustable Panhard Bar (if you put lowering springs you will need this to re-center the axle under the car, Poly/Rod minimum, Rod/Rod preferred though it introduce some interior noise)
    • Upper front adjustable A-Arms (More camber in front will do wonders for your handling. At minimum Strano offset bushings will buy you another .5 negative degree)
    • Auburn or TR2 Differential
    • Subframe Connectors (3 point setups are best)
    • Rear Lower control Arms (Poly/Rod minimum, Rod/Rod preferred)
    • Rear LCA adjustable brackets
    • Better Seats (many options are available depending on budget)
    • Adjustable Torque Arm (stay away from short arm designs)
    • Torque Arm Relocation Bracket (taking the pressure from your tranny's tail shaft is a really good thing)

    There are other things you can add in there but this would be a good solid foundation as far as handling goes.
    Last edited by Killer_bluebird; 06-09-2008 at 02:41 AM.
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    I used to race a third gen in the SCCA and NASA and hotlap a 4th gen, then I quit F bods and raced a vette for a few years, Now I'm the guy in the minivan you mentioned, opps but I'm still driving a vette.

    I doubt he'd break the shocks that quickly, especially if he is a novice driver. I also think the softer shocks could help w braking

    BTW, you forgot to mention Kumho MXs for a street/track tire.

    Nothing beats seat time for learning to drive at the track. I think you forgot to quote that part of my post, but he specifically asked for mods and F bods do need a few.

    Sway bars, AKA anti roll bars, help w body roll but if you want a flat turning (race) car, try a set of 800-1000# front springs, it'll do more then your sway bar.
    Last edited by dregsz; 06-09-2008 at 12:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Jesus died to save you! Killer_bluebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dregsz View Post
    I doubt he'd break the shocks that quickly, especially if he is a novice driver. I also think the softer shocks could help w braking
    I've seen guys trash bilstein shocks running LG G2 Super Spring Lowering Springs in bit over 10,000 miles.

    Quote Originally Posted by dregsz View Post
    BTW, you forgot to mention Kumho MXs for a street/track tire.
    Sorry!

    Quote Originally Posted by dregsz View Post
    Sway bars, AKA anti roll bars, help w body roll but if you want a flat turning (race) car, try a set of 800-1000# front springs, it'll do more then your sway bar.
    Agreed, I went 650#F and 175# on mine because I had to compromise as I do still drive it on the street and this is borderline for that.

    Speaking of Vans here is something for everyones entertainment.

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    I remember at Button Willow when I was first starting to track my third gen when it had the 240K mile stock motor.
    The NASA Group 3 leader, Ryan Flaraty (sp) smoked the entire field in a rented Ford Focus crossover minivan.

    I knew a few guys who could do it to most of the field in a stock Dodge Neon too.
    Smoke em on the straight and they'd dog you or pass you by T3

    By the Time I was racing SCCA CMC the lead lap would lap the whole field of spec miatas and double lap the backmarkers in a 20 minute race.

    Lots of Camaro and Corvette Race pics here:
    http://community.webshots.com/user/wavslav
    Last edited by dregsz; 06-09-2008 at 12:56 PM.

  15. #15
    Jesus died to save you! Killer_bluebird's Avatar
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    Nice ride. Where you at the Nasa nationals this last year?

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    Nope,
    I haven't raced since 2005

    -----------------------------

    (I've been an LS1.com member since 2000, where did all my posts go?)

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    Might I suggest the setup that's won 2 National Championships and is super streetable? That'd be my stuff.

    I hate to be blunt, but sometimes you gotta... and it ain't bragging if you can back it up. Ok, it might be but none the less I certainly don't want my car to be slow, and by way of results you can see it's not. Further we know it's more than streetable by reading reviews from folks who have setups I've done (and are very much like what I autox on) including what we put on the car featured in GMHTP last year that's daily driven across NYC.
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