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questions about frame/chassis upgrades

This is a discussion on questions about frame/chassis upgrades within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Just bought my first ls1 f body, a 1998 T/A with a little work done professionally by the previous owner. ...

  1. #1
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    Arrest-Me Red
    1998 T/A

    questions about frame/chassis upgrades

    Just bought my first ls1 f body, a 1998 T/A with a little work done professionally by the previous owner. There is no suspension/chassis upgrades done to the car, and with the motor and driveline upgrades I think I would be wise to do them before any unexpected modification of the frame happens.

    Is the Spohn or UMI crossmember mounted torque arm setup a better choice than the UMI torque arm relocator kit?

    Is there really a difference between tubular and square subframe connectors? I'll probably be going with the bolt ins then end up welding them in once and future work I do is done.

    I understand there are site sponsors but I'm not sure what the rules are regarding asking questions about certain products, so please forgive me if I step on toes.
    Last edited by Bad Bird; 03-02-2014 at 07:37 PM.

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    Arrest-Me Red
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    Forgot to add...I'm running about 375hp and if I had to guess nearly the same torque. I do have plans of a little more modifications under the hood but don't plan on changing ride height. Would like to maintain driveability...


    ^this is why I'm wanting to do the 2 upgrades of SFCs and torque arm.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Tubular will be stronger based on cross-sectional area assuming the two designs are the same diameter/width.

    SFC are always a good first suspension mod.
    SMWS6TA likes this.
    It's on jackstands.

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    Arrest-Me Red
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    Cool man I appreciate it.

    Also, is there a difference in the torque arm relocator sold by a few companies, and a crossmember mounted torque arm? (Besides price)

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bird View Post
    Cool man I appreciate it.

    Also, is there a difference in the torque arm relocator sold by a few companies, and a crossmember mounted torque arm? (Besides price)
    The relocation kit removes the torque arm off the tail shaft of the transmission so you won't damage it in the event your torque arm fails or something goes wrong during a launch, etc. Any kit stating it relocates the TA will do this.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    The one you're asking about that relocates it to the Tunnel cross brace is for drag race set ups. I talked with UMI guys about this when I was shopping for mine.

    Because of how close to the ground (lowered car) their tunnel brace for the relocate TA would scrape all the time I go over a speed bump. Also a shorten TA will be needed for this type of setup. I went with their transmission relocate mount with a full length adjustable TA. Been happy since.


    To answer the 2nd ?? - Yes different company products don't always work well with others. If you pick a specific brand I would recommend sticking with their line up. I picked UMI and now all my stuff is. All works together and stuff is great.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bird View Post
    I understand there are site sponsors but I'm not sure what the rules are regarding asking questions about certain products, so please forgive me if I step on toes.


    As long as you post no direct links to non sponsor pages you're ok with talking about all.

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    Awesome. Thanks guys, once the snow and salt clear I should be well on my way to throwing paychecks at my suspension upgrades! I do appreciate your guys' help.

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    I run all UMI under our car -- great stuff that looks and fits real nice. The tunnel mount torque arm is built for launching at the track and isn't real street friendly. No clearance issues, but it is noisy during turns and transitions from reverse to forward. Subframe connectors are your best initial upgrade, followed by lower control arms and a panhard bar out back. If your car is lowerd, or you plan on lowering it, then go with adjustable units. As posted, a full length torque arm with the front mount relocated off the transmission tailstock is probably your best bet.

    This is what the tunnel mount piece looks like:




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    Great info. You pretty much answered everything I was guessing myself on (ie tunnel mount vs relocating bracket, etc) I had some ideas what I wanted to do based on other posts throughout this forum (which has been hugely helpful) but you just clarified everything. Thanks to everyone who has responded.

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    Since I will be street driving it I don't want to lose drivability, etc. So I believe I'll be going with TA relocating bracket and new TA, followed by LCAs then shocks and springs. Those being last since I haven't decided if I'm going to lower it or just drive the car the way it is....we'll see what money is like at the time

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    Sounds like a plan. That should tighten things up quite a bit -- I definitely noticed a difference in our cars handling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bird View Post
    Since I will be street driving it I don't want to lose drivability, etc. So I believe I'll be going with TA relocating bracket and new TA, followed by LCAs then shocks and springs. Those being last since I haven't decided if I'm going to lower it or just drive the car the way it is....we'll see what money is like at the time
    Just to clarify: did you already get SFCs? If not, I would go ahead and start with those. If you're going to get LCAs, do some homework. I don't appreciate noisy suspension components, and the LCAs that were installed on my car when I bought it are the rod-ends which are quite noisy at low speeds over bumpy surfaces. Makes the car seem "junky" to me (even though I know better). UMI makes a roto-joint that is supposed to be quieter than the rod-ends. I will probably switch to that eventually.

    I have avoided buying an after market torque arm for the same reason: I don't want any clunks or thumps.
    Lid, Throttle Body, LS6 Intake, Heads, Cam, Magnaflow, LS7 Clutch, SFCs, STB, Panhard Bar, Strano Springs, Hollow Sway Bars, Poly/Roto LCAs, Konis, MGW Shifter

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    I just picked up UMI TA however it is non adjustable and mounts to the stock mount.
    I got a smoken deal on it and couldn't pass it up. (New in original box) Was only planing on replacing the rubber bushing with a poly one this year but for what I got it for figured it would be 10x better than the factory unit. It has a preset -2 pinion angle setting & poly mount.
    I read in the directions it came with auto cars work well with -1 to -2 degrees and M6 -2 to -3 degrees of pinion angle so should work just fine with my M6. Also this car is 99% to be driven on the roads with track day here or there
    99 Trans Am, SLP Lid, Blackwing filter, smooth bellow, Ported TB, LS6 intake, Ws6 lower ram air box, OBX LT's, Magna Flow cat back, LS7 clutch, Tick MC, Hurst Shifter, Frost Tune, UMI SFC,LAC, STB, PB, Torq Arm, Super Hawk hood, Torq Thrust II, Kee Audio.
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    Thumbs up

    I went all the way with BMR products, (LCA, Torque Arm, Sway Bars (solid), Tunnel Brace, Panhard Bar (sp)) great product reasonable price.

    I went with SLP for their bolt on SFC.

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    How is the quality between UMI and BMR? I think I'm down to them 2 companies, the extra $10 or so I'll be saving/spending for one or the other is not an issue. So I guess it just comes down to quality, customer service, etc? Anyone have any experience with these that will try and sway me one way or another?

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    You cannot go wrong with either company in all honesty. I have BMR lower control arms, sub-frame connectors, and their Trak Pak torque arm. I also have a UMI adjustable panhard bar. They're all great quality and fit.

    The advantage with UMI is they are a site sponsor here and will give you very good customer service, if needed. Being their products are great, you likely won't need to use customer service. It's nice to have at any rate. Not saying BMR has bad customer service. I never used theirs. I ordered through a third party. UMI has always been great to deal with though in that regard.

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    Awesome man I appreciate it

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    UMI is the way to go. Great stuff built right here in Pennsylvania.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    UMI is the way to go. Great stuff built right here in Pennsylvania.
    I agree, If you join us @ GM Nationals in Carlisle http://www.ls1.com/forums/f25/2014-g...20-22-a-178637 you can save 10% and save on shipping. Just call and set up what you need and it will be there. They attend all the Carlisle show's.....

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