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00 z28 Shocks w/ strano springs

This is a discussion on 00 z28 Shocks w/ strano springs within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; i know everyone is suggesting koni's be used with strano springs.. but i really dont want to dish out the ...

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    00 z28 Shocks w/ strano springs

    i know everyone is suggesting koni's be used with strano springs.. but i really dont want to dish out the money for konis... so my next option is the bilstein SLP shocks

    do any of you have the bilstein/SLP shocks w/ strano springs and can tell me your opinion on the setup. i really just dont see the need for the konis for my driving style and i'll have put enough money into the car as is with other parts.

    so i would like to hear opinions.

    thanks

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    slp bilsteins are valved for slp eibachs. going with a shorter/stiffer spring than that sort of does away with the advantage of the custom valving. i'm sure it'd be better than HD's with lowering springs, just pointing out that that's not their intended purpose. look into revalved bilsteins. not sure if sam strano does them anymore but that's what i have on my car and they're pretty decent. i autox my car and drive "aggressively" on the street and they get the job done.

    what you said about not needing koni's for your driving style though...performing great on the track isn't their only advantage. they also ride MUCH nicer than my, and other shocks, and will probably last longer. even if you're not road racing your car koni's make it much more pleasant overall. makes it feel more like a BMW or Audi than a stock F-body. i definitely feel what people are talking about when they say bilsteins under dampen springs. not unbearable, but you can definitely tell there's still room for improvement.

    don't get me wrong, bilsteins are a huge improvement over stock, but they're not perfect. worth the money if you can't put out the extra few hundo for koni's though.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    ok well does anyone have these vogtland springs?

    how are they?

    and what koni shocks are you referring to. the single adjustable or the double adjustable ones?

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    I can hook you up with SLP Bilstein's if you like. They are workable--not Koni's though. I don't do specific revalves anymore for a number of reasons. When Bilstein changed the rear valving, it would have required a revalve to all 4 dampers not just two which took the cost up. The cost of the shocks themselves went up too. Really it just got the pricing point that didn't feel it was worth it when compared to Koni 4/3's. Yes the Koni's cost more, but are also adjustable and retain the lifetime warranty as well--just a value vs. cost thing.

    Regarding the Vogtland springs. My springs are made to MY SPECS for me by Vogtland. Obviously I deal with them and feel the product is built well. However, I don't at all agree with their rates, which is why my springs are very different rates and even winding front and rear both.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    yeah i mean i guess its a matter of the $400 price difference between a set of bilsteins and a set of "cheap" konis..... to me i almost think itd make more sense of me to purchase the bilsteins, strano springs, and sway bars (sway bars with the money i saved from not getting konis)

    know what i mean?

    and to give you more on my situation.. i'm not really sure what i plan to do with this car in say 4 years.. i plan on having a c5 or c6 z06 so that will be my new toy... if that was not the case.. i'd be all for the konis

    so i'm not sure what to do in this situation.. obviously any shock is better than stock.

    SO, the fact of the matter is the koni shocks can handle the higher spring rates and less travel distance of your strano springs.. VS. the bilsteins can handle a higher spring rate but not to the degree that the strano spring specs? from this, using bilstein shocks with the strano springs.. the handling would suffer as far as ___________?

    as for the SA konis, you cant even adjust the shocks in the back with them on the car... so to me A) how do you adjust them, put them on, and then adjust them again, until you get the right setting... B) their firmness can be adjusted correct? so to handle the strano springs would they have to be set on a firmer setting all the time or is this not the case?

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    SOM
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    ^^^^^ You can adjust the 4/4 on the car just not the 4/3's.

    Edit: Mine 4/4's are 2 turns from full firm on the front and one turn from full soft in the rear and that is perfect for me....... They are mated to Sam's springs, bars and UMI PHB.
    Last edited by SOMbitch; 11-17-2009 at 01:54 PM.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    ok so what should be the general order of suspension components to be upgraded to improve the car..?

    the major ones i know of are springs, shocks, subframe connectors, strut tower brace, panhard bar, sway bar, lower control arms... what else? and in what order?

    EDIT: car will be driven for general driving, not just drag racing, and not just agressive cornering.. looking for general solutions basically
    Last edited by mammoth713; 11-17-2009 at 09:39 PM.

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    springs, shocks, and swaybars will make the biggest improvements. you'll have MUCH less body roll and better control overall. then you may want a panhard bar to center the rear, which also makes the rear feel more stable and planted through turns. if you have launching issues after lowering, lca relocation brackets help a lot. lca's will also help launch/reduce wheel hop and make the car feel "tighter" in a sense. sfc's are debatable, not entirely sure if they actually help cornering but they make the car feel more stable and preserve the chassis. just about the only basic thing i don't have is a strut tower brace but i've heard they don't do a whole lot, especially once you have decent shocks and sfc's, but i'm gonna throw one on soon just to see. a ton of people also think torque arms help handling, but they don't. unless of course you spring for the new fancy decoupled one but that goes for something like $800.

    what you said previously about buying swaybars with the money you saved by going bilsteins over koni's, just look at it this way: then you're done. you'll never go back and redo the shocks. if you go springs/koni's for now you can always save and upgrade the swaybars later on. if you plan on owning the car for a while that'd be the way to go(IMO 4 years=a while). once again i'm pretty happy with my bilsteins, but if i had the money i'd go koni's.

    and just for the record i'm speaking from personal experience, i'm not just imitating the whole KONI KONI KONI attack i see so frequently on these boards haha. i've tinkered a lot with my suspension, and ridden in cars with all different setups, and they're just flat out better.

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    Creeper is pretty much spot on..... Here is my .02....

    Strut tower braces are worthless on these cars.

    LCA relo brackets and LCA's may or may not be necessary. I make over 410rwhp and have no prob with wheelhop and 60' in the mid 1.6's on DR's.

    SFC's will make the car feel tighter but are not necessary really They add a little weight. If you go to a shorter torque arm I would get them because then hard braking like in an AX situation will cause the rear fender to dimple.

    PHB is good if you lower. It can eliminate scraping in hard cornering.

    Not to be a Koni nutswinger but they will make the single biggest improvement to your car. Sway bars will make the next biggest difference then springs. And don't go backwards on springs by getting Eibach. Had them on my LT car and they SUCK!!

    I would start with Koni's, 35mm/22mm sways, good springs (I like Strano's) and PHB. See how you like it and build from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    yeah i mean i guess its a matter of the $400 price difference between a set of bilsteins and a set of "cheap" konis..... to me i almost think itd make more sense of me to purchase the bilsteins, strano springs, and sway bars (sway bars with the money i saved from not getting konis)

    know what i mean?

    and to give you more on my situation.. i'm not really sure what i plan to do with this car in say 4 years.. i plan on having a c5 or c6 z06 so that will be my new toy... if that was not the case.. i'd be all for the konis

    so i'm not sure what to do in this situation.. obviously any shock is better than stock.

    SO, the fact of the matter is the koni shocks can handle the higher spring rates and less travel distance of your strano springs.. VS. the bilsteins can handle a higher spring rate but not to the degree that the strano spring specs? from this, using bilstein shocks with the strano springs.. the handling would suffer as far as ___________?

    as for the SA konis, you cant even adjust the shocks in the back with them on the car... so to me A) how do you adjust them, put them on, and then adjust them again, until you get the right setting... B) their firmness can be adjusted correct? so to handle the strano springs would they have to be set on a firmer setting all the time or is this not the case?

    The car would be just less tied down feeling over time, and you don't have any ability to control how the car feels, rides or responds. You get what you get with Bilstien's (which isn't hateful). But as time moves on the shocks have to work harder and eventually can't deal with the spring rate/height as well and the ride will start to suffer. Many think softer shocks ride better, they in fact, ride worse. Now this won't happen in 6 weeks or even 6 months. But 2-3 years down the road the Bilstein's will have been stretched to the point that the edges of the damping will be a little frayed.

    This is not a bad plan. It's kind of like buying nice design long-tube headers in mild steel. They work well, but eventually they get rusty. . The upside is the Bilstein's are much more durable and longer lasting then say AGX's or Tokico's are.

    There are different sets of Koni's, some rears adjust on the car and quickly. Some have to be taken off and that takes some time (and have fewer settings to choose from). The shocks do not, and should not be set on "kill", adjustment doesn't necessarily = super stiff. Think of this adjustment as an engine tune ok? You can get a mail-order tune, which is what it is.... decent, but not the same as dyno-ing the car and tuning your car for your mods and wants and needs. Koni's are like dyno-tuning because you can change the result. Bilstein's are like a canned mail-order tune.
    Last edited by Y2KPewterSS; 11-18-2009 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Removed advertising signature, not a sponsor

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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    EDIT: car will be driven for general driving, not just drag racing, and not just agressive cornering.. looking for general solutions basically
    Bilstein's will work for your pretty decently. I agree though, if you ride in cars with both (all else being equal) and the Koni's are setup right (which I help my folks with, but can't help those that aren't customers) you can screw it up pretty well. Easy to deal with if you know what you're doing, or know someone who does.

    I'll be blunt here, if you ahve stock shocks, Bilstein's will feel like the cat's meow in comparison. Like anything else there are intangibles about the feel, the control you get from different parts that are just hard to explain. Bottom line if Koni's are a 10, Bilstein's are 8.5 or 9, AGX's are a 6, SS deCarbon's (not worn out) are a 4, Z28/Formula deCarbon's (not worn out) are a 2 or 3, and junk deCarbon's are a 1.
    Last edited by Y2KPewterSS; 11-18-2009 at 03:59 PM.

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    Junior Member Mark_O's Avatar
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    Sam,

    I have been told by an NTB Tech that I have Bilstein Shocks on my 1999 Z28. I bought the car off the lot, new, with only eleven miles on the odometer and I am wondering if Bilstein's were even installed at the factory as an option?

    I am a complete NooB with very little mechanical skills and in point of fact cannot decipher most of what is talked on this forum but I would like to have my car lowered at relatively low expense as the gaps between my factory 16 rims and the body are horrendous to look at.

    <sorry mammoth713 for piggy backing on your question thread but they were similar>

    Advice please and thank you.
    Last edited by Mark_O; 11-21-2009 at 08:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_O View Post
    Sam,

    I have been told by an NTB Tech that I have Blistein Shocks on my 1999 Z28. I bought the car off the lot, new, with only eleven miles on the odometer and I am wondering if Blistein's were even installed at the factory as an option?

    I am a complete NooB with very little mechanical skills and in point of fact cannot decipher most of what is talked on this forum but I would like to have my car lowered at relatively low expense as the gaps between my factory 16 rims and the body are horrendous to look at.

    <sorry mammoth713 for piggy backing on your question thread but they were similar>

    Advice please and thank you.

    Only SLP cars could have had the *option* of Bilstein shocks. You seem to have a normal Z28, which means if there are Bilstein's on it, someone put them there--and it wasn't GM.

    Are the shocks yellow or orange? Yellow and blue boots are Bilstein, Orange are stock deCarbon's.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    yeah no prob piggy backing... i searched for a clear cut thread on this and i couldnt find any so everything is open for questions...

    anyway thank you sam strano for your help.. the 1-10 scale helps immensely so i can get a feel for what i'm dealing with along with the lengthy description. it helps alot.

    my last question for now, is how much does a strut tower bar actually help? i noticed there are some cheaply priced UMI strut tower brace bars.. are they worth it? my car is a ttop and i'd logically think they'd help to some degree....?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mammoth713 View Post
    yeah no prob piggy backing... i searched for a clear cut thread on this and i couldnt find any so everything is open for questions...

    anyway thank you sam strano for your help.. the 1-10 scale helps immensely so i can get a feel for what i'm dealing with along with the lengthy description. it helps alot.

    my last question for now, is how much does a strut tower bar actually help? i noticed there are some cheaply priced UMI strut tower brace bars.. are they worth it? my car is a ttop and i'd logically think they'd help to some degree....?
    First, we don't have strut cars... The towers are not immoveable, but aren't flexing all over... They are cheap, and don't hurt anything so why not? But the fact the has T's has no bearing on the front shock towers. I move a lot of UMI stuff, and STB's are pretty popular based on price. Some claim great things, some claim nothing. I find that it has to do with how beat the car is and how bad the shocks are. The older the body, and the crappier the shocks, the more the STB's help.
    Last edited by Y2KPewterSS; 11-18-2009 at 03:59 PM.

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    STB's get in the way when you are working under the hood too. Just really not a fan of them on these car..

    Sam do you run one on your Camaro?????

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    In the past, no. But since my car was *ahem* tweaked in an accident (I wasn't in the car), I've started running one. Before I saw no difference, after it's noticeable. But the car did take a shot to the LF wheel...

    Again, not a bad thing--there are much bigger things on the suspension to worry about first IMHO, but for the price, look and fact it could help--it's not a terrible idea.

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    Thanks Sam. I was 99% sure you did not as per a conversation we had one time but I had forgotten about the accident

    I ran one for about 6 months and could tell no difference so when I had to pull the IM I yanked it off and just sold it...
    Last edited by SOMbitch; 11-19-2009 at 09:11 AM. Reason: spelling

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    as a bilstein user i have only great things to say about them. i got the strano ones with the better rear shocks. car rides like a caddilac compared to when it had the 50k mile decarbons on it. even my mom who doesnt know much about the mechanics of a car got in when i picked her up at the airport she noticed that the car rode much better than the last time she was in it and she didnt know i changed the shocks because i never told her so there is a big difference to be felt. never experienced konis so cant speak for those.

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    Lead Foot mammoth713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siciliano15 View Post
    as a bilstein user i have only great things to say about them. i got the strano ones with the better rear shocks. car rides like a caddilac compared to when it had the 50k mile decarbons on it. even my mom who doesnt know much about the mechanics of a car got in when i picked her up at the airport she noticed that the car rode much better than the last time she was in it and she didnt know i changed the shocks because i never told her so there is a big difference to be felt. never experienced konis so cant speak for those.
    what do you mean by the "better rear shocks?"

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