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Best Shocks and Springs for the $$$??

This is a discussion on Best Shocks and Springs for the $$$?? within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Hello enthusiasts, My 01 Z28 is at 67k miles and from what it looks like my shocks are shot in ...

  1. #1
    HUNTER S. THOMPSON FAN Raoul-Duke's Avatar
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    Cool Best Shocks and Springs for the $$$??

    Hello enthusiasts,


    My 01 Z28 is at 67k miles and from what it looks like my shocks are shot in the back. Every time I go over any bump at all, it feels like my rear end just smacks it. It is very frustrating to drive. On the highway it feels like Ive lost serious handling and is unsafe when changing lanes at speeds over 100mph. I heard you can test by applying force in a downward motion and if the rear bounces up and down higher then you pushed it then shocks is what you need. I did so and it did bounce. Also someone said it could be my bushings, whats your thoughts on that>??

    I am planning on keeping this car for the rest of my life and have big plans for it down the road. So would it be wise to get adjustable shocks right now? And what is a good solid brand or brands to stay away from?

    And further most I am planning on getting springs as well cause I am at stock ride height, doing it all at once. The Eibach Sportline extreme drop is pretty low, How are the BMR, Hotchkis, and Slp springs when compared to quality to Eibach??

    I apologize for the amount of questions, its just if Im spending around 1k on my suspension I wanna do it right...Thank you for your help!
    01 m6 z28 - lid / lt headers / 3' ory w no cats / flowmaster catback w 3' dmh e-cutout / nelson pcm tune

  2. #2
    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    BMR and Hotchkis springs are fine. I don't know about SLPs but won't recommend them solely on principle.

    As far as shocks, that is the one car part you should never bargain/cheap out on. Spend the money and get quality good shocks, Konis. If you buy cheap shocks, or something that isn't adequate, you will regret it down the line.

  3. #3
    Member c5z28's Avatar
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    The slp springs at least the ones that came on the ss's were simply "tuned by eibach" and only give a .5" drop. Only thing about hotchkiss is the spring coils are wound pretty close together. If not using the right (or thin enough spring compressor) we had a problem trying to mount it to the shock because we could not unload the spring enough(once mounted to the strut) to get the spring compressor claws out. Another compressor solved that issue.

    If you literally want to spend exactly 1k there is a local around me who is also selling on tech who is selling some koni sa's with tuned springs for the koni's for 1k. If your interested I'll point you in his direction.

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    Auto Painter RyanJM's Avatar
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    I have BMR 1.25" drop and my friend has Strano's both ride great with the KYB AGX shocks. Those in my opinion are the best springs but if you got the cash the Koni shocks are the best. I just didn't wanna spend the cash after riding in a car with Strano's and AGX's I liked the ride and the shocks were half the price. But Koni is the best too bad they only come in yellow.
    1998 Trans Am 85k miles.
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    HUNTER S. THOMPSON FAN Raoul-Duke's Avatar
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    ok thanks a bunch guys, your input was very useful! Yeah I was originally looking at KYB AGX shocks. Koni was pppretty pricy

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    HUNTER S. THOMPSON FAN Raoul-Duke's Avatar
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    Ive got one more question, my neighbor who is a mechanic said not to get "heavy duty" shocks and to get "quiet" ones?? I have no idea what he means by that but he said the heavy duty ones will give a real hard ride

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    Member c5z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raoul-Duke View Post
    Ive got one more question, my neighbor who is a mechanic said not to get "heavy duty" shocks and to get "quiet" ones?? I have no idea what he means by that but he said the heavy duty ones will give a real hard ride
    Throw what he said out the window-this ain't no truck forum

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    Member xmarkx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c5z28 View Post
    Throw what he said out the window-this ain't no truck forum
    x2....... those terms are used genericaly to define ride quality of crappy struts and shocks.. it gives the average red neck something to brag to his buddies about when he pulls up in his shit kicker truck and explains why he just over paid for shocks..."yep, that's right! the mechanic said theys was heavy duty!!"

  9. #9
    Mike The Guz's Avatar
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    Koni's are the best shocks you can get. They are worth the price. KYB AGX's don't compare to the koni's. It's an alternative to the koni's, but don't expect too much out of them compared to the konis. As far as springs you can't go wrong with the BMR's, hotchkis or strano's. Those would offer you the best ride and handling. I would also recommend you look at your rear bump stop and see what kind of shape it's in.

    FYI I am on hotchkis and koni's. The car rides and handles great.
    2002 Artic White SS 35th Wheels|Full Hotchkis Suspension|Koni SA|Magnaflow CME|SLP lid|www.fquick.com/The_Guz

  10. #10
    Junior Member mcnoskyimages's Avatar
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    If you're hitting your bumpstop on the hwy just cruzin, your shocks are gone. Make sure its still there.

    I have been in these cars for a long time and I have either done it or have been involved with almost every combination you can come up with. I don't do 1/4 mile set ups though.

    You say you have plans for it. What are they. It really depends on what you ware wanting to do with the car. Is it a daily grinder or is it a weekend toy? Do you want it to be comfortable or ready to throw down in the twisties at a moments notice? Corner carver or ground pounder? All questions that will influence you decision. From the looks of it, you like the low and fast look. So do I. But, The more fun you have the rougher the ride

    While I was going through all of these different combinations, it was helpfull to remember this. Springs: Control ride hight & hold the car up. Shocks: Control travel and ride quality. Particularly the rears.

    In my opinion:

    Daily driver / OTHER THAN STOCK, SLP Level II springs with matched Bilsteins. Should level the car out and still keep it comfortable enough to drive daily. Would not recommend going fater than 120mph. The springs are just not rated for it. I did a lane change @ 135mph on a country curve because of a little gust of wind. I WAS PUCKERED. The shocks were worn out but new ones are not that much better. If you want to spice it up a bit, switch the front springs for some 1LE springs. It will drop the front another .5 or so and give you a constant rate spring of 400lbs. instead of a progressive totaling 390lbs. One step further, switch the rear shocks with Koni Single adjustables. They are a redish orange color and just a bit more than anything else.

    After reading a little more I saw Stranos prings. They look about the same. Didn't have them when I was doing all of this.

    Little more fun / Eibach Pro Kit/Hotchkis with Bilsteins or KYBs. Perfect for looking cool and going fast. If you want more control, use Koni singles or DA's. Definitly recommend (in other words, do it) upgrading the rear suspension components. Adjustable panhard bar and bigger rear swaybar are a must. BMR or Hotchkis for the PHB. Dosent matter. With this suspension your getting in the the danger zone. Having this kind of set up always made me want to go out and have fun. Now it needs to be controlled. Hellwig "1 rear swaybay. Forget the rest. I would put this on a stock setup I think its so important. You will thank me later.

    Party Time! / Get ahold of some SLP Level III springs. These you will need a professional or a Snap On spring compressor to install. Unless you feel like cussing A LOT! These springs are a product designed by Eibach and John Aimes (look him up) sold through SLP. They look a lot like an Eibach Sportline but the spring rates are different. It's a Sportlines you can actually race with. Kid you not, I had those on my 96SS and I had barely a fingers with between the bottom of the front fender and the top of the tire. I also had them on my Z and it was AWESOME! Painful. But awesome. They are LOW but handle like Velcro. I'd post a pic but I don't know how. Combine that with a BMR/Hotchkis rear suspension kit, 35mm front swaybar, "1 rear swaybar, and Koni DA's. HOLY SHNIKIES!!!!! Giving me goose bumps just thinking about it. I would only recommend Koni singles or DA's for this application because they are the only ones that I have found that can handle it.

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND not using any type of front strut tower brace with option 1 or 2. In my years of racing I have found that having a STB on a low fbody causes the front suspension to load up too much which makes the rear light and as a result, spinout. If it s that low the suspension is already or close to bottoming out. It doesn't need any help. The rear is what needs to be controlled.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by mcnoskyimages; 07-03-2010 at 02:13 AM.

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    a car runs better with the inherent flex that a sheet metal frame gives it??? as spock would say ......illogical........a STB strenghtens the sheet metal front frame to keep it from flexing to provide a more stable handling experience.......its like sayin a car is more solid without a set of SFCs

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    Member xmarkx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjsingle1 View Post
    a car runs better with the inherent flex that a sheet metal frame gives it??? as spock would say ......illogical........a STB strenghtens the sheet metal front frame to keep it from flexing to provide a more stable handling experience.......its like sayin a car is more solid without a set of SFCs
    I think your a bit outnumbered in your defense of the strut tower brace. there's a whole thread where everyone pretty much says that they're no more than decoration for under the hood. I have one but I didn't feel any difference when I put it on

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    STB do a whole lot of good even if you dont notice it. Is it a joke that almost EVERY manufacturer is now putting them on all passenger cars? No it is not. Brainless people start myths like that.

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    f body>uni body>sheet metal>flex>STB less or no flex

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    Senior Member Z28_Driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychowette View Post
    STB do a whole lot of good even if you dont notice it. Is it a joke that almost EVERY manufacturer is now putting them on all passenger cars? No it is not. Brainless people start myths like that.
    Most cars you see them on from the factory are front wheel drive. The extra loading on the front axle helps.
    A STB on a rear drive car is like putting sandbags in the trunk of a FWD. Not all that helpful.

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychowette View Post
    STB do a whole lot of good even if you dont notice it. Is it a joke that almost EVERY manufacturer is now putting them on all passenger cars? No it is not. Brainless people start myths like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by sjsingle1 View Post
    f body>uni body>sheet metal>flex>STB less or no flex
    Quote Originally Posted by Z28_Driver View Post
    Most cars you see them on from the factory are front wheel drive. The extra loading on the front axle helps.
    A STB on a rear drive car is like putting sandbags in the trunk of a FWD. Not all that helpful.
    this is from a very knowledgeable person..who has been doing suspension for years(mitchntx) "While turning, the tire is deflecting on the pavement. That loading of the wheel is then transfered laterally to the hub and knuckle. Now because the loading is BELOW the lower ball joint, 90%+ of the loading is transferred through the lower A-Arm and to the K-Member

    The ONLY time significant loading is applied to the upper, is when the suspension bottoms out, like when you do your best Duke of Hazard imitation or you have trashed shocks and weak springs. STB won't compensate for that."

    also worth noting that sam strano has said they dont do shit for our cars and does not use them for the countless scca champs he has got...

    it is also worth noting that our front suspension is not the same as other cars..there for who cares if BMWs or mustangs use them..they are not 4th gen F-bodys ..period. If you are driving a old oem/aftermarket busted ass shock.spring ..you might feel some difference..but once you change out for some real suspension ..you notice the stb doesnt do shit..

  17. #17
    Member xmarkx's Avatar
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    that makes 100% sense because I've driven my car with and without it on before. with stock struts and with bilsteins. with stock springs, slp springs, bmr springs, and now eibach springs. I can safely say that through all the changes that the STB has never made any significant changes in handling or feel.

    I'm not going to lie and say it's not on my car right now though lol!

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    subframe connectors are also a great mod. try to drive a car that has them difference is night and day. just had them put on my car. car is so much more solid.

  19. #19
    Senior Member JoshuaGrooms83's Avatar
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    Im gonna say this about STB. It may or may not work, however, $40-$60 isnt gonna Break the bank and if your worried about that, maybe you should be more concerned about your other bills. I Myself have one on my car. Its not hard to put on and it looks good. It depends on your driving style. If all you do is drag.. then dont bother with it unless your making god awefull amounbts of HP and in that case you might want to invest in a full cage lol. If you RR or AX then it might be worth while. UNI all the way baby
    Last edited by JoshuaGrooms83; 08-12-2010 at 06:50 AM.

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    Haven't been around in a while, thought I'd poke my head in and saw this thread....

    I do have Strano Springs in stock, and I 100% feel they are the overall best lowering spring around, period. I believe this because I tried lots of others, and many other combinations of spring rates on coil-over/jacker setups--and I settled on these, and run them on my own car. If they weren't any good I wouldn't use them.

    Shocks. I know it's tempting to save money here, but shocks are the classic get what you pay for situation. I wish Koni would come out with their STR.T shock, I really, REALLY do but until then it's either compromise in the $400 area with Bilstein's not meant for such lowering springs, or AGX's which suffer on the quality and overall composure side, or step up to Koni. If you ask anyone who's been on both "levels" of shocks and lowering springs they'll to a person tell you there is no comparison.

    I'll try and stop back more often in the future.

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