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More Suspension Replacements/Upgrades Coming Soon. Advice?

This is a discussion on More Suspension Replacements/Upgrades Coming Soon. Advice? within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; I was under the car recently replacing the end links on my sway bars (I over tightened them the first ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    More Suspension Replacements/Upgrades Coming Soon. Advice?

    I was under the car recently replacing the end links on my sway bars (I over tightened them the first time and the bushings came off).

    I noticed that my LCAs were looking a little shoddy and my bump stops were complete crap. Sean at Top Gear Motor Sports says I should replace the LCAs, so I will be ordering some poly/roto combos for that.

    I will also order some bump stops from Sam.

    As for the rest of it, I have been driving on my shocks for 53,000 miles now (I think they've got 58,000 total miles on them). Once in a great while I push the car hard on a twisty road, but for the most part, the roads here are pretty tame and smooth. What kind of life should I expect from the shocks? Koni yellows up front, Bilstiens in the back.

    I'm also coming up on the end of my tire's tread life. I want to get some Michelin Pilot Super Sports, but I also want to get different wheels. Just to confirm: is it a FACT that C5 Corvette wheels (17/18) fit and function properly on a 98 Camaro? Would I need spacers or anything to make it work? I'm thinking of doing 8.5" width up front and 9.5" in the back, since that's what I'm running now on some C4 replicas.

    I've recently had the springs and front control arms replaced. Rest of the set up is below:

    SFCs
    STB
    Panhard Bar
    Strano Springs
    Strano Sway Bars
    Koni/Bilstiens
    Rod-End LCAs (to be replaced)

  2. #2
    Looks like a nice list.

    Let me know if you have any UMI questions.

    ramey
    Ramey Womer
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    For a street driven car, you can't go wrong with poly bushings and upgrading to UMI adjustable LCA's is a great idea. I run all UMI under our car and could not be happier. Some of the pieces have been on our car for over four years now and still look brand new.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMI Sales View Post
    Looks like a nice list.

    Let me know if you have any UMI questions.

    ramey
    Sure, I've got some questions:

    Torque arms... are they noisy? Does UMI make one that is quiet (like stock) but stronger? Or is the noise an unavoidable trade-off?

    I have heard that the Heim joints on the A-arms are also noisy, and that the A-arms can break on a street driven car. Does UMI make a roto-joint A-arm (and does it operate quietly)? I've seen them somewhere, but not on UMI website lately.

    In case you can't tell, I am averse to clunks and thumps while I drive. The rod-end LCAs on there now (not sure what brand they are) are a little annoying, though I've gotten somewhat used to them, I'd like a quieter ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    For a street driven car, you can't go wrong with poly bushings and upgrading to UMI adjustable LCA's is a great idea. I run all UMI under our car and could not be happier. Some of the pieces have been on our car for over four years now and still look brand new.
    Yeah, all my chassis stuff came from UMI... suspension from Strano. The SFCs were my first mod and made a world of difference.

    For poly bushings, are we talking about the sway bars, the LCAs... and what else?

    As I move through the chapters of life, I realize that my original "vision" for the car may be more expensive than I can justify, but I would like to see that whole undercarriage replaced with lighter/stronger stuff...

    That being said, I may just stop after I get the LCAs and a cross-member/TA relocation bracket (not sure I'll ever get to the subframe/control arms). Other than what I've got now, is there anything that makes a tremendous difference (improvement) to the feel or performance of the car (I don't drag race; I just cut up mountain roads now and then). The sub-frame connectors, for example, are more valuable than the actual price I paid for them. The sway bars are another example. Is there anything I don't have that would make the drive that much more fun?
    Last edited by Naaman; 08-15-2014 at 07:50 AM.

  5. #5
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    All my suspension stuff list in my signature is from UMI. I have the full length adjustable TA and have no noise issues. Only time I did have one was because a bolt backed out of the stock TA. Regarding strength - hell yeah, stuff is damn strong. Easy to install and any time I've had questions their customer service has been great. They even helped set up on my 8.8 rear project when I was looking at redesigning my set up.

    All that is left for me to finish my suspension set up is their K member and A arm's. Those will come some time over the next yr or two.

    Any noise issues I've heard from any aftermarket suspension has been from a tunnel brace short TA set up. For the full length TA get their transmission cross member so that you can take the TA off the tail cone of the transmission.
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    If you still have the stock shocks and are running Sam's lowering springs, that could be one issue. The stock shocks are not valved properly to work well with the different spring rates that lowering springs have over the stock OEM springs.

    I am running Koni 4/4's on all four corners with Sam's lowering springs without issue for several years.

    Edit: I reread your initial post and see you have upgraded. Not sure on lifespan, but that's a good question. It will probably depend mostly on driving habits.
    Last edited by 35th-ANV-SS; 08-15-2014 at 09:55 AM.
    It's on jackstands.

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    Only noise issue I have is the tunnel mount torque arm -- but the trade off is that I can plant the rear tires at the line and have a 1.69 second sixty foot time on a stock engine equipped car.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    All my suspension stuff list in my signature is from UMI. I have the full length adjustable TA and have no noise issues. Only time I did have one was because a bolt backed out of the stock TA. Regarding strength - hell yeah, stuff is damn strong. Easy to install and any time I've had questions their customer service has been great. They even helped set up on my 8.8 rear project when I was looking at redesigning my set up.

    All that is left for me to finish my suspension set up is their K member and A arm's. Those will come some time over the next yr or two.

    Any noise issues I've heard from any aftermarket suspension has been from a tunnel brace short TA set up. For the full length TA get their transmission cross member so that you can take the TA off the tail cone of the transmission.
    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Only noise issue I have is the tunnel mount torque arm -- but the trade off is that I can plant the rear tires at the line and have a 1.69 second sixty foot time on a stock engine equipped car.

    Okay, wait... what? I think I'm missing something, guys.

    Are you two in agreement? The stamped metal that comes with the car is the culprit for the noise when an aftermarket torque arm is installed? Is that what you're taking about?

    And what is a "short torque arm?" I don't see a distinction on UMI's website.

    Bottom line:

    For no noise, do I want to relocate the torque arm mounting position (via crossmember) and install a "full length" torque arm (will it have to be adjustable)?
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    Unless you drag race your car you want to go with a full length torque arm, with the mount attached to the transmission crossmember (rather than the transmission tail stock which is what the factory setup uses). I have the "short" torque arm on our car which mounts in place of the tunnel brace rather than the transmission cross member:


  10. #10
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post

    Okay, wait... what? I think I'm missing something, guys.

    Are you two in agreement? The stamped metal that comes with the car is the culprit for the noise when an aftermarket torque arm is installed? Is that what you're taking about?

    And what is a "short torque arm?" I don't see a distinction on UMI's website.

    Bottom line:

    For no noise, do I want to relocate the torque arm mounting position (via crossmember) and install a "full length" torque arm (will it have to be adjustable)?
    Both are adjustable, just the front part is mounted in different location. The reason mine is a "full" length TA is because my car is lowered. I can't put a soda can under it without putting it on it's side. That's why UMI suggested I go with a full length and use their transmission cross member setup.

    The "noise" I refer to isn't all that loud and honestly these cars are going to make some creaking noise just because of design. Also the type of bushings and joints you use will effect that as well. My LCA's and PHB have the roto joints and they are super sweet....Talk about fully adjustable.



    Sorry mine isn't as cleaned up as Jeff's but these were taken while I was in a construction phase of building my 8.8 rear.








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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    If just a street car look into the nonadjustable stuff with the poly bushings. I just replaced my LAC'S , Panhard bar, and tunnel brace all nonadjustable. Stiffened things up helped in putting power to the road with no wheel hopp, and QUIET.. I'm very happy with my set up and the price is dramatically cheaper. If your not racing the car not much use for adjustable stuff. Ramey should be able to comment on it
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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    You'll need adjustable if you lower the car otherwise you will not have the pinon angle correct.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    You'll need adjustable if you lower the car otherwise you will not have the pinon angle correct.
    I do agree with Scott on that. I'm not lowered and have no plans on doing so. So this was the right set up for me

  14. #14
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    I'm lowered a little bit on the Stranos. Got the panhard bar wich needed a very slight adjustment.

    Up till just now, I was under the impression that the crossmember and the tunnel brace were the same thing. Does the crossmember replace the tunnel brace, or does go in in addition?

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    Crossmember holds up the back of the transmission. The tunnel brace is behind that and is simply a piece of stamped steel held in by four (4) small bolts. Some guys omit the tunnel brace, others replace it with an aftermarket tunnel brace with an integral driveshaft safety loop. On my UMI version, the aftermarket tunnel brace also acts as the front mount for the torque arm.

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    Senior Member kingls1's Avatar
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    Here is how I replaced my crossmember



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    Quote Originally Posted by kingls1 View Post
    Here is how I replaced my crossmember


    Did you custom make that?
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    Nice work, Jeff.

  19. #19
    Hey Naaman.

    Sorry for the delay. We were racing at Pittsburgh International on the North Track and also at the auto-x.

    We did have our 4th Gen there and it worked pretty well.

    The long torque arm (our 2205 or 2206) is for street, road race and so on. It is the quieter of the two.

    The 2200, 01, 02, 03 are tunnel mounted short torque arms. They are best for street/strip and as PA Jeff said, they help the car dig. The slight trade-off is more noise transfer to the cabin.

    Heim joints do indeed make noise and based on what I'm reading for your anti-noise tendencies I'd NOT recommend them. Our 2305 arm has a poly bushing on the straight part of the arm which dampens that noise tendency.

    Our arms are not inclined to break. We trust them at the strip, street, road course, auto-x, etc.

    We have double Roto-Joint lower arms but they aren't as quiet as stock. Nothing is as quiet as stock. Also, nothing is as vague feeling as stock...

    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Sure, I've got some questions:

    Torque arms... are they noisy? Does UMI make one that is quiet (like stock) but stronger? Or is the noise an unavoidable trade-off?

    I have heard that the Heim joints on the A-arms are also noisy, and that the A-arms can break on a street driven car. Does UMI make a roto-joint A-arm (and does it operate quietly)? I've seen them somewhere, but not on UMI website lately.

    In case you can't tell, I am averse to clunks and thumps while I drive. The rod-end LCAs on there now (not sure what brand they are) are a little annoying, though I've gotten somewhat used to them, I'd like a quieter ride.



    Yeah, all my chassis stuff came from UMI... suspension from Strano. The SFCs were my first mod and made a world of difference.

    For poly bushings, are we talking about the sway bars, the LCAs... and what else?

    As I move through the chapters of life, I realize that my original "vision" for the car may be more expensive than I can justify, but I would like to see that whole undercarriage replaced with lighter/stronger stuff...

    That being said, I may just stop after I get the LCAs and a cross-member/TA relocation bracket (not sure I'll ever get to the subframe/control arms). Other than what I've got now, is there anything that makes a tremendous difference (improvement) to the feel or performance of the car (I don't drag race; I just cut up mountain roads now and then). The sub-frame connectors, for example, are more valuable than the actual price I paid for them. The sway bars are another example. Is there anything I don't have that would make the drive that much more fun?
    pajeff02 likes this.

  20. #20
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    ^^ Sound advice. Go with the poly bushings and you'll gain firmness without additional noise.

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