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My future suspension. Help me in chosing parts!

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  1. #1
    Member DarrenWS6's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am WS6

    Thumbs up My future suspension. Help me in chosing parts!

    I am studying and looking for some additional guidance for my plotted suspension work. Figured a list run down and some opinions/advice will help me out tremendously over the older posted threads. Taking the car to the track with Jeff like I have been I best to get the underbody built to take it before I ruin the car. I would like to source parts over the winter season and will be prepared to be in contact with UMI Performance and Sam Strano for any additional advice and of coarse parts. I hope after this thread the hardest choice I will have to make is, black components, or red.

    The template:


    Keeping in mind a couple key points.

    My WS6 currently sits at 91k miles and 15 years of age. So some chassis refreshers are due.
    Car will have QTP Longtube headers and TSP 3Ē ORY before this all takes place.
    I have intentions for a stronger rear end in the distant future. Strange S60 or a Moser 9Ē.
    I may want a lower than stock stance.
    I enjoy the car primarily on the street than the track, Iím just aiming to build a solid comfortable driving setup that can handle and perform when asked to, street or track.
    I intend to stick with as much UMI product as possible. I would like to include UMI links but for the safest bet, I will elect not to. Their webpage is quick to access

    1: I am thinking first and foremost, a set of subframe connectors. UMI 2 points. I donít believe with my intentions for the car that 3 points would be necessary. Thoughts? I want bolt in ones, Iím not fond of the idea of welding.

    2: I am up in the air on suspension. I would like to do the Koni yellows with Strano springs. Any suggestions as far as what weight springs to go with? I donít have a big intent to auto-x so I donít believe 550lb fronts would be for me as far as ride comfort. If I end up being cheaper on shocks I may go the Bilstein HD route to save some coin but keep with a quality shock. Iíve looked at the Viking coil over kit but Iím not sure I want to invest that kind of money. Iíll also talk to Sam Strano about this along with spring rates. But please advise me.

    3: I would like to get the torque arm off of the transmission, and have the original tossed in the trash can. Should I go with a UMI relocation kit and stick with a longer arm like stock or should I get a shorter arm? Research has brought me 50/50% on which is better, and internet arguments between others.

    4: I wasnít sure about what a panhard bar is, but I have rendered it helps keep the rear end in line during turns and the such. Seems more like an Auto-X improvement. Not so sure I will ever try that but perhaps. Worth changing? If so I would probably go with adjustable.

    5: Rear LCAs. If I would like to lower, adjustable LCAs would be in order. Possibly LCA relocation brackets for geometry angle reasons. Truth? And since I want street behavior/comforts, stick with rubber bushings and avoid polys?

    6: A new K member is much more light weight, 25lbs or so. I can plan for one of those. Anything more I would need to know about this?

    7: Tubular front control arms, lighter weight and stronger than stock? Would I be good to insert any ball joint I wanted? A stock one is fine with me. I might even prefer to have a non-serviceable one but Iím not against servicing. I donít daily the car and never will.

    8: I may toss a strut tower brace in there for some pretty looks. I understand these do little for our cars ( not noticeably at least ) along with sway bars doing very little. I may stay with factory sway bars. Previous owner put in new endlinks with poly bushings.

    I have read a little about driveshaft breaking. I would like to not upgrade this unless you folks feel it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise should I plan for a driveshaft safety loop?

    If any of my planned pieces should be done in a particular order/sequence, feel free to refine the order. All I know is that SFCs are an immediate must.

    Thank you folks in advance for your time and suggestions/advice!
    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

    SLP lid & bellow w/ K&N, GMMG catback w/ Corsa Clones, UMI SFC, UMI Adj. Panhard, UMI Adj. TQ arm w/ relocation kit, Eibach prokit, Bilstein HDs, Nitto NT555s, skip shift elim, whiteface overlays, 20% tint, matte black decal/overlays

  2. #2
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenWS6 View Post
    My WS6 currently sits at 91k miles and 15 years of age. So some chassis refreshers are due.
    Car will have QTP Longtube headers and TSP 3Ē ORY before this all takes place.
    I have intentions for a stronger rear end in the distant future. Strange S60 or a Moser 9Ē. HawksThirdGen is now offering 8.8's that are another good option.
    I may want a lower than stock stance. This you need to be careful, lowering a car means needing adjustable componets and alignment. Dropping the car you will need to have an adjustable torque arm to get the pinon angle correct again. Also means avoiding speed bumps.

    I enjoy the car primarily on the street than the track, Iím just aiming to build a solid comfortable driving setup that can handle and perform when asked to, street or track.
    I intend to stick with as much UMI product as possible. I would like to include UMI links but for the safest bet, I will elect not to. Their webpage is quick to access

    1: I am thinking first and foremost, a set of subframe connectors. UMI 2 points. I donít believe with my intentions for the car that 3 points would be necessary. Thoughts? I want bolt in ones, Iím not fond of the idea of welding.

    This is a must, they should have come with them. 3 points are better then 2 points. 2pts are good for straight line driving like drag strip, 3 points for that and every thing else. Only issue you may have is the drive shaft safety loop.

    2: I am up in the air on suspension. I would like to do the Koni yellows with Strano springs. Any suggestions as far as what weight springs to go with? I donít have a big intent to auto-x so I donít believe 550lb fronts would be for me as far as ride comfort. If I end up being cheaper on shocks I may go the Bilstein HD route to save some coin but keep with a quality shock. Iíve looked at the Viking coil over kit but Iím not sure I want to invest that kind of money. Iíll also talk to Sam Strano about this along with spring rates. But please advise me.

    Koni's are the best, Bilstiens are good too, Unless you plan on serious AutoX or track use Bilstiens are what you want. Springs - Strano has some good springs, I have Hotchkis on mine and have no complaints.

    3: I would like to get the torque arm off of the transmission, and have the original tossed in the trash can. Should I go with a UMI relocation kit and stick with a longer arm like stock or should I get a shorter arm? Research has brought me 50/50% on which is better, and internet arguments between others.

    2 options here. (1) Tunnel mount TA adjustable - it is completely off the transmission however you feel it more then with a full length TA. (2) Full length Adjustable TA - I have this and have no complaints, tie it with the transmission cross over and it is off the transmission.

    4: I wasnít sure about what a panhard bar is, but I have rendered it helps keep the rear end in line during turns and the such. Seems more like an Auto-X improvement. Not so sure I will ever try that but perhaps. Worth changing? If so I would probably go with adjustable.

    It aligns and keeps the rear axle to the body of the car, think side to side. Get one that has at least one end adjustable, both ends if you can afford it.

    5: Rear LCAs. If I would like to lower, adjustable LCAs would be in order. Possibly LCA relocation brackets for geometry angle reasons. Truth? And since I want street behavior/comforts, stick with rubber bushings and avoid polys?

    Another item that should have been beefed up. Adjustable here as well. Yes on relocation brackets. As they sit they are practically straight back and as the axle loads they tilt downward but not much. Dropping the LCA's mounting point (relocation brackets) down increases the angle rate and helps eliminate wheel hop.

    6: A new K member is much more light weight, 25lbs or so. I can plan for one of those. Anything more I would need to know about this?

    UMI has a really nice one. It's on my shopping list. If you can try to get it as a complete package with upper & lower A arms.

    7: Tubular front control arms, lighter weight and stronger than stock? Would I be good to insert any ball joint I wanted? A stock one is fine with me. I might even prefer to have a non-serviceable one but Iím not against servicing. I donít daily the car and never will.

    Adjustable if you plan on AutoX.


    8: I may toss a strut tower brace in there for some pretty looks. I understand these do little for our cars ( not noticeably at least ) along with sway bars doing very little. I may stay with factory sway bars. Previous owner put in new endlinks with poly bushings.

    Many opinions on this, I had one and felt it help in turns and corners, straight line launches not so much. That is why track guys have no use for them. One more bit of info, if you plan on getting a FAST102 intake then forget about getting one. It will not clear. Currently no one has made one that will.

    I have read a little about driveshaft breaking. I would like to not upgrade this unless you folks feel it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise should I plan for a driveshaft safety loop?

    Check out Mid West Chassis DSL. It is by far the best design for lowered cars. I had one form UMI and because my car is lowered it would hit everything. MWC's DSl tucks up in the tunnel and clears all exhaust, even dual.

    If any of my planned pieces should be done in a particular order/sequence, feel free to refine the order. All I know is that SFCs are an immediate must.

    Thank you folks in advance for your time and suggestions/advice!

    Replies in bold to your question. Recommend that which ever brand you go with you stick with them. I know all of UMI stuff works together and is a great product. All of my suspension but one piece is from them. Great customer support to. I have no reservations in sending ppl to them.

    I also have adjustable and roto-joints on my pieces, makes adjustments easy. Poly is better than rubber, yeah you might feel more but they last longer and are much stiffer then rubber.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 10-05-2015 at 01:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    pajeff02's Avatar
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Our tunnel mount is noisy on the street - it clunks and bangs even with everything tight and greased. But for the fact that I like the way the car launches at the track, I would run a full length torque arm.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenWS6 View Post
    I am studying and looking for some additional guidance for my plotted suspension work. Figured a list run down and some opinions/advice will help me out tremendously over the older posted threads. Taking the car to the track with Jeff like I have been I best to get the underbody built to take it before I ruin the car. I would like to source parts over the winter season and will be prepared to be in contact with UMI Performance and Sam Strano for any additional advice and of coarse parts. I hope after this thread the hardest choice I will have to make is, black components, or red.

    The template:
    Click for full size

    Keeping in mind a couple key points.

    My WS6 currently sits at 91k miles and 15 years of age. So some chassis refreshers are due.
    Car will have QTP Longtube headers and TSP 3Ē ORY before this all takes place.
    I have intentions for a stronger rear end in the distant future. Strange S60 or a Moser 9Ē.
    I may want a lower than stock stance.
    I enjoy the car primarily on the street than the track, Iím just aiming to build a solid comfortable driving setup that can handle and perform when asked to, street or track.
    I intend to stick with as much UMI product as possible. I would like to include UMI links but for the safest bet, I will elect not to. Their webpage is quick to access

    1: I am thinking first and foremost, a set of subframe connectors. UMI 2 points. I donít believe with my intentions for the car that 3 points would be necessary. Thoughts? I want bolt in ones, Iím not fond of the idea of welding.

    2: I am up in the air on suspension. I would like to do the Koni yellows with Strano springs. Any suggestions as far as what weight springs to go with? I donít have a big intent to auto-x so I donít believe 550lb fronts would be for me as far as ride comfort. If I end up being cheaper on shocks I may go the Bilstein HD route to save some coin but keep with a quality shock. Iíve looked at the Viking coil over kit but Iím not sure I want to invest that kind of money. Iíll also talk to Sam Strano about this along with spring rates. But please advise me.

    3: I would like to get the torque arm off of the transmission, and have the original tossed in the trash can. Should I go with a UMI relocation kit and stick with a longer arm like stock or should I get a shorter arm? Research has brought me 50/50% on which is better, and internet arguments between others.

    4: I wasnít sure about what a panhard bar is, but I have rendered it helps keep the rear end in line during turns and the such. Seems more like an Auto-X improvement. Not so sure I will ever try that but perhaps. Worth changing? If so I would probably go with adjustable.

    5: Rear LCAs. If I would like to lower, adjustable LCAs would be in order. Possibly LCA relocation brackets for geometry angle reasons. Truth? And since I want street behavior/comforts, stick with rubber bushings and avoid polys?

    6: A new K member is much more light weight, 25lbs or so. I can plan for one of those. Anything more I would need to know about this?

    7: Tubular front control arms, lighter weight and stronger than stock? Would I be good to insert any ball joint I wanted? A stock one is fine with me. I might even prefer to have a non-serviceable one but Iím not against servicing. I donít daily the car and never will.

    8: I may toss a strut tower brace in there for some pretty looks. I understand these do little for our cars ( not noticeably at least ) along with sway bars doing very little. I may stay with factory sway bars. Previous owner put in new endlinks with poly bushings.

    I have read a little about driveshaft breaking. I would like to not upgrade this unless you folks feel it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise should I plan for a driveshaft safety loop?

    If any of my planned pieces should be done in a particular order/sequence, feel free to refine the order. All I know is that SFCs are an immediate must.

    Thank you folks in advance for your time and suggestions/advice!
    Hey Darren.

    Your car looks pretty awesome.

    We won the Syracuse Nationals Auto-x in our '99 this year.

    https://ericpaynephotography.files.w...ocross-113.jpg

    Give us a call to discuss. Craig or I can help you.

    PS we have full coilovers available with Vikings already. In the next month or two we'll be debuting a more auto-x specific UMI branded shock set. It's exciting. Same ones we won Syracuse with but with even better valving...

    ramey
    pajeff02 likes this.

  5. #5
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    pajeff02's Avatar
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    ^^ Congrats, Ramey!

    Darren -- these guys know their stuff. I need an excuse to go check out their shop so lets go for a ride this winter.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    I'll throw in my $0.02.

    If you want a nice ride and good handling/firmness/response, I'd recommend some Koni shocks (yellows, if they're still available), and sway bars. I have the Strano bars and with that set up (on stock springs), the car is great. I also had 2-point SFCs with this set up.

    Now I have the Strano Springs and I feel that the car is equally good on the Strano springs, just good in a different way. The ride was certainly "nicer" on the stock springs with Strano's sway bars and Koni shocks. But now it feels a bit more capable with the Strano springs.
    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

  7. #7
    Member DarrenWS6's Avatar
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    Silver Metallic
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    Thank you everyone for your responses. Solid helpful advice, keep it coming! I'm all ears until I start purchasing items, which won't be immediately.

    Jeff, sounds like a plan! My birthday is in December. Perhaps things will work out my way with some money and we can have an outing.

  8. #8
    Junior Member ShelbyGLHS's Avatar
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    silver
    2002 Z28 6MT

    Hi Darren,
    I would recommend looking up various driving schools and car clubs in your area. Motorsportreg.com is a good site to find out what's going on. Summit Point raceway in WV is a great track and in your neck of the woods. The club rules will be a good indicator of the mods to make.

    My car is nice on track with the following: I have 2 pt welded SFC, Konis with Strano springs and bars, strut tower brace, royal purple ps fluid, front brake ducts, stainless steel braided brake lines, and Raybestos R-47 compound front pads, Porterfield R4 rear.

    Stock power really is fine on road courses and autoX. The only real issue I've had this season is wearing out AND breaking hubs/bearings. These were Timken stock replacements.

    I've been doing this a long time and try to think of the car as a tool to be used to become a better driver. I wouldn't go over board with mods. As you say, make sure all suspension components are in good shape. Maybe start with the brake ducts, upgraded brake pads, konis, strano bars and springs.

    Notice my avatar is with konis only, no strano stuff. I'll have to update it. The difference was incredible (and expected) adding the strano springs and bars. I was going so much faster I had to seriously upgrade my brake pads.

    Hope this helps,
    Lou

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