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Question for Mr Sam Strano and any one else

This is a discussion on Question for Mr Sam Strano and any one else within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; okay, here is my question and my goals for my car. i have an 02 ss with an m6, the ...

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    Senior Member camarojunky74's Avatar
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    Question for Mr Sam Strano and any one else

    okay, here is my question and my goals for my car.

    i have an 02 ss with an m6, the current modifications i have to the car is a gmmg cat back and slp lid and for the suspension umi lca's a panhard and crossbrace mounted torque arm. and eibach springs with the stock de carbon shocks and an slp strut tower brace.and 18" zo6 wheels on toyo t1r's

    okay my question, i want to know what would be the next best step in modifications to my car, i love drag racing but most of my time is spent cruising around town and up in the curvy roads, basically i was deff going to get the umi subframes and your revalved bilstein shocks but my question is, is the 3 point tubular braces worth the extra money? and what shocks do you reccomend for my car.

    basically my goal is to have a very rigid and nice riding car, it handles well now but i was looking for a little more, should i get a new front and rear sway bar? if so which one? im just a little mixed up on what my car needs to accomplish what i want it to do.

    thanks luke


    oh also one thing, what alignment specs should i set my car with, my friend has an alignment rack i can borrow i just didnt know what would be a good place to start

  2. #2
    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    My opinion....
    And I enjoy drag racing as well.



    I went with Strano springs and Koni 4/3's.
    The ride is so much better, and it handles better.
    The Eibach springs come across as an appearance spring, where the Strano springs are designed more for performance.


    I also ditched my strut tower brace. Just added weight that does nothing to assist in handling.

  3. #3
    Senior Member camarojunky74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos View Post
    My opinion....
    And I enjoy drag racing as well.



    I went with Strano springs and Koni 4/3's.
    The ride is so much better, and it handles better.
    The Eibach springs come across as an appearance spring, where the Strano springs are designed more for performance.


    I also ditched my strut tower brace. Just added weight that does nothing to assist in handling.
    i hear people saying that all the time, very credible people such as yourself and euginoss, but im saying after i installed the bar a very noticable differance, not saying it would shave lap times but it did improve the stiffness of the car, so i felt

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    NASCAR Go Fast, Turn Left ntimid8r's Avatar
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    Well you can't have the best of both worlds. A cornering/handling car has different requirements than a drag car. Cornering needs the suspension to be tight and have minimum roll.....drag racing needs the suspension to transfer weight. So ideally to do what you're looking for would be a set of adj. coil over shocks and have a couple different rate springs to go along with them. That's going to be rather expensive though.

    If you're not ready to step up to those then at least get some adj. shocks....koni or kyb. At least you can make some adjustment to the ride for corner or going to the drag strip. Aftermarket springs all vary.....it's tough to compare because unless anyone's done a side by side comparison with data to show any difference for what you want them to do......it's all just preference.

    Bigger sway bars will help with the cornering but the front one will limit the weight transfer in drag racing. But you'd overall benefit from upgrading your sway bars. You can always disconnect the front at the drag strip too.

    The sfc's and stb are essential. They are added weight but they keep the geometry of the car consistant. Otherwise these sub-frame cars will twist enough to alter the suspension geometry while in a turn. Car will never be a consistant handler without those supports.

    Here's some alignment info for you I got from a link given out by the forum mod mrr23. I set my car up with the auto-x/street setup and it drives great.

    LS1.com Recommended Alignment Settings
    Camber () Caster () Toe ()
    factory +1( 0.5) +3( 0 .5) 0.15( 0.5)
    autox/street -0.5 to -1.0 +4.0 to +5.0 0.0
    autox* -1.5 +4.0 to +5.0 1/16 inch toe out

    **It's tough to seperate the data on this post so here's the link for you. http://www.angelfire.com/my/fastcar/suspension.html


    Hope all this helps but bottom line, it's all down to your preference and pocket book.
    Last edited by ntimid8r; 06-27-2008 at 08:48 AM.

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    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    tell me more about how this will affect wear on tires during long trips, etc:
    autox/street -0.5 to -1.0 +4.0 to +5.0 0.0

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    NASCAR Go Fast, Turn Left ntimid8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by third_shift|studios View Post
    tell me more about how this will affect wear on tires during long trips, etc:
    autox/street -0.5 to -1.0 +4.0 to +5.0 0.0
    Here's a link which can explain camber, caster, toe. Then here's the stock settings for your car.
    Firebird
    95-02 w/Goodyear Eagle RSA tire
    camber 0.40* +/- 0.50*
    caster 4.80* +/- 0.50*
    total toe 0.00* +/- 0.20*

    Compare the two and see the difference. Bottom line, the more aggressive the setting the more wear you'll see over time.

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    Crazy Canuck ! Eugenio_SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by third_shift|studios View Post
    tell me more about how this will affect wear on tires during long trips, etc:
    autox/street -0.5 to -1.0 +4.0 to +5.0 0.0
    since you are very concerned with wear, I found that.
    camber: -0.5'
    castor: +4.5' (stock)
    toe: 0

    wears perfectly and you have good handling characteristics.
    Eugenio_SS
    almost stock triple-black 2000 SS convertible with 17x11s on all 4 w/ 315s at the track or on the street with 18x10.5s on all 4 w/ 315s: (1), (2)

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    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntimid8r View Post
    Here's a link which can explain camber, caster, toe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    since you are very concerned with wear, I found that.
    camber: -0.5'
    castor: +4.5' (stock)
    toe: 0

    wears perfectly and you have good handling characteristics.
    his link states that more postive castor makes the car harder to steer-why would i want that?

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    Crazy Canuck ! Eugenio_SS's Avatar
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    +4.5' doens't make it hard to steer... it's the middle of stock range.
    If you decide to go something like +6.0 then it will.

    The advantage of having bigger castor is that it allows to create more camber as you turn the wheels, not needing so much negative camber in the first place. But by doing so in an extreme way will put more load on te steering pump.
    I wouldn't worry @ all w/ +4.5-+5.0 range... I'm thinking on bumpig mine to +5.0 and i street drive it a lot.

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    Crazy Canuck ! Eugenio_SS's Avatar
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    image is worth a 1000 words:
    here is well explained: http://www.yokohamatire.com/customer..._measures.aspx

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    Sorry I'm a little late....

    Your next step has to be shocks. Yeah, I make/sell springs and bars.... And I sell things like SFC's, STB's, etc.... but the shocks are the single worst part of the car stock and I'd rather drive a car on a set of good shocks (for me that'd be Koni's) and NOTHING else than a car on stock shocks and most anything else you could throw at it.

    Let me ask you--if I told you I could make the car feel more planted, change direction faster, generate roll and pitch more slowly, track better and become more stable, improve impact harshness/ride better, would that interest you? That's all stuff the shocks rule, and those are all things that you'd get with a set of Koni's (and to lesser degrees other shocks).
    Sam Strano
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    2009 SCCA ProSolo Overall Champion
    Owner--Strano Performance Parts
    814-849-3450

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    Senior Member camarojunky74's Avatar
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    thanks to everyone for clearing that up for me, i knew i needed all of those things we discussed, but now i know which to buy first,

    thanks for help and the alignment specs eugino

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    Junior Member 99CANADAHAWK's Avatar
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    OK , well I`m looking at lowering my car but I don`t know wich springs to go with ? I was thinking Eibach Pro kit ( Sport line too low ) with bilstine
    shocks , will the strano spings sill lower the car enough ? I want to run 19`s and I don`t want it to still look like a monster truck !
    Thanks
    Last edited by 99CANADAHAWK; 07-06-2008 at 06:43 PM.
    1999 T/A FIREHAWK - SLP Lid & Bellow,LT`s & Catted Y & Power-Flo Catback , MSD & NGK , UMI 3P SFC,ADJ PHB,STB,LCA`s & Relos , Eibach Pro Kit , Bilstine/SLP Shocks , MAC Diff Cover , BFG & OE Wheels C5DD 18x9.5/10.5 , HID 8000K Headlights - Dyno`d @ 319.07 HP & 327.23 Ft-lb ( Tuned by Champ Motors )

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    I set the height I felt was best when it came to building my springs. Some might want lower, but most feel that this look right.... though in all honesty I did it because it's what made my car work the best.

    The links are from another site since I don't think anyone here has photos up of their cars with my springs. And before I forget... I sell Eibach too if you'd like to discuss them. I beleive my springs are better, abut I can give you options.

    http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783782
    http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=576054
    http://www.ls1tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=653781

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    Junior Member gbenz's Avatar
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    I just installed Koni 4/3 shocks and WOW what a difference it made. Sam, your recommendation on these shocks is greatly appreciated. They are more than I expected from conversations on the phone with you. They are awesome. Huge difference in the ride. Feels like a complete new suspension on my 2000 Formula with 104K miles on her clock! Call Sam!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbenz View Post
    I just installed Koni 4/3 shocks and WOW what a difference it made. Sam, your recommendation on these shocks is greatly appreciated. They are more than I expected from conversations on the phone with you. They are awesome. Huge difference in the ride. Feels like a complete new suspension on my 2000 Formula with 104K miles on her clock! Call Sam!
    That's the best advertising right there. If they are even better than you thought after talking, you must be blown away. I'm glad you are so pleased and thanks for taking the time to post you findings Gary.

    For those that don't think shocks matter, just see above. They are the single biggest, most important thing you can do to the suspension or chassis of your car. Period. They are the place we start whenever possible because they are the weakest link from GM.

  17. #17
    rapter34
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    Sam, you have a suggestion for a more budget friendly set of shocks?

    Also i've been hearing a lot about drag bags recently. What is your take on them?
    Last edited by rapter34; 07-08-2008 at 09:05 AM.

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    More budget friendly shocks? Sure, there are.... but they don't work anywhere near as well.

    As for the cost of Koni's, as much as I hate to do this, I have to point out it's a matter of perspective. For instance, rapter34 you just bought something like $500-700 worth of chassis stuff (don't really recall the exact amount) without batting much of an eye, outwardly anyway. The shock are WAY more important than pretty much anything else under the car and are not the place to be cheaping out if it's at all possible. Think of what a set of tires costs, and they'll be fried in year, maybe 2. The shocks will be around for a long time. They should not be viewed as a side item.

    Again, just see the above post from gbenz, look at how impressed he is with the ride on an 104k old car. You don't see that kind of repsonse often from cheap shocks. And he didn't even touch on the handling and stability that I'm sure is about 185% better too.

    I do sell Tokico, KYB, Bilstein (when available), Edelbrock, Monroe and even KW coil-overs for these cars. None are anywhere near as good as the Koni's.

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    Junior Member 99CANADAHAWK's Avatar
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    Sam , looked at those pic`s thanks it helped to clear things up , those cars look killer . It`s just that it seems some people complain about the Eibachs , like there ride & sagging . My car is mostly for the street but I would still like to throw it around corners so I`m looking at some 19x9.5 HP Evo wheels with 35 series rubber it should look good all said and done , Ill let you know when I`m ready to order .

    Thanks

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    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99CANADAHAWK View Post
    Sam , looked at those pic`s thanks it helped to clear things up , those cars look killer . It`s just that it seems some people complain about the Eibachs , like there ride & sagging . My car is mostly for the street but I would still like to throw it around corners so I`m looking at some 19x9.5 HP Evo wheels with 35 series rubber it should look good all said and done , Ill let you know when I`m ready to order .

    Thanks
    Strano Springs--IN STOCK (for now)

    That is a picture of my car on the ProKit, then on Strano springs.

    Nothing changed but the springs.

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