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Is this the right move?

This is a discussion on Is this the right move? within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; So, I have an 02 SS with 20k miles. It is relatively stock, but I am in the process of ...

  1. #1
    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    Is this the right move?

    So, I have an 02 SS with 20k miles. It is relatively stock, but I am in the process of changing that. I have the cash for headers right now (I am doing BBK Chromes) & I already have a set of Eibach Pro-Kits & Bilsteins waiting for a warm day to go on my car. I am kinda debating holding off on the headers for now, as I should have the money again by the time I'd be ready to install them anyways, & instead doing a pan hard, LCA relocation, & LCA's now. I also know I need to do SFC's, but those will need welded & I cannot do that. My main thought here, is that the headers will sit until May anyways & I am not super sure how I am going to get those installed, the SFC's will probably need welded in & once again, I cannot do that myself, & with the rear suspension stuff I should be able to install it myself as soon as I get it. Opinions & personal experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    You can always get bolt-on SFC's and get them welded later as well. Just another option. PHB and LCA's are really easy to install. As far as the relocation kit for the LCA's, I assume you're buying the bolt-on version?

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    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    Yeah, I forgot about bolt-in sfc's. And yes, I would get bolt-in relocation brackets. Basically, what I am wondering is, which would best for me to do first since I am lowering it. I have about $400 to spend & want to go with UMI, as I appreciate Ramey answering a few of my questions in the past.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitefish View Post
    Yeah, I forgot about bolt-in sfc's. And yes, I would get bolt-in relocation brackets. Basically, what I am wondering is, which would best for me to do first since I am lowering it. I have about $400 to spend & want to go with UMI, as I appreciate Ramey answering a few of my questions in the past.
    If you don't want wheel hop you need an adjustable PHB and the LCA relocation brackets. Which would be under $400 I believe.
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    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    So, would I be smart to do the relocation, lca's, & panhard before the sfc's? Also, are the non-adjustable versions okay? I really would prefer to not have an option to adjust, as I know I would be tinkering with the adjustable stuff non-stop & I would drive myself nuts trying to get it just right.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    If you weren't lowered I would get sfc's first. You need an adjustable PHB so that you can center the rear end. Once you lower a vehicle via lowering springs it alters the suspension geometry of the vehicle. This is corrected by using LCA control arm relocation brackets and an adjustable phb. If you don't get an adjustable phb your rear end may be off center due to the change in geometry and will have wheel hop. I have an on car adjustable phb not installed yet and from what UMI has explained to me it is quite easy to adjust.

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    You'll get lots of different opinions on what to do... upgrading everything you have mentioned is not a bad idea. The stock suspension pieces are real flimsy and you will notice a difference -- UMI is an excellent choice. Subframe connectors, either bolt in or weld in, both work well. The bolt in version is nice as you can install it yourself and then have it welded at a later date. Just be sure that the install is completed with the weight of the vehicle on the wheels. A four post lift works great, but you can also do it with ramps under the front tires and jackstands under the rear axle. On our car, I went with non-adjustable suspension pieces as our car will never be lowered. You almost have to go with adjustable if you lower your car -- I presume the parts you have awaiting installation will result in a lower ride height.

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    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Definitely lowering the car & I guess, ordering an adjustable phb, relocation brackets, & lca's. Maybe Ramey can give me a coupon.

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    Good choice.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Your pinion angle will be off once you lower it so add an adjustable torque arm to your list too. An improper pinion angle will cause drive train damage over time.
    It's on jackstands.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    Your pinion angle will be off once you lower it so add an adjustable torque arm to your list too. An improper pinion angle will cause drive train damage over time.
    Oh yeah I knew I forgot something.

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    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    Cripes! Maybe lowering isn't worth it. I wasn't really going to do it, but saw a good deal on the springs....hell, maybe I should sell them & just slap the bilsteins on. Does lowering help the ride or is it just an appearance mod?

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Lowering will not help the ride, by lowering it you lose suspension travel and you will get a slightly harsher ride. It will give the car more of a sporty feel. I'm with everyone that if you have plans to lower the car a fully adjustable suspension is the way to go but if you are having second thoughts and just want to do the bilsteins and keep the stock springs you will get a much nicer ride from the car

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    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    How dire is it to get the Torque Arm? Is it a must do now thing or more of a just do it at some point soon thing?

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Hard launches and shifts with a wrong pinion angle will cause rear end, u-joint and other problems. The torque arm controls the rotational position of the rear end and under load you want everything to be straight; from the beginning of the drive shaft through the rear pinion. This is why the pinion angle is set to around -2 degrees free from load. I would say it's relatively important.

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    Agree. After installing my 3 point SFC's, I forgot to re-adjust the pinion angle. The tunnel mount torque arm plate was moved down by around 1/4" to 3/8" and I had a noticeable "grind" in my driveline. Re-set the pinion angle and it immediately went away.

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    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    Maybe my $100 set of Eibach's weren't a good deal afterall. I never knew there was so much involved in lowering. From reading, it seems like most guys just buy the springs & some shocks & viola.

  18. #18
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Springs/shocks were the last suspension upgrade I did. Did SFC', LCA's, TA, and the rear end first with an upgraded drive shaft. After that and then an on-car adjustable PHB installed I opted for shocks and lowering springs.

  19. #19
    Member Whitefish's Avatar
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    Did you do the ta relocation? This is getting expensive.....fast.

  20. #20
    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    I recently installed my UMI TA and Relocation kit, it's not necessary but it's just nice to take the TA off the tail shaft of the transmission. You'd probably be fine without it, TA on the other hand i highly recommend

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