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which shocks?

This is a discussion on which shocks? within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; Its time for me to get some new shocks on my 98 z28 And im not sure which ones would ...

  1. #1
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    which shocks?

    Its time for me to get some new shocks on my 98 z28
    And im not sure which ones would be the best
    This car is a street car since im already goin trough the trouble to replace them I want the best possible performance possible with out changing my springs or do u guys recommend replacing my spring too?

    Id like to keep stock ride height

  2. #2
    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
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    If your on a Budget Bilstiens would be your best bet.
    But Koni's quality adjustability and superior valving are worth their added expense.
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    I'd keep the stock springs and get Koni SA.
    Since the Koni SA have 2 perch location, you can actually lower the car by ~3/4" in the front.
    The rear can achieve the same lowering w/ the hose-mod. (few $ only)
    So you get great shocks, no need to buy springs and you'll see how much better it is.

    imho, best thing is to contact Sam @ www.stranoparts.com
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  4. #4
    Member JAGUAR5822's Avatar
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    I third the Konis.

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    2002 Tans am WS6 M6

    Again on the koni's but dont do the hose mod WE ARE TALKING THE ABILITY OF THE CAR TO HANDEL just do it right and be done with it

    How many miles? maybe a good idea to do the springs with it all apart. I went with Strano 1 1/4 inch drop really nice stance without being just way to low.

  6. #6
    Member JAGUAR5822's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot to mention, you might want to find some low mile 1LE springs. Your ride height will still be fine and you'll have better spring rates. At least do the front right the first time, you won't want to uninstall and disasemble the shocks once they're done. The rears are much easier to change out the springs.

  7. #7
    Crazy Canuck ! Eugenio_SS's Avatar
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    imho, it depends on his budget and his needs... I don't think he wants to spend all the $ on springs + shocks... hence the option of the hose-mod... and fwiw, it's a safe mod that passed safety regulations in racing application (I don't mean 1/4 mile) and one just changes the rubber isolator on top of the spring without affecting anything else suspension wise.

  8. #8
    Member JAGUAR5822's Avatar
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    Yea but the fronts are labor intensive, although I've done it a few times, I'd much rather just do it once, especially if he is going to pay somoene else to do the swap. Do the research and find out what you want up there, maybe even take a ride along in a similarly modded car to see what it feels like. If he's spending money on Bilsteins or koni's, springs aren't much more.

  9. #9
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    thanks guy i really appreciate the help
    and my car has 87,500 miles

  10. #10
    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    If you like the ride height then don't spend the extra on springs.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Take the fronts to a shop and let them do it for a few bucks. It is a real pain in the ass the first time you do it. Some one who has a stand mounted 4 point spring/strut machine can change them in a matter of minutes as long as the nut on top isn't rusted.

  12. #12
    Member JAGUAR5822's Avatar
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    Good point, you can also do it just as easily at home with spring compressors from auto zone if you have an impact gun, but keep in mind there is still potential for danger since you are working with A LOT of potential energy. If something were to happen you could be SOL, that said I did mine that way, and even cut the shock rod while the spring was compressed. I wanted to save my WS6 springs but the shock mount was wayyyy too rusted. This is another reason I suggested new WS6 or 1LE springs, they're cheap, and you really should replace the shock mounts anyway because they are rubber, and what's the point of adding performance shocks if the mounts are performing below par, when I did it they were only $30-40 for each new mount. That way you can sell your old set of shocks and mounted springs to whoever might want them. Whatever route you decide on, make sure you cake that empty area on top of the shock mounts with some thick grease, that way it will not be rusted if you ever decide to work on it in the future.

    You should also consider some preventative maintenance at this point and replace the upper and lower balljoints (Moog are the best) as well as the tie rod ends. The upper ball joints are very easy to replace, the lowers are a bit tuffer, but you can rent a ball joint press from autozone for free (just a deposit). The ball joint press is basically just a large c-clamp. Others also take the lower a-arm off and have the ball joint pressed in at a machine shop.
    Last edited by JAGUAR5822; 02-03-2009 at 07:47 PM.

  13. #13
    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    I'd suggest QA1, 12 points of adjustment, kind pricey though.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RedVertTA View Post
    I'd suggest QA1, 12 points of adjustment, kind pricey though.
    Those are drag shocks though keep in mind. Not meant to have that great damping for daily driving use and definitely not for handling purposes. If he doesn't mind having his daily drive like a drag vehicle, then they may be fine. Though I've heard some of the drag racers prefer strange shocks and afcos for the extra money. If a drag setup is what he wants, then I'd also consider these options prior to going with QA1's as well.

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    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z28bryan View Post
    Those are drag shocks though keep in mind. Not meant to have that great damping for daily driving use and definitely not for handling purposes. If he doesn't mind having his daily drive like a drag vehicle, then they may be fine. Though I've heard some of the drag racers prefer strange shocks and afcos for the extra money. If a drag setup is what he wants, then I'd also consider these options prior to going with QA1's as well.
    They are NOT drag shocks. QA1 makes 3 types of shocks, single adjustable, double adjustable, and drag specific shocks. They also have 3 types of springs to choose from, 275 lb. front spring for drag racing, 300 lb. for daily drivers and those in between, and 325 for road racing and autocross. I will agree with you on one thing though they are pricey.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RedVertTA View Post
    They are NOT drag shocks. QA1 makes 3 types of shocks, single adjustable, double adjustable, and drag specific shocks. They also have 3 types of springs to choose from, 275 lb. front spring for drag racing, 300 lb. for daily drivers and those in between, and 325 for road racing and autocross. I will agree with you on one thing though they are pricey.
    I never rode on QA1's myself, so I have no personal experience. But tons of people on frrax and ls1tech have mentioned before that their shock dampening is more geared toward drag racing. I've heard people complain about inadequate front shock dampening for daily driving. In drag racing you don't need a lot of front shock dampening.

    Stock front springs have a rate of 292. You think 325 is gonna be that that much more of an improvement in racing that involves handling? Most of the aftermarket springs are between 400-600 in front and those are average. Some people in road racing go as high as 800-1000 in front.

    If you still want to dish out the money for QA1's then go ahead, but I think you could do better for the money.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaycenK View Post
    Take the fronts to a shop and let them do it for a few bucks. It is a real pain in the ass the first time you do it. Some one who has a stand mounted 4 point spring/strut machine can change them in a matter of minutes as long as the nut on top isn't rusted.
    Made the mistake of trying to do it myself on the fronts this weekend... turned out the nut on top of the driver side was rusted, the strut mount was bonded to the shock, and I had to take a cutting torch to it to get it apart so I could get the spring off and order new strut mount....ugh....oh well....I went with Bilsteins and didn't get springs yet...but when I do get springs, I'll spend the money to have someone else put them on

  18. #18
    Still The Junior Member RedVertTA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z28bryan View Post
    I never rode on QA1's myself, so I have no personal experience. But tons of people on frrax and ls1tech have mentioned before that their shock dampening is more geared toward drag racing. I've heard people complain about inadequate front shock dampening for daily driving. In drag racing you don't need a lot of front shock dampening.

    Stock front springs have a rate of 292. You think 325 is gonna be that that much more of an improvement in racing that involves handling? Most of the aftermarket springs are between 400-600 in front and those are average. Some people in road racing go as high as 800-1000 in front.

    If you still want to dish out the money for QA1's then go ahead, but I think you could do better for the money.
    The key to improving the handling on the f-body is in the shocks not the springs, that's where GM screwed up. Many people just stay with the stock springs and run fine on the autocross, and in fact some members have even say that the stock springs are too stiff, hence why one of the most popular cheap drag mods on this site is to run v6 springs in the rear (about $30 at your local junkyard). I'm not saying he should necessarily buy the QA1's, they aren't cheap, but I'm just putting them out there as an option no one else mentioned.

  19. #19
    I flame retards CamaroFan71's Avatar
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    Are the KYB's you can get from Advanced Auto any good?? Or the Edelbrocks from Autozone??

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by RedVertTA View Post
    The key to improving the handling on the f-body is in the shocks not the springs, that's where GM screwed up. Many people just stay with the stock springs and run fine on the autocross, and in fact some members have even say that the stock springs are too stiff, hence why one of the most popular cheap drag mods on this site is to run v6 springs in the rear (about $30 at your local junkyard). I'm not saying he should necessarily buy the QA1's, they aren't cheap, but I'm just putting them out there as an option no one else mentioned.
    I agree that shocks are the main weak point on a stock LS1, but I haven't heard that QA1's were much of an improvement. Koni SA's are probably your best bang for your buck if you want to dampen most aftermarket springs correctly. Bilstiens or KYB's are ok if you can't afford the Koni's, as long as one knows the pros on cons of using either. From what I've gathered Bilstiens are a very good quality set of shocks but they aren't valved to dampen most aftermarket springs properly. KYB's will dampen most aftermarket springs, but the fact that one knob controls both compression and rebound is not really ideal for suspension tuning. Also I've heard that KYB won't back their warranty if you use them on anything except stock springs.

    If a road racer or autox driver wants to drive on 325 springs and likes the feel of them, that's fine. All I'm saying is 325 isn't much more than stock springs, and I find it funny that it's considered a road racing rate.

    I don't think I've ever heard anyone say the stock springs were too stiff. I've autoxed on stock springs with Konis and strano/koni setups. Stock springs worked fine, but I prefer the feel of the strano spring rates. The weight transfer in larger higher speed slaloms on stock springs is a little too long and drawn out. After turning I'd have to wait until the weight transfer has settled to get a feel for how much power I can start applying (per turn). A lot easier to snap free with stock springs. I don't think a lot of scca nationals E-street prepared drivers are using stock springs. You can, but I don't think you'd be as competitive.

    Another thing about the v6 springs... according to this http://www.angelfire.com/my/fastcar/suspension.html the rear springs seem to be the same between the v8 and v6 ls1 springs. It makes sense since the rear should have the same sprung weight. The front is different obviously with a smaller engine. Fronts 257 for v6 and 292 for v8. Maybe there's something else different about the springs?????

    Sorry, I don't intend to come in here acting like a know it all. I know I only have a few posts on this website, but I've been on a few different sites for a while now. I'm not a suspension guru by any means, but I'm not a beginner either. I figured I would toss a few ideas out there for you guys though

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