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Street Ride

This is a discussion on Street Ride within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; I'm looking for the best way to make my 02 Trans Am a nicer street car. Suspension is all stock ...

  1. #1
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    blk
    02 ws6

    Street Ride

    I'm looking for the best way to make my 02 Trans Am a nicer street car. Suspension is all stock right now and I live in New Jersey with bumps and potholes I love everything about the car except the chassis and suspension feel like a joke. It takes the pleasure out of driving the car. sometimes I even think of selling it because of how bad the ride is. I know the car is never gonna feel like a new GTO but threre must be a way to improve the ride enough to make it respectable. Please I really would like to keep the car. But wife hates riding in it because of this. Any Ideas??????

  2. #2
    Life In The Fast Lane..!! redracer1's Avatar
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    Brickyard 400 Trac Car#10
    35th Camaro SS/LE Vert

    If I'm reading your post correctly you want to be able to absorb bad road conditions better? Most guys are looking for better handling cars so there's some comfort trade off.
    I'd suggest a better shock like Koni SA's on full shoft setting. I wouldn't suggest lower/firmer spring as you'll give up some ride comfort. Also tire size could be a factor. Lower profile tires will not absorb the pot holes as well as a tire with a larger side wall.

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    Black & Blue
    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Do you have subframe connectors? If not, this should be your first upgrade as it goes a long way towards tightening up the car and allowing the suspension to do what it is supposed to.

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    02 ws6

    Well I have the factory 17inch WS6 wheels with the stock 275 goodyears. I don't have subframe connectors and have no experiance with them either. I guess they would stop the back from twisting so much over uneven roads and it does that a LOT now. I just researched the konis and see nothing but good stuff, looks like a great product. Subframe connectors do sound like a good idea too.

    Is all this worth spending the money? Will the car ride that much better in the end? I want it to feel more solid and not like the freakin wheels are gonna fall off over bumps!! Will the Konis make the ride less choppy and handle the rough roads? My friend has an 05 mustang gt and it rides great. I don't know what Ford did with the suspension but BIG improvement over the previous gen. BUT it still had a live axle like F body right?? There must be a way to get our cars to ride the same or better. I'm tired of him and my wife saying my car rides rough too!

  5. #5
    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    Navy Blue
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    Smile

    First what's you tire pressure set at?
    If it's higher than 32psi front and 30psi rear, then it's time to lower the pressure. IMO, if you can afford them the then the Koni SA (4/4) shocks,if not try a set of rear Koni SA shocks and a front set of SLP front Blistein shocks, and if that's still to much then get SLP front bilsteins and Koni SA 3rd gen camaro/firebird rear shocks. finally you can just get the SLP bilstein front and rear shock package. I put them in order of what I think is you best choice.
    You price range is front $850 to $409

    Also if you have the rear bumpstop spacers on you car , remove them for an additional 1/2" of suspension travel.

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    02 ws6

    Ok, THANK YOU for the options and pricing. Seems like you really know the ins and outs. I keep around 28psi in tires so thats ok but I never knew anything about removing bumpstops. Will this cause any problems? Your right though, rear suspension does NOT seem like it has enough travel. Still wondering what the difference would feel like before and after if I went with sub connects and one of the suspension pkg. Are there any other cars you guys could compare the ride quality to?? I have driven just about everything EXCEPT, a T/A with modded suspension/subframe.

  7. #7
    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    Navy Blue
    1999 Camaro Z28

    Which GoodYear F1 tires do you have, the All season or GS ?
    Neither one were rated very well for Ride Comfort and Noise Comfort.
    The Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport, Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval, General Exclaim UHP, and Yokohama S.drive all would offer a better ride an noise level.
    I got this info from the Tirerack.

    FYI, don't remove the rear bump stops, just the 1/2" spacers mounted above the bump stops.

    BTW, SFC would helps with chassis flex, but not for ride quality.
    Last edited by Blue28; 03-14-2010 at 04:23 PM.

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    Life In The Fast Lane..!! redracer1's Avatar
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    Brickyard 400 Trac Car#10
    35th Camaro SS/LE Vert

    Blue knows his stuff.
    sfc can give your suspension a more rigid platform in which to work from. How many miles on your car? the stock shocks could be worn out also. Also don't count out a better set of sway bars, it will help the handling. Better shocks in the Koni SA's and UMI sway bars for handling and if you feel it's not quite there you can add the sfc's.

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    navy blue metallic
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    where in new jersey are you?

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    Great, thats a lot of good info. By the way my car has under 10k miles and the factory shocks are still working. The stock tires are eagle F1 but I dont think there all season. I think your right though they do seem extra loud on highway. Probably doesnt help that there a little dry rotted too.

    I looked up the UMI sway bars and that seems to be a good way to go. I think I will save up a few more dollars and go for the Koni's too, everyone says there the best and worth the extra$$. I live in south Jersey near Atco Raceway and the roads in cherry hill and Marlton are awful. I still wish I had a point of reference to know what this setup will compare to before and after. Anybody have an example??

  11. #11
    Member devil6rr's Avatar
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    SOM / NBM
    2002 Pro Z28/2001 TurboTA

    I have SFC on my TA, it makes a world of diffrence, NJ members FTW!

  12. #12
    Member Blue28's Avatar
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    Shocks and tires, and removing the rear bumpstop spacers are going to make the biggest difference right now; concentrate on those first.
    Installing SFC's and up-grading the sway-bars are great for chassis rigidity and handling, but do little if nothing for ride quality.

    I would go a head and remove the bump-stop spacers now, it shouldn't take anymore then 10 minutes to remove both.
    Last edited by Blue28; 03-15-2010 at 02:52 PM.

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    Life In The Fast Lane..!! redracer1's Avatar
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    Brickyard 400 Trac Car#10
    35th Camaro SS/LE Vert

    You dont have to compare it to anything, One of the coolest things about building/improving your suspension is you dont have to buy all the parts at once, shocks/springs yes. Do what blue28 said about improving your ride quality then enjoy it. Once you have your ride quality where you want it and want to go after those Mustangs you can look to improve the handling by adding sway bars/sfc's/LCA's/PHB etc etc, install, then enjoy the results and compare it to what you had before the install. Research each next part for your next goal, buy, install, compare, enjoy. Just remember ultimatley you're building an over all package and all the parts must work well together. Starting with Koni's and a good tire is a great start.

  14. #14
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    I did'nt read all the posts. But as long as there is a live axle out back there are things that you just can't change.. Both rear tires will always move some even if only one tire hits a bump. There are things you can obvioulsy do to improve ride quality but it will still be a live axle car. I have one of both meaning, an 01 Camaro with a live axle and a 92 z34 with fully independant rear suspention disks and all. I don't care what people say or do with a live axle it will never out perform a properly set up IRS system with adjustable toe, camber, caster, etc. Even if they have every top of the line up grade imho they are still non-adjustable in those previously named aspects. Only in the 3rd gen will you find something in live axle f-body that will maybe come close to an IRS's handling. IRS suspentions were made spesificly(sp) with handling in mind from the word GO. The live axle was not.. This is why high end sports cars, exotics, etc, and multi million dollar road course cars have fully independant suspentions and not a live axle.. Now before anyone gets uptight about it you can make a live axle handle very well but it will NEVER out class a performance machine of compareable power and weight that incoorporates a fully independant suspention. My z34 weighs all of 200 or so lbs more than my Camaro, had compareable hp stock, wrong wheel drive, and an overall length of about 6 inches more than my 01 Camaro. Even tho it is 18 years old it will quite simply blow the doors off my Camaro in cornering and overall ride quality even more so with its new suspention peices, and it does it all on a lousy 16x7 inch wheel.. Upgrading your current suspention will help a ton but you'll also have to realize there's only so much that can be done when both rear wheels are tied to the same solid axle..... Ask some of the GTO guys if they would if they could change out their IRS for a pickup axle. Chances are they would not... I'm not trying to be an azz but this is the plain truth of the matter.. I love my Camaro as did I ALL my f-bods but one of the first things I do when I restore her for her blower setup will be an IRS rear.. Prolly something like this is in it's future..

    Last edited by Smittro; 03-15-2010 at 11:12 PM.
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    Well I know it will will never feel like independent suspension but I'm ok with that. I think I'll start with the Koni's, tires, and stronger sway bars. Oh, and remove those spacers over bump stops. I think the SFC will be last just cause I don't want the car to look modified and don't want to drill any holes or make marks on the frame. On the other hand I like the stability they add so might do it anyway if the rest of the upgrades don't do the trick.

    Still in the dark with guessing how all this will really feel when it's done. I know it's fun to mod slowly and see how each part makes a difference..... However I wish there was a way to know without spending the loot first.. For example, before you buy a cam you can see specs, lift, etc. and estimate gains before you touch the car or spend a dime. Same thing goes for just about anything under the hood.

    Sorry, maybe I'm asking for a bit much you guys already gave me a lot of very usefull advice. I just thought someone might have a daily driver (besides their TA with Koni's, etc.) that they could compare the ride and handling to.. Or any other car they have driven that feels like it. That was my biggest question all along. Thanks for all the advice though you guys really know yourF Bodys!!!

  16. #16
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    When you do install SFC's, note that bolt ons do not require any drilling. Also, unless you lay on your back and look under the car, they can not be seen.

    Here is a pic that shows our UMI 2 point bolt ons. The black tubes on each side of the car are the SFC's:

    Last edited by pajeff02; 03-16-2010 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Pic added.

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    Wow I had the wrong idea about SFC. I always thought they would hang low enough to see from the side. Almost like traction bars. Thanks for the pic, now I see what you mean. I didn't know they had a way to just bolt on to sub frame either. By the way, that car is CLEAN! Nice!

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    Thanks! The rear of the SFC sandwiches your LCA mount and just uses a longer bolt. The front of the SFC is attached by two bolts -- you slip a threaded plate with two hole into a space on the underbody and it clamps down as you tighten up the bolts. You can even go back in and weld the bolt in setup later if you ever want to. The key to the install is that the car has to be on its wheels before you tighten everything up. A four post lift is ideal, but you can also get it done with a set of ramps under the front wheels and jackstands in the back under the axle.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Z28_Driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    When you do install SFC's, note that bolt ons do not require any drilling. Also, unless you lay on your back and look under the car, they can not be seen.

    Here is a pic that shows our UMI 2 point bolt ons. The black tubes on each side of the car are the SFC's:

    Click for full size
    Its not on the topic, but what exhaust is that on your car? Looks great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28_Driver View Post
    Its not on the topic, but what exhaust is that on your car? Looks great!
    Kooks LT's and catted Y into a Magnaflow catback. Thanks!

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