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Suspension upgrade

Old 08-10-2008, 08:04 PM
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
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Default Suspension upgrade

Ok so I am interested in upgrading my suspension and between prior posts and threads, and my own reasearch here is what I found.

Koni for shocks (they are adj) but they are about $300 for fronts and $280 for the rear.
Progress or Eibach for springs and sway bars.
Progress springs $190
Progress rear sway bars $140
Eibach $260 for red springs
" $320 for F&R sway bars

what are your thoughts? Suggestions? Warnings?
what is the dangers that is what I am really interesed in.
Old 08-16-2008, 01:06 AM
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Default RE: Suspension upgrade

Ok with further research and investigation I feel that sway bars are not really what I am interste in at this moment a strut bar will do for ride stiffness. However looking into springs and shocks by the time you spend that much is it just better to wait and save for full coilovers that can be adjusted for summer and winter driving habits? I looks like it an extra 500-750 for the upgrades to coilovers.

And how easy is it to adjust those?

I would love to read ab out what ppls experiences are with their own suspensions as well coilovers or otherwise.
Old 08-16-2008, 02:38 PM
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Default RE: Suspension upgrade

Larry, Larry, Larry.So many questions. I'm going to start calling you Kahn!!
I wish to speak to your Captain. I have many questions. (Classic Trek fans will recognize this quote.)

Coilovers: Bad idea for you, imo. You live in snow country, right?
Harsh ride. Must be cleaned and adjusted regularly.Will likely lower the car too much. And your estimate of $500-700 is low... way low for anything worth the time and trouble to install and adjust properly. KW's are the cheapest I know of and they have problems.
Sway Bars: Relatively cheap to buy and easy to install, especially the rear bar. Many come with optional adjustments. They are adjustable for the amount of reverse force you want them to apply. Can help reduce or eliminate body roll and FWD understeer. They do not affect the ride quality of the stock suspension only the body roll. You won't even know they're there until you take a sharp corner @ speed.
That's the good.
The bad is that like w/any suspension upgrade, they can hinder your ability to drive in snow and on ice, but are easy to remove for the OE bar before the snow flies.
Strut bars: Good for reinforcing the the chassis and stiffening it. Frankly, most modern cars have a pretty stiff chassis to begin with. Improvement will be nil, but the cost is usually pretty low, so go ahead.
Street Springs:All will lower the car, some more than others. This reduces, or limitsoverall suspension travel and by definition increases the spring rate, usually by +/-10-15%. Some use bigger or stiffer spring stock to begin with and add even more stiffness to them. But, they improve appearance, handling by reducing the overall center of gravity and tighten up the ride. A 4 wheel alignment and sometimes additional camber adjustment pieces should be installed to allow proper realignment.
Sport Shocks/Struts: A tough one. If doing springs I like to do shocks at he same time just to save labor, but it's not necessary. Sport Shocks are usually adjustable, mostly on rebound. They can be expensive. My Koni's were over $600/set new. Adjusting the fronts is as easy as taking to tool out of the glove box, opening the hood and twisting the little sucker. The rears must be completely removed.

WHEW!! That was a lot of thinking and a lot of writing. But I have one more personal experience to share w/you... in another post.

Old 08-16-2008, 02:52 PM
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Default RE: Suspension upgrade

OK. Now, because this car is your DD, probably your only car, and you live in snow country you should also know that whenever you tighten up a suspension system on a vehicle, you are trading better dry handling for reduced slippery weather handling. It's a compromise, and as long as there are only mechanical bits involved (no custom, special zoom-zoomy electronics,) it always will be.
I grew up and lived in Pennsylvania for many years before moving to Texas... 38 of them to be exact. The best snow car I ever owned was an old Volvo sedan (a 144S, if that means anything here)that had an engine that was one foot out of the grave and a rear suspension that hung (weak springs.) Keep in mind that I am talking about a RWD car here. Everything changes a bit when the front wheels are driven, instead of the rear.
Once I gave the car the once-over (rebuilt engine, sport springs, sport shocks, custom built steering/suspension bits to keep every thing in line after the 2" drop,wider wheels and tires, and front and rear sway bars,) it never handled in snow and ice that well again. In fact, it was pretty bloody awful.
Consider this, and whether or not you are willing to revert back to stock pieces every fall before making any serious changes to your DD, OK?
Old 08-16-2008, 08:18 PM
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
Posts: 122
Default RE: Suspension upgrade

Love the information really appreciate it captain. HAHA
I do hold alot of questions but thats b/c I know alot of people have a lot of answers. I think my suspention is pretty safe to say going to remain unchanged with some minor exceptions, strut bar but thats even more so the pretty up the engine bay. And like you said dosn't do much. Maybe what I will do is have my stock springs and shocks painted to give the apperence of an upgraded system. hmmm we will see about that...

thanks again Virgin 1 (captain )
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