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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible to have comfort and performance or are they a trade off?
I plan on rebuilding my suspension this winter and I like the smooth ride. To get a smooth ride do you have to sacrifice handling? Is it a give and take or can I compromise and have both?

Here is my plan.
Replace body bushings
Cut 3/4 coil front 9c1 springs, rear impala springs with air bags
F Body front sway bar, stock rear sway bar, replacement bushings and endlinks
Monroe severe shocks
BMR LCA
Complete front end rebuild

My goals are a smooth ride, lower the car to the Impala height, and if possible increase my handling and stability. By replacing my components am I sacrificing comfort for better handling? I hate the bone jarring pot hole rides of firm suspensions.

Do springs and shocks primarily determine the 'smoothness' of a ride?
 
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Discussion Starter #2
An adjustable shock like the QA1s can offer the best of both worlds.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Ok Thanks. I will search and find more information about them. Off the top of my head I remember them being pretty pricey compared to the Monroe's I am interested in.


FOLLOW-UP:
After a quick search I decided against the QA1's. They are out of my price range and the issue's of leaking in cold weather has me questioning the reliability as a daily driver in Ohio.

Another point. Would I be correct in stating a soft suspension allows a car to hook at the drag strip while a firm suspension allows a car to handle. This may be overly simplified but I neither drag race nor autocross my daily driver.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Lawdog, I just replaced the p.o.s. sensatracs on my car with the monroe ss's and that alone helped A LOT with both the ride smoothness and the handling. My car has, as far as I can tell, stock 9C1 springs all around. Only problem is that these shocks seemed to intensify all the rattles and clunks in the worn-ass suspension, so I'd have to say you have a good plan! :D
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by chevy4life:
Only problem is that these shocks seemed to intensify all the rattles and clunks in the worn-ass suspension, so I'd have to say you have a good plan! :D
Can you elaborate more. Is the ride firmer or more bone jarring? Is the ride stiffer or rougher over rough roads?
Thanks chevy4life.
Brett
 
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Discussion Starter #6
i have ss springs with the new monroe ss shocks. i had 9c1 with sensocraps. Big diff. No more bounce. Smooth in the day siffer at night. I am just going to do sways and be done with suspension. for now...
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by lawdog:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by chevy4life:
Only problem is that these shocks seemed to intensify all the rattles and clunks in the worn-ass suspension, so I'd have to say you have a good plan! :D
Can you elaborate more. Is the ride firmer or more bone jarring? Is the ride stiffer or rougher over rough roads?
Thanks chevy4life.
Brett
</font>[/QUOTE]I think it was more a matter of having the radio turned down to listen for problems now that its been a week, the ride is definatly NOT bone-jarring (like it was with sensacraps), and over rough roads it isn't exactly Caddy-like but it is comfortable. I'm not too good at describing the physics of shocks, so I'll just say trust me! They made a big difference, I don't see how anyone could regret these shocks. Much better overall ride quality. :D
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input. Thats exactly what I was looking for.
Brett
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I found the soft Bilsteins sort of springy/boingy with SS springs. I got my front end kit from PST - $159 for everything w/ free shipping. Moog problem solver idler arm is a must-have. Tires also make a huge difference.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I dunno if you've already gotten all the info you're looking for but as many others have I also replaced some crappy (though not totally blown) Senstracs with fresh Severe Service shocks all around. A week later I added ZQ8's plus the car came with air bags in the rear.

After riding in: my Caprice with crappy shocks, with good shocks, with good shocks and ZQ8's, and in a variety of imports with stiff suspension I would say with the stock springs and tires the Caprice still has sedan-like ride quality. The damping is better with the new shocks so when you hit a bump or a series of bumps the car doesn't bounce all over the road.

One thing to consider is that with the cut springs and the bigger front sway bar you're gonna get a lot of understeer. Doesn't really mean a whole lot if you're not racing though.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Comfort and Performance is exactly what my car is set up to achieve.

The Monroe Severe Service Shocks improve comfort and handling over stock.

The ZQ8s make the ride firmer over small bumps, but softer over big bumps. Overall comfort level is higher.

The Airlifts in the rear allow load leveling which give better comfort with heavier loads, as added air prevents the rear from bottoming. They also provide roll control and allow tuning of the rear for dialing in handling balance. With 5 people in my car and a little pressure in the bags to compensate, my car is one of the smoothest riding Impala you'll ever see.

The Spindle Extensions reverse the camber curve increasing traction in the front for better handling, with no effect on comfort.

The Torsen T2 provides a natural feeling limited slip differential and reduces understeer.

The GM Upgrade steering and suspension pieces give a smoother and tighter system with better feedback.

The overall effect is a ride approaching stock, with handling far above stock.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys. What you have Wayne is exactly what I am looking for. I may follow your approach and also go factory Impala springs all around.

I am not too worried about understeer. For my driving style and habits I would only worry about it during an evasive maneuver. In inclimate weather I have massive oversteer. Well actually I just kick the rear end around on turns. For the most part I am not too worried about it. Based on your advice 'd-balls' should I be concerned with it?

I am running 245/60/15 Yokohoma Avid ST and 295/50/15 Goodyear Eagle GT2. In winter I run 205/75/15 Pirelli's Winter S2 tires. I am happy with my tire selection.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
No, I don't think I would personally ever be concerned about understeer in a car I have to drive everyday. Some people seem to care though.

My Caprice is my first RWD car and I'm always sort of alarmed when I have to hit the brakes for whatever reason in the middle of a tight turn. I feel better having understeer in that situation vs. oversteer.
 
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