B-Body Performance.com New Springs & Shocks *Need Input* - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 06:43 PM
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B-Body Performance.com New Springs & Shocks *need input*

Ok as many of you know we are making our own springs set to release very soon. We have just a little more R&D needed. But this is where you get to give me some input on what you expect from a good performance street & high performance set of springs. I ask that both sedan and wagon owners get in on this conversation.

I would like your input to surround the Hotchkis springs. If you have a set what would you do to improve them? Please be as technical as possible. I need input from the street driving and input from your track experience.

In addition we will be making our own set of shocks that will be R&D around the new springs. I would like those of you with the Bilstein shocks to give me your input on making those dampeners better. Again please be as technical as possible.

After we finish the R&D for the shocks and springs we will finish the R&D for the sway bars. Again for both the sedan and wagon. But that is another conversation we will be having soon. The more input the better.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 08:24 PM
uncle hulka
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Well, Tom, I can give you some details
about my car...
I have the Hotchkis springs. I like the
ride, I feel it's firm and controlled.
I'd like them a little more if they
were more progressive, slightly softer
in the first, say, 1.5" of travel. May
stop me from spilling coffee on my groin
on these so-called roads.
I also have the "stiff" Bilstien shocks,
IMHO the single biggest improvement on the
car handling-wise. These were installed
before the springs BTW. I don't see a lot
room for improvement, honestly, except
I don't like the color... possibly if I
had some control of rebound\compression
dampening, like Koni.
And finally, my sways, I have the HO front
and rear. I feel the car STILL leans too
much, even with the 1.75" rear bar. I know
they're working, as I've torn the front
mounts out of the frame already. I had to
fab some spacers for the rear bar as it was
rubbing the Hotchkis LCA's and creating a
squeak that'd crack glass. Still, a huge
improvement over stock.
My 9C1 is about 99% street driven, just ran
a couple of auto-X's last summer.
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 08:34 PM
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I like the stock height, but I'd guess that a lower stock linear rate rear spring, in conjuction with something along the lines of the GW linear rate spring, to match a lower rear, would be pretty impressive. When I get around to it, the GW fronts will be what I go with, retaining the stock rears.

uncle hulka, I've heard of stiffer bars than the HAs, but they require frame reinforcement, and maximum roll control does not necessarily mean best handling.
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 08:43 PM
uncle hulka
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uncle hulka, I've heard of stiffer bars than the HAs, but they require frame reinforcement, and maximum roll control does not necessarrilly mean best handling.
I agree, Wayne. This IS a daily driver.
I was considering reinforcing the frame,
specifically the boxed area at the rear,
I've seen posts about cracking in this area.
I guess I'm old school... You know, any kind
of suspension will work as long as you don't
let it work.
I was simply expecting a much bigger
improvement. I will say the car is very
"planted" now, and also lateral bumps
don't upset it in the least. Couldn't say
that about stock.
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 09:16 PM
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Hey guys,
to be honest, i have none of the parts you are talking about, although i need all 3 and will be buying them shortly.

I was leaning towards to Hotchkis myself, but i really wanted them to be a tad lower than what they drop the car now. I was undecided between them and the Intrax, so i didn't buy eaither yet (as shown in a thread in the suspension section)
I also felt that the Intrax may be a little to low, i was also told with the X pipe and Spintechs, i might be a tad bit to low for them.
So you seem like an excellent candidate for my new springs and shocks if all goes well !!

I will be putting new mags/tires on shortly. This combo will give me a 26" total hight. The Hotchkis i think would be high still. Basically, i would love a spring set that would a) lower the car lower than the Hotchkis, but just a "tad" higher than the Intrax, b) keep a leveled look to the car and remove the "raked look" from the car, like the Intrax do. I also like a "stiffer" styled spring, although not to stiff, i hate the bounce i get on the highway or street. Progressive would be nice (i think i have understood what that means...) I love to feel the road when i drive, that "controlled" and "firm" feel is great, i don't like the "floating" feeling. I hope Tom that this could be 2 points to consider (the lowering and non raked finish) This is key to my next set, i need them, hopefully i can buy them from you. I'll let you know if anything else comes to mind.

As for shocks, again, stiff is nice. I have a sh*t pair of broken shocks on the car right now, time for a major upgrade. I have read allot on the Severe Service from Monroe sounded intersting, although the stiff Bilstein have been runner up in the buy. I have read about both, yet don't know the difference between them, but they say the stiff series from Bilstein is great, i would assume they are more expensive than most shocks though. Something with no to much bounce would be good, again, i love to feel the road.

Sways would be a nice mod for me, no feedback to give though, sorry. Keep us posted with any news and progress on all 3 items..i need 2 of them for sure!!

post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 07:37 AM
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I say go for a higher spring rates than the Hotchkis (which I currently have). They actually ride quite nice. The stance is just about perfect. Any lower and I would not have much of my TCI trans pan left. With the appropriate dampener, the stiffer springs should not be a problem. To improve on the shocks, I would make something with separate rebound and compression adjustments...the QA1 downfall. A coil over option would be nice. Then you could have the option of changing spring install heights, spring rates, and adjust the weight balance of the car a little easier. The tubular a-arms should allow you to implement this.
For sway bars, something adjustable with the capability of the HO bars, but lighter. Perhaps a little more ground clearance for the back bar.
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