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Street/strip/road race lt1 trans am

Old 10-15-2018, 01:32 PM
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Default Street/strip/road race lt1 trans am

I'm getting ready to do a full upgrade on my 94 Trans Am suspension. I am looking for a set up that is good for both road racing and drag racing, I mostly drive my car on the street and I wanted to get adjustable coil overs for the front and back so I can set the ride height to the stance I want. What kits/individual parts r the best? Thanks in advanced
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:32 PM
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Well from what i know from reading and scheming these forums, you can't have the best of both worlds. Cuz you can slap every single aftermarket suspension upgrade on your car that known to us and you won't get the best on the strip and you won't get the best for the corners. You can alter the shock alignment, you can alter the lca angle to help hook on a dead launch but you will suffer in the curves. Especially if you remove the front sway bar which the dedicated 1/4ers do. You need to ask yourself what are more likely to do more and enjoy more and set it up the best for that scenario. Not saying that you won't ever be able to do a 1/4 mile but a lowered car is not going to as good as a car that is setup for the strip. And even the shock and spring combo are different for each with their own settings for each. Jmho hope it helps
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by B4N ONE View Post
I'm getting ready to do a full upgrade on my 94 Trans Am suspension. I am looking for a set up that is good for both road racing and drag racing, I mostly drive my car on the street and I wanted to get adjustable coil overs for the front and back so I can set the ride height to the stance I want. What kits/individual parts r the best? Thanks in advanced
If you want any kind of hope at all in making the car go around corners and be planted, stable and have predictable handling and braking(basically be enjoyable to drive on a road course or the street even) then set the car up to road race, and adjust and alter it from there to drag race. You can have a pure road race car that still does well in drag racing, but a pure drag car couldn't hope to be remotely competitive/fast at road racing - they will be too unstable, too unpredictable and too loose/sloppy. A drag setup is almost opposite of what a road race setup would be.

Two big general points:
#1 Get good coilovers, not some non gas charged twin tube ones claiming to be good at both. This is where you want to spend your money on suspension, cheap out here and you compromise the foundation to good handling, feel, and stability. If you have to put off buying other parts later then so be it, you want at least good shocks first, suspension-wise. Get something that is gas charged(at the very least), and ideally monotube. Look at the UMI/Strano custom Afco Coilovers, ride tech coilovers, Penske, or race Bilstien. If you don't see a coilover on what I just listed its probably because they are no good.
Coilovers like the above will provide great dampening and amazing handling, and will be able to adjusted to be decently loose for drag racing. A drag coilover will just not have enough low speed rebound to be tight enough for road racing, its still going to feel loose and sloppy even on higher settings, while also being overly stiff and jarring - its they way its designed. If you don't want coilovers you can get all the performance of them (without the height adjust ability) with some good shock/spring combos like the Koni Sport/Strano spring setup for example.

#2 Don't sacrifice reliability/strength for power and weight. A lightweight aftermarket Kmember for example, make sure its for road racing/street use and NOT just drag racing, a lightweight drag Kmember will likely not be able to withstand the G forces and abuse from cornering in road racing. There have been quiet a few that have cracked with street driving or road racing. This goes for all the suspension bits you buy. Same deal with modding your engine for power - make sure you have enough oil control and cooling - making more power will not necessarily make you faster on a road course, and if you are a rookie it will likely make you slower actually.

Rod end or rotojoint bushings are ideal, poly bushings are not idea(binding) and if you use them as verticle bushing on the front LCA it will cause the LCA to crack because it binds so bad. (https://www.ls1lt1.com/forum/chassis...-bushings.html)

Also if you buy an aftermarket torque arm you will want a full length one, NOT a short chassis mounted one unless you like getting brake hop under hard braking and possibly losing control at high speeds because of it. You can get a chassis mount for the full length torque arm if you want to relocate it off the transmission.

You do NOT need LCA relocation brackets, in fact when lowered and the LCA are angled up like that you will have more stable handling at high speeds because that will induce roll understeer, having the LCA angled the opposite way can induce roll oversteer and wouldn't be too fun on high speed corners. They will however help with getting off the line for straight line traction.

You do NOT need SFCs. They don't hurt but they are not an end all be all mod at all, and if you are adding a cage they are just dead weight then. Many guys don't notice a difference at all with them (myself included) - but most of those guys have fixed the real problem - the poor stock shock dampening.

If you go with a drag style rear swaybar (like 25mm + size) expect to have oversteer and possible snap oversteer. Stick with 21-22mm rear bar or get an adjustable rear bar. You will want a 35mm front bar if you use anything bigger than the stock rear swaybar (19mm). 35mm front/21 or 22mm rear is a very neutral balance.

You do NOT need an aftermarket rear axle for road racing, and if you choose to buy one its probably best to try and find the lightest option, you don't really want to be adding more unsprung weight to the car.

A watts link would be a good investment if you have the coin, if not you may want to look into the adjustable roll center PHB, I know UMI makes one.

For wheels you should run a square setup, there are guys who run 11+in wide wheels with 315+ wide tires. You can run 315s on the front and rear with very minimal modification.

You do NOT want to run cross drilled brake rotors, they do nothing for performance and will end up cracking. Get a set of good blank or slotted rotors with some good pads.

Build the car around road racing, and when you want to drag race when you get to the dragstrip remove the front swaybar, put on your slicks/skinnies and adjust the front shock rebound to a softer setting and experiment from there.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:11 AM
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Thank u for that detailed response, very helpful. I am not concerned about my braking system as I have the wilwood upgrade for the c6 z06 vettes (6 piston calipers 14inch rotors front and 4 piston calipers 13 inch rotors in the back with one piece pads) and also the z06 rims with 325s in the back and 285s in the front (going to go wider in the future for performance and to protect my rims from sneaky curbs). I am definitely going to get a set of coil overs for the front and rear not only for performance but also so I can adjust the ride height. I was looking at qa1 suspension upgrade kits, should I steer away from that? I see u mentioned umi and strano for coil overs. Thanks
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JD_AMG
If you want any kind of hope at all in making the car go around corners and be planted, stable and have predictable handling and braking(basically be enjoyable to drive on a road course or the street even) then set the car up to road race, and adjust and alter it from there to drag race. You can have a pure road race car that still does well in drag racing, but a pure drag car couldn't hope to be remotely competitive/fast at road racing - they will be too unstable, too unpredictable and too loose/sloppy. A drag setup is almost opposite of what a road race setup would be.

Two big general points:
#1 Get good coilovers, not some non gas charged twin tube ones claiming to be good at both. This is where you want to spend your money on suspension, cheap out here and you compromise the foundation to good handling, feel, and stability. If you have to put off buying other parts later then so be it, you want at least good shocks first, suspension-wise. Get something that is gas charged(at the very least), and ideally monotube. Look at the UMI/Strano custom Afco Coilovers, ride tech coilovers, Penske, or race Bilstien. If you don't see a coilover on what I just listed its probably because they are no good.
Coilovers like the above will provide great dampening and amazing handling, and will be able to adjusted to be decently loose for drag racing. A drag coilover will just not have enough low speed rebound to be tight enough for road racing, its still going to feel loose and sloppy even on higher settings, while also being overly stiff and jarring - its they way its designed. If you don't want coilovers you can get all the performance of them (without the height adjust ability) with some good shock/spring combos like the Koni Sport/Strano spring setup for example.

#2 Don't sacrifice reliability/strength for power and weight. A lightweight aftermarket Kmember for example, make sure its for road racing/street use and NOT just drag racing, a lightweight drag Kmember will likely not be able to withstand the G forces and abuse from cornering in road racing. There have been quiet a few that have cracked with street driving or road racing. This goes for all the suspension bits you buy. Same deal with modding your engine for power - make sure you have enough oil control and cooling - making more power will not necessarily make you faster on a road course, and if you are a rookie it will likely make you slower actually.

Rod end or rotojoint bushings are ideal, poly bushings are not idea(binding) and if you use them as verticle bushing on the front LCA it will cause the LCA to crack because it binds so bad. (https://www.ls1lt1.com/forum/chassis...-bushings.html)

Also if you buy an aftermarket torque arm you will want a full length one, NOT a short chassis mounted one unless you like getting brake hop under hard braking and possibly losing control at high speeds because of it. You can get a chassis mount for the full length torque arm if you want to relocate it off the transmission.

You do NOT need LCA relocation brackets, in fact when lowered and the LCA are angled up like that you will have more stable handling at high speeds because that will induce roll understeer, having the LCA angled the opposite way can induce roll oversteer and wouldn't be too fun on high speed corners. They will however help with getting off the line for straight line traction.

You do NOT need SFCs. They don't hurt but they are not an end all be all mod at all, and if you are adding a cage they are just dead weight then. Many guys don't notice a difference at all with them (myself included) - but most of those guys have fixed the real problem - the poor stock shock dampening.

If you go with a drag style rear swaybar (like 25mm + size) expect to have oversteer and possible snap oversteer. Stick with 21-22mm rear bar or get an adjustable rear bar. You will want a 35mm front bar if you use anything bigger than the stock rear swaybar (19mm). 35mm front/21 or 22mm rear is a very neutral balance.

You do NOT need an aftermarket rear axle for road racing, and if you choose to buy one its probably best to try and find the lightest option, you don't really want to be adding more unsprung weight to the car.

A watts link would be a good investment if you have the coin, if not you may want to look into the adjustable roll center PHB, I know UMI makes one.

For wheels you should run a square setup, there are guys who run 11+in wide wheels with 315+ wide tires. You can run 315s on the front and rear with very minimal modification.

You do NOT want to run cross drilled brake rotors, they do nothing for performance and will end up cracking. Get a set of good blank or slotted rotors with some good pads.

Build the car around road racing, and when you want to drag race when you get to the dragstrip remove the front swaybar, put on your slicks/skinnies and adjust the front shock rebound to a softer setting and experiment from there.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F272433626968

Would this be a good kit ?
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:19 PM
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Vikings are the non gas charged twin tubes that JD is referring to. I have them on my car and while they are good for drag racing, I can attest they are less than desirable for handling applications which is what I wanted and at the time was the only available coilover kit for our cars. I would suggest looking at the UMI/AFCO coilovers if you want a good handling coilover package. I will be upgrading my car to those probably in the next year or so if the budget allows.
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Old 10-18-2018, 03:31 PM
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thanks for that, much more detailed then what i could give on my phone
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:59 PM
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Ok I will look for those, in the description of the coil overs I sent it says they're designed for handling. How are the qa1 coil overs ?
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Old 10-18-2018, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by B4N ONE View Post
Originally Posted by B4N ONE View Post
Ok I will look for those, in the description of the coil overs I sent it says they're designed for handling. How are the qa1 coil overs ?
Those are two of the coilovers that I was literally talking about being bad for handling because they are non gas charged twin tube shocks that claim to be good for handling and drag racing but are only good for drag racing at best.

Reread what I wrote:
" Look at the UMI/Strano custom Afco Coilovers, ride tech coilovers, Penske, or race Bilstien. If you don't see a coilover on what I just listed its probably because they are no good "

So that above is the list of good coilovers worth spending money on for a car that has any kind of handling in mind, if its not on the list (for example Viking, QA1, whatever else) then chances are its not a good coilover for handling.

Originally Posted by B4N ONE View Post
Thank u for that detailed response, very helpful. I am not concerned about my braking system as I have the wilwood upgrade for the c6 z06 vettes (6 piston calipers 14inch rotors front and 4 piston calipers 13 inch rotors in the back with one piece pads) and also the z06 rims with 325s in the back and 285s in the front (going to go wider in the future for performance and to protect my rims from sneaky curbs). I am definitely going to get a set of coil overs for the front and rear not only for performance but also so I can adjust the ride height. I was looking at qa1 suspension upgrade kits, should I steer away from that? I see u mentioned umi and strano for coil overs. Thanks
QA1 is not a good choice for anything handling related.

Also you better watch out having that much brake on the rear, expect them to lock the tires up and or create brake hop at high speed. Just because it works on a Corvette (which has 50/50 weight balance and IRS) doesn't mean its going to work with an Fbody (which has 55/45 weight distribution and a three link solid rear axle). I would highly suggest going back to the stock rear brakes for safety.

Check
http://www.stranoparts.com/viewfeature.php?FeatureID=2

http://www.stranoparts.com/partdetai...=148&ModelID=7

http://www.stranoparts.com/partdetai...=148&ModelID=7

http://www.unbalancedengineering.com/Camaro/Bilstein/


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Old 10-18-2018, 11:55 PM
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Ok I misunderstood. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:38 AM
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Konis or umi/Afcos ? Which do u guys think r better ?
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:02 PM
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depends if you want the ride height adjustability that you get with the coilovers. koni's paired with a good spring (strano, BMR, etc.) is a proven combo but the height is not adjustable like with a coilover. if you want the height adjustability then the umi/afco's are hard to beat. for me, I didn't like the wheel gap that was still there from a shock/lowering spring setup so I went with the coilover so I could adjust it lower. unfortunately I was sold on the fact that Vikings could be a good handling shock so that is what I am stuck with for now. I would pick Sam Strano's brain and see what he recommends for you given your goals with the car.
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