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Suggestions for shocks to use with firm suspension/sub-frame components.

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Suggestions for shocks to use with firm suspension/sub-frame components.

Old 12-29-2018, 02:57 PM
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Default Suggestions for shocks to use with firm suspension/sub-frame components.

In 2013 I was in need of new shocks since my rears were totally worn out. I also decided to take this opportunity to firm up my suspension since I did not like the slight body roll I could feel in turns despite buying the car with welded-on sub-frame connectors from the previous owner. I always wanted my car to feel more firm like a sports car should, only I wanted to maintain my stock ride height since the car is already pretty low for winter driving. The car got Bilstein shocks made for stock ride height springs, I purchased summit racing brand stock replacement springs, and the car got non-adjustable BMR brand: "extreme" strut tower brace, driveshaft tunnel brace, torque arm, sway bars with "extreme" rear sway bar, lower trailing arms, and upper/lower A-arms. Suffice it to say, I severely regret getting the Bilstein shocks since they were too firm in combination with the rest of the components I had put on this car.

Well, the time is coming for the shocks to be replaced and I eagerly look forward to having a softer version put on in place of what I currently have which is just too harsh at times for daily driving. Pretty much, what do you guys recommend given this contradictory set-up I currently have on my Trans Am?
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:55 AM
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Or, perhaps I SHOULD be asking fellow members if all of these components pose a problem for overall well mannered suspension on my car. Yes, I am aware that the torque bar is more for helping to transfer the engine's power to the rear wheels and I figured why the hell not. Besides, given the nature of roads in New York, and after 2008 when the economy went bad, it seemed like a worthy investment to reinforce my suspension and unibody supports to minimize damage and reduce unibody flexing. After 20 years of flexing, metal fatigue can become a problem for a unibody, I imagine, and hence the strut/shock brace in the engine bay!

My only complaint is the level of dampening by my Bilstein shocks which are meant to work for stock ride height springs. So, the only generic and (soft) shocks I see available for my car are Monroe. AC Delco offers rear shocks but no front shocks and the De Carbons are just way too expensive yet they were the ones that were taken off my car back in 2013, I remember their orange color! Maybe I should spend the money on the BWI De Carbons?

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Old 12-30-2018, 09:28 AM
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Well, I guess I answered my question. It looks like a top contender is the Koni STR.T shocks.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:29 PM
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Doing some more research, and on the Monroe OESpectrum shocks, I am now torn between them and the Koni STR.T.

I am, after all, trying to get away from stiffer shock dampening since I already have stiff suspension and unibody chassis reinforcing parts on my car and this combination has proven to be horrible for ride quality. While the Koni STR.T are supposed to be stiff yet comfortable, the Monroe OESpectrum as rated by a Camaro Z28 owner is too soft and his comment has me thinking that the softer shock absorber though claimed to be more firm than previous and "crappy" Monroe shocks of the past, is what I really need.

The Bilstein shocks were just too firm in their dampening, maybe it is more tolerable in F-bodies that don't have the level of suspension stiffening and unibody frame rigidity parts that I had put on my car but in my experience it is horrible.

The better bet for a happy compromise between stiff dampening yet enjoyable ride would THEN be the Koni STR.T. However, I am willing to trade up that bit of stiff dampening for more ride comfort and "too soft" of a feeling.

Now I am left with the final choice, the Monroe OESpectrum shocks. Short of bad reviews to the effect of being "too soft" or receiving the wrong shocks for the car, they seem to be of better quality than previous Monroe shocks and the newer patented technology per product videos gives me a level of peace-of-mind. I guess it is worth trying them and seeing how they work with my set-up.
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:50 PM
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If you want "cruising" shocks then get whatever. But you did say you want to feel like a real sports car. I'm sure you can read a lot of posts on suspension/shocks - in my mind there is only 1 choice (well maybe 2) - KONI Sports (single adjustable) or the SRTs. I have had stock shocks (super floppy going around a turn or over bumps) and then got Koni's and it was sooo much better. The control was amazing. But really the ride is not too bad! But you have to have a good COMBO because shocks and springs work as a team. Wrong springs with wrong shocks = bad ride quality.

I had the Koni sports on for many years with STOCK springs and the ride was actually good (ie not too harsh) when the shocks were on "full soft". But when the Koni's were set to "full firm" then the ride was *noticeably* very harsh. I only put them on full firm for autocross racing now. Being realistic, you can't have both a "Cadillac smooth cushy ride" and "sporty confident cornering" at the same time (at least not in these cars, maybe new cars with magnetic electronic shocks you can?). You'll have a little compromise at either end: soft and poor handling, medium and good handling, firm ride and race-car like handling.

I read all your posts but I gotta be honest - the ride quality is all (almost) about the spring/shock combo. It is THE MOST important part of the suspension. The strut tower brace, the LCA's, SFCs, etc don't really influence the ride quality much - UNLESS you put POLY bushing in the front and rear arms. Poly bushing WILL give a harsh ride. It sounds like you really do not want that. If that was the case I suggest going back to standard rubber bushings all around. Like I said, I autocross, and I still use stock rubber bushings, and I am always at the top end of the time sheets.

So: Koni sports or SRT's, stock springs, regular rubber bushings. Not too jarring, but also able to take turns confidently.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Paveglio View Post
If you want "cruising" shocks then get whatever. But you did say you want to feel like a real sports car. I'm sure you can read a lot of posts on suspension/shocks - in my mind there is only 1 choice (well maybe 2) - KONI Sports (single adjustable) or the SRTs. I have had stock shocks (super floppy going around a turn or over bumps) and then got Koni's and it was sooo much better. The control was amazing. But really the ride is not too bad! But you have to have a good COMBO because shocks and springs work as a team. Wrong springs with wrong shocks = bad ride quality.

I had the Koni sports on for many years with STOCK springs and the ride was actually good (ie not too harsh) when the shocks were on "full soft". But when the Koni's were set to "full firm" then the ride was *noticeably* very harsh. I only put them on full firm for autocross racing now. Being realistic, you can't have both a "Cadillac smooth cushy ride" and "sporty confident cornering" at the same time (at least not in these cars, maybe new cars with magnetic electronic shocks you can?). You'll have a little compromise at either end: soft and poor handling, medium and good handling, firm ride and race-car like handling.

I read all your posts but I gotta be honest - the ride quality is all (almost) about the spring/shock combo. It is THE MOST important part of the suspension. The strut tower brace, the LCA's, SFCs, etc don't really influence the ride quality much - UNLESS you put POLY bushing in the front and rear arms. Poly bushing WILL give a harsh ride. It sounds like you really do not want that. If that was the case I suggest going back to standard rubber bushings all around. Like I said, I autocross, and I still use stock rubber bushings, and I am always at the top end of the time sheets.

So: Koni sports or SRT's, stock springs, regular rubber bushings. Not too jarring, but also able to take turns confidently.
Thank you. Yes, everything I have in mind with my car, especially custom and tailored modifications for the LT1 engine, all require trade-offs and trying to strike a balance that best suits the way I drive my car. Sure, I would love to autocross in the future and really everything I have in mind for my car is really better suited for such a hobby.

You probably solved one major problem with my suspension, BMR components come standard with polyurethane bushings. I am not sure there is a kit out there to swap them over to rubber. I didn't know polyurethane bushings would cause that much of a problem. I could always source original suspension parts for my car but I prefer the stiffer components I already have. So, now I need to research what rubber bushing kits exist for BMR components. [POST EDIT: Out of curiosity I looked up the performance differences between rubber and polyurethane bushings. Yes, rubber dampens the blows of the road better than polyurethane but on the flip-side polyurethane helps you feel the road better, and I can't stress how this aspect has helped me out in winter driving, actually feeling the car losing traction. I suppose it is a point of personal preference. For now, for the sake of money and being on a budget, so long as none of my bushings are bad, I am glad to leave them alone and welcome the new shocks, if I need them.]

I will try to do some soul searching behind what shocks I decide to go with. My car is due for maintenance now that I have some slop in my steering and after some good pot-hole strikes my shocks may have been hurt. For the short term, taking your advice on the bushings, and the shop I choose likely only accepting Monroe brand shocks to put on my car for their warranty sake, I should give the Monroe OESpectrums a try and see for myself if the new combination is what I am looking for. In the end we have to try these products and evaluate them ourselves and also, I have had some pretty intense suspension mods done to my car when the whole time I probably only needed slightly stiffer shocks and the "right" stock spring replacements. Alas, you live and learn and grow up with more wisdom from every mistake, right? Besides, in 6-years I may end up blowing those Monroe shocks in time to get Koni shocks installed when my car is overhauled to like new. That is the one advantage to trying to hold on to a car your entire life, "Ride 'til I die".

Last edited by Phoenix'97; 12-31-2018 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:00 PM
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In my opinion here the combos:

koni double adj with strano springs

koni single adj with strano springs

koni SRT / bilstein HD with strano springs

i have the bilstein sand eventually Iíll upgrade to the koni shocks with double or single adj.

but for $350 shipped I could not beat the bilstein HD
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:21 PM
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Your problem is not your shocks. Bilsteins are the most comfortable riding shocks out there for these cars. Koni shocks may have other benefits, but no Koni shock out there is going to give you a cushier ride than you already have.

I think your major problem is your aftermarket tunnel mount brace. Those things are notorious for transmitting a lot of harshness into the cabin. A friend had one and got rid of it for that reason.

If you have big, heavy, aftermarket sway bars, they're not helping either; nor are your weld-in SFC's.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RevGTO View Post
Your problem is not your shocks. Bilsteins are the most comfortable riding shocks out there for these cars. Koni shocks may have other benefits, but no Koni shock out there is going to give you a cushier ride than you already have..
I would argue this is a matter of preference. Remembering how my WS6 was before the shocks went bad, the changeover was dramatic and the car was just too stiff to the feel. Yes, I made the mistake of changing out all my factory suspension components with rubber bushings to the beefier BMR equivalents but this was due to how the car had a slight roll in tight turns, before the shocks went bad, and referencing how my 6-cylinder Firebird behaved in the same way. I wanted the car to be stiffer when cornering and I wanted to take advantage of a stronger torque arm. Well, I got it, but I screwed up on the springs and shocks.

Originally Posted by RevGTO View Post
I think your major problem is your aftermarket tunnel mount brace. Those things are notorious for transmitting a lot of harshness into the cabin. A friend had one and got rid of it for that reason.

If you have big, heavy, aftermarket sway bars, they're not helping either; nor are your weld-in SFC's.
The driveshaft tunnel brace actually went on a few years later, more like a year ago. I didn't think it would make a big difference until I started to notice hitting sounds right under my seats where the driveshaft and bellhousing area was. Even at a stopped light I could hear the spring in my emergency brake handle shaking. After much process of elimination as to what was causing these sounds, I decided to replace my flexing stamped factory piece with the BMR and it stopped the hitting noise and cured the spring bouncing I was hearing at a stop from my e-brake handle. This experience verified that the unibody was now flexing beyond what the factory stamped parts were designed for. So, I suppose I made the correct choice to stiffen and reinforce the car.

As of late, I have been hearing rear axle sounds and I suspect bad shocks but I need the shop to do a thorough inspection. Assuming my steering problem, the slop I feel and added play is the result of bad shocks up front as well, I hope that the new softer shocks will quiet my ride a little more and in combo with new springs assuming they too are a problem, "not right" for my car. Also, there has been problems with my exhaust cat-back hitting the unibody when bouncing around. The shop keeps trying to bend it back but it manages to work it's way back.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix'97 View Post
In 2013 I was in need of new shocks since my rears were totally worn out. I also decided to take this opportunity to firm up my suspension since I did not like the slight body roll I could feel in turns despite buying the car with welded-on sub-frame connectors from the previous owner.
SFC's or chassis stiffening mods will not do anything for body roll, that is completely and totally different than chassis flex. Body roll is the suspension, not the chassis.

I always wanted my car to feel more firm like a sports car should, only I wanted to maintain my stock ride height since the car is already pretty low for winter driving. The car got Bilstein shocks made for stock ride height springs, I purchased summit racing brand stock replacement springs, and the car got non-adjustable BMR brand: "extreme" strut tower brace, driveshaft tunnel brace, torque arm, sway bars with "extreme" rear sway bar, lower trailing arms, and upper/lower A-arms. Suffice it to say, I severely regret getting the Bilstein shocks since they were too firm in combination with the rest of the components I had put on this car.
And let me guess, you installed everything at the same time so you don't really know what is making the car too stiff?
Let me tell you, its not the bilstiens.
You have an oversized rear swaybar that will drastically hurt ride quality and not help handling (actually hurt handling since its too big).
You have summit replacement springs that are probably sketchy at best, put your used stock springs back on.
Is your torque arm the full sized one of the short chassis mounted one? If its the short one then that is another contender to bad ride quality, it also doesn't help handling, ditch it.
The control arms that you bought, do they have poly bushings? If so, once again you have another piece that hurts ride quality and doesn't make much of a difference for handling - replace with stock control arms in the front, and use either a poly/rod end lca for the rear, or a rotojoint rear lca setup. The Poly can bind and cause ride harshness among other issues.


I am, after all, trying to get away from stiffer shock dampening since I already have stiff suspension and unibody chassis reinforcing parts on my car and this combination has proven to be horrible for ride quality.
You are thinking backwards. Having a stiff chassis is not bad for ride quality, you have a bunch of random parts that is hurting both your ride and handling, if anything the bilstiens are helping. It sounds like you threw a bunch of random parts at your car without researching and are now regretting it and not knowing what changed what aspect of the car.

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Old 01-02-2019, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix'97 View Post
I would argue this is a matter of preference. Remembering how my WS6 was before the shocks went bad, the changeover was dramatic and the car was just too stiff to the feel. Yes, I made the mistake of changing out all my factory suspension components with rubber bushings to the beefier BMR equivalents but this was due to how the car had a slight roll in tight turns, before the shocks went bad, and referencing how my 6-cylinder Firebird behaved in the same way. I wanted the car to be stiffer when cornering and I wanted to take advantage of a stronger torque arm. Well, I got it, but I screwed up on the springs and shocks.
The part that lessened the body roll was the swaybars, and the shocks lessened how quickly it happened, NOTHING else lessened the roll - certainly not the control arms. You didn't screw up on the shocks and springs you screwed up on everything else.


The driveshaft tunnel brace actually went on a few years later, more like a year ago. I didn't think it would make a big difference until I started to notice hitting sounds right under my seats where the driveshaft and bellhousing area was. Even at a stopped light I could hear the spring in my emergency brake handle shaking. After much process of elimination as to what was causing these sounds, I decided to replace my flexing stamped factory piece with the BMR and it stopped the hitting noise and cured the spring bouncing I was hearing at a stop from my e-brake handle. This experience verified that the unibody was now flexing beyond what the factory stamped parts were designed for. So, I suppose I made the correct choice to stiffen and reinforce the car.
Did you replace the torque arm or torque arm bushing at the same time?

As of late, I have been hearing rear axle sounds and I suspect bad shocks but I need the shop to do a thorough inspection. Assuming my steering problem, the slop I feel and added play is the result of bad shocks up front as well, I hope that the new softer shocks will quiet my ride a little more and in combo with new springs assuming they too are a problem, "not right" for my car. Also, there has been problems with my exhaust cat-back hitting the unibody when bouncing around. The shop keeps trying to bend it back but it manages to work it's way back.
What you are hearing is more than likely from the poly bushings binding and not letting the suspension do its job of actually moving.

If your steering is "sloppy" going with "softer" shocks will only make it worse.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
SFC's or chassis stiffening mods will not do anything for body roll, that is completely and totally different than chassis flex. Body roll is the suspension, not the chassis.
It is your approach in dealing with body roll. Stronger anti-sway bars will help, but as mentioned before, you have comfort trade-offs. Others tackle the problem with stiffer shocks and springs. My biggest mistake was going with stiff shocks in combination with the bulk of these swapped aftermarket parts. I will say I can take a tight expressway off ramp doing 60 MPH where it is rated for a commercial truck to do 25 mph on a dry summer day. Will I be able to do the same with softer shocks? Well, it all comes down to feeling the car and my modifications help me to do that. I am willing to trade up the benefits of rubber bushings for the long-life polyurethane bushings my BMR parts came with.


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
And let me guess, you installed everything at the same time so you don't really know what is making the car too stiff?
Let me tell you, its not the bilstiens.
You have an oversized rear swaybar that will drastically hurt ride quality and not help handling (actually hurt handling since its too big).
You have summit replacement springs that are probably sketchy at best, put your used stock springs back on.
Is your torque arm the full sized one of the short chassis mounted one? If its the short one then that is another contender to bad ride quality, it also doesn't help handling, ditch it.
The control arms that you bought, do they have poly bushings? If so, once again you have another piece that hurts ride quality and doesn't make much of a difference for handling - replace with stock control arms in the front, and use either a poly/rod end lca for the rear, or a rotojoint rear lca setup. The Poly can bind and cause ride harshness among other issues.
I have had this suspension for going on 6-years now. I am pretty damn sure as to why the car is so stiff, the Bilsteins in combination with my questionable springs are not of any help. I am happy with the suspension and unibody frame mods, but I want to see how they work with softer shocks and perhaps replacing the Summit springs (If a shop determines they are the wrong ones, however that happened). The oversize sway bars will take away comfort but they do help to control body-roll albeit in a different way from stiff springs and shocks alone.

One last thing, I scrapped the rusted springs! You can't reuse bad springs and this was back in 2013!


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
Is your torque arm the full sized one of the short chassis mounted one? If its the short one then that is another contender to bad ride quality, it also doesn't help handling, ditch it.
The control arms that you bought, do they have poly bushings? If so, once again you have another piece that hurts ride quality and doesn't make much of a difference for handling - replace with stock control arms in the front, and use either a poly/rod end lca for the rear, or a rotojoint rear lca setup. The Poly can bind and cause ride harshness among other issues.
I donated my factory torque arm and any remaining decent parts to a salvage store. I am NOT going to put the stock parts back on my car. While I don't wish to make this an argument match I will stress that I am happy with how my car is and despite how uncomfortable the ride can get when the road is bumpy, the ride is nice and I am one with the car, sensing and feeling everything when the road is smooth. If the springs are incorrect then I shall have to go with Moog springs and if the car definitely needs new shocks given my concerns with the slop in steering after some pothole strikes, then Monroe I shall have to try!


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
You are thinking backwards. Having a stiff chassis is not bad for ride quality, you have a bunch of random parts that is hurting both your ride and handling, if anything the bilstiens are helping. It sounds like you threw a bunch of random parts at your car without researching and are now regretting it and not knowing what changed what aspect of the car.
I did research this before dumping the money on the parts and paying a shop to install them. I just didn't research it well enough! Had I known about the trade-off with the bushings I would have tried to have the shop install rubber ones in place of the polyurethane. What attracted me to the polyurethane was that it doesn't deteriorate like rubber bushings and so long as you have them greased every 4-5 years which I have, they will last! Yes, the car is a little harsh and the Bilsteins are stiff shocks for an already stiff suspension. The logical thing would be to try softer shocks and maybe slightly stiffer springs than factory for a regular Trans AM. If they make anything remotely close to the 1LE springs, those I would rather put on my car with the softer Monroe OESpectrums. This is purely a guessing game at this point but it is no different than GM testing the same car with different suspension set-ups to find the optimal one. I screwed up with the springs and shocks but the time is coming to replace either the shocks or both shocks and springs.

Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
The part that lessened the body roll was the swaybars, and the shocks lessened how quickly it happened, NOTHING else lessened the roll - certainly not the control arms. You didn't screw up on the shocks and springs you screwed up on everything else.
Then the remedy for this screw up is rubber bushings for the BMR parts. It may be costly but there are custom rubber bushing companies out there. I am more than content with my current BMR parts and I am sure they can be media blasted and reused. Maybe the shop that does this work can solve my dilemma if by then I am still not happy with the suspension quality of my car.


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
If your steering is "sloppy" going with "softer" shocks will only make it worse.
Ahem, I hit some potholes, the sloppy steering happened afterwards. It may be the steering system or a bad shock up front can affect steering. I need a shop to do a thorough inspection! If I had gone to school for automotive mechanics I would be in a better place and with a car in far better shape than what it is now. I made my choices in life and finding a shop to trust is certainly hard...

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Old 01-03-2019, 12:26 AM
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The bottom line of the point we're trying to make is that you are not going to get what you want by changing out your shocks. Maybe the "OESpectrum" line represents a quantum leap forward in quality, but generally Monroe shocks are garbage. Nowhere in the same league as a Bilstein. You have a whole host of aftermarket parts in your suspension that are contributing toward the poor ride quality; it's not the Bilsteins.

Don't think that a "softer" shock automatically will result in a more comfy ride. "Softer" in this context will typically mean "underdampened" which makes for worse ride characteristics in a variety of road conditions. Think of worn stock shocks.

I experienced a noticeable deterioration in ride quality after having SFC's welded in. I called Sam Strano who said, "All you need is to get rid of those stock shocks and get a set of Bilsteins on there." I did that and the difference was night and day in ride quality.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix'97 View Post
It is your approach in dealing with body roll.
No body roll literally has nothing to do with chassis flex, they are two totally different things. You can have the stiffest chassis in the world and have a ton of body roll because the suspension is too soft.

Stronger anti-sway bars will help, but as mentioned before, you have comfort trade-offs.
Especially when you go too big, like you did in the rear. You shouldn't need more than 21mm or 22mm in the rear. 25+mm is too big, and definitely hurts ride.

Others tackle the problem with stiffer shocks and springs. My biggest mistake was going with stiff shocks in combination with the bulk of these swapped aftermarket parts. I will say I can take a tight expressway off ramp doing 60 MPH where it is rated for a commercial truck to do 25 mph on a dry summer day.
60mph, thats all?
FYI bilstiens are not stiff, you have other suspension problems.

Will I be able to do the same with softer shocks? Well, it all comes down to feeling the car and my modifications help me to do that. I am willing to trade up the benefits of rubber bushings for the long-life polyurethane bushings my BMR parts came with.
Then your ride and handling will always be compromised.

I have had this suspension for going on 6-years now. I am pretty damn sure as to why the car is so stiff, the Bilsteins in combination with my questionable springs are not of any help. I am happy with the suspension and unibody frame mods, but I want to see how they work with softer shocks and perhaps replacing the Summit springs (If a shop determines they are the wrong ones, however that happened). The oversize sway bars will take away comfort but they do help to control body-roll albeit in a different way from stiff springs and shocks alone.

One last thing, I scrapped the rusted springs! You can't reuse bad springs and this was back in 2013!
Swaybars that are too big hurt handling and ride quality. See above, you shouldn't be running 25mm+ rear bar - that DOESNT help.
I don't know your situation with the stock springs but if it was surface rust then they were fine.


I donated my factory torque arm and any remaining decent parts to a salvage store. I am NOT going to put the stock parts back on my car. While I don't wish to make this an argument match I will stress that I am happy with how my car is and despite how uncomfortable the ride can get when the road is bumpy, the ride is nice and I am one with the car, sensing and feeling everything when the road is smooth. If the springs are incorrect then I shall have to go with Moog springs and if the car definitely needs new shocks given my concerns with the slop in steering after some pothole strikes, then Monroe I shall have to try!
You have nothing to compare to (other than worn out stock parts) to see if what you did is actually correct for the car. You like them because you don't know any difference. Again its not the shocks but you can continue to blindly spend the money to fix what isn't broken.


I did research this before dumping the money on the parts and paying a shop to install them. I just didn't research it well enough! Had I known about the trade-off with the bushings I would have tried to have the shop install rubber ones in place of the polyurethane. What attracted me to the polyurethane was that it doesn't deteriorate like rubber bushings and so long as you have them greased every 4-5 years which I have, they will last! Yes, the car is a little harsh and the Bilsteins are stiff shocks for an already stiff suspension. The logical thing would be to try softer shocks and maybe slightly stiffer springs than factory for a regular Trans AM. If they make anything remotely close to the 1LE springs, those I would rather put on my car with the softer Monroe OESpectrums. This is purely a guessing game at this point but it is no different than GM testing the same car with different suspension set-ups to find the optimal one. I screwed up with the springs and shocks but the time is coming to replace either the shocks or both shocks and springs.
Again, you screwed up with everything else. How many other guys do you see running the combo you run? These cars are super old and everything has been tried and tested numerous times by now - with results for handling and ride. You clearly do not understand how shocks and springs work together. A "softer" shock like a monroe with the stiffer 1LE spring will cause the car to bounce and float, that isn't going to feel stable. The problem you have is just about ever other part is wrong for what you want to do.
And you never answered my question, was this all installed at the same time or not?

Then the remedy for this screw up is rubber bushings for the BMR parts. It may be costly but there are custom rubber bushing companies out there. I am more than content with my current BMR parts and I am sure they can be media blasted and reused. Maybe the shop that does this work can solve my dilemma if by then I am still not happy with the suspension quality of my car.
It would probably be cheaper if you just buy some LCAs with rubber or rod ended bushings already.


Ahem, I hit some potholes, the sloppy steering happened afterwards. It may be the steering system or a bad shock up front can affect steering. I need a shop to do a thorough inspection! If I had gone to school for automotive mechanics I would be in a better place and with a car in far better shape than what it is now. I made my choices in life and finding a shop to trust is certainly hard...
Doesn't sound like shocks.
While you are at it check to see if your caster bushing on the front LCA is rubber or poly, if its poly I have bad news for you...
https://www.ls1lt1.com/forum/chassis...-bushings.html
The bushing can bind up so bad that your control arm will break.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:49 PM
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i used poly in my lower arms......street driven for 6 yrs........my arms did not fail like that guys

my .02

now I would use moogs new rear bushing over poly....
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RevGTO View Post
The bottom line of the point we're trying to make is that you are not going to get what you want by changing out your shocks. Maybe the "OESpectrum" line represents a quantum leap forward in quality, but generally Monroe shocks are garbage. Nowhere in the same league as a Bilstein. You have a whole host of aftermarket parts in your suspension that are contributing toward the poor ride quality; it's not the Bilsteins.

Don't think that a "softer" shock automatically will result in a more comfy ride. "Softer" in this context will typically mean "underdampened" which makes for worse ride characteristics in a variety of road conditions. Think of worn stock shocks.

I experienced a noticeable deterioration in ride quality after having SFC's welded in. I called Sam Strano who said, "All you need is to get rid of those stock shocks and get a set of Bilsteins on there." I did that and the difference was night and day in ride quality.
Have I not made myself clear in my expectations? I am not expecting softer shocks to solve all the problems that come from an aftermarket suspension and unibody frame component upgrade that uses polyurethane bushings. I am expecting a change in my car's ride behavior from what I experienced with the Bilsteins. The ride was too stiff but then again the polyurethane bushings didn't make it any more pleasant. Even so, this is the set-up I am going to continue to use and I have grown used to the clear advantages of stiffer suspension components. Besides, most shops will only install Monroe or Napa brand shocks. So, to an extent, I have no control over the shock choice, I can only hope that it works well with the stiffer aftermarket mods I currently have.

I am no longer using stock parts with rubber bushings so what works well with such unmolested F-bodies will not work so well with my set-up. Don't get me wrong, the ride is pleasant when the road is smooth as silk but it begins to suck when you hit bumps and then pot holes. Logically, a softer shock should add a new dynamic that may help to balance out the overall stiff nature of the drive. I will see.

I just went outside with a flashlight and looked at my sway bars/A-arms/control arms/panhard rod bushings and I see nothing to suggest problems with lack of greasing or damage from binding. I looked at my shocks, I noticed my passenger side front shock looked like it had a fresh coating of oil on the bottom bushing. My rear passenger shock looked like the bottom bushing was being pulled out on end toward the front. I pushed down on all four corners of the car and noticed my front passenger side had more bounce than the other corners. This supports the sensations I have been feeling like gusts of wind on the expressway pushing my car to the left and having to overcompensate to keep the car in the lane, that "slop" I have been feeling. I am going to try to get my car scheduled for that inspection hopefully sometime soon, everything is pointing to possibly bad shocks. I may have other problems I can't visibly see from the car on the ground. I need a "pro" to look her over good, check the bushings and everything.

Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
No body roll literally has nothing to do with chassis flex, they are two totally different things. You can have the stiffest chassis in the world and have a ton of body roll because the suspension is too soft.
You are taking my typed words out of context. When I refer to chassis flex I am referring to years of daily driving and having the car body endure the up-and-down shaking that road surfaces will put it through, the extremes of temperature hot summer and below-zero winters. Over time a car will make noises, squeaks, the metal has slowly fatigued and the components designed for the brand-spanking-new body are now thrown off by being out of those factory spec tolerances. Hey, I don't drive a spring/summer only car here! There was some logic behind stiffening everything up and it was supported when my factory driveshaft tunnel brace was no longer doing it's job. That pounding sound was the brace smacking the unibody. I put on the BMR tunnel brace and those sounds I was hearing stopped.


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
60mph, thats all?
FYI bilstiens are not stiff, you have other suspension problems.
Dude, I am not driving on a closed track to work each day, I am driving on public roads. Now, I can feel when my tires are starting to lose traction, that tight corner I used to take I would only go as fast as 60 and then throttle off and let the engine brake itself to slower speed. I didn't feel like fishtailing my car into the ramp wall or into someone else's car who couldn't take that turn as fast I could with my wonderful aftermarket, thick and stiff BMR components. Everyone knows Bilsteins are stiff, they helped me to take ramps like the one I am describing as fast as I dared to go.

Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
Then your ride and handling will always be compromised.
That is how you truly make your ride tailored to you. General Motors can't build me a new Camaro that will make me happy. The sound of the engine, the floor shifter, the look of the interior and dashboard, the look of the exterior of the car, and then the overall driving experience. My car needs some work but I learned some good things about my choice with the BMR components. I am happy with them but maybe the ultimate set-up will require that I go with custom rubber bushings all-around with Koni STR.T shocks using the same stock ride height springs and custom fenders brought down to close the fender gap.


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
Doesn't sound like shocks.
While you are at it check to see if your caster bushing on the front LCA is rubber or poly, if its poly I have bad news for you...
https://www.ls1lt1.com/forum/chassis...-bushings.html
The bushing can bind up so bad that your control arm will break.
No indication that this has happened. Was that bushing properly greased, by the way?!
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:45 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Phoenix'97 View Post
Besides, most shops will only install Monroe or Napa brand shocks. So, to an extent, I have no control over the shock choice, I can only hope that it works well with the stiffer aftermarket mods I currently have.
uhhh what? Both Bilstien shocks and Koni double adjustables(on 1LE cars) were literally factory optional shocks on these cars, there is no reason a shop couldn't install anything like that seeing as its no different than factory and doesn't take any extra work. I can understand a shop not wanting to install a custom coilover or something, but bilstiens and koni DA were technically oem factory...

I am no longer using stock parts with rubber bushings so what works well with such unmolested F-bodies will not work so well with my set-up. Don't get me wrong, the ride is pleasant when the road is smooth as silk but it begins to suck when you hit bumps and then pot holes. Logically, a softer shock should add a new dynamic that may help to balance out the overall stiff nature of the drive. I will see.
What you keep missing is everyone is telling you that isn't how it works. A car with good shocks/springs/swaybars on otherwise stock suspension and rubber bushings will outhandle and ride better than what you have currently and even more so with "softer" shocks.

I just went outside with a flashlight and looked at my sway bars/A-arms/control arms/panhard rod bushings and I see nothing to suggest problems with lack of greasing or damage from binding. I looked at my shocks, I noticed my passenger side front shock looked like it had a fresh coating of oil on the bottom bushing. My rear passenger shock looked like the bottom bushing was being pulled out on end toward the front. I pushed down on all four corners of the car and noticed my front passenger side had more bounce than the other corners. This supports the sensations I have been feeling like gusts of wind on the expressway pushing my car to the left and having to overcompensate to keep the car in the lane, that "slop" I have been feeling. I am going to try to get my car scheduled for that inspection hopefully sometime soon, everything is pointing to possibly bad shocks. I may have other problems I can't visibly see from the car on the ground. I need a "pro" to look her over good, check the bushings and everything.
If you have a shock that is blown out that would actually be simulating what a "softer" shock would behave like - lack of dampening. If a shop sees what they think could be a leaking shock they will be drooling over getting you to pay to replace it.

You are taking my typed words out of context. When I refer to chassis flex I am referring to years of daily driving and having the car body endure the up-and-down shaking that road surfaces will put it through, the extremes of temperature hot summer and below-zero winters. Over time a car will make noises, squeaks, the metal has slowly fatigued and the components designed for the brand-spanking-new body are now thrown off by being out of those factory spec tolerances. Hey, I don't drive a spring/summer only car here! There was some logic behind stiffening everything up and it was supported when my factory driveshaft tunnel brace was no longer doing it's job. That pounding sound was the brace smacking the unibody. I put on the BMR tunnel brace and those sounds I was hearing stopped.
This has nothing to do with my quote. Maybe i misinterpreted what you were saying but it sounded like you were implying that stiffening the chassis will help with body roll when body roll has nothing to do with how stiff a chassis is.

Dude, I am not driving on a closed track to work each day, I am driving on public roads. Now, I can feel when my tires are starting to lose traction, that tight corner I used to take I would only go as fast as 60 and then throttle off and let the engine brake itself to slower speed. I didn't feel like fishtailing my car into the ramp wall or into someone else's car who couldn't take that turn as fast I could with my wonderful aftermarket, thick and stiff BMR components. Everyone knows Bilsteins are stiff, they helped me to take ramps like the one I am describing as fast as I dared to go.
Im just giving you **** now, but honestly I feel like 60mph was about what I would do(or higher maybe) with just koni sports on otherwise totally stock suspension back in the day. Good shocks make all the difference in the world. Really what I was getting at is if you switch around some parts you will not only handle better but ride better too, namely that oversized rear swaybar and those poly bushings.

That is how you truly make your ride tailored to you. General Motors can't build me a new Camaro that will make me happy. The sound of the engine, the floor shifter, the look of the interior and dashboard, the look of the exterior of the car, and then the overall driving experience. My car needs some work but I learned some good things about my choice with the BMR components. I am happy with them but maybe the ultimate set-up will require that I go with custom rubber bushings all-around with Koni STR.T shocks using the same stock ride height springs and custom fenders brought down to close the fender gap.
But how do you know what you are feeling is from what part if you had everything installed all at once?
Im saying Id bet if you listen to me (and others) we could help you make the car ride and handle much better than it is now.
Is this the xtreme rear swaybar you bought?
https://www.bmrsuspension.com/?page=products&productid=299&superpro=0
If so that is hilariously oversized for anything other than strictly a drag car, which means harsh ride quality, snap oversteer and lower limits for handling. That is 35mm big, that is the same size as some of the bigger front swaybars on the market, which should be signficantly bigger than anything you would ever think about running on the rear. For comparison stock is 19mm, and more often than not guys are running 21mm to 22mm rear bars (with 35mm or 36mm front bars) for successful handling setups. Going to 25mm on the rear is pushing it for going too big, so there is no getting a 35mm rear bar "to work right" for what you do, you cannot compensate enough somewhere else for that to work. Getting a proper rear swaybar alone should make a night and day difference for you, I would start there at least, it will be the easiest thing to swap out.

No indication that this has happened. Was that bushing properly greased, by the way?!
Couldn't tell you, not my car. But there were a few members on here that had the same issue a well. Just goes to show that the bushing DOES bind there.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:08 AM
  #18  
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OP you seem to have all the answers so not sure why you are on here asking questions. Everytime someone gives you advice you seem to backfire on it. Not sure what you are looking for here.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TBSOELS1 View Post
OP you seem to have all the answers so not sure why you are on here asking questions. Everytime someone gives you advice you seem to backfire on it. Not sure what you are looking for here.
I question what I am given as gospel. A fine example, a shop saying I needed two new catalytic converters in the most expensive set-up to solve my problem with a bad oxygen sensor. I bought a Magnaflow California for the driverside and installed it myself. The code went away. Shops have deliberately screwed me over so now I question everything, can you blame me? I guess I come off as stupid but I can sense b.s. I am merely questioning the "advice" because a part of me does not trust the information especially from someone paid to advertise for Bilstein or whichever brand on this site.

Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
uhhh what? Both Bilstien shocks and Koni double adjustables(on 1LE cars) were literally factory optional shocks on these cars, there is no reason a shop couldn't install anything like that seeing as its no different than factory and doesn't take any extra work. I can understand a shop not wanting to install a custom coilover or something, but bilstiens and koni DA were technically oem factory...
I am talking about shops like Firestone, or AAA certified shops. They don't offer Bilstein or Koni brand that I have seen and they have a policy about customers, like me, bringing in crap and paying them to install it only to get bitched at when the part fails or ends up being horrible on some performance aspect. I now have an understanding towards such businesses.


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
What you keep missing is everyone is telling you that isn't how it works. A car with good shocks/springs/swaybars on otherwise stock suspension and rubber bushings will outhandle and ride better than what you have currently and even more so with "softer" shocks.
Okay, that is fine! Here is my dilemma, I am now STUBBORNLY STUCK with my BMR suspension! Instead of suggesting that I switch back to stock components by trying to source them from salvage businesses, I am asking what I can do with the BMR suspension. This is why we are having the back-and-fourth! Furthermore, I fail to see how some of the factory stamped metal parts are superior to tubular metal components! Swapping out the polyurethane bushings to rubber bushings seems to be the dominant aspect to better ride quality. Okay, I now have this suggestion to seriously consider in the future.


Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
But how do you know what you are feeling is from what part if you had everything installed all at once?
Im saying Id bet if you listen to me (and others) we could help you make the car ride and handle much better than it is now.
Is this the xtreme rear swaybar you bought?
https://www.bmrsuspension.com/?page=products&productid=299&superpro=0
If so that is hilariously oversized for anything other than strictly a drag car, which means harsh ride quality, snap oversteer and lower limits for handling. That is 35mm big, that is the same size as some of the bigger front swaybars on the market, which should be signficantly bigger than anything you would ever think about running on the rear. For comparison stock is 19mm, and more often than not guys are running 21mm to 22mm rear bars (with 35mm or 36mm front bars) for successful handling setups. Going to 25mm on the rear is pushing it for going too big, so there is no getting a 35mm rear bar "to work right" for what you do, you cannot compensate enough somewhere else for that to work. Getting a proper rear swaybar alone should make a night and day difference for you, I would start there at least, it will be the easiest thing to swap out.
Well, if it is oversized does it really matter that much for street driving? It is still a swaybar in place of what was there from the factory, albeit a fricken oversized one. Back in 2013 I figured, what the hell! I won't look back but I will focus on the future.

Originally Posted by JD_AMG View Post
Couldn't tell you, not my car. But there were a few members on here that had the same issue a well. Just goes to show that the bushing DOES bind there.
Good thing I have not had such an issue but I do ensure that the bushings get their greasing, even more than is required.

UPDATE: I took my car to Firestone and pretty much they found a make-shift bracket that was welded on to mound my rear control arms for the axle. The metal is thin and apparently the upper bolt managed to carve out an oval hole which has now created so much play that my rear axle is moving around while I drive and this is simulating the poor steering and bad shock absorber problems I am experiencing. They can't fix it but they recommended I get a custom shop to weld on a new reinforced bracket or weld on more metal to the existing bracket. The car was raced by the previous owner. The suspicion has been confirmed and this is why every shop I have taken my car to has accused me of racing the thing and damn near assisting in the ruination of my car by maintenance that was never done properly and in entirety. No wonder I question what I am told about my car, even on here.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix'97 View Post
I question what I am given as gospel. A fine example, a shop saying I needed two new catalytic converters in the most expensive set-up to solve my problem with a bad oxygen sensor. I bought a Magnaflow California for the driverside and installed it myself. The code went away. Shops have deliberately screwed me over so now I question everything, can you blame me? I guess I come off as stupid but I can sense b.s. I am merely questioning the "advice" because a part of me does not trust the information especially from someone paid to advertise for Bilstein or whichever brand on this site.
You should question everything, but also take in what people are saying and research. If everyone is telling you the same thing(and they are all veteran members who have suspension mods and been through things like this) then there is a likely chance they are right.
And literally no one in this thread is sponsored by or advertising bilstiens, if anything I would suggest going to an even better shock than that, bilsteins are middle grade IMO.


I am talking about shops like Firestone, or AAA certified shops. They don't offer Bilstein or Koni brand that I have seen and they have a policy about customers, like me, bringing in crap and paying them to install it only to get bitched at when the part fails or ends up being horrible on some performance aspect. I now have an understanding towards such businesses.
Id find a new shop if all they want to install is junk autozone parts. Or better yet install them yourself so you know the job is done right.


Okay, that is fine! Here is my dilemma, I am now STUBBORNLY STUCK with my BMR suspension! Instead of suggesting that I switch back to stock components by trying to source them from salvage businesses, I am asking what I can do with the BMR suspension.
No need to go to a salvage yard, members on here and facebook groups are selling their stock stuff all the time for dirt cheap and sometimes free.

This is why we are having the back-and-fourth! Furthermore, I fail to see how some of the factory stamped metal parts are superior to tubular metal components!
You are looking at it wrong, you have the wrong tool for the job you want to do. If you want to dig a hole would you rather use a shovel or a pickaxe? A shovel you say!? But the pickaxe looks way cooler though! Yea not the right tool for the job though right? You have DRAG RACING suspension on a car you want for HANDLING and RIDE, drag suspension and handling/ride quality suspension are polar opposites. So while some of your tubular stuff is better than the stock stuff for DRAG RACING, its worse for HANDLING and RIDE.

Swapping out the polyurethane bushings to rubber bushings seems to be the dominant aspect to better ride quality. Okay, I now have this suggestion to seriously consider in the future.
Glad you are taking at least one suggestion seriously.

Well, if it is oversized does it really matter that much for street driving? It is still a swaybar in place of what was there from the factory, albeit a fricken oversized one. Back in 2013 I figured, what the hell! I won't look back but I will focus on the future.
Uhh no, again man that isn't how it works. Would you run the skinny spare wheels/tires on all four corners of your car and expect good handling? What about bias ply drag radials on all four corners? What about off road mud tires? No? But they are still 4 tires, what is the difference right? Do you see what Im getting at here? You have the wrong part for the job and in this case a VERY wrong part for the job, you are better off with the stock rear swaybar in this case as it will give you way better balance and way better ride quality. Just because its aftermarket, shiny and pretty does not mean it works well, or well for what you want.
Id remove it, sell it to recoup some money and use that money to find a stock bar or a 22mm rear bar.

Good thing I have not had such an issue but I do ensure that the bushings get their greasing, even more than is required.

UPDATE: I took my car to Firestone and pretty much they found a make-shift bracket that was welded on to mound my rear control arms for the axle. The metal is thin and apparently the upper bolt managed to carve out an oval hole which has now created so much play that my rear axle is moving around while I drive and this is simulating the poor steering and bad shock absorber problems I am experiencing. They can't fix it but they recommended I get a custom shop to weld on a new reinforced bracket or weld on more metal to the existing bracket. The car was raced by the previous owner. The suspicion has been confirmed and this is why every shop I have taken my car to has accused me of racing the thing and damn near assisting in the ruination of my car by maintenance that was never done properly and in entirety. No wonder I question what I am told about my car, even on here.
Get under the back of your car and take a picture of the bracket and that area, Im betting its an aftermarket LCA relocation bracket in which case you can simply remove (remove on both sides so its even) and run the LCA to the stock axle bracket. If thats the case it will be simple and free.

It would look similar to this red bracket this guy is wrenching on in the picture
https://www.racepagesdigital.com/wp-...2/DEREK-10.jpg
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