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 FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options

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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:10 pm

charlieRobinson wrote:
albertj wrote:
I am still thinking about replacement springs, the perfect thing might be to come across a set of closeout Eibachs - wasn't the '99 - '03 or some such Seville STS spring set supposed to fit?

Please let me know if you find a supplier! As far as I know, those springs are relics.

you can call one or all of the following and see if they actually have the springs -- I suspect so, especially the last 2:

http://www.rsaperformance.com/cadillac-98-99-seville-stssls-eibach-pro-kit-springs-3872-140.html

http://www.360tuners.com/98-99cadillacsevillestsslsloweringsprings-eibachpro-kit.aspx

http://www.grounddynamics.com/product-p/3872.14.htm

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highwaywarrior
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:36 am

weirdly i just saw 2 inch sprint lowering springs on the last link you sent, never heard of them
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:51 am

highwaywarrior wrote:
weirdly i just saw 2 inch sprint lowering springs on the last link you sent, never heard of them

Well, there you go. 2" lower means you'll start smacking parking curbs and driveways, not to mention axlewhacker speed bumps.

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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:22 pm

Anyone ever heard of this strutmaster's solution?
http://www.amazon.com/1995-1999-Buick-Riviera-Suspension-Conversion/dp/B00367NG7I


Is it just some generic part with Riviera spam info, or is it legit? Anyone have them?
Aren't these like the Rancho shock mod?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:26 pm

ive heard of em. they sound like a great idea. call em up and find out what their spring rates are compared to oem and how the shocks are valved compared to oem or even kyb. thats the question.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:07 pm

We've discussed the Strutmasters in the ALC thread:

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t2995p315-faq-automatic-leveling-control-alc-concerns

They're similar to the Ranchos but cost a lot more. I don't understand the idea of paying $300 to disable the adjustable level system, when you can buy the correct replacement pair for about $75. I also wonder if these offer adjustable height. If not, the rear end could sit too high or too low. I think the Ranchos were at least adjustable for firmness.

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3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:26 am

i spoke with strutmasters. in a nut shell theyre marginally firmer than oem and are not in any way sporty. they modeled the kit as close to oem as possible. all they added in their words is a little stiffer spring and a little firmer shock.c'est tout.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:45 am

So, in conclusion, Ranchos > Strutmasters. Got it.

Ok, back to the Eibach springs. AlbertJ, those links you sent me are bogus and they definitely do not have them in stock. I like their deal timer count down though, cute novelty.

So what is the next best way to slam the riv? I am dead set on suspension right now and I have to lower my car. As of right now, I see 3 options. Have a machinist cut the OEM springs, get custom springs made, or air bellows for a bagged suspension. Is there any other way?

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:16 am

(Yeah you could do Robos Coil-over package.) It prices out to around 1300 all said and done. That takes care of everything front and rear, including all springs, struts, bearing sets, sleeves, etc...

You have a 99, so no front control arm and spindle conversion at all needed.

Its frigging cheap for a full coil-over conversion.

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:22 am

Haven't looked too far into it, but isn't a full air suspension like $2-$2.5k? It seems like the ultimate solution to me. You can have any ride height whenever you want. Only downside I can think of is the weight of the equipment you need to have on board to support it.
Hmmmmm.....

Has RP already marked out the ultimate air ride kit? I looked for G-body air kits but didn't find anything solid. Just generic junk.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:30 am

yup! my shit is the phitzshnizzles! whatever NVH i worried about before STILL pales in comparison to the exhaust drone.
my buddy asked me the other day how i liked my new suspension,i told him that the Riv rides like a big fat 3500 pound Porsche.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:01 pm

charlieRobinson wrote:
Haven't looked too far into it, but isn't a full air suspension like $2-$2.5k? It seems like the ultimate solution to me. You can have any ride height whenever you want. Only downside I can think of is the weight of the equipment you need to have on board to support it.
Hmmmmm.....

Has RP already marked out the ultimate air ride kit? I looked for G-body air kits but didn't find anything solid. Just generic junk.

I'm assuming that by full air suspension you are talking about bagging it? And my question would be, why bag it when you can have a proper race suspension setup for 1300? An adj bagged kit will not perform nearly as nice as a full race kit, nor will it hold up to wear and tear the same either. The coilover kit can also have the struts rebuilt, further adding to its longivity. And the coilover is adjustible for ride height whenever you want, its just not on the fly. You could do coil-over for 1300 and if you were bound to spend 2500, use the rest on something else fun for the car. Why have ally-cat when you can have pussy?

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:54 pm

I did mean 'bagging it'. If you haven't caught on right now, i'm a total noob when it comes to automotive anything. Half of my education comes from this forum and the internet while the other half comes from playing Forza on xbox.

Anyways, is Robo the only one with a full race suspension? Anyone else do coilovers?
Amazing suspension is my #1 goal right now. I don't care about power, cosmetics, audio, whatever. I just want a rock solid suspension with nice sticky tires so I can take those off ramps at 50+mph without flying off into a ditch of shame and embarrassment.

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:44 pm

The Riv's OEM suspension is very good. It's not Robo's custom suspension, but he's as close as we've got.

I think that just upgrading sway bars will make a big difference. The addco front and rear bars and the front STB really stiffen things up. If you want to go crazy a rear STB will make it even stiffer (but will need to be custom made)

If you've done all that and still aren't satisfied, Robo has your answer with some custom work. I think the Riv is meant to have a comfortable ride. Sounds like maybe you meant to buy a Camaro with all it's shakes and jitters instead?

Start with the STB and sway bar upgrades unless you just can't help yourself.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:07 pm

Thanks, Derk.
I just want better cornering ability. I thought it could be achieved with better tires and dropped suspension, but I think you are right. I will look into the Addco and the STB as primary solutions before I go all Robo crazy on my Riv.

The sway bar links AA sent me have made a huge difference just by themselves and now I want more.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:08 pm

charlieRobinson wrote:
I did mean 'bagging it'. If you haven't caught on right now, i'm a total noob when it comes to automotive anything. Half of my education comes from this forum and the internet while the other half comes from playing Forza on xbox.

Anyways, is Robo the only one with a full race suspension? Anyone else do coilovers?
Amazing suspension is my #1 goal right now. I don't care about power, cosmetics, audio, whatever. I just want a rock solid suspension with nice sticky tires so I can take those off ramps at 50+mph without flying off into a ditch of shame and embarrassment.


Based on what I've learned from driving the Riv - you want solid suspension without a visit to a ditch...

- KYB or Gabriel front struts (gabriels are a bit stiffer, probably won't last as long as KYBs. Monroes are jiggly IMHO)
- KYB or Monroe rear shocks
- beefier antisway bars, the Addcos will work fine... because the factory bars look beefy but actually are hollow
- read http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=104 to get smarter about tires
- find the STS strut tower brace and install one on your car (does not take long) if you have not yet done so
- check your spring/ride height and replace the set if one or more is uneven/low by too much (say 1/2")
- drive defensively and sensibly
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:56 pm

Thanks, Al. I am going to look at the Addco products next. I don't want to add any more weight to my ride but if the pay off in cornering is worth it then I can't say no.

I'd like to drop my car as far as I can get away with. I will pull into those driveways at 1mph if I have to.

Ride Height:
Ride height determines your car's ground clearance and center of gravity. Lowering ride height lowers the center of gravity, which improves cornering., but lowering too far can cause bottoming out and sudden loss of control. Generally, you should lower your ride height as much as possible without bottoming out, although increasing the rear ride height can help control weight transfer under heavy acceleration.

Springs:
Spring stiffness controls how the car's weight is transferred under acceleration, braking, and cornering. Stiffer front springs transfer more weight, but too much can cause the tires to lose traction under heavy load. Softening the front springs in relation to the rear increases front grip and reduces understeer, but too much can cause the car to bottom out under heavy braking. Increasing the front springs' stiffness in relation to the rear can reduce oversteer, but too much can cause the car to plow through turns.
You might try different spring rates in the front and rear to affect the balance between understeer and oversteer. Softer springs absorb bumps better, but reduce responsiveness. Increase (striffen) your rear spring-rate to increase oversteer. Decrease (soften) your rear spring-rate to increase understeer. The balance between front and rear spring rates affects the car's balance between understeer and oversteer.

Thanks, Forza 4!
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:44 pm

From what i understand,im wingin it,the stiffer the car the more flighty it CAN become. start throwin stiff stuff at the Riv and the car feels like it wants to come unglued from the road.scary. big powerful super suspended cars really feel most comfortable at speed.slow the pace and the car want to jackrabbit you a little.its talkin to ya. the big race teams have unlimited resources to experiment with settings.they can go from full stiff all the way around to medium stiff.They change a spring here a sway bar there,to come to a package a driver can control.

springs are there to assist the shock in doing their job.the stiffer the spring the more the Tire has to work to stay in contact with the ground. a Nascar car needs very stiff springs to keep the car level in the high banks. a formula 1 car has somewhat softer springs because they turn right.
what im trying to say is,coming up with a street package is difficult. if you have lots of $s then not so much.you would have to push a car to its limits to find a package that works on the street and ..well...elsewhere.

where under/over steer is concerned,on a car like the Riv with its VERY long wheel base,is finding a balance. hard to do because if you make improvements to the front,the rear end wants in on the fun too! now you invite the rear end to the party and you upset the front! now what do you do? well,now you have to start fuckin with sway bars,and then the fun really starts because the Addcco bars are engineered to promote understeer, where by the front pushes,the rear is in on the joke too but, is it funny? yeah it is! because 97% of the car buying population wouldn't know what to do with an oversteering car! panic sets in,you slam on the brakes,and the rear end swaps ends like a retarded french general! on the other hand,if the car pushes,well,that's ok,you can feel that.all 3800 pounds are jamming to get to the front and what happens is you slam the brakes and the car pushes to a stop,or you take your foot off the gas and a little bobble sets in but more often than not the car rites itself,most of the time.most drivers wont push the car because they have no inclination to do so.

so now what? if your looking for performance a Riv is not the car to drive.there is no aftermarket support aside from what you can do to get her to travel a little faster.but the Riv is ill equipped to handle high speed turns.you can do it, but she wont like it.  what needs to be done is make your own stuff.coilovers,figure how to install HP NASCAR swaybars,easy if you put your mind to it.

a front wheel drive car benefits from a stiffer REAR sway bar. not entirely the case with the Riv on account of her long wheel base,you can make it better,but you have alot of work to do. im talkin beaucoup bucks.beaucoup.  and you have to figure out HOW to mount HP bars.
again,the # 1 hurdle the Riv throws at you are mainly the bushings.the shocks and the springs aren't perfect,but they are better at their job than the bushings are at theirs.

in my opinion the suspension has to be tackled from this standpoint and in this order to maximize expenditure and labor

1,make your own or find someone who can cast  ALL the rubber bushings in polyurethane.job one.do that and a whole world of driving pleasures await.

2,get rid of the OEM shocks and struts.get rid of the auto air stuff.how to do that? coilovers.im afraid there is no other way.

3,springs! lots of springs! beautiful springs! yup.get rid of the oem springs that have the nose dive under any braking.

4,now that you have all the bits and pieces made and installed and you're enjoying the ride,now do the sway bars.but don't forget! they will have to be Nascar style? why? because no one makes a performance bar for the Riv, silly


now you're good to go!  just remember,when you give yer gramm's a ride in the Riv shes gonna curse ya! she's gonna say " in my day Rivieras were much better cars!"  and then you'll go into the whole spiel of "but under/over steer" yada yada yada ,no one wants to hear it.


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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:19 pm

Robo are you saying the Addco bars aren't stiff enough? Or are too stiff? What do you mean Nascar style?

I LOVE the way my Riv handled with the Addco bars and front STB. I also had some bigger rims with low profile tires and could really push it through the offramps etc without any hitches whatsoever. It never felt jittery or unglued. I had new Monroes in the front and new Monroe air shocks in the rear. I know the rear can benefit even more by getting rid of the air shocks but still, it was pretty damn good.

Did it dive in the front under braking? Sure, a bit. But for the stock suspension I think it's a drastic improvement.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:24 pm

I think robo's suggesting the NASCAR style bars because they use a spherical link design. Sphericals offer ZERO insulation from NVH, while the stock/Addco links do offer some suppression, even though using the ES poly bushings makes a big difference over stock. When robo says gramma will yell she's not comfortable, I believe it. It's possible you won't be comfortable, either.

Until you actually ride in a car designed for all-out racing, it's hard to explain just how uncomfortable and harsh the ride will be. If you know a place where you can drive high speed go-karts, you'll get a taste of that feeling. The real question is, do you want to subject yourself to that level of punishment on a daily basis? Some do. Others are looking for something in between, such as what is offered in BMW, Audi, or Cadillac sedans. There is no sure answer. You have to try things and see how you like it, or ride along in someone else's car and modify yours accordingly.

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'98 SC Riviera • 268k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO • 49k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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robotennis61
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:08 pm

what i mean is,according to the suspension gurus a front wheel drive car benefits from a stiffer rear bar as a rear drive car benefits from a stiffer front bar. A stiff front  sway bar promotes PUSH. A stiff rear bar promotes oversteer. The secret is to find a set up where you can dial in the most approximate amount of oversteer possible in relation to the front bar on a front drive car. If you get it rite the car will FEEL a little assy in the corners as opposed to FRONTY. Does this make sense in a Riv? it depends,you have to overcome the super long wheel base and tune the suspension to that,its very difficult to do. Some would say its impossible.Not to me,its just a question of application & experimentation.

The addcco bars are set up to BEHAVE in a manner that the stockers are.Heavy front bar,light rear bar.This = understeer. How oten do you see alarming understeer? how often do you go fast into corners? go fast enough and you will see the happy side of understeer.

The practical applications I've come up with are related to the 95.The 95 has even mushier front bushings than the 96 & up. so my  driving perceptions are different but not by much.
A NASCAR sway bar is only a race sway bar,been around for years.

like so....
http://tinyurl.com/ajmy9bl


Connecting a set up like this requires alot of planning and welding,not impossible or even that expensive.   Roush Yates racing sells the bars used for around $40 bucks, the arms are closer to $90bucks.  This kit allows you to have one or more arms to mess with. Think the 7/8s bar is giving too much oversteer? swap it out for the next smaller size,done.
The bars are typically mounted to a PILLOW BLOCK, solid pillow block is all steel with a polyethylene liner or a bronze liner,tolerances are tight so there IS no clunking,the arms are in steel or alu or hollow!  many types to choose from.

There is so much talk about how comfortable the Riv is and yada yada yada.  I can attest that the Riv is only a little more noisy than stock.Expansion joints do come on a little harder but i can live with that.The Konis soak up a ton of shit that the oem crap caint.All the race stuff is ultra tight ftting.There is no clunking metal on metal noise happening here,what you have is a suspension that is allowed to BREATH!  it does what it was supposed to do, to let the shocks do their job!

Am i going to extremes? yup. Coming from a motorcycle background I don't mind a solid mounted motor and carriage.Is this for everyone?nope. Ya gotta know how to weld and figure things out.Don't wanna step up and keep the Riv as a comfy commuter?so be it,the only compromise I see is to keep the oem rubber bushings and the understeering bars and just come up with a solution to the poorly designed oem or kyb shocks and struts. Any one looking for performance outa the Riv is driving the wrong car.As for me,I'm fine. I like where I'm going and the Riv doesn't miss her mushy shoes one bit.


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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:24 pm



Robo, thank you very much for your generous explanations, they have been very helpful. I would really like to see some videos of your suspension. Tours of your work and some videos of the car in action. Please, as a favor!
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:42 pm

I love top gear!haha!  I'll make a vid of the Riv going through cones when the paint and body is all done.I have to say I'm kinda ashamed the Riv looks to be stable in a state of perpetual modification.Really messes with my chi ,man.


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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:48 pm

Hate to speak for everyone on this forum, but I don't think anyone will mind how your ride looks right now. We'd be much more interested in seeing those Konis do work. PLEASE! bow
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Shocks & Struts Options   Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:52 am

Thanks Robo. Your explanation is superb. I think the big issue for me is the severe wear and tear our roads take - there is no such thing as flat smooth pavement around here, most of the roads are bumpy, uneven, pothole laden, crap. In your car I would spend most of the time weaving down the road to avoid this crap. Where you live the roads are completely different so this may work well for you. If my car was a track-only setup instead of a daily driver what you've done would be great. But for year round New England use it's not going to work out, at least for me.

You need to get a gopro camera and take us for a virtual spin!!
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