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 Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv

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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:48 am

'99 model, 1 of only 1,956 ever made, she spent her whole life in Ft. Lauderdale until I brought her back home to Ohio in November, 2011. I found her with ~122k miles, no boost, a healthy interior and a few dings, scrapes, and paint chips on her body. She also came with a 180 Thermostat installed. The OEM airbox was gutted at a Valvoline in Beaufort, South Carolina, on the drive home from Florida devil

Goal is to make her look real nice and run a <= 12.999 quarter mile. I wont stop modding until it happens headshot

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7.25.14 Raptor towing up to Detroit for engine rebuild







Last edited by charlieRobinson on Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:58 pm; edited 14 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:31 am

welcome and good luck modding, the riv is a great car
oh and sorry to hear about your seat
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:01 pm

Got the max airs on yesterday. The difference is amazing. My expectations were met and I am satisfied. Doing the struts next weekend.
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:31 pm

...you'll wonder what happened when you put on the new front struts.

...you might want to get the Monroe Strut Mate kits for the fronts, they come with the steel washers you need to replace the OE parts (the KYB mounts do not) that go with the strut bellows etc.

...you might want to pump up the greaseables (rear tie rod ents) while you are at it.
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:51 pm

what do you mean, 'pump up'?
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:16 pm

charlieRobinson wrote:
what do you mean, 'pump up'?

please get a grease gun and lubricate the ends of the rear suspension links as long as you are under there, that's what i mean... when you do that the little rubber boots will expand, "pump up..."
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:40 pm

Ahh, yes. I went with the trusted WD-40. They soaked every drop up and desperately needed it.
Think that'll be ok?

Service manual says to lube the chassis every 6k miles. Is spritz of water displacement 40th formula around the joints cool for that too?
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:51 pm

Be careful lubing those rear links. Too much grease will crack the boots. Not an easy part to find and replace.

Most of the other suspension components are sealed. Not sure what they meant in the manual about lubing the chassis.

_________________
'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 180 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
Because fun
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:02 pm

Service Manual says:
Lubricate chassis components every 6 months of 6k miles, whichever comes first.
Lubricate the grease fittings in the suspension and steering linkage, the transaxle shift linkage, parking brake cable guides and underbody contact points and linkage.

That's all it really says about the chassis lube maintenance.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:51 pm

Yes, and if you look at the more common suspension/steering linkage components (ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.), there is really no way to grease them from the factory. The rear links being an exception.

The transaxle linkage and parking brake cables, I don't think I've ever once even looked at them.

_________________
'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 180 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
Because fun
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:48 pm

AA wrote:
Yes, and if you look at the more common suspension/steering linkage components (ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.), there is really no way to grease them from the factory. The rear links being an exception.

The transaxle linkage and parking brake cables, I don't think I've ever once even looked at them.

Transaxle linkage and parking brake cables = lithium grease as in for garage doors, applied w/spray can thru a straw.

ball joints and tie rod ends = synth or semi-synth grease cylinder in a grease gun with a needle attachment - sneak the needle under the bottom edge of the boot where it presses against the fitting. Sometimes you have to pierce boot sometimes not.

rear links = synth or semisynth grease thru the zerks.

I like the Mobil 1 red grease.

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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:35 pm

im in the process of repainting my white riv too due to some small chips and couple dents. if you repaint it make sure sure you get off all the loose paint around the chips. I used a razor blade to scrape it all away and ended up taking half the paint off the roof and off the trunk and some on the hood. From my experiances if you dont chip away the loose paint u run a risk of it also chipping off the new paint
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:46 pm

Photobucket

This is how much paint i had to get off the trunk due to a couple smaller chips on the passenger side and a softball sized chip on the driver side. Its extra work but itll be worth it for the new paint to last longer.
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:06 am

Ok. So. I didn't want to mess with compressing the strut springs so I took it to the neighborhood performance garage. We open up the KYB strut boxes and I get 1 black GR2 and 1 silver excel whatever updated model or something. Thanks, KYB!

The garage will not install this mixmatched parts on my car. Even tho they appear to be identical besides the color, the refused. My car was jacked up and I am on the pay clock so I had to find struts, fast.

I opted for a pair of Monroe sensa track one piece struts. $220 EACH! OMG. Replaced a bad outter tie rod,alignment, and the labor took my bill to $480... Plus the monroe struts, and I was pushing $1,000. for front end struts.. yikes.

Rockauto, I will be calling you about a refund today for the KYBs..

Anyways, wow. Night and day difference. The car feels like it has more muscle and a much firmer stance. Then handling has greatly improved. The one piece monroe assembly comes with new springs, of course, and I think they may have something to do with it, but my front end got a lift! I would say its about 1.5"-2" higher than it was before.

Here's a side shot.

Here is what my alignment looked like before and after. OUCH!
BEFORE:

AFTER:
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:47 am

I hope RockAuto is kind to you about the refund. It's becoming more and more widely known that the GR-2 and Excel-G are the exact same part. The difference is, GR-2s are painted silver, Excel-Gs are painted black. Underneath that, they are the same strut made at the same factory on the same lines. KYB is phasing out the GR-2 name, and replacing with Excel-G. My guess is, there are at times an odd number of GR-2s on hand, so they pair them up with an Excel. It's the same exact strut, your mechanic should have known that.

http://www.kyb.com/technical/faq/faq06.php

_________________
'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 180 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
Because fun
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:33 pm

They acknowledged they were the same but wouldn't install them. They said above, all else its unprofessional. I would also like to have the same color so.....
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:59 pm

Understandable. The power of aesthetic is undeniable. If they look different, they are different as far as many are concerned. RockAuto should take the return, I just hope they don't hassle you on the shipping. If they do, hold your ground on it. I agree, the struts should match. For all they know, you are building a show car... wink

_________________
'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 180 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
Because fun
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:33 pm

I can't tell if it was a mistake on Rock Auto's part or KYB. The nut for the excel G didn't even fit the threading talk They looked factory sealed unless someone at the warehouse dug around in them and retaped them.

But what about the ride height? Does that look normal to you guys? Will the new springs chill out after a while and come down a bit? It is definitely lifted in the front. Can't say I hate it either.
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:56 pm

Are you saying the supplied nut didn't fit the strut it came with? The threads are different than OEM, so you can't re-use the stock nut, but I've always had good luck with the supplied hardware.

Your front end looks high. That's one of the drawbacks to all-in-one spring/strut combos. They probably use the same spring for a variety of different cars, even though the struts might be different. In other words, the spring rate is likely different than our OEM spec, because this spring could be used for more than a few cars, all with different curb weights.

If it were my car, I'd be 10,000X more concerned about the ride height issue than I would be about the GR-2/Excell-G paint colors not matching. Your mechanic was kind enough to not install your product, but they were more than willing to jack your car up 2" high in the front by installing their parts and charging you a lot more in the process. A mechanic friend told me a long time ago: shops make most of their profits from selling parts, not on labor. For this reason, very few will install parts brought to them by the client, because it's not worth their time. Seems like this held true in your case, imo.

_________________
'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 180 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
Because fun
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:25 pm

These were not their struts. I picked them up at O'reilys. Only place that had the only strut that would fit on that Saturday. They didn't install any of their own parts. Just charged me for labor.

I have no complaints so far, just wondering about the lift in the front. Anyway I can lift the back a little? If I use that remote line instead of the pump can I do it manually?
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:28 pm

You can lift the rear up with air using the manual air valve. Then you could try filling out the wheel openings next time you buy tires, going with a 65 or 70 profile. Or just go with 18" wheels and a set of 50 or 55 profile tires.

Honestly though, the new tires will cost more than putting the old springs back with your new KYBs - if you do it yourself. I'm guessing since you didn't use their parts, the shop isn't going to take any responsibility for the ride height at this point. I like riding stock height or lower than stock height, but if you don't mind riding high, maybe lifting up the rear is the better solution.

If you value handling, generally it makes sense to keep the car riding as low as possible, but not always (slamming her to the ground will not make a race car). Mine handles pretty well with the rear a little high. Never tried raising the front.

_________________
'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 180 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
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:15 pm

I would be very concerned about that ride height. Something is not right there. It looks unusual. I'm not sure what to expect, but the ride height really shouldn't have changed at all.

I would be worried about the negative effects on the cars handling.
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:13 pm

Ok. So the monroes were installed on 9/22/12
Here is a picture from 9/24/12

and then on 9/26/12

It feels like the front has settled down a bit, maybe a quarter to a half inch. But the worst part is loss of traction on the front wheels. Too much weight has been tipped to the back. I can't get my awesome launches from a stop anymore frown
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:16 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
I would be very concerned about that ride height. Something is not right there. It looks unusual. I'm not sure what to expect, but the ride height really shouldn't have changed at all.

I would be worried about the negative effects on the cars handling.

Should I take it back to the garage? The handling is amazing compared to what it was. The car feels stronger with more beef in the front. Only downsides i've noticed is that I can't take turns as fast as I could with the older worn struts and I lost some traction in the front. The grip just isnt there like it was.
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PostSubject: Re: Charlie Robinson's '99 Riv   Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:26 pm

charlieRobinson wrote:
deekster_caddy wrote:
I would be very concerned about that ride height. Something is not right there. It looks unusual. I'm not sure what to expect, but the ride height really shouldn't have changed at all.

I would be worried about the negative effects on the cars handling.

Should I take it back to the garage? The handling is amazing compared to what it was. The car feels stronger with more beef in the front. Only downsides i've noticed is that I can't take turns as fast as I could with the older worn struts and I lost some traction in the front. The grip just isnt there like it was.

I think so. Any mechanic who looks at that will recognize something isn't right. The car should sit level, and at the correct height. Either the replacement struts had the wrong springs, or someone swapped the springs over incorrectly, or something. I replaced my struts and reused the original springs, and 80K later they are still at the correct height and the car handles good.

You already pointed out the obvious handling issues - both launching from a stop (FWD is more sensitive to this) and cornering will be badly affected by increasing the front ride height.

You may be able to return the struts to where you got them. Any parts counter guy should be able to take one look at your car and realize the part is wrong. They may not be willing to absorb the labor costs, but they should accept the part back.

Just to clarify - you got a complete strut kit, with the strut, spring and strut mount all included? Monroe? Something called a "Quick Strut"?
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