Tag Archives: suspension

Rear Suspension Reassembly

In the last couple of posts I’ve described the reason for taking apart the rear suspension on bowtie6.  I had to send the coilovers back to the manufacturer for servicing and sure enough, after a few days they arrived back in as-new condition.  This morning, I started cleaning all the hardware and springs followed by a dry-run:  installing the coilovers on the rear suspension (without springs) and going through the entire range of motion of the axle using my jack.  I just wanted to make sure nothing was binding or out of alignment.  All checked out, so time to quit farting around and get down to business…

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Rebuilt Coilovers

The Man in the brown truck delivered a box containing bowtie6‘s rear rebuilt coilovers.  This stuff is like jewelry – too bad they are not in plain sight!

Needless to say I unpacked them and they are perfect.  Sure, there are a few scratches from wear and tear but overall they are mechanically back to as-new condition.  The rebuild price was not too bad:  $99.00 + shipping.

I can’t wait to get the springs assembled back on them and then mounting them back to the rear axle.  I’ll have a new post with pictures this weekend.  Stay tuned!  :mrgreen:

Coilover Repair

After nearly 25,000 miles on bowtie6 and countless number of rebounds the rear coilovers finally gave up the ghost; time for coilover repair.  In order to get them apart, I had to do a partial rear suspension tear down.  My cousin Jim designed all the mounts so they could be easily disassembled – “…remember, everything will eventually be replaced or serviced at one point or another”, he says; “…it doesn’t matter how nice it looks or how great it performs, if it is not easy to disassemble and put back together, it isn’t worth a damn!”.  Wise man, my cousin Jim.

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2,400 Miles and Counting…

I’ve been able to rack up about 2,400 miles on bowtie6 so far.  And, it has been a blast!!  The frame is rock solid, and with the ECM tweaks the engine is so much more responsive.  Yet we have been able to see 28mpg in city driving no less.  Not too bad considering the tune is now more so towards performance rather than for economy and I’ve been really putting my foot into the electronic throttle pedal.

A few weeks ago, I found a vendor that makes an awesome coilpack cover for the Ecotec.  You can see this in the above picture.  Four screws with spacers hold the water-jet cut aluminium cover and very nicely hides the valley between the cams.  Looks trick.  I was thinking about unbolting the intake, cover and valve cover and perhaps having this all crinkle coated in black.  Maybe later this year…

Along with the great news, there has been on unpleasant development:  a bad wheel bearing on the new rear axle.  It seems like we got hold of a crappy “foreign” made wheel bearing and it started making a racket last week.  New ones have been sourced and I’ll be taking apart the axles this weekend.  All good – the diff fluid needed to be changed after “break in” so this should be a fun Saturday.

I’ll have pictures and a full report once we get the new bearings installed.

400 Miles and Counting…

Well, I’ve got about 400 miles on bowtie6 with the new frame and the Ecotec.  Simply put, this thing rocks.  I expected an improvement, but damn!  This thing is awesome.  And I have only scratched the surface.

Where to begin?  Well, the coilovers are amazing.  The front coilovers have made an incredible difference in the steering “feel”.  Before, with Richard Good uprated springs and SPAX adjustable shocks the steering was very “heavy”.  At parking-lot speeds it took quite some effort to turn the wheel.  Perhaps it had something to do with the 205/55-16’s up front or the extra heavy springs but now, this thing turns as if it had power steering.  At speed, the steering response is very quick; point and shoot actually.  What does this look like?  Take a look:

The front suspension towers were designed in such a way to accommodate the TR6 front suspension pieces but also the front coilovers.  Some things to note:

  • Yes, those are “stock” rotors.  They are cheap, and this allows me to use a very aggressive pad compound on my Wilwood calipers.  I am not racing this car so there is no need for the extra unsprung weight of “vented” rotors.  Contrary to popular opinion, these rotors along with the uprated calipers offer plenty of stopping power.  Remember, the master cylinder is from a Vette so this offers more than adequate clamping power.
  • Take a look at the sway bar end.  It has a blue SuperFlex bushing.  All the rest of the front suspension uses SuperFlex bushings – I ordered these from England.  They are amazing; a bit pricey but certainly worth the expense.
  • The coilovers are adjustable for rebound.  That is the little knob on the top, right below the top “A” arm.  I’m still trying to dial them in.

This is what the Wilwood caliper looks like:

Just like a good looking super-model, bowtie6‘s backside is just as sexy…

  • The rear coilovers are similar to the fronts; these are also adjustable for rebound.
  • The exhaust is a single 2.75 pipe.  We have a single resonator just past the bend off the headers and then at the exhaust end, a pair of SuperTrapp mufflers.  The basic principle with SuperTrapps is their adjustable baffles.  This works by adding or subtracting discs that add or subtract backpressure and noise.  The less discs the more backpressure and less noise.  With more discs, less backpressure and more noise.  I added quite a few discs but this made for a very high shriek anywhere north of 4500 revs.  So, I had to tone it down.  Right now we’re running eight discs – four on each side.

I’ve already started messing with the ECM a little.  HPTuners is an awesome tool to dial in the engine and I am just getting started.  With the new redesigned intake, headers and above mentioned exhaust things are flowing very “freely”.  I noticed the airflow mappings were way off and this has been the first thing I’ve started to modify with pretty good results.