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Old 11-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
sportflyer
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Finalizing Suspension Plan

I've been doing some research and reading and it's about time to go ahead and order everything I need to redo my suspension. I'm thinking about ordering everything by the end of Nov so I can get it all together to do everything at once one weekend after new years. I want to replace every bushing, run new struts/shocks and get new springs. Here is my plan:
*Pedders control arm bushings (complete set of 6) - $54
*Pedders 5030 & 5851 strut mount and bearing pairs - $155
*Whiteline W22327 front sway mount bushings - $15
*Energy Suspension rear subframe bushing - $0 (came with purchase of GTO)
Pedders EP2105 Steering Rack Bushing - $20
Whiteline W52906 HD Rear Radius Rod - $36
Whiteline W82047 Radius Rod Front - $157
Whiteline W22772 Front sway bar links - $71
Whiteline W23034 Rear sway bar links - $21
*Harrop Diff cover and bushing - $0 (came with purchase of GTO)
I decided against rear sway bar mount bushings due to the complexity in accessing them. Items marked with a * I already have. Now, is there anything I'm forgetting? Do I need any of the annoying TTY hardware for this work? And if I do is there any reason I can't get high strength stuff at Fastenal for a fraction of the dealer price?

As for the shocks/struts, I was thinking about going with Pedders Comfort Gas Front (8985s) for $324 and Koni Yellow adjustable rears (8041 1194) for $250. I DD my GTO and occasionally take it to the drag strip, so I was thinking this would be a great setup for the driving I do, allowing me to adjust the rears at the track and easily go back for day to day driving. Will I need some new front bump stops or are they included with the struts? Could I reuse my stock ones (~46k miles)?
Finally, the spring plan is where I'm still undecided. The measurements I got for my GTO at present are:
Front: 25 7/8in ground to fender, 11 3/4in ground to rim center
Rear: 26 in ground to fender, 12 in ground to rim center
So according to Lovell's measurements, I am sitting 1.3mm low on the front (call it 0, measurement error) and 14.4mm low on the rear. This leads me to think I should go with 20mm drop springs all around, since it will barely change the stance I already have in the rear and then match that drop to the front. I was looking at Pedders 2151s up front (cause they are $201 a pair), but according to Pedders measurement, they sit 575mm from the bottom of the RIM to the fender, which after some math means I should have a front ground to fender measurement of 25.89in, or a slight RAISE over my current height?? However, the Lovells 20mm drop springs measurements lead me to believe I should have a stance of 25.14in in the front, or about 3/4in lower than my current stance. I have only been looking at the Lovells 350mm rear springs as they are $219 vs $247 for the Pedders 2643 20mm drops (hey, its all about getting the most bang for the $!)
I had a hard time finding any actual measurements with these springs. Does anyone know if 20mm drop fronts will have me sitting higher or lower than I am currently? Does it make sense that 20mm drop rears should lower the rear another ~6mm? I'm looking for inputs to my plan from the smart people on here who know and have experimented with GTO suspensions. Oh, and after the research I've done on this and other forums, I'm only interested in Lovells or Pedders Springs, I will not entertain other brands.
Does anyone know if any of the suppliers will be doing any thanksgiving sales? What about links to stores to get parts cheaper than what I found? If anyone has any of these parts they are trying to get rid of, send me a PM!

Last edited by sportflyer; 11-16-2012 at 08:19 PM. Reason: typo correction
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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I would say skip the swaybar bushings unless you are going aftermarket bars in which case they usually include the bushings.

I'd also skip the steering rack bushing.

Where can you get all 6 control arm bushings for $54?
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamwalker...View Post
I would say skip the swaybar bushings unless you are going aftermarket bars in which case they usually include the bushings.

I'd also skip the steering rack bushing.

Where can you get all 6 control arm bushings for $54?

I disagree. I installed my sway-bar bushings before doing my coilovers and all other bushings since they were quick and easy to install (I also did endlink bushings at the same time). The reduction in body roll was immediately noticeable from those two sets of bushings alone. I have a Pedders steering rack bushing that has been sitting around for years waiting to be installed, I can't speak of that.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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I think you have a good plan but i dont know why you are leaving Kings springs out of the selection, from what i have read on here they are the most liked. and I think you should just give me the Harrop cover, That thing is Junk
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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06BlackGTO64 - For the right $$, that can be arranged! As for the King springs, I haven't read anything negative about pedders or lovells, whereas I have seen some mixed reviews on Kings, so I figured it'd just be easier to not take the chance and find out.
steamwalker - right time, right place, I got a good deal!
05ls7gto - If you decide against the Pedders steering rack bushing, I can help you clean up the garage...
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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I don't think I've heard anything negative about King Springs. Can't say the same for Pedders. King Springs are a good choice if you want firmer springs. If you are not looking for a firmer HD spring, I'd go with Lovells which is still firmer than the OE spring. Since you are replacing all your bushings with poly, I'd assume you prefer a firmer ride. Of course I am biased, but usually the only time I see folks moving past Kings is to go with coilovers. Speaking of, you may want to consider BCs for the height and ride adjustability.

While you are upgrading your suspension, might want to inspect your ball joints and tie rods since you'll be in there anyways.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:53 AM   #7
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I would wait a month, the sponsors have some killer christmas deals.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:12 AM   #8
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I have no complaints with my king setup other than I should have went lower. If I could do it again today I would go coilovers.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:56 AM   #9
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slammin what coilovers? The BC BR series?
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #10
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Love my King HD Springs.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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I looked at the BC coilovers. The height and dampening adjustability sound awesome. Except I figured I would only have a track setting and DD setting, so I figure it would be cheaper and almost as good going koni rears with a quality aftermarket spring?
I did the wheel shake test when I was doing some brake work a few months back and as far as I can tell the BJs and TREs are good. I also figured it would be a great time to do those, but if it's not necessary why spend the time and money? I only have ~46k miles on the car, when do those 'usually' go out on GTOs?
Back to my original questions:
-Anything I'm forgetting in my list of bushings? Annoying TTY hardware?
-Thoughts on mixing and matching pedders front with lovells/koni rear, especially when it comes to adjusting for drag vs DD setup?
-ACTUAL results for fender height with the 20mm drop springs? like I said, by my interpretation of how lovells vs pedders measures it, one will lower my car, the other raise it and they are both marketed as 20mm drop?
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportflyer...View Post
Anything I'm forgetting in my list of bushings? Annoying TTY hardware?

Partial list:

Front Cradle Bolt (Front) x2 - 92138605
Front Cradle Bolt (Rear) x2 - 92138396
Front Control Arm Nut x2 - 90538867
Front Radius Rod Nut x2
Rear Radius Rod Nut x2 - 92019618
Ball Joint Nut x2
Front Caliper Lock Washers x4 - 92138897
Rear Subframe Bolts x2 - 92038482
Rear Subframe Cover Bolts x6 - 22138270
Rear Control Arm Nuts x4 - 90538867
Rear Diff Bolts x2
Rear Diff Housing Bolts x4 - 92138390
Rear Shock Bolts x2 - 92036304

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportflyer...View Post
I can tell the BJs and TREs are good.

I don't know anything about TREs but I do know that BJs are good.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:30 AM   #13
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I didn't see ball joints on your first list. You have to take the rotor off to get the ball joint back in. That is after you go all barbarian with a pickle fork to separate them. If you can separate them without jacking up the rubber tell me please. Mine looked like a dog chewed them up once I got them out.

In hindsight I wish I would have bought the preassembled control arms and not f'd around with the bushings. Cheaper to do it yourself and even pay someone but to have the arms there and ready to go is awesome. I borrowed a buddy's spare set and painted them all nice like and put the new stuff in. I did the rear control arms but the fronts don't have as much to work with. I pussed out and took them to a machine shop.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:45 AM   #14
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Did ball joints yesterday, definitely a challenge. The first one the stud just spun when trying to remove the nut. Took some inventiveness to resolve that issue. Outside getting the nut off, the ball joint just slipped out of the knuckle. The other side was easier, the nut came off easier as the stud did not spin. Used a ball joint separator (the clamp type), no damage to the boot. Balljoints were bad I suspect as I could move them with my finger like a joystick. The new ones wouldn't move through human force.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamwalker...View Post
Partial list:

Front Cradle Bolt (Front) x2 - 92138605
Front Cradle Bolt (Rear) x2 - 92138396
Front Control Arm Nut x2 - 90538867
Front Radius Rod Nut x2
Rear Radius Rod Nut x2 - 92019618
Ball Joint Nut x2
Front Caliper Lock Washers x4 - 92138897
Rear Subframe Bolts x2 - 92038482
Rear Subframe Cover Bolts x6 - 22138270
Rear Control Arm Nuts x4 - 90538867
Rear Diff Bolts x2
Rear Diff Housing Bolts x4 - 92138390
Rear Shock Bolts x2 - 92036304



I don't know anything about TREs but I do know that BJs are good.

Tie Rod Ends (TREs) and Ball-Joints Did you have any indication they were bad before removing? I'd like to avoid them if they don't need replacing.

Front Cradle Bolt (Front) x2 - Do I have to drop the front cradle to do bushings?
Front Cradle Bolt (Rear) x2 - same as above
Front Control Arm Nut x2 - Any reason I can't source at Fastenal?
Front Radius Rod Nut x2 - same as above
Rear Radius Rod Nut x2 - same as above
Ball Joint Nut x2 - Really not included with new ones?
Front Caliper Lock Washers x4 - These are one time use?!
Rear Subframe Bolts x2 - Do I need these if the subframe bushings are already installed?
Rear Subframe Cover Bolts x6 - same as above
Rear Control Arm Nuts x4 - Fastenal?
Rear Diff Bolts x2 - already installed, not needed
Rear Diff Housing Bolts x4 - same as above
Rear Shock Bolts x2 - not included with new shocks? Really one time use?

That's a lot more hardware than I expected... basically you're saying I have to replace every nut & bolt I remove? This just got more expensive...
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamwalker...View Post
Did ball joints yesterday, definitely a challenge. The first one the stud just spun when trying to remove the nut. Took some inventiveness to resolve that issue. Outside getting the nut off, the ball joint just slipped out of the knuckle. The other side was easier, the nut came off easier as the stud did not spin. Used a ball joint separator (the clamp type), no damage to the boot. Balljoints were bad I suspect as I could move them with my finger like a joystick. The new ones wouldn't move through human force.

I finished my second one today. There was no way mine were coming out without some force. Perhaps I could have used the separator tool but since I new I had replacements I just pounded away and boot payed the price. Nuts came off no issue. That is a tight area to get a tool into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportflyer...View Post
Tie Rod Ends (TREs) and Ball-Joints Did you have any indication they were bad before removing? I'd like to avoid them if they don't need replacing.

Front Cradle Bolt (Front) x2 - Do I have to drop the front cradle to do bushings?
Front Cradle Bolt (Rear) x2 - same as above
Front Control Arm Nut x2 - Any reason I can't source at Fastenal?
Front Radius Rod Nut x2 - same as above
Rear Radius Rod Nut x2 - same as above
Ball Joint Nut x2 - Really not included with new ones?
Front Caliper Lock Washers x4 - These are one time use?!
Rear Subframe Bolts x2 - Do I need these if the subframe bushings are already installed?
Rear Subframe Cover Bolts x6 - same as above
Rear Control Arm Nuts x4 - Fastenal?
Rear Diff Bolts x2 - already installed, not needed
Rear Diff Housing Bolts x4 - same as above
Rear Shock Bolts x2 - not included with new shocks? Really one time use?

That's a lot more hardware than I expected... basically you're saying I have to replace every nut & bolt I remove? This just got more expensive...

No indications they were bad but I figured while I was in there to do them. Got a local deal on them.
Do some reading on the TTY stuff. Some reuse with blue loctite, some source new ones, and some buy new GM. I reused everything but the washers on the calipers (yes, one time use). Used the Nord-Loc I got from McMaster. I had more stuff from them but forgot to use them. Winter re-bolt project. I will replace the subframe pair eventually (says they are a one torque use). Oh and you don't have to drop the front cradle to do any bushings unless you go with the sway bar stuff. My ball joints came with nylock nuts (Roadsafe).
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportflyer...View Post
Tie Rod Ends (TREs) and Ball-Joints Did you have any indication they were bad before removing? I'd like to avoid them if they don't need replacing. I had no indication that the balljoints were bad, I just replaced them as I replaced the whole control arm, They certainly looked bad after removing

Front Cradle Bolt (Front) x2 - Do I have to drop the front cradle to do bushings? - No, you won't need these unless you are replacing the front sway bar
Front Cradle Bolt (Rear) x2 - same as above - No, you won't need these unless you are replacing the front sway bar
Front Control Arm Nut x2 - Any reason I can't source at Fastenal? - Probably, it's a fairly simple nut
Front Radius Rod Nut x2 - same as above - Probably, it's a fairly simple nut although it's a nylon locking nut so you'll want to use loctite if you don't get a locknut. These are usually included with the front radius rod bushing
Rear Radius Rod Nut x2 - same as above - No, this nut is wholly unique. You'll need to source them from GM or a place like Wretched.
Ball Joint Nut x2 - Really not included with new ones? - If you are replacing the ball joints, the new ones will usually come with them. If you are just removing the control arm (for instance, doing the control arm or RR bushings, you may want to buy some)
Front Caliper Lock Washers x4 - These are one time use?! - Yes, but I reused them myself
Rear Subframe Bolts x2 - Do I need these if the subframe bushings are already installed? - If you are installing rear control arm bushings, you'll need to drop the subframe
Rear Subframe Cover Bolts x6 - same as above - I don't actually believe these are one time use, okay to reuse
Rear Control Arm Nuts x4 - Fastenal? - These are the same as the front control arm nuts so see note above
Rear Diff Bolts x2 - already installed, not needed - not needed if you don't need to drop the diff for other bushings, e.g. rear sway bar bushings
Rear Diff Housing Bolts x4 - same as above - same as above
Rear Shock Bolts x2 - not included with new shocks? Really one time use? Yup, and they aren't included with new shocks. Can reuse old one with loctite but that's true for most nuts/bolts

That's a lot more hardware than I expected... basically you're saying I have to replace every nut & bolt I remove? This just got more expensive...


Last edited by steamwalker; 11-18-2012 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:23 PM   #18
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Great info, thanks Steamwalker!
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #19
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Thought I'd post an update in case it can help anyone looking to do something similar. I finished the rear suspension and am now working on the front suspension.
Advice on the rear suspension:
The nut on the tie rod end (TRE) of the toe link bar is a M12-1.5thread nylon lock nut. My local fastenal said they do not stock these anymore, but can order you an entire pack. I ended up ordering a 10 pack from mcmaster-carr online (extras anyone?). These were a bit of a trick to get back on. Once the nylon grabbed, it wanted to spin the TRE in the housing. I managed to get a C clamp on it to hold it pressed into the control arm enough to tighten down the nut without spinning.
The Koni shocks are adjustable, but to access the adjustment you have to pull back the carpet in the trunk and use their little adjuster knob tool (great time to ditch that worthless tank brace thingy). Not a big deal, but takes a little more time and effort than the external adjuster knob on the shock housing that I had imagined when ordering. I set them in the middle of the range initially and my test drive shows they will need some adjusting as hitting expansion joints on overpasses/bridges was a painful experience best described as an aggressive see-saw. When installing the shocks, I would recommend starting with the lower bolt and allowing the shock to hang freely below the car (rather than with the top in its mount). This is because the angle from the control arm at full droop makes it difficult to install this bolt without crossthreading/stripping (which I did, a M14-1.5 tap or rethreader can fix it ). There is enough clearance to compress the shock by hand and rotate it up into its upper mount after you have this bolt in. Oh, and if you are ordering new shock bolts on Wretched, they sell them in pairs (I have extra).
Finally, the "Stabilizer Shaft Link Nut and Bolt: 98 Nm 72 lb ft" listed in the full suspension replacement instructions thread is not intended for the little bolts that hold the sway bar links to the sway bar itself or the control arm tabs. This much torque will strip or shear these bolts.
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