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Old 03-06-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
Hexa
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Default C6 Z51 Chassis improvement ???

Hello,

After more than 1 year driving my fantastic 05 C6 ... I'm more and more looking for some chassis improvement. I'm mostly driving small mountain roads... and I wanted to know if there are some small possible improvement to the Z51 to make the C6 handling being more direct ??? (I'm currently using Falken tires )

Actually I don't really want to go forward with a massive change ... but more in a stepped direction by starting with the right component ... then see how it improves .. etc ...

Some people apparently simply replace the Sway bar bushings by the Pfadt poly ones... Could that be a starting point to my quest of a better handling (I don't know if it's that much easy, but would be be cool if it was )

Many thanks in advance
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Hello,

After more than 1 year driving my fantastic 05 C6 ... I'm more and more looking for some chassis improvement. I'm mostly driving small mountain roads... and I wanted to know if there are some small possible improvement to the Z51 to make the C6 handling being more direct ??? (I'm currently using Falken tires )

Actually I don't really want to go forward with a massive change ... but more in a stepped direction by starting with the right component ... then see how it improves .. etc ...

Some people apparently simply replace the Sway bar bushings by the Pfadt poly ones... Could that be a starting point to my quest of a better handling (I don't know if it's that much easy, but would be be cool if it was )

Many thanks in advance
I'd replace the stock shocks. I couldn't believe how badly the C6 handled when encountering a bump in a corner. Downright dangerous in my opinion. Probably the best money I spent was changing the suspension. I was literally tweaking it tonight for several hours.

DRM (Doug Rippie Motorsports) has some custom Bilstiens that are priced right and have very favorable reviews. I suggest these as it doesn't sound like you're trying to spend too much. http://dougrippie.com/

Poly swaybar bushings will firm up the ride but I wouldn't expect a big difference.

San
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Hello,

After more than 1 year driving my fantastic 05 C6 ... I'm more and more looking for some chassis improvement. I'm mostly driving small mountain roads... and I wanted to know if there are some small possible improvement to the Z51 to make the C6 handling being more direct ??? (I'm currently using Falken tires )

Actually I don't really want to go forward with a massive change ... but more in a stepped direction by starting with the right component ... then see how it improves .. etc ...

Some people apparently simply replace the Sway bar bushings by the Pfadt poly ones... Could that be a starting point to my quest of a better handling (I don't know if it's that much easy, but would be be cool if it was )

Many thanks in advance
The Johnny O'Connell sway bars will sharpen up the initial turn in on corners and keep the car flat. They will also take out the tendency to oversteer that you may experience with the Z51 sway bars. I have the JOC sway bars on my 2008 with F55 shocks. You might also want to thing about the JOC shocks. The JOC package is not cheap, but I noticed a big difference with just the sway bars. No real increase in ride stiffness either.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Hello,

After more than 1 year driving my fantastic 05 C6 ... I'm more and more looking for some chassis improvement. I'm mostly driving small mountain roads... and I wanted to know if there are some small possible improvement to the Z51 to make the C6 handling being more direct ??? (I'm currently using Falken tires )

Actually I don't really want to go forward with a massive change ... but more in a stepped direction by starting with the right component ... then see how it improves .. etc ...

Some people apparently simply replace the Sway bar bushings by the Pfadt poly ones... Could that be a starting point to my quest of a better handling (I don't know if it's that much easy, but would be be cool if it was )

Many thanks in advance
for better feel, youre going to need to eliminate flex in the suspension - like the bushings for the sway bars, but also the control arms.

also the tires you are running will affect this. In my experience Falkens (the street type) arent the best choice of tire for quick driving
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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Small steps.
#1) Lower the car OEM ride height on the stock bolts 1/2 inch.
#2) Add a tunnel plate.
#3) Customize the alignment specs.
#4) Sticker tires - # 3 and # 4 probably equate to your more direct comment. There seems to be nothing you can do with steering ratio or steering feel (like heavier oil for example).

FWIW:
Then sway bars to dial in your body roll to your preference.
Then adjustable non-coil shocks to limit dive or squat or some combination you like.

Or toss the traverse spirng and go coil overs as a major step.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:36 AM   #6
Hexa
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Thank you very much for all the feedbacks

I'll actually start by giving a try to the Bilstein B6 Sports ... it's not crazy expensive and if it's not enough I'll continue with the sway bars
BTW is there any DIY tutorial for replacing the suspensions on a C6 ??? logically it should not be that much difficult since there is no spring on them ???

Many thanks for your help
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:59 AM   #7
el es tu
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http://www.corvettedreams.com/bilstein-i.pdf

there are many good shocks install threads on this site, you can search the c5 and c6 forums for write ups with lot of information
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Thank you very much for all the feedbacks

I'll actually start by giving a try to the Bilstein B6 Sports ... it's not crazy expensive and if it's not enough I'll continue with the sway bars
BTW is there any DIY tutorial for replacing the suspensions on a C6 ??? logically it should not be that much difficult since there is no spring on them ???

Many thanks for your help
While the shocks don't have springs on them the suspension still uses springs. There is still tension on componenets at full droop, although it is minimal compared to other cars.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
Hexa
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Thank you again for all those informations

I totally missed one important thing mentioned by Kenny ... actually I'm working for a company where I can get aluminium plates from, so building a tunnel plate should not really be an issue for me.
Before I unmount the exhaust to check the original plate do someone maybe have some raw dimension of the Tunnel plate so I can already pickup a plate for my future build ???

Many thanks in advance for your great help
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:37 AM   #10
Don 79 TA
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Originally Posted by oldmansan View Post
I'd replace the stock shocks. I couldn't believe how badly the C6 handled when encountering a bump in a corner. Downright dangerous in my opinion. Probably the best money I spent was changing the suspension. I was literally tweaking it tonight for several hours.

DRM (Doug Rippie Motorsports) has some custom Bilstiens that are priced right and have very favorable reviews. I suggest these as it doesn't sound like you're trying to spend too much. http://dougrippie.com/

Poly swaybar bushings will firm up the ride but I wouldn't expect a big difference.

San
when i looked on DRM's site i think their tuned shocks were only for the Z06
am i mistaken?
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:01 AM   #11
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I would get the Pfadt suspension kit and after 4 hours of labor, you will be driving a different car.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el es tu View Post
http://www.corvettedreams.com/bilstein-i.pdf

there are many good shocks install threads on this site, you can search the c5 and c6 forums for write ups with lot of information
At 30k miles, I noticed my oem Z51 shocks were starting to become a little sloppy. At 45k, I replaced them with Bilstein sports which made a significant difference, more than I expected. The tires feel more planted through the turns, over bumps and under hard acceleration. The oem shocks started to exhibit a walloping feel under hard turns. The Bilstein Sports took care of that. If you are looking to take small steps, I recommend replacing the shocks with Bilstein Sports for the Z51 suspension.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:26 AM   #13
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My vote is for the JOC sway bars.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Hello,

After more than 1 year driving my fantastic 05 C6 ... I'm more and more looking for some chassis improvement. I'm mostly driving small mountain roads... and I wanted to know if there are some small possible improvement to the Z51 to make the C6 handling being more direct ??? (I'm currently using Falken tires )

Actually I don't really want to go forward with a massive change ... but more in a stepped direction by starting with the right component ... then see how it improves .. etc ...

Some people apparently simply replace the Sway bar bushings by the Pfadt poly ones... Could that be a starting point to my quest of a better handling (I don't know if it's that much easy, but would be be cool if it was )

Many thanks in advance
The first thing you need to do is define what you are looking for. What do you perceive the car isn't doing as well as it should? That is what determines the solution you choose. There have been a lot of suggestions on things that might improve the car but they may not solve your issue, especially if you don't know what the issue is. Once you can say I want the car to do this, but it does this instead then talk to somebody who can interpret your issues and tell you what needs to be done. To get started you don't need to be as specific as the NASCAR drivers who say the car is loose in, tight on exit, loose in the middle, etc but you do need to tell somebody what the car feels like. Some of your issues may be resolved by the cheapest mod which is improving your driving skills since if it is your skill that is causing the issue it will not make any difference what you do to the car.

Bill
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:36 PM   #15
rdodson
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Without a doubt the JOC package works really well on Z51.

Try this link and info:
http://www.pfadtracing.com/catalog/p...roducts_id/216

Checkout this thread for more opinions:
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c6-t...l-package.html
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:54 PM   #16
Hexa
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Really good point Bill Actually to explain the background ... I've been driving an opel speedster for around 6 years and with the Lotus Chassis I was able to feel the road in an amazing way ... everything was transmitted to the driver.
Now with the corvette, I've the feeling of something less direct ... like a sort of latency in the controls which makes me think about a kind of rigidity issue. (not easy to explain)
Also in quick curves (typical mountain roads in Europe) ... the C6 is currently a bit bumpy if the raod is not 100% perfect .

On the other hand I REALLY like the confort of the corvette over a race car like the Speedster

Finding the right balance is not easy, but that's basically the reason why I was thinking about the Bilstein and also building a thicker tunnel plate (to add some rigidity) ... which aapparently are not crazy expensive modifications but might help to solve my issues (or start to solve them)

what do you think about ???

Last edited by Hexa; 03-09-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Really good point Bill Actually to explain the background ... I've been driving an opel speedster for around 6 years and with the Lotus Chassis I was able to feel the road in an amazing way ... everything was transmitted to the driver.
Now with the corvette, I've the feeling of something less direct ... like a sort of latency in the controls which makes me think about a kind of rigidity issue. (not easy to explain)
Also in quick curves (typical mountain roads in Europe) ... the C6 is currently a bit bumpy if the raod is not 100% perfect .

On the other hand I REALLY like the confort of the corvette over a race car like the Speedster

Finding the right balance is not easy, but that's basically the reason why I was thinking about the Bilstein and also building a thicker tunnel plate (to add some rigidity) ... which aapparently are not crazy expensive modifications but might help to solve my issues (or start to solve them)

what do you think about ???
Actually considering the wheelbase and track the factory C6 chassis is very rigid. Even stock it is ready for a much more aggressive suspension tune.

When I drive my FE1 car, my biggest issue is body control. Once you start to hustle the car in and out of corners the body starts moving around giving the car an unsettled feeling. It is the opposite of the car feeling glued to the road. The Z51 cars I drove were better but they seemed to skip and studder over broken pavement, which I didn't like. Actually my FE1 car does that too but I think its because of the dynamic loading on the tires (body all over the place). Back to the Z51 I think the issue is more shock tuning. Either there is too much rebound and the shocks are packing up or the compression is a little stiff.

For me I will go with a Z-51 spring package, which will also help with brake dive, and then Z-51 sways with bilstein sports. I have also seriously thought about stepping up to the JOC package with Z51 springs. I like what they have done with their shock tuning.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Really good point Bill Actually to explain the background ... I've been driving an opel speedster for around 6 years and with the Lotus Chassis I was able to feel the road in an amazing way ... everything was transmitted to the driver.
Now with the corvette, I've the feeling of something less direct ... like a sort of latency in the controls which makes me think about a kind of rigidity issue. (not easy to explain)
Also in quick curves (typical mountain roads in Europe) ... the C6 is currently a bit bumpy if the raod is not 100% perfect .

On the other hand I REALLY like the confort of the corvette over a race car like the Speedster

Finding the right balance is not easy, but that's basically the reason why I was thinking about the Bilstein and also building a thicker tunnel plate (to add some rigidity) ... which aapparently are not crazy expensive modifications but might help to solve my issues (or start to solve them)

what do you think about ???
I think you're comparing apples to kiwis.

I have a Lotus Exige S and a C6. Totally different animals in almost every respect. You can't expect them to give you the same feedback. You can stiffen the C6 all you want. It will still feel big and clumsy compared to a car that weighs over 1000 pounds less.

The first time I drove my C6 after purchasing my Lotus I realized it would never feel the same. I still love my C6. But it's a different animal and you have to appreciate the pros and cons of it.

Yeah, yeah. You think I'm dissing the C6. I'm not. I took it to the canyons yesterday and beat on it. It's loud, fast and fun. It's also fairly comfortable compared to the Exige.

I've never taken my C6 to my favorite canyon road. It's too tight and twisty. It is the perfect justification for the Exige. Choose the right tool for the job.

Flame suit on.

San
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:38 AM   #19
Hexa
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I agree oldmansan the idea is not to change the corvette into something else and also not to have my back hurting after 150km like with a Lotus chassis

Also, after 60 000km my suspension are maybe simply becoming old ... ??? which might explain that lack of rigidity feeling in curves.
Even my BMW touring, compared to the corvette, provides a more safety feeling in curves ... the back of the car is not like on a wave (sorry I'm not a native english speaker so describing a feeling is a bit hard )
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by oldmansan View Post
I think you're comparing apples to kiwis.

I have a Lotus Exige S and a C6. Totally different animals in almost every respect. You can't expect them to give you the same feedback. You can stiffen the C6 all you want. It will still feel big and clumsy compared to a car that weighs over 1000 pounds less.

The first time I drove my C6 after purchasing my Lotus I realized it would never feel the same. I still love my C6. But it's a different animal and you have to appreciate the pros and cons of it.

Yeah, yeah. You think I'm dissing the C6. I'm not. I took it to the canyons yesterday and beat on it. It's loud, fast and fun. It's also fairly comfortable compared to the Exige.

I've never taken my C6 to my favorite canyon road. It's too tight and twisty. It is the perfect justification for the Exige. Choose the right tool for the job.

Flame suit on.

San
Yes and no. My good freind has a Elise and his car is like a scapel and mine a machette. The feel is completley different and I love the feedback from his car.

That being said, on the track if your concern is bottom line speed a C6 can do everything an Elise/Exige can do and more. It requires more tires and brakes and motor to do it but the bottom line is it does...and more. It just feels different when doing it.

Plus the C6 does other things the Lotus can't. At 6.0' getting in and out of his car is fun. I won't list all my complaints about the lotus, lets just say its not even in the same league as a GT car.
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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