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Old 05-16-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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Install Thread: Bilsteins/Stranos and total suspension makeover

Hey guys,

Here are some pics of my Strano springs and Bilstein shocks installation.

I also swapped in a newly built 10 bolt with brand new Eaton and 3.73's, along with Founders LCA relocation brackets.

I am also getting Strano hollow 35/22 sway bars, a dedicated manual steering rack, and a rag joint eliminator kit from Unbalanced Engineering. I am considering getting their de-coupled tunnel mounted torque arm, as well.

Enjoy the pics guys!

Just getting started:


Big difference:


Stranos next to old springs:


Bilsteins hung:




New Rear with TA cover, new Eaton, new 3.73's, and LCA relocation brackets, after I got the darn axles swapped (explained at bottom of this post).


New rear and Shocks/Springs and LCA's/PHR hooked up:




New Front Coilover Waiting to go in (Moog ball joints need installed first):


Bead blasted my "steering knuckles" and clear coated them.




The Founders LCA relocation brackets went in pretty well. The driver's side was perfect, but the passenger's side needed some coaxing, in order for the shock mount holes to line up. I also had to swap the darn axles because the 10 bolt I had built did not have ABS axles on them. That kinda ticked me off, but I got it done. The LCA's bolted in beautifully, after I got the dang rear end hung. This all CAN be done by yourself



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Old 05-16-2013, 12:23 AM   #2
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That's pretty awesome dude. I like your built. Quality parts. And your engine stuff you did to your LT1 was impressive too.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:34 AM   #3
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Hey thanks.

Really all I did on the engine was install new plugs, yank the AC out, and install the LTCC ignition. Making the brackets for the coils and figuring out how to mount the brackets was the sucky and time consuming part.

I cannot wait to feel my car with these shocks and springs and with the Strano hollow sway bars.

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That's pretty awesome dude. I like your built. Quality parts. And your engine stuff you did to your LT1 was impressive too.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:38 AM   #4
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Yeah, I was talking about the LTCC, I've liked them seen I've seen them for the first time in GM High-Tech Performance magazine a few years ago.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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Garage
Great pics. I'm thinking if going with the strano/bilstein as well as the founders LCA/relo/panhard bar. Let us know how it feels!
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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I definitely will! As soon as I have a darn day free, I'll get it all together.

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Great pics. I'm thinking if going with the strano/bilstein as well as the founders LCA/relo/panhard bar. Let us know how it feels!
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:37 AM   #7
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I definitely will! As soon as I have a darn day free, I'll get it all together.
If you don't kind me asking how much did the Strano/bilsten run ya
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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$620 plus shipping from Strano Performance.

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If you don't kind me asking how much did the Strano/bilsten run ya
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #9
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control arms with ball joints

Finally got my control arms and ball joints together.



Next steps are to remove the front sway bar, power steering and rack and pinion, to make room for the new Rack Doctor manual rack, then I am going to see if I can swap the motor mounts with the Energy polys. Shouldn't be too hard with the whole front end torn out . Should be fun

Oh and I'll have to get an alternator relocation kit, so I can put my nice, shiny, tall valve covers on. Then, I'll have to figure out a new way to mount the coils. That should be fun, too
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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Progress

Hey all.

Yanked out my power rack and pinion and pump and reservoir, to make room for my manual rack. Pulled it all together, without loosening lines or anything.

Also removed the serpentine bracket and tensioner and all that stuff, so I can relocated the alternator down low.

I also broke a socket adapter on a sway bar mount bolt. Those bolts were rusted in and very hard to break free.

Also got my rag joint eliminator kit (pic below).

Strano hollow sway bars are on back order and probably another week for my manual rack.

Pics:

Rag joint eliminator kit from Unbalanced Engineering:


Pulled out the rack and pinion: It's held in by two fairly large bolt/nut combos that are accessed through the two large holes in the bottom of the K-member. You may have to use a wrench on the top, to keep the hole bolt/nut combo from spinning, but you should be able to initially loosen them by just using a ratchet.


A bit of a different angle. Again, I pulled all of the power steering parts out in one glob, without disconnecting one single line. I just had to separate the heater hose that is below the power steering pump, to get the pump and reservoir to drop through to the ground. It was kind of a PITA but doable, with a little patience.


No more bulky accessory bracket! Just gonna run the crank pulley and alternator, and that's it! I'd like to get some braided transmission lines and run them along the inside frame of the car, so those hard lines will be out of my way for good.


Here's the whole mess, along with the tensioner and A/C delete pulley kit. The Rack Doctor will refund $55.00 when I return the power rack and pinion to them.


I believe this is the air conditioning compressor plug (the gray one in front). It's been a while since I pulled the compressor out of there. Good riddance. That AC compressor makes changing the #2 and #4 spark plugs a PITA.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:14 AM   #11
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More suspension progress

Hey guys.

OK OK, so this thread isn't just the suspension, it's the steering, as well. I hope some of you get something out of this.

As I wait for my steering rack and sway bars to arrive, I have been working on my Energy motor mount installation. The passenger side was the toughest to break loose. Weird angles and not much room to work, but I did it. Just have to put the passenger side mount back in. The driver's side was ok, with the bolt closest to the firewall being pretty tough to break loose, especially with the headers in the way.

I also swapped the Unbalanced Engineering rag joint eliminator onto my steering shaft today and painted it, during my breaks at work (thankfully, I work in a shop with tools .

I have 45 minute increments of time, each day, to work on my car, if I am not too tired. Sometimes I book it over to the garage where my car is and put in 25 minutes of work on it then rush back to work. I'm getting it done little by little!

Here are some pics:

Driver's side motor mount. Those two bolt heads up in the left hand corner were RUBBING against one another, and I couldn't even get a socket on the horizontal bolt. After I swapped in the Energy bushing, it created at least a centimeter of clearance, as shown.
I am thinking my loose motor mount bushings were what caused the driveline vibrations I was having at certain RPM's.



This was the old bushing and why the two bolt heads were rubbing. It was very worn and loose inside the clamshell.


Out of the clamshell. Here is a comparison to the Energy bushing.




Rag joint eliminator installed. It's just a machined piece of metal, to replace the softer stock rag joint. It is a high quality kit, I must say. Getting the rivets out of the stock assembly was a real PITA.

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Old 05-25-2013, 11:15 PM   #12
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Got the motor mounts in and cleaned up the k member where the rack and pinion goes. Just have to install the alternator relocator.

Passenger side motor mount (I also installed a new knock sensor):


Clean K member rack and pinion area:


Alternator relocation kit:
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:41 PM   #13
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Progress

Today I was able to torque all of the rear suspension parts to specs.

Feels good to have the rear done, with the exception of the sway bars, for which I am still waiting.
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