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Shock advice requested, switching to T1 springs

 
Old 02-09-2019, 02:05 PM
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YYZ06
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Default Shock advice requested, switching to T1 springs

I am changing to T1 springs on my ’04 Z06 this year so I am looking to replace the original 15 year old Sachs shocks. Does anybody have experience with Ridetech QH single adjustable shocks? The adjuster looks pretty easy to get to, they have a “1,000,001 mile” warranty and the price is right too.

If you’ve used them, what are your impressions of the shocks? Would you recommend them? How do they compare to Koni sports? Is there a better single adjustable alternative than Ridetech or Koni? It seems like the location of the Koni adjuster would require the wheel to be removed to adjust the shock.

I’m also considering using my current Johnny O’Connell sway bars with the new springs. Is there any real reason for not going with the matching T1 sway bars (may possibly do it next year)?

Some background: The car is used 90/10 track vs street. I am an experienced driver (90+ days on track) and run slicks. I'd appreciate any advice or recommendations anyone can give me.

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Old 02-10-2019, 08:15 PM
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YEGC5Z06
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You can call up Fatcat Motorsport, and have Shaikh custom valve a set of Bilstein shocks to exactly your driving style and springs. Then you take all this guess work out of the equation.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:27 PM
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When we first ran COTA we had non-adjustable Bilsteins and I was completely shocked (bad pun, sorry) at how good they were. We demolished the track record. Louis at GSpeed did the valving after we had a good conversation on what I liked in a car I was driving and the results speak for themselves. I could use a lot of the low curbing and not upset the car and it was very predictable. Later on we went to adjustable penskes (and the car felt better) but for the price and simplicity those Bilsteins were incredibly good.



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Old 02-11-2019, 08:40 AM
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I would use either Penskes or JRIs if you want a quality competition shock. You get what you pay for.

If the budget won't allow for the Penskes or JRIs, The Adjustable Koni Sports Yellows would be a great shock for both the street and the track/autocross. I have tried both Bilsteins and Koni and the Konis by far are the best shock for a street ride and autocross setup. I found the Bilsteins were way too harsh for the street and horrible in the slaloms on an autocross course. Yes, the Bilsteins were re-valved for my setup and revalved by a different shock specialist and they still sucked. The Koni were a lot better out of the box but, I still had them revalved.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:41 AM
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These are my favorite, but they come with a price tag.

Costas is the only only person who has driven on both bilstein and penske, so his input is valid and real world.

https://gspeed.com/product/c5-c6-penske-shocks/
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by GSpeed View Post
These are my favorite, but they come with a price tag.

Costas is the only only person who has driven on both bilstein and penske, so his input is valid and real world.

https://gspeed.com/product/c5-c6-penske-shocks/
I have had the Koni Single Yellows Sport with special valving on my Ruby for the last 24 years and they're still good. I am about to put double adjustables JRIs on my 13 Grsnd Sport . Here are my Penskes Triple Adjustables for my 89 C4 Go-Fast Autocross Car.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:49 AM
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Another vote for Penske or JRi. I run JRi DA on my C5 and they are top notch.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:06 PM
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The original shock engineer that developed the Penske shocks is the same person that developed the JRI shocks. Also, I heard recently that a famous former NASCAR Crew Chief is either the owner or part owner of JRI now.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Nokones View Post
The original shock engineer that developed the Penske shocks is the same person that developed the JRI shocks. Also, I heard recently that a famous former NASCAR Crew Chief is either the owner or part owner of JRI now.

JRI has cool stuff, but the sales team, and even the representatives selling the product lack knowledge, and consistently give the wrong info. I hired a JRI engineer in 2013 to help with a Copo Camaro program. He couldn’t get the car to perform, come to find out, the confirmation text he sent regarding what **** to turn for stiff or soft, was backwards.

One of the top Optima Z06 guys had JJ, formerly from JRi tuning his dampers, and they were wrong. 800lbs of force at 2in/sec.

Time and time again, I give them chances and opportunities “because John Ryan engineered them” and the cars go slower. They no doubt have a good part, but zero support you can trust.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:39 PM
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I never dealt with anyone on the sales team. Mike Maier, Inc. has always done my valving. I believe for autocrossing it should be an inch per sec. I thought Danny was doing his own shocks?
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GSpeed View Post
One of the top Optima Z06 guys had JJ, formerly from JRi tuning his dampers, and they were wrong. 800lbs of force at 2in/sec.

Time and time again, I give them chances and opportunities “because John Ryan engineered them” and the cars go slower. They no doubt have a good part, but zero support you can trust.
I'm pretty sure unless you're the "top Optima Z06 guy" that I think you're referring to, they don't work for anyone else. A friend had a set of Danny's shocks on his car, and had me trying to help with setting them up. We very quickly ran out of adjustment on my friend's car, even though it had theoretically the same setup as Danny's C5, and we couldn't make it work (car was way too stiff, and that was running on 200tw tires on nice grippy concrete for autocross). Danny is an alien, and his results are quite likely in spite of his equipment rather than because of it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:18 PM
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Thank you for your responses. I tried some DRM valved Bilsteins a couple years ago and ended taking them off and putting the original Sachs shocks back on because the Bilsteins felt to "floaty" (if that is a word) to me. The car wouldn't settle after high load bumps or changes in car attitude. I really noticed it just after turn 11 at both Grattan and Mid-Ohio. I contacted Bilstein to see if I could try different valving on my shocks but said they were "crimped" closed and couldn't be revalved. I have to believe as “Shortcutsleeping” mentioned, that having someone who really knows what they are doing to specify the valving is key for nonadjustable shocks

I've drooled over Penske and JRI shocks and would love having the convenience of a remote adjuster. But honestly, I probably don’t know enough about what to adjust to get the desired result with double adjustable shocks to justify the expense. Also, I'm not sure how to do the measurements to specify the initial/base valving a la carte shocks. Although, you’d think enough folks with C5 Corvettes have specified shocks that they would have standard data for, say T1 springs, that vehicle weight would be the only variable needed. Or maybe not…

That is one of the reasons I didn’t go the coilover route. Too many variables/options to deal with given my time and limited number of track days per year. At least I’m starting from a known base that works and can learn to adjust the rebound then maybe move to double adjustable in the future (I’m probably talking myself into the T1 sways as well).

Given there are way more standard C5s than Z06s, I’d imagine that the initial valving for most adjustable shocks (Koni, Ridetech, etc.) would be for base C5 or maybe Z51 spring rates. How would one, without a lot of measuring equipment, spec a set of shocks for significantly stiffer T1 springs? I’ve had the car on scales a couple years ago so I know the weight within 100 lbs or so.

Again, thanks for your insight.

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Old 02-19-2019, 08:51 PM
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Use the t1 shocks
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:24 PM
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My first choice would be the T1 shocks, but one (front or rear, I can't remember) is discontinued. Next would be the Phoenix/Penske's.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:46 PM
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I got a set that i would be willing to part with. Low usage, been in my storage for awhile. I could try to find them if you are interested.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:32 PM
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It's the rears that are discontinued based on my poking around on the web. I've considered using the T1 shocks and the idea is still in my mind.

One of the thoughts I have about using Koni Sports, Ridetech HQ or other out of the box "Corvette" single adjustables, is that the base dampening (compression) is probably based on the base C5 springs. The T1 springs rates are around 30% stiffer in front and 35% stiffer rear, not considering the sway bars, based on numbers I've seen in various posts. So this leads me to believe that they would probably need to be custom valved to be truly compatible with the T1 setup.

Unfortunately, Penske shocks are not in the budget. My thoughts would be to upgrade the A-arm bushings before I spend $3.5K on shocks. Thanks for the tip that Phoenix would do Penske shocks (makes sense).

Originally Posted by 3X2 View Post
My first choice would be the T1 shocks, but one (front or rear, I can't remember) is discontinued. Next would be the Phoenix/Penske's.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:40 PM
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I'm a bit leery of buying used wear items. I'll send you a PM this weekend to see what you have. I appreciate the offer!

Originally Posted by c5racr1 View Post
I got a set that i would be willing to part with. Low usage, been in my storage for awhile. I could try to find them if you are interested.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:04 PM
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[QUOTE=YYZ06;1598914185

Unfortunately, Penske shocks are not in the budget. My thoughts would be to upgrade the A-arm bushings before I spend $3.5K on shocks. Thanks for the tip that Phoenix would do Penske shocks (makes sense).[/QUOTE]

I'd call Phoenix and talk to Joe about shock options.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:08 PM
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call Sam Strano @ stranoparts.com and talk to him. races and buys the stuff, stands behind it.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by acroy View Post
call Sam Strano @ stranoparts.com and talk to him. races and buys the stuff, stands behind it.
So.... I have run a lot of shocks. I sell a lot of shocks. For my C5/6's I have had things from Bilstein, Koni, Ridtech, MCS, and Penske. I have a C7 now, and it's been on Koni and Penske both. The Koni's between a C5/6 and a C7 are VERY different and I am not enamored with the C7 stuff, but the C5/6 stuff is really good for not $3500+. And I'm not alone in running on and having wins on them, and autocrossing is more shock intensive than the track is too. But I spend plenty of tiem on the track too, some of it even in a Corvette, but usually my Camaro (which also has Penske's).

I think a non-adjustable shock is pretty silly if you have the option to tune things. This includes Bilstein and T1, and JOC shocks, etc. Or coil-overs that have no damping adjustment or weird ones like compression only in the front.

It's the internet. Opinions abound here and I don't revel in the who's bigger game that often results. If you want to discuss the pro's and con's, and options. Call me. 814 849 3450. It does not obligate you to anything, and you might learn something.
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