C4 Tech/Performance L98 Corvette and LT1 Corvette Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine

DIY Front Coilover Setup

 
Old 02-20-2019, 08:51 AM
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MatthewMiller
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Originally Posted by jseremba View Post
I keep wanting to install the coilovers. I think that with the coilovers the suspension is truly independent.
This is not true. I went into real detail on this in a different thread (link to that post). The short version is that a car with a transverse lateral leaf spring and a swaybar is no more or less independent than a car with coil springs and a sway bar. A transverse leaf can be set up to be completely independent from side to side by putting the center clamps close together (like on the rear of a C4), or it can be set up to provide a small anti-roll (like a swaybar) effect by spreading the center clamps far apart (like on the front of a C4). But once you add a swaybar into the mix, then you take away some of the suspension's independence (regardless of the spring form factor). Nobody runs a C4 without a substantial front swaybar, so the whole issue of suspension independence is moot: all C4s run with significant anti-roll, which is the same as saying they all run with reduced independence. Switching to coil springs won't change that.

But I worry that the coilovers will be too stiff for street use. This car will rarely see the track.
You should be able to get coil springs in any rate you could reasonable want. That's actually one of the advantages of a coilover setup that uses standard 2.5" springs: lots of selection for free length and rate! But as I've written before, spring rate is not the biggest determinant of ride quality in most cars. By far the biggest factor affecting ride quality is damping curves, followed by certain bushings' hardness of spring mounts and subframe bushings. I think if you stay within the typical spring rates that most people use, you will not render the car too harsh for the street, but you'll need to pay attention to the shocks that come with your setup.
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