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1989 FX3 New Shocks Install

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Old 09-11-2017, 03:56 PM   #1
rblakeney
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Default 1989 FX3 New Shocks Install

Finally got around to installing new Bilstein FX3 shocks. Got a good deal on the price at Wild Vettes. Installation was the easiest I have ever experienced on a car. Course, had 28 years of grime and too much chassis lube to cut through first. I think the cleaning took me longer. What is it with guys and grease guns?

The Selective Ride computer was throwing every single error code it knew beforehand so I was squealing like a girl when all the codes cleared at start up. I am quite happy that all of the original actuators work fine -- at least for now.

On the ride, the softest setting is quite comfortable and a bit floatey. Can't tell much difference in the middle, but the Perf setting is noticeable. So, to me, they could have eliminated the middle setting. More road miles through the Texas Hill Country will tell.

I was hoping that some of the staccato jolts that shake the whole car would mellow out now but not so. Is this just the nature of the overall suspension system? Or perhaps the leaf? Can this jolting be mellowed out with software springs?

It's nice to start the car and not have a light glaring at me from the message center for a change.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:10 PM   #2
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Finally got around to installing new Bilstein FX3 shocks. Got a good deal on the price at Wild Vettes. Installation was the easiest I have ever experienced on a car. Course, had 28 years of grime and too much chassis lube to cut through first. I think the cleaning took me longer. What is it with guys and grease guns?

The Selective Ride computer was throwing every single error code it knew beforehand so I was squealing like a girl when all the codes cleared at start up. I am quite happy that all of the original actuators work fine -- at least for now.

On the ride, the softest setting is quite comfortable and a bit floatey. Can't tell much difference in the middle, but the Perf setting is noticeable. So, to me, they could have eliminated the middle setting. More road miles through the Texas Hill Country will tell.

I was hoping that some of the staccato jolts that shake the whole car would mellow out now but not so. Is this just the nature of the overall suspension system? Or perhaps the leaf? Can this jolting be mellowed out with software springs?

It's nice to start the car and not have a light glaring at me from the message center for a change.
Congrats! I too have a new set ready to install, just waiting for cooler
weather. Go here: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/...fx3/index.html and read all about FX3.

Mick
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:31 PM   #3
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Congrats! I too have a new set ready to install, just waiting for cooler
weather. Go here: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/...fx3/index.html and read all about FX3.

Mick
For me it's been a twisted ankle and then Hurricane Friggin Harvey.

So, the article mentions that the FX3 system with Z51 came with the softer rate stock springs. I think this makes sense since the system can tighten up the shocks. And the car does ride nicely in the softest setting.

My confusion is in the occasional jolts that shake the whole car. It's like their is no dampening at all. The tires are new, not old and hard. Is this some kind of bushing issue?
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:50 PM   #4
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For me it's been a twisted ankle and then Hurricane Friggin Harvey.



My confusion is in the occasional jolts that shake the whole car. It's like their is no dampening at all. The tires are new, not old and hard. Is this some kind of bushing issue?
Dampening means to make wet.

What setting are you in when you feel this "jolt"? I feel nothing like this in my 1990 unless I'm in Performance mode and hit a big hole in our bombed-out streets here in Tucson. I normally run Sport mode.
Sorry about Harvey, that was a mess!

Mick
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:30 PM   #5
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Did you use new rubber bushings in the top?
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:04 AM   #6
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Dampening means to make wet.

What setting are you in when you feel this "jolt"? I feel nothing like this in my 1990 unless I'm in Performance mode and hit a big hole in our bombed-out streets here in Tucson. I normally run Sport mode.
Sorry about Harvey, that was a mess!

Mick
verb
gerund or present participle: dampening
1.
make slightly wet.
"the fine rain dampened her face"
synonyms: moisten, damp, wet, dew, water; literarybedew
"the rain dampened her face"
2.
make less strong or intense.
"nothing could dampen her enthusiasm"
synonyms: lessen, decrease, diminish, reduce, moderate, damp, put a damper on, throw cold water on, cool, discourage, disincentivize;

Course, with all the rain we've had everything is a bit moist.

Good question on the setting. I'll attempt to make some kind of log, but I am guessing it's just the C4 chassis.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:07 AM   #7
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Did you use new rubber bushings in the top?
Yes, new poly rubber top and bottom on all four. They are harder, so maybe that is what I am feeling.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:08 AM   #8
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Yes, new poly rubber top and bottom on all four. They are harder, so maybe that is what I am feeling.
Could be.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:41 PM   #9
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Is this just the nature of the overall suspension system? Or perhaps the leaf? Can this jolting be mellowed out with software springs?

It's nice to start the car and not have a light glaring at me from the message center for a change.
Congrats on getting the FX3 up and runnin again. I got mine going about three years ago or so. I was lucky that the previous owner had not chopped off and tossed the actuators. He had plastic bagged them and tucked them into the frame. I agree that there is a noticeable difference between Tour and Perf. Also agree that they could have skipped the Sport setting. My 1991 is an RPO Z07 car which i believe has stiffer springs. I too feel every bump in the road. Swapping in a different rear leaf would probably make a softer ride, but i am not willing to search out what would work and what would not work. Maybe someone else can chime in on that aspect. Either way, going through a clover leaf with that suspension is a lot of fun. Car hangs right in there.

Steve
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:11 PM   #10
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Congrats on getting the FX3 up and runnin again. I got mine going about three years ago or so. I was lucky that the previous owner had not chopped off and tossed the actuators. He had plastic bagged them and tucked them into the frame. I agree that there is a noticeable difference between Tour and Perf. Also agree that they could have skipped the Sport setting. My 1991 is an RPO Z07 car which i believe has stiffer springs. I too feel every bump in the road. Swapping in a different rear leaf would probably make a softer ride, but i am not willing to search out what would work and what would not work. Maybe someone else can chime in on that aspect. Either way, going through a clover leaf with that suspension is a lot of fun. Car hangs right in there.

Steve
Thanks. Bought this '89 earlier this summer from a guy that had it since 1992 -- the second owner. It came off a 3 year lease. He was a nice guy, but I think he didn't realize what he had. Last of the Atari dash and original nose and tail. First for the ZF6 speed and FX3. I looked for two years for this car and found it 5 hours away. "Honey, I'm going to Dallas to buy a red Corvette!"

The guy simply let the original shocks age and go dead. Someone told me that after a couple of fault codes, the FX3 computer just barfs up everything. In fact, all the codes cleared after changing just one shock, which I new was totally bad since it was almost limp.

I've driven the car a few more times since my first post and I think I'm done with the suspension except for the inevitable job on the bushings. They are all cracked but still in place. It's unfortunate the original rubber is not available anymore -- just harder poly-based pieces. Some of the guys here like the car better with the poly, but I am skeptical. I suppose I don't have a choice.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:57 PM   #11
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Someone told me that after a couple of fault codes, the FX3 computer just barfs up everything. In fact, all the codes cleared after changing just one shock, which I new was totally bad since it was almost limp.

I've driven the car a few more times since my first post and I think I'm done with the suspension except for the inevitable job on the bushings. They are all cracked but still in place. It's unfortunate the original rubber is not available anymore -- just harder poly-based pieces. Some of the guys here like the car better with the poly, but I am skeptical. I suppose I don't have a choice.
Why one shock? Id change in pairs. Bilstein advised me to send both fronts I despite the fact that one leaks and the other was bone dry. They replaced both under the warranty.

I thought some vendors carried rubber but not totally sure.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:32 PM   #12
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Why one shock? Id change in pairs. Bilstein advised me to send both fronts I despite the fact that one leaks and the other was bone dry. They replaced both under the warranty.

I thought some vendors carried rubber but not totally sure.
No, the codes cleared on the first shock. I replaced all four.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:15 PM   #13
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No, the codes cleared on the first shock. I replaced all four.
What codes did it report? I'm curious.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:37 AM   #14
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What codes did it report? I'm curious.
13
14
21
22
23
31
32
33
34
41
42
43

The guys that repair the actuators at Captain Z says this is all of them.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:48 AM   #15
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13
14
21
22
23
31
32
33
34
41
42
43

The guys that repair the actuators at Captain Z says this is all of them.
I'll disconnect one of mine and see what happens. How did you retrieve the codes? I guess I forgot.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:11 PM   #16
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I'll disconnect one of mine and see what happens. How did you retrieve the codes? I guess I forgot.
You ground pins A & B on the 12 pin ALDL connector and count the SRS light flashes.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:23 PM   #17
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You ground pins A & B on the 12 pin ALDL connector and count the SRS light flashes.
I haven't done it for years since I always use a scanner but isn't A & B for engine diagnostic?
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:25 PM   #18
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You ground pins A & B on the 12 pin ALDL connector and count the SRS light flashes.
Did you use THIS procedure?
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:23 PM   #19
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Did you use THIS procedure?
DOH...you are correct!

And it did take a few times for the light to start flashing. I recall that it didn't on the first try.
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