Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Suspension, brake, and hydraulic/electric steering discussion.
RMC
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:58 pm

Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by RMC »

I have a 2011 with 46k miles. I have read that that year had an especially harsh suspension setup. I have read that Goodyear RSA tires are also a little harsh. I have read many posts about various spring, strut, and tires that would help. I am trying to consolidate that info and get the best setup.

I don't expect (or want) this car to be as soft as my Roadmaster wagon, but some improvement would help me like the Caprice even more. We just did something similar to my wife's 2004 SRX with dramatic (good) results. I am looking to drive this car for the next 100k+ miles as a 9+ month/year daily driver. I am not looking for the ultimate in handling or severe winter driving. (I have the Roadmaster wagonc with studded snow tires for the bad weather.)

Let me know if there are better choices and any other hardware required to make it work.

For springs, the winner seems to be the 2014 SS springs. (Other options?)

For struts/shocks, there seems to be only choices of 2013 AC Delco or Monroe Severe Service. (I did find a listing for Monroe OE Spectrums for 2008 G8 and a reference in an article on fitting 2008 G8 Koni's that required cutting the old struts. I've heard that Koni's at their softest setting are soft but controlled in other applications.) (I also noted discussions about the manual saying no towing. Most cars that have decent touring capability have rear air shocks. Are these an option for my car?)

For tires, there doesn't seem to be any consensus (except that RSAs are harsh). My experience is that all season Michelins are the best, but pricey. I saw several references to Kumho's. Any other suggestions?

Any other thoughts?
smwalker
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Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by smwalker »

I got the struts from a G8 I think it is the base model It was in the catalog as FE2 option. Where I think FE3 is the sport suspension (stiffer) that came on the GT . With that being said though we do not have much option these days as the parts are getting harder to find.

But I love the ride of my 2011. And in truth the factory springs and struts in the 2011's made it a diving board of a ride. Any newer part will be an upgrade and more comfortable.
Steve Walker
Azusa, CA
'11 PPV 9C3 Huron White
RMC
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:58 pm

Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by RMC »

I found AC Delco struts for 2008 G8 FE-2 suspension. They are different than later PPVs and SS.

Did you use the stock springs?
s/c'd cav
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Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by s/c'd cav »

smwalker wrote: Fri Feb 25, 2022 10:32 pm I got the struts from a G8 I think it is the base model It was in the catalog as FE2 option. Where I think FE3 is the sport suspension (stiffer) that came on the GT . With that being said though we do not have much option these days as the parts are getting harder to find.

But I love the ride of my 2011. And in truth the factory springs and struts in the 2011's made it a diving board of a ride. Any newer part will be an upgrade and more comfortable.
FE3 was the stiffer from the GXP , the V6 FE1 and GT FE2

the G8 guys also switch to the caprice struts/shocks since the gxps are no longer offered


SS springs are getting harder to get , 14s were discontinued front and rear , as are the front 15-17s , i can tell you the SS other than the low do not ride much different than the caprice , granted mine was never in service and other than the dealer using it for a demo , im the only owner

you might want a coil over thats adjustable , but keep in mind these cars including the G8 and SS were not made for the caddy floating on a cloud ride

my caprice compared to my 16 SS , they ride very similar with the SS in comfort , and the SS gets a little stiffer in the next 2 modes
smwalker
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Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by smwalker »

RMC wrote: Fri Feb 25, 2022 11:51 pm I found AC Delco struts for 2008 G8 FE-2 suspension. They are different than later PPVs and SS.

Did you use the stock springs?
No I used the Eibach Dropped springs 1.25 inches lower all around. still a great ride even lowered. because really I think the PPVs were jacked up so much our lowered is actually about stock height.


Image
Steve Walker
Azusa, CA
'11 PPV 9C3 Huron White
SSpeedracer
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Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by SSpeedracer »

King Springs FRONT KHFL-151 and REAR KHRL-152 with Monroe GT Sport shorten struts and shocks.
2016 Caprice
RMC
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:58 pm

Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by RMC »

Spring choices seem pretty limited. Those King springs definitely have to come from the other hemisphere and many of the places are sold out. I am considering getting the AC Delco struts from the G8 and just trying the stock springs (and new tires... nobody jumped in on that yet).

Do you think I will get enough ride improvement to make it worth while?

I read a post by someone doing sighting similar and the springs were much longer than the extended new strut length. A little longer is expected, but that sounded like too much. I am concerned about assembly issues and binding the springs at compression. Thoughts/experiences?
Sanford
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Location: Texas Gulf Coast

Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by Sanford »

Just getting rid of the 11 struts will help. My wife’s 11 would just about make her sick on a couple of stretches of road in our area. Swapped some used 13 rear struts on it and it made a big improvement. Finely got around to swapping some low mileage used 13 struts on the front and it helped a little more. These things will never ride like a B body. If anyone has been monkeying around with suspension parts and torqued all of the rubber bushing connections with the wheels hanging in the air, that will contribute to the rough ride.
RMC
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Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by RMC »

Sounds like the basic formulas...

If you want to do well on the skidpad and smooth racetracks, go with high spring rates and smaller sway bars.

Go out to the real world and you will need to soften up the spring rates and probably increase the sway bars to make up the difference.

I was autocrossing back in the early 80's and we knew that back then.
gpz750
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:22 am

Re: Softest (least harsh) strut/shock, spring, tire setup?

Post by gpz750 »

So what is the softest spring strut combo?
I like the idea of coilovers for the adjustability, but not sure I can find the right combo. Everybody seems to market towards autocross.
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