Tightly Wound

December 1st, 2009

Installing Eibach’s Pro-Kit and Anti-Roll-Kit Suspension System

 
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While some generally think of performance in terms of horsepower, those who actually race anything but drag racing know that handling, and to a point, braking prowess, is more important than all-out speed.

It’s been said that races are won in the pits, but we are of the opinion that races are actually won in the corners. Sure, you have to have the horses to put that pass on someone, but being able to get through that next corner under control is essential to making that pass stick. It takes a suspension that’s supple, yet responsive when the going gets hot. To have all of those things, it needs a progressive rate system like the ones that Eibach produces.

Few names in the suspension industry have the cache of Eibach. From F-1 to Baja, NASCAR to IMSA and on to the AMA motocross, chances are good that Eibach springs have been on the winning ride. Eibach has been bringing its racing expertise to OE cars for many years, and its latest offering are its Pro-Kit springs and Anti-Roll-Kit sway bars for the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. Though each can be used independently, the parts have been engineered to work together, giving the new Camaro a tighter feel, not to mention a 1-inch lower profile. Possibly the best part is that all improved handling can be had in less than a day’s work.

According to Eibach, the exact same technology is used in its Pro-Kit springs (Part # 38144.140) as in its race springs with Hi-Ten spring steel. To produce the units, German-engineered CNC coilers are used, as well as many unique machines engineered and built specifically by Eibach. The result is Eibach’s progressively wound Pro Kit springs. Its proprietary, progressive rate springs allows for that additional crucial element when fine-tuning suspensions.

The second part of the package is the Eibach Anti-Roll-Kits (Part # 38144.320). Manufactured from cold-formed, tubular high-strength, aircraft-grade steel, and finished with a long-lasting red powdercoat finish, the Anti-Roll-Kit comes complete with all necessary mounting hardware and instructions for easy, bolt-on installation.

The vast majority of springs that come on OE cars and trucks are linear rate springs, upon which the engineers who design the suspension decide rates. But they may not be right for what you want the car to do. OE engineers usually err on the side of caution. As good as it may be for the track, an overly hard ride isn’t good for sales. But what if you could have the suspension supple around town, while at the same time have it be firm enough for powering around a hairpin?

As stated, installing the Eibach components can be done in a relatively short time, but only if you have the correct tools and know-how. That’s why we went to Advantage Performance Center to watch, as they used the new Eibach kits to transform a 2010 Camaro into the low-slung, corner-hugging performance car that it’s supposed to be. It’s apropos that Advantage is located in Riverside, Calif., home of the now-defunct Riverside Raceway and where Camaros used to tear up the road course during IMSA and club races.

What’s new suspension without a new set of wheels and tires to go along with it? Going big, the owner bought a set of cool five-spoke, 22-inch US Mags to go along with the install. Follow along as this new Camaro gets great handling, great looks and a racey attitude thanks to Eibach.

Sources

Eibach Springs, Inc.
264 Mariah Cir.
Corona, CA 92879-1751
800.507.2338
www.eibach.com (http://www NULL.eibach NULL.com)

Advantage Performance Center
1253 W. La Cadena Dr.
Riverside, CA 92501
951.684.8483
www.advantageperformancecenter.com (http://www NULL.advantageperformancecenter NULL.com)

US Wheel
15702 Producer Ln.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
714.892.0021
www.uswheel.com (http://www NULL.uswheel NULL.com)

Trazano
www.trazano.com (http://www NULL.trazano NULL.com)


01

No, they don’t come as a kit, per se, but to get the best handling characteristics possible out of your new Camaro, the Eibach Pro-Kit Springs and the Anti-Roll-Kit sway bars should be used as a combo.

02

Since the Eibach spring will lower the car approximately 1-inch, measurements are taken to determine the stock height of the car. The front was 29 5/8, while the rear measured out to 30 3/8-inch.

03

The stock strut on the new Camaros are not bad as they come from the factory, but its linear rate spring keeps if from being the carver that it yearns to be.

04

There is a nut holding the struts upper mount in place, but since the upper hat section of the fits into the mount from below, it does more to keep the strut aligned as much as anything. The nut is removed.

05

Removing the strut is straightforward and actually quite easy. The first step is to pull the ABS line from its slide on mount, unbolt the brake line from its mounting position and remove the end link for the sway bar.

06

The lower mounting hardware is removed.

07

With the bolts removed, the suspension will droop slightly. Pulling it down further will allow the strut to be removed from its lower mount.

08

The strut is removed.

09

It’s important that marks be placed on the upper hat and lower section of the strut, as the two need to be aligned during reassembly. Eibach says that this will help eliminate any possible noise.

10

This wall-mounted spring compressor tool is why this job should be done at a reliable shop. There is spring tension on the hat section, and the spring compressor is needed to safely remove the hat. Without the spring being compressed during the nut removal, the spring will cause the hat to, well, spring upwards and there might be painful consequences. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

11

With the upper nut removed, the strut can be safely removed through the bottom of the compressor tool.

12

There are notches where the tail ends of the springs need to sit, so care is taken to get the new Eibach springs into perfect position.

13

With the Eibach Pro-Kit spring loaded into position in the compressor, the strut is inserted into the spring and the upper hat section tightened into position. Note that since the Eibach springs are slightly shorter than the stock units, they only have to be compressed ever so slightly.

14

It’s way easier to remove the stock sway bars with the struts out of the way, so the end links are fully removed. We can see some enterprising aftermarket company supplying beefier, adjustable units shortly.

15

As the stock sway bars have their bushings mounted as part of the bar, getting the stock unit out is sort of a headache, but with patience it can be removed.

16

Thanks to Eibach utilizing split urethane mounts, feeding its Anti-Roll-Kit sway bar into place is easy.

17

Eibach supplies a special polyurethane grease for use on the bushings, but wearing rubber gloves while greasing them is suggested since it’s really waterproof, and getting this stuff off of you hands and fingers takes days otherwise.

18

There is very little space to get the mounting hardware into place, but it’s made easier with a pneumatic ratchet tool.


19

With the Anti-Roll-Kit sway bar in place, the newly Pro-Kit spring adorned strut is installed and bolted in place.

20

Notice that there are two mounting holes for the end link on the bar. This is to fine-tune the action of the sway bar. It’s a leverage thing, and if the driver wants stiffer action or if the car exhibits over-steer, the second hole can be used.

21

Care should be taken when tightening up the upper mount, as there have been reports of folks twisting too hard and snapping off the post.

22

Installing both the Eibach springs and sway bars to the front of the Camaro can be done in a few hours.

23

Out back, both the lower strut mount and lower arm mounts are removed. This will allow the upper mount to hold the hub assembly while the lower arm can be levered down and out of the way.

24

The upper section of the strut bolts to the rail. Removing the hardware is accomplished easily with a long extension. The strut is removed, the stock spring is removed using the spring compressor, and the Eibach spring installed in much the same way as the front units were. Again, the hat section and strut body were marked to ensure that the unit goes back together correctly.

25

Due to the shorter length of the Eibach Pro-Kit spring, it’s possible to forgo the compressor when installing the unit.

26

As with the front, care is taken to make sure that the spring sits correctly in the strut.

27

Thanks again to the stock sway bar bushings being in the way, to get the stock sway bar out requires that the rubber hangers of the exhaust system be uncoupled… and some judicious use of a long pry bar doesn’t hurt either.

28

And again, the new Eibach unit goes in fairly easily thanks to its split bushings.

29

With the new bushings properly lubed, the Eibach urethane bushings are bolted into place. Again, space is a problem, so an extension and a wobble socket are used to snug up the mounting hardware. The end links are bolted up, and the Eibach Anti-Roll-Kit sway bar is in and ready. The rear unit also has multiple end link mounting holes to tune the sway bar to the drivers preference, though Eibach says that the firmest setting should not be used on wet or bumpy roads.

30

Installing the Eibach Pro-Kit spring equipped rear struts is easier as well thanks to their slightly shorter overall length.

31

One important note is that Eibach recommends that to help prevent “bushing pre-load,” all bushing related hardware be re-torqued with the full weight of the vehicle on the suspension. Eibach says that this will help prevent potential bushing damage and un-even lowering.

32

With their shorter stature and progressive wind, the Eibach springs will give the Camaro not only a better stance, but also much better handling characteristics.

33

As with the front units, any reputable shop can have the Eibach Pro-Kit springs and Anti-Roll-Kit pieces installed in only about an hour. Provided you have the correct tools, those of you at home can probably figure it will take the better part of a day to get the job done.

34

With the car back down on it’s stock wheels, the tale of the tape shows that the car is now sitting at 28 3/4-inches. The drop was actually about ¾ inch, but the springs will take a set with use, and will probably end up being close to an inch when all is said and done.

35

This owner went big with 22-inch US Wheel rims that have been shod with 30-series Trazano tires.

PRO-KIT TECHNICAL INFORMATION

FRONT:
OE rate: 29 N/mm (165 lbs/in)
PK rate: Progressive 25-39 N/mm (143-222 lbs/in)
OE wheel center to fender: 410 mm (16.1 in)
PK wheel center to fender: 383 mm (15.1 in)
Pro-Kit can be aligned to OE alignment specifications.
Approximate installation time: 1.5 hr

REAR:
OE rate: 65 N/mm (370 lbs/in)
PK rate: Progressive 51-85 N/mm (291-485 lbs/in)
OE wheel center to fender: 414 mm (16.3 in)
PK wheel center to fender: 389 mm (15.3 in)
Pro-Kit can be aligned to OE alignment specifications.
Approximate installation time: 1.5 hr

ANTI-ROLL-KIT TECHNICAL INFORMATION

FRONT:
OE bar: 23mm (0.9 in) tubular
OE measured bar rate: 21 N/mm (120 lbs/in)
OE bar weight: 4.5 kg (9.9 lbs)
Eibach bar: 29mm (1.1 in) tubular and adjustable
Eibach measured bar rate: 2 position adjustable
P1 = 67 N/mm (380 lbs/in)
P2 = 76 N/mm (435 lbs/in)
Eibach bar weight: 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs)
Bushings: New greaseable urethane bushings
Brackets: New brackets with greaseable fitting
End Link: OE
Approximate installation time: 1.0 hr

REAR:
OE bar: 23mm (0.9 in) tubular
OE measured bar rate: 42 N/mm
(242 lbs/in)
OE bar weight: 4.0 kg (8.8 lbs)
Eibach bar: 29mm (1.1 in) tubular and adjustable
Eibach measured bar rate: 3 position adjustable
P1 = 97 N/mm (553 lbs/in)
P2 = 115 N/mm (658 lbs/in)
P3 = 132 N/mm (752 lbs/in)
Eibach bar weight: 4.2 kg (9.2 lbs)
Bushings: New greaseable urethane bushings
Brackets: New brackets with greaseable fitting
End Link: OE
Approximate installation time: 1.0 hr

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