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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys.

I have an 05 GTO with 182k miles and it would be a understatement to say that the suspension is shot. It is so shot that recently the rear 225/40/18 tires began rubbing on something and are now toast. My question to you is, what is better, rebuilding the stock suspension or buying coilovers?

I am going to purchase a brand new master poly bushing set for either route.

I'm looking at the cxracing and megan racing coil over sets and they run $800-$900 or so. However, new shocks/struts with springs is around $600 and i'm under the impression that I will also need new strut mounts with bearings if I were to rebuild the stock suspension, adding another $170 making the costs quite similiar. Any thoughts?

One thing i'd like to clear up is, do the coil overs utilize the strut mounts/bearings like the OEM struts? Or would I also have to purchase the mounts and bearings for the coil overs?

Thanks!
 

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From what I understand those coilovers and BC are all sourced from the same manufacturer with some differences. Most use BC. They all require the strut mount bushing/bearings. FWIW the stock system is a coilover as it means coil over the strut :). The difference is adjustable height and ride. If you do traditional get new bump stops too.

A couple of things to consider. Do you want it "slammed" and not worry about ride or tire wear? Some do and drop the car a lot for looks. The front travel is something like 2 1/2"- 2 3/4". Dropping it a lot leaves little room for travel and you can bottom out. Also drops more than 20mm (3/4") require adjustable camber strut mounts or you'll get bad tire footprint and wear. The other is handling. Lower center of gravity gives better handing but you have to balance that against what I said above plus having compliance for uneven/bumpy roads. A lot of people think that the firmer the ride regardless of quality gives better performance on the street. That's not true as you need compliance to keep the tires on the ground. Even race cars on glass-like surfaces need some compliance in suspension for best traction. On the street you need it even more.

The "master kits" are lacking two of the most necessary and fundamental bushings. The strut mounts (w/bearings and bump stops) as mentioned and especially the front radius rod bushings which are a must.

If you are having problems with the rear it is more than likely the inner and outer control arm bushings as well as the springs. You need to drop the sub-frame one side at a time to do those as you replace the subframe bushings. The subframes should use a new one-time bolt as well.

FWIW I use Lovells 20mm drop springs all around with Koni adjustable dampers, Hotchkiss sways and all bushings with a Harrop cover. You can spend a fortune on suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate the post man.

As far as ride goes I would like a good all around nice ride but if I have to i'd sacrifice comfort for performance. Since this is my daily driver and i'm a broke busy college kid i'm thinking about just buying the bare minimal things to get the car on the road again until I have time to do a complete overhaul. The most affordable/budget springs I can find that I can get here asap are the Tein -1.2",-.9" lowering springs. Are those close enough to the 3/4" drop that I could get by for a bit? Could I slap those in there, put new control arm and subframe bushings in and call it a day and then do the rest of the bushings/dampers in a few weeks? I'm going to be running 235/40/18 tires.
 

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That's way too much drop unless you want to be buying tires all the time not to mention a slamming ride, 20mm (3/4") is the limit.

If I was going on a tight budget and wanted to break it up I'd get Mazda MPV air bags ($80) for the back along with the subframe and control arm bushings and in the front the front radius rod bushings for step one. Rear KYB shocks ($100) would be nice too if you can swing it. Alternate is if you have another ~$140 skip the bags and get Lovells 20mm drop springs (350mm).

For step two in the front get KYB struts ($200), Lovells 20mm drop springs (340mm $229), strut bushings, bearings and bump stops. You should notice a considerable difference.

BTW if you take a look at Tein spring pictures they look like a spring for a ball point pen. Lovells are quality heavy duty springs.
 
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