SRT8 BCR Coilover Install/Review
I completed my install and put in some time on them on the road and at the track...here are my experiences and thoughts with some ride height adjustment info. (this thread is work in progress, I'll update as time allows)
In this thread I will concentrate on the front and rear installation, extender installation and ride height settings for my car and my thoughts of the performance and ride. If you tackle this install on your own I think you will find these settings very useful in helping achieve the desired ride height for your ride without multiple adjustment sessions. Additional information is available in this thread by RobsSXT and is covered very well for an AWD application, but the information and installation methods are worth the read. The front struts and ride height information will vary accordingly.
These things are absolute eye candy, too bad you can't see them after installation. The all black look with brass fittings really does have a classy look compared to the typical flash of after market red. To each his own, I like the Black as is obvious from our car selection. My chosen purpose for these coilovers is primarily track use so I chose stiffer springs for my application - 14k/16k. I also requested the optional extenders since I have already installed sub-woofers which would have been in the way for a typical quick adjustment.
Start by adjusting all your spring preloads and shock lengths according to your ride height requirements. Keep in mind that your spring sizing (14k in this installation) will vary how much your suspension compresses. Using my settings with lighter springs will net you a lower final stance.
Preload = 0
Mount to spring perch = 8" (this could vary based upon spring length)
Mount to lower strut base = 15-1/8"
Spring perch to end of threads = 1-1/8"
Edit: With springs removed install rear shock and compress suspension fully. Check for contact of rear axle to cradle, adjust shock length to prevent contact of axle. Leave at leat 1/4" to 1/2" to prevent contact under heavy load compression.
With these settings I achieved a 1-1/8" drop all the way around when measuring from the ground to top of fender. Starting ride height was 29-5/8" front, 29-7/8" rear, final ride height 28-1/2" front, 28-3/4" rear. These measurements are taken using a staggered Goodyear F1 245/45/20 front 255/45/20 rear. The numbers I was aiming for were published in this thread by Pedders. Since they have the only testing I'm aware of on the LX platform aimed at performance. Something to be aware of, your numbers from ground to fender will vary based upon the tires. The best meaurement is taken from spindle center or bottom edge of rim to bottom of fender.
When measuring from the fender to bottom lip of rim here were my target numbers;
Front = 667mm (26-1/4")
Rear = 660mm (26")
I ended at 1/8" less than the target numbers...
UPDATE: I have lowered another 1/4" in the rear and 3/8" up front when I changed the front springs to 12k. The rear end had sagged 1/4" from the initial install and changing to lighter springs up front naturally lowered the front 1/8", I took the mount to spring base dimension to 14-7/8" for an overall 3/8" drop in the front.
Here is some more good information on ride height stock vs. post install, all dimensions are from fender to spindle center;
On Ground Rear= 16-1/4"
Off Ground Rear= 20-1/2"
On Ground Front= 16-1/4"
Off Ground Front= 21"
On Ground Rear= 15-1/8"
Off Ground Rear= 19"
On Ground Front= 15-1/8"
Off Ground Front= 18""
Last edited by Hemi Family; 09-04-2010 at 09:37 PM.
Mopar CAI * Diablo Predator * CMR Tune * Magnaflow cats * Corsa exhaust * 180 tstat * HHP Stage II Pkg. * Shaved emblems/moldings * Rear Wiper Delete * Tint * Polished wheels * MyGig w/TV & NAV 2 Go Lockpick V2 * Backup camera * Pioneer AVIC-Z110BT * Hertz Audio speakers/amp * (2) JL Audio sub & stealth box * Hidden hitch * Remote Start * Auto Headlamps * Halos * BT Under hood kit, Catch Can, Pistol Grip Shifter * Slotted Rotors * AMG Paddle Shifters * Hotchkis Sways * BCR Coilovers * Pedders Track II * Next; More Track days and a Z06
Installation Rear Spring and Shocks;
First off, there are many ways to accomplish the spring and shock removal. One is to remove the single bolt attaching the lower rocker arm as adequately shown and described in the thread by RobsSXT. Many people including myself have had troubles realigning the lower arm once the spring is reinstalled. For this reason I am including an alternate method of spring and shock removal...drop the rear cradle. If you are doing sway bars at the same time this is manditory and is the only way to remove/install the rear sway bar.
First start by raising the rear of the car onto jack stands, remove wheels from both sides. Locate and remove the 10mm bolt holding the brake line bracket on both sides of the car.
Next remove lower shock 18mm nut/16mm bolt on both sides, break the upper 15mm bolts loose but do not remove yet.
Next locate and remove the exhaust mounting bolts (4) total, (2) 10mm and (2) 13mm at the rear of the car. You should also remove the rubber mounts holding the exhaust forward of the rearend, these are flexible and will allow for the movement nescessary for the drop but it is recommended to remove them for better clearance, especially if you are doing the sway bars too. Then place a floor jack on the center of your rearend.
Locate and remove the (4) cradle bolts, (2) each side and slowly lower the rear cradle. Stop to check both sides periodically to be sure there is nothing caught or binding. You will need 3" - 5" total to remove the springs and shock.
Now remove the upper shock bolts and remove shock;
Next remove the rear springs;
Remove the upper rubber spring seat, leave the lower one in place. Apply lube to the lower seat prior to installing your new springs.
Now reverse the order for installation of springs and shock. Be sure you have made the height adjustments and locked the collars in place. Refer to the next post for the installation of extenders if used...if not refer to this post for access hole.
Last edited by Hemi Family; 12-28-2009 at 09:36 PM.
Installation Rear Extenders;
Extenders - First I drilled a 3/8" pilot hole through the insulation, plastic interior fender cover and into the sub-woofer box. Then I continued with a long 5/16" drill bit to make the final hole at the top of the sub-box. Post drilling, attach the extender to the adjustment knob and feed the cable through the extender housing. In the next pic I show how I kept the housing stationary as I fed the cable through.
Once the shock top is boted into place the cable should protrude through the housing. Attach adjuster knob and installation is complete.
Here is the finished product. I had planned on shortening the extender cable and housing, after further review the cable is compressed (squared) at the end for the adjuster knob attachment. I felt the additional fabrication time was not worth the effort and could lead to failure of the adjuster knob engagement.
Last edited by Hemi Family; 12-28-2009 at 09:38 PM.
Installation Front Struts;
The front struts are the easiest part of the install and easiest to adjust. Again be sure you have made all the height and spring adjustments prior to installation. I made my own strut compressor with a simple tie down strap shown here after the shock was removed. An alternate to this method is described is this thread and agian here in the KB by disconnecting the upper ball joint. The .pdf directions provided by the previous thread are complete enough for the entire installation and vary only in methodology. This is the primary reason for my thread here, to offer alternate methods.
Assuming you have raised the car and removed your wheels, start by loosening the sway bar link and lower strut bolt. Leave the strut bolt in place and disconnect the sway bar link.
Begin compressing your suspension with a floor jack until the strut link or lower strut bolt becomes loose, both should be loose if both wheels are raised. Continue to compress your suspension until just before all the corner's wheel weight is supported by the jack. Using a stap as I have secure the strut in the compressed position.
Then continue by removing the three nuts at the top of your strut. Then slowly lower your jack while holding onto your strut. Remove the lower strut bolt and remove entire strut to the rear and install your new strut (after spring and height adjustments).
Put your car back on the ground and check all four corners. A quick drive down the block will help all four corners to settle a bit, so your final numbers should be lower than when it first comes off the jack. Take this time to listen for any rattles or loose parts before you take it out for the real test drive. Start with the dampening at full negative or '0' setting and adjust them out from there. You'll begin to feel the difference and find the ride you like best.
Last edited by Hemi Family; 12-28-2009 at 10:25 PM.
Review and comments;
First off, the instructions that come with the struts and shocks leave little to be desired. Read the information found on the forum for better guidance, reading the supplied information will only leave you saying, huh?
As stated early on, my intent for these shocks and struts was track performance so I chose a much stiffer setup than most would desire. This said, the recommendation of Circuit Motorsports was 14k/16k springs over the more common 12k/14k track setup. Being a believer in spring as the primary support when corner loading (compression only slows the reaction, spring supports) I chose this recommendation. Once the parts arrived and installation had begun I found that I had received a 14k/14k setup??? On a Saturday morning I called Tristan at Circuit Motorsports to confirm my findings. He in turned called the owner of BCR on his cell for the answer. After their conversation Tristan called me back right away…it turns out that BCR has concerns about using the adjustable spring perch with springs as strong as the 16k setup. BCR also felt that the 14k/14k setup would still be valid for this car, so with reservations I continued my installation.
Once completed, I took the car on several test runs in my country road backyard. I started with the adjustment to full negative or “0” setting. The car was running my complete track setup with aggressive ST-43 brake pads, Pirelli PZero tires and newly installed suspension (including newly installed Hotchkis Sways). I spent most of the time bedding the brakes and listening for loose parts. On country roads at a brisk pace the car seemed flawless and even a little intimidating on how well it reacted to steering input.
The next day I switched back to stock brake pads and took her out for some real world driving. The car was very stiff but not as bad as I expected. It was a very tight ride but still absorbed bumps and road dips. Once on the highway I realized the shocks were not dampened enough as the ride had a springy feeling. First I started with 10 clicks out, while better I still prefer a more dampened ride. Next I went to 15 clicks and stayed there for the rest of the drive.
Next I headed to Laguna Seca for some track testing on the new setup. The ride to the track was good with a loaded rear and two passengers, no negative traits and within reasonable expectations for a comfortable 3 hour ride. Once the car hit the track I turned the dampening up to 20 clicks and stayed there for the day. While the heavier sways contributed to the flat cornering the springs definitely reduced brake dive and gave the tires increased bite.
Next due to the spring weight confusion I will be trying out a 12k spring in the front to see how much of a difference this makes on my setup…stay tuned for an update into the new year.
UPDATE: 12k spring have been installed in the front, the ride is slightly less harsh and probably more livable than the 14k. I did run Willow Springs Raceway and the performance was certainly still adequate with no noticable effects on handling. Since I didn't test both on the same track it is really hard to do a direct comparison but, based upon feel I would recommend the 12k/14k combination for track and road use. If you do not intend to track your car I wouldn't recommend going this stiff for daily driving.
So far I’d give the BCR Coilovers a thumbs up for looks, thumbs up for adjustability, thumbs up for performance, thumbs down for installation instructions. I really like that the adjuster controls compression as well as rebound. The service at Circuit Motorsports has been second to none and from what I’ve heard BCR is on par as well.
Here is the starting ride height;
Here is the final ride height;
Not a huge difference but enough to tighten up the track performance of the car. You can see the biggest difference in the body line behind the rear tire.
Last edited by Hemi Family; 02-24-2010 at 12:13 AM.
Reason: 12k springs
OK, I think I'm done...man the install was easier than posting this thread. Wrentching is by far less fustrating than waiting for uploads and downloads!
Last edited by Hemi Family; 12-28-2009 at 10:27 PM.
Thanks, still working on the finishing touches!
Originally Posted by 420SRT8
Nice wite up...
Last edited by NYC_SRT8; 12-28-2009 at 08:19 AM.
NJMP Thunderbolt 1:36:30
Pocono (double infield) 1:46:90
Watkins Glen 2:19:10
Coolness, how's the ride?
Gotta love that rear adjuster.
EDIT: And yeah, looks tons better!
Originally Posted by srt8-in-largo
The ride is firm! Although not as stiff as I expected from the 14k/14k spring combination. I'll be trying out some 12k for the front next week. I'll update once I have an opportunity to review. I'm shooting for some track time later in January to evaluate the 12k vs 14k front spring.
I started out lower and it looked awesome, but performance was my goal and suspension travel is critical for proper tracking.
Sounds like a pretty positive experience.
I'm pretty sure I have no idea what this 12k stuff is about; that something like spring rate?
One more thing, you buy those F1's on purpose? What's your experience with those on the track?
Great writeup!! I just installed my BCR coilovers yesterday as well. It sure would have been nice to have this writeup ahead of time!! I have some height adjustments to make but I'm pretty happy with mine too.
- 2006 300 SRT/8 - Bright Silver
- BT Frankentake CAI, Zoomers exhaust, AAC ColorShift v2.0 halos, CDC Glassback roof and trunk panel, HID fogs, Stealth markers and bulbs, LED tails and mirror covers, 22elite cover, TommyZ Deep Dish grill, USW 22" Extravagants with Vredestein tires.
12kg/mm = 674lbs/in(pounds per square inch)
Originally Posted by srt8-in-largo
14kg/mm = 787lbs/in
Yeah, spring rates...as so well described by NYC_SRT8.
Originally Posted by srt8-in-largo
I picked up the F1's along with a new set of SRT rims on Ebay, great deal I couldn't pass it up. I used the F1's at Infineon, while the grip was adequate they did wander a bit. I switched to 255/40/20 Pirelli PZero's for Laguna, they were far more predictable. The GY are quieter and more comfortable than the PZero's for daily driving. The only other tires I've run are the RSA's, while slightly quieter they did not offer the grip of the F1's.