It wasn’t long ago that we first introduced our latest canvas, an ’02 C5 Z06 Corvette, dubbed Project Twitch.
If you recall, we invited your thoughts on what direction to take our ride, and the majority of you said to kick it up a notchsome of you even took the time to include detailed wish lists. Well, we heard you and we’ve already produced a complete plan of action; of course, all of it will be covered in the coming months.
This month, we’re addressing the suspension. Bear in mind that the factory offering is pretty incredible; it’s a lot more than most people will ever be able to take full advantage of. We should also mention that if you’re into SCCA class racing, you’ll know that the C5 Zs are extremely competitive cars right out of the box, and altering from the stock stuff will generally place you in a class reserved for serious chassis cars. We have no plans to compete in a specific class; instead, we tend to participate in autocross and open-track events as an exhibition car, so that throws any class-specific rules right out the window.
When it came to finding the ideal suitor for our Z, we went with LG Motorsports (LGM) in Wylie, Texas. The folks at LGM have been in the business of racing and designing hard-core suspension components for well over 35 years and have plenty of real-world track experience by competing in everything from the Corvette Challenge to the World Challenge series to the coveted American Le Mans GT2 division.
After a lengthy conversation discussing our needs and goals, we decided to install a complete LGM suspension package, which includes the GT2 coilovers with 12-way adjustable shocks and the G1 front and rear sway bar assembly. Combined, these offer infinite adjustability, both in ride quality and setting up the ride height for every kind of driving you do. And even though the LGM components may seem exotic, anyone looking to do a similar install will appreciate just how affordable this setup really is. Priced at $2,395 (add $250 for the quiet endlinks), this all-in-one system will transform any C5 into a serious tracking machine, all while offering a plush ride for those long road trip excursions.
To outfit our Z with the LGM goodies, we headed to Motivational Engineering in Carson, California, where owner Mike Saiki handled the job in a day. The installation was straightforward with minimal effort, however, it was Saiki who recommended we complete the install by scaling the car. Even with the good stuff, it takes a well-balanced chassis to keep the tires on the ground and maximize your efforts as you traverse through any course. Follow along as we show you what it takes to transform your prized Z from a weekend thrill ride to a world-class performer.
|Front Left||Front Right|
|Rear Left||Rear Right|
|LG Motorsports Coilovers|
|Front Left||Front Right|
|Rear Left||Rear Right|
From the beginning, we scaled our Z to get a better idea of just how it sat from the factory. Truth be told, it was impressive, weighing in at 3,148 pounds with a full tank of fuel and showed our crossweight percentage at 50 percent. Once everything was installed, we weighed the car again, revealing identical 3,148 numbers. We had no idea whether to expect a significant increase or decrease, but we certainly didn’t see that coming. After probing into this, we learned that the GT2 coilover assembly actually removed 13.4 pounds from the chassis; however, the G1 sway bars are slightly heavier over the factory counterpart due to their size, putting us right back to our factory weight. What we did see was a change in the weight distribution, with the rear ending up around 5 pounds lighter, changing the crossweight percentage to 49.3. Our goal was to meet the original 50 percent, only this time with the driver inside. To do this, we disconnected the rear G1 sway bar and ended up altering the ride height slightly from the front passenger side coilover. We’ll have a better idea of how the chassis will react on the road course, but for the time being, this would allow us to compare the results with our original baseline numbers.
The end product was well worth it and certainly validated. For our 420-foot slalom course, we bested our previous numbers by 0.11, running a best of 5.68 at 51 mph over the 5.79 at 49-mph baseline. Keep in mind; we’re going quicker, maneuvering the car through cones all the while gaining speed. On a road course application, and depending on the length of the track, these numbers can quickly add up to secondswhich is huge under competition conditions. The biggest difference was consistency. During previous testing, it would take several laps to procure good numbers, whereas this time, shy of scrubbing the cones, every run besting our previous outing.
When it came to the shock settings, we initially placed them at 6/6, front/rear, but by the end of the day, we set them at 8/7, front/rear, for our final results. Even on the street, these settings seemed to work well for us. Firm? Slightly, but it’s still compliant under rough road conditions and comfortable enough for any road trip. And for those looking for a softer ride, a few turns of the shock settings and you’re good to go; it’s really that easy.
Stock Slalom (On Nitto NT05 tires) 5.89
LGM Modified 5.68