Part 1: Manufacturers A-K
Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels looking for the best suspension parts for your Corvette? If so, you're not alone. The sophisticated world of shocks, struts, springs, sway bars, bushings, and other apparatus can be difficult to navigate, especially if your goal is to pick the perfect underpinnings without breaking the bank.
Our official guide to Corvette suspension kits and components will help you select the suspension parts best suited to your car-and your budget. By the time you're done reading, you'll know which of these manufacturers will help you steer with certainty, corner with confidence, track with tenacity, or just improve the daily ride and handling of your street machine. And if you're a drag racer, we'll help you choose the right components to propel your Corvette through the quarter-mile as quickly and consistently as possible.
Because choosing a suspension system is based upon a number of variables-such as vehicle age, weight, horsepower, and intended usage-we didn't favor one of these manufacturers over another. Instead, we listed them all (half this month and half next month, due to space limitations) and allowed them to state their case. All that's left for you to decide is which one is right for your Corvette.
Bilstein offers a complete selection of replacement and upgrade shocks and struts for all generations of Corvette. Many Corvettes came with Bilstein shocks as original equipment.
Ride, handling, and control are what a shock or strut provides. Compromise in one area may create a problem in another. Bilstein's unique high-pressure monotube design eliminates any compromise. The rising-rate valving of the Bilstein shock absorber provides the necessary damping to react quicker to road conditions without sacrificing ride comfort. This combination of valving and high-pressure nitrogen gas keeps the tires in constant contact with the road, helping to ensure the highest level of vehicle control.
Unlike other manufacturers which provide a minimum selection of shocks to cover a broad range of applications, Bilstein shocks and struts are built for each specific application. Our engineers take into account everything from external dimensions to internal valving, mounting hardware to the weight and type of vehicle, and intended use.
Quote From Company
"Many Corvette owners have reported to us they are pleasantly surprised when running Bilstein shocks and struts, as the handling, cornering, tire contact, and ride have significantly enhanced the Corvette experience. Bilstein also offers a personable tech department that will help you choose the perfect shock for your application, including custom fitments."
Doug Rippie Motorsports(763) 477-9272
DRM offers a full line of suspension kits, components, and installations to suit individual Corvette suspension needs. DRM's '89-'09 Xtra-Grip suspension kit is a coilover-shock conversion that completely removes the leaf springs and the "crosstalk" associated with them. DRM also offers a full range of Bilstein Sport shocks, including our popular C6Z application. Mono-ball control-arm bushing kits completely remove all the unwanted play in the Corvette suspension, while custom-made DRM chassis-stiffener bars significantly reduce chassis flex and increase cornering capabilities and maneuverability. DRM also offers high-performance sway bars for '89-'09 Corvettes.
All of the above kits and parts are available by mail order or with DRM expert installation, which includes corner weighting and alignment for track and street use.
DRM has chosen high-quality, durable components to create top-of-the-line, dependable suspension-kit packages. All of DRM's coilover and sport shock kits start from Bilstein shock absorbers. DRM also employs Hyperco springs, which have proven to be consistent, even after years of harsh racing use.
If the shocks and springs are the meat and potatoes of DRM's Xtra-grip kit, then the mounts and valving are the dessert. DRM incorporates aircraft-quality materials in the construction of custom mounts. They're designed to offer a full range of motion and quiet operation, and are made in the USA. The valving in our suspension kits has been bred from on-track, street, and skidpad testing to provide a balanced, confidence-inspiring driving experience. This, in conjunction with Bilstein's rising-rate, digressive, working piston, eliminates the need for adjustable shocks. DRM has combined these quality components together to produce a kit that transforms the handling of your Corvette.
Quote From Company
"DRM has been providing 'race-car performance for the street' since 1991, with racing roots back to 1970. All suspension kits have been tested and proven on the street and track by professional engineers and drivers. Experience, quality, and excellent customer service make DRM the choice for your Corvette suspension needs."
The Dragvette Suspension System changes the geometry of the '63-'82 Corvette by repositioning the mounting location of the lower strut bar and adding a top strut bar of equal length. This allows you to set your camber at zero, keeping the tire perfectly straight up and down throughout the range of your suspension travel. This makes for a larger tire contact area that optimizes traction under any conditions. The top link also supports the Corvette's weight (the stock configuration places the weight on the differential side yoke); this takes stress off of one of the weakest components in the Corvette's suspension. The result is awesome traction and greater parts reliability.
All parts are CNC machined. The Heim joints are the strongest available units with Teflon-lined bearing surfaces, the cadmium-plated strut tubes are heavy walled, and all the bolts are Grade 8. All washers are stainless steel, and aluminum is used for weight reduction whenever possible. The construction includes two pairs of safety loops and a cover girdle for added strength.
Quote From Company
"A Dragvette 6-Link Suspension System will make your Corvette a triple threat with great street manners, awesome autocross handling, and brutal bite at the dragstrip."
Eckler's Corvette Parts
Eckler's Advanced Street & Slalom Sus-pension System for C2 and C3 Corvettes is ideal for serious street performance and occasional autocrossing, providing a marked improvement over the factory F41 setup. This system uses a composite rear monospring rated at 330 or 340 pounds and will provide a better ride and more responsiveness than the stock steel spring. In addition, the 550 lb/in, powdercoated front coil springs are a big step up from stock springs.
The kit includes front coil springs, a sport rear composite monospring with mounting hardware, front and rear Bilstein Sport gas shocks, polyurethane shock-mount grommets, Addco 1.125-inch front and 0.750-inch rear sway bars, and polyurethane adjustable Smart Struts.
Eckler's assembles these kits using the best available components. This combination will make your Corvette handle on the street and on the track, with improved cornering and firm ride.
Quote From Company
"Many Corvette owners have installed these suspension systems and really enjoy their Corvettes now. These systems make the Corvette perform like a real sports car should."
Edelbrock IAS shocks deliver incredibly responsive handling around tight turns and dramatically reduce body roll with a comfortable ride for outstanding vehicle control. These are the only automotive shocks that incorporate the patented Ricor Inertia Active System (IAS). This unique valve design senses changes in the road surface and adjusts instantly for a better ride than you ever thought possible.
Edelbrock IAS shocks feature a NitroSteel piston rod that won't chip or flake like chrome; a high-pressure, gas mono-tube construction that dissipates heat more effectively for increased seal life and durability; a durable, powdercoated finish for corrosion resistance; polyurethane bushings; a large, 46mm piston for more consistent damping; and a Viton seal and low-friction piston-rod bearing for long life and no leaks.
In addition, Edelbrock IAS shocks are made in the USA for guaranteed accuracy and consistent quality, and they come with a limited lifetime warranty
Quote From Company
"Edelbrock shocks offer the best of both worlds . . . smooth ride and superior handling."
Energy Suspension is the world's largest manufacturer of performance polyurethane suspension and driveline components, including bushings for sway bars, end links, control arms, strut rods, and leaf springs; as well as body mounts, bumpstops, motor and transmission mounts, and more.
Energy Suspension has more than 27 years of experience and has been awarded nine U.S. engineering patents, so you can be assured you'll get the best quality and design for your Corvette. Only Energy's superior, proprietary Hyperflex formula will give you the improved handling, increased durability, and better-than-new performance you and your Corvette deserve. Hyperflex is manufactured in a variety of durometers (hardness) depending on the specific application, resulting in its being soft enough for a smooth ride, yet firm enough for the most demanding driver.
Quote From Company
"Our Hyperflex polyurethane products are extremely durable, are impervious to oils, grease, gas, and so on, and will not rot or deteriorate from smog, ozone, or under-vehicle contaminants. Whether you're modifying your Corvette, building a new one, or restoring an old one, Energy's Hyperflex should be the starting point of your project plans!"
A G-Force Suspension system converts your Corvette into a true independent-suspension vehicle. It allows the vehicle to drop up to 1.5 inches from the factory height, which improves the roll center. It also dramatically improves handling and cornering, while eliminating the dreaded "crosstalk" by removing the monoleaf setup. This system can be ordered with different spring-rate packages that will make the vehicle ideal for street, GT racing, autocross, drifting, or drag-racing applications.
Our systems feature rebuildable and revalvable coilover racing shock assemblies with independent high-speed and low-speed compression-dampening adjustment, independent rebound-dampening adjustment, coil-spring preload adjustment, and remote reservoirs. These adjustments allow for thousands of possible combinations to dial in the right feel for your Corvette.
Quote From Company
"With all the options and features included in our suspension systems, we feel comfortable saying that we offer the best and most versatile systems in Corvette suspensions. After all, 'Anybody can give you speed; we give you control.' "
Global West Suspension
Brief DescriptionGlobal West manufactures several components for Corvettes. We are the original designers of Del-a-lum bushings, which are a direct replacement on the stock control arms and carry a lifetime warranty for the original owner. We use these bushings for street, road-racing, drag-racing, and autocross applications.
We also have tubular control arms for '63-'82 Corvettes, which improve the original geometry. These arms provide additional caster, dramatically enhancing corner-entry and straight-line stability. Tubular rear swing arms and adjustable strut rods are also available, rounding out the suspension system. These arms accept the standard hub assemblies and mounting tabs. Our race-version rear swing arm uses a spherical bearing, rather than a bushing, for mounting on the frame. The bearing removes swing-arm bind from the equation, making chassis diagnosis easier.
Our features include the original, U.S.-made Del-a-lum bushing; a limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser; and full lubrication, so there are no squeaks. Our G-Plus (Geometry Plus) control arms change your Corvette's suspension geometry without modifying the frame. The angles and new alignment settings are derived from years of building and setting up race cars. Each control arm features a bumpstop to protect the ball joints from over-travel, gussets at load-carrying points, heli-arc welding at critical points, proper-size tubing for carrying extreme loads, and a powdercoat finish for long-lasting protection. Del-a-lum bushings are standard.
Quote From Company
"Global West Suspension builds products that look great and perform as stated. Our racing knowledge and background can be a successful tool for the Corvette enthusiast. Contact Global West and check out our website for more information."
Hotchkis offers Sport Sway Bar kits for the C5 and C6 Corvette. These high-strength, lightweight, hollow-tube, adjustable bars offer dramatically improved cornering potential, chassis balance, and steering response; give exceptional handling improvements for street driving; and work extremely well in autocross, road course, and open-road racing applications. Our sway-bar packages reduce body roll, increase vehicle control, and add a new level of driver feedback and control to any late-model Corvette, even razor-sharp Z06 and Z51 models.
Our sway bars feature lightweight, durable, 1.25-inch tubular-steel construction up front (offering 115 percent more stiffness than the Z51 units); lightweight, durable, 1-inch adjustable, tubular-steel construction in the rear; factory-style, oil-impregnated rubber bushings; a gloss-black powdercoated finish; and greaseable metal endlinks.
Quote From Company:
"The latest C5, C6, and Z06 Corvettes are some of the fastest track-ready vehicles ever produced. However, there's always room for improvement. Through extensive track testing, we've come up with a series of adjustable Sport Sway Bars that improve driver control, lateral traction, and overall feel."
Jim Meyer Racing Products
Revitalize any C1 Corvette with the sports-car handling, stopping, and steering it deserves. Our bolt-in crossmember replaces the stock piece and uses the factory holes. It features tubular upper and lower control arms, coilover shocks, rack-and-pinion steering, and 11-inch GM disc brakes. Our options and adjustability make this a perfect match for any enthusiast. We offer track-width options, a choice of power or manual steering, and ride-height adjustability that sets industry standards. Our fully adjustable upper control arms allow you to tune your ride at any alignment shop, while replacement parts are available over most auto-parts counters, so you'll never be left stranded.
If you have a C2 or C3, check out our performance handling packages. They feature an improved suspension and steering geometry that will make your car the envy of your friends. Urethane-bushed upper and lower tubular control arms, with the aid of coilover shocks, will bring your Corvette into the 21st century of performance. The adjustable front coilover shocks and adjustable rear shocks allow you to dial in the ride of your dreams, while the 1-inch front and 7/8-inch rear antisway bars keep you glued to the pavement.
Our bolt-in crossmember is constructed of 2x4x0.188-inch-wall tubing, features Grade 8-plated mounting hardware, and uses the factory mounting holes. The 1x0.156-inch-wall tubular lower control arms use GM press-in ball joints, while the upper 0.875x0.156-inch-wall tubular upper control arms use GM bolt-in ball joints.
Quote From Company
"If you're not satisfied with the quality or craftsmanship of any Jim Meyer Racing Products component, send it back for a refund. In over 32 years, no one has."
Koni North America
Koni, the world leader in performance-shock-absorber technology, offers a range of high-performance shock absorbers for Corvettes from '63 through '09. From the adjustable red Koni Special shocks for the C2, C3, and C4 Corvettes to the yellow Koni Sport and gold Koni Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) units, Koni has a damper solution for your needs. Whether your Corvette is a restoration, a daily driver, a weekend toy, or a track terror, Koni offers Corvette owners improved handling and corner control, as well as superior comfort and ride quality.
Koni's new patented FSD for the C5 and C6 models is the latest development in shock-absorber technology, featuring a revolutionary design that unites the benefits of taut body-motion control and a smooth ride into one shock absorber. FSD is at its best when the road surface is at its worst, offering improved ride quality, handling balance, and grip, along with reduced rough-road and impact harshness.
Koni Sport shocks for the C4, C5, and C6 focus on exceptional road-holding and handling properties, combined with a level of comfort that results in a direct feel and excellent wheel-road contact. The adjustable-rebound damping offers the opportunity to further fine-tune a Corvette to a driver's preferences, as well as to work best with other Corvette upgrades such as wheels and tires, springs, amd more.
Quote From Company
"Although Koni shocks have been making Corvettes ride and handle better for over 50 years, we have recently focused on refining the performance and handling of the C5 and C6 chassis in both the standard and Z06 forms. These cars are so capable in so many ways, but by applying Koni's damping technologies, we can take the performance to a higher level."
Addco Manufacturing produces only sway bars and respective hardware kits, but has the widest array of spring rates for every year Corvette. Every kit is entirely produced in our Linville, North Carolina, manufacturing facility. All sway-bar kits come with easy-to-follow instructions and all hardware necessary for the installation.
Addco Manufacturing pioneered the process of cold-forming a pre-hardened bar stock. This process has produced the industry's highest-quality sway bars, with precise fit and durability. Solid bars are produced from proprietary high-carbon, hardened steel, while tubular bars are chrome-moly. Partnering with the nation's leading enthusiasts and engineers, our staff has produced a complete line of bars for all model-year Corvettes. Our fully automated, in-house powdercoating process ensures every part has a durable, high-luster finish. Every Addco sway bar comes with a lifetime warranty. Beyond our industry-leading product line, Addco is proud to have the industry's leading suppliers as OEM customers.
Quote From Company
"A great Corvette can be turned into an exceptional Corvette very easily with the right set of sway bars. A set of Addco sway bars is a very economical investment that will make a huge improvement on the track or on your local highway. Enjoy exploring the limits of your Corvette's potential; you'll love how it makes you feel!"