Once our parts arrived from Speed Direct, we took a quick inventory, comparing the parts to the list provided and verifying that we had everything we needed for the installation. The parts were professionally packaged in a combination of bubble wrap, plastic, and papers, ensuring that none of the powdercoated parts were damaged during shipping. All of the parts and packages were also clearly marked with the part number, description, and orientation (right or left), which really helped make the job easier. The Speed Direct instructions were clear and concise, and the only special tools we needed were a torque wrench and snap-ring pliers, which we had, and the spanner wrenches that came with the kit. If you have average mechanical skill and a good set of handtools, this is an easy do-it-yourself job you can accomplish over a weekend.
With the advantage of a vehicle lift, it took us about six hours to remove our factory suspension and install the Shark Bite coilovers and related components. Putting the vehicle back on the ground, we made a preliminary ride-height adjustment, drove around the block to allow the suspension to settle, then put the car back on the lift to check all the fasteners and reset the ride height. While our initial impression of the rear coilovers during the testdrive was very favorable, with stable handling, a smooth ride, and nimble steering response, we couldn't really put the car through its paces just yet. Because we lowered the ride height of our Stingray by an inch and a half, we'll need to set wheel alignment and corner weights with four-wheel scales before taking it to Gainesville Raceway for some serious track testing. Stay tuned as we perform these steps on Project C3 Triple-Ex in a future issue of VETTE.