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Old 01-21-2013, 07:40 AM
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Camaro Shock Absorbers

Hi guys, I need some inputs on shock absorber selection:

1979 small block powered Camaro sport coupe with stock springs front and rear. 15" steel 5 Spoke Z/28 wheels with 215-65-15 radials.

I am happy with the ride height and prefer the ride characteristics of the stock springs.

Front Monroe-Matic shocks have over 100k on them, rear Monroe-Matic have 150k+ on them so any stock type shock replacement will be an improvement.

Amazingly, they still dampen ok and don't give a bouncy ride but it seems like they don't filter out much resonance anymore, seems like the springs flutter or vibrate a bit on semi-smooth pavement.

I am leaning towards a set of Monroe Sensa-Trak shocks with the assumption they will still deliver a smooth ride like my worn out matics but do a better job taking out the jidders in my ride. Car feels a little nervous.

Car is not tracked, it's a lightly used show-driver, it doesn't get hammered, just cruised. Car sees 3k miles/yr. I am interested in improving the quality of the ride. Thoughts?

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:17 AM
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For what you are describing a high end Monroe should work well, or a KYB GR2 shock. The GR2 is the low pressure gas shock made by KYB and is usually a nice upgrade from OEM replacement without going so stiff as a KYB Gas-a-just.

Regards,

Andy
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aosborn View Post
For what you are describing a high end Monroe should work well, or a KYB GR2 shock. The GR2 is the low pressure gas shock made by KYB and is usually a nice upgrade from OEM replacement without going so stiff as a KYB Gas-a-just.

Regards,

Andy
Thank you Andy. I ordered the Sensa-Trak's based on cost, advance auto had a great deal online, all four for $87.00 shipped to my door. I have a fleet of older cars so Bilstein and Koni were out based on cost. I rode in a couple 5.0 stangs with KYB and they seemed tuned more for sport than touring. This Camaro is a cruiser.

Will report back how they feel after install. Anything is going to be an improvement over 27yr old shocks with 150k on the oldest pair.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldduster360 View Post
Thank you Andy. I ordered the Sensa-Trak's based on cost, advance auto had a great deal online, all four for $87.00 shipped to my door. I have a fleet of older cars so Bilstein and Koni were out based on cost. I rode in a couple 5.0 stangs with KYB and they seemed tuned more for sport than touring. This Camaro is a cruiser.

Will report back how they feel after install. Anything is going to be an improvement over 27yr old shocks with 150k on the oldest pair.
FYI: The KYB GR2 shocks are much softer than the Gas-a-Just. The latter might be what you were riding on in the Mustangs. Gas-a-just are white bodies, and the GR2's are grey.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:25 PM
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Ive had sensa tracks on my 78 for about 5yrs now,an have always been happy with them.I don't auto x or drag race,just drive.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:59 PM
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I have a new car now

Holy cow, I figured the shocks were tired but had no idea they were shot. I can't believe how rock solid this car feels now. Just the right amount of dampening, no jounce, jidder or sway. For years I have always prescribed to the bounce test and the old shocks still passed this test. I am going to have to say the bounce test is not a very reliable way to check your shocks.

My fronts were a 20yr old set of monroe gasmatics, both of them had no charge left, they would not push back up after compressing by hand, and they pushed down super easy.

Rears were 25 yrs old at least, I know we put 150k on them, they were standard monromatic, not gas charged. They were super weak but still had some rebound resistance as did the fronts, but not enough.

It is hard to explain the difference, before when the car would hit bumps it always felt like the chassis was unsettled, almost like the car body was juddering which I attributed to age, build quality, new cars are more rigid than old cars, etc. Wow, these sensa traks have just the right amount of dampening built into them. Truly amazing how a sub hundred dollar purchase can make such a huge difference. Car feels as solid as my 06' GTO and looks allot better while driving it too! I was concerned how they would behave as my car has settled maybe an inch on it's own over the years and these shocks are ride height sensitive based on their valving. No problems what so ever.

I have heard allot of hype about adjustable shocks, koni, billstein, kyb, QA1 which I am sure are high quality shocks but I am not a track guy at least not for this old car and with stock spring rates the ride might suffer with these purpose built shocks.

I know some of these high end shocks are re-buildable for 50-60 bucks a piece but when you can buy a whole set for 85 I can't justify a $500.00 shock purchase.

I know as with everything in the end you get what you pay for, but with these shocks if they last 40,000 miles I will have gotten my monies worth.

Best money spent on this car in a long, long time. Didn't know a second gen. F body could feel this tight.
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