How Can I Improve Front Suspension Feel? - Chevy SSR Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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How Can I Improve Front Suspension Feel?

I have a 06 SSR with only 26,000 miles. I'm not the original owner. I have noticed that when I go over some bumpy roads the front end shutters and the wheel shakes momentarily. I'd like to lessen that and get a firmer feel on the road, so would like to ask for recommendations on what I should start with first? Should I start by installing improved Bilstein shocks, beefier cross member or install a stiffening plate first? I'm a new SSR owner, so I'd appreciate any help on this. The suspension is stock as are the wheels. Thanks
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 02:22 PM
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The absolute best suspension / ride improvement ever installed on The Doophus . . .

The Front Frame Stiffening Plate from Simple-Engineering.

If you are near Phoenix . . . Mike will install one in about ten minutes.

Good Luck.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Doophus for your prompt response. I have been reading about the stiffening plate but just wasn't sure in what order to start attacking the suspension issue. Thanks for the advice. I'll contact Mike.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgesee View Post
Thanks, Doophus for your prompt response. I have been reading about the stiffening plate but just wasn't sure in what order to start attacking the suspension issue. Thanks for the advice. I'll contact Mike.
You are most welcome, Georgesee . . .

Mike worked his magic with the Front Frame Stiffening Plate on The Doophus way back in March of 2011 and I still remember the "before vs after" improvement on my drive home.

Definitely worth every penny.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 02:41 PM
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Mike in AZ has a whole host of suspension parts that will help your truck. Look him up on simpleengineering.com

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 02:55 PM
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Talk to Mike(Simple Engineering) about the shocks he has had modified as well as the plate, bushings, and crossmember.

Oh, if you haven't I'd replace the radiator support first.

See we're family here and what is family for if not to help you spend your money?
Seriously though, these are all good improvements. I was surprised how much changing the crossmember out for a four bolt unit reduced the cowl shake over railroad tracks.
The plate was a bigger help, and my plastic radiator support was broken (no idea how or why) so that was necessary.
The bushings helped but my originals had 12 years PA pothole abuse and near 100k miles on them, but that would be a the bottom of the list with only 26k.
Happy New Year Motoring!

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 04:11 PM
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The front stiffening plate, Radiator Support and shocks from Simple Engineering will transform the ride of your truck. I was amazed at the improvement.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 07:17 PM
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I agree with @xoxoxoBruce and @Texasbaehr and @DOOPHUS
I’d suggest the following, in this order

Simple Engineering Stiffening plate
LC32 crossmember, if you are going to switch to a Corvette oil pan and/or want to do all you can and have the $$
Shocks (front and rear.. The rears will reduce the rear rocking, don’t skip the rears)
Radiator support - this is for good measure
Simple Engineering rear frame brace
Urethane bushings, including the panhard/trackbar (don’t skip the trackbar).
Tubular rear control arms and panhard
Bigger sway bars.

I’ve done all of these items, not in this exact order and found unexpectedly bigger benefits from some items and the order reflects a “bang for the buck” approach.

You cannot go wrong by talking with @Mike in AZ

Good luck,
- Robert
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 07:39 PM
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How many miles are on your truck? Look at the front end bushings. Also a big thing that people miss is a real simple one. Tire Pressure makes a difference in the handling of our trucks. They are heavy and low pressure can make the front end feel loose. Tire pressure will vary with the colder temps and changes with the winter more than the summer so check that first.
I am in the middle of redoing all my front end on my 05 now. I replaced all the bushing with the poly ones for the firmer ride and handling but if I were not looking for that, I would go with replacement control arms over replacing the bushings and ball joints. It's a lot easier that way then doing all the work rebuilding the old stuff. And with the replacements being as cheap as they are, the cost to rebuild if you had to have it done would probably cost more. I didn't want to have my truck down for long so I found some nice used control arms in a salvage yard and rebuilt them keeping the truck still drivable. Now I just have to swap out the parts when it gets a little warmer. Also the rear 4 bolt brace helps with that body shake. I got the Trail Blazer one from a junk yard and was surprised at the difference it makes.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 10:23 AM
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Radiator Support, Stiffening plate are the two biggest improvement to handling.

Urethane bushings is next biggest improvement.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 11:16 AM
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[QUOTE=Georgesee;4216493]I have a 06 SSR with only 26,000 miles. I'm not the original owner. I have noticed that when I go over some bumpy roads the front end shutters and the wheel shakes momentarily.



Do everything the folks have told you but my added advice is stay off those bumpy roads that cause this. Ha! Ha!


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God Bless and Keep on Truckin,
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Bruce. So, happy to be part of this SSR family!
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, TXNSSR for your detailed suggestions. I will take this to heart and work my way down the list.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Dicktator!
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 05:34 PM
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So I agree with everyone’s assessment above , but I’ll add how old are your tires ? I just put new tires on and it softened up the ride considerably . Good luck , Dave
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 07:23 AM
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My SSR:
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I had that exact issue with my 03 until I changed to Toyo Proxes ST 2 tires. Gotta say I love them. Extreme long tread-wear and super traction.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 05:59 PM
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My SSR:
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Hey Guys,
I'm tired! I kicked off the New Year today with the help of my mechanic & we did the following: Replaced lower radiator support, added air dam, replaced mid/rear support, replaced rear bump stops, removed all 4 wheels, sprayed WD40 on all undercarriage joints, bushings & wheel hubs, black spray painted all 4 wheel wells, & finished with cleaning, sanding, & painting the inside of all 4 wheels. A day of accomplishment. It feels good. I'm also having my 4th glass of wine. Good night.

"SJA" Steve

p.s. Noticed a nice improvement in ride & handling using Mike's well engineered upgrades! OK what's next?
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SJA View Post
Hey Guys,
I'm tired! I kicked off the New Year today with the help of my mechanic & we did the following: Replaced lower radiator support, added air dam, replaced mid/rear support, replaced rear bump stops, removed all 4 wheels, sprayed WD40 on all undercarriage joints, bushings & wheel hubs, black spray painted all 4 wheel wells, & finished with cleaning, sanding, & painting the inside of all 4 wheels. A day of accomplishment. It feels good. I'm also having my 4th glass of wine. Good night.

"SJA" Steve

p.s. Noticed a nice improvement in ride & handling using Mike's well engineered upgrades! OK what's next?
Nice. Sounds like some satisfying progress and work.

Shocks, front and rear. See Mike at Simple Engineering. They are upgrades from the factory ones. I’ve helped replace 7-8 sets, and everyone notices the improvement, even co-pilots. If you are interested in doing it yourself I can send you my notes.

- Robert
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXNSSR View Post
Nice. Sounds like some satisfying progress and work.

Shocks, front and rear. See Mike at Simple Engineering. They are upgrades from the factory ones. Iíve helped replace 7-8 sets, and everyone notices the improvement, even co-pilots. If you are interested in doing it yourself I can send you my notes.

- Robert
Thanks! I'll put them on the list

"SJA" Steve
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 12:17 AM
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TXNSSR; you should take your notes on replacing shocks and put it on this or another site for the benifit of other fanatics. It's always a good
thing to have the experience of someone else when doing an unfamiliar job. Just a thought. LAZY ONE
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by LAZY ONE View Post
TXNSSR; you should take your notes on replacing shocks and put it on this or another site for the benifit of other fanatics. It's always a good
thing to have the experience of someone else when doing an unfamiliar job. Just a thought. LAZY ONE
I agree. Thiniking of doing shocks too when I can. Notes would definetly help me decide if I could do it myself. Has anyone done bushings without a press? I have limited tools.
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Groceryman101 View Post
I agree. Thiniking of doing shocks too when I can. Notes would definetly help me decide if I could do it myself. Has anyone done bushings without a press? I have limited tools.
I just did my front end and replaced all the bushings with the poly bushings and I would not attempt the bushings with out a press. I did mine with a press and it was still a job.

If you are just going with the stock bushings then it is easiest to replace the control arms with new ones rather then mess with bushings. If you are going with the poly bushings then a press makes it easier. The uppers you are only removing the inner rubber part and that can be done with out a press. You can use a drill with a small diameter bit and make a bunch of holes through the rubber part and then push the center out. Then use a wire wheel and clean out the left over pieces of the old rubber bushing in the cup. You are reusing the cup so it does not need to be pressed out. I did the first one like this and it took quite a while to do it. The other 3 I pushed the rubber part out on the press and it was much quicker. I still had to clean it up with the wire wheel. I found Harbor Freight has an assortment of wire wheels in a package and the smaller ones worked perfect for cleaning out the rubber in the cups.

The lowers how ever you are taking out the cups and will need a press or chisel them out. You could do it with an air chisel but that would take some work and make it an even harder job. Trying to do it with a hammer and hand chisel would be very difficult but I guess with enough determination it could be done. I pushed out the center rubber first then went back and pushed out the metal sleeves next. The hardest part of this was finding the right size sleeves to use to push out the old sleeves. On one I collapsed one side first then pushed it out but that made extra work so I pushed out the rest with the press.


One other option that some people do with bushings is they will burn them out with a torch. For me I hate the smell and mess so I don't do it that way and can't give any hands on experience with that method. I will also add that when I pushed out the lower bushings they seemed to have a liquid in them. That seemed like it may have been some type of oil maybe so that may not be a good idea to try burning them out.
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groceryman101 View Post
I agree. Thiniking of doing shocks too when I can. Notes would definetly help me decide if I could do it myself. Has anyone done bushings without a press? I have limited tools.
Do you have a stable VISE that you might use for pressing bushings, pins, etc? On a limited budjet, this might be your next alternative.
If you do have a VISE just make sure it is bolted down to a secure surface. Hard to believe, but I've seen people use a VISE and it is
just sitting on the top of the bench, not bolted down. And, they wonder why they can't get a good purchase on an item. Oh well. . .LAZY ONE
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 01:55 PM
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My SSR:
2004 in Black and now 2005 in Black, what a pair
As for doing shocks you have to remove the springs on the front ones and for that I use a spring compressor I got from Sears but many places sell them. Or check with your local auto parts store they may have them in their tool loaner program. These shocks /springs are not bad at all to do. The rears are simple unbolt and install new with no springs to deal with.
https://www.sears.com/craftsman-stru...1&blockType=G1
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for all the input guys. I have a few other projects then I'll think about the shocks and bushings. 😎
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 04:37 AM
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Mike in AZ has a whole host of suspension parts that will help your truck.
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