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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question. should I wait until I install the "Simple Engineering" lower radiator support before I have the wheel alignment done? I intend to replace the X brace as well but later. I'm unsure as to how that would make much difference to a wheel alignment but, rather ask a stupid question than...
 

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SSR Pit Crew
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Yes, I would and I did wait until I installed RADIATOR SUPPORT and SIFFINGING PLATE. MAJOR difference in feel and handling.

Here are the specs that we suggest, if your shop says "can't do that", take your SSR to another shop.

Watch torque on wheel lugs! Impact is not a good torque, torque wrench by hand is much better.

Alignment Specs.

Caster 4.25 +/- 0.5 Set to max and equal both sides

Cross Caster 0.0 +/- 0.3

Camber -0.5 +/- 0.5
(CHANGE CAMBER TO ZERO (0)

Toe +0.1 +/- 0.2
(CHANGE TOE TO ZERO (0)

Change Camber to 0 and change Toe to 0 to eliminate inner scuffing.


Wheel lug nut torque 110 lbs MAXIMUM.

Dicktator
 

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Ex SoCal Nut
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NO Stupid Questions... Only, Stupid Answers....
Follow what DickTater says. The core support should have no to very little change, but the X brace along with the core support NEED the alignment to be at least checked to be spot on. That will ensure the best tire wear...
 

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While I am posting after Dictator and have the utmost respect for him, as he has probably forgot more than I know, I am giving my OPINION. I differ in my opinion on this matter and here are my reasons why. Research and make your own decision from what you find. Also one other thought, having the alignment checked should be routine maintenance more often because it is known the SSR can eat front tires. Paying $100 for the alignment is cheaper than a set of tires at $400 plus.

The front radiator support is not going to have any effect on the front end alignment or frame stiffness. The radiator support holds the radiator up. Think about this. It is made out of plastic. If it had any effect on frame stiffness it would break every time the truck went over a rough surface. The steel radiator support is going to protect the radiator from anything damaging the radiator flying up from the road. There is a post some where about someone hitting an animal and it taking out the radiator. They replaced the plastic with the steel one and hit something else with no damage.

I would have the alignment done now before you effect the tires. Changing the radiator support in my opinion will not change the alignment or have any effect on it. Changing the cross brace I have no hands on experience with but it maybe a good idea to have the alignment checked after replacing it if it is down the road when you do it. One other thing about front end parts now days. Stock parts do not have grease fittings to keep them lubricated. They are going to wear and effect the front end alignment much more than older cars that had the ability to keep them lubricated and slow the wear.
 

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Daily Driver
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I don't think the radiator brace will affect the alignment, but of course it wouldn't hurt to check it unless you're doing other things that will affect it then wait. You said X-brace, do you mean the one under the engine that gets replaced with Mike's plate? The reason I ask is some people use X-brace as X shaped brace, and some as an abbreviation for cross brace.
That and I'm dumb.:redface:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I meant the X-tubing brace beneath the engine. The tires on the front are new and I'm going to do the "Simple Engineering" Aluminum plate in the spring. The two photo's posted here show the condition of the original tires w/ 25,000 miles. Needless to say I replaced them immediately after taking ownership. Would still not have known what caused that wear if I hadn't found SSRFanatics ( Dicktator ). I Had assumed it was tire pressure as a wheel alignment check showed the alignment to be bang on. The trucks last road experience on the tire you see was a trip to Edmonton Alberta. the other tire was even worse....SCARY.
 

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My 05 had new tires put on it before I bought it and they don't have even 10,000 miles and ate the inside edge off the drivers side. I am redoing all of my front end parts and going to have it aligned following Dicktator's settings. I am also lowering my truck and it has 176,000 miles but the front end parts are all tight and not really needing replaced I just did it because I wanted to upgrade the bushings and do the lowering springs on it. One thing led to another and I decided to just rebuild it all now while I was half way into it.
 

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My 05 had new tires put on it before I bought it and they don't have even 10,000 miles and ate the inside edge off the drivers side. I am redoing all of my front end parts and going to have it aligned following Dicktator's settings. I am also lowering my truck and it has 176,000 miles but the front end parts are all tight and not really needing replaced I just did it because I wanted to upgrade the bushings and do the lowering springs on it. One thing led to another and I decided to just rebuild it all now while I was half way into it.
If you lower the truck, front end alignment can be more challenging. I could not come close to getting rid of the negative camber.

I went with DJM upper control arms, and re-did the lower control arm bushings with SE parts. DJM requires some modification of the inner fender well. I had no idea what was involved, but as soon as the upper arms went in, it became obvious what needed to be done. Verbal instructions were to cut about 2" upward, but that didn't do it. Took the tires back off, and went up another full inch. No bottoming out since then.

Lots of flexibility for alignment since then.
 

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2006 S/C Silver & 2006 Pac Blue 6spd
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I have a question. should I wait until I install the "Simple Engineering" lower radiator support before I have the wheel alignment done? I intend to replace the X brace as well but later. I'm unsure as to how that would make much difference to a wheel alignment but, rather ask a stupid question than...
IMO, do the alignment now. I agree with others, and provide a bit more detail.. and opinion.

I’ve installed the SE stiffening plate, the LC32 crossmember and later on the SE radiator support on my truck I did it all by myself on jack stands. I’ve also done the radiator support and SE stiffening plate on several other Rs.

The stiffening plate, nor the radiator support affect the alignment as neither require removal of the bolts that affect alignment. The LC32 crossmember does remove the alignment bolts and does require re-alignment.

The SE stiffening plate and LC32 crossmember work together. @Mike in AZ and Joe Delano did a great job making complementary parts. Somewhere I read it is ~70/30? split between the amount of rigidity the stiffening plate and crossmember deliver to the front end. That said, I cannot really confirm or deny as I did both together. I can say the stiffening plate works really well on it’s own and both reduce “head shake”. The LC32 crossmember is a bit more work and a chunk of change and most are very happy with just the SE stiffening plate.

The radiator support is awesome and great insurance and is a far better mount for the air dam. I have the SE air dam too. Testimonial: The SE radiator support supported the entire front end of my truck once. File that under, don’t try this ever...ever. Always use jack stands. Always. The “fall”, damaged the support, but wasn’t catastrophic, like it would have been with the plastic radiator support. For the record, I replaced it a few days later.

Regarding the alignment: Dicktator’s specs cure the scrubbing and the truck will turn slightly quicker. It is a must. I did it before and after the SE stiffening plate/LC32 crossmember install (and it didn’t move :surprise: as I supported everything as I did it). I also had the alighment checked after a set of new tires, “just to be sure”.

If you want your truck to settle down more, replace the shocks front and rear (don’t skip the rears they really reduce the rear end rock).

The next step would be the control arms and urethane bushings, including the track bar bushings. I’ve done back to back runs with another friend’s R after we replaced his shocks. His was far better after the shocks, and mine was again better and more planted under acceration and turning. There was no more “hitch” to one side in turns for the rear end to plant after the control arms and bushings. FWIW: I did the sway bars too, just after the stiffening plate and crossmember, but given my experience, I’d do them last.

- Robert
:silver:
 

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As reading this post I have only one question and absolutely no disrespect to any members but stlhotrod have you driven a ssr before and after installation of the radiator support. This one part exchange removes so much cowl shake from the truck , it’s crazy
 

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:|

"I can say the stiffening plate works really well on it’s own and both reduce “head shake”. The LC32 crossmember is a bit more work and a chunk of change and most are very happy with just the SE stiffening plate."

I'm one of those (very happy with just the SE stiffening plate). My ride handles quite well and the plate was on it when I bought the truck. So I don't know from experience how much improvement the plate has made.

But as to the LC32 crossmember........why is that needed?? I think I have read in prior posts something about it being required if one swapped out the oil pan for the other Corvette pan option. Can someone elaborate on just why one would install this part beyond the pan swap needing it (if so).:nerd:
 

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The LC32 crossmember is required for the oil pan swap and it adds some additional rigidity.

I did them both at the same time as I planned to swap the oil pan, and I didn’t want to wonder “how much better?”. My overarching plan was/is Bluetooth & nav, then suspension, then braking, then transmission, then engine.

- Robert
:silver:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanx so much, It's a lot to digest. Ask a guy what time it is and he'll tell you how to build a watch. Just kidding, seriously I appreciate every assistance from other Fanatics and it's pretty obvious that the rad support the stiffening plate and the wheel realignment are all required for the improved health of the truck and the ride. Now it's just a matter of prioritizing, as the truck is off the road for the winter and most of the spring. the upgrades will be done in this order, rad support/with air deflector, Aluminum stiffening plate and once insured for the road next year, a wheel alignment using Dicktators specs. When I had the alignment check after mounting the new tires everything suspension wise was checked and found to be sound so I don't think I'll be doing any suspension replacements yet as the truck has low mileage. If you look at the second photo you'll notice that with the exception of the inner block being completely bald and the cord showing, the rest of the tire has lots of tread, again low mileage. The previous owner and his wife were very large people, they had wanted a Corvette but were too big to fit, the Manager of the Chevy dealership in Alberta showed them the SSR, they bought it and after a couple of years decided it was too small for them as well. I wonder if an extra 600 lbs in the cab could contribute to exaggerating front tire wear.
 

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As reading this post I have only one question and absolutely nodisrespect to any members but stlhotrod have you driven a ssr before and after installation of the radiator support. This one part exchange removes so much cowl shake from the truck , it’s crazy
Yes I have driven my truck after I installed the radiator support and there was no difference to me with the ride or handling from that change. Like I said its my opinion. I have no testing data to make an argument for it one way or the other, but I feel if there was a flex issue with the frame, the plastic ones would be shattering all the time when anyone went over a rail road track or went down a rough road and that is not the case. The steel radiator supports do have a positive benefit and that is they protect the radiator from things coming up from under the trucks.

I am hoping that new bushings, shocks and all new front end parts tighten up the front end and make it tighter when driving and I do expect that from all the work I am doing on mine currently and most of all I hope I can get rid of the tire wear on the drivers side. I would like to ride in an SSR with the stiffing plate to see how that feels as for ride and handling.
 

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Yes I have driven my truck after I installed the radiator support and there was no difference to me with the ride or handling from that change. Like I said its my opinion. I have no testing data to make an argument for it one way or the other, but I feel if there was a flex issue with the frame, the plastic ones would be shattering all the time when anyone went over a rail road track or went down a rough road and that is not the case. The steel radiator supports do have a positive benefit and that is they protect the radiator from things coming up from under the trucks.

I am hoping that new bushings, shocks and all new front end parts tighten up the front end and make it tighter when driving and I do expect that from all the work I am doing on mine currently and most of all I hope I can get rid of the tire wear on the drivers side. I would like to ride in an SSR with the stiffing plate to see how that feels as for ride and handling.
I have got to side with Stlhotrod on this one. I have replaced the radiator support on both my Rs , as the only change at that time and I could notice NO real appreciable difference in handling or 'shake' although I was much more confident that a road gator wouldn't take out my radiator. I have noticed a great reduction in shake , rattle and roll with the installation of the front stiffening plate from S.E. Also notice a reduction in rattles etc. when I installed the rear stiffening brace -- did each of these as a single upgrade one at a time so I could see if there was a difference. Just my .02 and your experience may vary! :wink2::blur::ssr
 

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Yes I have driven my truck after I installed the radiator support and there was no difference to me with the ride or handling from that change. Like I said its my opinion. I have no testing data to make an argument for it one way or the other, but I feel if there was a flex issue with the frame, the plastic ones would be shattering all the time when anyone went over a rail road track or went down a rough road and that is not the case. The steel radiator supports do have a positive benefit and that is they protect the radiator from things coming up from under the trucks.

I am hoping that new bushings, shocks and all new front end parts tighten up the front end and make it tighter when driving and I do expect that from all the work I am doing on mine currently and most of all I hope I can get rid of the tire wear on the drivers side. I would like to ride in an SSR with the stiffing plate to see how that feels as for ride and handling.
I agree on the radiator support. Do it, and get the air dam if you don’t have one. The SE air dam is rounded and I think matches the truck better than the stock one. Both are great, but I didn’t notice or expect improvement in ride with the radiator support.

The surprises for me were the rear shocks and the rear control arms, track bar all with urethane bushings. The rear shocks are larger diameter and settle the truck down a lot. Which helps the steering feel more precise. I’ve changed 7+ sets of shocks on the Rs, and both the pilots and several co-pilots notice the improvement. The rear control arms, track bar and with urethane bushings really-really planted the rear end. It all translated to the truck rocking less and the front feeling better. When I started the truck felt “rocky”, someone else described theirs like it was riding on basketballs, which I thought was a pretty apt description. Now it is very stable. The shocks are 12-14yrs old. Mine had about 30K miles. When I drilled them out to dispose of them, one of the rears had very little pressure.

I upgraded the suspension in the following order:
Michelins
SE plate and LC32 stiffener
Trailblazer rear stiffener
Addco swaybars
Swapped SE rear stabilizer for Trailblazer as it is stiffer and cooler.
SE Radiator support
Shocks
Rear control arms, track bar and bushings

From what I experienced, I’d suggest the shocks after the SE stiffening plate and the swaybars close to last.

YMMV.
- Robert
:silver:
 
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