1997-2013 Shock Absorber Information and Replacement

Shock absorbers are considered a consumable product with a limited lifespan here’s why…

Shock-mono-tubeThe C5 Corvette shock absorbers and C6 Corvette shock absorbers are both Mono-tube design. Mono-tube shock absorbers construction begins with a single cylinder (tube) filled with hydraulic fluid. Another piston is used to separate the gas charge from the oil charge. Together the hydraulic oil and high pressure gas with proper valving dampen suspension oscillations. The rod that protrudes out of the cylinder is connected to a piston with seals to keep fluid in check. Another seal is used at the end of the cylinder where the connecting rod comes out to keep the fluid and gasses in while trying to keep debris out. One of the major benefits of mono-tube shocks is the pressurized gas is separated from the oil via a piston. The constant gas pressure on the hydraulic oil minimizes aeration of the hydraulic oil preventing foaming. Foam affects shock absorber performance because it can be compressed while fluid cannot, in turn; the shock reacts quicker with predictability. Overall suspension performance is enhanced with quicker reaction times with the tire on the pavement as much as possible. (more…)

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Corvette Front Suspension Bushing Service

CC C4 Front Suspension Assembly (23) (Large)

By Chris Petris
Petris Enterprises

This is the second installment of a C4 suspension overview series.  Click to view the first article, Click to view the third article.

Once all the original bushings are pushed out and the parts cleaned up bushing installation can begin.

There are a couple of things to be aware of before the first bushing is installed. The bushing bore must be clean and free of any snags of metal that may have been raised during the bushing removal process. Powder-coat or paint may also be in the bushing bore and should be removed to ease bushing installation. A raised area, whether it be paint, powder-coat or gnarled metal, causes the bushings inner sleeve to drag on the urethane, preventing smooth suspension movement. Unlike rubber bushings, urethane bushings should rotate smoothly throughout their suspension range of motion (one of the major reasons for the change to urethane). Too much clean-up of the bores is also a concern: the bushing should require effort to push in. You should be able to squeeze your hand and force the bushings in. (more…)

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C4 Suspension Overview

Suspension Lead Shot (1)

 

By Chris Petris

This is the first installment of a C4 suspension overview series.  Click to view the second article,   Click to view the third article

The fourth generation Corvette was a radical departure from General Motors early Corvette engineering.  It eliminated a perimeter frame to support the suspension and driveline.  Two front frame rails integrated into the first ever Corvette uni-body construction.  This made for an interesting driveline mounting installation.  The front suspension subframe was bolted to the frame rails while providing engine mounting points. The lack of a transmission crossmember added another twist, with a torque arm supporting the transmission and connecting it directly to the differential. The differential was mounted with two large bushings at the outer uni-body rear frame area. Rear vehicle weight was supported by a transverse spring that bolted directly to the differential rear cover.

(more…)

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