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New member and C5 question...

Gorgon

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Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Corvette
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Hello all,

Recent new member that has been poking around for a few days. Looks like plenty of good people and lots of knowledge to tap into.

I'm looking to get a used C5 but am pretty particular about the car that I want. Ideally I want a Torch Red vert with black leather, black top, Z51 and 6-speed. But it's hard to find that combination (but not saying it's not out there.)

I find several cars out there with the F45 Real Time Damping system. How does this compare with the Z51? In its firmest position can it even compete with the Z51 with performance? Anyone drive both these options and have any preferences? How do these compare with the standard suspension? Could I ask another question? ;)

Thanks for any information you can provide. :D
 

JOV

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2001
Messages
111
Location
Vacaville, ca, usa
Corvette
2019 ZR1 Blade Silver Metalic
Hi New Member, my 85 C4 had the Z51 and on a rough road it would rattle my teeth. Now my Y2K C5 has the F45 adjustible and now I have the best of both, and yes I can feel the diffrence in each of the settings especially in the Performance setting, but hey there may be times that you just want to cruise in a comfort especially when the wife wants to tag along. Just my 2 cents..

:beer
 
Joined
May 13, 2002
Messages
112
Location
Fenton, Mich
Corvette
'02 Torch Red Roadster w/lt oak and a C5-R 427
Welcome to the board

I know a lot of folks here wouldn't think of buying a vette without the Z51 package. I, on the other hand, ordered mine without it for the better ride. Here in Mich. we have some of the worst roads. A slight performance reduction with a very noticable ride improvement sold me. Unless your racing it (can't race a vert in the clubs without a roll cage anyway), doubt you could even tell the difference. Either way, good luck in your search.
Brett
 

Gorgon

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Corvette
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JOV, my neighbor has an 85 Z51 and he just purchased a 99 hardtop with Z51 as well and I can tell you there is a difference between the two suspensions. I agree that the 85 rattles your teeth with every bump, but the 99 is actually pretty comfortable for a sport suspension. As to the cruising, the roads where I live in FL are in pretty good shape and all the driving I've done in the 99 hardtop have been pretty comfortable, at least much more so than the 85. Hell, my teeth rattle when he hits a road reflector in the 85. ;)

The reason I was asking is you can't always find the exact things you are looking for. If I come close I was wondering if I'd be disappointed with the performance of the F45 when I feel like pushing the limits a bit.

Leon :w
 
D

Drewser

Guest
I didn't reply before, but...

I own an 84 with the Z51 and it is like riding a gokart...very tight, very bumpy, but takes corners like crazy. I got the 99 with the F45 and I just love it. VERY comfortable ride, but will hug the corners as well as my 84. I would say that you won't be disappointed if you get "stuck" with the selectable ride.:D
--Drew:w
 

B/STOCK

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2001
Messages
188
Location
RI USA
Corvette
2000 Magnetic Red Vert & 2015 DSOM Coupe Z51-3LT
JOV said:
Hi New Member, my 85 C4 had the Z51 and on a rough road it would rattle my teeth. Now my Y2K C5 has the F45 adjustible and now I have the best of both, and yes I can feel the diffrence in each of the settings especially in the Performance setting, but hey there may be times that you just want to cruise in a comfort especially when the wife wants to tag along. Just my 2 cents..

:beer



Love my F45 for the same reasons.
 

rwd

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
234
Location
Yes
Corvette
Varies
Everybody has different tastes and preferences; the best bet is to drive a number of different C5's. You don't need a 6-speed to evaluate the suspensions.

If you've had another vette, somebody with similar experience might be able to give you a point of reference, but that's about all. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but it's very subjective. You could try seaching this and similar forums for posts. But drive a bunch of them over various roads- not the ones the salesmen direct you to.
 
R

rph b/b 01

Guest
I have an '01 Coupe w/Z51, automatic and 3:15 gear. I test drove the F45 and the Z51 handles alot better ( to me at least ). It sticks to corners like a fly on ..... Yes it also rides rough on the more bumpy roads but for me I like the handling. Go to the GM site and look at the stat's page on the stock car with F45 and then the stock car with Z51. You will see that you get more than a knob that changes the shocks( I wonder what that cost when the F45 goes down ). Go out and test drive both and DON'T be shy, tell the salesman , if he is with you, to hold on to something ( like what ) and get down on it. Good hunting!!!
 

JOV

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2001
Messages
111
Location
Vacaville, ca, usa
Corvette
2019 ZR1 Blade Silver Metalic
Hey Leon, one thing I forgot to mention is that you need to remember where the setting is at because somtimes when I take a turn I notice that I have alot of body lean and wonder my C5 is handling very soft then I look at the knob and its set on Tour. I would recommend that you drive a C5 with the adjustable suspension and judge for yourself. I like the option, I guess my age is starting show :w :beer
 

Gorgon

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Joined
Jul 15, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Philadelphia, PA
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None
Thanks guys...

Good info. Looks like plenty of Corvette driving in my future then. :)

Leon :w
 
L

lesrrt

Guest
Leon! Ihad an 85 also like some of the above fellows w/ z51 automatic. It does ride rough. My 97 is the standard suspension and it handles better than my 85. It also does not have the active handling or f85 set up. I heard of nightmares people have had when this active sus fails or need service. You can also add $ adj bilsteins to the reg c5 sus and get all the benefits of z51 w/o the the intricate electronics that could fail later. good luck again! les
 

TODD L GRIFFITH

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
1,120
Location
Middleboro, MA
Corvette
99' MR Coupe, 04' Silverado 03' ZO6 Sold
Z51 Suspension

This is my second Vette with the Z51 Suspension. My 99 Hardtop was designed by Cheverolet with the track in mind. What suspension did they go with? ("Z51"). The car is also 80 lbs. lighter than the coupe. It is the cheapest Vette in terms of initial cost, and comes without alot of goodies to save weight. The front to rear weight ratio is almost 50/50, well balanced. The Z51 is the only suspension that was standard on the Hardtop, and an option on all other Corvettes in 1999. The only stock suspension that is better than the Z51 and F45 in my opinion, is the new Magnetic Selective Ride Control System found standard on the 50th Anniversary Corvette. All 2003 non Anniversary Vettes can only get this suspension as an option. (same deal, different suspensions.) The difference between the F45 and the MSRC system is that with the MSRC, each wheel gets a damper that has tiny plastic encapsulated iron particals suspended in an MR fluid. The damper also has an electromagnetic coil inside that receives a series of algorithmic current pulses from the ride control computer. When this occurs, the damper fluid becomes either more viscous, or less viscous. The beauty of this is it can alter the damper piston travel for every inch of wheel travel. (very very fast computing power) The ride is supurb. You can go over bumps and train tracks without excessive wheel hop, and not even spill your morning coffee. High speed manuvering and body roll is also controlled better than ever. Unreal! Good luck finding a Z51 equipped coupe. It would have been ordered as an option. For more info. on the Hardtop, at the AOL search, type: 99 Hardtop review. Click on Kyles Corvette Page, at Articles pick: The 1999 Hardtop, and scroll down and read "Hardtop on the track." Z51 Suspension at work!
 
S

SilverMN6

Guest
Used 6Spds are hard enough to find, so I would not limit myself to a particular suspension. I find the stock suspension to be the best compromise for me. 99% of the time, it is plenty stiff for the driving I do. I would not want the extra complications of the real time damping. JMHO
 
J

jim coulter

Guest
I would get what I wanted if possible(otherwise you will never be content, you'll always wonder), but I'm curious why you would want a z-51 suspension. I have the z-51 on my 84 and I'll take the ride of my 71 any day. the suspension rides so rough(which our roads are pretty bad in places-potholes you can loose small hondas in and bumps that send yugos into space) I have actually hit bumps before that didnt look like much of a bump at all, and had to look real quick to see what the load pop was-either the top or rear window breaking. Fortunately it was neither. But everyday I get more and more rattles.If I wasnt working on the 71, the springs in the 84 would already be changed. The up side is it will take a curve marked 35 at 85 and never squeal a tire, just hug and go like its glued to the road, but how often are you going to be doing that compared to driving on the streets in anytown usa. If you REALLY want the z-51 than go for it, just BE SURE you really want it first. GOOD LUCK. :)
 
D

Drewser

Guest
Bears and rabbits

I own an 84 too with the Z51 and I can tell you without fear of contradiction that the 84 suspension was the hardest ever put on a vette. In 85 they softened it 25% and still called it a Z51 so the Z51 of the early C4s isn't the Z51 of the C5s at all. With that said, I still like the 84 (like you said, 35mph curve at 85mph is fun, not scarry), but it doesn't compare with the luxurious ride I get from my 99 with F45 variable suspension. My wife and I both say that one rides like a race car and the other like a caddy. We love them both but the ride is like night and day.
Test them both and get what you want, but if you get stuck with one or the other I don't think you will be heartbroken. I wanted a 6 speed, but settled for the A4 and I love it to death. It has saved me countless $$$ in tires and maybe even a few tickets for breaking traction :bu
--Drew:w
 
H

HoosierVetteMan

Guest
I too once owned an '86 with Z51 suspension. Great for that few times that I wanted to act like a racer. I could take corners and I would chicken out long before the suspension showed signs of being at its limit.

I then owned a '94 with the base suspension. It was quite comfortable and adequite for most of my driving. Although it would always leave me with a feeling that I lacked something in the suspension department. I could feel the sway when I took corners aggresively.

I now own a 2000 Mil Yellow 6sp coupe with the variable suspension. It is difficult to make any direct comparison between the C4s that I owned and the C5. There are too many other differences between the two generations to only try and compare suspensions by themselves.

With that said, I'll still try and compare suspensions.

I've driven the C5 with Z51 and found it to be measurably better than any of the C4's competition suspensions. The stright line driving is very livable while the cornering is sure and tight.

The F45 suspension in its performance mode will not equal the Z51. I find it quite satisfying for me though. Like the Z51 in my '86 I still reach my limit before the car's suspension limit.

One suggestion. If you find a car you like without the Z51, you may want to consider adding Z51 sway bars, or Z06 sway bars to stiffen up the corning of your car.

Frank Mock
2000 Mil Yellow 6sp coupe
 

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