It wasn’t long ago that we first introduced our latest canvas, an ’02 C5 Z06 Corvette, dubbed Project Twitch.
If you recall, we invited your thoughts on what direction to take our ride, and the majority of you said to kick it up a notchsome of you even took the time to include detailed wish lists. Well, we heard you and we’ve already produced a complete plan of action; of course, all of it will be covered in the coming months.
This month, we’re addressing the suspension. Bear in mind that the factory offering is pretty incredible; it’s a lot more than most people will ever be able to take full advantage of. We should also mention that if you’re into SCCA class racing, you’ll know that the C5 Zs are extremely competitive cars right out of the box, and altering from the stock stuff will generally place you in a class reserved for serious chassis cars. We have no plans to compete in a specific class; instead, we tend to participate in autocross and open-track events as an exhibition car, so that throws any class-specific rules right out the window.
When it came to finding the ideal suitor for our Z, we went with LG Motorsports (LGM) in Wylie, Texas. The folks at LGM have been in the business of racing and designing hard-core suspension components for well over 35 years and have plenty of real-world track experience by competing in everything from the Corvette Challenge to the World Challenge series to the coveted American Le Mans GT2 division.
After a lengthy conversation discussing our needs and goals, we decided to install a complete LGM suspension package, which includes the GT2 coilovers with 12-way adjustable shocks and the G1 front and rear sway bar assembly. Combined, these offer infinite adjustability, both in ride quality and setting up the ride height for every kind of driving you do. And even though the LGM components may seem exotic, anyone looking to do a similar install will appreciate just how affordable this setup really is. Priced at $2,395 (add $250 for the quiet endlinks), this all-in-one system will transform any C5 into a serious tracking machine, all while offering a plush ride for those long road trip excursions.
To outfit our Z with the LGM goodies, we headed to Motivational Engineering in Carson, California, where owner Mike Saiki handled the job in a day. The installation was straightforward with minimal effort, however, it was Saiki who recommended we complete the install by scaling the car. Even with the good stuff, it takes a well-balanced chassis to keep the tires on the ground and maximize your efforts as you traverse through any course. Follow along as we show you what it takes to transform your prized Z from a weekend thrill ride to a world-class performer.
|Ride Height |
|Front Left ||Front Right |
|275/8 ||271/2 |
|Rear Left ||Rear Right |
|283/8 ||281/2 |
|LG Motorsports Coilovers |
|Front Left ||Front Right |
|265/8 ||269/16 |
|Rear Left ||Rear Right |
|271/2 ||273/8 |
We started by taking off the...
We started by taking off the rear sway bar by removing the four main bolts on the rear carriage with an 18mm socket and a 15mm wrench. For the endlinks, we used a 19mm socket.
Since we’re stepping up to...
Since we’re stepping up to a coilover assembly, the factory leaf springs are no longer necessary and have to be removed. The first thing you want to do is remove the snap ring on the leveling bolt.
Next we placed an adjustable...
Next we placed an adjustable jack underneath the control arm to relieve some pressure for the leveling bolt. Using a 21mm socket, we were able to remove the leveling bolt and did the same for the other side.
From there, remove the four...
From there, remove the four bolts holding the sway bar in place with a 13mm socket and that portion of the job is complete.
Getting the shock out is easy...
Getting the shock out is easy enough. The lower body of the shock mounts onto the lower control arm and can be removed with a 24mm socket and wrench combo. Up top, we used a 13mm socket with a long reach extension to remove the two bolts.
LGM’s 12-way adjustable GT2...
LGM’s 12-way adjustable GT2 coilover assembly may look good, but there’s a lot of engineering that went into these beauties. The lower base or housing should be turned to adjust for ride height, while the perch the springs rest on can be adjusted with the supplied spanner wrench for fine-tuning the ride height. We talked with LGM at great lengths and had the housing adjusted for our application, making it a complete bolt-in assembly that only required minimal adjustments to suit our needs. Aside from the shocks and springs, which are exclusively built for LGM, everything is built in-house using LGM’s knowledge of the Corvette for springs and shock valving.
To attach the rear remote...
To attach the rear remote shock adjusters onto the shock, we used a 5/64 Allen key. Also, you’ll find that LGM uses spherical bearings on all its shock mounting locations (minus the rear lower fork mount) for a precise and smooth operation that won’t interfere with the shock’s functionality. This also eliminates any binding that can occur, preventing the shaft from bending and ultimately providing you with precise movements from the suspension.
To install the coilovers,...
To install the coilovers, we learned that the tie rods needed to be disconnected to give us extra room for fitment. We used a tie-rod puller to eliminate any potential damage. Up top, the two bolts that we torqued to 22 ft-lb went in and we secured the single bolt below through the lower control arm and the lower body of the shock at 162 ft-lb.
As mentioned earlier, the...
As mentioned earlier, the rear remote shock adjusters are tightened onto the shock’s adjustment knob, where it’s then placed through the opening of the upper shock mount. Once on the ground, you can easily reach up to change the shock settings on the fly without a jack.