If you have driven one of these cars, you already know the factory suspension was.. shall we say, Lacking. Through the years we have seen plenty of great advancements and upgrade from companies like BMR, UMI, SuperPro, Pedders, Whiteline, Koni, etc.
But, when it came to coil-overs to fit the stock style hard arms, the options seemed to dwindle. Sure there are some big players in the game, such as BC Racing, Pedders and H&R. And they are all great options in their own right. But what about the guy who really wants to dig into the turns. The guy, who like many of us, just want that next level part.. Enter ShockWorks!
ShockWorks coil-overs changed the game in their first version for the VE/VF (G8 & SS) offerings. They were the First company to bring to life something so many of us wanted. An option to adjust the dampening in the rears without having to drill a hole into the trunk or spring perch, or remove the wheel even. They did this by engineering a true reverse mounted rear shock and using lower mounts with access holes cut into them allowing you to use just a finger tip to grip onto their larger dampening adjustment knobs and turn them easily, paired with the brand new, fully CNC’d billet rear perches available on the premium versions.
That alone is a game changer, but they did not stop there! They truly fine tuned the design of these units with the perfect valving options, making each click of the dampening knob truly noticeable, a real difference on a click-by-click basis. They used top tier spring designs and ratings to allow the perfect ride regardless of height with enough travel in the struts/shocks to get the job done when it counts, whether that is leaning into the corners at high speed or slamming the pedal off the greens!
But, did they stop there? NO! With their second generation of these coil-overs they incorporated a truly astonishing piece of our suspension puzzle that some have only been able to imagine.. a full billet, CNC’d, internally bearing’d front upper strut mount! Gone are the days of having to replace your tired strut mounts, or collecting the ball bearings off the floors of your shop as they scatter like ants. Pair that with the fully CNC’d billet replacement rear perches (available on the premium versions) and you have yourself one hell of a coil-over suspension!
Now, I don’t expect you just to take my word for it, after all, I’m the guy selling them! So, here is a review from someone who uses these to the extreme, puts them to the test more than most of us ever will.
A Drivers review: Word for word
Gather round, kids. Listen to a tale I like to call, “Shockworks coilover review”.
So I ordered a set of the Premium Shockworks coilovers from Joe. Before my order though, I reached out to Chris and Brett O’Brien to see what would be the best selection for me. You see, I autocross my G8 at least once a month. I’ve been doing it for 4-5 years now. We do well for what the car is, but we’re in a class called CAMC, which has limited rules and puts us up against all the newer Camaros, Mustangs, etc.
Based on two other autocrossing G8 owners’ experiences, I’ve learned that our cars put a lot of strain on the front struts/coilovers when you combine sticky tires and hard driving. Both of those drivers had more “affordable” coilovers twist and bend on them in those situations. So, suffice it to say, I was concerned.
Chris and Brett were awesome – very friendly and really helpful. They both took extra time to talk to me about their design and how they feel its superior in terms of performance and strength. They sold me. Per their recommendation, I went with the premium setup, which has their 9k and 12k springs.
Install was a bit tricky, since I had never done a coilover install. Plus, I’m one of the few jabronies trying to fit a 275 tire in the front, so the spring perch being lower than the OEM strut housing caused a small rubbing issue. Ordering custom spacers solved that issue. Once I got everything adjusted, the stance turned out great.
And now, for the actual review. Holy sh*t! I can’t stress to you how much of a game changer they are. I had H&R springs with Koni yellows (Cut-a-Strut), which were good. But, the car would wallow a bit in heavy cornering and over uneven things like railroad tracks. Body roll wasn’t as bad as stock but it was still there. Changing direction (slaloms) was done, well, like you would expect a 4,000 lb car to do. It could do it, but it wasn’t happy about it.
Not anymore, fella! The ride is great! Sporty, but definitely not abusive. The solid front strut mounts have not generated anything in terms of increased noise, vibration, or harshness. If anything, I feel slightly more connected to the front end through the steering wheel now. I honestly don’t know why Shockworks is the first to do this but I’m glad they did. Railroad crossings are felt, but they are far better than what I had before. That was the first big thing I noticed on the first test drive, actually. It made me smile.
And the performance. I’ve run two autocross events with them so far. For both events, when I compare our times to the normal fast guys, we’ve picked up roughly 1.5 seconds over a 40-ish second lap time. And I haven’t even fully learned to trust the car yet. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is drastically improved. Turning, braking, forward bite, changing directions… The car quite literally feels/performs like it’s 1,000 lbs lighter. In the pic below, you’ll see partial results from this last event. I’m toward the top. The Mustang and the CAMT Firebird that have been beating us are now nearly a second off. And, even though we didn’t win the class, we were 0.084 off a well-heeled 2017 1LE Camaro with 305 sized Falken RT660’s all around. We’re running Rivals. If you know the tire wars going on right now, you know what I’m talking about. Oh, and the loss was actually the driver’s fault because I gave it too much sauce coming out of the final corner. We were on a 47.4 run for sure. So yeah, we’re 300 lbs heavier, at least 50-60 hp less, on less favorable tires, and yet we can still hang with 1LE Camaros.
As it stands right now, they’ve held up to the abuse beautifully – no signs of any deformation. If they can handle what my car and I will throw at them, I will say I’m a Shockworks fan for life! So GO BUY EM!