Riley P

Staff member
Power User
Jan 11, 2009
2000 Z51
I am wondering if anyone can knows the steering/suspension setup in the C5's inside out, although this could apply to any car.

Embarrasing to say, but I was out in a friends Matrix and find that it feels like you could whip that car around if needed. I found the same thing with my 98 Impreza RS. These cars "feel" light and can move/brake with little effort.

Now, comparing that to my Z51 which should have higher capabilities, the steering effort is much heavier and this makes the car "feel" way heavier even though it is only a few hundred more pounds. It requires more peddle pressure to brake so the brakes don't seem as powerful. It makes me less confident in it's performance of it and that it could not move as easily if needed.

So, the question is, why is this? If I were to track the cars, would the Corvette feel way better out there than the other cars? Is it because I only street drive my cars that I find this? Is it because I am a huge pansy and am use to over assisted cars? Would it be worth changing the setup of the Corvette so that the steering is lighter, such as running less negative caster? Changing the front/rear toe, camber?

Who knows these cars and have you ever played with the setup?
Well riley I'm no expert but apart from having the front wheels driven, tires half the size, a compromised day to day setup, different chasis design and layout, it sounds like you have your panties on a little tight LOL

Your car makes little compromises in terms of daily driveability and I personally don't think either of those other 2 cars could generate any serious competition on a track to your ride.

Just my 2 cents :D
I found the same thing in my vette. When I was in small short wheel base cars it feels as though you can easily mameuver them around turns quickly and in and out of lanes in traffic until I actually looked at the speedometer when driving these small nimble cars. Although you feel like your going fast your not. Next time you take a very hard turn in your vette look at how fast you are going you will be suprised at how fast you can actually take turns and not feel the speed. Then hop in that matrix and try the same thing you will find that the matrix will feel like its scraping the roof on the floor it will be leaning so hard. Although the Vette doesnt feel like your going fast when you take turns hard it is!! Atleast thats how my Vette feels. Put the right driver in a bone stock vette on a track and you will be suprised how fast you can lap these cars! Once again just my two cents.... :)
Very true. And both these cars I was describing are all wheel drive but I don't think that has much to do with it. However, for generating competition on a track, it would have to depend on the time of year.:D I'll keep an eye on the speed in the turns however I'm not corning the cars at their limit so I sort of assume they should be at the same speeds.

It also does not help that I go from a gutless 1/4 ton 4x4 to the matrix. I know the Matrix is not fast but it just feels more nibble than the Vette. I know this as I have found myself thinking that the Vette was kind of a pig to keep on line in a curve. It also doesn't help that it wants to grab every groove and misalignment in the pavement although I assume this is what you want on the track so you can feel what the front tires are doing.

Maybe when I go to get the Vette, I'll buy some bigger panties and see it that helps.:D Plus, I'll try to get the Vette to a track to feel what it is actually designed for.
Ya the Vette is a bit of a pig the front end is ten miles long and its almost as wide as a parking spot so ya I could see how whiping around a little Matrix can feel quick especially after driving a 1/4 ton. My Vette feels like an F1 car after I drive my Hyundai Accent!! :)
Good to know it's mostly perspective. After getting used to the Vette, it's no problem. It just bugs me sometimes that these little cars feel like so nimble when the Vette has higher capabilities but doesn't feel like it.
This was sent to Manny in response to another thread. I figured I would post it for the rare few of you that don't yet know how messed up my thought process is.

Hi Manny,

The remark on the transverse leafs acting as a "sway bar" just came from how the travel of one wheel affects the one on the opposite end of the leaf. If I have any idea what I am talking about, the leafs are attached at two points and not at the mid point of the leaf. So, thinking it though, when you raise one side of the leaf, the other side of the leaf should want to rise as well making the car swat rather than lean in a corner. This is assuming a stiff leaf that does not flex much between the wheel and the mounting point.

In theory, leafs mounted the way they are in Corvettes should work awesome and not need sway bars (in theory!) and getting away from that to have each wheel individually sprung, but then keeping the sway bars in there that still attach the two wheels together seems backwards. I don't know, sway bars are nothing more than a spring between two wheels, much like the transverse leaf. The only difference I see is that sway bars do not also support the vehicles weight. Maybe that is the advantage that you can fine tune the suspension better and separate the springs that support the vehicles weight from the springs that reduce the side to side motion.

You see my problem is that I know enough to be confused by stuff, but not enough to know how to fix or modify it.:D

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