Camaro ZL-1 Handling fix with KW Suspension

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ZL-1 Camaro with the 1LE package is Chevrolet’s top-of-the-line performance model.  The ILE option package after a brief hiatus returned to the 5th generation Camaro from 2013 to 2015.  Part of the 1LE package was GM’s Magneride suspension.  Magneride is an innovative suspension using ferrofluid instead of conventional hydraulic oil as the damping medium.  When a magnetic field is applied to ferrofluid, the viscosity of the fluid can be made to increase.  In the Magneride shock, this electronically controlled viscosity change was used to make the shock stiffer or softer when the shocks ECU deemed necessary for better ride or sporty handling.   We had a 5th gen ZL-1/ 1LE Camaro at our shop that had a pretty well-worn Magneride system with leaking rear shocks.  OEM Magneride shocks are expensive so we wanted to see if KW’s suspension solution was a viable replacement and upgrade for the high-tech GM shocks!

Since the ZR-1 /1LE is a hardcore performance machine, we selected KW’s Clubsport coilovers to replace the Magneride dampers.  The Clubsports are KW’s more hardcore street/track suspension.  The Clubsport differs from the more street-oriented V3 with higher spring rates, stiffer valving, and pillow ball upper mounts replacing the noise isolating OEM rubber parts.  The Clubsport features independently adjustable compression and rebound damping which we feel is a very important tool for getting the most out of your suspension.  Here is the rear suspension rebound adjuster, the large, easy to manipulate purple dial at the base of the shock.

The rebound damping adjustment is done at the top of the shock via this Allen adjustment screw.  You can also see how the top of the shock shaft is mounted in a sealed pillow ball spherical bearing.  This assures that all suspension movement translates through and is controlled by the damper.

The front Macpherson struts use a remote reservoir.  The Clubsports have stainless steel bodies for long corrosion-free life.  The stainless bodies and the engineering plastic spring seats assure that the coilover spring collars will never stick or seize up no matter what the use is.  Salty east coast roads?  No problem.

The front struts are camber adjustable with a slotted lower mount with these inserts.

4 comments

  1. Didn’t see anything about trimming bumpstops. Did the KWs come with new ones?

    I always think the name ‘pillow ball’ is misleading. I have no idea why it’s called that. If anything, it should be called ‘hard ball.’

  2. I would have loved to see some comparative DDC vs v3/clubsport vs stock testing… I get that these are personal cars, and products bought for a purpose.

    But still to have an electronic system replaced with an equal but aftermarket electronic system interests me greatly. Not to mention the tuning aspect that is possible with these.

    1. Clubsports are preferable to DDC when it comes to more serious performance. DDC is more like a sports/comfort kind of damper.

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