Thanks Mike, I'm no expert either and wasn't sharing "fact", but my understanding of what I've learned, that's why I threw it out there... I want to know! It would be great to have 'zilla chime in here... Anyway, I probably misspoke when I said "most" strain and should have said "some", but under the circumstances, I'm afraid I won't be a good test case as I don't even have 10k on my car in it's 17mos. old life. I'll be watching for that 10k mark since the install and will try to remember to report back. My Hotchkis setup was installed 3mos. ago and I have less than 1k miles since then so nobody should hold their breath! :silly:
Give my regards to Santa, and remind him I'd like wheels & tires for Christmas will ya! In case he asks, I can never remember if I'm supposed to be naughty or nice, so I try to be both...
I've been just watching the thread develop, and nobody has been way off track so far.
As some of you know; I have an SRT8 and used to own high performance accessory shops, and national shock absorber distributorship.
With upgraded sway bars the suspension movement will be more controlled by the bar, and the shocks will not have to work as hard and should last a bit longer. The stock 300c Sachs shocks are at best a compromise, and a good one until you change something that overstresses them, and when stressed harder they will suffer from reduced life, and significant quick deterioration in performance.
At the moment my SRT8 has the factory standard package of upgraded (over 300c) shocks - Bilstein front, Sachs Nivomat rear, factory lowered springs, and larger diameter sway bars. This package - in conjuction with the grippier 20" rubber - adds significantly to the cornering power and control.
I have now owned the SRT8 long enough to give a fair and unbiased (no financial gain) assessment. I see some areas for improvement in the SRT8 setup. (I'll come to the 300c in a moment).
- The combination of Bilstein front shocks and stock springs transfers a fair amount of unwanted road bump noise, and impact feel to the driver. With the KW type the multirate front spring: combining a small softer spring - which absorbs much of the initial bump, with a larger stiffer main spring, in and a low gas pressure shock, (as opposed to the high pressure Bilstein, that transfers more of the initial bump impact to the driver), is the best current solution ride height cornering/slalom and ride, smoothness adjustability.
- The rear shocks on the SRT8 are the Nivomats with the built in pump- self-levelling. I have noticed that in the first few miles - before the shocks pump themselves to optimum function, that they do a poor job. For those using the drag strip that could have consequencies. Adjusted correctly, shocks like the KWs could give benefit in controlled weight transfer on acceleration. Probably cause enough for another thread altogether for the drag strip afficionados.
- Watching some videos of the stock SRT8 where guys are performing slalom type work; with lots of transitions, and side to side weight transfers. I judged that even the SRT8 bar is not large enough for optimum street performance. Upgrading the bar diameter: a small step in diameter will add significant control to the rear, when cornering/transitioning, without losing much of the comfort factor.
The adjustable stiffness of shock in the KW/Eibach/and now probably Mopar shocks is a massive bonus factor. Where you can arrive at your own optimum balance between shock stiffness/control and ride smoothness. There is a wide range of temperature variability in North America. Enormous variation summer in Texas, winter in Canada. Just being able to adjust for the effect this temperature has on the shock fluid viscosity, and consequent variations in damping rate/shock stiffness, in the same product is an important feature.
The adjustable ride height is a self explanatory, if (probably when) I go for the KW Variant II coilovers or exact equivalent, I will probably stick with the standard SRT8 front ride height and lower the rear a little more.
Now back to the 300c suspension - the standard shocks will soon wear themselves out with just upgraded springs. They are (like most high volume stock sedans) a prime target for upgrade anyway - thats why AMGs come stock with Bilsteins, and Ferraris with Konis. KWs are probably stock on some high performance cars.
I am thinking of pumping a couple of thousand dollars into suspension upgrades in my SRT8 - which already has a significantly upgraded (over the 300c) factory suspension. The same upgrade of KW VariantII on the 300c - and the Eibachs and Mopars: if they are confimed to be rebranded KWvariantIIs, will put the 300c owner (with lightweight 20"' forged wheels, the Goodyear F1 or RSA tires, and uprated swaybars) at least in SRT8 cornering/slalom ability, and probably a jump ahead of it. Bear in mind the suspension bushings are softer on the 300c, but that should not be a massive detraction.
So Hemeee a question for you - do you have the diameter of the rear Hotchkis sway bar? If you don't I can call them. I can then measure my SRT8 rear bar and hope that the Hotchkis rear is a step up in diameter.