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Discussion Starter #1
Was asked this by a few folks, so I thought I'd ask everyone here:

Would anyone here consider suspension upgrade parts available through GM Service Parts or Performance Parts?

Thinking things like:

Stiffer springs,
Specialized shocks, (maybe with some height adjustment)
Front and/or Rear Stabilizer Bar upgrades (with bushings, stiffer rubber or urethane)
Control Arm Bushings
-and if you are considering these, can they be just stiffer (higher durometer) rubber, or would you expect see urethane replacement bushings available?
Steering Wheel
Seat
Brake Pads, Rotors, Apply system upgrades, Cooling ducts
Engine enhancements
Other stuff I can't think of off the top of my head...


What would you really consider picking up at GM S.P.O. to upgrade your car? Are there price points where you would say "P*ss off GM, I'm going to Eibach for springs 'cause I can get them for $??.??"

Would you just be building a street prepped car, or are you thinking autocrossing or competing nationally, or are you thinking road racing or something else I haven't thought of.

If GM were to develop parts like this, what expectations are there?
 

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I'd definitely consider upgrades, especially engine improvements. I've added intake and exhaust improvements to my Miata and appreciate the changes. I'd probably stick with GM regardless of price if the GM components were high quality.

I hope that the Solstice comes with a suspension that won't need to be upgraded for street use. I have no plans to do anything with my Solstice except street driving.
 

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I would like to see GM develop parts for the Solstice which would give us more HP. I know the Ecotec can get 900-1000+ hp out of it, but what can be done using regular people gas, lol, ya know, the stuff from the pumps. Can GM get 300+hp out of the Ecotec using pump gas. And if they could, sell us those performance upgrades, with a warranty.

Is that warranty asking too much, had to ask tho'
 

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I've learned, for me, where I live, play with the engine but leave the suspension alone.

Back in '75, I had one of the first Datsun 280Z's in the LA area. Spent an extra 25% of the price of the car on Koni's, Muhulland and tire upgrades. Road like a ox cart but could fly on the crest highways and canyons. Then I moved to the Mid-west where the only fun on twisties are freeway on ramps, then it's a hundred miles of staight, open road. My hope is GM will have the suspension compomise of ride vs handling vs price in a range I can live with. But I will spring for the LSD option.
 

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I would think that having a full catalog of GM engineered performance parts could do nothing but greatly help the Solstice! First off, they should be the highest quality aftermarket parts on the market coming from the manufacturer, having been designed and engineered by the people who designed and engineered the car. Also, GM is not about to put out a hack job part that would kind of fit, and kind of work. The stuff would be top shelf.

Also, it would help the Solstice to have credibility among buyers who do want to modify their Solstice’s performance for whatever reason. Even if the aftermarket is a little behind in getting new parts out, they could still buy the car with the confidence that GM already has a full catalog of goodies available. If the aftermarket catches up after that… great! If not, they can still enjoy modifying their ride!

I have a feeling some sort of power boost would be greatly appreciated. From the sounds of it, the suspension should already be awesome (although there is generally always room for improvement). But people will want to boost that 170 HP!
 

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If they do not offer a higher output version from the start I'm going to greatly consider waiting for the Saturn Kappa for it's styling, or just go with a different car completely. However if I know there's going to be power performance upgrades offered day one or even sometime prior to the Saturn Kappa then I will be happy with that as well. The Solstice if I go with it will be my primary day driver. However I want to also take it to the track too for various autocross events, and Porsche club meets with friends. I've highlighted the items you listed that I would 100% buy if available through GM. Also personally I'm only going to buy accesories/upgrades for my car through GM while it's under warranty as well.
solsticeman said:
  • Stiffer springs
  • Specialized shocks, (maybe with some height adjustment)
  • Front and/or Rear Stabilizer Bar upgrades (with bushings, stiffer rubber or urethane) <- Most definately
  • Control Arm Bushings -and if you are considering these, can they be just stiffer (higher durometer) rubber, or would you expect see urethane replacement bushings available?
  • Steering Wheel a sportier wheel that has a smaller airbag maybe so it doesn't have the bulboues look. Or like you can get for the Lotus Elise, a kit to allow you to remove the wheel and replace it with another one for the track then you can put the normal wheel back
  • Seat if they offer 4-point or even 5-point harness seats with the mounting bars for the harness
  • Brake Pads, Rotors, Apply system upgrades, Cooling ducts <- Most definately
  • Engine enhancements <- Most definately (cool intakes like the dual filter Corvette intake, exuahsts, various engine parts, Supercharger or Turbocharger of course too)
I'd also go for front strut bar too. Functional cooling ducts, or any other functional facia I would purchase for sure too. If GM makes some body kits for the Solstice I'd be a happy man. An awesome Ram Air hood like they make for several Pontiacs would be awesome since I think if done correctly hood scoops are so sweet. Oh, a roll-cage too, a functional one, not a 'style bar.' But a style bar would be cool too. Trailer hitch so I can hook-up a sport trailer to bring my extra set of slicks to the track. Which leads to some nice light weight rims.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Brentil,

Noticed you didn't highlight bushings. Why not?

They are not that difficult to exchange, MR2's, old Triumphs and MG's, even the Fiero have bushing retrofit kits. They can do a lot for improving handling without as big an impact in ride as something like springs.

For your stabilizer bar bushings, do you have a personal preference of either rubber or urethane?
 

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I'd only pay for suspension upgrades if I felt that something on the stock car needed attention. Shocks and sway bars would be the most likely suspension changes I would consider, but only if I thought the factory did a poor job on the settings. I'm cautious of spring changes since they can kill the ride, and there's often no way to know until you spend the money and try it. The tires are another area that I would consider, most likely after the factory set starts to wear.

Apart from the suspension, I would consider a relatively quiet aftermarket exhaust if the factory unit does not have a good note.
 

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solsticeman said:
Brentil,

Noticed you didn't highlight bushings. Why not?

They are not that difficult to exchange, MR2's, old Triumphs and MG's, even the Fiero have bushing retrofit kits. They can do a lot for improving handling without as big an impact in ride as something like springs.

For your stabilizer bar bushings, do you have a personal preference of either rubber or urethane?
Thanks. Because I missed them on accident :D Hmmm I'm not sure, do you know any places with some #'s or anything to show how much stiffer one is over the other, or wear rate? I've never had any personal experience between the two so I don't know.
 

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i would love to see it all, and would definitely upgrade anything possible, a car like this cannot handle too well
 

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What do you mean?

I would think that the lowest stance car GM has ever made (seems like I read that somewhere) combined with the extra width should make for excellent handling right out of the box..

Of course, I'm probably wrong as usual and missing something obvious :confused
 

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I think what Vita means is that it is simply not possible for a car like this to handle TOO well, as in there's no such thing as handling too well. The logic being that a roadster should be about performance without compromise.

I plan to autocross, so I'd be down with all of the suspension and brake upgrades once I get sick of competing in the stock SCCA class this car will fall into (I'm thinking B-stock). As for the bushings, give me urethane or I'll have to go aftermarket. For shocks, I want adjustable rebound damping. Don't really care if it's an adjustable coil-over setup or not, but that would be cool if it can be produced at a reasonable cost. Honestly I don't care to fuss with it that much, though. Adjustable shocks are a must, though. Ultimately a system similar to the one used in 'Vettes would be awesone (electromagnets, iron filiments suspended in the shock oil, sensors, etc.), but probably too expensive to justify, especially as a retrofit.

Steering wheel and seat upgrades I probably wouldn't go for. Power adders I'd most certainly be interested in. Not so much for AutoX, but just for stoplight-to-stoplight kicks. These, of course could bump me into another AutoX class entirely, depending on what they would be, but I could deal with that.

As for pricing, I'd like to see them stay fairly competitive with the rest of the aftermarket, without sacrificing quality. I'd be willing to pay up to 20% more for a GMPP part if I can tell that it is substantially more reliable than brand X, since my car will be a semi-daily driver, as well.

Some other things I'd like to see:

-An add-on gauge package to match the factory gauges that would include oil pressure, water temp, and boost gauges (provided that there's also a GMPP s/c kit available)

-Oil and power steering fluid coolers

-Maybe a short-throw shifter, depending on how good the stock one is

-Maybe racing pedals, depending on how good the stock setup is for heel-and-toe downshifts

-other things that some folks have already mentioned
 

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if upgrades were available as an option on a new car i would buy in....LSD is on the list and a factory supercharger would be on the list if it were available as would a 'sport suspension' upgrade.
as for after purchase upgrades, i think i'd want to drive it first and decide. the power/weight is very close to my favorite driving cars- bmw 323i w/sport package and Mini Cooper S. for my everyday driving at (nearly) legal speeds, how the motor responds is more important than peak horsepower. i'm betting that the VVT and counterbalanced ecotec will be well suited to the solstice without modification.
as for suspension changes, it seems that the GM people have been spending ALOT of time testing and tweaking this car to get it right ... i'm not sure i'd want to second guess these engineers. if there is a killer mod developed, we will all know about it soon enough, but i wouldn't want to use my new car as a test bed.
 

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This car fits in SCCA's club racing category. It belongs probably in SSB in NA form and the new T3 class with a supercharger.

T3 is a Touring class and is allowed certain suspension upgrades. GM offers a kit for the Corvette called the T1 package (since the vette is in T1). The kit is springs, sway bars, and possibly shocks. The same sort of kit could be made for the Solstice, and it would work on the street also (though a bit stiff).

I bet GM will put some support behind getting the Solstice into SCCA club racing. Mazda did great with the SCCA...

Autocrossing is definitely another option, and you wouldn't even need the suspension mods for the stock classes. A set of sticky tires and a helmet is all you need.
 

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I'm willing to buy aftermarket type parts at the dealer, but I would say a 10% - 15% premium would be about the limit.
 

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solsticeman,

From what I understand that is true for the SS classes. Touring, however, is under different rules and is allowed certain mods.
 

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Darkhamr said:
I'm willing to buy aftermarket type parts at the dealer, but I would say a 10% - 15% premium would be about the limit.
Yes, I want all these things, I want them made by GM, and I don't want GM to price gouge me either. And I sure as hell don't want their dealers price gouging for installation too. If it's not for a decent price then what's the point.
 

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Ill just throw my two cents in and say that my friend has an 04 civic si, sweet little hatchback, has a great pickup, racing package, he started messing with the suspension though and Ive never heard him say he was ever happy with it after that, something was always wrong or it didnt ride right, so Ive always been wary about changing much in that department
 

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DLD84 said:
Ill just throw my two cents in and say that my friend has an 04 civic si, sweet little hatchback, has a great pickup, racing package, he started messing with the suspension though and Ive never heard him say he was ever happy with it after that, something was always wrong or it didnt ride right, so Ive always been wary about changing much in that department
See that's what we're talking about here though that makes this conversation much different. We want GM official parts. Parts GM has specifically tested and designed for this car. And if I have issues with them or they cause issues with my car I can take it back to the dealer and have them fix it.
 
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