Suspension question/clarification

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Hey guys.

I'm hoping to gain some clarity on the mystery that is front suspension on the Cobalt line.

Please correct any of this that is incorrect:

  1. All years of the base LS, LT, and Sport (NA 2.4L) came with the FE1 suspension.
  2. All years of the SS/SC came with the FE3 suspension.
  3. All years (was there only one year? whatever) of the SS/TC came with the FE5 suspension.
  4. The lower control arms on the FE1 suspension are steel, while on the FE3 suspension, they are aluminum, but they are dimensionally the same.
  5. The struts on the FE1 suspension offer a softer ride than that on the FE3 suspension, but they are dimensionally the same.
I'm asking because my donor (a 2007 SS/SC) came with utterly ruined struts and one control arm that was chewed up bad by something, almost like the driver hit a sharp pointy rock or something, but there was no additional damage to anything to indicate that might have happened. Either way, my initial research led me to believe that only the 2008 and newer SS/SC came with FE3, while the 2007 and older SS/SC came with FE1 suspension. So I ordered replacements and junked the old suspension with the donor husk. Now I am hearing otherwise, that ALL the SS/SC's came with FE3 suspension.

Just asking the experts here! If I need to return any parts, I'd rather do it sooner than later. I'm considering just keeping the parts I got if they will physically fit my Goblin.

Thank you guys.
Jeremy
 
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ccannx

Active Member
My 2007 ss/sc came with the FE3 suspension. The bushings were worn out so I ordered two replacements off Amazon and they were aluminum.
 
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lksohm

Active Member
I'm not sure about the rest of the suspension components but my '07 SS/SC had the cast aluminum control arms as well.
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, I will probably just return these steel ones and order the aluminum ones.

That leaves the question about the struts. Softer vs. harder ride, is that the only difference?
 

Karter2026

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, I will probably just return these steel ones and order the aluminum ones.

That leaves the question about the struts. Softer vs. harder ride, is that the only difference?
Do a vin decode. it will tell you exactly what your car had. Or did you by chance take a picture of the RPO code in the trunk spare tire well? That has all the information on it .

To be honest do not worry about the struts go coil overs. You will not fit fenders very well with the stock struts.

I also thought my car would ride much rougher than it does I have the coil overs and I am pretty happy with the handling on it.
 

Ross

Well-Known Member
Softer is better suspension for the rear if you have an open differential... as it plants the rear tires better. Did you order the Control Arm Bushing MOOG K201285? It is a solid heim joint to prevent toe out under acceleration.

These coilovers fit over stock 2" shocks:
QA1 COK104 - QA1 Coilover Hardware Kits (this kit does 2 wheels)
QA1 High Travel Coilover Springs 10HT125
The rear 125 pound springs are perhaps a little too light, I think I would try 200 pound ones if I was to do it again.
 
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Karter2026

Well-Known Member
Good idea Karter. What coil overs did you go with?
I have the BC racing rears. using QA1 springs that came from the fronts with kit 300lb. and I put 400 lb on the front. The car is stiff but not a rough ride at all. I expected worse.
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Just watched a great video on installing coilovers; made perfect sense to me (I may not know jack shit about cars, but I'm technical enough to learn). For now, I'll stick with what I've got until I know better.

I think at this point my best bet is going to be to chill out with worrying about this stuff until I am ready for phase 2. It'll be easier to know what I need once I can get my hands on some of the kit's hardware.

As always, I appreciate your guys' support. This forum has been great so far and I'm looking forward to putting in my deposit on phase 1 in a couple weeks.
 

k.rollin

Well-Known Member
Hey guys.

I'm hoping to gain some clarity on the mystery that is front suspension on the Cobalt line.

Please correct any of this that is incorrect:

  1. All years of the base LS, LT, came with the FE1 suspension.
  2. All years of the 2.4L (SS/NA, Sport) came with the FE3 suspension.
  3. All years of the SS/SC came with the pre-2008 FE5 suspension.
  4. All years of the SS/TC came with the revised post-2008 FE5 suspension.
  5. The lower control arms on the FE1 suspension are steel, while on the FE3 suspension, they are aluminum, but they are dimensionally the same.
  6. The struts on the FE1 suspension offer a softer ride than that on the FE3 suspension, but they are dimensionally the same.
  7. The revised post-2008 FE5 suspension components (upright and LCA bushing bore) are dimensionally different than pre-2008 FE5 suspension components.
See corrections in italics. Also, I think that pre-2008 FE5 components are compatible with cars originally spec'd with FE1 or FE3 packages, but I may be mistaken.
 

Ark :D

Well-Known Member
Perfect. That's pretty close to what I was looking for. Sounds like the components I bought should at least fit with the SS/SC Goblin kit then, assuming you're not mistaken on the last bit. Regardless, I've decided to hold fast on acquiring different parts until phase 1 is in my hands.

Thank you!
 

Torchandregdoc

Active Member
I have a 2006 SS /NA with RPO sticker code FE3. Someone has been into mine and the control arms are steal and I do have the tell-tale front end stearing knock that comes from having the wrong control arms.
 

Desert Sasqwatch

Well-Known Member
The FE3 suspension should have the aluminum control arms. Jim's arms are incorrect for the FE3 factory option listed for his donor. The ball joints will have a 0.750 inch shaft to mate to the hub carriers (FE5 ball joints have 0.800 inch shaft) and it should have the 5 bolt hubs.
 

k.rollin

Well-Known Member
The FE3 suspension should have the aluminum control arms. Jim's arms are incorrect for the FE3 factory option listed for his donor. The ball joints will have a 0.750 inch shaft to mate to the hub carriers (FE5 ball joints have 0.800 inch shaft) and it should have the 5 bolt hubs.
The larger ball joints are fitted to post-2008 FE5 LCAs to correspond with the redesigned knuckle of the SS/TC. The smaller ball joints were used on the pre-2008 FE5 LCAs.
 
The larger ball joints are fitted to post-2008 FE5 LCAs to correspond with the redesigned knuckle of the SS/TC. The smaller ball joints were used on the pre-2008 FE5 LCAs.
I can confirm that the 08+ TC has a larger ball joint shank. The shank is 20.5mm instead of like 19.5ish. If you use LCAs off a non-SS TC or even off a SC, you'll end up with the smaller ball joint. That is a hotdog down a hallway scenario as far as how the shank fits in the knuckle. The Moog replacements are the smaller shank size even though their website says they fit all cars (lies!). I've read that you CAN use the bigger aluminum TC LCAs in a non TC car, but you'll have to open up the knuckle with a big screwdriver or chisel. Anyway, on a TC car, I wasn't able to find replacement ball joints... you will have to get the whole OEM aluminum LCA. ZZP has them in stock (my pair will be here tomorrow) for a reasonable price. Just make sure you select the larger size if it's going in a TC car.
 
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