CATERA SUSPENSION UPGRADES - Overview

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CATERA SUSPENSION UPGRADES - Overview

Post by elvin315 on 7/8/2009, 17:00

UPDATED: 04-01-2015

INTRODUCTION

I originally began this as a hunt for suspension bushings that would last longer than the originals. I soon discovered the many suspension upgrades available for the Catera and how, with a few aftermarket improvements, we could breathe new life into our cars. We can't do much about the Catera's weight except maybe replacing the stock stuff like wheels and exhaust with lighter items, and most of us can only dream of a V8 engine and manual transmission but we can do something about the ride and handling.

Of course it takes more than new bushings to make a Catera handle. Firmer struts & shocks (dampers) and stiffer shorter springs are key. The dampers keep the tires pressed to the road. The shorter springs lower the car's center of roll and, being stiffer, help the anti-sway bars resist leaning in the turns. Together the new dampers, springs, and bushings improve handling but usually at the expense of ride quality, meaning a harsher ride. Not necessarily uncomfortable, just that harsh bumps might be more noticeable.

Naturally, good high performance tires are needed to finish the transformation. The car magazines do a great job of testing and comparing tires so I won't presume to second guess them. Read the tire tests, shop for the best prices, make your choice, and use an empty parking lot to do a little testing of your own. Set up a slalom and skidpad and see how they feel. Find their limits but avoid "drifting". The Police are not big fans. Choose a coast, river, or mountain road and see how they work in the real world. I do recommend dedicated high performance summer and winter tires to extract the most from your Catera. All season tires are a poor compromise. Why go to all the trouble and expense of improving the suspension then use tires that can't deliver on the suspension's promise?

The Catera is basically an Opel/Vauxhall Omega B, a mix of their Elite and MV6 models, the first being plush and the latter their sport model. The 1997-1999 Cateras leaned towards the Elite's softer suspension but during its last 2 years of production (2000 - 2001) Cadillac gradually upgraded the Catera's suspension to what it should have been all along, a "Catera MV6". A true Sport Sedan that encourages its driver to hunt for the extremely squiggly lines on the map instead of just the barely wavy ones. In 1999 Cadillac unveiled the Catera Sport which used an intermediate version of the Omega's MV6 sport sedan suspension. That version became the Catera's base suspension in 2000 while the Sport used the full MV6 tune. Of course a Catera will never out perform a BMW, or even an Omega MV6, because of its excess weight and power deficit, but given an upgraded suspension and performance tires she will impress you.

Though technically not part of the suspension, the brakes could use some improvements to keep pace with your new & improved suspension. Luckily the last Pontiac GTO and the Catera shared some Opel ancestry. The dual piston front calipers, mounting brackets, & brake hoses from the 2004 Pontiac GTO, a rebadged Holden Monaro, are a direct bolt-on. A big improvement over the Catera's smaller single piston units. Combine them with slotted and/or drilled performance discs, aftermarket steel braided brake hoses, and C5 (1996-2004) Corvette high performance brake pads and you'll have all the braking power you'll ever need.

The Catera's rear brake calipers already use dual opposed pistons and are possibly even better than the GTO's single piston rear units which resemble our OEM front calipers. Just fit them with good pads, steel braided hoses, and you're good to go. There are also performance rear discs available with holes, slots, and dimples. Of course like most cars today the Catera has 4 wheel ABS braking. What many cars of the late '90s to early '00s don't have, and the Catera does, is Traction Control that prevents rear wheel spin on slippery surfaces by using the ABS system to apply the brakes to the spinning wheels.

Discover just how much fun your Catera can be. The following chapters tell how we can improve any Catera's handling performance and challenge the German sport sedan crowd.

FRONT SUSPENSION

The Catera's front control arm bushings will deteriorate over time, from either normal wear & tear, from improper installation, or both. Worn or damaged front suspension bushings will cause the car to "tramline" (follow cracks and grooves in the road), shake the car violently during braking, and really chew up the tires. The  wheels lose their alignment (both camber and toe) and tire front tires will wear their inside edges prematurely. The scariest issue is a violent shaking when braking. It feels like warped brake rotors but it's really caused by the front bushings' loss of alignment control. Instead of keeping the front wheels pointing in the right direction the bushings flex excessively under braking letting the tires flop around. The '89-'95 BMW M5 has the same problem.

Korman Autoworks
Regarding the BMW M5:


The E34 chassis and front end shimmy go hand in hand, especially with the addition of larger wheel and tire packages. This shimmy mimics warped rotors, and is most noticeable under light braking from highway speeds. Our hard rubber bushings address this problem as well as improving steering feel and "turn in".


Bob Chen, an Omega owner in Taiwan, found that a bushing from the 1989-1995 BMW M5/E34 would fit in place of the Omega front suspension's stock front/horizontal control arm bushing. They use a stronger rubber compound that resists tearing and improves the steering response, ergo the handling. Happily, this BMW bushing is dimensionally identical to the one in the Omega and Catera. The worn front/horizontal bushing must be pressed out and its replacement pressed in with either a hydraulic or mechancal tool. Made with firmer rubber it resists the tearing ours are prone to with the added bonus of improving steering and turn-in.

Our cars use a unique rear/vertical bushing in the front control arm. Inside it is a ball & socket type insert (similar in function to a Hiem Joint) which is lubricated by silicone fluid. In addition to responding to road irregularities, it pivots under braking. This specially calibrated bushing allows the control arms to introduce more toe-out at the front wheels during deceleration. That improves directional stability. This toe angle change at each front wheel also helps when braking in patchy conditions (dry pavement under one tire and water/ice/sand under the other). These bushings are prone to the same tearing suffered by the front/horizontal bushing causing their silicon fluid to leak in addition to adding to the alignment problem already mentioned. So far there are no alternatives to the stock GM rear/vertical control arm bushings. A re-alignment is useless without new bushings as the damaged ones will cause the wheels to misalign once the car is rolling again.

While the rubber M5 bushing is an improvement over the stock GM bushings, there is something even better. Aftermarket polyurethane bushings for the Opel Omega and BMW M5 also fit the Catera. Polyurethane bushings resist tearing better than rubber ones. Being more "slippery" they present less friction thereby reducing the effort needed to pivot the control arms over rough road surfaces. Because of this they allow the tires and struts to react faster and absorb more road shocks instead of transmitting them through the chassis. Poly-bushings hold their characteristics much longer than rubber bushings do, greatly increasing replacement intervals. They maintain wheel alignment much better during cornering and when braking loads are applied. Normally rubber bushings would flex and compress. Poly-bushings have much higher compression delay so the car reacts to steering inputs instantly.

If the bushings warrant replacement then the Strut Top Mounts/Bearings and Ball Joints do too. They have clocked the same mileage and endured the same punishment as the bushings. The strut top mounts are a pivot point for the struts and made from a hard rubber. It wears just like the bushings and is prone to tearing. There are polyurethane as well as heavy duty rubber substitutes for the Pontiac GTO and G8 that will also fit the Catera. The Ball Joints are a ball & socket device and while not rubber wear out just the same. They are riveted onto the OEM control arms and these rivets will need to be drilled out and the replacement Ball Joints bolted in place.

An alternative to replacing the bushings and ball joints individually is to replace the control arms as complete assemblies. New control arms come with stock bushings and ball joints installed. Replacing the control arms saves the cost of buying the bushings and ball joints separately plus the time and labor to have them installed on the old control arms. New control arms aren't cheaper but they are quicker. If "time is money" to you then they might be worth it however you won't gain a performance kick over stock since no control arms assemblies come loaded with polyurethane bushings.

Other common wear items to replace at this time are the Steering Tie Rod Ends and the Anti-Sway Bar Drop Links. New tie rod ends will take the slop out of the steering and further tighten the handling. The drop links connect the anti-sway bar to the struts. They have the annoying habit of making loud clunking noises over rough road surfaces when worn. New links will reduce body roll by removing any play between the anti-sway bars and struts and eliminate this clunking noise. I suggest new anti-sway bar bushings too (in rubber or polyurethane). If you've gone this far to refresh your front suspension why skip these?

Aftermarket Camber Adjustment Bolts increase the range of camber adjustment over the stock bolts. They allow fine tuning of the front wheel camber by giving you a total of +/- 2 degrees of adjustment range. If your car is lowered, these eccentric bolts are a must since lowering adds more camber, wearing the tires around their inner edges.

REAR SUSPENSION

Much said about the front suspension is true for the rear. The Catera's rear suspension's semi-trailing arm bushings are rubber. They too are prone to tearing. By its nature the Catera's semi-trailing arm suspension has a lot of camber which is rough on tires. Braking pulls the wheels back as momentum pushes the car body ahead. Due to the elasticity of these rubber bushings as they age, the rear wheels will toe-out more, encouraging oversteer also known as "being loose".

Polyurethane bushings resist this tearing and braking distortion. The rear wheels hold their alignment longer, track truer, and stabilize the rear under hard braking. Eccentric poly outer bushings allow adjustments to the rear camber on stock and lowered cars to improve tire wear. There are also eccentric poly inner bushings that add extra rear toe-in adjustability but aren't necessary on the Catera. Our rear suspension incorporates Toe Adjuster Rods. Poly bushings for the Opel/Vauxhall Omega, the Holden Commodore, the Pontiac G8, and the Pontiac GTO/Holden Monaro will fit. The rear suspension subframe is cushioned by rubber "donuts". Not a pivot bushing like the others, but meant to isolate the interior from jolts. Unfortunately it contributes to that oversteer. It is still part of the suspension and thus suffers the same kind of wear. Again polyurethane substitutes are available via the Opel/Vauxhall/Pontiac/Holden connection.

The Catera, having a self leveling rear air suspension, is limited to OEM AC-Delco air shocks or Monroe Air shocks as replacements. They will give you a standard ride and retain the self leveling. If you wish a sport suspension upgrade in the rear yet keep the self leveling you must use the AC-Delco air shocks meant for the Catera Sport (they will fit the standard Catera). If you choose to forfeit the self-leveling, a number of non-air performance shock absorbers can be used including cast-off and aftermarket GTO shocks.

The Catera's rear springs can be a problem. They've been known to break (mine did). The reason is that to provide the Catera with its self leveling feature the springs are softer than standard. The rear air-shocks share the load carrying duty and as they age and weaken the springs are forced to work harder and can snap. Replacing them with OEM Catera springs will still leave you vunerable but 2004-2006 GTO rear springs are stronger, that car not using air assist, though they do lower the rear an inch (25.4mm). I use them on my Catera Sport and they ride great and the lowering is barely noticable.

Just as the front suspension has anti-sway bars with links and bushings so does the rear. The anti-sway-bar links are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace while performing the other rear trailing arm maintenance. That will remove the play between the anti-sway bar and trailing arms. I also recommend replacing the rubber swaybar bushings with polyurethane ones.

One last thing. On a whim I added H&R 25mm wheel spacers to the rear hubs. Used mainly by those wanting wider tires out back, they keep them from rubbing against the rear springs and shocks. They will also push the stock wheels closer to the fender lip, widening the track, improve handling, and give the illusion of wider tires. Remember, too thick a spacer and the outside edges of the tires will rub the fender lips so be careful. Measure the lip to tire distance, decide how close to the fender lip, and chose the spacer that satisfies your need. The wheel spacers come in a choice of thicknesses to maintain the proper 35 - 45mm wheel offset. For me the spacers push the stock wheels out giving the Catera a wider footprint without the expense of wider wheels and tires. The wider rear track seems to help steering response; the "turn-in". Don't ask me why but it sure feels like it works.

(COMPONENTS LISTED BELOW)


Last edited by elvin315 on 7/26/2015, 15:06; edited 60 times in total (Reason for editing : Updates & Clarifications)
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CATERA SUSPENSION UPGRADES - Parts Listings

Post by elvin315 on 7/8/2009, 17:05

UPDATED 07-26-2016

ATTENTION CATERA OWNERS: I listed all the suspension parts I could find. I suggest using this as a starting point and searching for more. Same for the vendors. There may be others that have better prices. This wasn't meant to be a shoppers guide. Hope you find this useful.


NOTE: This list contains parts for the 2004 - 2006 Pontiac GTO which is a version of the Holden Monaro. That car is a descendant of the Opel Omega, the Catera's sister car. The GTO Front Struts will not fit but the Rear Shocks do, as will the Front & Rear springs (Stock GTO Springs lower the Catera by 1 inch/25.4mm). Its rear trailing (control) arm bushings will also fit the Catera, as will its Rear Subframe Mounts. More details in the related listings.


Front Suspension Bushings


AC-DELCO (GM/OE) Replacement Front/Horizontal Bushing: Part # 45G9329 {#19187194}
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
Factory Replacements (rubber).

Meyle Bushings BMW E34/M5 Heavy Duty Bushings: part # 31121136607MY
http://www.germanautosalvage.com/services4.html
Heavy Duty rubber front horizontal BMW/M5 bushing for Omega/Catera.

Korman Auto Works:
Heavy-Duty Bushings (BMW M5/E34) - P/N 3112567 (HD Rubber)
http://www.kormanautoworks.com/e34.htm

MOOG:
1993 BMW/M5 Thrust Arm Bushing - part # K90137
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
BMW/M5 OE bushing (HD Rubber) for Catera/Omega front/horizontal bushing.

Bavarian AutoSport:
BMW/M5 (1993) Upper Control Arm Bushing: part # : 31 12 2 226 528
http://www.bavauto.com/shop.asp
BMW OE bushing (HD Rubber) upgrade for Catera/Omega front/horizontal bushing.

Powerflex:
Opel Omega B ('94-'03) part # PFF80-902 (POLYURETHANE)
BMW E34/M5: part # PFF5-601 (POLYURETHANE)
http://www.powerflex.co.uk/road-series/product-details/Front+Wishbone+Front+Bush/1760.html
Polyurethane bushing for Omega/Catera front/horizontal bushing.

Powerflex:
Opel Omega B ('94-'03) part # PFF80-901-26 (POLYURETHANE)
http://www.powerflex.co.uk/road-series/product-details/Front+Anti+Roll+Bar+To+Chassis+Bush+26mm/1759.html
Front Anti Roll Bar To Chassis Bushing (26mm)

Raybestos:
Heavy Duty Rear/Vertical front control arm bushing: Part # 5651329
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
Factory Replacement (rubber).

Front Control Arms:
Loaded Assembly - OEM Replacements
RAYBESTOS Part # 5071238 {Professional Grade}
Front Suspension; Right Lower; Complete Arm With Stock Rubber Bushings and Ball Joint
---
RAYBESTOS Part # 5071237 {Professional Grade}
Front Suspension; Left Lower; Complete Arm With Stock Rubber Bushings and Ball Joint
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php


INSTALLATION TIP: DO NOT torque the rubber control arm bushing nuts & bolts until the car is lowered to the ground. If not the rubber will be pre-stressed when the car is lowered to the ground, increasing the chances of tearing. Polyurethane bushings can be torqued while the car is raised. Polyurethane is "slippery" and will pivot rather than tear.


Rear Suspension Bushings


Rear Semi-Trailing Arm Bushing (Rubber, OEM)
http://www.rockauto.com/
----
MOOG Part # K200061     {#90223456} - Rear Outer
----
MOOG Part # K200060     {#904471576} - Rear Inner
----
RAYBESTOS Part # 5701143 - Rear Outer
----
ACDELCO Part # 45G11143    {#19195668} Professional Grade - Rear Outer

Whiteline Rear Suspension Bushing: part # KCA384 (POLYURETHANE/eccentric) rear outer position only
http://www.globalperformanceparts.com/fitting_instructions/KCA384.pdf
Provides a camber adjustment range of +/-1.0 degree from base settings for lowered rear suspension.

Whiteline Rear Control Arm Camber/Toe Adjuster 14mm (Polyurethane)
http://www.kollarracingproducts.com/rear-control-arm-camber-toe-adjuster-14mm-pair-gto/
One kit can be used to adjust camber or toe-in. Two kits needed to do both adjustments.
http://www.whiteline.com.au/docs/install_guides/50-IS018.pdf

SuperPro Rear IRS Control Arm Bushing Adjusting Camber & Toe Kit - #SPF0877ZK (POLYURETHANE)
Provides a fixed camber change & toe adjustment.
http://www.superpro.com.au/superpro-parts/?view=part&id=SPF0877ZK&cid=999501045&vid=32606
This kit is designed to provide optimum camber on a standard height vehicle.

SuperPro Rear IRS Control Arm Bushing Kit (POLYURETHANE): #SPF0611K (POLYURETHANE)
http://www.superpro.com.au/superpro-parts/?view=part&id=SPF0611K&cid=999501045&vid=32606
(set of 2) No Adjustments


NOTE: The Catera/Omega/GTO/Monaro rear suspension uses an toe-in adjustment rod so eccentric toe-in bushings aren't needed or recommended. The GTO Forum suggests removing the toe-in rod if you use the toe-in eccentric bushing to avoid binding and/or damage to the rear suspension. Use them at your own risk. I mention this in order to inform the owner.


INSTALLATION TIP: DO NOT torque the rubber control arm bushing nuts & bolts until the car is lowered to the ground. If not the rubber will be pre-stressed when the car is lowered to the ground, increasing the chances of tearing. Polyurethane bushings can be torqued while the car is raised. Polyurethane is "slippery" and will pivot rather than tear.


SPRINGS (FRONT & REAR)


There no longer are any alternatives to the stock OEM springs for the Catera other than factory 2004-2006 GTO springs and some aftermarket GTO springs. See the GTO section for specifics.

UPDATE:
I found a source for lowering springs for the Opel Omega B in Germany (TA Technix). They lower the car 40 mm (approx. 1.6 inches) and fit the Catera.

UPDATE:This is another long shot!! Eibach makes springs for the 2004-06 GTO. They lower it by 1 inch Front & .8 inch Rear.

Standard Springs, Front:
https://www.partswebsite.com/gmpartsdirectco/?i=2&make=115&model=386&year=2001&type=parts&act=new_subcategory_hp&section=19&catid=30157&subcatid=30548&fl_id=50
Standard Springs, Rear:
https://www.partswebsite.com/gmpartsdirectco/?i=2&make=115&model=386&year=2001&type=parts&act=new_subcategory_hp&section=24&catid=30157&subcatid=30548&fl_id=50

40 mm Lowering Springs (front & rear):
http://www.tatechnix.de/tatechnix/gx/index.php


STRUTS & SHOCK ABSORBERS (incl: MOUNTS, BOOTS, and BUMP STOPS)


Koni Sport Struts & Shocks:
Sport Strut: part # 8610-1315Sport (insert in OE strut; externally adjustable for rebound)
Sport Shock: part # 80-2591Sport (non-air, must disable self leveling; rebound adjustment made before installation)
http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/suspension.jsp?&make=Koni&model=Sport+Cartridge&group=Sport&partNum=8610-1315SPORT&autoMake=Cadillac&autoModel=Catera+Sport&autoYear=2001&autoModClar=&8610-1315SPORT_Qty=2
Struts & Shocks: Firm Sport ride.

BILSTEIN (Opel/Vauxhall Omega)
-Strut - B4 Gas: part # VNE-4480 (OE Replacement)
-Shock Absorber - B4 Gas: part # BNE-2861 (OE Replacement)
-Strut - B6 SPORT: part # VE3-4178 (Firm)
-Shock Absorber - B6 SPORT: part # B46-2260 (Firm)
-Strut - B8 SPRINT: part # VE3-4426 (Firm/Lowered)
-Shock Absorber - B6 SPRINT: part # B46-2258 (Firm/Lowered)
-Boot & Bumpstop: part # ASP-C245 (front)
http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/brand.jsp?brand=Bilstein&s_kwcid=AL!3756!3!42623955613!p!!g!!bilstein&ef_id=U1vpywAABPNdMuG6:20140529211451:s

KYB GR2:
-Strut: # 334903
-Strut Mount: part # SM5285
-Shock Mount: part # SM5287
-Strut Boot & Bumpstop: part # SB101
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/index.cfm?mode=results&selected_model=3755&selected_year=2001
Strut only. Slightly firmer than OEM ride. No adjustments.

Monroe:
Sensatrac Strut: part # 71503 (Twin-tube low pressure gas unit similiar to OEM)
Max-Air Rear Shocks: part # MA825 (For use with self leveling)
Upper Mount: part # 903932
Front Boot & Bumpstop: part # 63619
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/index.cfm?mode=results&selected_model=3755&selected_year=2001
WARNING: Front tires will rub the struts if wider than 225/55 on the standard Catera 16 inch wheel.

ACDELCO Strut: part # 506592 {#09192250} Right / # 506591 {#09192249} Left
http://www.rockauto.com/
Factory Replacement w/o SPORT APPEARANCE PKG (RPO-TV5)

ACDELCO Strut: part # 506594 {#09192292} Right / # 506593 {#09192291} Left
http://www.rockauto.com/
Factory Replacement w/SPORT APPEARANCE PKG (RPO-TV5)

ACDELCO Part # 560227 {#72119084}
ABSORBER,REAR AIR SHOCK w/o SPORT APPEARANCE PKG (RPO-TV5)
http://www.rockauto.com
Factory Replacement - Catera

ACDELCO Part # 560228 {#72119087}
ABSORBER,REAR AIR SHOCK w/SPORT APPEARANCE PKG (RPO-TV5)
http://www.rockauto.com
Factory Replacement - Catera Sport


NOTE: ACDelco Catera Sport struts & shocks will fit all model years, standard Cateras or Sports.

Gabriel Ultra Strut: part # G56769
http://www.gabriel.com
OE Catera replacement


Front Strut Mounts & Bearings:


Gabriel Strut Mount: part # 143240
http://gabriel.com/product-search/light-vehicle-detailed-specs/?partnum=143240
OEM Catera replacement (rubber)

Pedders USA Strut Top Mounts/Bearings (Heavy Duty Rubber):
GTO/G8 Strut Mounts part # 5851
http://www.peddersusa.com/product/GTOG8-5851-Strut-Mounts?gfid=p705-c1419

SuperPro Front Strut Top Mount & Bearing (POLYURETHANE) #SPF1590BK
2004-2006 GTO/Monaro
http://www.superpro.com.au/superpro-parts/SPF1590BK
The strut itself won't fit but the top mount & bearing will.


GTO Rear Trailing Arm Bushings


Pedders Suspensions - GTO IRS Bushing (POLYURETHANE)
GTO IRS Inner Lower Arm Urethane Bush (no adjustments) #EP7023
http://www.peddersusa.com/product/GTO-EP7023-R-LCA-Bushings?gfid=p695-c1399

Pedders Suspensions - Rear Camber Eccentric (POLYURETHANE)
GTO Rear Camber Kit #5403 (adjustable camber)
http://www.peddersusa.com/product/GTO-5403-Adjustable-Rear-LCA-Bushings?gfid=p991-c1938

Energy Suspension:
GTO Rear Control Arm Bushings: 33188R Control Arm Bushings (POLYURETHANE)
http://www.sfxperformance.com/parts/ENE33188R.htm
http://www.jegs.com/i/Energy+Suspension/355/3-3188R/10002/-1
No Adjustments


Rear Suspension Subframe Mounting Bushings (Donuts):


Vauxhall Rear Mount Block Damper - part # 90447156 (Rubber)
http://www.vauxhallworldparts.com/vauxhall.php?partnumber=90447156&partid=857&ecode=&vid=21&pageNum_partslook=

Pedders GTO Rear Subframe Bushings: part # EP1145 (polyurethane)
http://www.peddersusa.com/products?keyword=ep1145&mainc=

Whiteline - Part # W92350 (polyurethane)
http://www.whiteline.com.au/product_detail4.php?part_number=W92350

SuperPro - Part # SPF3267K (polyurethane)
http://www.superpro.com.au/superpro-parts/?view=part&id=SPF3267K&cid=999501045&vid=32606

Replacing the Rear Subframe Donuts:
http://www.omegaowners.com/forum/index.php?topic=90654.msg1155610#msg1155610


GTO Rear Shock Absorbers


NOTE:The Catera uses air shocks for its self-leveling. GTO shocks aren't air shocks therefore the self-leveling must be disabled. The method is shown here: http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t72-post-your-lowered-omega-catera#560

MONROE SENSATRAC Rear: part # 5786
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
2004 GTO - OE Replacement Shock (slightly firmer)

ACDELCO
Rear Shock: part # 560595 {#92157266}
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
Factory Replacements for 2004 Pontiac GTO

Pedders Suspensions:
GTO Touring CG Shock #8081 (street)
GTO GSR Rear Shock #9095 (street/track)
GTO GSR Big Bore Shock #9195 (track)
http://www.peddersusa.com

NOTE: All Pedders shocks are firmer than stock to varying degrees.

GTO Springs (front & rear)


WARNING: Stock GTO springs lower the Catera approx. 1 inch (25.4mm). That inch must be added to any GTO lowering spring. EXAMPLE: A -20mm GTO spring Lowering Spring means you are actually lowering your Catera 45.4mm which is approx. 1.8 inches. Since we know the stock GTO spring fit the Catera these springs will too. However..... Whether they will still provide the tires enough clearance is a big unknown. There's also the question of whether the struts or shocks will have enough travel to effectively provide sufficient dampening. This much lowering will dramatically change the wheel camber front & rear, increasing tire wear and affect steering and handling. I present this because of the scarcity of spring options for the Catera. If they will allow enough tire clearance to allow driving they may satisfy the Stance Crowd and their search for the right look. For the Fabricators among us perhaps there's a way to build and weld a spacer to the strut's spring base to reduce the drop to a more manageable height.

Pedders Sport Ryder Springs (Front & Rear):
GTO SR Front Coil 0mm Drop #2142
GTO SR Front Coil -20mm Drop #2151
GTO SR Front Coil -35mm Drop #2275
GTO SR Rear Coil 0mm Drop #7643
GTO SR Rear Coil -20mm Drop #2643
GTO SR Rear Coil -35mm Drop #2641
http://www.peddersusa.com
NOTE: For normal street driving I recommend using only the #2142 and #7643 0mm Drop springs.
NOTE: Pedders GTO Sport Ryder Springs. All are 45% to 50% stiffer than stock.


Eibach Lowering Springs for the GTO:
PRO-KIT Performance Springs (Set of 4 Springs)   # 3897.140
Front 1 inch (25.4mm) Rear 1.8 inch (45.4mm)

See the Big Red Warning above!


MISCELLANEOUS


Bushing Tool (Removal/Installation)
http://www.superpro.com.au/superpro-parts/?view=part&id=SPF3211K&cid=999501045&vid=

Homemade Bearing Tool (Removal/Installation)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhrY7clDIGE (Bushing Removal)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKZgJvrBVFk (Bushing Installation)
Simple homemade tool to pull the bushings out & in.

Ingalls Engineering Camber Adjusting Bolt: part # IEC-I-81260
http://www.ingallseng.com/81260-14mm-fastcam-bolts_pair.html
Eccentric bolts to increase the front wheel alignment camber range -/+ 2 degrees.

WHEELS - GM Castoffs - I have a Wheel Article elswhere on this forum but I thought I'd include my Wheel Chart here. These wheels are cars from GM cars which use the same critical wheel dimensions as the Catera.
http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t66-catera-wheels


Make/ModelModel YearsPatternOffset/mmHub/mm
OPEL/VAUXHALL
Astra 5 Stud1998 - 20035x11035 to 4565.1
Astra Coupeafter 19985x11035 to 4565.1
Corsa 1.7 CDTiafter 20035x1104565.1
Omegaafter 19945x11035 to 3865.1
Vectra/Sigrumafter 20025x11035 to 3865.1
Zafiraafter 19985x11035 to 4565.1
SAAB
9-32002 - on5x11037 to 3865.1
900/9-31992 - 20025x11037 to 4965.1
9-51998 - on5x1104065.1
SATURN
Aura2007 - on5x11035 - 4565.1
Astra2008 - on5x11035 - 4565.1
Ion Redline *2004 - 20075x11035 - 4565.1
L Series2000 - 20055x11035 - 4565.1
Sky2007 - on5x1105565.1
CHEVROLET
Cobalt **2007 - on5x11035 - 4565.1
HHR2005 - on5x11035 - 4565.1
Malibu2004 - on5x11035 - 4565.1
PONTIAC
G5 ***2005 - on5x11035 - 4565.1
G62005 - on5x11035 - 4565.1
Solstice2006 - on5x110??65.1

* - Redline only
** - all models except the LS and LT1        
*** - GT only


WHEEL SPACERS:
Not technically a suspension upgrade but many of you want wider rear tires. Wheel spacers will keep them from rubbing the springs and struts/shocks. They provide a wider track for more stability in the corners.
H&R Wheel Spacers:
Bolt Pattern 5x110 / Hub Center 65mm [Saab 9-3, 9-5, 900 (5 lug)]
5mm DR Spacer - #1045650
15mm DR Spacer - #3045650
20mm DR Spacer - #4045650
25mm DRA Spacer - #5045650
http://store.allsprings.com/saab-9-3-hr-wheel-spacers-c1014.aspx
I used 25mm to bring my Catera Sport's 235/45-17" rear tires closer to fender lip for a wider track. The spacers fit perfectly and the tires don't rub the fender lip.

Front Strut Tower Brace:
Ties the L&R struts together to eliminate chassis flex.
http://www.ultratuning.com/en/product-19892-front-superior-strut-bar-3-pieces-steel.html


SPECIAL MENTION


Pneumatic Suspension:
An alternative to the firmer sport ride. This kit provides the cockpit adjustable height and a softer ride preferred by lovers of cruising and low riding.
http://www.airbagit.com/Air-Suspension-kits-all-4-wheels-p/fbs-cad-04-kit3.htm
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elvin315

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