Author Topic: UMI Front Control Arms and Ridetech Bolt-On 4 Link  (Read 555 times)

evob

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UMI Front Control Arms and Ridetech Bolt-On 4 Link
« on: June 29, 2018, 03:48:07 PM »
Just thought I would give my input on some suspension products that I recently put on my trans am. This opinion will be on both UMI Performance products and Ridetech products since these were done at the same time and to save space by not making two posts.

Ridetech Opinion:
Parts Used:
Ridetech 4-link bolt on - https://www.ridetech.com/applications/musclecars/1970-1981-camaro/bolt-on-4-link-for-1970-1981-camaro-firebird/
Ridetech HQ Coilovers - https://www.ridetech.com/products/coil-overs/application-coil-overs/70-81-camaro-firebird-airbar-coil-over-system-single-adjustable/

Let me start by saying this. While the title from ridetech does say that this is a "bolt on" system, don't be fooled. There is welding involved. There are brackets that have to be welded to the rear, along with geometry involved to find the right pinion angle and to center the rear end. All of this is not too hard to do, but it is definitely not for the faint of heart. I would strongly recommend reading the online instructs to make sure that you are up to the task. ---Now, the actual opinion part. The bolt on kit is great, dill some holes, cut some holes, bolt everything up and you are sailing along. This definitely isn't a couple hours job. It is more along the lines of a couple of days, but it is well worth it. The coilovers allow you to adjust the ride height of the car to fit your needs, and will allow the user to adjust the ride of the car as well. The coilovers have adjustable knobs that allow you to adjust how firm or soft the ride is. If you want the car to ride like an old Cadillac? Turn the knobs to 1 and you are good to go. Want the car to ride like a race car? Turn the knob to 5 and the ride is firm. Personally, I have it set at a 3 allowing the ride to be comfortable but not so hard that my back hurts. I am super happy with the system. At first I really didn't want to go with coilovers and didn't really want to go with a 4 link for the car. But I am SO happy I did. The car drives like it is on rails. I thought I could go around corners fast before, but now I can really push through the turns. I haven't tracked the car since putting the 4 link on, but I plan to soon. If you have the extra money and are looking for a 4 link, I would strongly recommend going this route, you will not be disappointed.

UMI Opinion:
Parts:
UMI  Control arms - http://umiperformance.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=340_445_446&products_id=1046
Viking coilovers - http://umiperformance.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=340_341&products_id=887

If you have made it this far, then the thought might have crossed your mind, "Why didn't you put front upper and lower tubular control arms from Ridetech on the front to match the back?" This is a good question. Ridetech does have a kit, but it requires you to use Ridetechs spindles. For me, I didn't want to change my spindles, because I was afraid it would not work with the brakes I have. Because of this I went with UMI. The control arms look great and were super easy to install. Everything bolted up with no issues or fuss. UMI also offers a hardware kit that will replace your old bolts, nuts, and washers so that if your control arms won't come off, then you have a backup plan. The arms are lighter than stock and allow you to use coilovers. You also have a choice on if you would like to use Viking coilovers or QA1 coilovers. I opted for viking because a friend of mine used them and liked them a lot. So, I followed suit. The control arms complement the 4 link perfectly. The viking (and I assume QA1, but don't know for sure) coilovers allow you to adjust the ride height, just like the rear ones. The coilovers also allow you to adjust the ride stiffness just like the back.

Overall:
With this combination the car feels amazing from what it use to be. For me, this was a huge step up since my old bushings were done for all over the suspension. I didn't really want to keep the factory suspension, so, for me this was a big step that makes the car feel like a car that has endless grip, and can go deep into corners without any problem. The money involved in all of this was on the higher side, but it was well worth it in the long run, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to upgrade their system. Ridetech was great to work with, their instructions were easy to follow, and if you have issues they can talk you through anything you need. They really know their product well. UMI were a lot of fun to work with. They made sure I had everything I needed to do the project, and made sure that I had the perfect spring rate for my coilovers. This was a fun project that makes your car feel like what a modern day trans am would feel like.

MNBob

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Re: UMI Front Control Arms and Ridetech Bolt-On 4 Link
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 11:47:30 AM »
Thanks so much for the detailed write up.  You read about these products but don't know about how they perform until you get a review.

Ridetech claims there 4 link will really improve the ride.  The assembly instructions are 30 pages so my hats off to you.  My welding skills are not great so I don't think I could do it.  It seems most think 4 link is an improvement over leafs.

The UMI control arms look nice and they can be used with stock springs or coil overs.  From what I have read, the geometry of the front stock set up is not good (a factory compromise) so I will probably go with aftermarket control arms at some point.

At any rate, congratulations on your new setup.
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Re: UMI Front Control Arms and Ridetech Bolt-On 4 Link
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 11:47:30 AM »
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