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Discussion Starter #1
Hello my old Redline friends!

Apologies as I have not posted in here in FOREVER but I have been very busy over the past few *years* but have logged in and read up every once in a while. Nice to see that a lot of the forum members I recall are still here - very nice!

So quickly on myself, I've got my MBA and actually now work for the company I've always wanted to work for and will make a lot of you happy - General Motors of Canada! I've been with them just over a year (started May 2014) and work in the field covering a territory as a Connected Customer Specialist. Basically that means I educate dealership staff on in-vehicle technologies focusing primarily on OnStar and the infotainment systems. Very cool stuff, basically makes me the equivalent of a GM Geek Squad rep (a la Best Buy). Get a new company vehicle every 4 months or 7400 miles, whichever comes first. To date I have had: '14 Chevy Trax LTZ, '15 Chevy Impala LTZ, '15 GMC Terrain Denali, and am currently in a '15 GMC Canyon SLT. Just wait til the next one by August!

Anyway, enough about me and back to my awesome 2007 Saturn ION3 QC who is still running like a champ now at 46000 miles (yeah, I've finally taken her on some long trips and she's stretched her legs a bit. I've even done some mods/upgrades to her since my last update (beyond the hidden antenna mod lol) that I hope to make some of you proud. I'll post pics when I have a chance but here's a quick recap:

-Changed high center brake lamp lights to LED
-Stock air filter changed to K&N (still in regular airbox, not cold air)
-Replaced stock front rotors and pads with slotted StopTech discs and Hawk HPS pads
-Upgraded wheels to 17"x7" multi-spoke OZ Italia 150 that were black but I painted white with black accents to match my car
-Wrapped above wheels in Michelin PilotSport A/S3 Asymmetric 225/45/R17s
-Finally got brave enough to bake open my headlights and install the Morimoto Mini H1 HID kit with 5000K bulbs
-Along with the HID kit also installed LED "DRLs" (but not really, just tapped into the side marker light) but did NOT do it Audi R8 style as I originally longed to do. It's different but you'll have to wait for the pic! Also, need to bake them open again to change the LEDs as natural 5K white looks yellow compared to the 5K HIDs so I'l going to change them to cool white.

So as you can see, I may have been away but my passion for these great IONs has never left and I've been busy upgrading as well. Still have not gotten around to getting the ZZP bolt on supercharger kit but if I don't do it this year I will next year for sure. And true to my word in respect to you TRUE Redline owners, I have not yet placed my Redline emblem on my trunk lid and will not do so until I am supercharged. Such a small thing that others wouldn't think twice about but I totally respect.

Alright, so FINALLY to my question. My shocks/struts are not quite shot but the bounce test is taking about 2.5 rebounds to settle so I figure it's time to replace them for the first time. Using my sources I have learned that my ION3 comes with the FE2 suspension which according to the parts managers at dealerships is compatible/interchangeable with the sport FE3 suspension (which I assume is the Redline suspension). So given I am changing the struts/shocks, the rear shocks I realized could be removed without touching the spring but the struts entail spring removal. As that is a given, I am now figuring if I'm going to need the spring removed I might as well consider lowering the car and changing the read springs as well.

So here's what I'm asking - does FE2 and FE3 refer only to the shocks/struts or the suspension as a whole? Specifically, I want to know if the springs front/rear from a Redline would not just fit but SEAT properly in the housings in the rear and on the struts up front. I am not planning to use stock Redline springs but lowering springs FOR a Redline on my ION3 and just want to make sure they will seat properly in the housings. Anyone know?

Further, the springs I am considering are Tein S, but am of course open to feedback. I don't want a slammed drop, just a reasonable on (about 1.5") and still have a nice ride but good handling when pushed. So let me know.

I have other upgrades/mods I'm planning on this summer so I'll keep you posted and get pics soon, but I just wanted to say it's great to see all of you and that your passion for these awesome cars is still here after all these years!

:cowsmile:
 

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Fe1/2 is the base model. Fe3 is the Redline/SS/sc and Fe5 is the SS/tc
It gets stiffer as you go up. I would say 99percent of us use the Fe5 shocks and struts.
I really like my SSC springs. Most will refer you to YYZ or O TTP springs
 

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Fe1/2 is the base model. Fe3 is the Redline/SS/sc and Fe5 is the SS/tc
It gets stiffer as you go up. I would say 99percent of us use the Fe5 shocks and struts.
I really like my SSC springs. Most will refer you to YYZ or O TTP springs
YYZ are best on the market. Tein are drop springs only they have no progression you will ride hard. SSC springs are similar but better ride, pedders springs are more but better spring with drop. YYZ have smaller drop but are progressive so have good ride and handling. FE5 cobalt ss 08-10 parts are what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
YYZ are best on the market. Tein are drop springs only they have no progression you will ride hard. SSC springs are similar but better ride, pedders springs are more but better spring with drop. YYZ have smaller drop but are progressive so have good ride and handling. FE5 cobalt ss 08-10 parts are what you want.
Alright I appreciate the feedback on the springs to go with, I will take them all into consideration.

The biggest thing I am after however is COMPATIBILITY. What I need to know is if FE3 refers to just the shocks/struts, or also the springs, or encompasses the suspension as a whole. I need to know this as I want to make sure the mounting points of the shocks/struts as well as the springs would be the same between an ION3 and a Redline. If so, that would mean I could at the very least move to stock Redline components on my ION3. That said, if on a Redline you could go from FE3 to FE5, it would presumably follow that I could go to FE2 to FE5 components as well. If not, I will be happy with FE3.

So again, could someone please confirm if all FE2 and FE3 components are compatible/interchangable, and if the mounting points/housings of the shocks/struts and springs are the same? Thank you!

:cowsmile:
 

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Yes. All interchangeable, as long as you buy springs for an ION, as the Pedders/YYZ I think are for Cobalts and require adapters for them to work on IONs the last time I checked.
 

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Yes. All interchangeable, as long as you buy springs for an ION, as the Pedders/YYZ I think are for Cobalts and require adapters for them to work on IONs the last time I checked.
Pedder springs will work fine you just need the ion top hats with the shim adapters from powellracing. The YYZ full setup from ced come put together for your car. Redlines start off as regular ions so all the FE upgrades will fit.

FE5 refers to the evolution stage of the parts. FE5 was the final stage for the cobalt parts that fit our cars because the ion was the first design with this platform. FE5 contains a handful of front end stuff.
Shocks, Struts,Control arms and such all great upgrades for any ion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hey Chicken man - I remember you!

Thanks guys, that's all I needed to confirm. I don't want to do any additional mods (ie. requiring adapters or anything) so I will just upgrade to FE3 components. Remember, my whole intent with my ION3 was to turn her INTO a Redline as closely as possible - you guys already HAVE Redlines and are bringing them to the next level. I'll be happy to hit your starting point.

Will likely get OEM FE3 shocks/struts and look for Redline-specific lowering springs to fit them based on what you have recommended. Sounds like there are better alternatives to Teins that will both lower (not drastically) but also improve performance aside from only looks. Thanks again for all the help!


**Sorry, one last question. On watching how-to's on youtube they say depending on your drop amount the camber will go negative by varying degrees. I've seen that there are camber kits to compensate but I was wondering if I would need to also get one of those kits or if just having an alignment done after the drop will suffice. Please advise, thanks!

:cowsmile:
 

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Hey Chicken man - I remember you!

Thanks guys, that's all I needed to confirm. I don't want to do any additional mods (ie. requiring adapters or anything) so I will just upgrade to FE3 components. Remember, my whole intent with my ION3 was to turn her INTO a Redline as closely as possible - you guys already HAVE Redlines and are bringing them to the next level. I'll be happy to hit your starting point.

Will likely get OEM FE3 shocks/struts and look for Redline-specific lowering springs to fit them based on what you have recommended. Sounds like there are better alternatives to Teins that will both lower (not drastically) but also improve performance aside from only looks. Thanks again for all the help!


**Sorry, one last question. On watching how-to's on youtube they say depending on your drop amount the camber will go negative by varying degrees. I've seen that there are camber kits to compensate but I was wondering if I would need to also get one of those kits or if just having an alignment done after the drop will suffice. Please advise, thanks!

:cowsmile:
The FE5 stuff isn't what needs the adapter, that is all plug and play. It will be the springs that need it depending what you get. SSC are for Saturn I think so no kit needed, pedders need the kit because they were only made for cobalt, and YYZ come all together ready to go. If you are doing shocks and struts do FE5.
If you are dropping a regular ION you will prolly need an alignment and maybe camber kits because it will be a large drop. Redlines are like a 1.5 drop with springs and I think the redlines were dropped like 2-3 from stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Excellent feedback, much appreciated.

Yes, I knew the Redlines were lower from factory than regular IONs but only now that you pointed it out did I realize the drop would be significantly more than all of yours. The Teins for example said an average drop of about 1.5" from REDLINE stance. That means as you said, I would be coming down at LEAST 2" if not more which would affect my camber more drastically than all of yours.

Okay, so a camber kit will be needed. I will look into FE5 shock/struts and perhaps that plug & play kit from YYZ CES if it makes things easier.

:cowsmile:
 

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The only factory alignment adjustment anyone can make is front toe, so no, an alignment will not correct any camber changes--and I have seen alignment shops completely ignore adjusting aftermarket camber bolts.

However, as long as nothing is worn out or bent, the camber doesn't change that much if I recall--or at least it didn't back when I lowered my redline.

Remember also that since your struts compress and your control arms swing up and down, camber is a dynamically changing concept as the load changes on the suspension and that essentially, the extra negative camber induced by lowering springs is within the range that's been engineered into the car already, it's just that you start at a more aggressive static position.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Chicken man. Maybe I'll whip out my grade 6 protractor for a before and after to see the difference! lol

Absolutely nothing is bent. Again, not only is my ION the final model year (hence, as new as it can possible be) but I also have low mileage and have never been in an accident, hit any big bumps/potholes, never bottomed out, or done anything to stress the suspension. So appreciate the insight. Once I'm done all my upgrades I'll bring it in for an alignment and see what they say as well.

:cowsmile:
 

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Thanks Chicken man. Maybe I'll whip out my grade 6 protractor for a before and after to see the difference! lol

Absolutely nothing is bent. Again, not only is my ION the final model year (hence, as new as it can possible be) but I also have low mileage and have never been in an accident, hit any big bumps/potholes, never bottomed out, or done anything to stress the suspension. So appreciate the insight. Once I'm done all my upgrades I'll bring it in for an alignment and see what they say as well.

:cowsmile:
Im on pedder springs and never had mine aligned with no issues as well. My guess is you wont need camber kits, and from a stock spring height you are looking at prolly a 3-4 inch drop. The stock ride height on the ions was ridiculous. I do love yer color though, Id love mine in white.



black is sexy too though
 

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This is the best picture I have, but you can somewhat tell. These are SSC springs.
Dropped the car just enough to square it off.
And yes, the ride height of the base Ions is ridiculous. Eventually I will be putting my stock RL springs on my base now that I have wheels on it.

 

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Don't rule SS/TC springs out as a options. They lower the stance 1/2"-3/4" and handle great. Plus they don't cost an arm and a leg.

Here is my car with them on 18" sky wheels and 245/45s.





These are Progress Lowering springs with 225/40s.


These are Powell YYZ V1 with 225/40s
 

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Don't rule SS/TC springs out as a options. They lower the stance 1/2"-3/4" and handle great. Plus they don't cost an arm and a leg.

Here is my car with them on 18" sky wheels and 245/45s.





That looks great! Is anything special needed to use those springs or is it just a simple swap out?
 

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Don't rule SS/TC springs out as a options. They lower the stance 1/2"-3/4" and handle great. Plus they don't cost an arm and a leg.

Here is my car with them on 18" sky wheels and 245/45s.





That looks great! Is anything special needed to use those springs or is it just a simple swap out?
They are cobalt springs so you need ion top hats and powells shim kit.
 

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Lets take a moment to discuss those wheels. I read they weren't direct bolt on? Were they? Because I wanted those for my redline, and now seeing them, I really want them!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pedder springs will work fine you just need the ion top hats with the shim adapters from powellracing. The YYZ full setup from ced come put together for your car. Redlines start off as regular ions so all the FE upgrades will fit.

FE5 refers to the evolution stage of the parts. FE5 was the final stage for the cobalt parts that fit our cars because the ion was the first design with this platform. FE5 contains a handful of front end stuff.
Shocks, Struts,Control arms and such all great upgrades for any ion.
Could you gurus please explain below what would need to be transferred from my stock struts to the FE5 to make it work with my ION? I'm relatively mechanically inclined but aside from part swapping I don't want to deal with shims or anything additional. If I can somehow obtain the full YYZ setup I just want to be able to transfer the necessary hardware from my stockers to the new struts. Please point out in the which of the numbers below is the "top hat" and what else I would need to reuse on the new struts.

And thanks for all the help everyone!



:cowsmile:
 

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The top hat is everything from #18 up.

If you buy just an FE5 strut, you need to transfer everything but 10.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The top hat is everything from #18 up.

If you buy just an FE5 strut, you need to transfer everything but 10.
Thanks as always Chicken man, you're always been a major help even back when I joined in 2010.

So I'm heavily considering this set but they don't ship to Canada Cobalt FE5-YYZ Strut,Shock,Spring Plug and Play System FE5YYZ

If I somehow AM able to get this set, would your original comment of just everything from #18 and up apply given it is mostly assembled and I would be using the new springs?

Also, from as far as you can see would these work with my ION3 as long as I reuse the upper mounting hardware?

:cowsmile:
 
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