View Full Version : VL Whiteline suspension kit..
21-07-02, 06:07 AM
I have a VL Commodore at the moment, and the stock suspension is giving me the shits, so I've been looking into some alternative aftermarket offerings.
The Whiteline kit seems like it is decent quality and good value for money, costing $1200 for parts ($1600 fitted) which includes front and rear springs, front and rear shocks, adjustable front
swaybar, fixed rear swaybar, adjustable panhard rod and some bushings. I'd also get adjustable front camber/castor tops and a engine strut brace.
What are the Whiteline products like? Will this make a substantial increase over stock suspension through the hills? I wouldn't mind hearing what it's like from someone who's experienced the suspension kit first hand..
Is there any other complete kit available that is around the same price and is better?
21-07-02, 09:21 AM
I have to give a little disclaimer first, because otherwise I would lose any credibility. I used to work for whiteline, but believe it or not this did not change my opinion of their products.
I highly recommend their products, I have the full WL kit on my gemini (all purchased before I started working there) and it is the best money I've ever spent on my car. Having seen it from the inside, whiteline are a disturbingly ethical company, I've seen them do all the R&D work ($$$) then throw a product in the bin, because it made no actual difference to the handling, despite the fact there was significant demand and a profit to be made.
You simply won't find a better bang for your buck product...
21-07-02, 03:08 PM
How do the whiteline components compare with other local brands such as peddars? in terms of build quality that is.
Also is it true that whiteline shocks are konis?
21-07-02, 05:13 PM
Cheers HotGemini... sounds like the Whiteline gear is a good product. With the kit I have a choice between low and super low or something like that... I don't want it to be illegal, but I want the best handling package. Would there be a difference between the two, or would it just be visual?
21-07-02, 06:53 PM
I'd go low, in the R&D process low is usually what has been found to offer the best compromise of ride height reduction without adversely affecting the geometry too much, whilst the superlow is as low as you can go without really messing the geometry up... but if you like the low look, the superlow will still outhandle stock 5 ways to sunday.
21-07-02, 08:11 PM
Cheers, I reckon I'll go for whatever works best, so low it is. I'm not really bothered with looks, I'd prefer good handling over it.
21-07-02, 10:10 PM
due to your post i had a look at the whiteline products for the vl and must say they sound like they know whats going on!! ill ask centrline susp. in melb. some questions about the kit 'cause im keen on the same package for my car.
I can tell you exactly what it is like. My car is a VL Berlina V8 and I have the whiteline works kit with the standard lovell springs and KYB shocks. Any bit thats werent adjustable, I made sure I changed them with fully adjustable pieces. And the optional piece like trailing arms and camber/castor tops I got as well. Looking on the product sheet I got everything to get with the VL, except the strut brace.
I will get a strut brace fitted soon, but you need to know it will cause understeer in the car unless you get everything else setup correctly for it e.g. backing off the adjustable blade bar on the front.
So with the kit make sure whoever you get it fitted by, has used whiteline kits and knows what the best start settings are for your car.
I have had the kit for 3 weeks now and got the adjustable trailing arms fitted about a weeks ago. This made a very large difference to traction and also the rear wheels scrubbing on my rear guards.
Why were my wheels scrubbing? Its really because they have the wrong offset. They are the HSV VR clubsport wheels. The trailing arms stopped the scrubbing completely for me, over undulating dips in the road. I have only had it happen once in the last week and that was a fairly nasty dip in the road. I am going to replace the wheels with ones that have the proper offset.
When the arms were fitted they were adjusted to be 6mm shorter than the factory ones, the arms adjust the pinion angle of the diff to create dive or squat. Creating squat is going to make the rear end of the car squat over the back wheels for a lot better traction. The difference it made was incredible. I am going to shorten them to see if I can eliminate wheelspin completely. On my car without the arms you could spin them for about 10 metres, now it wouldnt even be 50cm and sometimes not at all. Its fantastic.
However if you go too far with the axle squat, you will create vibration and damage to the driveline, so you need to be careful in that respect. Ring up Whiteline and chat with Wojtek, he used to have a VL that he had the full kit in and said he shortened them to 10mm without ill effects.
Now getting back to the main question of the works kit, it completely transforms the car. You can go incredibly hard into corners, you dont even need to brake for 90 degree intersection corners anymore you can go round at 60.
I got the low pack, I would suggest the low pack because going superlows, I think it a little extreme. To me that is more for looks. My car previously had the original springs, sway bars and shocks in it, and it was FE2. Everything in the car was shot to shit so it would have been sagging badly and the tyres were getting chewed very badly by the guards. When the lows were installed the front dropped 5mm and the rear 6mm, I couldn't imagine what the superlows, would have done. It also depends what wheels you have, as I stated before I have 17" clubsports with 235/45 Yokohama rubber.
I also have a V8 in the front which would have a lot more natural understeer in it, but when I got the trailing arms installed, I had the front swaybar bumped up one more notch in stiffness and now the car feels firmly planted and very neutral in corners than what it wa before. It seems the harder you turn the car in, the harder it wants to turn in and is very confidence inspiring. For me it is now a matter of finding the limits of it.
One thing you should know, is I went out to take the car for a flogging and some highspeed runs in a deserted area and the roads my friend took me on were very shitty. Because the cars firm suspension and polyurethane bushings, the car was a bit unsettled going into tight corners (I suspect the real reason was to do with the trailing arms). The rear was a little twitchy, but these roads were very shitty, incredibly bumpy from trucks flogging the shit out of them. This isnt really a criticism as such but is what should be expected. For instance, if you had a V8 supercar setup with really firm springs you would be jumping all over the road on most roads. Just simply because it's not setup to deal with rough roads, but smooth as butter ones. The Whiteline kit is excellent, it gives a firm ride without being teeth jarring. It soaks up bumps well.
Personally I wouldn't go anyone else than Whiteline. Bob Parkin's uses Whiteline in his Walkinshaw and seeing as he is a club racing leader in his class its a good endorsement. I have talked to him about his car personally and he uses everything from the kit. Yes I am sure there are other people that use Pedders setups etc and do well too, but Bob's car was actually used as the Whiteline development car for VL's and still has the original development pieces still on it and that was 3 years ago. He uses his car to race with and also his daily driver. :D
As Hotgemini points out that they actually do do the research and the testing and if it doesn't work, then it doesn't get made. The pieces of the kit are well made and compliment the other pieces in the kit, its not some slap bang kit of miscellaneous parts put together for a profit. If you don't believe that go and read the numerous articles about their kits and results of them at their website. Their website is incredibly good for information about suspension especially, if your just new to it. www.whiteline.com.au
Anyway I better wrap up with my hopefully informative post. If you got anymore questions, just PM me or post here, I know I have more information in my head to write down here, but I can't think of it right now.
22-07-02, 05:48 AM
Cheers T-BONE for writing that essay hehe, very informative post though dude :). I think you've made my mind up to go with the Whiteline product, as your post was just what I was after, a first hand write-up of what the kit actually does to the car.. seems excellent! If I can think of any questions I'll be sure to send you a message.. cheers!
22-07-02, 09:05 PM
that is a good post about the effects of all the changes .
im heading down the bilstien path with matching springs around the 250 - 280 pound mark , adjustable rear bar , modified pan had rod , kmac plates at around the $1500 mark fitted .
this is through centreline susp. in melb and i trust their experience as im using the car for hill climbs , track days and street work and this is their preferred set up .
the rear trailing arms on a vk V8 intercepter are 6 mm shorter than any other holden arm and are a cheap way of getting a better diff angle .
t bone if u dont mind what was the all up cost or this set up , ta
22-07-02, 11:18 PM
Hey.. is anyone sure if Whiteline makes their own shocks? I've heard they use KYB and Koni in some kits.. what would come with the VL kit?
22-07-02, 11:35 PM
Whiteline do not make their own shocks, they specify to whichever manufacturer what valving they want and then use the shock absorbers from the kits. The majority and KYBs and Konis, although there are a few obscure ones where one particularly shock manufacturer has made a shock which purely by coincidence had exactly the valving whiteline were after.
My grand total of the suspension cost was $2350. I coud have got it a little over $100 cheaper if I had ordered the trailing arms with the kits to save on seperate shipping and install costs.
I chose to keep the standard KYB shocks and lovell springs in the kit because I am going to move this suspension setup over to a Walkinshaw which I will spend big on the springs and shocks then. These are merely a stop gap for the current car.
I reread my comment about the trailing arms on the rough road. I should have clarified. It wasn't the trailing arms or the diffs pinion angle that was the cause, it was most likely the poly urethane bushes in the trailing arms which firm up the rear end a great deal. I am also going to shorten my trailing arms to 10mm to see if I can completely eliminate wheelspin. This also depends on the tires, once I wear these out I might look at some better gripping ones.
One thing that shits me about my car is the open wheel diff. I need to get a LSD as it cause traction problems in corners.
At the risk of sounding like a whiteline bitch, I was told by a fulcrum employee that the K-Mac camber/castor tops are technically superior, but build quality wise they aren't. I will ring them up and get a clarification about what the problem is with them. Although Fulcrums are meant to be partnered with Whiteline, when I went to enquire about a Whiteline Works kit they were reluctant to sell and install me one. They recommended me a kit they wanted to make up of their own choices and install.
I will post back what they think the problem is with the K-Mac tops.
fkncrazy, the KYB shocks and Lovell Springs come in the VL Whiteline kit unless you specify the adjustable gas shocks, which are simply Red Koni's. If you can afford to get better springs and shocks definitely go for it. But the ones in the kit are definitely not subpar.
24-07-02, 01:32 PM
That's some good advice guys, many thanks.
I would like to get a whiteline kit for my vp wagon, as the previous owner put lowered springs in but it still has the original oil shocks. My only concern is that a set of new nolothene bushes might be too hard, as I don't want the back skipping out or jumping when I go over speed bumps. Should I keep the oringinal bushes or will the ones with the whiteline kit be okay?
Can I kee the lowered springs (dull red colour, but i dont know what brand they are) or is it better to get new springs matched to the shocks?
And finally, is it worth getting adjustable shocks for day-to-day driving, or would I be wasting my money?
agent skully, don't get nolothane bushes, get polyurethane bushes, they are superior.
The back wont skip or jump. The idea of polyurethane is to be less compliant and better wearing, but its main draw card is in its lower compliance. The idea of this is so it firms up parts of the suspension. You will get more feel from the car with polyurethane bushes.
The car is less sloppy in its behaviour its very direct. It will also make the car handle better because of reducing bushes flexing as much. They are far better than rubber.
All suspension places I have talked to say its not worth fitting out the whole car with polyurethane bushes, only the ones that that come with the kit should replace the rubber ones.
Why do they say this? Simple because of NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness. They all told me that if you did that it would be a bitch to drive because of the road noise you would get and the vibrations. I have talked to Wotjek at Whiteline and he had all his replaced when he owned a VL and he never had this problem. I am inclined to agree with Wotjek, as I only need to have the lower trailing arm bushes replaced with polyurethane ones. Everything else in the rear end has been replaced with poly and I notice no increase in NVH at all.
The benfit you get with polyurethane bushes is most definitely worth it. Disregard what I said about my rear end, it was twitchy, it was definitely not skipping around at all, the road was like a busted up dirt road with tarmac over the top, definitely not a drivers road. I decided not to push it harder on that road because that was my first time on the road and also there was thick fog, so I don't know how the car would behave closer to its limit.
So don't be afraid of polyurethane bushes, I guarantee you will be glad of the more direct feeling and a better handling you get from them.
24-07-02, 11:50 PM
just to clarify a bit here... 'Nolothane' is a brand of polyurethane bushes, and there is nothing wrong with them. In fact, i believe they were the first company to market polyurethane bushes
I stand corrected ToranaFan. I was under the impression that Nolathane had their own type of material that they used which was similar to polyurethane. They're bush background can be found here http://www.noltec.com.au/nsb-07.pdf
I was informed by a Fulcrum employee that they were inferior to polyurethane, which could be true, however Superpro is Fulcrum's business so he most likely has an ulterior motive.
26-07-02, 01:08 PM
now all i gotta do is save up...
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