Modern Camaro Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

355 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Pedders Suspension Benchmark Track Testing and New Jersey Track Day

Dan VanHorn, FlyByU has done a terrific job of putting this event together. Eric Hruza from Arrington has as worked very on on this as well. The end result is an outstanding Event. This is not an ordinary track day. This is an EVENT. Pedders and Arrington are proud to support Dan as sponsors for this event. We are so excited about this event that we are bringing a couple of guests stars and cars.

Eric Hurza of Arrington will have his Arrington Powered 440 c.i. HEMI Pedderised 300C at the track.

I will be there with my Pedderised, ProCharged G8.

We are looking for a box stock 5.7L LX and / or box stock SRT8 as well as a box stock G8 GT and / or box stock G8 GXP. We want to do baseline skid pad tests on these vehicles as well as benchmark them on the track with 1 warm-up lap and 2 hot laps per vehicle. While Eric and I both consider ourselves to be hot-shoe drivers (NOT!) we have recruited a couple of professionals for this testing. You may already know that Buddy and Joey Arrington have a four decade long relationship with NASCAR. I cannot name the drivers names at this time, but you can safely conclude Dan's track day will have a couple of NASCAR drivers on hand.

If you can provide one of the stock vehicles I'll bet there is a photo opportunity at hand and maybe even a lap or two with a NASCAR Driver in the left seat and you in the passenger seat.

Rick Bottom, a custom builder that has been doing SEMA vehicles for many years will is planning to bring his Pedderised GSR equipped ProChaarged

for benchmarking too. Using professional drivers on the same skidpad and track surface will provide quality comparative numbers. We have some logistical challenges to address along with details regarding the drivers, NASCAR, team sponsors and driver sponsors. At this point I would say we are 80% there. We'll post final details as soon as we can.

Rick and I are just hoping not to be embarrassed by Arrington and their Good'ol Boys Gang from NASCAR. I wonder if they have a fix in for the results? We'll know if they run better times, because if they win it must be fixed. After All, they are all Good'Ol Boys and we are strangers with a car built in the land of OZ. Excuse me, for a moment I forgot it is bench marking and not racing!

Arrington and Pedders are really looking forward to this event with the LX community and a few Interlopers from brand X. Well Done Dan!

This event is open to all our Pedderised GTO and G8 owners. I am sure some of our other Dealers will attend as well. Dan for the LX community. Dan approached Eric and Eric approached me. They are doing all the heavy lifting. All I have to do is show up and not be embarrassed by the hot cars with good drivers.

To register for this event contact Dan via this email [email protected]

Once again, we want to extend our thanks to Dan for doing an eXtremely professional job. Eric, What can I say -- Awesome Job!

355 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Info on Arrington Engines

Eric at Arrington, is a great guy. I spend a week at Arrington Engines. What Pete says about their relationship with Pedders is being very modest. Buddy Arrington, was a great Nascar driver for Chrysler in the late 60s early 70s. Now they make all the Nascar motors for all Dodge/Chrysler teams for Nascar and also for Toyota for the Truck Series. What was suppose to be 30 minute tour of their manufacturing and R&D facility, turned into a 3 hour tour! It was off the charts.

Erc's LX is fast!! As well as he has a complete TrackII Pedders suspension. It was set up for more drag race settings than road race settings when I was there. But this should be fun!!

I think Pete's G8 has advantage due to weight, tires and suspension setup. But watching these 2 rocket ships go back to back, will be a trip and worthy of watching


Here is some pictures of Arrington Engines.


Premium Member
4,109 Posts
Hey, Michael, Dan Van Horn and I are very good friends. He and our other friend Rob Hoover have busted their humps putting this event together. It's going to be a real blast and I'm looking forward to seeing Pete's G8, as well.

Any peeps here in the northeast area who can attend will not be disappointed!:thumbsup:

355 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hey, Michael, Dan Van Horn and I are very good friends. He and our other friend Rob Hoover have busted their humps putting this event together. It's going to be a real blast and I'm looking forward to seeing Pete's G8, as well.

Any peeps here in the northeast area who can attend will not be disappointed!:thumbsup:
I have heard great things about him from Pete and I know they are busting their butt for this. Having Pedders and Arrington involved, will add a couple of extra positive notches to the great event.

Camaro guys should be really interested in it. You will be able to observe what Pete's G8 can do on an open coarse with a professional driver and see the comparison between it and an OE unit. So not only will you learn something, you will also have a kick in the butt time!!

You will also have the ability to see the comparison with a highly modified LX with major hp and our Track II system. It is currently not set up for roadracing, and I am in contact with them to get the alignment reset for this event. His LX is more set up for drag racing and aggressive street

So this could be one of the most primo events on the east coast!


217 Posts
Your Camaro is welcome and the track is

GTO Car Preparation for Track Use

1. Flush / Replace Brake Fluid
2. Flush / Replace Power Steering Fluid
3. Change Engine Oil
4. Flush / Replace Coolant
5. Rotors and Pads should be reasonably fresh with no more than 10K of use.
6. Upgrade radius Rod Bushes to Pedders EP9166. The OE fluid damped radius rod bush is NOT designed for track use.
7. Check every nut and bolt in the suspension and driveline to make certain they are tight. This would include the drive-shaft and half-shafts.
8. If you are not an expert technician, take you GTO or G8 to an expert technician before hitting the track. Your safety and the safety of others may depend on this.

G8 Car Preparation for Track Use

These are newer vehicles an I am ASSUMING you are under 10K on the clock.

1. Replace the OE brake pads with a more suitable track pad. The OE pads do NOT like the heat of track use. The OE pad tracked will crack and chunk. I will be using a new compound pad at the direct recommendation of GM engineers from Cobalt Friction with new factory rotors front and rear.
2. Change engine oil
3. The side loading fluid damped radius rod bushes on the G8 are not as bad as the GTO bushes. They are NOT designed for track use and we recommend replacing them with Pedders EP6560
4. Check every nut and bolt in the suspension and driveline including drive-shaft and half-shafts before tracking your G8.
5. If your G8 has more than 10K on the clock follow the same fluid, rotor and pad schedule listed for the GTO.
6. If you are not an expert technician, take you GTO or G8 to an expert technician before hitting the track. Your safety and the safety of others may depend on this.

First Time Track on the track Advice

This is not a race. There are no awards for finishing first or best spin. Go slow and get comfortable with the track and your car on the track. Knowing the track is essential. Knowing the track can save your butt. I like to run at Gingerman, because I know the track. There is a GM executive with so many laps at Mid Ohio he is almost untouchable there. He is a very good driver, but he is a better driver at Mid Ohio because he knows the track so well. Your performance will improve as the day progresses because you will learn the track better with each lap.

No one will point and laugh if you are cautious. If they do they are absolute idiots and have no place at an event like this. Talk to the people who do this frequently. They will be more than willing to provide insight on how to safely navigate the course. If the speeds make you uncomfortable, slow down. You know your limitations better than anyone. Track days like this are a great opportunity to become a better driver. They make you safer on public road ways at legal speeds. EVERYONE should autocross and road course because you learn so much. The best most experienced drivers leave every track day as better drivers. So do the most inexperienced. Come on out and enjoy a great day with your car of choice, but don't get too excited or have too much fun. Restraint is the order of the day.

If you have a fire jacket or single layer suit for drag racing, wearing won't hurt anything.

Completely empty your vehicle. Leave nothing in it any where.

Remove your driver's side floor mat.

If you have a forced induction system do not get on the track with less than a 1/4 tank of fuel. A hard turn can cause fuel starvation and a lean burn. Lean burns are bad.

Slower will frequently be faster. Over driving your skills, tires or brakes will slow you down. Backing off and smoothing things out will almost always result in better laps. Your tires and brakes will appreciate your restraint.

I cannot take credit for this last piece of advice. A far more experienced racer gave it to me. Over the years I have found his statement to be absolutely spot on. Bring or buy the best brain bucket you can afford. I do not know a single person that has actually needed / used their helmet in an off-track or worse situation that thought they had spent too much money on a helmet.

Spectators are welcome as are people that are thinking about driving at a road course event but would like to observe for a day before they sign up for the next event.

217 Posts
NASCAR Driver to Attend!

What started out as a track day is now officially an event you don't want to miss. We are really looking forward to seeing Stacey Compton at the Pedders Benchmarking Session in New Jersey.

A Little About Stacy
Stacy was born and raised in the small community of Grit, Virginia. With all his travels while employed by NASCAR teams as well as the time spent away from home while working in the Charlotte, NC area, he never considered leaving the area where he grew up.

Stacy with daughter Olivia Stacy comes from a hardworking tradition of self-reliance and from a family that has worked in the automotive, real-estate and cattle businesses for many years in south-central Virginia. Staying true to his heritage Stacy continues to raise pure-breed Black Angus Cattle as a hobby just a few miles from the farm on which he grew up.

He graduated from Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) in 1985. Stacy later married Vickie Younger, a local girl that he has known all of his life. The couple now has two daughters, Olivia Grace, born December 7, 2004 and Isabella Reese, born June 3rd, 2007. Before Vickie became a full-time mother and wife she worked as a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

On his farm, Stacy raises quail and pheasants for release to help to replenish the local populations which have been all but eradicated through over hunting, fewer grain crops and loss of farm land. They also plant feeder crops for the deer, turkey and other wild life. Along with 150+ head of cattle, the Compton farm is home to 2 dogs, 2cats, a llama, a miniature donkey, 3 horses and the many ducks and geese that have taken up residence on the fish ponds.

Most evenings you will find the family riding around on a "gator" (that's an ATV folks...) watching the wildlife and teaching Olivia to appreciate and to respect the land that they call home. Sometimes you might even catch Stacy and Olivia fishing in one of the ponds or picking vegetables or berries in the garden they plant and tend as a family.

Stacy's Racing Career
Racing has been a lifelong passion for Stacy who first felt the need for speed as an 11 year old racing in the KART series. In 1987 at the age of 20 Stacy's NASCAR career began with his first appearance in the Winston Racing Series (Late Model Stock). Over the years Stacy has competed extensively in the Winston Cup Series (NEXTEL Cup), the Busch Series, and the Craftsman Truck Series - where he continues to race today.

Stacey is in car #59.

Stacy on the set at ESPN Just this January Stacy signed a 3-year deal to work as "lead analyst" for ESPN. "It's a huge opportunity. Any time you can get in front of 275 million homes is pretty big. I wanted to get into the broadcasting end of it at some point. I didn't know I was going to be able to get into it this quick, but I'm pretty excited about it. It's an opportunity of a lifetime for me." He is a regular contributor to the ultra-popular sports news show SportsCenter, and shares his racing expertise on three racing-exclusive programs a week during the season. He and host Erik Kuselias do a Monday "NASCAR Now" program, and Compton appears on two Sunday "RaceDay" shows.

Spectators and Drivers are welcome at the Pedders Benchmarking and New Jersey Track Day session. You can register with Dan VanHorn.

To register for this event contact Dan via this email [email protected]
Monday, March 30, 2009

Original Threads:

Once again, we want to extend our thanks to Dan for doing an eXtremely professional job. Eric, What can I say -- Awesome Job!

355 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Track Day DVD and TommyZ does Pedders G8

Pedders USA, LLC will provide a DVD to every Driver that is registered and paid. I have not discussed the detail of this with Dan, but we will need the snail mail address for everyone and would also like to get a digital still of each drive by their car with their name. We have to work out the logistics with Dan.

Pedders will bring a case of DV tape to the event. Anyone with a DV camera is welcome to grab a tape and shoot video during the day. Drop the tapes off with Pedders at the end of the day and we will use the extra camera work to create the best possible DVD. With around the track cameras, in car cameras and on car cameras we should have a great deal of interesting and diverse video.

The Pedders G8 paint work and body modifications are almost complete. The G8 will be looking really good for the event.

TommyZ has done a stellar job with the car. We should have the front spoiler ready for the 30th which will be the finishing touch. Check out the detail work. Cleaning up the headlight lenses doesn't seem like a big deal, but the result dramatic. Painting the OE kidney chrome body color is another detail that becomes a big deal. Eliminating the OE black plastic on the lower grilles makes a huge difference. The body color spoiler should put it over the top.

Don't forget your DV video camarea!

64 Posts
wish i could come guys ....this looks like its gonna be one of the biggest and best events of the year ! , i know theres a bunch of charger/300 guys going out to "try" and race the bowties and arrowheads...

355 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I chatted with Pete for an hour last night. sounds like a great event, and the GM cars did very well. Some of the LXs had some minor issues, but all in all, a great day.

The skid pad tests were quite remarkable!. 2 of the G8s with extreme Xas turned 1.03 and 1.05g's. Eric's Pedderized 300c turned .99g's on 20 inch street tires, and even our HHR with Xa'a turned a .97g. Our 2 Pedders drivers did a fantastic job.

Pete's G8 was 25 seconds faster than a Porsche with racing tires? More to come. This event, without a doubt, has shown that Pedders suspension, works well for the street, and the track!

We definately have the formula to get your Camaro over 1.0 gs. Keep in mind the tests show a SS is at .90 g's


Premium Member
337 Posts
I talk with Pete today and he was very excited about how will all the Pedderized cars did. Sounded like a great day

217 Posts

Vehicle and suspension testing create a number of variables. To make our test session data from New Jersey Motorsports Park as reliable and accurate as possible we used to excellent drivers with different driving styles. Chris is an aggressive driver who likes his car loose. Stan is a technical driver who likes his car balanced. Both Stan and Chris are fast, but they are fast in different areas on the track because of their driving styles. In our NJMP session their performances were amazingly even across a wide range of vehicles. Tested on March 30, 2009 at

2006 Chrysler 300C, Arrington 426 HEMI, Pedderised Track II GSR, OE Tires and Wheels
2008 Charger, Stock with Cold Air Intake, Exhaust and Tune
2008 Pontiac G8 Pedderised Track II GSR, Bridgestone, ProCharged
2008 Pontiac G8 Pedderised Xa Track eXtreme, Bridgestone, ProCharged
2008 Pontiac G8 Pedderised Xa Track eXtreme, Michelin, ProCharged
2008 Pontiac G8 Stock
2008 SRT 8 Charger, Pedderised Track II GSR, OE Tires and Wheels
GTO 2005 Pedderised
HHR SS 2008 Pedderised

Chris Brannon
Chris was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He lives in Mountain Home, Arkansas and has road raced since 2002. He is the father of three and is still married to his first wife! He has been a driving instructor since 2004. He has Pro raced in multiple series. Chris has been heavily involved in the performance and collector car markets for the past 15 years. He has been very involved in auto and aftermarket parts testing/ development.
Racing History/ Experience:
2008: raced wheel to wheel in American Sedan Pontiac GTO
Did the road course testing on Shelby GT700KR
Ran and developed the first GTO ever in American Sedan and the first fuel injected one as well.
Achieved multiple wins and a couple of 2nd place finishes
2007: raced in Grand Am Cup FR500 C Mustangs for Black Forrest
Also ran the Pontiac GTO
2006: won Midwest National Championship in Touring 2 Pontiac GTO
Won first road race in a production based GTO in history
Received Pro racing license
Started Product development and testing with Pedders USA, LLC
2005: Built, developed and campaigned first production based road racing GTO
With the help of: Pedders, Jeg’s, GM performance, and Kumho Tires
2004: raced the Pontiac Formula Firebird to numerous wins and many podiums setting several track records, sponsored by Good Year
acquired many wins, numerous 2nd, and 3rd place finishes
tied in points previous divisional points champion
began instructing, driver coaching and car set up
2003: campaigned the Touring 1 Z06 Corvette and Touring 2 Pontiac Firebird
was awarded with “Rookie Road Racer” of the year
setting several track records, sponsored by Good Year
2002: Went from watching racing on TV to doing it! Received Novice Racing permit, Regional race license, followed by National race license.
Favorite Tracks: *VIR, Road Atlanta, Road America, Sebring, and Daytona

Stan Wilson
Stan Wilson is a four-time road racing champion and four time Tennessee Road Racer of the year. Wilson, who has always loved racing, has been racing for several years.
Stan is the co-owner of NetEvidence, Inc. a computer forensic certified investigation company in Nashville, Tennessee. He is also a performance driving instructor. Stan has instructed for NASA, Phil Wick’s Driving Academy, and the National Corvette Museum Driving School.
Stan has also served as a factory test driver for Dodge and tire testing driver for Kumho Tires.
2009 – SCCA Pro Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Playboy Magazine driver
2008 – Partnered with Dodge Motorsports and Kumho Tires to compete in the Touring 1 class of SCCA in a Dodge Viper SRT-10.
2007 – ALMS Top 10 finisher in the GT2 class driving a Dodge Viper Competition Coupe with Cindi Lux for Bob Woodhouse and Dodge Motorsports
2007 - SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series Rookie of the Year - Driver for Dodge Motorsports
2007 – Grand-American Koni Challenge top 10 finisher at Daytona in a Ford Mustang FR500C driven with Chris Brannon for Black Forest Motorsports
2006 - Champion and Tennessee Road Racer of the Year
Southeast Division SCCA National Champion in Touring 3 driving a Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged race car with 8 wins and 1 second place finish earning 9 pole positions in qualifying. Won the June Sprints at Road America. Also won the 13 Hours of VIR presented by Kumho Tires in a Dodge Neon for 5 Star Motorsports.
Southeast Division SCCA National Championship Runner-Up in a Dodge SRT-4 Touring Car with 1 win, 1 second, 2 thirds, and 1 sixth place finish. One Pole earned in qualifying. 1 Touring 1 start in a Chevrolet Corvette with a second place finish after leading to the half way point. Also won the 13 Hours of VIR presented by Kumho Tires in a Dodge Neon for 5 Star Motorsports.
Partnered with Dodge Motorsports to race a Dodge Viper Competition Coupe in SPEED World Challenge GT for three races. Top 10 finishes in the GT class of World Challenge in addition to two wins in the Viper Racing League and one pole position earned in qualifying at VIR.
2003 - Tennessee Road Racer of the Year
Southeast Division SCCA National Championship Runner-Up with 4 wins, 5 seconds, 1 third, and 1 sixth place finish in a Chevrolet Camaro Z28 LS1 claiming 3 pole positions and the silver medal at the SCCA Valvoline Championship Runoffs. Won the June Sprints at Road America.
2002 – Champion and Tennessee Road Racer of the Year
Southeast Division SCCA National Champion in Showroom Stock with 5 wins, 6 seconds, 1 third, and 1 fourth place finish in a Honda Civic Si claiming 6 pole positions in the process. Also raced the first Acura RSX Type S in SCCA Club racing taking the car to an endurance win at Daytona in its first start.
Southeast Division SCCA National Championship Runner-Up with 4 wins, 5 seconds, 2 thirds, and 1 fifth place finish in a Honda Civic Si claiming 5 pole positions in the process.
Southeast Division SCCA National Championship Runner-Up with 3 wins, 2 seconds, 4 thirds, 2 fourths, and 1 fifth place finish in a Honda Civic Si claiming 5 pole positions in the process.
1999 – Two Time Champion- Tennessee Road Racer of the Year
South Atlantic Road Racing Champion and Endurance Champion in the same season. 12 wins and 4 seconds in a Dodge Neon ACR claming two titles in the same season. Tennessee Road Racer of the Year.
SCCA Regional Factory Stock Autocross Champion in a Chevy Camaro Z28 LT1
Early Career
First began racing at the age of 6 in go karts then moved into drag racing. Between 1996 and 1999 he was a member of NASCAR racing teams in Tennessee. Began his alignment with Sports Car Racing in 1998.

Stan and Chris did more than run cars for testing, they spent hours and hours with those in attendance interested in improving their driving skills. Even the Hooked on Driving Instructors took advantage of their teaching and coaching skills. One of the great things about attending a Pedders Track Day is learning from the professionals. There isn’t a conversation I have with Stan or Chris that I don’t learn something new. These guys are good and Pedders was thrilled to have them at the track.

In this post, we will cover the Pontiac G8 Skid Pad testing. The Chrysler LX vehicles along with the GTO and HHR will follow as those videos are completed and posted on YouTube. Here are the baseline Skid Pad Results available from automotive publications

Pontiac G8 GT
Automobile .88
Autoweek .85
Car & Driver .82
Edmunds .85
Motor Trend .88 - .90
Road and Track .85
Composite .86

The NJMP Skip Pad was an excellent surface. The temperatures were good for making power, but poor for tire grip. Our pad for the day was approximately 200’. Tires on all the vehicles were set to 35 PSI cold using the same bourdon tube analog gauge. Both Chris and Stan were in the car at the same time. They would switch from driver to passenger after clock wise and counter clock wise passes had been made. Fully calibrated G Meters were used to record data. Each G Meter was setup for four different vehicles.

G8 GT NJMP Pontiac Skip Pad Results

G8 GT Stock Peak .92 Constant .88
G8 GT Pedderised Soul Shaker / Rick Bottom Peak 1.1 Constant .98 Staggered Bridgestone RE760
G8 GT Pedderised Witt Buick / Pedders Xa Track eXtreme, Michelin Pilot Sport 265/35 on 19x9.5 Wheels Peak 1.03 Constant 1.01
G8 GT Pedders USA, LLC, Xa Track eXtreme, Corner Weighted, Forgeline 19x9.5 43mm Offset, Bridgestone 275/35 Pole Position Tires Peak 1.05 Constant 1.03
Pedderised Composite 1.006

Excuse me will I brag, but Stan and Chris are probably superior drivers to those used in the magazines and their skills showed on the pad and the track. They were dealing with cold asphalt and cold tires. We did not alter setup after any runs. The car were what they were when they were driven to the track and tested as is. Because many of the vehicles were supercharged or had highly built motors (read that as a 426 Arrington HEMI). That extra horsepower is hard to control on a skid pad. With all of these variables, Chris and Stan controlled the variables and delivered exceptional results. As we compared all the vehicles to the published skid pad values we found the NJMP data to be very close OE vehicle to OE vehicle.

.86 Infiniti G37
.87 Ford Shelby GT500
.88 Dodge Charger SRT 8
.88 Pontiac G8 GT
.93 Ford GT500 Super Snake
.94 Audi RS 4
.95 BMW M3
.98 Audi RS R8
.99 Corvette Z06
.99 Porsche 911 Turbo
.99 Porsche Carrera GT
1.00 Porsche 911S
1.0006 Pedders USA, LLC Composite Pontiac G8
1.01 Ferrari Enzo
1.01 Dodge Viper SRT 10
1.02 Pedders USA, LLC Pontiac G8
1.03 Porsche 911 GTZ
1.04 Porsche GT3 RS

Let’s talk about setup on the Pontiac G8 ZETA Chassis which will apply to the soon to be delivered Chevrolet Camaro. The limitations of the OE ZETA chassis are directly related to production limitations and determination to reach a market price point. At Pedders USA, LLC we believe that the billion dollars of chassis development for the GM Global Rear Wheel Drive ZETA chassis has been well spent. The monocoque is solid, very solid. The IRS is among the best in the automotive industry as any price point. The evolution of the McPherson strut front suspension delivers remarkable results. The G8 in OR configuration is a very very good automobile with the potential to be a GREAT Automobile. We took our G8s to NJMP to prove our point.

Eric and Rich Johnson were generous with their time on the Friday before the 30th. They shut down Backstreet Performance to prep the Pedders USA, LLC G8. Eric and their Lead tech Matt worked until the wee hours of the morning to finish the job. Every nut and bolt was checked to make certain the car was track ready. That was the easy part. The more complex part of the equation was corner weighting and alignment.

Finished Ride Heights:
FR 610mm
FL 610mm
RR 595
LR 593

This was an interesting result. We drove in at:

FR 615mm
FL 615mm
RR 585
LR 585

We actually raised the rear and lowered the front to get to the best possible balance.

Corner Values
RF 1,111
LF 1,177
RR 925
LR 1050

Cross Weight
2161 50.7%

Drivers Weight 184
Fuel ¾ of a tank

Most of the magazines publish the front to rear weight ratio for the G8 GT at 51 / 49% Our numbers were different.

Front 53.1% / Rear 46.9%

The Pedders USA, LLC G8 has a ProCharger and coolers for Oil, Tranny and PS all mounted in front of the wheels. We believe this 100 pounds of additional weight created the difference between published numbers and our results. Our vehicle weight with the driver in place was just under 4,300 pounds. We were able to reduce weight in the wheels, tires and suspension while making significant upgrades. The 19x9.5 Forgeline wheels with 275/35/19/XL Pole Position Bridgestone tires reduced weight by just over 9 pounds per wheel over the OE 19x8 245/40 Bridgstone tires. This reduction in mass is HUGE at speed and dramatically improves braking, acceleration and car control. Pedders Xa coilovers reduced the weight at the corners as well. An OE G8 strut assembly weighs in at roughly 20 pounds. We saved another 8 pounds here. While 70 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot in a two ton vehicle, 70 pounds at the corners is significant.

A limiting factor in the corner weighting process are fixed length endlinks. Adjustable endlinks would have improved the results by about 35 pounds per corner making an already well balanced vehicle almost perfect. The typical adjustable endlink uses spherical bearings and looks a lot like a screen door adjuster. They work very well, but at a great expense in NVH. The G8 is a LUXURY performance sedan. We did not want to convert it to a race car with the typical harsh ride and increase in cabin noise. We wanted to make this LUXURY sedan perform like a race car, but ride like a LUXURY car so we passed on the adjustable endlinks – until Pedders can deliver a set of double ball joint adjustable length endlinks that are as quiet as OE endlinks and we don’t expect that to be a long wait.

Production vehicles with limited option lists are very consistent in weight distribution. Using the locking collar measurements as presets for your Xa coilover installation will get you close to a corner weighted vehicle. While the car would not be coner weighted, you starting point for corner weighting will be pretty darn close.

RF 33mm / FR 610mm
LF 29.7mm / FL 610mm
RR 30.5mm / RR 595
LR 38mm / LR 593

These are the numbers from my personal G8. They will not be the exact numbers your vehicle would need on the scales, but they will be close to what you need. The variations in collar distances do not directly translate to ride height. The ride heights are so close you cannot see a difference and the measured variation is only 2mm. The collar distance measurements have an 8mm difference in the rear. This is due to the weight distribution of the vehicle and the load being placed on the vehicle by the sway bar.

With the corner weighting complete, it was on to the alignment. There is minimal data available for road course alignment setup on the G8. There are countless opinions and we relied on a series of experts in the field. Some are on the Pedders payroll, some are Pedders Dealers and some are veteran road course racers. We decided to use these specifications.

Castor 7.75 No Bias
Camber -2.2
Toe -3.0

Camber -1.4
Toe +.03

With the G8 so low, reducing camber was a challenge. We were able to increase the range of adjustment using custom alignment bolts. We plan to provide more details on the forum about this, but for the present you should know that the OE toe and camber bolt / washers provide about .75 degrees of adjustment. Our custom made setup has an adjustment range of 1.5 degrees. Once we have completed our evaluation of the modification we will provide more details.

The sway bars were adjusted to full hard in the rear and one off full hard in the front. We ran with the Xa coilovers set to 30 all around. Running the dampers this hard is fine for short periods of time on the road course, but would cause excessive wear on street tires if used for long track sessions. The combination of coil rate and damper rate would be too much increasing heat in the tire which would lead to the tire becoming greasy with rapid wear. An R compound tire would be very happy with this setup and we would probably back the front bar off a notch or maybe not after testing.

So what do Chris and Stan have to say about the G8. They cover the G8 and the LX in this report.

Pedder’s/ Arrington Benchmark Test Day

I was sitting in my Thursday Computer Engineering class when my phone started vibrating like crazy. Every thirty seconds another “Michigan” phone call was trying to reach me, for about five minutes straight. I excused myself from class to return the call only to find a panicky gentleman on the other end of the phone. The owner of Pedders Suspensions, Pete Basica, immediately started explaining to me that he and Arrington Engine’s, Eric Hruza, were backed in a corner because they had a benchmark test day planned for a Pedderised Pontiac G8 and a Arrington Engine powered Chrysler 300 C with no drivers. They had a couple NASCAR drivers lined up but they could not make it at the last minute, due to a schedule conflict. Pete’s company has been one of my racing sponsors since 2005 on my GTO. Pete asked me if I could get out to New Jersey before Monday to do the test. They needed two drivers so I got on the phone and enlisted the help of my friend Stan Wilson to join me for the project. Stan and I had raced as a team in separate cars as well as co-drivers in the same car. The test would be held at the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course on Monday which was only a few days away. So at my lunch break, I started planning for my flights and rental car so that I might get to New Jersey the night before the event.
Sunday morning started for me at 3:00 am. I got up, got ready, loaded my bags into the car and began my two hour drive to the airport for my 6:30am flight to Chicago. The flight went flawless and I grabbed the second leg of my flight from Chicago to Philadelphia. After landing in Philadelphia, I grabbed a rental car from Enterprise. I had reserved an intermediate sized car and they were out so they said they would upgrade me. I said ok and asked for a Corvette. He laughed and said “how about a Hyundai Sonata”. I laughed and said “perfect”. Then I began my 35-40 minute drive to south Jersey finally reaching New Jersey Motorsports Park. After dinner, I went to bed early to prepare and be rested for the busy day that would follow. My buddy, Stan, had flight delays and made it to the track at 1:00 am. Of course he did not have a key and had to wake me up to get in, since we were sharing a room.

The next morning (Monday) started at 6:00 am with breakfast and a meeting with the event sponsors. We get back to the track to be greeted by a nonstop 30-40 mph wind plus and it was cold to boot! We started the skid pad test in a more than fair and equal manner. Stan and I would do the skid pad test in each car then immediately trade driving positions to make sure that the “g” readings could be reproduced easily. We did reproduce them every single time. We tested stock versions of the cars and various degrees of modified cars. I was pretty surprised at how well the stock cars actually did. It was impressive to drive the modified cars right afterward to feel the real difference between the two. The skid pad test could have actually produced ever better “g” results had the temperature been warmer, suspension settings modified, and had the test area been blown or swept clear. The high winds had blown sand and dust onto the test area. Several real surprises were the Chevrolet HHR with Pedders Xa eXtreme Coilovers pulling just under 1g. Stan and I did not see that one coming. We had guessed maybe a .7 or .8g would be the result. Also for the high hp Pedders G8’s and Arrington Powered 300C cars to get near or over 1g weighing in at over 4,200 lbs each was just remarkable, especially on street tires. As test drivers, we really were surprised.

The next part of the day was the driving instruction for, Mopar, G8 and GTO forum members as well as track day guests and event sponsors. This was a blast and everyone really did a great job. Stan and I would take each person’s car on track with them in it, drive a few laps at 50% to show them the line followed by a few laps at 75-80% to show them what their cars can do (and yes for our personal enjoyment as drivers!). Then we would pull in the pits and trade spots allowing the car owner to drive with us basically “side seat” driving. No, not like our wives do to us on trips. Instead, we used verbal confirmation of doing each corner, braking zone and “turn in” point correctly or showed them how to do it better the next time around.

The time had come to test the Pedderised Pontiac G8 and the Arrington powered 300C 426. We were a little bit cautious at first, being on street tires, stock brakes with race pads, and a factory seat belt with no cage, on both cars. I mean these were street cars that were driven to the track long distances and must be driven home when we were done. No pressure!

The first car on the track was the 300C. I drove the car down from the paddock area to the hot pits, waiting for the time to exit onto the road course. Permission was granted for this flight to take off and take off it did! My first reaction to the car was that the power is absolutely startling! Startling is an understatement, but I don’t have another word in my limited vocabulary to use. You had to stay focused on throttle control at all times. This engine did not have a power band. Instead, it had brutal power all the time and at any rpm. I took it easy for the “out lap”, trying to let the engine, fluids, and tires get up to temp. I came out of the last corner coming onto the front straight and my lord, what a beast. I have owned and/or driven about every car you can think of. I am a big fan of naturally aspirated engines (although I enjoy supercharged and turbo too). N/A motors have always impressed me when built properly. When the car shifted at 140mph and broke the rear tires loose, with a 3:08 gear and automatic transmission, I knew that I was dealing with a properly built N/A motor! As impressive as the power was, I needed to get focused on brakes and handling. With only 100 yards of front straight left, I needed to get focused quickly. I eased onto brakes preparing for a 40 mph corner that I clearly would be taking at 75+ mph, all the while confident that I would be cutting some grass with a 600 hp, four door, lawn mower in the near future. Surprisingly, the car slowed down and made the corner with the greatest of ease. Now I am pumped. The next lap was going to go down with confidence. This car hopped the rumble strips, enjoyed threshold braking, and tore the straights up like a road racing car should. However, this road racing car was an interstate cruiser with radio, air, leather, warranty, and stock treaded tires. Unreal! I managed to put down a 1:20 in the car, which on the Lightning course seemed pretty good, compared to locals in Porsche’s and new Z06’s that were in the 1:20 to 1:23 range. I would really like another shot at this car with some “R” compound slicks, some negative camber, a race seat, and five point harnesses. There is no doubt that an additional 3+ seconds would disappear.

217 Posts
I left the track with an interesting perspective on the Arrington engines. These engines are perfect for the street, the drag strip, and the road course. It is impressive to me that the same engine could be put in a variety of cars and perform exceptionally well. The price was very affordable and they had a warranty.

Next up, was the Pedderised Pontiac G8. Other than the skid pad tests, this G8 sat most of the day waiting to be lovingly flogged around New Jersey Motorsports Park. Although I have driven, owned and road raced the GTO’s for many years, this would be my first time to even sit in a G8. They are great looking cars stock, but this car was perfect! It had a complete Pedders Xa Track eXtreme package which was awesome. It was an easy drive off the track and felt perfectly at home on the track. This particular car had stock brake rotors and calipers with racing pads. Just like the 300C, it had basically a factory street tire compound but a little bit wider. The stance of the car was exactly how GM should have done it to start with. Not too much gap between the tires and fender, but not any danger of bottoming out on grocery store speed bumps. The wheels had been upgraded and fit nicely in the fender wells. Under the hood, I found a supercharger. So the “grin factor” was high. One could only assume that the “pucker factor” would soon be high as well! This car had been driven all the way from Michigan to New Jersey and the owner indicated that he would like something to drive back home when the day was over. So the instructions were simple. Run it really, really hard but don’t tear it up or crash it. No problem. As I ease this family car out on the track, it was clear that no one needed to be fooled by the extra pair of doors. This was no grocery getter, although the leather, sat. radio, keyless entry and air conditioning would give the impression that going to the store in it was still possible. I warmed the car up on the out lap again, just like the 300C. I can’t believe that I am going to use this word to describe a 4,200 lb car but here goes. The car was flickable. Yes, I said flickable. It had the expected power on the straights, due to the help of a big V8 getting force fed with the blower. The brakes did a surprising job too. But when I threw the car into the corners, it did exactly what I wanted it to do. I kept waiting for the body to roll, or it to push off the track, but it never happened. I mean this thing is on street tires. This G8 literally felt like a car that was 1,000 lbs lighter. I couldn’t believe it. Earlier in the day, the owner of a new black M5 BMW was kind enough to pitch me the keys to his $100,000 ride. Only catch was he got to ride shotgun. It was a beautiful piece of machinery that did exactly what you would expect a $100,000 car to do. It isn’t everyday that you get to shift a 10 cylinder at 8,400 rpms. It not only looked great but it did everything well. I say that to say this, the Pedderised G8 felt every bit as good as the M5 and can be reproduced exactly as the test car for around $50,000. After putting down a 1:18.7 in it, I left the track with a new respect for the G8 and 300C cars. The Pedders and Arrington 300C test cars were absolutely fantastic pieces of American Muscle.

34 Posts
Hey guys, Wow, didnt even know this thread was started here found it by accident looking at the track forum.

As a heads up we are working on Round 2 now, date is looking to be March 29th 2010 at NJMP on the Thunderbolt track.

If you are intrested in attending Round 2 hit me with a PM with your Name, Email and a phone number and Ill add you to the Email update list.


217 Posts
Hey guys, Wow, didnt even know this thread was started here found it by accident looking at the track forum.

As a heads up we are working on Round 2 now, date is looking to be March 29th 2010 at NJMP on the Thunderbolt track.

If you are intrested in attending Round 2 hit me with a PM with your Name, Email and a phone number and Ill add you to the Email update list.

Sign me up!
1 - 20 of 26 Posts