Strano Springs and Koni Shocks, new brakes, bump stops, an adjustable panhard bar, and rear lower control arms in 2000 Trans Am

This spring I replaced the shocks and springs in my 2000 Trans Am with Koni STR.T shocks and Strano SP141 springs. installation was fairly straightforward, though while I had the front suspension apart I replaced one of the wheel bearings which promptly failed within a few miles leading me to replace it again! I also replaced the rear bump stops, all 4 brake rotors and pads, replaced the rubber hoses, and bleed the brakes. First, the results are excellent. While I had the car apart I replaced the sway-bar bushings as well as the rear lower control arms, panhard bar with an adjustable panhard bar, and installed new bump stops in the rear as the originals were completely destroyed after 20 years of use.

2000 Trans Am with Koni STR.T shocks and Strano SP141 springs

It does appear the rear is about 1/2″ lower than the front, but I have measured the bottom of the car and it’s the same height off the ground all around, it is just the lines of the car give the appearance that the rear is lower than the front. Ride wise, the handling is rough but not as rough as it was previously. If you look at the previous suspension, you can see that the previous owner upgraded the lowering springs but kept the original orange shocks, which may explain why the shocks were all but dead and ride was beyond harsh with the rear bottoming out on nearly every bump.

2000 Trans Am with original orange shocks and aftermarket lowering springs
2000 Trans Am with original orange shocks and aftermarket lowering springs

The rear bump stops were completely chewed away leaving the axle to literally bottom out against the bottom of the car metal to metal.

2000 Trans Am with aftermarket lowering springs with bump stops completely worn away

While I had the brakes apart I went ahead and painted them with a Por-19 brake caliper paint that I brushed on. It holds up nicely but if I did it again i would use a rattle can paint as these calipers have smooth sections which lead brush strokes being visible when up close. From 5+ feet though the calipers look pretty good, which is fine for me. I also upgraded the rotors to Centric brand that have a special coating to prevent rust. I figure since I will be keeping the car for many years with minimal driven miles, if I can keep the rotors from flash rusting that would be a bonus.

2000 Trans Am with new Strano springs and Koni shocks, coated Centric calipers and Hawk pads
2000 Trans Am with new Strano springs and Koni shocks, coated Centric calipers and Hawk pads
2000 Trans Am with original orange shocks and aftermarket lowering springs
2000 Trans Am with original orange shocks and aftermarket lowering springs

I also converted the bump tops from the factory rubber to Suspension Techniques polyurethane versions. They worked out great with a 1/2″ aluminum spacer. Will cover this in a separate post.

Other details include a new rear stabilizer bar as the one I removed had rust at the bushing locations, the rear drivers caliper replaced with a reman unit due to the bleeder screw hole being stripped and other things like fresh brake fluid. In a future post I will write about the rear axle noise I had after I installed a new Borla exhaust system with a cutout, which lead me to replace the rear axle shafts and new bearings as well as new rear parking brake shoes only to find the sound is still there and more than likely an artifact of the 2000-2002 rear diffs being a Torsen style rather than an Auburn style rear diff. Following that I will post the installation of a Sony XAV-AX150 in dash Android Auto/Apple CarPlay receiver with a 7″ display. Stay tuned for those updates!