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F45 Suspension

I just purchased my first Corvette and will pick up a 1996 coupe next month. Seller claims car has the F45 Suspension. My research notes the F45 is basically an improved FX3 which apparently included heavy duty cooling, fast ratio steering and Z52 springs and sway bar features. Question: Are the FX3 features included in the F45 package?

Submitted by: Ed Hill


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Here is a little info on the RPO's in question. Hopefully it will answer your question.

1. RPO F45 - RPO F45 Electronic Selective Real Time Damping (1996)

Original Option Price: $1,695 *

More of an evolution of the FX3 package than anything else, F45 allowed each shock to be adjusted individually for the first time, based on input from speed sensors on each wheel, which was then processed by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51.
Anonymous on 3/9/2017 2:52:03 PM
2. RPO Z51 - RPO Z51 Performance Handling Package (1984-90, 1996)

Original Option Price: $350-1,295 (The latter price represents 1988 models, which included 17 inch wheels)

Much more common on C5s and C6s than it was on C4s, the Z51 package had a few small changes over its few years available on a C4.

* 1984 models: Heavy duty springs, shocks, and bushings, larger sway bars, fast ratio steering, engine oil cooler, and auxiliary fan. * 1985-90 models: Heavy duty springs and bushings, Bilstein shocks, larger sway bars, fast ratio steering, and heavy duty cooling. Larger front brake rotors and calipers became standard in 1988, as well as 17 inch wheels. Both Z51 and base suspension spring rates were decreased in 1985 due to harsh ride complaints from the 1984 model.

* 1996 models: Heavy duty springs and bushings, Bilstein shocks, and larger sway bars. Heavy duty cooling options and fast ratio steering had become standard on all models at this point. Non-Grand Sport models also received 275/40/17 size tires on all four wheels instead of 285/40/17s in the rear, and 255,/45/17s in the front.

* Option Restrictions: 1987-90 models required a manual transmission; Not available on a Convertible until 1996; 1996 models also required power seats, and Performance Axle Ratio, if ordered on an automatic car. Not available with FX3 or F45.
Anonymous on 3/9/2017 2:50:26 PM
3 - RPO FX3 - RPO FX3 Electronic Selective Ride and Handling Package (1989-95)

Original Option Price: $1,695/Standard on ZR1

Although not exactly a replacement for Z51, FX3 offered Corvette buyers another suspension option for the years that Z51 was not offered. As its name suggests, FX3 was different from any suspension ever offered in a Corvette in the sense that it gave the driver the option to select a soft, moderate, or stiff ride on-the-fly, by means of a control knob located on the center console. There were no restrictions made as to which bodystyle or transmission FX3 could be ordered with, and FX3 was standard on all ZR1 models.

FX3 included heavy duty cooling and suspension options, fast ratio steering, and 1987-88's Z52 springs and sway bars, which provided a wider range of suspension control than the Z51 springs and sway bars.

Nonetheless, the Z51 springs and sway bars still found their way on to the 60 or so 1989 Challenge cars that were built.

1994-95 models have lower spring rates than their predecessors, providing for an even smoother ride in "Tour" mode.

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51 after 1990.
Anonymous on 3/9/2017 2:48:27 PM

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