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FIRST GEN SUSPENSION

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SPRINGS

SUSPENSION GEOMETRY

TUBULAR UPPER ARMS

STEERING

POWER STEERING REMOTE RESERVOIR SYSTEM FOR TRACK

REAR SUSPENSION

BRAKES

 C.B.B.(CHEAP BIG BRAKES)

REAR AXLE

10 Bolt buildup, ring gear bolt warnig

MASTER CLINDERS

CLUTCH LINKAGE

ENGINE

RICHMOND SWAP

ELECTRICAL

AERODYNAMICS

DRIVING


NEW SECTION

PRODUCT TESTS AND REVIEWS

ppm balljoints
Proforged .5" tall ball joints for 67-69 Camaro
Proforged .5" tall ball joints for Second Gen Camaro

CHANGES / ADDITIONS / NEWS

I've recieved a fiew comments that my info is "good" for other cars. For sure a Nova or such would be very very similar to a Camaro since it uses the same subframe and components, even the firewall and some of the floorpan is the same!

I have even heard of non-GM people getting some good tips from here. I think any car would benefit from most of the improvements I have info on. While cars ARE different most can benefit from improved parts and geometry in a similar way.


E-MAIL INSTRUCTIONS

I'd rather have you post your question on the Team Camaro suspension forum section http://www.camaros.net

If you Email me please include:

FIRST NAME,

SUBJECT IN THE SUBJECT LINE,

WHAT YEAR AND MODEL CAR, A BRIEF HISTORY OF PROBLEM,

IF A BRAKE QUESTON, IS IT POWER OR MANUAL BRAKE, DISC OR DRUM?

 My Email Address: davidpozziracer AT netscape.net

above is not a clickable link, remove the AT plus any blank spaces, and replace with @ . and paste into your Email address line, this is an attempt to keep robot email retrieval programs from picking up my Email address. So far, it has almost eliminated incoming spam. If you want to reduce imcoming spam emails, go to Google, enter your email address and search on it. Any places that come up are being picked up by spammers and mail will be sent to you! Try to eliminate those email addresses.

 

Go to Google and search on your email address, if any show up, try and have them deleted. It will greatly reduce your spam emails!


Most of the info you read here is in response to questions I have been asked about Camaro Suspension and brakes in the CAMAROS.NET forum. If you would like to ask more questions, post them to the Suspension forum there. http://www.camaros.net

There is also a great archive of info there.

 

 

DISCLAIMER

Most of the information on this site is based on my expirence and reading of Magazine articles and Books over the last thirty years. Some of it is from surfing the net and reading info from others. If anything you read here does not make sense or seem correct it is your responsibility to double check it and insure you have the correct information before risking your life, or spending your hard earned money.

There are some really great books on how to do just about anything. Please do your research first!

If you don't feel confortable working on your suspension or brakes, get experienced help.

If something seems wrong, it might be, check it out further, get help, get advice, read a book, ask questions, and: THINK SAFETY!

A lot of the information here bears careful reading and thought. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" These are good words to live by.

I ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.


Car Life Magazine

did a terriffic article on Mark Donohue's 1969 Trans Am Champion Penske Camaro. January, 1970

This article tells how Penske built the car, all the suspension mods.

This 69 Camaro is still winning Vintage Races!

 

CLICK HERE, OR IMAGE TO READ CAR LIFE ARTICLE

  HERE IS THE SMOKEY YUNIK CAMARO PAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CAMARO HANDLING - WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Since I've put all this info on the net, I'm getting a lot of E-Mails from Camaro owners asking me if they should junk their existing subframe and replace it with a second gen subframe or an aftermarket subframe. Below are some thoughts on the subject.


GOALS - NEEDS

Any consideration of the available options needs to address the basic requirements of the owner.

You need to ask yourself the following.

How much do I want to spend?

Do I want a really neat looking suspension that is "trick" and everyone will want to look at?

Or do I want to make my Camaro handle well and I don't want to spend a lot of money on "showy" suspension?

Do I want to do irreversable modifications that will be difficult or impossible to change back?

Do I prefer stock parts that are easy to replace, or custom aftermarket parts?

Do I want maximum cornering and performance at the expense of ride comfort?

Do I want a Pro Touring, Stock, or Vintage Racer, drag racer/pro street Look?


UPGRADING YOUR SUSPENSION

AFTERMARKET SUBFRAME OPTIONS

UPDATE:

There are now many aftermarket subframes available for the First Gen Camaro. When considering any aftermarket sub, take a good look at the frame stiffness. Do not buy a subframe that is more torsioally weak than stock! The Detroit Speed subframe in particular is a good example of working to improve torsional rigidity in the subframe design. I also like the Art Morrison, Speed Tech, and Jakes.

I believe that the stock suspension can be upgraded by a few mods that will enable it to keep up with nearly any First Gen Camaro equipped with an aftermarket front subframe. By that, I mean the driver will make far more difference than the type of subframe.

If the otginal stock suspension is not upgraded, only mild street performance handling can be expected.

When it comes to pure cornering power, the main factor is tire construction, compound, size and grip. It is impossible to corner at 1G when the tire is only capable of .9G Simply, you can't get more out of a tire than it has to give.

The purpose of a high performance suspension is to provide the tire with the rigidity, geometry, and stability to get the most out of it. The rest is up to the driver, the road surface, and the weather.

A high quality aftermarket subframe can save you some weight and increase torsional rigidity, which will improve steering response and front traction. You can gain header clearance, and install wider tires than a stock subframe can handle.

I don't believe there is a big difference in the weight of the subframes themselves, I think the main difference in weight savings is centered around the bolt on suspension and steering components, etc.

Many of the bolt on suspension components like tubular A frames, are also available for the stock subframe, as long as you don't want to go super wide on tire width.

A stamped steel lower A frame only weighs 11 lbs! This means there is only a little room for weight savings by using tubular A arms, or aluminum Corvette parts.

So, if you have pondered the above and feel you want the aftermarket subframe- great! I think you will enjoy it once you get it all together and running. You will have something to show to people that is different from other Camaros and perhaps have that last bit of better handling over the other guys.

If your budget is a little tighter or you like a more stock Camaro, you can still have a very high degree of handling and cornering power, and hopefully save some money too, but either way, it's going to cost you.


FIRST GEN SUSPENSION IMPROVEMENT

If you have decided to improve your existing First Gen suspension, You can fix what's wrong quite easily and end up with a car that will corner like a race car.

My "situation" is: I know what is wrong with the stock suspension, and I know how to fix it, and have most of the parts. I've paid my dues to learn about suspension and read and collected Camaro handling articles since 1966!

I have the capabilities to build my own subframe but I have other projects to do, and I know I can do a fiew simple mods to my existing parts and get most of the benefit without doing a subframe swap.

I feel I need to add something here. While I have a pretty good understanding of suspension and can outline what should be done to a First gen Camaro to improve it, don't take my comments as a put down of the suspension upgrade kit makers.

I feel you will have the best results if you buy a good kit and use all the parts from the same source. That way you will hopefully wind up with properly balanced handling. Some kits are more aggressive with spring stiffness and will ride rougher than others. Some cost a lot more. Just realize that if you decide to mix and match your suspension parts, you will need to understand and be able to tune your suspension to get it where you want it. A good kit will have all the pieces that work together. Just because one anti-roll bar looks the same as another it may not be the case!


MAIN DEFEICINCIES OF THE FIRST GEN SUSPENSION

PROBLEM

CURE

Not enough / any negative camber gain under bump or roll.

Guldstrand mod or add more negative camber to static setting

Springs and sway bars too soft.

stiffer springs - front and rear bars

A frame bushings deflect under hard cornering.

Global West bushings or polly bushings

Ride height too high.

Cut springs or use adjuster-stiffer springs required to keep from bottoming.

Subframe bushings to unibody allow flex, -poor torsional rigidity. This get's more noticeable as you stiffen the suspension, and drive harder.

Solid subframe bushings, don't use poly bushings here, sub and unbody should be "One"

Steering too slow.

Use 80's Z/28 TA or IROC box 12.7 to 1, or get a correct year box upgraded by Lee or AGR

Firstgen Camaros can have a bump steer or "Roll Steer problem. It can be worse after doing the Guldstrand modification.

Check it first, don't assume you do, or don't have this problem fix is special tie rod ends with longer stud, or heat and bend the steering arm down. More positive caster helps reduce bump steer.

Tires and wheels too narrow (if stock size)

Use an 8" wheel if you can. Better tires make a HUGE difference in "stick"

Shock Absorbers too soft.

Bilstein, Koni, QA1, Edelbrock IAS

Lack of disc brakes on most Camaros.

Seee my brake page

Single leaf springs rear, lack of staggered shocks - 67 model.

Match spring rates to horsepower of engine, and overall traction. I prefer the three leaf Hotchkis or Global West type springs with no added traction bars.

Tie rod ends are very low, will contact wide tires, this is very limiting on a 67 Camaro, an 8.5" rim is about max, 255 tire.

You need an aftermarket subframe!

Front shock warning! If you install large diameter front shocks, make sure there is room up inside the subframe spring pocket for the shock body. A vintage race 69 Camaro was raced with large dia (second gen Camaro) shocks, and they jammed the suspension! There is a large variance in shock room from subframe to subframe, even side to side.


FRONT SWAY BAR SETUP CAUTION

If your Camaro is lowered a lot, you may need to shorten the front end link sleeves a little. Ideally, the sway bar arms would be level when going down the road. But on a lowered car, the arms wind up at an angle and it can even put the links in a bind and hold the front ride height up a little. The bind in this case is in the sway bar end where the endlink bushings are.

You can't allways shorten the link sleeves to where the bar arms are perfectly level because it would then limit the side to side and front to rear travel arc of the endlinks and cause bind that way. You have to find a compromise where it isn't too bad either way.

First gen Camaros have more trouble with this because they have such short sway bar arms. I'm looking for some good photos of this to better illustrate the problem. DON'T over-torque the end links if you have poly bushings, this can cause a bind if the angles are not perfect.


ALIGNMENT SPECS

David's Specs

Guldstrand recommends the following specs for a "touring car":

Guldstrand recomends for racing:

(assumes "Guldstrand mod" is done)

Herb Adams recomends these alignment specs for the street:

Stock factory alignment specs:

IN ALL POWER STEERING EQUIPPED CASES, USE AS MUCH POSITIVE CASTER AS YOU CAN ACHIEVE UP TO 5.5 DEGREES POSITIVE MAXIMUM. MORE CASTER HELPS TILT THE WHEEL INWARD WHEN CORNERING, HELPS REDUCE BUMPSTEER BY LOWERING THE TIE ROD ENDS. MANUAL STEER CARS WILL REQUIRE MORE EFFORT AT HIGH CASTER SETTINGS, YOU MAY HAVE TO USE LESS.


HERE ARE SOME FIREBIRD CHASSIS DIMENSIONS, THEY ARE THE SAME AS A CAMARO

HERE IS A SECOND GEN CAMARO SUB FOR COMPARISON


CAMARO SUSPENSION BOLT TORQUES

All are in foot pounds-ft

Steering gear mounting bolts-70 ft

Pitman Shaft Nut 140 ft

Steering Wheel nut 35 ft

" with tilt 1 ft

Steer coupling nut 18 ft

Steering coupler clamp bolts 30 ft

Tie Rod End nut 35 ft

Tie Rod Clamp nut 130 inch lb

Ball joint nut upper 50 ft

Ball joint nut lower 65 ft

Upper ball joint attach bolts (replacement) 25 ft (these replace the rivets holding the upper ball joint to A frame).

Steering arm attach nuts 85 ft

Lower control arm 85 ft

Upper control arm 50 ft

Collar bolts 45 ft (bolts that hold the large washer on the ends of the upper control arm shafts)

Brake anchor pin (drum) 130 ft

Brake andhor bolt (disc) 75 ft

Wheel stud (lug) nuts 65 ft


CAMARO LINKS:

SUSPENSION

http://www.findarticles.com/PI/index.jhtml NEW - Search the net for magazine articles. The car stuff seems to be mostly Popular Hot Rodding. Try searching on "Thrasher"

http://www.guldstrand.com/ Dick Guldstrand is an ex GM engineer, he raced first gen Camaros when they were new! He has forgotten more about first gen Camaros than we will ever know.

http://www.globalwest.net/ Has a "negative roll kit for early Camaros, a complete kit including spindle, brakes, tubular A frames, A frame bushings. Interlocking subframe mounts.

http://www.hotchkisperformance.com. Has 2"drop front springs, and a neat light weight hollow sway bar, the rate is listed below.

http://www.speedtech-performance.com/ CHEAPER TUBULAR A ARMS FROM CANADA

http://www.carparts.com Source for discount Camaro suspension parts, They don't have special fast raito long power steering pitman arm.

http://eatonsprings.com EATON SPRING Leaf springs OEM to GM will make whatever you want.

http://www.hypercoils.com HYPERCO makes racing coil springs. (the highest quality coils made) Company used to be called Rockwell Spring. Recomended by Caroll Smith, And ME!

http://members.carol.net/spring/ FLEX A FORM FIBERGLASS SPRINGS

http://www.waynedue.com/ HERE IS THE NEW WAYNE DUE WEB PAGE - FORMERLY ART RASMUSSEN SUBFRAME

http://www.olympiakos.com/svt-faq/node21.html STAINLESS STEEL BRAKE HOSE INFO

http://www.addco.net/ SWAYBARS

http://www.afcoracing.com/ HARDCORE RACCING CIRCLE TRACK SUSPENSION COMPONENTS

http://www.heidts.com/heisinfo.htm SUSPENSION GEOMETRY INFO mainly hot rod oriented

http://www.nastyz28.com/perftune.html PERF TUNING AND SUSUPENSION Great second gen site with forum

http://www.eatonposi.com/ POSITRACTION UNITS

http://www.chevelles.com/shop/speedo.html SPEDO CALIBRATION

http://www.locl.net/homes/sapple/frmt/frmt6.html FRONT SUBFRAME DIMENSIONS

http://www.grmotorsports.com/techmain.html HANDLING TECH INFO - AUTOCROSS MAGAZINE Loads of articles

http://www.therangerstation.com/9InchAxles.html FORD 9" REAREND WIDTHS

http://50chevy.freeservers.com/Suspension_Widths.html SUSPENSION WIDTHS - ALL

http://hiqties.hypermart.net/9inch.html FORD 9" INFO

http://www.asedan.com AUTOCROSS INFO - RACING CAMAROS

http://www.geocities.com/casanoc/ CARL CASSANOVA'S NEAT CAMARO, AND VERY NEAT DIY WELD IN SUBFRAME CONNECTORS INSTALLATION.

STEERING BOX INFO

http://www.corvettefaq.com/A-car.asp STEERING REBUILD AND INFO PAGE

http://www.zip-corvette.com/pump.htm REBUILD PUMP

http://www.stant.com/brochure.cfm?brochure=679&location_id=176 POWER STEERING TROUBLSHOOTING

http://www.chevelles.com/forum/Forum7/HTML/003929-2.html FORUM DISCUSSION ON PUMP PRESSURES/ FLOWS

ALIGNMENT HOW TO

http://www.carcraft.com/editorial/mgarcia_article.jsp?viewtype=text&id=24880

http://www.shallowsky.com/alignment.html

http://www.vtr.org/maintain/diy-alignment.html

http://www.carcraft.com/editorial/mgarcia_article.jsp?viewtype=text&id=24880

http://www.monte-list.nu/tech/boxmesh.shtml STEERING BOX ADJUSTMENT- MANUAL

http://jeffd.50megs.com/Pump_valve_mod_page.htm POWER STEERING VALVES

http://www.ifsja.org/tech/steering/boxadj.shtml STEERING ADJ SAGINAW POWER

http://www.chevyhiperformance.com ARTICLE ARCHIVES ON SUSPENSION

http://www.musclecar-usa.com/carsetup.shtml SUSPENSION TUNING CHARTS

BRAKES

http://www.baer.com/ BAER CLAW BRAKE SYSTEMS

http://www.mpbrakes.com/ MASTER POWER BRAKES

http://www.oldengine.org/unfaq/leadfoot/discs.htm DISC BRAKE CONVERSION INFO

http://www.geocities.com/motorcity/6765/page11.html REAR DISC SWAP FOR 12/10 BOLT REAR

http://www.67rs.com CHRIS EDWARDS WEB PAGE, HAS 67 ASSEMBLY MANUAL ON-LINE. MAY ADD 68 AND 69 MANUALS TOO!

http://www.howstuffworks.com/power-brake.htm HOW BRAKE SYSTEM WORKS -good illustrations!!

http://www.rpmnet.com/techart/fluid.shtml BRAKE FLUID AND SYSTEM INFO I don't recomend Silicone brake fluid.

http://www.belray.com/consumer/Q&A%20pages/q&abf.html SILICONE INFO Also check the Baer Brakes info page, they do not recomend Silicone either.

http://subtopics.freeyellow.com/Brakes.htm GENERAL BRAKE INFO lots of info here

http://www.shotimes.com/brakes/survey/brakes3.html BRAKE PAD COMPARISON look around at the other info like BRAKE PAD EDGE CODES FOR FRICTION COEFFICIENTS

NET CALCULATORS

http://www.bestintexas.com/cars/calculate/index.html AUTO CALCULATOR PROGRAMS

NET SEARCHING

http://www.findarticles.com SEARCH FOR MAGAZINE ARTICLES

SAFETY

http://www.asedan.com/1995.htm ROLL CAGE INFO

RACE YOUR CAMARO!

http://www.autocross.com/

http://drift.hotrodhomepage.com/ A BIG BLOCK DRIFTING CAMARO!! NEW

OTHER NEAT SITES

camaros limited.com San Jose area Camaro club. Check 'em out!

http://www.rareparts.com/ CAMARO STEERING PARTS New, or they can rebuild your old steering arm or idler arm like new, In Sacramento California, they do not sell retail, you might have to get a business to deal with them for you.

http://www.camaro-untoldsecrets.com/articles/article_fs.htm INFO ON FIRST GEN FACTORY RACING OPTIONS: CROSSRAM, JL8 BRAKES, ZL 2 HOOD, TWO DISC CLUTCH.

http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Speedway/6432/speedo.htm SPEDOMETER CALIBRATION.

http://www.geocities.com/casanoc INSTALL SUBFRAME CONNECTORS weld in. (The best way to do it.)

http://www.dennyscamaro.com/ CAMARO PARTS EAST COAST - I've heard so many many compliments on this guy! PLEASE SUPPORT THIS VENDOR!

http://www.detroitspeed.com/ Builder of the TWISTER Camaro, new site - will be coming out with Camaro suspension products. Kyle and Stacy Tucker, husband and wife suspension engineers for GM. Really terrific people with superior quality parts.


MY FAVORITE PARTS VENDORS

I've purchased parts from these vendors and know them all personally.

click on a logo to go there

detroit speed logo D&Z Customs Ride Tech
ATS

GW logo

Hotchkis Suspension



 

 

  JAM Carburettor conversions

http://www.100percentsynthetic.com/ AMSOIL DEALER CENTRAL CALIFORNIA


Pro-Touring.com a great site for muscle cars that handle.

Lots of photos of cars, Forum, and Chat on thursday nights.


Camaro Research Group - terrific info on factory options and great forum, more into stock stuff and tag decoding, great reference library.

CRG


Camaro, Untold Secrets

Lots of info on GM high perf options

camaro untold secrets


 

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Home Page /First Gen Camaros/ First_Gen_Suspension /Vintage Can-Am /Vintage Trans-Am

/Land Speed Racing / Spirit Of America, Thrust SSC /Interesting projects / Favorite Links