In the '60s, when a two-barrel 327 and Powerglide trans were standard fare, the Chevelle's rear four-link suspension with thin trailing arms provided reasonable handling and adequate traction tomanage the power and bias-ply-tire cornering of the day. As designed by GM, the Chevelle's rear suspension system used two coil springs, two upper stamped-sheetmetal arms, and two lower stamped-sheetmetal trailing arms to locate the rearend. The design is essentially a four-link system that mounts the upper trailing arms in a triangulated manner to keep the rearend from moving from side to side and two lower arms to keep the rearend from moving fore and aft. Under acceleration, the upper arms experience tensional forces and the lower arms handle compressional movements
Fast-forward to today, where 400-plus horses are commonly running through the rear suspension; the flimsy construction of the factory control arms can't harness the force. The arms are left to bend and flex in ways they were never engineered to. Consequently, all types of traction and handling woes occur as the rearend roams.
But there is good news. Although the stock components may be weak, the Chevelle's suspension issues can easily be remedied by installing stronger and much better-designed control arms. To explore these possibilities, we contacted about a dozen of the most notable suspension companies in the business of researching, testing, and designing Chevelle rear control arms for ultimate traction. We also gathered all of the cool facts about them. The arms shown are largely for '64-72 Chevelles. Most of the lower control-arm part numbers shown will fit all '64-72 Chevelles. Note that upper control arm numbers for '64-67 differ from '68-72 Chevelles. Ditto for any listed frame braces. So before ordering, you'll want to check with each manufacturer for your specific application. The prices listed are from the manufacturer unless specified.
By replacing the stock rear trailing arms with the solid aftermarket control arms, you can drastically improve your rear suspension's performance. To thoroughly tune your suspension, you'll want to add the proper shocks, sway bars, tires, and wheels. The stronger control arms will also allow you to run tighter wheel to fender-lip clearances, since the rearend won't flex much from side to side.
The majority of the listed companies offer a wide selection of arms for street or race applications, so here we've hit some of the highlights. With a few common tools, jackstands, and a Saturday afternoon, you can have your Chevelle hooking hard and cornering as if you were driving on a road paved with Velcro.