Last issue we got started on turning a 1998 Camaro's life around by tearing all its front suspension off and rebuilding it with potent parts from BMR Suspension. Everything from the K-member to the adjustable control arms, lowering coils, beefy sway bar, and transmission crossmember was sourced from BMR's extensive catalog of go-fast goodies. Not only did we save a ton of weight, but we also added a serious level of hot rod handling and drag racing abilities to the Camaro. This month we finalize the transformation by finishing the rear suspension with complementing products.
BMR Suspension was started the same year that Project Goldmaro left the assembly line. With so much time to refine parts and accessories, BMR has filled a void that existed during the Camaro's existence, and the company didn't stop there. It doesn't matter what generation of Camaro you own, BMR has you covered with myriad of parts and options to suit your budget and your driving style. Check them out for yourself after you see what transpired under the back half of our 1998 Camaro Z28.
1. To help get the power to the pavement, we opted for BMR's bolt-in, adjustable torque arm. It came equipped with a rear adjuster to set the pinion angle and a polyurethane front mount.
2. All the bolts and adjusters were left loose to allow for an easier installation. The factory hardware was used to mount the torque arm to the rear differential.
3. BMR's matching transmission mount has seven position options to set the torque arm angle to suit road and racing conditions. We set the adjustable torque arm in the crossmember's middle position to start with.
4. With so many tracks requiring a driveshaft safety loop, it was a smart decision to include one on Goldmaro. The loop easily replaced the diminutive stock tunnel brace.
5. These shocks were most likely the originals and hadn't been replaced since the Camaro rolled off the assembly line. Not the best choice for safety or performance.
6. Once the rear sway bar was removed, the axle could be lowered enough to permit the rear coil springs and isolators to be safely removed.
7. Installing the torque arm before pulling the rear control arms helped hold the axle safely in position on jack stands.
8. Since we were lowering the car, we chose to install BMR's bolt-on control arm relocation brackets. We first had to trim off one side of the emergency brake bracket on both the driver and passenger axle mounts.
9. Lowering fourth-gen Camaros moves the rear control arm out of alignment. The BMR relocation bracket has two different control arm mounting locations to alter the control arm angle for better traction.
10. There were a number of attractive choices in rear control arms from BMR. For Goldmaro, we chose the polyurethane/rod end combo that was on-car adjustable. The factory arms were used as a template to adjust the BMR arms to a starting length.
11. To keep road noise to a minimum, the polyurethane end was mounted to the body side.
12. With two mounting locations for the rod end, we used the lowest one due to the spring modification we chose.
13. We like low and functional, so the 1 1⁄4-inch drop offered by the BMR springs wasn't going to be enough to match the front modifications we made. We gained an additional 3⁄4-inch drop by swapping the thick spring isolators for heater hose.
14. The 160-lb dual-rate rear springs were engineered to provide greater handling without sacrificing good ride quality on the streets.
15. Koni single-adjustable sport shocks were a gigantic improvement over the milquetoast originals. As with everything else, we set the shocks to the middle adjustment as a baseline.
16. As we removed components like the Panhard rod, it was surprising to see how much rust had built up on the unprotected metal surfaces over the past 16 years.
17. Our choice in Panhard rod matched the rear control arms. The polyurethane/rod end combination halted side-to-side deflections while cornering and was on-car adjustable to ensure the axle sits perfectly square to the chassis.
18. The Teflon-lined QA1 rod end was placed on the axle, while the poly bushing was mounted to the body.
19. Increasing cornering ability requires decreasing body roll. Replacing the factory 19mm sway bar with BMR's beefy 25mm hollow sway bar goes a long way towards obtaining that goal.
20. New endlinks with stronger bushings were included with the sway bar to transmit more energy to the bar for greater function.
21. Mating the two substructures of the Camaro's unibody with 2-inch square subframe connectors was a necessity to increase the car's handling capabilities. The rear mounts encapsulated the control arm mount.
22. The front mounts of the BMR connectors were shaped to meet the front subframe correctly and required welding.
23. It was disappointing to have to remove some of the powdercoat from the bright-red subframe connectors, but welding to bare metal works best.
24. Anywhere the subframe connectors and Camaro subframe met, we welded and touched up with some fresh spray paint to ward of any future corrosion.