When it comes to performance, most of us go for the obvious and start with upping the power output of our engines. Now, it isn't a bad thing as long as we keep in mind that, without addressing the rest of the drivetrain, our shiny mill underhood is just a big noisemaker. This is especially true of a Camaro's rearend. Like the transmission, it often falls into the "out of sight, out of mind" category, but its role in putting all the luscious power produced by your engine to the pavement is of paramount importance.
Key features you'll want to look for are stout axles, which resist twist, a posi unit to make sure both rear tires are in on the traction action, and a housing that will easily bolt up under your ride. Sure, a "peg leg" or an "el-cheapo" set of axles will leave more cash in your pocket, but as you up the power underhood (and you know you will) you'll end up wishing you had just done it right the first time.
Many of our Camaros came to us with 10-bolt rearends doing duty out back. Don't get us wrong, early 10-bolts are decent rears and with some work can withstand quite a pounding. But as much as this pains purists to hear, Ford did give us something better-the 9-inch rear. For those Bow Tie faithful who can see past the Blue Oval, the 9-inch rearend can really help them reach their performance goals. No C-clips, no cast-iron housing, and a wide array of affordable performance parts, including brakes, are just a few of the benefits of dabbling in the dark Ford arts. Whereas our ancestors had to dig their way through dank and greasy boneyards to find a performance rearend, we're only a phone call or a few mouse clicks away from differential nirvana.
For this install we decided to try out the 9 Inch Factory. They've been building rearends for over 30 years and every part they sell is made right here in good old USA. Best of all, they tell us their rears bolt right in. To find out, we ordered up one of their Camaro crate rearends and boogied down to Best of Show Coach Works in San Marcos, California, to give Jon Lindstrom's '71 a little positraction action.