Chevy Tri-Five Suspension Bolt-ons - How It Works

Leading suspension manufacturers explain how to take the handling of Tri-Five Chevys to the next level with a few simple bolt-ons

Stephen Kim Jan 26, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Craig Morrison: The factory Tri-Five steering box is designed more for cruising than for handling, and chances are the stock steering links have seen better days. We offer an AGR power rack-and-pinion unit on both our bikini clip subframe kit and our full-frame chassis. They’re available in both 15.0:1 and 20.0:1 ratios. From a packaging standpoint, the rack allows more room for a set of long-tube headers. With less moving parts and pivots than a steering box, a rack will have less play and greater precision. Its lighter weight also helps remove excess pounds off of the frontend.

Fighting Deflection

Doug Nordin: As full-frame cars, Tri-Five Chevys might be a little stiffer than unibody cars like first-gen Camaros, but they still flex quite a bit. Sometimes you have to reinforce the center of the frame in full-frame cars. When designing suspension components, the hard part is reducing deflection while maintaining ride quality. Reinforcing every part of a chassis then using rubber bushings isn’t a good idea. The same goes for the body mounts. To combat deflection, Global West uses our Del-a-lum bushings that are much stronger than a conventional bushing. They actually work more like a bearing. Del-a-lum bushings feature a hard plastic from DuPont that acts as a bearing surface and slides in an aluminum housing. They also have grease grooves for lubrication. This design allows for straight up and down movement with no fore-and-aft deflection, and reduces wear as well. Our bushings have been proven to last for 300,000 miles.

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Front Clips

Craig Morrison: For hot rodders who want a dramatic improvement in handling without the expense of a full-frame kit, AME offers front bikini clips. The installation process is more involved than a typical bolt-on, but the great advantage is that all of the suspension geometry is correct and squared. Our clips are built from 2x4-inch rectangular tubing, and can be fitted with our tubular control arms, coilovers, sway bars, spindles, and steering rack. The biggest issue with the installation of our bikini clip is to make sure that it is square with the rest of the chassis before welding it in place. For a first-time fabricator, this would be a big job, but for somebody who has experience with fabrication and has built a few cars, this shouldn’t be a monumental job. There is definitely a point of no return when you start cutting your OE chassis apart, but as long as you go by the old rule of measuring twice and cutting once, you should be just fine.


Hotchkis Performance
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Classic Performance Products
Placentia, CA 92870
Art Morrison Enterprises
Fife, WA 98424
Global West Suspension
San Bernardino, CA 92408


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