Building a good, solid suspension system is about getting what you pay for. If you try to do it on the cheap you’re going to get the handling you’ve paid for. And if you do, plan on taking a shortcut through the woods or across the desert. Face it, cheap suspension systems are for weenies. A suspension system from Detroit Speed is for those looking for awesome street and track performance.
If you expect great handling, look to companies like Detroit Speed (DSE) that produce some of the finest suspension systems for muscle car applications like the Camaro, Chevelle, and Nova. These are very sophisticated suspension systems designed, engineered, and tested in the heart of NASCAR country, in Mooresville, North Carolina.
We’ve already installed Detroit Speed’s QUADRALink rear suspension system on our 1971 Camaro street and track car. Tire technology has improved dramatically in the last few years and offers much more lateral grip. This necessitated the need for our Camaro to run a rear sway bar whereas before we were able to get by without one.
The Detroit Speed Swivel-Link allows the rear suspension to fully articulate with smooth, solid motion without binding and bouncing. They do this without Heim joints. The DSE QUADRALink utilizes tuned high-durometer (hard) rubber bushings. The long upper links provide great pinion and U-joint angle control. The Panhard bar is adjustable as ride height changes for roll center control. The upper shock crossmember strengthens the rear unit body and frame section.
Installing Detroit Speed’s fully adjustable sway bar will make this suspension system ready for some serious track time. CHP
1. We’re working with Project Orange Krate, our 1971 Camaro, which was built for autocross and track days. What separates the men from the boys is a road-hugging second-gen Camaro with LS3 power and sticky rubber begging for a challenging road course. This is a “work in progress” Camaro. We’re about to round out our Detroit Speed suspension upgrade with their QUADRALink rear sway bar and take it out for a good shakedown.
2. Joel Rode of Hot Rod Specialties in Upland, California, pulls the rear wheels in order to gain access to the rear suspension. A key ingredient in the road-hugging equation are these Falken Azenis skins, which will hold the road and allow us to make the most of the Detroit Speed underpinnings.
3. The Detroit Speed QUADRALink rear antiroll bar is an easy bolt-on/weld-on upgrade engineered to virtually eliminate body roll. Because the endlink attachment points go through the rear framerails, installation is rock solid.
4. Here’s what we’re starting with: Detroit Speed’s QUADRALink rear suspension with heavy-duty coilovers featuring JRi shocks, four-link, and Panhard bar. What we need now is a heavy-duty sway bar to tie it all together.
5. Detroit Speed provides this template that enables you to get the antiroll bar brackets located properly at the Camaro’s rear framerails.
6. With the Detroit Speed template taped in place, pilot holes are the first to be drilled.
7. Once all of the pilot holes are drilled, you’re ready to bore these holes out to full size to accommodate the brackets.
8. Outboard pilot holes are drilled out to 3/4-inch to accommodate the mount.
9. Here’s the passenger side outboard pilot hole being bored out to 3/4-inch. The mount will be fitted through this hole to meet the inboard framerail hole.
10. The antiroll bar mounting bracket slides into the framerail as shown and is secured like this.
11. Here’s the antiroll bar link shown from a different angle. The antiroll bar endlinks secure to the framerail like this.
12. This is the passenger-side antiroll bar link where it ties to the framerail bracket.
13. Here’s the driver-side antiroll bar endlink where it attaches to the framerail mount.
14. The antiroll bar is positioned as a reference for the inboard bushings.
15. Joel Rode has positioned the axle brackets on each side and will weld them to the QUADRALink brackets as shown.
16. The antiroll bar axle brackets are welded to the QUADRALink axle mounts.
17. Now that the axle brackets are welded in place, it’s time to secure the antiroll bar to the brackets. Note the brute 9-inch axle from Detroit Speed, which can take significant punishment and come back for more.
18. Installation of the rear antiroll bar is complete. All that’s left is to lubricate the antiroll bar bushings at the axle and we’re ready for action.
19. If you have the budget and time, this is an excellent second-gen Camaro suspension system. The beauty of Detroit Speed’s QUADRALink is its street/track capability where you have a suspension system built to work well on the street and perform great at the track. Not only is this suspension and tire combination designed for one killer driving experience, it’s also built to last.
Photos by the Author, Steven Rupp, Nick Licata