If you have been following along with our fifth-generation Camaro build so far, you may recall that last month we added a set of Energy Suspension's rear cradle bushings to Greg Lovell's AntiVenom Camaro. After a quick blast down the street and a couple of quick turns, the increased road feel pleasantly surprised us along with the new and improved chassis response. In fact, we had so much fun with the new bushings that we began to wonder what else we could easily install on the Camaro to increase its street feel as well as its track ability.
As any enthusiast will tell you, one of the easiest and most rewarding mods for any car is a set of lowering springs and since our Camaro was still riding high on the stockers, we found ourselves on the phone with the suspension masters at Pfadt Race Engineering, attempting to convince them that we wanted—no, needed—a set of their 1.25-inch lowering springs for our double-duty fifth-gen. With an increased spring rate, a lower stance and a design built specifically "to optimize the factory shock absorber damping," it didn't take long for us to place the order. Of course, while we were in the tinkering mood, we also had Pfadt send us a pair of its Sport sway bars (front and rear) and the matching adjustable endlink kit.
According to the company, the Sport sway bar package is designed to "eliminate the notorious understeer" of the fifth-gen by "increasing the roll stiffness in the rear of the car," while maintaining a balanced chassis and not introducing unwanted oversteer to the Camaro. "Our rear bar does exactly that [increase the roll stiffness in the rear]. That's how we achieve such great balance. If a sway bar package offers huge increases in the stiffness of the front bar, your Camaro is going to suffer from increased understeer compared to the OEM sway bars!" Well, we definitely don't want that, the Camaro needed to be balanced and calm, not a snow plow!
As you will see on the following pages, the install is fairly straightforward and everything Pfadt Racing sent us came with great instructions and all of the necessary pieces for a clean and proper install. The 1.25-inch drop looked great and really gave the Camaro an aggressive look and feel. After a couple hours of work and a quick trip to the alignment shop, we tested the Camaro on the street and the new springs and sway bars made the car feel much more nimble and predictable. On track at Gainesville Raceway, Editor Parker commented on a much more reliable steering feel and increased grip, although the stock tires and brakes were still no match for Gainesville's tight road course and difficult off-camber turns. We did scrub a couple of tenths off our previous lap times, but we plan on heading back over to the course with some new tires to see what the Camaro can really do thanks to our new Pfadt Race Engineering equipment. For now, check out the rest of the install and look out for our final results.