A-Arm Install - Searching For Seconds, Part 2

We bring in STI Killer to install some new suspension.

Justin Cesler Nov 15, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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After two full sessions at Sebring Raceway, several trips to Gainesville Raceway's test track and roughly two thousand donuts in the parking lot of our World Headquarters, we're finally starting to get a good handle on the STI Killer's persona. In testing, we've found that the BMR suspension mixed almost perfectly with the Toyo R888 tires and that the Killer's rock-solid drivetrain combination (bolt-on LS6, D&D-built T56 and a narrowed 10-bolt) has been as reliable as we could have ever dreamt of, especially for the amount of abuse we've doled out. Of course, we did see a little room for some small improvement here and there, and now that we've got some miles under our belt (506 on-track miles according to the odometer) we plan on attacking those "issues" over the next several months. This time we were focused on improving the STI Killer's stance, which was already nice, and adding another degree of camber to the front wheel/tire combination to help with initial turn-in and front grip throughout the corners. We were looking to go low -- like, can't get it on the trailer, can't use the lift but looks amazing low -- and refused to give up any suspension travel or tire clearance in the process.

With our goals clearly defined we made a quick call to the pros over at BMR Suspension and ordered up a set of the company's 1-inch lower A-arms, complete with ball joints, and a pair of BMR tubular upper A-arms. Constructed from a combination of 1.625- and 1.250-inch DOM tubing, these upper and lower arms are more than capable of handling the abuse we plan on throwing at them (road course, autocross and drag strip) and will reduce our total weight over the nose by almost 10-pounds. Of course, the major advantage with the 1-inch lowering A-arms is the, well, 1-inch drop in the front suspension, which comes without negatively affecting the front suspension travel. Combined with the upper arms, we could also have our local alignment shop, Weaver's Tire and Automotive, get really aggressive with the front camber, which would improve handling and steering feel drastically.

As usual, we turned the STI Killer over to Greg Lovell at AntiVenom and followed along with him as he worked. If you're intimidated by tackling a project like this yourself, consider that it is less complicated than it may seem and took Greg, a seasoned professional, just a couple of hours to complete. While it does take a little bit of time to install the parts and get the rod-ends in the correct position, it is worth the effort and we noticed an improvement in stiffness and feel almost immediately. Our alignment team had no trouble dialing everything in once we had it close and we were able to drive away with a whole new feel and 2.8/2.5-degrees of negative camber in the front end, which was much improved from our 1.3/0.9 that we were able to run with the heavy stock parts. On track, we picked up almost a full second around on our tight and traction limited course, which really gave us hope for the next round of modifications, which you will have to check out in an upcoming issue...

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