1970 Camaro Suspension - Spring Into Action

Making A Second-Gen Camaro Think It's A Fourth-Gen Camaro

Mike Petralia Feb 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0102_17_z 1970_chevy_camaro Locking_nuts 1/18

The supplied 3/8-inch bolts get slipped inside the K-member and secure the spring mounting bracket with locking nuts and washers.

Adjustability Is The Key
One of the best aspects of the Vette Brakes TVL kit is that it is totally adjustable for both ride height and spring rate. Once installed all that's needed to raise or lower your Camaro's nose up to 3 inches is a socket and wrench, and in a matter of minutes you can be ridin' high or slammed to the dirt. Also, the front fiberglass leaf spring rate can be tailored to match road conditions and your performance expectations. The spring rate can be quickly adjusted in three increments from 600 to 750 pounds by simply moving a few bolts around on the spring mounting pivot blocks. Try that with coil springs! Also, none of Vette Brakes suspension components requires any welding to install and all the original GM suspension parts can be reinstalled at a later date if the need ever arises.

Turning Rubber
Since how good a car handles is directly proportional to how good its tires stick to the ground, we opted to mount a set of A032R Yokohamas, an aggressive DOT legal road racing tire on some wide-by-huge Weld Racing Type 76 wheels. The Yokohama 275/40ZR17 front tires mounted on 17x9.5 Welds completely filled the Camaro's wheelwell and gave it a very nasty look when viewed from the front. And a set of giant 315/35ZR17 A032R Yokohamas on 17x11 Welds look even meaner out back. Unlike most street posers, who mount fat rubber on their cars but never turn more corners than on their way to work, we intend to run this car all out on West Coast road courses and ball up some serious rubber on the fenders behind all four tires.

Sucp_0102_18_z 1970_chevy_camaro Lower_control_arm_install 2/18

We wrestled the lower control arm into place and secured it to the spring mounting plate using the existing control arm-mounting hole, which we enlarged in the K-member.

Stop Now
Approaching a decreasing radius corner at high speed also requires some serious stopping mojo and that's where the giant Baer binders we installed come into play. Baer recommended its Track system with 13-inch, zinc-washed, cross-drilled, slotted rotors, and two-piston PBR calipers for the front of the Camaro, and its Rod & Drag system in the rear using smaller, but equally effective, 11.35-inch rotors and lightweight PBR single piston calipers. The benefit of using a smaller rotor/caliper in the rear becomes obvious at the dragstrip when we go to install the 15-inch wheels with drag slicks (the bigger brakes won't clear a 15-inch wheel). Of course, if we choose to go with big brakes out back we could equip the car with a set of 315/35R17 BFG Drag Radials for dual-purpose dog fighting.

Sucp_0102_19_z 1970_chevy_camaro Bilstein_shocks 3/18

The Bilstein shocks need to go in before the leaf spring is installed. Vette Brakes works closely with Bilstein developing new and better shocks to take advantage of the unique characteristics offered by fiberglass springs.

We plan to augment the Camaro's new stopping and handling prowess with a set of Energy Suspension's polyurethane body and transmission mounts to help this Camaro stop, drop, and roll with the best on the boulevard. While deadlines kept us from testing our Camaro on a skid pad, we know that most stock Second-Gen Camaros will pull mid 0.7gs around the 200-foot circle. When equipped with the same suspension, wheel, and tire components that our Camaro is, the skid pad numbers on a few other Camaros have crested 0.95gs, and with the right driver behind the wheel are within the magic 1.00g.

Can this get any better you ask? Yes it can, because all this trick suspension stuff from Vette Brakes really won't drain your pocketbook like buying a new F-car would. All included the Vette Brakes suspension pieces we installed cost under $2,000. Not low buck in anyone's bank account, but worth every cent if you want a Camaro that can comfortably walk in its big brother's shoes.

Sources

Krupp Bilstein of America
San Diego, CA 92121
800-537-1085
www.bilsteinus.com
Performance Suspension Technology (PST)
Montville, NJ 07045
Info: (973) 299-8019
www.p-s-t.com/
Vette Brakes & Products
St. Petersburg, FL
(800) 237-9991
www.vettebrakes.com
Hobart Welding Products
Troy, OH 45373
Weld Racing, Inc
Kansas City, MO 64101

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