For as long as there have been hot rods, Edelbrock has supplied performance products for those who drive them. From flathead-powered cars to high-tech, fuel-injected vehicles, Edelbrock has produced parts to enhance their performance. In today's world, where performance is judged on a more variable playing field that includes more than just straight-line racing and mega-horsepower, things such as cornering, handling, body roll, and braking become infinitely more important.
For some time, Edelbrock has had an on-going development of the goal to offer a complete suspension package for today's more well-rounded enthusiasts, supplying them with everything needed to get their project on the right track in one kit.
The new suspension package from Edelbrock consists of common items, with an improved design, that are easy to install. As with most of the company's product line, the suspension package components are direct-bolt-on items. The "package" consists of IAS (Inertia Active System) shock absorbers, Eibach coil springs, upper and lower trailing arms, and braces. Together, this system of integrated parts will direct your musclecar to a different level of handling.
There's little doubt that the key ingredient of this package is performance. And with it, the quality of construction is paramount. Each trailing arm is of a boxed-style design and incorporates greasable polyurethane bushings at each end. Both upper and lower arms are cold rolled, .120-inch wall steel for strength and durability. Frankly, what these parts are designed to do is take the flex out and keep the rear axle properly located. Keeping the rear axle centered is a primary factor in attaining the proper handling characteristics for today's canyon carvers and boulevard bruisers. It's for this reason, as well, that trailing arm braces are used.
Trailing arm braces were actually offered by GM and were, in most cases, installed on big-block and four-speed cars. Though the idea is the same, the design of Edelbrock's brace is different. The design triangulates the framerails and crossmember using the trailing arm bolt location. In simple terms, these braces control frame and crossmember flex generated by the increased loads of the stronger trailing arms. If you keep the frame from flexing, you can improve the axle location in relation to the center of the frame.
The test vehicle that we chose to install this suspension package on is a '69 El Camino that has been "mothballed" for the better part of a decade. The Bow-Tie hauler features both a Rat motor and a four-speed manual transmission, making it a perfect guinea pig to test this mix of components. Before the car's early retirement, it was driven up and down the West Coast winning more than its share of the gold at various Super Chevy Shows. The car was built as a very clean restoration and has retained much of that condition over the years. Thanks to the owner's properly storing it, it looks just as good now as it did then.
Since the Elky has been brought back to life, it has again made its way to local cruises and has been driven for any other excuse that could be thought of. After a few cruises and trips around town, the owner decided that the car needed a little more than what the stock suspension was capable of. It needed to handle just a little bit better. With the Eibach coil springs designed as a lowering spring, the suspension change provided just enough of a face-lift to make the car look even cooler. Knowing about these products, we were anxious to complete the installation.
The Edelbrock Suspension Package is a well-thought-out combination of parts, whether you have a weekend warrior or a daily driver. As for shocks, Edelbrock's IAS dampers, which are available for more than 200 applications, offer just the correct amount of dampening to give a good, solid ride without too much harshness. In a nutshell, the shock basically does its own thinking.
It determines the amount of dampening needed by judging wheel and axle movement on each and every driving surface. It is an ingenuous idea and gives you the best of both worlds, that is, a plush, comfortable, cruising shock with the benefits of a stiff, tight-handling unit, when that sort of driving is required. Each damper is individually tuned and produced for the specific vehicle application. After learning this, we were anxious to try a set for ourselves.
Driving ImpressionAfter the installation was complete, we couldn't wait to drive the Elky around the block. The ride change was flat-out awesome. No more harsh bumps or floaty, loose feeling, just a comfortable ride with excellent response. It was a definite night-and-day difference. The Edelbrock kit made the car much more enjoyable to drive. It's amazing how it corners with ease. The body roll was greatly reduced, and you felt like you could compete on the road race/circle track courses. The rearend was firmly planted and centered as we raced around one corner and set up for the next.
Edelbrock has worked with Eibach to create a complementary combination of shocks and springs, considering that spring rate is of high importance when setting up a car. With the performance coil springs, manufactured by Eibach, all the guesswork is gone, and a matched set of suspension components is what you get, right out of the box.