Project True Sstreet
Sometimes you have to adapt to your surroundings in order to live in comfort and achieve happiness. The same holds true for your hot rod. An ultra-stiff suspension with low profile 20-inch rubber is not going to be ideal for drag racing. On the flip side, a pair of race slicks with four-inch-wide skinnies up front is most certainly not going to be ideal for carving corners.
For this particular installment of Project True SStreet, we'll leave the corner carving out of the equation and look to achieve some straight-line traction. Project True SStreet-our '87 Monte Carlo SS-is being constructed to endure limited street use and a ton of strip slaying. In order to achieve hook (traction), many conditions must be met, with the most important being weight transfer.
To kick off the transformation of Project True SStreet's front suspension, we began by jacking up the frontend and placing two jack stands under the frame for safety. After raising the frontend, we removed the front wheels. When working on an older vehicle it is good to spray WD40, PB Blaster or some sort of penetrating oil on all fasteners to be removed.
In a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, it's important to get weight transfer to the rear of the car on launch, assisting the rear tires in gaining traction. A few ways to accomplish this include lightening up the front of your car by changing to lighter wheels, lighter aftermarket A-arms, and lighter brake system components.
For a beginner, something as simple as removing the front sway bar will help traction and reduce short times by allowing more suspension travel up front (along with a weight savings). There's nothing in the world like a car dragging the bumper on takeoff, and while this might look cool, it could hamper the end result-which is, of course, the quarter-mile time.
Additional factors in gaining traction include utilizing a full-out drag slick, as opposed to a street radial; pulling timing out of an engine on launch; track preparation; spring selection; and shock adjustment.