While the G-body aftermarket is gaining steam, locating a quality set of bolt-in, drag-specific A-arms wasn't an easy task. Finally, we got connected with Todd Braasch and the crew at TRZ Motorsports in Kissimmee, Florida. TRZ makes tons of quality suspension components for most GM's, including the F-body, A-body, B-body, G-body, and others. For this install, we'll be utilizing TRZ's Pro upper and lower tubular A-arms. These units are designed to replace the stock arms with no additional modifications. A weight savings of about 15 pounds per side can be expected, due to its TIG-welded chrome-moly construction. As an added feature, the upper arms include built-in limiters to help control front-end travel, allowing added control during launch.
In order to handle the stopping duties, we once again called upon Strange Engineering in Morton Grove, Illinois. As you may recall, we've already stuffed our Chris Alston's Chassisworks nine-inch rear housing with quality Strange components, as well as Strange Pro Race Steel rear disc brakes. To complement the rear brakes we'll be installing a Strange Pro Race Steel brake kit up front. The entire front kit weighs in at a lean 33.5 pounds and comes complete with bearings, hubs, rotors, pads, calipers, and mounting hardware.
Once the spindle is removed-breaking it free with either a hammer or a fork-separating tool-the upper and lower shock mounts are removed, along with the shock. We then proceeded by lowering the jack slowly and prying the spring out of the perch carefully-and staying out of the way!
Next, we removed the upper A-arm fasteners attaching the crossbar to the frame-mount, as well as the two lower fasteners holding the lower arm in place. After removing the A-arms, we put them next to the new ones to show the difference in weight and structure while retaining all stock mounting points. These TRZ units should help improve our front suspension geometry, as well as shaving some serious weight off the front of our Monte.
It was time to prepare the VariShocks for installation. Since our ProCharged small-block powerplant was not yet installed in the Monte, we will utilize 500-pound front springs for starters; however we may require a 575-pound or so later, depending on the total nose weight. These shocks can be installed on either an aftermarket A-arm or OEM unit in the stock-mounting locations. We started by installing the springs at a seven-inch length as recommended in the instruction manual. These shocks will allow us infinite adjusting possibilities via both bump and rebound adjustments. The VariShocks are not just for drag applications, but a wide array of automotive enthusiast uses.