1966 Chevy Chevelle SS Suspension - A Detroit Overhaul

This '66 A-Body Was In Dire Need Of Some Suspension Essentials So We Do Our First Install Of The New Chevelle Parts From Detroit Speed & Engineering.

Mike Ficacci Jul 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0907_01_z 1966_chevy_chevelle_ss_suspension Before_suspension_upgrade 2/33

The design of the A-body suspension found in the '66 Chevelle SS is structurally sound--so much so that that General kept the design right up until the late '80s. The four-link design out back offered stability both up and down and side to side upon mashing the throttle. Ultimately, after some 45 years of service, it's time for a technological upgrade, compliments of Detroit Speed & Engineering.

Sucp_0907_02_z 1966_chevy_chevelle_ss_suspension After_suspension_upgrade 3/33

Some of the downfalls of the A-body suspension, and all muscle cars suspensions for that matter, are their driveability and handling. Joe Juliano bought his Chevelle SS from California a few years back and absolutely drives the wheels off it. He takes the family to dinner, piles the friends in and heads for the mountains, and blasts up and down Route 10 in northern New Jersey.

Sucp_0907_04_z 1966_chevy_chevelle_ss_suspension Detroit_speed_control_arms 4/33

Up front, we went with Detroit Speed's control arm and spindle kit. We also opted for a set of front replacement coil springs, Koni adjustable shocks, and 1 1/4-inch sway bar. The tig-welded tubular control arms increase strength over stock and add positive camber. Both the upper and lower control arms come with new ball joints, Delrin bushings, and are powdercoated black. The tubular upper control arms allow for adjustable mounting locations for even more customization to be done on the alignment rack.

Like most of us, his first modification was in the power department, as he went to Steve Ficacci Racing Engines for a full-roller big-block making over 500 lb-ft of torque. He soon realized his efforts were for naught as 75 mph brought about a serious speed wobble and steering around corners required more effort and calculation than it ever should.

We couldn't let Joe go on like this, as all of his fillings were ready to fall out from the beating and banging of Jersey roads. Luckily, Detroit Speed was eager to serve up its new front suspension Speed Kit for the the '64-72 A-body, complete with tubular control arms, 2-inch drop spindles, Koni shocks, coils prings, and tubular sway bar. To this, we added its Speed Kit rear suspension to match. It included swivel-link control arms, a tubular sway bar, chassis brace kit, and adjustable Koni shock absorbers.

We also upgraded Joe's drum brakes to vacuum discs all the way around, courtesy of ABS Power Brake. To make life easier for us, we installed both suspension kits now and will be diving into the brake installation next month.

When we were done, Joe's '66 drove like a dream and handled absolutely every thing we threw at it, including the road course at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. Sewer grates, speed bumps, and the slalom could not hold us back from having some great fun. The overhaul was like night and day from when we started but we expected nothing less from Detroit Speed & Engineering. Follow along as we painlessly install our speed kits.




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