We chose QA1's double-adjustable coilover shocks all the way around for easy adjustability in a proven design. Their dual adjustability allows for 12 spring rate changes in both coil and rebound. Upon ordering the Speed Tech complete front suspension kit, QA1 will tailor the design to meet your needs specifically based on the engine used. The 450-pound spring rate for our small-block application will match our expected weight distribution and also allow us to adjust ride height.
Also provided in the kit is American Touring Specialties' AFX spindles, which are made of lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum and are based off the C5/C6 Corvette design. These spindles accept stock and aftermarket control arms for the third-gen Nova and will accept C5/C6 brake packages much like our Pro-Plus design from Baer Brakes. We chose the tall spindle option, which improves negative camber gain under suspension load and has provisions for wheel speed sensors. For mock-up, we used a stock spindles and Speed Tech's aluminum hubs as we await the arrival of our AFX spindles.
The Unisteer steering rack is based off the late-model GM design, but is highly modified to prevent bump steer, replicate stock steering dimensions, and increase driver feel. Supplied in the kit are bolt-on brackets, mounting hardware, steering arms, tie rod ends, and a specifically-designed steering shaft kit to work around large headers and big-block dimensions.
Our lower control arm bolts into place much like a factory setup. We lubricated both the bolts and installed them from the front of the car to the back. The supplied bolts both get washers on each side and once installed, there was no binding. Installing the bolts from the front offers piece of mind in a worst-case scenario. Both the control arms and subframe are powdercoated silver per our order, as we will be painting the underside of the car black, creating a contrast of colors.
The upper control arm installs just as easily. Once on the alignment rack, we will have to go back and do our fine-tuning as specified in the Speed Tech directions. For now, we tightened the bolts snugly after some assembly grease so we will be able to complete the installation of the entire suspension and get the car over to the alignment rack. It is at that point we can go in and see what changes need to be made.
Once we assembled the QA1 front coilovers, we were able to slide them into place with the coil completely extended. The mounting hardware for the lower control arm installs from the bottom and attached to the lower link of the coilover. Take your time installing these and make sure to follow the instructions, as they can appear to install in more than one way.
The AFX spindles also install much like a factory design. The Moog ball joints on both the upper and lower control arm are designed with both performance and durability in mind and bolt to the spindle using a castle nut and locking pin. Once installed, you can see the positive caster we achieved that is much higher than the factory ever was. Positive caster helps the geometry of the suspension and causes the steering wheel to come back to center upon exiting a turn. The AFX spindles are made of 6061 aluminum and are considered by some to be the best aftermarket spindle on the market today.