2012 Camaro ZL1 - Project Apex Assassin: Suspension Install and Test

Road Course Reduction: This 2012 ZL1 is seeing red on track thanks to a bolt-on suspension upgrade.

D.J. Randall Aug 11, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Camaro Rear Cradle Differential 2/25

9. With the necessary components unbolted, the rear cradle from the Camaro is lifted up, leaving the massive differential by itself. The cradle will receive those new bushings soon.

Stock Cradle Bushings 3/25

10. Speaking of bushings, here’s a look at the stock cradle bushings. While stock may be suitable for the masses, replacement is a must if you plan on doing a lot of open track or autocross work with your car. You can’t go wrong with the added strength of BMR’s bushings, especially if you are considering adding horsepower on top of on-track thrashings.

Cradle Bushings 4/25

11. The new bushings cut down on deflection, yet they’re an incredibly durable buffer for the cradle, and the entire ride. The cradle is now ready to be bolted back up to the ZL1, while the diff is receiving its bushings. The differential will be united with the cradle in a bit.

Bmr Bushings Cradle Red 5/25

12. When it’s being tightened down, the difference from the stock cradle bushings is immediately apparent. The bushings are beefy, quiet, and a much needed upgrade.

Black Stock Rear Suspension Parts Red Bmr 6/25

13. Now that we’re getting into the rest of the rear suspension components, a comparison picture is needed. Starting at the top and working down (stock = black / BMR = red), the rear lower control arms look like resilient robotic arms. Next, the stock trailing arms compared to BMR’s modernized ones, while the stock non-adjustable toe rods are looking a bit wimpy sitting next to BMR’s fully adjustable enhancements (with better bushings, too!) Finally, the stock tunnel brace is literally a frail piece of metal compared to BMR’s, eventually tethering to the new subframe connectors.

Reinstall Camaro Cradle 7/25

14. The cradle is back on! The rear lower control arms are hung with the fully adjustable toe rods, which are ready to be bolted up to the rest of the rearend when the differential, driveshafts, and spindles are bolted back up. On a side note, for ZL1 owners like us who wish to keep the magnetic ride, a small hole has to be drilled into the side of the rear lower control arm in order to attach the mag ride sensor arm.

Stock Bmr Rear Sway Bars Black Red 8/25

15. Moving onto the rear sway bar, it’s time to compare the stock versus BMR. On the top is a stock Camaro SS sway bar, followed by our stock ZL1 bar in the middle, and finally, the fully adjustable BMR red bar on the bottom. As far as sizing goes, the front bar is 25 mm from the factory and the rear bar is 28 mm; both are solid. The BMR bars are 29 mm front, 31.75 mm rear, and they’re hollow. This saves weight with very little to no decrease in strength. Those with a stock SS bar can make the same jump we did. The difference you would feel in stiffness would be incredible, not to mention you get the introduction of adjustability!

Bmr Red Springs 9/25

16. Next, Colt compresses the old springs, separates the magnetically controlled shocks and releases BMR’s new springs onto the shock. BMR’s springs offer a 1-inch drop for our ZL1. We opted to keep the magic mag ride, as you know, and everything works like a charm with BMR’s new springs, giving the ZL1 an aggressive profile, while adding increased cornering capability.

Swap In Bmr Bushings 10/25

17. It’s time for the differential to be bolted back up. But before it’s reattached the BMR bushings are swapped in, giving the diff that upgraded durability and tractability.

Sway Bar Halfshafts Spindles 11/25

18. With the differential reintroduced, Colt and Keith attach the beefy sway bar and those massively robust lower control arms. The halfshafts and spindles are reunited, and the new toe rods and trailing arms are attached. The rotors and calipers are reinstalled, and the rear portion of the BMR suspension install is complete.

Camaro Bmr Rear Suspension 12/25

19. Here’s a look at a completed side of the rear suspension, with everything situated. Every BMR component fits like it was meant to be there! It’s time to move onto the font of Camaro!

Front Suspension Work 13/25

20. Up front, Colt begins taking off the front spindle, rotor, and control arms. The arms are going to be kept stock, while the bushings are replaced with BMR’s beefy replacements.

Stock Bmr Bushings 14/25

21. Which is which? You be the judge!

Front Sway Bar Non Adjustable Zl1 Camaro 15/25

22. The front sway bar is non-adjustable on a stock ZL1, but BMR’s bar is fully adjustable, which gives the driver the capability to fine-tune the ride, for on-track ecstasy or street friendly suppleness. Colt and Keith have now replaced the Camaro’s front control arm bushings, added the new lowering springs, and attached that beefy bar. From there, the entire spindle assembly is reattached, rotor and all. With that, the front is ready to race! We opted to start out on the middle bar setting, for now!

Bmr Subframe Connectors 16/25

23. Remember that stock subframe connector? That’s right, there’s no such thing. Not to worry, BMR’s beefy subframe connectors are bolted up by Colt, who joins the two sides together with the tunnel brace. The added rigidity will help keep the body from flexing and assist in negating body roll on track, making the overall corning capability flatter.

Sources

Palm Beach International Raceway
Jupiter, FL 33478
561-622-1400
racepbir
BMR Suspension
Seffner, FL 33584
813-986-9302
http://www.bmrsuspension.com

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