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BMR Coilover Conversion Kit - Ground Control
Nail The Stance And Performance Of Your Third-Gen With BMR's Coilover Conversion Kit.
Jun 1, 2010
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San Clemente, 92673
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
Hot Rod Specialties
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BMR Coilover Conversion Kit - Ground Control
This is the complete BMR front coilover kit (PN ACP007, $759.00). The new tubular control arms come assembled with new ball joints and are a very rigid, high-quality upgrade to the factory suspension. When you calculate the time and cost of refurbishing the stock arms, the BMR tubular models are a good deal. Plus, they look way cooler.
With the rotor removed, we had access to all the bits and pieces.
Using the proper ball joint tool, Joel separated the ball joint from the spindle.
Before removing the sway bar, we supported the control arm with a floor jack. A wayward flying coil spring could do some serious damage.
Slowly lowering the jack will allow you to safely remove the stock coil spring. For the time being, we left the strut attached to the spindle to support the assembly until the new control arms were installed.
Because of the added leverage points, the BMR setup uses a much softer 3-inch diameter spring (200 pounds vs. 520 pounds for the stock spring) to accomplish the same performance and ride quality as the stock 51/2-inch model. The 3-inch springs are also available in a much wider variety of spring rates for more precise tunability.
Removing the two control arm mounting bolts will finish the disassembly process. You can see the obvious difference between the stock arms and the BMR tubulars. The new spring coils will be positioned farther out, over the ball joints (A) as opposed to the stock spring pockets (B), giving the system a motion ratio that is twice as large as stock.
With the control arms and suspension removed and out of the way, we were able to gain access to the nuts in order to remove the engine mounts.
The clamshell design that encapsulates the stock rubber mounts is pretty fool proof in preventing failure of the part. To get them apart, It was necessary to drill out the rivets so we could then separate and remove the rubber.
A little cleanup and rattle can action does wonders.
As is the case with many pieces on the third-gen, the stock arms are mounted with metric bolts. Unfortunately, there is no metric steel tubing available, so the BMR A-arms are built with 1/2-inch mounting holes, leaving what we felt was a bit of excessive clearance when mounted using the metric bolts. We chose to drill out the frame and replace the metric bolts with 1/2-inch Grade 8 bolts. The folks at BMR assured us this wasn't necessary. We believe them, but wanted to go the extra step for our own piece of mind.
27 years have not been kind to the stock rubber mounts. When compared to a new polyurethane mount from Energy Suspension (PN 3.1116, $22.99), they are showing their age. The poly mounts are superior in rigidity and durability.
With the mounts changed, we turned our efforts back to the control arm and coilover installation.
Joel hoisted the BMR control arms up into the framerails. As always, the BMR parts fit precisely as they were designed, with no struggle or drama.
With the tubular arm mounted to the frame, we installed the spindle onto the new ball joint. We were then, again, able to support the spindle assembly with the floor jack to begin removing the strut mounting bolts.
The strut comes out of the car from the top of the fender well. With the bottom of the strut unfastened, we had to remove the strut covers. Be sure to mark the cover position on the fender panel so you can get it back in the same position and possibly avoid having to realign the front end.
The washer on the top of our Tokico struts that support the dust boot gave us a bit of trouble. The outside diameter was too big for the coilover adjusting sleeve to slip over. Luckily, it was nothing that Joel couldn't tackle with his trusty belt sander.
With the strut in a vice, we removed the jam nuts that held the mount cover in place. Be careful not to apply too much pressure with the vice as you could damage the strut's housing.
With the added washer clearance, the adjustment sleeve was slipped onto the strut.
Next came the BMR Torrington thrust bearing and support washer assembly. This unit allows for free and easy movement of the adjusting sleeve when altering the ride height under load.
Before installing the strut, it was necessary to make a slight modification. Because the engine was out of our Camaro, the unsprung frontend would have caused the strut to hit the framerail. A light "nudge" with a small sledge hammer prevented this from happening.
With the strut back in place, Joel reassembled it back onto the spindle and reattached the sway bar mounts and ball joint.
All dressed up and ready to go. While not always necessary, it is probably a good idea to visit a frontend shop to check your alignment. Once the engine is back in the Camaro and under full load, we will be able to accurately adjust our ride height.
We then installed the new coilover spring and upper spring mount and fastened with the stock lock nuts.
With the strut assembly completed, we reinstalled it in the car. Notice how we cleaned and painted the inner fender well. How well did that work out for us to mark the cover mounting position during removal? Oh well, such is the cost of beauty.
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