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2001 Chevy Camaro Z28 - Lateral Traction
Before We Hit The Track, Black Betty Gets A Major Suspension Upgrade From Global West
Jul 1, 2010
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2001 Chevy Camaro Z28 - Lateral Traction
Here's the rear suspension kit from Global West. It features the Global West Traclink (PN TSC-24), antisquat brackets (PN VTC- 27), rear tubular control arms (PN TBC-14), panhard rod (PN PHC-4 spherical bearings), and rear springs (PN S-67 competition). All components come with all the necessary mounting hardware.
To get started, Global West installation expert Eric Norrdin starts off by removing the lower trailing arms. Remember to chock the wheels and set the parking brake before any suspension upgrade.
Here's the Quiet Ride rear control arm compared to the stock arm. It's 2 inches in diameter and offers much more stability than the stock pieces. Because they use performance rubber bushings on the rearend side, road noise will be greatly reduced. We could have gone with the full road race versions (PN TBC-1) that feature spherical bearings on both ends, but we will be doing a lot of street driving, so road noise may be an issue on long drives.
Eric also stabilizes the torque arm with a piece of wood while changing out the rear lower control arms. This is to ensure the angle of the rearend does not change during the upgrade process.
Here's a close-up look at the rear antisquat brackets. These will allow the rear control arms to be adjusted lower for increased traction during launch at the dragstrip or coming out of corners on an autocross or road course.
With the front of the lower control arm bolted in, Eric removes the powdercoat from areas of the antisquat bracket with a sanding disc that will be welded to the shock mount.
Eric then test-fit the bracket before hitting it with the welder. It's also a good idea to do some tack welding to make sure the bolts go through before permanently welding it in.
Here is the antisquat bracket all welded in and prettied up with black spray paint. You can also see how the parking brake bracket was cut in half and then welded back in place.
Before installing the main beam and Traclink, Global West Owner Doug Norrdin got involved by removing the crossbrace under the exhaust, then he loosened the fuel and brake lines from the floor in order to make room for the main beam.
You'll need to do a little cleanup on the shock mount as well. This will ensure an optimum welding surface. You may have to cut off the parking brake bracket (as was the case with our car) to make room to install the antisquat bracket. Just weld it back in place once the antisquat bracket is welded in place.
With the bracket fitted correctly, Eric goes for it and permanently welds it in place. There's no turning back now.
With that done, Eric was then able to tighten up the front end of the control arm. He informed us that we could stop right here and have a noticeable improvement in the car's handling. This might be a good place to stop if you are on a budget, as you can always add more upgrades later on. But for our purposes, we're going all the way in one shot.
It was then time to remove the stock torque arm. Just a few bolts up front and on the bottom of the rearend took care of that. Make sure the car is set so the angle of the rearend doesn't change.
With the rear seat bottom out of the way, be sure to have someone up top pulling the carpet away from the floor so as not to pull a loop on the drill bit.
Moving on to the Traclink, be sure to lube up the end with bearing grease before installing the washer and rubber bushing. The Traclink will transfer acceleration energy to the tires, reduce nosedive during hard braking, eliminate wheel hop, and increase side bite when accelerating out of the corners. It's everything we'll need to give our project car a competitive edge.
With the main beam held tightly up against the floor, Doug continued on by drilling 1/2-inch holes on the rear of the driver side seat area. A total of 10 holes needed to be drilled in order to bolt the main beam in place.
As you can see here, the rear section of the main beam fits right up against the floor with no modifications, and the fuel and brake lines snap back into the stock clips.
Doug then slid the Traclink through the hole in the front section of the main beam, and proceeded to bolt up the rear of the Traclink to the bottom of the rearend.
With the rear bolted up, Doug then tightened the slip nut just enough to compress the bushings before tightening the jam nut.
Before removing the transmission crossmember, and with the Traclink in position, Doug used a silver pencil to mark the spot where the crossmember will need to be drilled out in order bolt up to the front section of the Traclink.
Here you can see how the socket goes through the 1-inch hole and enables Doug to tighten the crossmember to the torque arm at 70 pounds. Torque the remaining crossmember bolts to 40-45 pounds. That's pretty much it for the Traclink.
To remove the stock rear shocks and install the QA1s, simply lift up the flap in the carpet just above the top of the rear seat and loosen with a socket wrench.
Doug used a drill press and a 1/2-inch bit to drill a hole in the top of the crossmember. He then used a 1-inch bit on the bottom so he would be able to get a socket in far enough to tighten the Traclink to the crossmember.
Here are the QA1 double-adjustable shocks. With 24 dial positions of compression and rebound on each shock (all four), there are 576 valving combinations of adjustability. Doug prefers we start out at about five clicks from 0 just to get rolling. With plenty of adjustability to fit your needs, you can easily soften them up for highway driving, and with a few clicks of the knob, have your ride ready for some track action.
With the body lifted, the new spring easily slides onto the stock perch.
To install the new shocks, Eric had to bore out the bottom of the shock mount with a 5/8-inch drill bit.
From there, our new QA1s bolted right in.
Here is Global West's adjustable panhard rod with spherical bearings sitting on top of the stock, flimsy, non-adjustable rod. The new panhard rod benefits from ease of adjustability and will control lateral movement of the rear axle. Eric set the new panhard rod on top of the old one so he can get the length adjusted as close as possible before bolting it in.
As you can see here, the new panhard rod easily bolts into the stock location.
Doug used this piece of aluminum to measure the distance between the tops of the fender on each side of the body to the wheel in order to find the exact roll center of the car. He notched it on the top section so it would have room to clear the tire. You can use a piece of wood or plastic just the same. We were off by 1/8 inch, which translates to two threads of adjustability on the panhard rod.
The Global West subframe connectors will provided our T-top Z28 with the necessary chassis stiffness we'll need when hanging it out in the corners. These are 2 inches in diameter and consist of 0.125 wall thickness.
They fit snugly up under the rocker rails and we lost no ground clearance. These will also come in handy in the case of side impact, and they also make a nice jack point. When welding them in, Eric points out to be careful and not get too much heat in the floors.
To finish up the rear suspension installation, Doug uses an angle finder to compare the pinion angle of the driveshaft to the rearend. If the angle of the rearend is off just one degree from the driveshaft, we'll have a nasty vibration in the car that will cause handling issues at speed and even a loss of horsepower. We certainly don't want that.
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