Welcome to the second installment of our build series on the Project Unfair Camaro. The first article in Super Chevy last month focused on raising the floor, reducing weight, and lowering the center of gravity (COG). This month we will focus on moving weight to get a better weight balance. The typical iron small-block first-generation Camaro from the factory is about 56/44 percent front-to-rear. The total weight of a '67-69 Camaro is usually between 3,400-3,600 pounds depending on body style (coupe or convertible), engine type and options.
The biggest influence on front to rear weight balance is the engine/transmission combination, which makes up about 20 percent of the car's weight, all in front of the vehicle center point. The typical iron small-block and transmission package can easily weigh 800 pounds. We are using a lightweight all-aluminum LS engine and accessories. When you add up the weights of the original small-block fully dressed and the weight of the LS motor fully dressed, the LS engine is almost 150 pounds lighter. However, we are adding 75 pounds to our engine with a huge Kenne Bell supercharger so our net weight reduction is 75 pounds or so.
Still, 75 pounds is a lot of weight and that weight is all at the front of the car. However, moving that reduced weight 8 inches towards the rear makes a big difference in weight bias. We would like a weight balance of 50/50 or even a tiny bit of bias towards the rear. The sidebar provides all the engineering math and formulas for how much weight we moved and how much the F-to-R weight bias changed. To summarize, we moved about 60 pounds from the front of the Camaro to the rear by moving the engine and transmission 8 inches from the stock location. We also moved another 40 pounds (with us in the car) from the front to the rear by moving the seats back 4 inches. Thus, we moved 100 pounds from the front to the rear. As you'll see in the sidebar, the effect on weight bias is significant.
Also in this article, we set the engine and transmission height based on the subframe being installed with no body bushings. We already lowered the body over the floor 1.5 inches. Installing the Art Morrison subframe with no subframe bushings will lower the front an additional inch, giving the car a total of 2.5-inch front body drop and 1.5-inch rear body drop. This will give us a nice minimal rake without compromising suspension geometry.