With the rear components a done deal, Corey moved to the front of the F-body. He started by removing the end links and mounts for the front factory sway bar. Next, he removed the tie rod and strut from the spindle. With the rear components a done deal, Corey moved to the front of the F-body. He started b The brake caliper was unbolted and moved out of the way. It's not a good idea to let the caliper hang by the hose, so Corey suspended it from the frame using a zip tie. The brake caliper was unbolted and moved out of the way. It's not a good idea to let the c Corey carefully released spring tension off the A arm in order to get the spring out safely. Caution is needed here. If the spring is under pressure, it could fly out causing serious damage to your car, or worse, yourself. With the old spring out of the car, we finished unbolting the strut from the strut tower. Corey carefully released spring tension off the A arm in order to get the spring out safel The new struts come with new upper strut mounts that simply bolt in the stock location. To install the new Tokico strut (PN BB400K) we used two install kits (PN HK22032 and HK22033). With this installed we put the new Hotchkis spring in place using a long prybar to "pop" it into the lower control arm. The linear rate, 600-pound spring will give the Camaro a one-inch drop. We then repeated the procedure on the driver side. To install the new Tokico strut (PN BB400K) we used two install kits (PN HK22032 and HK220 With the strut and spring installed we could then bolt it all back together and put the stock brakes back on. This was a good chance for us to realize how worn out the factory brakes were. With the strut and spring installed we could then bolt it all back together and put the st Corey removed the old steering linkage and then started putting together the new stuff. Having all of these common "wear and tear" parts provided in the Hotchkis kit made life a lot easier. We adjusted the new tie rods to match the length of the old ones. This at least got us in the alignment ballpark. Corey removed the old steering linkage and then started putting together the new stuff. Ha With the steering replaced, we moved onto the front sway bar. The 1 7/16-inch hollow bar is quite a bit stronger and lighter than the stock unit. We made sure we used the supplied spacers (red arrow) so the bar wouldn't hit the pinch weld on the frame (blue arrow). You can also see the new tie rods and heavyduty adjusters in place. With the steering replaced, we moved onto the front sway bar. The 1 7/16-inch hollow bar i In preparation for welding in the new subframe connectors, Corey ground the front and rear frame areas to ensure a good weld. He also had to grind the powder paint off of the connectors where they would be welded. When installing subframe connectors, make sure you do it with the suspension loaded and not hanging. If the chassis is twisted when you weld on the connectors it will stay that way when you put it back on the ground. Not good. In this photo, you can also see the large void between the front and rear frames. This is the area that will be bridged by the connectors to help eliminate chassis flex. In preparation for welding in the new subframe connectors, Corey ground the front and rear The rear of the subframe connector bolts to the car using the forward bolt on the rear trailing arm. Nonetheless, this end really needed to be welded to the car to get the maximum benefit. You can see where Corey ground the powder off the part in preparation for welding. The rear of the subframe connector bolts to the car using the forward bolt on the rear tra After we welded up the connector, we hit it with some gloss black spray paint. A side benefit of the Hotchkis subframe connectors is that we now have a great place to jack up the side of the Camaro. After we welded up the connector, we hit it with some gloss black spray paint. A side bene Corey then aligned the Camaro. This is where you need to decide how aggressive a setting you want. Go too radical and the car will slice the cones great, but not drive very smooth on the highway. Worse, a very aggressive setting can eat through your front tires in no time. We had Corey dial in what Hotchkis considers a performance street tune. Good performance when flung around curves, but excellent street manners for everyday driving. Corey then aligned the Camaro. This is where you need to decide how aggressive a setting y Track Thrash ResultsSure, the new parts are nice and sparkly, but did they make the third-gen perform any better? When we first got the bone-stock Camaro, we did baseline testing with the worn factory parts. This gave us a best 200-foot skidpad number by pulling .78g and an average speed of 39.1 mph through 420 feet of cones. With the baseline numbers in place, we went back to the track sporting our new Hotchkis suspension parts. With multiple runs, we adjusted the firmness of the Tokico Illumina Shocks for maximum performance. Our skidpad numbers improved to .81g, while the speed through the cones clicked up to 40.9 mph. With the lowered center of gravity and improved geometry of the Hotchkis system, it was obvious we had reached the limits of the stock width 15-inch Firestone Indy 500 tires. We just couldn't get them to hook any further. Basically, the improved suspension was outperforming the tires. In order to move the needle up the scale, we fit the Camaro with a new set of Billet Specialties Apex-G 17-inch wheels shod in Nitto 555 rubber. With some more shock tuning, the F-body managed to pull an average of .88g on the skidpad, and the speed through the cones shot up to 44.7 mph. Most important, the Camaro stayed pretty flat and gained more predictability while cutting through the slalom cones. Although the car is now quite a bit more maneuverable and fun in aggressive driving situations, it didn't hinder its smooth personality on the highway. So, with the increased drivability of our third-gen, we can't wait to get some real power to the wheels to see what it can really do. SOURCESHotchkis Sport SuspensionNitto Tires(888) 735-6425www.nittotire.comwww.hotchkis.net  Billet SpecialtiesEnergy Suspension(877) 240-4185(949) 361-3935www.billetspecialties.comwww.energysuspension.com   Tokico (800) 548-2549 www.hitachi-hap-la.com/TokicoGasShocks  « | 1 | 2 | View Full Article By Steven Rupp Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!