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1971 Camaro Suspension Upgrade - Project Back to the Street: A Return To The Classroom

By Michael Galimi, Photography by Michael Galimi

The drop spindles and rear suspension combination will have this second generation F-body slung low to the ground and handling like a Vette. To ensure our project can keep up with some of the new and powerful generations of Vettes as well as outrun Super Chevy Project Homewrecker, a GM Performance Parts ZZ454 crate engine was tapped for a tour of duty. We tested the bullet on the engine dyno at B&B Performance Machine (Rahway, New Jersey) with a set of 2-inch long-tube headers and a Holley 770cfm carburetor. To our surprise, GMPP was slightly conservative with its horsepower rating. Final output was an impressive 502 hp and 547 lb-ft thanks to 34 degrees of ignition timing, 93-octane fuel, a 1.5-inch spacer, and an average air/fuel mixture of 12.8:1. We just hope the carb spacer fits under the hood once we bolt the engine into the car.

We resisted the urge to add a Tremec six-speed manual transmission and decided on a 4L60E transmission. It's an electronic controlled transmission and Level 10 Transmissions fortified it to handle the horsepower and torque of the big-block Chevy. The overdrive transmission has better clutch packs, bands, drums, valvebody, and deep sump fluid pan. A separate transmission controller and a custom torque converter round out the transmission setup.

Right now, the car sits in the technical school's shop stripped of any remnants of its drag racing past. The future looks bright as the car is staying in school so it can return to the street.

National Parts Depot (NPD Michigan)
2435 S. Haggerty Rd.
MI  48188
GM Performance Parts
P.O. Box 33170
MI  48232
3M Corporate Headquarters
3M Center
St. Paul
MN  55144
Fatman Fabrications
8621-C Fairview Road, Highway 218
NC  28227
Energy Suspension
1131 Via Callejon
San Clemente  92673
B&M Racing
9142 Independence Avenue
CA  91311
Currie Enterprises
382 North Smith
CA  92880
Level 10 Performance Transmission Systems
3670 Route 94
NJ  07419
Wilwood Engineering
4700 Calle Bolero
CA  93012
Midstate Automotive Paint
1816 N. Olden Avenue
NJ  08368
By Michael Galimi
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