And here's our completed rear suspension. Sure, it looks better, but the real question was how much better it would help our Chevy at the track. And here's our completed rear suspension. Sure, it looks better, but the real question was With the main work done under the car, we turned our attention to what needed to be done underhood. In addition to drums, our El Camino also had manual brakes, not a great combination. We removed the stock master and replaced it with this 11-inch power brake booster and master cylinder combination. Like the front spindle, this came fully assembled from CPP and included all the brake lines to plum in the new proportioning valve. The larger booster was a tight fit but it cleared the big-block valve covers, inner fender, and windshield wiper motor. With the main work done under the car, we turned our attention to what needed to be done u We also decided to replace the stock steering box with a CPP 14:1 close-ratio 500 box. Having good steering response is critical if you want to improve the handling and feel of an older Chevy. It's one of the easiest upgrades you can do. We also decided to replace the stock steering box with a CPP 14:1 close-ratio 500 box. Hav The new CPP box turned out to be a direct replacement for the stocker. We also ordered new high and low pressure lines along with the right rag joint to attach it to our steering column. The new CPP box turned out to be a direct replacement for the stocker. We also ordered new Our El Camino originally ran 15-inch wheels around its awesome drum brakes. Unfortunately those wheels were a no-go with our new bigger binders. Our solution was to pick up a set of affordable 17-inch Vintage Wheel Works V40 rollers and some Nitto NT555 tires (245/45ZR17 front and 275/40ZR17 rear). The wheels (17x8 front and 17x9.5 rear) are made from virgin 356 aluminum ingots and heat treated for strength. The tires have a 300 treadwear rating, which means they will last as well as perform. Our El Camino originally ran 15-inch wheels around its awesome drum brakes. Unfortunately Putting It All To the Test Sure, the new parts look great, but what we wanted to know is how much better the '67 would perform. Now, to keep this a suspension test and not a tire test, we made sure to install our new 17-inch Vintage Wheel Works wheels and Nitto 555R tires for the before testing. This way we have a true before and after testing of the suspension and brakes. Putting It All To the Test Sure, the new parts look great, but what we wanted to know is Before The big-block '67 looked like it was getting ready to flip over onto its roof. It was fun to watch, but not conducive to good handling. Before getting motion sickness, our wheelman Nick Licata was able to nail down a best time in our 420-foot slalom of 6.82 seconds. This equates to 42.1 mph and was frankly better than we expected. On the other hand the four-wheel manual drum brakes were abysmal with a best 60-0 mph braking distance of 192.90 feet! That's past the point of being bad and firmly into the dangerous category. Before The big-block '67 looked like it was getting ready to flip over onto its roof. It After With all the suspension parts installed, and the '67 wearing a fresh coat of black primer, we headed back to our El Toro test track. After a few warm-up laps we were rewarded with a best slalom time of 6.22 seconds or 46.2 mph. This was a huge improvement over the previous tests. Moreover, the El Camino's body roll was now under control and the tighter steering made the Chevy easier to weave through the cones. After With all the suspension parts installed, and the '67 wearing a fresh coat of black Braking In the braking test we saw an even more impressive improvement with a best 60-0 stopping distance of 120 feet. Knocking over 70 feet off the distance is huge and best of all this performance was repeatable while the stock drums were toast after two panic stops. Five back-to-back distances were 129, 127, 123, 120, and 121 feet. We should also note that the '67 didn't pull to either side and nosedive was slight, even with the big-block weight up front. Braking In the braking test we saw an even more impressive improvement with a best 60-0 SOURCES Best of Show Coachworks 1011 Rancheros Drive Suite B San Marcos CA 92069 760-480-0227 www.bestofshowcoachworks.com QA1 Motorsports 21730 Hanover Avenue Lakeville MN 55044 800-721-7761 www.qa1.net Nitto Tire 6021 Katella Avenue Suite 250 Cypress CA 90630 877-565-8448 www.nittotire.com Vintage Wheel Works 16450 Phoebe Ave La Mirada CA 90638 714-690-4700 www.vintagewheelworks.com Classic Performance Products 378 E Orangethorpe Ave. Placentia CA 92870 800-522-5004 http://www.classicperform.com « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 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!