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Firm Up Your Rearend

Way Cool Camaro Rear Diff And Suspension Upgrade

By Grant Peterson

It seems as time goes on, we don't have to make as many hard decisions, in day-to-day stuff that is. We can have things "our way," as one place likes to say. Oftentimes, we can get the best of both worlds without much of a compromise. This goes beyond fast food and runs rampant in the automotive aftermarket. You want a reliable small-block with big-block cubes? You bet. Wanna build a car that not only goes fast in a straight line, but handles like a sports car too? No problem. How about a tough-as-nails rearend that bolts in and shares good design ideas from several auto makers, improved leaf springs to go along with it to help the stance and the ride, top it all off with better brakes, and that pretty much rounds out the backside of your car.

That is where we're at with the build on this '71 Camaro as it gets closer to seeing the light of day. The rearend is a new Moser Engineering 12-bolt with an Eaton Posi and Ford 9-inch axle housing ends that uses the big Ford bearing, and eliminates the need for C-clips in the center section. With all of that, we still retained the stock brake bolt pattern, but you can also change that if you like.

The Hotchkis springs reduce roll and axle- wrap, they increase handling and perfor-mance, and also lower the car. These leafs come with heavy duty shackles, U-bolts, spring pads, and nut clips, and are designed to work on both mono- and multi-leaf-equipped vehicles.

In the brake department, we opted for the performance of rear disc brakes with a simple rear drum brake upgrade. This kit from Master Power Brakes duplicates a special heavy-duty rear drum option from GM. The larger finned drums with the big high-performance matrix ceramic shoes will greatly increase the stopping distance and don't require a special four-wheel-disc master cylinder, booster, or valve. The drum brake backing plates come pre-assembled, so all you will need to do is remove the old brakes and bolt on the new ones. However, with the bigger axle ends there was a little modification that was necessary. But it was not a big deal, since that's where we finally had to compromise.

All of this was done on a lift, so you may need to plan your steps a little differently if you are doing the install on the ground. But everything that has been done here could be done in your garage with an air compressor and few tools. Also, I mention and use some parts from Performance Online's Traction/Cal-Tracs Bar kit that we'll be installing soon. They are not your traditional traction bars--these things really work!

All of these companies have great parts to work with many makes and years to suit your needs. So read on and stay tuned.

SOURCES
Hotchkis Performance
12035 Burke St., Ste. 13
Santa Fe Springs
CA  90670
877-466-7655
www.hotchkis.net
Moser Engineering
2-60/-726-6689
moserengineering.com
Master Power Brakes
254-1 Rolling Hills Rd.
Mooresville
NC  28117
704-664-8866
www.mpbrakes.com
Performance Online
By Grant Peterson
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