What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inches? - Team Camaro Tech
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Old May 21st, 10, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inches?

My '78 came with 195/75-14 tires on it when I bought it. The car sat a little lower in the rear.
I traded the 14x7 wheels and tires for a set of 15x7 Z28 5 Spoke Mag wheels. I'm going to use Mastercraft Avenger G/T tires. They're T speed rated. I run their Courser A/T2 on my truck and love them.
Anyway's I want the rear to sit a tad higher then the front. I'm going to put all new springs on it, but that won't be any time soon.
My front tires will be 235/60-15
26.11" tall
9.15" section width
7.6" tread width
on a 15x7 wheel
My rear tires will be 255/60-15
27.1" tall
10.24" section width
8.2" tread width
on a 15x7.5 wheel.
The rear tire are only going to get me about a 1/2 inch more height. What else can I do to safely gain another 1" or 1 1/2" of height in the rear?
Thanks, NYH1!
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Old May 21st, 10, 11:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

air shocks or buy new rear springs..
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Old May 21st, 10, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Air shocks will give you a real s*** ride, i would suggest adding one long leaf or adjustable coil over shocks. Adding the long leaf is a simple fix with a set of torches to heat the nuts, an impact gun and couple of c-clamps. Purchase a new pair of center bolts and your away to the races. Where do I get the long leaf you ask, go to your local auto wrecker and ask them to cut a set of leaf packs out of a vehicle with leaves the same width as yours. This way you have an assortment of lengths to try until you get the height you wish. This will make a noticeable improvement in your ride and change the vehicles handling so be careful.
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Old May 21st, 10, 09:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Air shocks and longer spring shackles. As mentioned, air shocks have a reputation for harsh ride, but you can avoid the harsh ride by going with a slightly longer spring shackle. The combination will allow the air shocks to slightly raise your rearend without binding the springs and causing the harsh ride.
I put air shocks on my 1971 back in 1975 when I was racing it. I still run them and they have a great ride if properly set up. I also have dual fill lines so I can preload my suspension when drag racing. I put slightly more air in my right rear to keep the car from coming up to hard on the left front. Additionally I run a shock extension on the bottom of the shocks so they stay in the middle of their travel range and don't need to be pumped to high pressures to work well.
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Old May 21st, 10, 09:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

I recently pulled a set of gas charged rear shocks off my 69 with hopes of the rear dropping an inch and it worked.

Try some heavy duity gas charged shocks?
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Old May 23rd, 10, 05:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

There is nothing wrong with a properly set up pair of lift shackles.I use them on my race car,just not in the highest setting.They ae strong,and come with new bolts.I cut the ones I use so that any excess that extends past the bushings is gone.Technically it would seem that they would drive the pinion angle up,but since the body is moving away from the axle you need the pinion to turn up a bit anyhow.
Now the problem is that if your car isnt high enuff to clear stock Z/28 wheels and tires{they actually used lowering springs on later Z's) you may have a broken spring.Springs break in the middle under the rear axle pads and you cant see it,but if they are broke,and usafe shackles will only make things worse.Check before you put yourself at risk.
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Old May 23rd, 10, 06:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

I don't care for all the adjustment holes hanging down on aftermarket shackles so I just made up a pair that were 2" longer than stock, out of flat bar.
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Old May 23rd, 10, 07:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Yeah Vall,thats why I cut all the extra holes off mine,but the are hard to cut.The first time I did it as a kid I caught heck for ruining my father' very expensive band saw blade
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Old May 25th, 10, 08:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Thanks guys!
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Old May 26th, 10, 02:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichSchmidt View Post
Yeah Vall,thats why I cut all the extra holes off mine,but the are hard to cut.The first time I did it as a kid I caught heck for ruining my father' very expensive band saw blade
I bet you did! Those factory made shackles are made of some really tough material! I chopped the extra holes off a set with my portaband and it pretty much chewed all the teeth off!
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Old Jun 18th, 10, 08:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Go to an industrial spring shop and get a 3/4 length leaf and add it too your existings springs. You'll have to unbolt the rearend and possibly get new U-bolts, however, you'll increase your traction and raise the car at least an inch. You can also have the same shop re-arch your springs. I've done both methods to raise or lower a car (by removing a leaf). Adding an extra spring or two also increases your off-line traction and adds to cornering ability. IMHO, adding longer shackles makes a camaro look to ghetto . It's a little more work to do it my way, but you'll be happier with the results and it's no more expensive than a set of air-shocks. For ultimate traction, add urethane spring bushings and an extra leaf! I did this to a modified big-block four-speed car and got instant traction with no other changes!
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Old Jun 18th, 10, 01:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Try air shocks or simply use shock extenders. Mr. Gasket sells them. If you do a search, I recently posted a part number for them.
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Old Jul 7th, 10, 02:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

I use Gabriel HiJackers on my 72 RS. Monroes are too short. You have to air them all the way up to gain any height and it's like riding a buckboard wagon. HiJackers are a little longer and will allow you to lift the rear without topping them out with extreme air pressure. My 72 rides just fine like this, corners great, and hooks fairly well on launch unless I just blow the tires away completely...
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Old Jul 7th, 10, 11:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What's the best way to raise the rear of my '78 Camaro 1 to 2 inch

Air shocks give a harsh ride. Longer shackles change the ride/handling geometry and can look odd with the extra metal hanging down, plus the question of stability and possible breakage due to the aded height The recommendation I got was to do one of two things: replace the old, sagging original springs with new. Or, two, have a spring shop add an extra leaf to the existing springs -- it will stiffen the ride somewhat, however.

I went with replacing the old springs with brand new. Worked fine!

Hope this helps!

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