Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 18, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

I am looking for feedback from those who have installed any of the current non-leaf spring rear suspension kits. (Speedtech, Ridetech, DSE, etc.) How do they ride on the street? Handle? Are the results worth the price? Im not looking for which one has won the most races as I am not building a race car. Im just curious if they might be an overall upgrade from my Hotchkis leaf springs/Ridetech shocks... which seem harsh and did not cure the axle hop.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 18, 01:26 PM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Springs hold the car off the ground. That is all they should be asked to do. I don't know any other than a white glove totally stock restorer that has the original motor under the hood. In 1967 if you had a SBC that made 500 horsepower you would be on the cover of every car rag printed. Today if you can not make over 400 horse and 450 torque you just are not trying.

The factory suspension under a motor with that power level (a 375 horse 396) had the stiffest riding springs in inventory and used HD shocks to dampen them so it rode like a lumber wagon. I bought them new and drag raced them daily back then. Today my back is so bad I couldn't get in a Camaro or stand the rough ride.

That said you have to decide if you are going to retain leaf springs do you want Calvert Racing's pipe inside of a pipe or bolt on traction bars to control engine torque. My Camaro ran consistent 10.13 times with the same parts and 427 motor that Da Grump ran back then. He was a better tuner than I and he got his car to run High nines on leaf springs and adjustable traction bars pulling three foot of air on launch at will.

Owners of Calverts system claim eights to low sixes, but they are not running a stock engine or a stock weight car.

I got away from traction bars in the mid seventies running either Chris Alston or S&W back half kits with coil overs and fully adjustable four links. (five to seven holes per control arm). Double adjustable shocks and box full of different spring rate replacement springs allowed me to dial in my car and to go far straighter than a posi track on stock suspension.

The back half kit isn't any more expensive today than a set of Calvert bars. BUT you have to gut the car to install it. Many find that too far high a price to pay (I grew up with these being used cars not collectibles). It is why today I start with a $200 used car body as my projects for race cars instead of first gen Camaros.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 18, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Im actually seriously looking at the Speedtech torque arm system. I am not set on keeping my Hotchkis leafs... and I have considered the Caltracs. Im just trying to build a nice driving, good handling, fast(ish) car that is a blast to drive.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 18, 02:50 PM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by kv67ssrs View Post
Im actually seriously looking at the Speedtech torque arm system. I am not set on keeping my Hotchkis leafs... and I have considered the Caltracs. Im just trying to build a nice driving, good handling, fast(ish) car that is a blast to drive.
The Speedtech torque arm gives a better ride than any of the four link options imho. That being said I hate the ride of solid axle cars on the street and that is why I went with the Art Morrison multilink IRS.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 18, 03:28 PM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Even though the Hotchkis leafs have that extra overload spring to help with hop, I don't think it helps that the 67 had the shocks on the same side, as opposed to the staggered arrangement that GM went to on the 68 to help reduce the hop...maybe?

I have the Hotchkis leafs on my 68, around 500 lb/ft & HP at the wheel, no hop but way too much wrap. If I was just going down the drag strip I'd get Calvert or some old school slapper bars, I'm thinking about going to the torque arm myself.
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1968 Butternut Coupe,
421" Dart SHP block
TKO 600 RR
Dutchman 9" w/3.70 US Gear Lightning r&p
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 30th, 18, 11:08 PM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

I think it's your 67 non-staggered shocks that are allowing wheel hop. I've used the Hotchkis leafs on other year camaros and had no issues. I have a 67 and had wheel hop until I added traction bars, but didn't like the ride quality and it didn't hook up well with the street tires I ran in the 70's. Finally I bought Guldstrand autocross leaf springs and no more wheel hop and the car hooked better, the rear would squat slightly and the front lift.

I don't recommend using rubber padding around the leaf springs, they allow the axle to rock on the leaf and encourage wheel hop. I also don't like lowering blocks but have used up to 1" thick blocks without problems but they do give the axle more leverage over the leaf and that will promote wheel hop.

Ride quality will increase with any kind of non-leaf rear suspension.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 18, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kv67ssrs View Post
Im actually seriously looking at the Speedtech torque arm system. I am not set on keeping my Hotchkis leafs... and I have considered the Caltracs. Im just trying to build a nice driving, good handling, fast(ish) car that is a blast to drive.
I have the Caltracs on my BB with original single leaf springs. They work great. I have zero wheel hop.

Before I installed them, the wheel hop was tremendous.

I have a 454 that is pushing 575+ hp and the Caltracs do the job when you stomp the gas.

I have used Caltracs on a multi-leaf setup as well and; although wheel hop was not as bad, the Caltracs keep that leaf from twisting. I love em!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 31st, 18, 08:21 PM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

I drove a 67 Camaro with supercharged Cadillac LSA at an autox and had no wheel hop. It used Hotchkis leafs with Caltracs.
But if you are looking to improve ride, a torque arm, IRS or 3 link is better riding. Hotchkis is coming out with a 3 link that will work on a 12 bolt rear axle. You will not be able to use your back seat though.

Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 18, 03:05 AM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Iíve used TCI Torque Arm on 2 69s. Like it a lot better than 4 link. Need to upgrade front suspension at same time to get the best results.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 18, 06:42 AM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
Iíve used TCI Torque Arm on 2 69s. Like it a lot better than 4 link. Need to upgrade front suspension at same time to get the best results.
That's what you've talked me in to doing.. the TCI torque arm. But, my beer budget will only allow me to do the rear and then save up for the front

'68 Camaro 454, 4sp
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 18, 07:41 AM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

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Originally Posted by Just 1 More View Post
That's what you've talked me in to doing.. the TCI torque arm. But, my beer budget will only allow me to do the rear and then save up for the front
That's where I'm at also,and I already drink cheap beer.

Right now,front end has Global west arms,hotchkis spring,Ridetech shocks,tall ball joints/tie rods. I need more tire, that is most likely going to have to wait for a new subframe.
I'm waiting on a quote from chassisworks, I like the idea of a watts link, Speed tech is on my radar as well. the BMR cage design is not appealing to me.

My buddy is liking his TCI torque arm on his Nova.
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421" Dart SHP block
TKO 600 RR
Dutchman 9" w/3.70 US Gear Lightning r&p
Speedtech torque arm,Ridetech HQ coilovers
Global West arms
Budnik wheels

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 18, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

I have pretty much decided to get away from the leaf springs. I had a long talk with a distributor about this issue He sells and installs all brands producing this type of product. When taking into consideration all of the related issues such as clearance, ease of install, use of car (fun toy, not a track car), cost... he recommended the Chassisworks G-Link system... which is a canted (triangulated) 4-link.

1967 SSRS
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 18, 05:58 PM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by kv67ssrs View Post
I have pretty much decided to get away from the leaf springs. I had a long talk with a distributor about this issue He sells and installs all brands producing this type of product. When taking into consideration all of the related issues such as clearance, ease of install, use of car (fun toy, not a track car), cost... he recommended the Chassisworks G-Link system... which is a canted (triangulated) 4-link.
Been there, done that twice. Wonít put another canted four link in a first gen again. Was not happy with the ride. Torque arm is superior imho. That is why they used it on the 4th gen F bodies.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 18, 06:41 PM
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I agree that one of the canted 4 links would most likely be the easiest install and have the best all around clearance. After researching a bit, I think the Ridetech looks like the most straight forward easy install.

Personally, I’m still leaning torque arm because I plan on a abusing it a bit at the track. I like the chassisworks stuff also.

1968 Butternut Coupe,
421" Dart SHP block
TKO 600 RR
Dutchman 9" w/3.70 US Gear Lightning r&p
Speedtech torque arm,Ridetech HQ coilovers
Global West arms
Budnik wheels

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 18, 07:05 PM
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Re: Non-leaf spring rear suspension feedback

Iíve installed canted four links and Speedtech torque arms. One is not any easier than the other imho.

I can also state that the Varishocks that come with the Chassisworks four bar suck big time. Go Ridetech if you go four link. Their shocks are much better.

Don

1969 Camaro LSA 6L90E AME subframe and IRS
1969 Camaro vert LS3 4L65E Ridetech level 2 - sold
1959 El Camino project
1969 Mustang Sportsroof project
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