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Ben - Delaware - 67 Camaro
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Discussion Starter #1
hello all. i'm working through making my 67 RS clone (originally base model 6 cyl) a much more friendly street driver. so far on the suspension I've installed the Viking double adjustable coil overs w/ 450 lb springs, poly subframe bushings, comp engineering bolt on sub-frame connectors, converted to 5 leaf multi's out back with KYB heavy duty gas shock (mistake and will be changing). i've also done a power steering conversion with all factory parts i robbed from my 69 and done a power disk conversion with a CCP kit and drilled & slotted rotors. it is a completely different car than when i got it with manual steering, manual drums, weak 6 cyl springs up front, air shock with mono leafs, rotted bushings out back and all kinds of slop in the front and back.
right now I'm in the middle of big project doing an engine swap from the 355 that was in it when i got it to a stroked 427 small block. while the engine is out and at the machine shop I've changed or replaced just about everything including the entire fuel system including a new sumped tank, electric pump and all new lines, regulator...everything. I've also re-done all electrical, harness, moved battery to trunk, installed MSD 6AL in glove box and just done a ton of upgrades that i cant wait to drive.
the next step is top install the front sway bar that i bought a while back. i tried earlier but had trouble fishing it through with the engine in place so i figure now is the perfect time to get it in. my question is this;
the car doesnt have holes in the sub-frame for the bushing mounts. it looks like there is one dimple on each side and ill have to drill the holes. i guess the 6 cyl didn't come standard with a front sway bar. my kit did not come with bolts as it says to re-use the factory bolts. what size and type bolts should i use and what size holes should i drill. i'm assuming i'll need some type of self tapping bolt??..??..

thanks in advance for your help. wish me luck
 

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5/16". Coarse thread. I'd use 12 point headed boots, or Allen bolts. There isn't much clearance to the bolt heads with a larger aftermarket bar. The factory holes are swaged into the frame. Meaning, they run a tool into the frame rail that heats & forms a tube up into the hole so there is more surface for the bolt threads to grab. The frame rail is too thin to just drill & tap it. Best way to put threads in it is to use a nut-sert. It's a large rivet with internal threads. The other way is to weld a nut plate inside the frame. But a flat plate won't sit flat because there is a dimple in the frame rail that sticks up. The dimples are used to locate each half of the frame rail in position for welding.
 

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Just thinking about your coil overs in front with 450# springs. There is a post of someone with a BBc and he added coil overs in front but with a 600# spring. He was having some difficulty in turning the lower adjuster nut with those recommended 600 # springs. So I just wonder how the 450# springs are going to work for you, once you get this sbc in place?

I have never done this as I don't see the reason or purpose, so I am still looking for the advantage as I do long distance cruises.
 

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Just thinking about your coil overs in front with 450# springs. There is a post of someone with a BBc and he added coil overs in front but with a 600# spring. He was having some difficulty in turning the lower adjuster nut with those recommended 600 # springs. So I just wonder how the 450# springs are going to work for you, once you get this sbc in place?

I have never done this as I don't see the reason or purpose, so I am still looking for the advantage as I do long distance cruises.
Its all about the preload you put on the springs. For a given load the lighter spring rate will require more preload for a given ride height. Preload is adjusted with the adjuster nut so for the lighter springs you run the adjuster nut up higher to get the same ride height. There is a whole science in itself to determine best spring rate for a given application. Some guys run light springs with a heavy sway bar while other guys prefer a heavier spring. If you go onto lateral-g.net and search for Ron Suttons suspension stickies you will find a ton of information and knowledge on this topic and many others...

I'm sure David Pozzi could step in here and give a lot better explanation than me also...

If you are happy with your ride height, ride firmness etc there is no real reason to convert to coilovers.

Don
 

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Yes 5/16" is the original sway bar bolt size and using nut-serts, as David said, is a good way to go. Among other mods, I currently have a Hotchkis 1-1/8" hollow front bar on my '67. A few months ago I noticed more than the usual body roll and discovered the sway bar mount on one side tore out of the frame peeling out a nice chunk in the process. I think that the original mounting method may be a little weak for a thicker bar although I've run larger bars for 30 years or so before this happening.

I repaired the damage by cutting out some thicker patch panels and welding them to the frame which I then tapped for 3/8" bolts.
 

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Ben - Delaware - 67 Camaro
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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for bolt info. upon further inspection, the holes actually ARE there. it doesn't look like they're going to line up with the frame bushings for the sway bar though. problem i'm having now is i installed the bar with the car jacked up and supported on the frame. got the end links in and bolted down and the bar is a solid 1 1/2" from the frame. in other words, i cant bolt in the frame mount bushings for the bar. i'm thinking when i get home today i'll put the wheels back on it and lower it to the ground to load the weight on the suspension. i'm sure the bar will rise right up to position then....any thoughts, am i right in my assumption? i still don't have the bolts though, so 5/16" coarse thread bolt is the consensus? do they need a pointed end like body bolts?

as for the coilovers, i've had them on for 6 months or so and was driving all last summer with them and another SBC in place. what an amazing difference they made. i did everything at once ( coilovers, rear multi leafs, frame connectors, subframe bushings, rear shocks) it was like i got into a completely different car. didn't feel like a 50 year old heavy weight anymore. it's amazing the difference. some people have told me that once i add the sway bar it will be that much more better and i should realize an equal improvement just from that mod. i guess i'm the odd ball but this is my 3rd first gen and it will be the first one thats had a sway bar at all. the others had nothing on the front.
 

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Ben - Delaware - 67 Camaro
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Discussion Starter #7
my bar is 1 1/8" solid bar from SST. not the most expensive choice and in hind sight might be a little much. do you think i'll have a similar problem with mounting bolts damaging frame? untill i get it on the ground i wont know if they even line up, but if they do, i can clearly see that with the suspension un-loaded, the bar is 1 1/2" away from the frame. that tells me there will be a good amount of stress on that mounting point. am i on to something or worrying about nothing?
 

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Ben - Delaware - 67 Camaro
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Discussion Starter #8
oh, and i haven't had any problem at all with the 450# springs. preload is about 1/4 of the way up the shock body to achieve the ride height i like. probably close to factory. i'm running 215/65/15 up front and the top of the tire is right at the center of the wheel opening. haven;t noticed any issue adjusting spring nuts. however, one things that all the manufacturers say you MUST do is liberally coat the shock body with anti-seize to avoid galling the aluminum threads and help reduce friction during adjustment. if your guy did not cover the shock body with anti-seize, this could be part of the problem.
 

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My bigger bar ripped a hunk of frame out also but I had 90-10 shocks when it happened. I plan on going back to stock shocks and putting it back.
 

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Ben - Delaware - 67 Camaro
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Discussion Starter #10
GREAAAT...lol. the more of these stories i hear, the more worried i'm getting. i probably should have mentioned how i use the car......it's primarily street driven around town to shows and stuff. although, i will be making the occasional drag strip pass once the new motor is in. i'm building a SBC 427 stroker all roller motor that should be good for 550 +/- HP. expecting mid 11 second passes as i ran 12.00 with the tired old 355 that was in it. should i be concerned about the sway bar doing damage to the frame? how about wheels up launches? will that tear the frame up with the bar in place?
 

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GREAAAT...lol. the more of these stories i hear, the more worried i'm getting. i probably should have mentioned how i use the car......it's primarily street driven around town to shows and stuff. although, i will be making the occasional drag strip pass once the new motor is in. i'm building a SBC 427 stroker all roller motor that should be good for 550 +/- HP. expecting mid 11 second passes as i ran 12.00 with the tired old 355 that was in it. should i be concerned about the sway bar doing damage to the frame? how about wheels up launches? will that tear the frame up with the bar in place?
As far as I know it is the 90-10 shocks that extended further than stock shocks that caused the problem. At this point I am putting the bar back and changing to stock shocks so hopefully that should fix the problem.. I will suffer a little on launch but I liked the way it drove better with the bar in. Might even add a rear bar.
 

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Ben - Delaware - 67 Camaro
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Discussion Starter #12
ok, thanks. finally got the bar in last night after acquiring the correct bolts. everything worked as i thought it would. i loosened up the end links, put the wheels back on and lowered to the ground. after that i was able to lift the bar right up to the frame and bolted right in place with the existing holes that i didn't think were there. it sure was fun bench pressing the bar up while i worked the bolts into place....i need a lift next...lol
 

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I drilled through the 5/16 factory holes and made a plate welded two 3/8 nuts to it. Notched the plate for the factory dimple in frame.
 

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Ben - Delaware - 67 Camaro
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Discussion Starter #14
it's hard to see what we're looking at with that picture but the description makes sense. not having a welder at home or being versed at all in welding has limited me in several projects. it's something i really need to learn and get up on. right now everything is in and mounted nice. i'm still a little skeptical about the amount of stress that's on those 5/16" bolts. the bar itself is plenty heavy and then the added stress of driving does worry me. now I'm waiting on the motor from machine shop so it will be at least a month before i can get on the road and test things out. keeping my fingers crossed about the bar and mounting hardware. the bolts and frame section just seem really weak to me. i guess we'll see. if the thing rips it apart i know i good local shop that sets up suspensions and builds everything for all out race cars so I'm sure they can set me up with some re-enforcement there. just hoping i don't NEED them too. thanks for all the help and good advice folks
 
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