Team Camaro Tech banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading up on steering and suspension on the first gen Camaro until my eyes are about to bleed. The problem I have is that there is so much information and too many options to consolidate what I'm looking to do. I have since sold my '67 Camaro and now have purchased a '69 Camaro, with still the same goals in mind. I'd like to make the car handle and ride better and modernize the powertrain (LS swap). Gaining a 2" drop would be ideal also. I know "better" is always a generic term, but to be specific, I want to have a car that rides and handles like a modern vehicle on the street, with no suspension or steering issues. I'd like to be able to pull modern alignment specs and eliminate bump steer and any other issues that are common to first gens. I know there are many aftermarket subframes, 3 links, 4 links, coilover kits, steering boxes, R&P kits, etc, but do I really get any real gains for the prices of these kits, or am I better off tuning more stock parts? I'm not made of money, so dropping $8K on a subframe that I can see similar results from spending way less is more appealing, I don't care about the "bling factor". I see that taller upper ball joints and taller tie rod ends are recommended. I would like to stick with 255/60R15 front and 275/60R15 rear and realize that having that much sidewall will affect handling, but I can easily change wheel sizes later on.



I would like the car to be focused on handling, while keeping a great ride quality. To me, if the car is not comfortable or enjoyable enough to drive every day, it's worthless. Strictly street driven only, so I'm not worrying about racing on the track. Our roads are very curvy and hilly so there is not much straight line that the car will ever see.



Originally I was interested in the Ridetech kit with the Tru-Turn and a 4-link, but now I'm reconsidering and feel like I could do more with less money. What would you guys recommend in trying to achieve me goal?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,983 Posts
I think you will be working against all that you want running the 15 inch tires you are talking about. My 69 has all stock style components except poly bushings. I put a entire Chasisworks set up in a 67 a few years ago. 4 link, coil overs, there subframe with rack and cool overs in front. Wilwood brakes all that stuff. End result, .... The car I kept is pretty much stock. All that crap and about $14K and the car was no more fun than my almost stock Z. Do yourself a favor and ride in one set up like you want before spending a lot of money. Once you buy the parts, even if you don't install, they are used parts and you will get far less money for them. So what im saying is, get what you can live with the first time and stick with it.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
14,482 Posts
Look at the Ridetech StreetGrip. It will pretty much do all you want for $2500.

I just put it on my 66 Chevelle LS3/525 Protour Car and I really like it a lot.

I’ve used Speedtech subs, DSE quadralink, Torque Arm. All high dollar stuff. Imho if you’re not serious tracking it’s not worth it
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,157 Posts
I would buy the RideTech Street Grip system. It's street tuned for better ride and would work especially well with your very conservative tire combo. No use having suspension set on kill with low perf tires. There isn't any 15" tire that is close to what an 18" tire can do.

A fast ratio (12.7/1 firm feel steering box is needed to make the car more responsive and give a better feel with less lash.

Tru-Turn would help bump steer but it is set up only for the RT tall drop spindle. Tall spindles make bump steer worse, so the Tru-Turn was developed to fix that.

Once you want to fit larger than 255 x 18 front tires, the need for an aftermarket sub is greater. The extra wheel room, usually 2.5" per side, is a huge benefit and an aftermarket sub is easier to work around. With some careful fitting you might squeeze in 275's up front. 69's have a little more room, like 3/4" over a 67 or 68.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I highly appreciate this input guys!

I think you will be working against all that you want running the 15 inch tires you are talking about. My 69 has all stock style components except poly bushings. I put a entire Chasisworks set up in a 67 a few years ago. 4 link, coil overs, there subframe with rack and cool overs in front. Wilwood brakes all that stuff. End result, .... The car I kept is pretty much stock. All that crap and about $14K and the car was no more fun than my almost stock Z. Do yourself a favor and ride in one set up like you want before spending a lot of money. Once you buy the parts, even if you don't install, they are used parts and you will get far less money for them. So what im saying is, get what you can live with the first time and stick with it.
That's pretty much what I'm worried about. Years ago I had a '68 Mustang that ended up with full CA Chassisworks underpinnings, but I ended up having to sell the car before I got to drive it. I spent a pretty good chunk of money on it but thinking back I wonder just how much my ride and handling improved for the money I had spent on a purely street driven car. I know the 15" tires will really be the weak point but that is something I'm open to changing and would really be an easy swap out.

Look at the Ridetech StreetGrip. It will pretty much do all you want for $2500.

I just put it on my 66 Chevelle LS3/525 Protour Car and I really like it a lot.

I’ve used Speedtech subs, DSE quadralink, Torque Arm. All high dollar stuff. Imho if you’re not serious tracking it’s not worth it
Thanks, I've been eyeing that system too and it's good to hear some positive input on it, especially being fronted by a modern powerplant. Was there anything you needed or changed out in addition to the StreetGrip, such as control arms or anything to help or improve alignments?

I would buy the RideTech Street Grip system. It's street tuned for better ride and would work especially well with your very conservative tire combo. No use having suspension set on kill with low perf tires. There isn't any 15" tire that is close to what an 18" tire can do.

A fast ratio (12.7/1 firm feel steering box is needed to make the car more responsive and give a better feel with less lash.

Tru-Turn would help bump steer but it is set up only for the RT tall drop spindle. Tall spindles make bump steer worse, so the Tru-Turn was developed to fix that.

Once you want to fit larger than 255 x 18 front tires, the need for an aftermarket sub is greater. The extra wheel room, usually 2.5" per side, is a huge benefit and an aftermarket sub is easier to work around. With some careful fitting you might squeeze in 275's up front. 69's have a little more room, like 3/4" over a 67 or 68.
Thanks for the input David. The tires are not set in stone and is something I can easily change, I prefer the stock look but something more modern and larger in size would not hurt my feelings any if I ended up preferring the ride of a more solid sidewall. Even then this is really 100% spirited street driving, I just want a comfortable ride and good handling to make it useable as a daily driver.

Would you recommend a 12.7:1 for the street? I've seen a few places list that ratio as recommended for racing with I believe 14.7:1 listed for street use. We do have lots of windy roads and the less over-under I'm doing with the steering wheel, I think would be better.

Also, what are your thoughts with the Tru-Turn, especially paired with the StreetGrip system? Is there anything that it fixes other than some bumpsteer improvements, or is it better to stick with stock spindles and tall upper ball joints? Is something like an AFX spindle worth looking into instead? I'm a little worried I'll end up with too much drop in the front pairing these kits together. Any other recommendations such as tall tie rod ends, camber/caster improvements, etc, that would pair well with the Streetgrip?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,157 Posts
Streetgrip comes with a .5" tall upper ball joint. I would add a .5" tall outer tie rod end to bring bump steer back to stock levels. I'm not sure if they supply that. A stock first gen has some bump steer but not terrible, but tall spindles or tall upper ball joints make bump steer worse and you start to get into trouble. The only thing lacking in the Streetgrip in my opinion is the tall outer tie rod ends and you may not be able to set more than 2.5 to 3 deg positive caster, where I'd like to see 5 to 7 deg positive caster.



Caster will do more for you than negative Camber because neg camber goes away when you turn the wheel, positive caster tilts the top of the tire in more as you turn the wheel sharper so it helps more in tighter turns. Modern cars use less neg camber and high amounts of positive caster to keep the tire flat on the pavement when cornering. You can add a pair of upper A arms to increase caster. The Ride Tech arms have half the caster in the upper and half on the lower, which helps keep the spindle centered in the wheelwell. Camaros have a tendency for tire contact to the splash panel. A pair of Ride Tech uppers would probably do enough caster increase to work well and you could just go with the Street Grip first and add the arms later if you thing you need them.

You can't run the tru-turn with stock spindles, it is made for their 2" drop spindles only, which I think are almost 2" taller than stock.

Your ideal steering ratio depends on what length outer steering arms you have now. Short outer arms should use a 12:1 box with short pitman arm and I think that's the perfect setup, around 2.25 to 2.5 turns lock to lock. With long outer arms, use the 12:1 with long pitman arm. If you use a 14:1 box it has one step less of a firm feel than a 12:1 but still pretty good, and I'd use the long pitman to try and speed it up as much as possible. I like steering that has 2.25 turns lock to lock to 2.5 turns. Any faster and it's twitchy and hard to control. The 12:1 with short outer arms and long pitman is less than 2 turns lock to lock and too quick in my opinion, even for autocross.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
I visited an old neighbor of mine that now lives in Wasilla. I think we either drove through Willow or got close to your town when we took a trip to Denali National Park. There were a lot of rivers in that area.

Spend your money on a boat and go fishing.

Seriously, what is the present condition of your existing front end? Is everything worn out and need replacing? Maybe your subframe badly rusted from the ice and salt? Do you know if your subframe is bent?

Add up the cost of the new high dollar A arms, ball joints, tie rods, lowered spindles, shocks and springs and a new steering box. Add in all the other miscellaneous parts. It is surprising how expensive the high performance aftermarket parts can total up in price. Compare that price to a new subframe. The price of a new subframe does not look so expensive once you do the math. With a new subframe, everything is new and the parts are designed to work together.

How are your brakes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Streetgrip comes with a .5" tall upper ball joint. I would add a .5" tall outer tie rod end to bring bump steer back to stock levels. I'm not sure if they supply that. A stock first gen has some bump steer but not terrible, but tall spindles or tall upper ball joints make bump steer worse and you start to get into trouble. The only thing lacking in the Streetgrip in my opinion is the tall outer tie rod ends and you may not be able to set more than 2.5 to 3 deg positive caster, where I'd like to see 5 to 7 deg positive caster.

Caster will do more for you than negative Camber because neg camber goes away when you turn the wheel, positive caster tilts the top of the tire in more as you turn the wheel sharper so it helps more in tighter turns. Modern cars use less neg camber and high amounts of positive caster to keep the tire flat on the pavement when cornering. You can add a pair of upper A arms to increase caster. The Ride Tech arms have half the caster in the upper and half on the lower, which helps keep the spindle centered in the wheelwell. Camaros have a tendency for tire contact to the splash panel. A pair of Ride Tech uppers would probably do enough caster increase to work well and you could just go with the Street Grip first and add the arms later if you thing you need them.

You can't run the tru-turn with stock spindles, it is made for their 2" drop spindles only, which I think are almost 2" taller than stock.

Your ideal steering ratio depends on what length outer steering arms you have now. Short outer arms should use a 12:1 box with short pitman arm and I think that's the perfect setup, around 2.25 to 2.5 turns lock to lock. With long outer arms, use the 12:1 with long pitman arm. If you use a 14:1 box it has one step less of a firm feel than a 12:1 but still pretty good, and I'd use the long pitman to try and speed it up as much as possible. I like steering that has 2.25 turns lock to lock to 2.5 turns. Any faster and it's twitchy and hard to control. The 12:1 with short outer arms and long pitman is less than 2 turns lock to lock and too quick in my opinion, even for autocross.
Thank you David, excellent info here. So is the tall ball joint actually recommended here, or is it fine and not enough bumpsteer to worry about when paired with the taller tie rod ends? I'm assuming that these are being used with stock spindles. I'm willing to pick up a set of Ridetech arms if the benefit is there, I want to make sure I can get the best setup possible the first time around. Edit: Looks like the Ridetech arms are only compatible with the coilover kits, not the Streetgrip. Is there another way to improve caster?

I'm also not sure of the length of my cars steering arms, but I will try to find that out soon.

I visited an old neighbor of mine that now lives in Wasilla. I think we either drove through Willow or got close to your town when we took a trip to Denali National Park. There were a lot of rivers in that area.

Spend your money on a boat and go fishing.

Seriously, what is the present condition of your existing front end? Is everything worn out and need replacing? Maybe your subframe badly rusted from the ice and salt? Do you know if your subframe is bent?

Add up the cost of the new high dollar A arms, ball joints, tie rods, lowered spindles, shocks and springs and a new steering box. Add in all the other miscellaneous parts. It is surprising how expensive the high performance aftermarket parts can total up in price. Compare that price to a new subframe. The price of a new subframe does not look so expensive once you do the math. With a new subframe, everything is new and the parts are designed to work together.

How are your brakes?
That's cool, it's a really nice area up there.

My car is actually in needs-absolutely-everything condition. The subframe appears to be in good shape, but its a manual drum brake car and I want to bring it up to more modern specs. I like the idea of the aftermarket subframes but honestly, it's overkill for what I intend to do with the car. I feel like I can get similar performance from carefully picked components on a stock subframe and spend less than half as much.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
It is good to hear your subframe is in good shape. A very common rust point is the metal where the rubber bushings bolt to the subframe to the body. You might not be able to tell if yours is bad until you take the bushing out. I would replace the subframe to body bushings at the same time you are rebuilding the front end. Bad bushings will contribute to the poor performance and bad handling you are concerned with.

You might be like me. The reason your eyes are bleeding is because you are trying to mix and match different manufacturers parts together and make them work. My head would explode if I tried to mix and match. Stop the hemorrhaging and buy a front end kit hat has all the parts you want to replace. Buy from a manufacturer that has a good reputation of producing quality parts that actually work together. That way they will bolt together and work in unison.

Replacing all the rubber bushings, ball joints, tie rods, and adding new shocks and springs could make a dramatic difference. It might put back the smile on your face when you drive your car. It would be the cheapest option to go back stock.

Ride Tech Steetgrip: $2500.00 It comes with some of the new bushings you need. The front springs look like a progressive rate type. New shocks and front sway bar. Rear mono leaf springs and bushings. Upper ball joints. I am not sure if the kit will lower the car like you desire.

Hotchikis Sports Suspension:$3900.00 All the parts the Ride Tech Streetgrip has plus the following: It adds the upper and lower A arms with upper and lower ball joints, front and rear sway bars. Leaf springs are multileaf. Subframe connectors. Will lower your car 3 inches. Tie rod sleeves. The new A arms will increase the castor angle and improve the camber like you mentioned was one of your concerns.

Neither kit comes with spindles. If you are going to change the brakes, make sure the selected brake assembly is compatible with the spindle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The reason I'm trying to mix and match is that none of these "complete" kits seem to be able to address ALL the issues in one package. Plus, I prefer some certain parts from specific vendors. Good example being I'm going with DSE subframe connectors because I like the design much better. Also definitely going with good subframe bushings and likely nothing extreme on brakes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,041 Posts
Great info in this thread by knowledgeable guys!

For me and how I use my 68 this is what was done:

-LS/T56 swap
-4-wheel disc brakes
-Hotchkis subframe connectors
-Thicker sway bar
-Poly bushing kit
-Ridetech shocks
-CPP 500 series replacement steering box
-17" tires/rims

I mixed and matched parts since all this was done over time. No more bump steer, car drives arrow straight, awesome steering. Probably one of these kits does all this. I didn't see the need for a 4-link or subframe replacement for how I use the car (about 3000 miles of driving per year and no track time).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
822 Posts
I think a great street-handling car can be had pretty cheap.

Good shocks aren't expensive - I think my gabriel gas models were ~ $150.

Get the right front springs - I chose the stock Z28 springs.

I went with 5 leaf rear springs; I might switch those for something lower.

Swapped in a steering box from a Formula Firebird - I think it's a 14-1 but it seemed to steer great.

Just put in a 1-1/8" front swaybar ($110 ebay) and from what I've read a rear bar isn't usually needed.

Running Goodrich Sport Comp II (17") tires.

I did the "Guldstrand mod" and installed "those ebay" upper control arms to avoid having to cut the shock towers. They look like they will hold up - they have greasable bushings. We will see.

I should add my convertible had weld-in frame connectors installed a long time ago so that should help too.

I will probably get the Ride Tech Streetgrip Kit for my 67 Chevelle. My Camaro had most of the mods done before these kits came to my attention.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
I installed DSE subframe connectors on my car. You have to cut the floor and seat perch to mount them. They are a lot of work to install but they are the most rigid because they are welded to the subframe and torque box and to the floor pan. Most subframe connectors either bolt on or welded to the front and back of the connector. DSE is also welded along the middle.

If you install subframe connectors, buy solid subframe bushings. The rubber ones will flex and cause unnecessary strain on the subframe and body.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,157 Posts
My bump steer test data is here: PROFORGED .5 TALLER BALL JOINTS
Stock bump steer isn't great but you probably won't notice it on the street. But any chassis mods you do likely make bump steer worse. Tall ball joints increase it due to geometry changes pulling the top of the spindle inward more in bump. Wheel center contact point to suspension geometry "Instant Center" length is what changes from stock and changes the arc the Steering Knuckle travels. Stiffer A arm bushings reduce deflection, but the factory bump steer was designed-in to compensate for this deflection. In a hard corner, the lower A arm moves inward and the steering linkage was set up for toe out gain in bump to compensate for it. So once you reduce deflection in the bushings, you don't need built in bump steer to compensate.

I usually recommend a .5" tall upper ball joint only and .5" taller outer tie rod end to keep bump steer as low as possible. If you add more than the 3.5 deg positive caster in my test, it rocks the spindle rearward, lowering the outer tie rod end more and this will further reduce bump steer by a small amount. I wish I'd measured it at higher caster but ran out of time.

The Hotchkis TVS is a great system, we ran it on my wifes second gen and it's a great foundation for mild to wild builds with some tweaking. We found the Bilstein shocks to be a bit soft for hardcore autocrossing and upgraded those. The spring rates are stiff, 600 front, 175 rear, and you feel bumps more on rougher roads which is the main downside to that system. The shocks you use need to be tuned to the stiffer springs with more rebound, or use rebound adjustable shocks. The Hotchkis multi leaf springs have a thicker lower leaf that acts like a built in traction bar and resists wheel hop very well. They put a lot of work into that system and it performs well with a cost in ride if roads are at all rough. Leaf springs are heavy and the high unsprung weight hurts ride quality. My wife didn't mind the stiffer ride as much as I did so every person has a different goal for ride quality.



We tried a Prototype Hotchkis 3 link that rode much better. I could tell the improvement riding as passenger before we even got out of the parking lot. It had good traction on acceleration with adjustable anti-squat & adjustable panhard bar for handling balance adjustments.


The Ride Tech Street Grip is all about reducing friction in the pivots by using Delrin bushings, letting the suspension do the work of absorbing bumps. It's tuned for the street and a great option for most guys. Tuned more like a performance street car and less race car, it can still handle very well. I would give this system a try. You can always add more parts, like tubular upper A arms later for more caster but this system works very well as is. I'd add .5" taller outer tie rods to reduce bump steer. The only way to really nail down bump steer is to actually measure it on the car and modify the linkage to fix it. Baer sells the Baer Tracker adjustable outer link, but it probably won't do more than the Proforged .5" tall outer tie rod end and the Proforged end is longer lasting sealed & greaseable. A bump steer fixed car is a thing of joy... The composite monoleaf springs have very low unsprung weight and dampen road shocks for probably the best rear ride quality you can get short of a link suspension system. Street Grip lacks a rear sway bar but if your front and rear tires are the same size, it should handle ok. If rears are much bigger, a rear bar may be needed depending on how hard you want to push the car and what you are doing with it.

The regular Ride Tech system with tubular arms, Coil overs, tall spindle and tru-turn steering linkage fixes bump steer pretty well, not perfect but close. The tall spindle fixes the camber curve, the A Arms allow you to set high amounts of caster, 5 to 7 degrees. Their rear 4 link has a smoother ride than any leaf spring system. The spring rates can be changed more easily with coil overs for tuning and setting ride height. and softer coils can be used to tune it for street use. The Tru-Turn system moves the outer steering arms out of the way, so you can fit wider front tires. I think a 9" rim is max for stock steering arms, depending on your wheel offset. 8.5" to be safe.


I'm going a bit beyond this threads question here to show what the next level is:


When you want more front traction for even better cornering, fitting a 275 X 18 tire is tough to do. It's easier on a 69 Camaro because they have around 3/4" more room. Not saying you can't do it, but things have to be perfect and still may require some sheet metal bumping. A higher ride height helps with room too, so you might build a street driver at a not super low ride height and a 275 works with exactly the right backspace, where a low riding corner carver car won't. An aftermarket front sub gains you 2.5" more room per side due to narrower frame rails. This is why we run Art Morrison front subs on our cars. We also gained 3 hole adjustable sway bars and easy access to the shocks for tuning and spring swaps. We also gained more frame torsional stiffness which is very much lacking in a first or second gen Camaro.

When we added the AME IRS system the ride was like a late model Corvette.



When the rear is minitubbed and you start running 315 or 335 rear tires, then you can't get by with 255 or 275 front tires. I wouldn't run less than one size smaller front tire compared to rear. A 275 rear with 255 front is doable in theory but a non minitubbed rear is going to be very tight at a low ride height & you hit bumps. If you are looking at the left rear wheel, the 2 oclock position is where the tire will hit the fender lip, even when pushed inwards to where the tire hits when cornering hard. The fender sweeps inward behind the tire centerline and creates tight clearance.


To kinda start over, we are looking to improve the following:
Wider than stock tires for more traction. Lower profile to get faster steering response. (don't go crazy here)

Better feeling steering box, 12:1 firm feel- 12:1 firm feel AGR retrofit box or similar

Solid subframe to unibody mounts. You don't want sub movement relative to the unibody.
I don't think subframe connectiors are needed on a street driver. If you have a lot of horsepower and big tires, then it's a good idea.

Fix/Improve Camber curve - tall ball joints or spindle

Increase static Caster from stock 1/2 deg positive to 5 to 7 deg positive. Lowers steering arm for better bump steer, Tubular upper A arms

Improve or at least don't make bumpsteer worse. - .5" taller outer tie rod ends (Proforged)

Firm suspension bushings, Delrin is the only good choice, Rubber second, Polyurethane third. Polyurethane has stiction and hurts ride quality and handling. Delrin has way less friction.
Control wheel movement with better shocks. Increased spring rates require more rebound stiffness in the shocks. Single adjust shocks allow you to tune ride to your preference.
Stiffer sway bars to control chassis roll. Keeping the chassis more level, allows the tires to stay in better contact with the pavement.

Ideal rear leaf springs will isolate or dampen vibration, weigh less and not allow wheel hop. The Ride Tech Street Grip leaf springs are supposed to work well. When you go to a multileaf spring, control is good but unsprung weight goes up and isolation goes down, - hurting ride, keep rubber front eye mounts to help.
For street use, I'd like to see a front spring rate around 380 (Z/28 rate) to 450, rear rate of 175 with rebound adjustable shocks. I'm assuming around a 255x18 tire to 275x18 for example or smaller. If you have larger or stickier tires than this, then higher rate coils will be needed if you intend to drive it really hard. If street use, these rates are OK if you are not super low ride height.

I did't mention seats, I think stock seats suck for ride quality. The springs in the stock seat bottom make the driver bounce much more than they should. The seat spring rate is exactly wrong in my opinion. Aftermarket seats are better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for the very in depth reply David, and I apologize for taking so long to reply back. Remodeling the house and having limited access to a computer is not fun. So after reading through your recommendations, let's hear your opinion on this setup:

1. It sounds like the Ridetech Streetgrip system is going to work the best for my goals. I do like composite leafs, and the adjustable shocks. Possibly add a rear swap bar down the line if my tire package isn't ideal or to modify the handling a bit, but try out just the front first. The 2" drop that setup provides would be ideal, and I wouldn't want to drop more than that. Not only for wheel/tire/suspension complication issues, but the roads here just wouldn't allow for it. For wider than stock wheels/tires, what would you recommend as a good combo, without going crazy? I can mini-tub the car easily (it's maxi-tubbed right now - no trunk pan whatsoever! :grin2: ) and create more room there, but I'd rather stay away from any rubbing or contact issues with the front with the 2" Streetgrip drop, and use that to figure out what my rear should be. I've always ran combos such as 255F/275R, but you seem to recommend against that.

2. I think I would still like to add the control arm package, likely from DSE, as they also utilize Delrin bushings, and have better geometry built in both the upper AND lower, specifically the caster correction while still keeping the wheel centered.

3. I'll also go with the tall tie rod ends, and would you recommend the tall upper ball joint over a tall spindle? I feel like the tall ball joint would be a better choice. I'm also assuming this setup would take a stock or stock height replacement spindle (such as one designed for a larger brake kit). Also, I hadn't read anywhere, but would the tall ball joint still be recommended with the DSE arms?

4. 12:1 steering box. I'll research the AGR as that doesn't sound like a name I've heard yet for those.

5. Solid subframe bushings. I liked the idea of BMR Delrin ones, having the rigidity with less potential corrosion issues. Still undecided on HP and tire package, but I'd rather install frame connectors while the car is being restored even at a low HP level, rather than have to cut into it again if I decided to upgrade to a higher power level. I've seen a few nice cars at shows that appear to have twisted (identified by a tear or crack in sheet metal near the rear quarter windows) and I want to avoid having that happen, even if it doesn't apply specifically to improving the handling.

6. Definitely planning on a seat upgrade. Likely not a full racing seat, but I've seen several companies lately putting out stock appearance seats with some great bolstering added in. I hate taking a corner and starting off in the drivers seat and ending the turn in the passenger's!

I like the idea of this setup for my goal, does this sound like a reasonable plan?

Thanks again for the incredible amount of info.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,157 Posts
Thank you for the very in depth reply David, and I apologize for taking so long to reply back. Remodeling the house and having limited access to a computer is not fun. So after reading through your recommendations, let's hear your opinion on this setup:

1. It sounds like the Ridetech Streetgrip system is going to work the best for my goals. I do like composite leafs, and the adjustable shocks. Possibly add a rear swap bar down the line if my tire package isn't ideal or to modify the handling a bit, but try out just the front first. The 2" drop that setup provides would be ideal, and I wouldn't want to drop more than that. Not only for wheel/tire/suspension complication issues, but the roads here just wouldn't allow for it. For wider than stock wheels/tires, what would you recommend as a good combo, without going crazy? I can mini-tub the car easily (it's maxi-tubbed right now - no trunk pan whatsoever! :grin2: ) and create more room there, but I'd rather stay away from any rubbing or contact issues with the front with the 2" Streetgrip drop, and use that to figure out what my rear should be. I've always ran combos such as 255F/275R, but you seem to recommend against that.

2. I think I would still like to add the control arm package, likely from DSE, as they also utilize Delrin bushings, and have better geometry built in both the upper AND lower, specifically the caster correction while still keeping the wheel centered.

3. I'll also go with the tall tie rod ends, and would you recommend the tall upper ball joint over a tall spindle? I feel like the tall ball joint would be a better choice. I'm also assuming this setup would take a stock or stock height replacement spindle (such as one designed for a larger brake kit). Also, I hadn't read anywhere, but would the tall ball joint still be recommended with the DSE arms?

4. 12:1 steering box. I'll research the AGR as that doesn't sound like a name I've heard yet for those.

5. Solid subframe bushings. I liked the idea of BMR Delrin ones, having the rigidity with less potential corrosion issues. Still undecided on HP and tire package, but I'd rather install frame connectors while the car is being restored even at a low HP level, rather than have to cut into it again if I decided to upgrade to a higher power level. I've seen a few nice cars at shows that appear to have twisted (identified by a tear or crack in sheet metal near the rear quarter windows) and I want to avoid having that happen, even if it doesn't apply specifically to improving the handling.

6. Definitely planning on a seat upgrade. Likely not a full racing seat, but I've seen several companies lately putting out stock appearance seats with some great bolstering added in. I hate taking a corner and starting off in the drivers seat and ending the turn in the passenger's!

I like the idea of this setup for my goal, does this sound like a reasonable plan?

Thanks again for the incredible amount of info.

1. 255/275 in an 18” wheel is what I’d run. A tire like the Falken 615K. It has good traction and I think wear is good. But I don’t know what wheels are available for them. Custom wheels can be costly. I’m not up on what wheels would swap over if you want to use Corvette wheels for example. A 275x18 rear can fit but its tight on a 67/68, and on a 69 there’s a little more room but the fender lips need to be rolled and offset perfect. If you don’t go too low, there’s more room. I recommend getting wheel clearance advice from someone else. The cars I’ve worked on have all been modified for clearance.


2 Ride Tech arms have the same offset improvements as DSE arms. They moved the lower ball joint forward a bit to keep the tire centered. Their lower A arms are made for their coil overs and access to the shocks is great for adjustment. I don’t recall if they make lower A arms for stock type coils.


3 Street grip comes with tall upper ball joints. To use a tall spindle, you need to use a stock height upper Ball joint. If you go to a tall spindle, then you don’t want the Street Grip system. You want their regular kit with tall drop spindles and Tru-Turn steering so you fix the extra bump steer created by the tall spindle.


4 Turn One is a better company for a steering box but AGR boxes have been good for us for less money.


5 There’s not much down side to doing subframe connectors. I’m not so sure they help torsional rigidity/cracking very much, but maybe.


P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,135 Posts
I have a related question that I think is still on topic. I installed tall spindles with standard ball joints for my C5 front brake conversion, but used my original short steering arms and long pitman arm. Reading above it sounds like while I may have improved some steering issues on my '69 I may have inadvertently increased bump steer? Are there other mods I need to correct a problem I inadvertently caused with the tall spindles?

Also, I'll have to check the total number of stop to stop turns in my steering, but sounds like with my 12:1 PS box I should have used the short pitman arm. The steering with a 14" wheel is pretty quick.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,157 Posts
I have a related question that I think is still on topic. I installed tall spindles with standard ball joints for my C5 front brake conversion, but used my original short steering arms and long pitman arm. Reading above it sounds like while I may have improved some steering issues on my '69 I may have inadvertently increased bump steer? Are there other mods I need to correct a problem I inadvertently caused with the tall spindles?

Also, I'll have to check the total number of stop to stop turns in my steering, but sounds like with my 12:1 PS box I should have used the short pitman arm. The steering with a 14" wheel is pretty quick.

Yes, with a 12:1 box, I'd use the short pitman if you have the long outer steering arms. If your Camaro is understeering badly, then it won't feel so fast, but if your car is fairly well balanced for understeer/oversteer, then it will feel too fast and over react to steering inputs. It will be hard to steer precisely. If you drive the car a lot you can maybe get used to it but it's not ideal in my book. I love fast steering but I found it too fast.

Taller spindles or tall ball joints do increase bump steer.
To reduce bump steer you have you can use a .5" tall outer tie rod end from Howe or Proforged. The Proforged is cheaper, the Howe is more money but rebuildable and adjustable for wear. It does have a larger body diameter which may require you to enlarge the hole in the A arm.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,135 Posts
Thanks David for the reply. I have to admit I'm confused. I reread this thread from the top and above you stated " Short outer arms should use a 12:1 box with short pitman arm and I think that's the perfect setup, around 2.25 to 2.5 turns lock to lock." which is what got me thinking about my steering. In response to my query you suggest "...with a 12:1 box, I'd use the short pitman if you have the long outer steering arms." I believe my '69 Z/28 has the short steering arms so should I use the long or short pitman arm? I'm thinking with the 12.7:1 box and short arms use the short pitman arm and if long steering arms use the long pitman arm. Is this correct?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top