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  #1  
Old 18-09-2017, 07:07 PM
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camaro handling upgrades

Now that we have a bit more freedom for mods in SA I was thinking I might be able to make my Camaro handle a bit better than a wheel barrow full of wet cement.
I know a few of you blokes are into the handling / performance stuff, so what is the best starting point and best value?
I am not going full DSE chassis and tube control arms etc., just looking for some basics from some of the boys who have some real world experience.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 18-09-2017, 07:35 PM
Geoff 4 Geoff 4 is offline
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Dry cement instead of wet cement...just kidding.

I think the best bang for the buck improvement that you can feel is thicker anti sway bars.
You can get thick 1 5/16", [ maybe thicker? ] that are hollow to keep the weight down. I bought Hellwig sway bars from Summit for my GTO & was very pleased with the quality, the instructions, extra hardware that came with them & the improvement in cornering [ much reduced body roll ].

You can also go to stiffer springs, but a fine line between handling & comfort. Maybe try 1 mm thicker wire on the front springs, retaining the same number of coils.

Good quality shocks that are adjustable. Everybody has an opinion on the 'best' brand....

I prefer rubber, not polyurethane, bushes in the suspension [ except for sway bar mounts ]. I think the extra cushioning provided by rubber is important, especially on cars like the Camaro that do not separate body from the chassis.

You can get tubular upper control arms that have more caster, but might make the steering heavy if manual steering.
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Old 19-09-2017, 03:29 AM
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Angry Angry is offline
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Ive been through this after coming forma circuit racing background I was shattered when I brought my 69 Camaro home,.
The handling was so bad I nearly cried,..now in ist defence it was pretty flogged n worn out underneath..
I tried a few things n different shocks. The basic issue with Gen1s is that the standard geometry is designed for crossply tires n comes from 1964.....
However theres a few things that you can change with bolt on change overs.
Ive fitted tubular control arms which will usually give you aan addional 4degrees of castor,..so instead of 2 degrees, youll have around 6 degrees this will help straight line tracking,,.one of the bad things in the Gen1 is bumpsteer, where a bump will require a steeering correction as it causes the car to dart across the road.. This is curable by intalling a Ridetech front end kit,...or simply tall outter tierod ends which decrease the bumpsteer again a simple boltin,...the camber on std Camaro front ends tends to make the outter wheel ina turn lean outwards,...exactey the opposite fo what you want.. Taller top balljoints on the top control arms will help .. as will line spindels as the standard ones need to really be about 1.5" longer for better camber gain.
The 4th item that made a very large change to the way the car drove saw a Detriot Speed DSE 600 Power Steeering box. This is a bolt it box, but has way better valving inside and and a faster better ratio.. Yiou can fit later Z28 steerirng baxes or a Jeep grand cherokee box which is very similar , this will give you better feel and directional control.
A large front sway bar helps tremendously, usually around 1 1/8th is the usual but you can get bigger.
The last piece of the puzzle is shock absorbers. After tryiung numerour ones, I now have Roidetech shocks in front n they are really awsome, the rear of mine has a 4 link now fitted and I needed to fit coilover rear shocks , I fitted Viking double adjustable rears and thank these ae the best value around.
Mine now handles really weel, and rides nice, with the shocks being able to be adjusted in 2 minutes form Cadillac ride to racecar .
If you got questions ask away.
Good luck


Al
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  #4  
Old 19-09-2017, 02:17 PM
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aussie69camaro aussie69camaro is offline
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i can second what AL said but I did it with Speedtech products
Tubular upper and lower control arms, viking coilovers, sway bar & steering box.
I played cat and mouse with a street/track prep commodore a few months back at the track and he couldn't keep up with me in the corners.
Obviously good tyres & brakes help tie it all together.

I spoke to Jay at Speedtech, told him what I wanted and he shipped it all out to me in around 5 days to my door. Redic.
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Old 19-09-2017, 07:40 PM
Geoff 4 Geoff 4 is offline
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I bought a fast ratio DSE p/steer 'light weight' box for my GTO with alum valve section.The steeringt was too heavy for my liking & it had a noticeable 'clunk' in it. This was a brand new box, maybe I was just unlucky.....When I contacted DSE about the clunk, I got the 'Huh' reply, along with 'it shouldn't clunk'...

I am currently using an AGR fast ratio box, about 2.7 turns, that is lighter in effort than the DSE & feels great.

A smaller steering wheel with a good hand grip adds wonders to the driving feel. I have the Grant 13.5" wood wheel, three spokes.
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Old 19-09-2017, 07:56 PM
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Thanks boys.
This looks like something I will have to chip away at there are a few $'s involved.
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Old 21-09-2017, 09:35 AM
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I also did the Speedtech thing with Jay. Although if you want to go milder I would look at some of the Hotchkis stuff, especially if you want to keep the leafs. The trans am series all use standard suspension components with mods, and those things pedal pretty quickly. The thing with Speedtech is that it's all Delrin Bushes and Aluminium body mounts. I also put frame connectors in to stiffen the chassis so the suspension can do it's job. I have no idea how it will ride over bumps, or pot holes. Travel seems quite limited. Just have to finish the car and find out i guess.
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Old 22-09-2017, 08:33 AM
qik66 qik66 is offline
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What I did with mine was bye one of Hotchkis TVS kits. and a 600 series steering box and tubular control arms. with all that fitted it turned the cars handling into go-cart like. only thing I would do differently next time is not get the lowered front springs. with the big block it made it a bit too low causing the exhaust to scrap. Also don't overlook what a good quality set of tyre can do for the handling
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Old 22-09-2017, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qik66 View Post
What I did with mine was bye one of Hotchkis TVS kits. and a 600 series steering box and tubular control arms. with all that fitted it turned the cars handling into go-cart like. only thing I would do differently next time is not get the lowered front springs. with the big block it made it a bit too low causing the exhaust to scrap. Also don't overlook what a good quality set of tyre can do for the handling
Are the control arms Hotchkis as well?
What brand is the steering box?
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Old 23-09-2017, 01:53 PM
qik66 qik66 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev68 View Post
Are the control arms Hotchkis as well?
What brand is the steering box?
Yep The control arms were from Hotchkis, as for the brand of the steering box I don't know but purchased it from Detroit Speed.

http://www.detroitspeed.com/Steering...ring-gear.html
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  #11  
Old 24-09-2017, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qik66 View Post
Yep The control arms were from Hotchkis, as for the brand of the steering box I don't know but purchased it from Detroit Speed.

http://www.detroitspeed.com/Steering...ring-gear.html
Was it a Lee 600?

I have a Lee 670 which i got from Speedtech. 12:1 ratio. Not sure if they still make them but check with Lee Power Steering maybe.

http://www.speedtechperformance.com/...prod/prd24.htm

http://www.detroitspeed.com/Steering...ring-gear.html

http://leepowersteering.com/lee-powe...oducts/page/5/
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  #12  
Old 24-09-2017, 07:57 PM
Geoff 4 Geoff 4 is offline
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Lee has retired, not sure if the business is still going...
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  #13  
Old 25-09-2017, 10:54 AM
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I would look at the Ridetech StreetGrip set up, all matched to work together.

http://www.ridetech.com/products/sus...etgrip-system/

Add an upgraded box also for improved feel
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