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  1. #1
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    Feb 2020
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    29

    2nd gen Camaro rear suspension options

    So I've done a lot of research on this subject and it feels like every other week I change my mind on what I want to do with the rear end of my car, so I'll lay out my plans.

    Right now I plan to put an lt4 (gen V) engine in the front of my 1975 camaro, modify the subframe with global wests "true" coilover set up, upper and lower arms, front sway bar, put a quicker ratio steering box in the front, rebuild the steering with new parts, 12.9" wilwood brakes (I hope) and viking shocks....basically the global west front catalog.

    I want to autocross my car, I don't know how often I plan on doing it as I have never done it, but it looks really enjoyable so I'd like to do it a lot. But the primary purpose of this car will be to just drive it on the street.

    Now here is where things get controversial and where all my problems arise, on the street I want to use 15" rims with big meaty tires for that old school look at near stock height (probably lowered maybe 1/2 or 1"). When I take it on the road course I plan on putting bigger rims (17 or 18 not sure yet) and lowering the car so it can perform better. In my head that makes sense, but we don't live in a perfect world and has brought up a lot of challenges as you can probably imagine.

    So here is where I stand, the rear suspension has a lot of colorful options for a 2nd gen camaro, you have leafs, torque arm, 4 link, and an IRS. Maybe more that I'm not aware of.


    1. With leaf springs you can get sway bars, traction bars from umi, global west has some special spherical bearing in their cat 5 system, list goes on, lots of options. But my problem with leafs is that you're kind of stuck with what you get, if you're not happy with the height there is very little you can do about it aside from move the shackle that the leaf connects to. Leafs aren't really out of the picture, but the lack of adjustability makes me not really want to go towards it.
    2. Next option is a torque arm, I've seen one from BMR and Chris Alston's Chassisworks but I can't really find anyone using them? maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. Honestly I just want to know if they're good or not as they seem to be my best option for a solid axle type set up, I know they were used in 3rd and 4th gen camaros so I assume they have to be decent, but no one really seems to talk about it. Only "issue" with these set ups is that I can't change what rear end I use (start with my 10 bolt and then upgrade to a ford 9") making point of entry more expensive. Don't get me wrong, it would happen eventually, just means it will take longer for my car to be a roller again.
    3. Next is a 4 link, which DSE and ridetech seem to be the most popular. People seem to talk bad about ridetech, are they actually a poor performer? or is it just bias. I know DSE makes some great products that are "race" proven but my issue with them is that it requires me to completely mutilate the rear of my car, which I really don't want to do. I'm more than capable but it's something I'd like to avoid as much as possible. I know the ridetech 4 link requires you to cut two giant ovals in the rear seat, but thats a much easier pill to swallow than cutting giant holes in your frame rails. I think chassisworks also makes something, but again, don't really see anyone talk about it.
    4. Last one, and the hardest for me to get any info on is IRS. The only two that I could find is art morrison and heidts. I know art morrison is fantastic proven set up, but they have 2 "flaws". First is it requires me to to always use 17" rims (ya I know it's a stupid reason) and the other is it requires me to completely "destroy" the rear end of my car...I don't even know if you can keep the rear seats after the install. It's most certainly way too race car and far beyond what I want this car to be. The other is Heidts, I can find a lot of marketing on it but I can't find anyone using it. It looks nice, some people have commented that the inboard brakes is concerning, and some have said it's "show car" suspension which may be true, it's also expensive so if it's garbage I don't really want it. I have found 2 people putting it in a first gen camaro, one hasn't driven it yet, and the other I can't get hold of to get their opinion so I'm kind of at a loss. The other thing about that system is that it forces my car down 2" and it looks like I have to dump the exhaust right before the dif, which I don't think I want to do. I can probably survive the drop but that kind of circles back to the leaf spring issue where I lack the adjustability that I want.


    So thats where I stand, I have 4 options presented to me, all of which require some sort of compromise, and I have no idea what I should even do. My arbitrary requirements makes this more difficult than it probably needs to be. If I go with option 1-3 I think I want to get a ford 9" full floater axle from moser as from my understanding they're stronger, and safer than my stock GM 10 bolt. Right now I'm leaning more towards the BMR set up. But I also want the heidts system...but heidts is a very expensive solution to something that might not be worth it.

    Anyways, would love everyone's opinions on these various setups, preferably if you have used any of these.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Springs, Texas
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    Speedtech just introduced a second gen IRS.

    Don
    1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
    1957 Buick Caballero - huge project
    1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
    1969 Mustang Sportsroof
    1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

  3. #3
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    Feb 2020
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    29
    Do you have a link for that? I can only find the one for 55-57 Chevy, doesn't seem like they're selling it yet

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    I saw someone showing an install on Instagram. Will see if I can find it.

    Don
    1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
    1957 Buick Caballero - huge project
    1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
    1969 Mustang Sportsroof
    1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Springs, Texas
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    Country Flag: United States
    smittyscustomauto on Instagram
    1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
    1957 Buick Caballero - huge project
    1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
    1969 Mustang Sportsroof
    1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

  6. #6
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    Feb 2020
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    29
    real cool, but they completely removed the rear panel of the car, hard pass.

  7. #7
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    May 2015
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    Island Lake, IL
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    My vote is almost always leaf springs as they can perform great when setup, 2nd gen cars can fit a 315 in the stock tub and it’s realistically what most people’s budget consists of.

    Keep in mind, leaf springs are adjustable...

    You can shim the axle pad to change pinion angle, lowering blocks can adjust height without changing the springs, rear adjustable shackles are available, front spring eye can be adjusted for anti-squat (Herb Adams mod), adjustable shackles are available, adjustable rear sway bars are available, watts links are available, a torque arm can be added, etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    1,238
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    Iíve heard very few complaints about our four link, especially the new design. It ties the rear end of these cars together very well, adds strength to the areas that the second gen platform needs, and performs extremely well on the street and track. We designed it to be as bolt-in as possible, not everyone wants (or needs) to cut the whole car in half to make a better driver out of it. I have the new design in my Firebird and am extremely happy with the changes it made to my car. To me, it all depends on what your goals are and how much you want to spend. Some guys donít care to cut their cars up and full chassisí, new subframes, etc are great for that. We wanted to build parts that are a fairly simple install with the biggest change physically possible. I think our four link does exactly that. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you!


    Ridetech Suspsension
    Tech Specialist
    Phone: 812.481.4734

    Project Fox
    1979 Trans Am

  9. #9
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    Feb 2020
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    29
    Quote Originally Posted by F-Body International View Post
    My vote is almost always leaf springs as they can perform great when setup, 2nd gen cars can fit a 315 in the stock rub and itís realistically what most peopleís budget consists of.

    Keep in mind, leaf springs are adjustable...

    You can shim the axle pad to change pinion angle, lowering blocks can adjust height without changing the springs, rear adjustable shackles are available, front spring eye can be adjusted for anti-squat (Herb Adams mod), adjustable shackles are available, adjustable rear sway bars are available, watts links are available, a torque arm can be added, etc.
    isn't using lowering blocks to change the ride height of car incredibly dangerous if you putting a lot of stress on the suspension. And I know leafs can work well, they're just kind of a pain in the butt to make them as adjustable as a coilover.

    If I was sticking with leafs though I'd probably use UMI traction bars, I still need to buy new leafs though, I already threw away my old ones because they were shot.

    Also for the 315 tire, I've never seen anyone do that with out minitubs...do you have any links for that?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPG View Post
    real cool, but they completely removed the rear panel of the car, hard pass.
    Their torque arm is worth looking at too.

    Don
    1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
    1957 Buick Caballero - huge project
    1959 El Camino - Ironworks frame
    1969 Mustang Sportsroof
    1956 Cameo - full C5 suspension/drivetrain

  11. #11
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    Feb 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
    Their torque arm is worth looking at too.

    Don
    Ya, I saw that, looks interesting, certainly something I'd consider along with BMR and chassisworks (honestly can't tell what is better than the other)

  12. #12
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    Oct 2004
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    IL/TN
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    never seen 315s without mini tubes? PTFB perfected a leaf spring set up to do it.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    https://www.pro-touringf-body.com "doing what they say can't be done"

  13. #13
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    I assume the springs are incredibly stiff as there isn't a lot of travel with something that wide
    right now I'm considering this
    http://www.cachassisworks.com/p-3103...uspension.aspx
    seems to be a pretty good option

  14. #14
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    A torque arm is a very good set up
    https://www.pro-touringf-body.com "doing what they say can't be done"

  15. #15
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    Feb 2020
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    It seemed like that, 4 links look to be the most popular but I think a torque arm will probably do a pretty good job for what I want it to accomplish.

    I'm aware nothing is inherently wrong with leafs, and they can work well. it's just not a system I want to deal with. Honestly wanted to go with IRS but it's somewhat unrealistic for me.

    Now I just got to look into what 9" I want

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPG View Post
    It seemed like that, 4 links look to be the most popular but I think a torque arm will probably do a pretty good job for what I want it to accomplish.

    I'm aware nothing is inherently wrong with leafs, and they can work well. it's just not a system I want to deal with. Honestly wanted to go with IRS but it's somewhat unrealistic for me.

    Now I just got to look into what 9" I want
    I have been in the position of wanting upgrades I canít afford as well. Do what fits your budget. Yea, leaf springs arenít fancy like powder coated link suspension but it works and itís bolt-on.

    The 2nd Gen 8.5Ē 10 bolt rear is great if set up correct. The most common upgrade is switching the 28 spline to a 30 spline axle setup.

    You donít necessarily need a Ford rear.

    Attached is a picture of Kevin Tetzís Camaro (car show host). If I recall, heís on 315 tires with leaf spring, original 10 bolt and big power through a twin turbo LS. I think he switched from CPP to Pro-Touring F-Body but I havenít hear anything about his car the past couple years.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  17. #17
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    the torque arm made by chassisworks requires the ford 9" so if I go with that system I would need it.
    plus I want a full floater rear end (not sure what housing to even buy, third member is an easy choice though)
    In my original plans I had global west leaf springs and a build up 10 bolt so they're not off the table, just not something I'm heavily considering

    I watched kevin's entire video series on making this car, mainly did it because I was trying to figure out how to do body work, but watched it several times non the less. Was great stuff.

  18. #18
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    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPG View Post
    the torque arm made by chassisworks requires the ford 9" so if I go with that system I would need it.
    plus I want a full floater rear end (not sure what housing to even buy, third member is an easy choice though)
    In my original plans I had global west leaf springs and a build up 10 bolt so they're not off the table, just not something I'm heavily considering

    I watched kevin's entire video series on making this car, mainly did it because I was trying to figure out how to do body work, but watched it several times non the less. Was great stuff.
    If you want, Miller makes a bolt-on floater kit for GM 10/12 bolt housing ends. It utilizes the Vette style rear brake and bearing assembly. You can literally bolt on a floater setup to your stock rear (they have a weld-on option as well).

    https://millerbuiltusa.com/

  19. #19
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    Sep 2005
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    38,319
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPG View Post
    So I've done a lot of research on this subject and it feels like every other week I change my mind on what I want to do with the rear end of my car, so I'll lay out my plans.

    Right now I plan to put an lt4 (gen V) engine in the front of my 1975 camaro, modify the subframe with global wests "true" coilover set up, upper and lower arms, front sway bar, put a quicker ratio steering box in the front, rebuild the steering with new parts, 12.9" wilwood brakes (I hope) and viking shocks....basically the global west front catalog.

    I want to autocross my car, I don't know how often I plan on doing it as I have never done it, but it looks really enjoyable so I'd like to do it a lot. But the primary purpose of this car will be to just drive it on the street.

    Now here is where things get controversial and where all my problems arise, on the street I want to use 15" rims with big meaty tires for that old school look at near stock height (probably lowered maybe 1/2 or 1"). When I take it on the road course I plan on putting bigger rims (17 or 18 not sure yet) and lowering the car so it can perform better. In my head that makes sense, but we don't live in a perfect world and has brought up a lot of challenges as you can probably imagine.

    So here is where I stand, the rear suspension has a lot of colorful options for a 2nd gen camaro, you have leafs, torque arm, 4 link, and an IRS. Maybe more that I'm not aware of.



    [*]Next option is a torque arm, I've seen one from BMR and Chris Alston's Chassisworks but I can't really find anyone using them? maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. Honestly I just want to know if they're good or not as they seem to be my best option for a solid axle type set up, I know they were used in 3rd and 4th gen camaros so I assume they have to be decent, but no one really seems to talk about it. Only "issue" with these set ups is that I can't change what rear end I use (start with my 10 bolt and then upgrade to a ford 9") making point of entry more expensive. Don't get me wrong, it would happen eventually, just means it will take longer for my car to be a roller again.
    I can only comment on the Torque Arm. With our Kit you can go from a 10 Bolt to a 12 Bolts pretty easily and the Kit is complete Bolt In. To swap to a 9", things change a lot. But a Chevy rear end can be built strong. I had Moser rebuild my 10 Bolt!




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  20. #20
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    Feb 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by F-Body International View Post
    If you want, Miller makes a bolt-on floater kit for GM 10/12 bolt housing ends. It utilizes the Vette style rear brake and bearing assembly. You can literally bolt on a floater setup to your stock rear (they have a weld-on option as well).

    https://millerbuiltusa.com/
    I looked into that with my leaf spring plan, but I can't use a GM rear end with chassisworks torque arm



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