Camaro Performance Suspension:

The Camaro was designed to have a performance suspension for high G-force handling from a stock sport vehicle. Improvements to the stock suspension can be targeted to road racing or drag racing. Drag racing optimized suspensions tune the weight transfer to the rear wheels for improved traction while road race suspensions are optimized for lateral cornering and balanced fore-aft braking and acceleration loading.

During the eighties the debate was waged between the handling improvements contributed by sway bars vs spring rates. Both are essential but Herb Adams was perhaps the strongest proponent of the LARGE sway bar to control roll rates and thus improve handling.

Performance polyurethane bushings are often used to replace the stock rubber bushings. The intent is to limit adverse geometry changes due to heavy load resulting from aggressive driving and hard cornering. Front suspension deflections will change the desired caster and camber settings to that less optimal for cornering, thus decreasing cornering performance. Bushings made from solid aluminum or steel or use of heim joints will eliminate unwanted movement of suspension components but will also transmit tremendous forces directly to the chassis. Polyurethane components will provide improved stability while affording some cushioning.


Suspension Components:

Suspension vendors and components to improve race performance:

PST: Performance Suspension Technology

PST Part #: FEKPGCHE821

  • 2 Lower ball joints
  • 2 Outer tie rod ends
  • 2 Control arm bumpers
  • 2 Stabilizer bar links and bushings
  • 4 Lower Inner control arm bushings and lube
  • Strut rod bushings (not shown)
PST front end bushing kit

This is a performance front-end components rebuild kit for the 1982-92 Camaro with "Polygraphite" bushings to improve vehicle control and responsiveness. Kits also available for 1967-81 and 1993-2002 Camaros.

Energy Suspension
  • bump stops
  • sway bar bushings
  • control arm bushings
  • coil spring isolators
  • strut bushings
  • shock bushings
  • tie rod boots
  • body mounts
  • engine mounts
  • transmission mounts
  • ...
Energy Suspension polyurethane parts

Gen one Camaro sub-frames shown with Energy Suspension front-end components.

Herb Adams suspension

Moroso Part #:
  • MOR-86010 (front) 1.31" dia
  • MOR-86510 (rear) 1.0" dia
Herb Adams front sway bar

This forged and heat treated chrome-moly steel sway bar is substantially thicker than the stock Z28 sway bar.
Attachment mechanism to the lower control arm is also more elegant using 5/8" spherical ends.

Koni

Part #:
  • 87411030 (front)
  • 261246 (rear)
Koni 87411030 front shock

Stock replacement, Koni three way gas shock.

Front upper strut mount
(also known as "Camber Plates")
Camaro front upper strut mount
After market front upper strut mount is stiffer and may offer greater range of adjustment.
QA1:

Third gen strut and camber plate.

QA1 struts/shocks and Caster/Camber plate
QA1 has both stock replacement strut/shocks and larger stronger units which require the QA1 Caster/Camber plate.
Strut:
  • Independent compression/rebound (HD), simultaneous compression/rebound (HS) and drag race adjustable (HR)
  • Supports coil over configuration
  • Ride height adjustable
QA1:

Third gen coil over rear shock.

QA1  rear shock
Front K-member:
See:
HAWK LS1 / LS2 / LS6 / LS7 Conversion rack and pinion/K-Member

Camaro/Firebird 82-92 LS1 / LS2 / LS6 / LS7 Conversion Appleton rack and pinion and K-Member
Also see:


Camaro Adjustable Suspension Installation:

An adjustable suspension allows one to adjust ride height, weight transfer control, stiffness and the corner weights to balance and tune the car's suspension. The front cross member replacement will help you lose allot of weight from the front-end.

Use the following components:


Front Alignment:


First Gen
1967 - 1969
Second Gen
1970 - 1981
Third Gen
1982 - 1992
Fourth Gen
1993 - 1995

FactoryPerformanceFactoryPerformanceFactoryPerformanceFactoryPerformance
Camber+1/4 degree+2 degrees

+1 deg (+/-0.5deg)


Caster+1/2 degree-1/2 to -3/4 degrees

+3 deg (+/-0.5deg)


Toe-In1/8 inch3/32 inch

+0.15 deg (+/-0.05deg)+0.2 deg (+/-0.05deg)


Torque Specs:

Gen 3 Camaro:
FastenerFt-LbsN-m
Strut to steering knuckle bolt195265
Strut upper mounting nut5070
Front upper strut mount to wheel housing tower2820
Front lower control pivot bolt nut6590
Bump stop to control arm2028
Control arm ball joint to steering knuckle90120
Steering knuckle to tie rod end nut4054
Tie rod clamp nut1419
Pitman arm to steering gear nut180250
Idler arm to frame nut5070
Power steering box to frame bolts80110


Shock Absorbers:

Features:


Terms:

Engineering terms: Front-end Suspension terms:


Spring Rate Calculations:

Front suspension geometry The spring rate as measured at the wheel is the stiffness as measured in pounds of force required for an inch of displacement. Due to the geometry of the suspension, the spring rate of the suspension spring may be very different than the spring rate at the wheel due to angles and lever arm lengths of the various components. For any given suspension stiffness at the wheel, calculations are required to find the stiffness of the suspension spring.

Spring Rate Calculation: Start with the weight of the car that all the springs will be supporting: W(car)
Calculate the weight that will be supported at each wheel: W = W(car)/4

The spring force of the suspension spring will be: (W * D2)/D1
Apply the spring rate correction factor below.
The actual spring rate is chosen by compressing (pre-loading) the spring to achieve the spring force required. A stiffer spring requires less pre-loading to support the weight and will provide a stiffer ride.

Spring Rate Correction for Angle Mounting:
Shock Angle
(degrees)
Correction Factor
01.00
100.96
150.93
200.88
250.82
300.75
350.66
400.59
450.50
Spring Rate Correction for Angle Mounting diagram
Example: desired spring rate = 250lbs-in mounted at 25 degrees.
Spring rate of 250lbs-in / 0.82 = 301 lbs-in required to provide the equivalent mounted rate.

The wheel rates are often adjusted for weight transfer and balance. For more on the adjustment of corner weights for vehicle balance see our article on measuring and suspension tuning of the vehicle corner weights.

Suspension geometry software for front and rear calculation of rebound movement, roll center, moment arm length, bump steer, ackerman geometry, roll steer, spring and shock travel, etc
William Mitchell Software


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