The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LUX BLUE, Dec 15, 2006.
Tin will be there tonight!
I like suspension stuff. I read tech manuals that read like chinese algebra for fun. all of this is what led me to my undying love for Billstein products.
for example-did you know that the Factory Billstien shocksfrom a 90's model Suburban will bolt onto a 64-72 g.m. a-body with no modifications to the car at all? and the ride is KILLER.stiff like a vette, but with incredible road manners...try it on your secret muscle car.
which leads me to this build. I am gonna use Thrashers truck as an example, but please understand that I'm not talking shit about it-this is simply an upgrade. (Nice truck Thrasher.)
what we are going to do is change the angle of the shock to fully maximize it's potential. for every degree of angle the shock leans, it loses effectiveness-there are 2 reasons for this. take your beer bottle and lean it to the side and look at the level of the liquid inside it-it (duh) stays level with the earth. the "plunger"( which is actually a valved piston) will either A- have some air between it and the top of the fluid level, or B-be fully submerged in the fluid. if the scenario is a, you "shock" the plunger when ever you hit a bump, meaning that reguardless of how great your shocks are, you get harshness over bumps, and wear the piston out faster.
if the scenario is B, you areate (tiny bubbles...)the top half of the fluid and again...shit ride.
the second reason the "leaning tower of shockiness" doesn't work as well is simple geometry- if the shock must drop at an angle, it reaches a point of internal bind. this is why after about a year, most lowered cars ride like kaka. they bind up and presto- the side seals in the shocks go to the dogs. less valving=less effectiveness.
funy thing is, you get used to it, kinda like breaking in shoes. the more you drive it, the more it becomes "tolerable"
if you look at Thrashers truck, you can see the angle I am talking about. they sit at about 30 degrees under the truck.-nice trick on relocating the uppers,though.
the hard and fast plan is this...I have a vast collection of various Billstiens. I use them on pretty much everything, and they have a lifetime warranty. I am going to use the bottom half of a stock style camaro leaf spring perch, and relocate the uppers to place the shocks completely straight up and down. the idea is to give this lowered vehicle as much shock travel and dampening ability as possible.
the front will get a set,too. I just need to shoo some ponies back out of the stable to get "the death box" back in...look for updates on Tuesday. it's simple work, and you simply would not beleive the difference in ride quality.
what year of camaro clips work the best
nice post i agree the camaro/firebird clip is a good choice for this model and have done several. some tips i have learned. there are only 2 types sub frames front steer and rear steer. camaro,firebird nova,cad seville. i dont think a rear steer is much of an improvement in most cases.i like to remove the shocks and pull down the suspension to ride height with a length of all thread this and the correct tires will let you see the finished product. also rather than a pre determined measurement i hang a fender on and stand back far enough to eyeball the ft wheel/fender fit ever notice how many cars at the cruise and shows have the front wheel to far back. this comes from following the tape measure instead of what looks right. one more point if you just slide the camaro frame under the truck frame you will be plenty low. if this is to low slip a 2in or 3in or what ever piece of material between the truck frame and the camaro frame to adjust the height.after you marry the two you can clip off the camaro frame.while this is a good choice for the this truck not every vehicle will accept a camaro. check out the post wanting to narrrow his a arms.
what year clips work for this i have a 57 3100 and have been thinking about a swap for a while now
second gen camaro- The "Mullet camaro" body style.
I think the year range is 70 through 82, but I am pretty sure the "good stuff" stopped being bolted on around 80. (don't get me to lyin...I just know the last year for 400 poncho in a Trans am was 79, therefore, no more h.d. springs after that.)
Dirt Track-I agree with the whole "eyeball" it approach with the fenders-but as I have done a bunch of these already, I like 'em 2 inches longer. not much need for checking the ride height again, either. good tip for a first timer,tho.
as far as narrowed control arms are concerned, there are more than one ways to skin that particular cat. Speedway sells narrowed tubular control arms for real reasonable ( don't need 'em here) and narrowing your own isn't exactly rocket science. there is ALOT of meat to trim out of stockers.
Metalshapes and myself put one in his 60 f100 and the truck handles like its on rails and really good a even 100mph. Helped with another one on a 52 caddy that went in really nice too.
hey lux blue - great thread. i'm gonna try this on my 57. any photos of how you handled the front body / radiator mount kind of stuff? thanks!
I was gonna start looking for this thread this afternoon...
we are "back into" the 58 as we speak- we had a couple of projects moving forward and had to get them knocked out.
pics of the rear end,
pics of the rebuild on the front end
and tomorrow morning-sheetmetal and bumperology101. (well, probably not the bumper. Firedome found a 58 g.m.c. bumper assy he wants to use.)
Stay tuned, Fellas!
Would a Nova not be better? Camero's seem so wide...
depends- only certian novas are any different at all. and even then, it's only about 1/2 inch per side (total 1 inch narrower.)
and really, on this era truck, it's perfect. it's a nice,tight fit, little (or no) fender scrubbing (depends on if you lop a bunch of coils out.)
moving the wheelbase helps alot- and it still corners like a geo metro with 3 wheels. My 92 Bronco (well, Mrs Blue's Bronco) is the ultimate "parking spot warrior"-a super tight radius- this set up is even tighter- but wth the big fat sway bars, no body roll at speed.
funny thing is, all of the "radial tuned suspension" stuff these cars used to advertise (hell, it even said it on the dashboard)- I couldn't tell you the difference between a "radial tuned" car and one that wasn't...they're all the same!
Hey Lux---I got a 56 chevy 2 door sedan that was clipped about 20 years ago by a good friend (the original owner). The car drives like a Cadilac / Corvette---just bitchin! The only problem is--clip is just a little wide. I was looking at Fatman control arms---but almost $1000.00 is a bit high.You said Speedway has em--I checked the website---not sure which ones you were talking about---got anymore info on them?
If you go to this link and look at the last two photos they are of my 58 with the camaro sub and a flip kit. It's to late to scan the real photos for photobucket.
Interesting thread. Haven't heard much about Camaro clips these days, back about 15 years ago we were doing about 3 a week in the shop. They do drive and handle well. I even have a portable frame jig the held the vehical and the clip , slid together ,no guess work, no tape measure either. Now days it's all Mustang II, Camaro type clips are getting hard to come by (Damn Detroit quit building good parts cars 25 years ago), they need total overhauling if you do get them. Hard to believe it's cheaper for my customers nowdays to plastic a new hub to hub Mustang II then junkyard parts. No wonder our sport is getting to expensive.
There was a post on here not so very long ago on how to narrow them "yo damn sef' " and save said 1000 dollars. looked pretty easy.
I would give it a try. the narrowed arms were for imca modified class- which says you can modify stock stuff, but you have to keep expensive bolt ons to a minimum. (for your tube chassis race car. go figure.)
hard to find?
I just bought 6 of them for a grand.various stages of "complete, but all straight and have the important parts (arms,spindles, gear boxes,etc.etc.) but it's the first time in a long time I have walked up to a pile of them and said "I'll take 'em".
I was talking to a buddy yesterday about when the last time he saw a mustang 2 in a junkyard with the front end still under it. we agreed that it had been at least 10 years. (with the exception of 1, but I'm not fessing up to it's location,either.)
any one got a thread of installing a camaro clip in a merc?
About 8 years ago I decided to clip the front of my '60 El Camino while in the chassis fab program @ WYOTECH. I used a V8 '79 Ventura (Nova) subframe. I blended the old & new frame members a little differently than LUX did, but even with a 348/PG in it, what a difference!
Depending on how you are set up, you can set ride height pretty much wherever you want. By puttinng your final tire/wheel combo on (or measuring) with the lower control arm parallel to the ground, record how much clearance there is beneath the Camaro crossmember and the ground. When I did the Elky, I pulled all the coil springs out and put scissor jacks @ all 4 corners to get my ride height (just about 3" lower than stock) measured the hell out of it and went from there. If anyone wants pictures I can scan and send to email, just pm me.
I will say that the frame rails forward of the steering box are f***ing huge, but can be trimmed down very effectively.
I will say that a Mustang II is much easier (my '60 F-100) on a ladder frame. Fatman's MII stub kits are somewhere in between on the difficulty scale (based on a '51 shoeby).
As far as the availablity of parts, the only stock parts I still have on my F100 are the spindles (2" drops laying in wait) and the rack. Everything else you can by over the counter or aftermarket, unless you really like the way the strut rods look.
Hope I didn't hi-jack the thread, just wanted to put in my 2 cents, but turned out to be more like a buck fifty...
Alrighty then...Back to work. Jeepers Creepers is currently under the truck for it's v8, so I have a moment or 3 to do this.
here's where we are at. Front subframe is anstalled, and the c-notch and flip are completed. at this point, it's all about finalizing.
We placed the motor for mock-up and to fit the Camaro crossmember. due to the 700, we had to move the crossmember back a couple of inches.
no biggie-kind of a pain to drill the new holes, and the camaor has a "step" in it-standard cars got a little different crossmember which dropped into the step-so we had to shim the rear 2 holes so the crossmember couldn't dance around. after that, drill holes and bolt it up!
the notch was as simple as any notch can be, boxed it up,and went to the circle track isle at the local hot rod shop-Austin Performance.
there, I picked up some "El Generico" shock relocation kits for camaro- these are actually backwards-the shock mounts are supposed to go towards the inside forward of the axle. since our goal is outside of the frame, I swapped them side to side.
cheating, I know.
we then use the original upper mounts on the outside of the frame-easy enough.
after that, we got the good 'ol basic poly rebuild kit from P.S.T. after removing the large amount of grease and rust from the arms, I installed just the shells from the kit, blasted and painted the arms-
once they are dry, I will install the ball joints, and wipe the shells out with lacquer thinner and install the bushings.
in the mean time, I went around the frame with an 80 grit flapper disc and took off the rust and goo, and cleaned up the spots where we had cut stuff off the frame.
also took off some of the factory welding slag, but only to make it a touch cleaner looking.once j.c. has a motor stabbed, I can re-assemble the front end, install brakes, and build the mounts for the front sheet metal. (which we took off the rear of the crossmember)
hopin to get it done today...
and before anybody asks, the Jag in the background is a kit.
So is that it for the structural part of the clip? Are you gonna hafta box or re-enforce any thing around where ut attaches to the stock Chevy frame? I'd like to look at this thing up close. You reckon it will still be at your shop by the Round Up?
will you show us how you do the transition on the bottom of the camaro clip to the truck rails the backside. thanks mike
our goal is running,driving and at least primed for round up-so yeah, it'll be around.
I really don't see any need for additional boxing- and this is why.
the top and front of the c channel original frame are held into position by the body-which is a "shear panel"- the bottom and leading edge are welded to the Camaro clip-which is a box. and we add another crossmember-the camaro's- into the mix. the whole thing turns out to be really quite stiff.
around the c notch, however, we boxed it up using heavy plate, and went as far forward and backward as possible. the frame back there is stock, and our notch is deep, so we kinda go overkill on the material. (1/4 inch plate) but I have never had an issue doing it this way (including a truck that got hit by a dually years ago-the frame bent before and after the clip-where the box stopped- but not in the middle where you would expect it to.)
it's a pretty tuff set up.
transition of the bottom of the camaro clip to the truck rails?
Try again-I didn't follow you.
Great article. I have a Camaro clip in my 56 3100, drives and handles well, even after cutting 2 coils.
Could you post some pictures of the C Notch? I have flipped the axle and am about to notch the frame. Think I know how I am going to do it but would appreciate some advice from an 'expert'.
it's not done yet- I do them a bit different.
I hang the notch flanges out of each side so I have somewhere to bolt the original bump stops.
you can also see where the shock is gonna go...kinda. I just batted it away for the photo.
like I said...nothing out of the ordinary. we just boxed it deeper than you would typically see to make a bit of extra room for the stop.
thanks for posting. will have to follow this thread ,I want to see how low this thing will be after the doghouse goes back on
give you an idea-
old rocker height-15 inches.
new rocker height.
(drum roll please)
it's pretty deep- but you have to remember it was sitting on truck tires to begin with.
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