A lot has changed since 1967, when the Camaro came out with its particular configuration of a double A-arm suspension. Racing and technology have proven the Camaro's geometry to accept much improvement. The quality of manufacturing and the composition of materials used in the 1960s and 1970s have changed quite a bit, as time continues to test the original equipment.
When it debuted, the Camaro was a fierce competitor on both the street and the track. The Trans-Am series displayed the Camaro's dominance on the road course. Granted, these were not street cars, but the rules bound them to many factory parts, giving the enthusiasts something to relate to.
The suspension's biggest problem is the natural camber curve defined by the spindle length, upper and lower control arm's length, and their mounting points. The old-school guys will share with you a well-known fix called the Guldstrand mod. (We outlined this mod back in the July 2006 issue in a story called "Get More Grip." Racer and car builder Dick Guldstrand told us, "I didn't think they would name a modification after me. I just thought they'd call it cheating.") This mod relocates the upper control arm's mounting point to achieve a superior camber curve over stock. This is one thing you can do to help the tires stick. Unfortunately, this alone is not enough to make your car keep up with Detroit's modern muscle. This is where aftermarket parts manufacturer Global West gets involved.
Doug Norrdin, owner of Global West, will tell you he won't make anything that doesn't work. When he receives a call from a customer asking for a part they don't need, he won't give it to them, but when they got my car in the shop, it needed everything.
Testing is the most important...
Testing is the most important part of a suspension upgrade. You can have the most beautiful and expensive parts, but if they aren't helping you, they aren't worth a dime. Final testing on the Camaro at El Toro proved it was worth the peanuts.
After only three years on...
After only three years on the car, you can see how quickly these replacement body mounts can get distorted. Solid aluminum bushings are a great alternative that will never wear out.