Top
Bottom
Top

Project Camaro
Initial Suspension Upgrade

June 1, 2018
By Scott Lewis

With new wheels & tires on the 68 Camaro it is time to decide where I should put my money next. Brakes or suspension being the biggest choice. Since I am able to lock up the tires with the brakes, and the car bobs pretty badly on the highway, I decided suspension takes precedence.

I have wrestled with exactly how I want to do the suspension on my 68 Camaro. I don't mind going full pro touring, but the cost is out of my budget for a long time. A Detroit Speed setup will set me back around 4 grand. Ouch.

Since one of my goals is to, "Improve the overall drivability of the car without impacting its reliability or appearance as a nearly stock vehicle," I decided to start small and see what impact I can get from a simple coil over conversion. This is not the drastic coilovers that come in big pro-touring setups and usually require changing control arms. I went with QA1 coilovers for three main reasons. 1) I have heard of them and have not heard anything bad. 2) You can select whatever spring rate you want from 250 lb/in to 600 lb/in. That's perfect as I am not looking for anything crazy, just something better than stock, and the adjustability that comes with a quality coilover setup. If I make a bad choice on the spring rate, it only cost $93 per spring to get another spring rate. 3) They make a coilover that works with the stock control arms on the Camaro.

My thought process here is that if I am impressed with this setup I will continue down this path and replace all the rubber with polygraphite from P-S-T, put in a larger front sway bar and add a rear sway bar, as well as replace all the old steering components (tie rod ends, center link, pitman arm, etc.). I will also replace the steering box. I am still trying to decide on power steering or manual. A quick ratio manual would be my preference to maintain that stock nature. But this car was available with power steering, so it is not against my goals.

If the QA1 setup does not provide enough of an improvement, I will start looking into replacing the control arms with tubular units that help improve the overall geometry of the suspension. We'll see. Let's hope the cost effective solution is good enough for the kind of driving I will be doing.

I ordered up a set of QA1 Single Adjustable Coilover shocks with 350 lb/in rate springs. I also ordered a matching pair of QA1 single adjustable shocks for the rear.

Since I will be able to lower the front to exactly where I want it, I also ordered lowering blocks. I ordered a 1" lowering block kit. When I opened it the u-bolts were pretty long. I think they provide the same u-bolts for many kits even with bigger lowering blocks. Since I am not sure I want to lower the rear a full inch, I also ordered 1/2" lowering blocks. I will wait and see how the front looks and drives before going back and adding the lowering blocks. Eventually I will get new leaf springs that lower the rear properly.

Conclusion

With all the parts ordered I will wait until next time to tell you all about the troubles I had with the suspension. It was fun (sarcasm).

Running Total
Previous Total $27,252.88
QA1 Front Coilover $468.99
QA1 Rear Adj. Shocks $323.98
1" Lowering Block Kit $29.99
1/2" Lowering Blocks $17.98
   
Current Total $28,093.82
Bottom