DrKenNoisewater
DrKenNoisewater
11/10/21 8:53 a.m.

Looking for advice on building a competitive CAM-T car on a budget. Ideally I’d like to spend around $10k on parts (wheels, tires, suspension, brakes, etc).  The car needs to be streetable, and I'm guessing it will eventually have around 500 hp with a small block v8.

I’ve seen Mary Pozzi’s site (http://www.pozziracing.com/second_gen_camaros.htm) but the parts list is vague. I was able to find the Hotchkis suspension: https://www.hotchkis.net/product/74-...is-suspension/

I’m having trouble putting together a front and rear brake kit package.  What size is realistically necessary? Do I, or should I, upgrade the spindles? Do I need to upgrade other things like the master cylinder, lines, etc?

Would 17’s be more competitive in general than 18’s (wheels)? It seems a lot of people, and the pro-touring crowd, run 18’s.

For steering ratio, I’ve read people that run the 12:1 ratio often think a 10:1 would have been better. I don’t have experience messing with steering ratios.

Anything else?


Thanks in advance.

Gimp (Forum Supporter)
Gimp (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/10/21 9:41 a.m.

So... I have a lot of thoughts, feelings, and a little experience with this chassis.

Brakes are a good area to focus on, but you don't have to go huge if you don't plan on track days.
Wheel size?  18s are going to be better for you.
Spindles - that's really part of a whole package you will put together, but drop spindles aren't a bad idea.
Steering - a 12:1 will be fine for a street/autocross car.

What all is done to the car right now?  If you haven't done them, my very first move would be solid subframe bushings (or none at all) and a set of subframe connectors.  There is no other mod (aside from good brakes) I'd put ahead of them.

DrKenNoisewater
DrKenNoisewater New Reader
11/10/21 10:16 a.m.

Thanks Gimp.  The car is stock.  I do hope to take it to track days.

What would I gain with drop spindles vs regular?  I see some offering "taller" spindles too.

I'll look at the bushings and connectors.

Gimp (Forum Supporter)
Gimp (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/10/21 10:22 a.m.

Drop spindles will help you lower the car without losing suspension travel.

I'd start with the subframe connectors.  These cars are wet noodles without them, and it will ensure a solid foundation for any mods going forward.

After that, there are some simple suspension combinations that will work well with a 18" wheel and a good tire that will get you out on the track pretty quickly.  I like a lot of the Detroit Speed stuff for street cars, and you can buy a little at a time if you like.

Good starting point:

https://www.detroitspeed.com/70-81-camaro-firebird-front-suspension-components/speed-kit-1-front-suspension-kit-1970-81-camaro-firebird-031307-group

https://www.detroitspeed.com/70-81-camaro-firebird-rear-suspension-components/speed-kit-1-rear-suspension-kit-1970-81-camaro-firebird-041637-group

 

There is a lot you can do after that if you really want to go nuts.

SEADave
SEADave Dork
11/10/21 11:42 a.m.

If your 10K budget is just for mechanical stuff like drivetrain, suspension and wheels & tires you have a lot of room to play with.   Stuff like that is relatively cheap for these cars.  It all depends on how far you want to go.   You could upgrade shocks, swaybars and springs all around for a couple of grand, or you could go with a full tubular subframe and multi-link rear for $8-10k.    Same thing with brakes, you could do B-body spindles and 1LE rotors up front for a few hundred or get a full Baer/Wilwood big brake kit for a few grand.    

 I agree that subframe connectors should be one of your first mods, remember these cars are unibody only from the firewall back.   

Also check out the NastyZ28.com forum, there are hundreds of projects there from all stock restorations to wild customs.   Gives you a good idea of the directions you can go.   

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/10/21 12:24 p.m.

And sharing this because I really dig Gimp's build.

 

Gimp (Forum Supporter)
Gimp (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/10/21 12:42 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

And sharing this because I really dig Gimp's build.

 

Awwww.... you flatter me.

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/10/21 1:15 p.m.

In reply to Gimp (Forum Supporter) :

I like the outfit changes mid interview.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/10/21 1:41 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

It's the details that make it so good. 

DrKenNoisewater
DrKenNoisewater New Reader
11/10/21 2:09 p.m.

Hey Gimp, I didn't realize that was your car.  I watched your video this morning - love the car and the story.  
 

It needs tires, so I'm thinking I'll do the wheels, tires, and subframe bushings first.  The Hotchkis kit I referenced has the subframe connectors, so I'll maybe wait on that.  
 

I'm looking at the Rocket Racing Rocket Attack Machined Titanium wheels in 18" (https://www.rocketracingwheels.com/rocket-attack-machined-titanium/p1914).  What width and backspace should I get?  Any other suggestions on a similar style wheel?  I love the Forgeline GA3R and GW3R, but $1400/wheel is a bit much for what I want out of the car for the foreseeable future.

 

Gimp (Forum Supporter)
Gimp (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/10/21 2:21 p.m.
DrKenNoisewater said:

Hey Gimp, I didn't realize that was your car.  I watched your video this morning - love the car and the story.  
 

It needs tires, so I'm thinking I'll do the wheels, tires, and subframe bushings first.  The Hotchkis kit I referenced has the subframe connectors, so I'll maybe wait on that.  
 

I'm looking at the Rocket Racing Rocket Attack Machined Titanium wheels in 18" (https://www.rocketracingwheels.com/rocket-attack-machined-titanium/p1914).  What width and backspace should I get?  Any other suggestions on a similar style wheel?  I love the Forgeline GA3R and GW3R, but $1400/wheel is a bit much for what I want out of the car for the foreseeable future.

 

Yup.  That's me!  The story is long and expensive, but it's a good one.

So, a word on subframe bushings.  If you are going to do subframe connectors (and you really, really, really should) you'll want to go with solid aluminum bushings.  They also make at least two heights - a full height and a 1/2" lower.  The lower bushing effectively lowers the front of your car with no impact to suspension travel.  If I could go back in time I would just install my subframe with NO bushings at all, but that can cause alignment issues with the front fenders/rad support, etc.

I honestly don't know what width and offset fit under a stock fendered second gen anymore.  I'm thinking an 18x8 or 18x9 should fit well enough with a 235-245 on the front, and a 275-285 on the rear.  The folks here - https://nastyz28.com/forums/suspension-steering-brake-wheel-topics.17/ - may know better (I'm a moderator over there too).  Tire wise, the Yokohama A052 are highly regarded, but I know a lot of folks run Falkens and like them.

Eventually, for a CAM build, you're going to be at least mini tubbing the rears and doing some cutting in the front to fit a 315 up front and bigger in the back, so keep that in mind.

I think Sam Strano at http://www.stranoparts.com/ sells the Forgelines, and he's great to work with, so you may way to try there.

Feel free to ask me any other questions.  I'm a bit at an extreme end, but I've learned a lot along the way.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/10/21 6:09 p.m.

Sam is good to work with.  And he is a treasure trove of F body suspension knowledge.  He even takes calls for free when he has time.  

BionicTigerShark (Forum Supporter)
BionicTigerShark (Forum Supporter) New Reader
11/10/21 8:45 p.m.

I'm trying to do the same thing with my 79, just more like on a junkyard budget. 

Some other places you may want to check out are

http://customworksperformance.net/index.html

https://www.umiperformance.com/home/product-category/gm-mid-models/70-81-gm-f-body/

http://www.pro-touringf-body.com/

I'm using the hotchkis front and rear springs, ws6 trans am sway bars,  with stock control arms you can't get much camber, I could only get -.8.  If you get the hotchkis springs they are already 2inch drop, using them with drop spindles would make it too low

I have the 1le front rotors and s10 rear disks, but can't seem to get enough pressure to lock the rear brakes

kore3 and custom works have kits to put c5 corvette brakes on the stock spindles.  You can also use 98-02 f body rear disks

I have 17x8 front and 17x9 rear wheels and wish I went with 18 square

Fronts are 4.5" backspace and I ended up cutting the inner fender so they wouldn't rub.  

Rears are 5.25 backspace, no issues.  I test fit the rears on the front and a 275/40/17 fits but rubs the frame at full lock and the inside of the wheel rubs the upper control arm, an 18 should clear fine there.

I used a 3rd gen steering gear to get a faster ratio on a budget. 

stroker
stroker UberDork
11/11/21 6:18 a.m.

I fear this thread will be hypnotic to me over time...

Be nice if we had a similar thread each for Mustangs and Challengers/Chargers....

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
11/11/21 11:51 a.m.

I'd go for those Camaros for a Mad Max build, but for some reason I could never get over the look of them. Not sure why, even though they're arguably one of the best rear wheel chassis for serious power and handling.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/12/21 6:37 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

I'd go for those Camaros for a Mad Max build, but for some reason I could never get over the look of them. Not sure why, even though they're arguably one of the best rear wheel chassis for serious power and handling.

Ghost Camaro?

https://drivetribe.com/p/ghost-car-a-1979-camaro-that-was-SgUwhuvHTjeXf4J0RNCy9Q?iid=IHXIftl5Rv6L3MZKeR0kyA

 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
11/12/21 9:19 a.m.
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) said:

Ghost Camaro?

Agh, I know! But for some reason, I always hedge towards a 2nd gen Javelin or a 70-72 Torino.

Anyway, sorry for the threadjack. Continue.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA UltraDork
11/12/21 9:51 a.m.

In reply to DrKenNoisewater :

If you're going to use the stock sub frame have a look at the stuff I make for 2nd gen F bodies. lab-14.com  These cars were designed back in the late 60's when hard compound, narrow,  bias ply tires were the norm and the chassis wasn't designed to take the lateral loads we can put on them with todays aftermarket suspensions and sticky rubber. While you have a late version that had some different spring, anti-sway, and shock changes for radials the basic chassis is the same for 70-81 cars.

Mary and I ran the same Hotchkis stuff back in the early 2000's, you're not going to be "competitive" in Cam T with that stuff now.  I'd look at other frame connector options as those are kinda unique and not as compatible with other products as other types are, they have their place I just doubt they're the best choice for your application. This is not to say the current Hotchkis TVS systems aren't good just that they're better for other driving uses than you've described.

You're more than welcome to call me and pick my brain with questions, phone # is on the website. If I don't answer leave a message and I'll call back. Lots of noise from compressor etc. so I don't hear the phone a lot of times.

Everybody likes pics so here's one of my car at Sebring back when it still had full Hotchkis suspension.

[URL=https://app.photobucket.com/u/NOTATA/a/adbd50e0-af3d-44fb-99dd-240198e45939/p/80a6fc97-8703-4879-ac87-001499fef02e][/URL]

 

NOT A TA
NOT A TA UltraDork
11/12/21 9:54 a.m.

In reply to BionicTigerShark (Forum Supporter) :

To get more -camber with stock control arms have a look at the Global West offset upper control arm shafts.

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