Ad Radar
Car Craft
Click here to find out more!

Bolt-On Suspension Parts & Brake Upgrades on a 1965 Chevrolet El Camino - Bolt-On Performance Suspension Parts

Don't Be Happy With Cornering Slop. Tighten It Up With Some . . .

Your stock Chevelle doesn't handle. Don't get mad at us; the factory wanted it that way. To make these cars easy to drive and stable, GM dialed in positive camber gain and only small amounts of caster into the suspension geometry. The -1 to 1 degree of caster gives you little or no road feel, made worse by power steering, and the positive camber gain generates understeer when you try to speed through a corner. It was good for the public and bad for the car guy.

For the fix, we went to Global West, where Doug Nor-rdin showed us the parts that both solve those issues and create room for 17x9.5-inch wheels and 275/40ZR17 Toyo Proxes 4 high-performance tires in the front and rear of the car. The result is more aggressive handling, lower ride height, more road feel, and a lot more control. Best of all, you don't have to spend 10 grand on your suspension to compete with the fast cars. The Global West pieces cost about $2,500 total and can be bolted on in one weekend in your garage.

According to Norrdin, a mean-handling Chevelle needs 5.5 to 6 degrees of positive caster and at least 2 degrees of negative camber gain to work. These angles are measured in relation to the ball joints and controlled by the position control arms. Global West's G-plus package builds this caster into the control arm and fixes as much of the positive camber gain possible using the stock height spindle.

Let's say you have a street car where there is zero caster; you might see 2 degrees or more of positive camber gain on turn-in, rolling the tire away from the center of the vehicle and the optimum contact patch of the tire. The design of the G-plus control arm increases negative camber on initial turn-in. The combination of the G-plus arm's geometry and the inclination of the spindle keeps the tire contact patch in the negative camber zone even though you have positive camber gain. With the G-plus, you are not going to get killer negative camber gain without dialing in a bunch of static negative camber, but you will get street manners and better tire life.

To eliminate positive camber gain entirely, you'll need the Negative Roll System. It requires a taller spindle that allows you to run little static camber and nets you aggressive negative camber gain when you turn the car in. This system will cost more, and unlike the G-plus system that allows you to lower the car as far as you want, the ride height needs to be within an inch or so of stock. Don't get us wrong-both systems will be a lot better than your stock parts, but you need to know which system is right for you.

This stuff fixes all the problems inherent with a 45-year-old car. Instead of standard rubber bushings that deflect, creak, and squeak, all the Global West parts come with Del-a-lum bushings. Here is the basic pitch: Rubber bushings deflect and have a tendency to offset and distort. This is called cold flow and causes alignment problems and deficiency in handling. With the Del-a-lum bushings, you are going to get longevity in addition to the aluminum's unwillingness to distort your suspension angles or bind, causing mysterious and frustrating handling problems.

Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
Car Craft