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Author Topic:   3rd Gen. Camaro/firebird
Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 19, 2004 04:02 PM  

 
I was wondering if any one who raced a 3rd gen camaro/firebird wanted to share any set up information 'IE" springs, shocks,struts, swaybars if used, torque arm bar settings basically any information. The pic is of my old car and Ill give the info on it if you want. Hey we all know their good cars and they are very fast so lets share some tips.

[This message has been edited by Mr.Kwik (edited July 24, 2004).]

JDF Motorsports
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 216
posted July 19, 2004 05:19 PM  
I ain't got one, but that makes me want one! Sweet.

WesternAuto17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 569
posted July 20, 2004 08:12 AM  
Do a search in this forum for 3rg generation camaros. This topic has been discussed pretty heavily in the past.

Good luck.

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 21, 2004 02:27 PM  

 
everyone who has posted in the other threads just talk "about" the cars I want to talk and share some info with those whom have drove and built these cars. I don't want to talk about how weak they are or how the struts **** ! Those of us who have ran these cars won't go back to any other car for a street stock. I let a friend drive my car one night he wrecked it into the wall coming off of turn four VOODOO!!! The wheel didn't get locked and it came off in his lap. Anyway I didn't have to throw the car away we fixed it just like you would have any other car. I came back the next week to win my heat and the feature. Anyway I just wanted to hear about some other 3rd gen setups and success stories. Here are some pics after my friends' un-eventful night.

te33
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 237
posted July 22, 2004 08:33 PM  
i ran one the season before last,it took a couple pretty decent shots,and was junk.i then built a second gen camaro.its a tough rocket ship,BUT,i am going to build another 3rd gen as soon as shop space permits,hoefully this winter.i have some ideas on how to fix the front end "toughness"issue,as for setup,i couldn't get the push out.flat 1/4.tight corners,i was just starting to play with the touque arm pick -up point and think i might have been on the right track.we can't run wedge bolts,so i'm just going to put a shock in the center of the spring in the front,and just use the strut as an"aframe".the holes to mount it in the lower are already there.i've got the upper strut mount already figured out.i can get all the camber,and caster i need.they are a little fragile,but very fast.i just think its a better mouse trapp.

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 23, 2004 04:59 PM  

 
if you look around on some other third gen. thread I discussed how I did that, (the shock through the spring) it worked well but I am going to use the racing struts on the next car. Here is a couple of pics when I was building the last car. Note the car doesent have the racing springs under it in these pics so it sets alot higher.

te33
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 237
posted July 23, 2004 09:58 PM  
i see we both had the same idea on the front strut plates.what didn't you like about the shocks vs. struts?and how did you go about "clipping" the car after your wreck?i pulled mine out on a frame machine,and the next solid hit killed it.did you have a push problem with yours on a dry slick?i'm gonna dig around and see if i have any picks of the torque arm setup.

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 24, 2004 08:59 AM  
I didn't mind the strut tower plates but on the next car I want to run the cage in closer to the motor a couple of inches. because on this car i couldn't push the strut in far enough to get the camber I wanted. As for the struts VS shocks, I still used the struts they were just dummies, when running the shocks. I ran the short hypercoil springs so I had to cut about 2-2 1/2 inches out of the strut body. If I didn't there wouldn't have been enough travel between the tower plate and the top of the strut body because putting the shorter coil springs in drops the car about 2 1/2 inches. I really didn't try to run a strut in the car. I didn't have to put on another clip. I have a sponser that has a few frame machines so we just pulled it back out and then we used 1/8 and 1/4 inch plate and plated both of the frame rails top/bottom and both side of each. then put in a few new down bars and that was it the car was raced a few more years after I had it and they got in a few wrecks but it never hurt the front stub. I bought the car back a month ago and it still has the same frontend and the same struts that I built in it. As for the torque arm bar, I built one with a heim end on the front of it and put it on a solid mount. It worked but this time I want to put it on a biscuit. My car never had a push in it. When the track was heavy or real tacky, this car was on rails! But when the track got real dry slick it was real irratic. You could go in and it felt great but sometimes it would just let loose like it unloaded or something. I let a couple of friends drive it that run late models and a modified and they expeirenced the same problem and two of them came to the same conclusion. The Left rear shock was bottoming out on extension, this was in return lifting the left rear enough to let the car unload. well enough for now sorry bout the book!

te33
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 237
posted July 25, 2004 11:18 PM  
what did you have in it for a right front spring,i had a 900,and a 800 in the lf.never had mine jump around like that.the 2nd gen has.too soft of leafs on right rear.if it hit a rut coming out it would fully compress the shock,and next thing you knew you were facing traffic!ran the soft springs to get side bite.fixed it by stiffing up the shock.i had to run a "stock" torque arm mount,but they didn't say any thing about how it was mounted.so we took it off the side off the tranny and made it so it hooked to the frame,with spacers you could put in ,or take out to raise or lower your pickup point.i liked the fact it had a rubber insert to help with the "shock",worked really well.

outlawstock17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted July 26, 2004 07:12 AM  
i run a mustang GT. it is similiar to a 3rd generation f-body in the front suspension. i believe the shorter wheelbase is what makes them so good on a tacky track. mine is the same way......very fast on a tacky track. a dry slick usually evens the field as far as the "car" is concerned. when the track dries out, the "driver" needs to be there whether it's a 112" car, a 108" car or a 101" car.

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 26, 2004 07:00 PM  
I ran a 100# split on the front also but was sprung a little heavier. 1000 & 1100. rear was a 250 & 225. Did you run the struts? what kind of luck did you have w/ them? What headers did you use? I ran a set of Hooker block huggers but would have rathe found a set to fit this style of car. How heavy was your car race ready? As for driving on dry slick you are right, it's all about the driver but I have had a sportsman and drove a Mod and late. but I never expeirenced any car unloading like this car was doing.

outlawstock17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted July 27, 2004 03:03 PM  
3000 lb. minimum weight. stock replacement front struts. 1100 RF, 1050 LF, 250 LR and 225 RR. keep in mind that a mustang has a swingarm type rear suspension so with the spring on top of the axle it would be more like a 225 LR and 200 RR.

for a car to be unloading the LR like that i would think that the RF spring might be too soft. it would have to burying the RF spring or flexing the chassis to lift the LR off the track.

my car stays pretty flat. the LF gets a little light when it's really tacky but it still stays on the track.

i use a set of howe crossover headers.

[This message has been edited by outlawstock17 (edited July 27, 2004).]

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 27, 2004 06:18 PM  
Nice car outlaw, Have you had any trouble w/struts? What's the wheelbase on your car? What kind of rules you running by? I see you have beadlocks on both right side tires.

outlawstock17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted July 27, 2004 07:42 PM  
i'm running on the same struts as i built the car with......30 races and counting. my car is 103.5". factory wheelbase is 100.5". i moved the front "k" member forward 3" to stretch the wheelbase and to get more caster.

here's a link to our tracks website:
http://www.tulspeedway.com/

go to rules and click on outlaw stock. that's the division i race. our engine rules are very loose. anything goes as long as it's a cast iron block and heads with one 4 bbl. carburetor. it takes 550+ HP to be competitive and we have 16-20 cars every week. i run a 351w with svo sportsman heads, roller cam, etc. i haven't won yet, but i'm 2nd, 3rd and 4th-ing them to death!

te33
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 237
posted July 27, 2004 10:01 PM  
tried the stock replacment struts,they were terible.the headers are a whole other story,i ordered a set $100 specials from summitt,put the motor,and tranny in to weld up the mounts,ect.before the pipes came in,and i pushed the motor as far back as i could get it.mistake!the headers would not fit.so i put a set of cast iron manifolds on with a really slick 2ito1 pipe.then i wrecked it before we got second set .so i have NO idea what will fit.i'm thinking a set of the over the frame out the fender set might work?

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 27, 2004 11:35 PM  
te,what did you end up running enstead of stock replacement struts?

eborcim
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 303
posted July 28, 2004 09:27 AM  
Do these cars run shocks or struts on the rear? Can you get a longer rear shock/strut or move the mount to let the LR down lower?

outlawstock17
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1363
posted July 28, 2004 11:35 AM  
shocks. moving the lower mount on the rear end housing and fitting heim end racing shocks is easy...

...or you can use a shorter shock.

[This message has been edited by outlawstock17 (edited July 28, 2004).]

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 28, 2004 07:39 PM  
The camaro/firebird uses shocks on the rear. I couldn't run a shock w/heim ends due to our rules. I used the pro shocks with the factory mounts. This next car will use a shock with a longer travel on it. I will also hook the torque arm bar to a adjustable biscuit. I know thats not leagal but.... everyone cheats the good ones don't get caught.

------------------
For those who can... step, For those who can't... STEP ASIDE!!

Scoot
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 517
posted July 29, 2004 03:17 PM  
Mr.Kwik, You might try and get ahold of towmandan. If I remember correctly he built and raced these cars. I've got a local car builder/racer if towmandan cant help ya.

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Scoot
Smith Racing Team
870-365-5989

Ego Racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 724
posted July 30, 2004 01:01 PM  
We have built a mustang and a 3rd gen. on the 3rd we built the cage to where we had to put the engine into the chassis then slide it over to the right and bolt the mount to the frame, then bolt the motor to the mounts. We also set the caster and camber without the spring in place and at the height where we thought the suspension would be at speed, then put the spring on and it should be good to start.
We built a sliding mount on the right that we could change around at the track in about 2 minutes.

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 30, 2004 03:54 PM  
Ego, how did the car drive after that? How tall of a spring did you use? Did you use the factory struts? Do you have any pics of the engine bay because I can't really figure out what you meant by setting the motor in and sliding it to the right ect. why did you need to do it like that? Thanks for the post and info. this is why I did this thread because I know and we all know this is the future of street,factory,pure stock cars. I am the only one around here that is running one of these cars, everyone else runs the same old stuff. I figure that if we share enough info here that it will help my fellow 3rd gen. racers out a bit, and start putting these cars in victory lane where they should be. Which I must say I have visited many times with my old 3rd gen. car.

Ego Racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 724
posted July 30, 2004 04:44 PM  
We had the right strut tower leaned over so far the bar for the right front was over the top of the valve cover so the engine had to go in and be moved around to get the mounts in. We were allowed to use racing springs so we made a plate to center the racing spring and hold it into place on the strut.
The car was fast I was having problems on the straight because we could NOT move the rear mounts so I concentrated on making it turn. I figured if I could get past them in the corner they would have to get by me on the straights.

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 30, 2004 11:30 PM  

 
so your right front tower was leaned over say what about 6" more than my car in this pic? Did you ever break a strut? any binding?

------------------
For those who can... step, For those who can't... STEP ASIDE!!

Ego Racing
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 724
posted July 31, 2004 09:54 AM  
We were not allowed to gut our factory towers so you could do it alot easier with your setup than we could with the stock tower. We never broke a strut but we did have a few lower problems until we reenforced them with small square tube.

JohnG
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 137
posted July 31, 2004 10:35 AM  
MR KWIK,

Youve got a lot of worksmanship in that car.

I personally would add a lot more to the front bay hoops. At least 2 uprtights down to the bolt on front clip, the only real iron up there and also a short one or two to the tinney frame rails you left remember to form triangles not squares when adding supporting bars.

I would also deffinitely add in a crossbar up high over the motor from tower to tower. I use a alum tapped 3\4 hex tubing with alum clevises on the ends.

And another bolt in x like a port city pavement latemodel in front of the motor, it goes from the steer horns to the front hoop down bars to tie it all together, forming a x thats at a angle leaning back over the water pump. to put this in you would need a electric fan set up.

Why does your pass side main cage upright go so far to the right? where it attatches to the halo bar its at such a angle I would add a upright bar underneath it for sure..

I would cut of the front rails in front of your front down bars, and plate that off, then attatch the bumper with 2x1 tubeing max so it can give rather than your front rails bending.

If I built one of these cars I would strip it to basically what you have then open up the factory rails and lay in a 2x3 rect tube from bumper to bumper. I would go far enough forward to mount the steer box, idler and back far enough for the rear spring hangers.

Its not as hard as it seems if you want a rail to go down 45 degrees you just cut both sides at 22.5, and weld them together then fishplate the sides.


Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted July 31, 2004 03:18 PM  
John G, two minds think alike. These pics were of the car when I had just painted the cage. I did however add a bar to the down bar coming off of my halo. I did cut the frame off and cap them where they meet the downbars and I ran a strut tower brace that indeed ran across from the two towers and also back to the firewall. The only thing I did different was the flimsy frame I didn't lay it open and put square tubing in it but I did box it in with 1/4 metal on all 4 sides. I wished I would have done that before putting the cage in. It's funny how most people genrally go the same way about things. I am just trying to decide weather to use the factory spring height or go ahead like last time and lower the car about 2 inches. And am still wondering what if???? I had tried to use the sway bars in the car. Did you look at my old car on the first post? she was fast and I bought her back the other day for a 100.00 bucks. I am going to rob my main cage out of it and use the deck for patterns but she is wore out and ready for the hay feild.

[This message has been edited by Mr.Kwik (edited July 31, 2004).]

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted August 05, 2004 10:25 PM  


 
Here is what the car looks like now, Like I said she is tired after being ran almost 5 years.

Mr.Kwik
Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 87
posted August 23, 2004 11:57 PM  
Come on guys I know there are more people in these forums that race these cars. Got any input?

    

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