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Author Topic:   Why are Camaro's so popular?
posted July 12, 2003 07:27 PM
What does a Camaro have that makes it so popular?
In my experience, when a tracks rules allow them, there are usually a pile of them and they run really good?
Is it front end geometry and wheelbase or what?

I'm looking for specifics.
Just curious, Thanks!

rico 08
posted July 12, 2003 09:04 PM
30+ years of tinkering,metrics have only been around for 25 years and were not used for alot of years,leaf springs are very forgiving to a heavy unexperienced foot and seem to soak up a big motor more easily,but the metrics are getting better and better.In my opinion metrics actually have a better front end.

posted July 12, 2003 11:29 PM
Thanks Rico,

The reason I ask is that I've heard from several people that a Ford Crown Vic has the front end geometry of a Camaro and the
rear of a Metric. Just wondering what that

Had a Camaro run at my track years ago, until the rules outlawed them, and he would
run up front each week, no matter where he started from, always seemed real smooth, not alot of bouncing or sliding.


posted July 15, 2003 10:02 AM
You can knock the windows out of a camaro and put a good set of springs and shocks on it and be competitve with all the stock stuff. It is easier to build, drive, and maintain. I cut my teeth on a metric car so when I started driving a leaf all the time it took me a while to adjust to how much you can abuse a camaro as far as running in deep. The geometry on the front end is conducive to circle track racing.

posted July 21, 2003 07:05 PM
I am by no means an expert regarding anything about racing, especially when it comes to why camaros seem to run well.

With that said though, my opinion is that a camaro usually has more flex in the chassis than a full perimeter framed car. That flex makes it, as many say, more forgiving. The reason most people use that phrase is because a full frame car (metric in this case) can be ultimately faster than a unitized frame car (camaro) but in order for that to happen the metric's setup has to be almost flawless for that particular driver, that track, and the track coniditions for that night. The camaro however will be pretty fast over a much wider range of driving styles, tracks and track conditions... fast enough to beat all of those metrics who don't have the "almost flawless" setup under it which I spoke of earlier.

A second point is the anti-squat characteristics that leaf springs give. Squat occurs when the weight of the car is transferred from the front to the rear under acceleration. Anti-squat is the amount of force which the rearend is pushing away from the chassis to provide increased tire traction. 100% anti-squat would mean that the rear of the car wouldn't squat at all under accelration since the weight transfer to the rear and the mechanical leverage pushing the rearend away from the chassis would be equal and therefore cancel each other out. A normal 4-link with coil springs using stock linkages in stock or almost stock positions will give you nowhere near 100% anti-squat. When you accelerate the rear squats.

However, with leaf springs (and of course other non-stock rear supsension systems), you get OVER 100% anti-squat meaning that the rear of the chassis actually lifts under acceleration, pushing the rear tires into the track surface even while you are still transferring weight from front to rear under acceleration.

Another plus to the leafs are that they wrap as power is applied, essentially preventing (to a degree) breaking the rear tires loose under hard acceleration. Then as the spring unwraps it starts giving progressively more bite to the rear tires. This is one of the "more forgiving" aspects.

Personally I'd love to install leafs onto a metric chassis. The way the rules are written around my part of the country it wouldn't be illegal. But of course if it did any good at all then the rules would suddenly become much more specific regarding the rear suspension having to be "stock for the make of car" rather than just stating "stock rear suspensions".

If any of you have tried it please reply back with the results.

posted July 21, 2003 07:20 PM
Isn't a nova about the same as a camaro.One of the old timers around here is refabing his nova he used to run.

posted July 21, 2003 09:08 PM
hang a malibu body on a S10 chassie.... thats what I would like to try..

rico 08
posted July 21, 2003 09:23 PM
From what i hear you can't just put a metric body on a s-10,the droop or difference in the high part of the frame and the lower part where you sit is too little,your head would be thru the roof of the car.

posted July 23, 2003 06:18 PM
well now there goes that idea

posted July 23, 2003 09:37 PM
a nova has a longer wheelbase and is narrower than a camaro.

the front a arm mounting pts etc are the same, though the body is also higher on the clip of a nova.

redneck racing
posted July 27, 2003 04:52 PM
4D Pickel has and or had leaf springs on his metic. Eddie

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