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  #11  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:05 AM
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Yelcamino Yelcamino is offline
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As promised, it’s time for the rear suspension. When I started this project my original plan was to get the rear frame kit from ABC Performance so I could stuff 335s out back. After thinking about it for a while I decided that if I’m going to go through all this work I wanted to try something different. During my dealings with Ron Sutton while I was at Ridetech, I learned about his suspension kits, specifically his offset three-link. After some discussion and numerous emails, a big ol brown box showed up on my door step with this stuff in it…

10015 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

After having cut the front end apart with a 4 ˝” grinder, I broke down and bought this Eastwood plasma cutter. It was relatively cheap, has a better warranty than the big names, and it works awesome! So far it has been able to cut Ľ” plate without the slightest hiccup. Highly recommended if you’re in the market for a plasma cutter.

10020 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

With the old 9” in place, I located the stock rear axle centerline using a good old fashioned plumb bob. (I added the red line to show the plane I was using)

00012.1 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

With the centerline marked, I removed all the rear suspension and started measuring for the new parts.

10027 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Wanting to keep the body mount, I was able to do some fancy cutting thanks to the plasma!

10028 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10029 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

With all my cuts made, the engine hoist made quick work of getting the old stuff out of the way.

10030 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

The first thing I did was get the new crossmember tacked in place so I could start fitting the new rear frame rails. After spending too much time trying to get these rails in the proper position…

10031 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

…I got in contact with Ron and he sent me a new set of rails that were a better fit for me. He’ll probably chime in with more details, but I think these are now the standard rails in his rear kits. A couple of cool features is the holes for the watts link crossmember and sway bar tube are already in place, and there’s a line cut to locate the axle center line.

10032 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10033.1 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

The next step was getting the new rear end housing in place so I could locate the suspension brackets.

10033 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Here the watts link crossmember and sway bar tube are tacked in.
10034 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Lower shock mounts tacked in.

10035 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Third link tacked in.

10036 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10037 by Yelcamino, on Flickr
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1966 El Camino LS408/T56Magnum
1966 Chevelle 509/T56Magnum
1963 C10 454/4L80


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  #12  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:09 AM
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Driver side watts bracket tacked on.

10038 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

It’s slowly starting to take shape. You can see in this photo the back brace is tacked to the rear housing. Down the road you’ll see I had to modify it to clear the coil overs.

10039 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

From this angle you can see there’s about ˝” of space between the back of the rear end housing and the watts a-frame.

10040 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

I made these gussets to help reinforce the joint between the rear frame rails and crossmember.

10041.1 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10041.2 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10042 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

At this point just about everything is welded in permanently except for the housing brackets.

10043 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10044 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

I added this rear crossmember which I cut from the original frame rails that Ron sent me.

10045 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

With all that done, it was time to connect the original frame horns to the new rails. They didn’t turn out quite as pretty as I imagined them, but they’re pretty sturdy and put both bumpers where they should be.

10046.1 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10046.2 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10046.3 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

I tried to make both sides as similar as possible.

10046.4 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10046.5 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

The bumper fits nice and doesn’t bounce around!

10054 by Yelcamino, on Flickr
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1966 El Camino LS408/T56Magnum
1966 Chevelle 509/T56Magnum
1963 C10 454/4L80


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  #13  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:12 AM
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Yelcamino Yelcamino is offline
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Here’s the front…

10046.6 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10046.7 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10046.8 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10046.9 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

And then I made a pair of boxing plates and welded them in. (For some reason this is the only picture I took)

10046.91 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

The next big hurdle was permanently welding the suspension brackets to the rear end housing.

10046 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Here you can see how I shortened the back brace to clear the coil overs.

10047 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10048 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

With all the brackets welded on, I made a trip to Moser and had them weld on the Baer floater ends and cut axles for me.

10049 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10053 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10050 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

I also picked up some gear oil and axle seals.

10051 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

And some Redline grease for the axle bearings.

10052 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

With everything welded, I put the housing back in to see how it all fits.

10055 by Yelcamino, on Flickr
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1966 El Camino LS408/T56Magnum
1966 Chevelle 509/T56Magnum
1963 C10 454/4L80


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  #14  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:14 AM
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Yelcamino Yelcamino is offline
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Here’s the Ridetech coil over with a spring in place.

10056.1 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10056.2 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Plenty of room!

10056 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

With the rear wheels and tires in place, the track width is 72” just like it was before. With these little 10” wide wheels and 295 tires, there’s 7 ˝” between the inner side wall and the frame rail so I have lots of room to fit a 12” wide wheel with 335s!

10058 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10059.1 by Yelcamino, on Flickr
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1966 Chevelle 509/T56Magnum
1963 C10 454/4L80


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  #15  
Old 01-14-2018, 07:54 AM
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Yelcamino Yelcamino is offline
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A while back I came across a set of Jake’s Rod Shop C6 tubular arms being sold by Jon (Jtomas801) here on Lateral-G. The price was right and I liked the way the lower arm was designed for a coil over vs the factory arm which requires a weak (IMO) trunnion to mount a coil over.

10059 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10060 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10061 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Here’s the Jake’s Rod Shop arms mounted along with the new Ridetech Track 1 C7 hubs.

10063 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Now things are starting to get fun! Just to help me visualize things, I put my P-Ayr mock-up engine in place. In this position, it’s about 12” rearward of the stock location. The plan is to get the engine behind the front axle centerline.

10062 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10064 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

For the most part the front suspension is all in place. I did a quick check of the alignment and I have 5* of caster on both sides, -1.5* of camber on one side and -1.4* of camber on the other. Not too bad as a starting point.

10065 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10066 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

It’s finally starting to look like a real chassis!

10067 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

Now you’re all up to date. I still have a few little things I need to get done on the frame but the next big step is test fitting the body. Due to the rear suspension, I’m going to have to cut out some sections of the rear seat area and trunk floor. Before I can do that, I have to get the interior stripped. To get myself motivated, I took the rear wheels off the Z06 and put them on the frame to see how some big meats would fit…

10072 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10073 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10074 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10075 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10070 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

10071 by Yelcamino, on Flickr

The Z06 rear wheels are obviously too wide for the front and they have too much backspace. However, they actually turn quite a bit so that tells me 11” wheels (with the proper backspacing) and 315s will fit! They fit great out back but again, due to the offset, they actually narrow the rear track width by 2".
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1966 El Camino LS408/T56Magnum
1966 Chevelle 509/T56Magnum
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2018, 10:44 AM
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GregWeld GregWeld is offline
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Well played Sir!!!


Smart choice going with the de-coupled 3 link !! While I haven't driven a car with that setup - my new race car (Sutton Track Warrior) will have that. I'm hoping for some major mechanical grip.
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  #17  
Old 01-14-2018, 11:06 AM
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Impressive work Herb, nice job.
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2018, 03:37 PM
Yukon Cornelius Yukon Cornelius is offline
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Think you'll have to notch your front crossmember for the pulleys/balancer?
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2018, 04:03 PM
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Yelcamino Yelcamino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregWeld View Post
Well played Sir!!!


Smart choice going with the de-coupled 3 link !! While I haven't driven a car with that setup - my new race car (Sutton Track Warrior) will have that. I'm hoping for some major mechanical grip.
Thanks Greg! I didn't get the de-coupled 3 link, just the offset 3 link. IIRC, Ron said I could always upgrade to the de-coupled version down the road.
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1966 El Camino LS408/T56Magnum
1966 Chevelle 509/T56Magnum
1963 C10 454/4L80


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  #20  
Old 01-14-2018, 04:04 PM
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Yelcamino Yelcamino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynieZ View Post
Impressive work Herb, nice job.
Thanks Wayne!
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1966 Chevelle 509/T56Magnum
1963 C10 454/4L80


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