Camaro Front Suspension & Steering
For this article I will focus on the front suspension and steering on the camaro, Chevrolet used this type of independent front suspension on a lot of their cars, so this could apply to almost any of Chevrolet’s of their muscle cars from the 1960’s or the 1970’s.
First of all Chevrolet used a wishbone design front suspension with an upper, and a lower control arm, and they used this design with great success for a lot of years, it was setup using a coil spring positioned between the lower control arm and would fit in to a seat in the sub frame rail.
The shock absorber would pass the middle of the coil springs, this suspension setup is the same for the first, and second generation of the camaro with one difference, and that is the steering linkage, the recirculating ball steering gear, and the parallelogram type linkage.
These consist of a pitman arm, and an idler arm, center link, tie rods, integral steering knuckles, and wheel spindles on the first pension and cross member, due to handling issues with the first generation, the steering linkage was moved to the front of the cross member in the second generation cars.
When your restoring the front suspension of your camaro you need to inspect the pitman arm, and an idler arm, center link, tie rods, integral steering knuckles, and wheel spindles, as a matter of fact I would just replace all of it for safety reasons, you might as well do the job right.
I would inspect the upper and lower control arms for rust, and for the holes where the bushings go to be oval-ed out when the last owner didn’t replace the bushing when they needed to be replaced, or maybe they didn’t lube the car regularly.
If the upper and lower control arms show any ware at ll I would replace them for your safety, there are some things that you just don’t try to save money on, you should also have the coil springs load tested to see if they are reliable enough to put back in the car again.
When I restore a car I usually just replace the entire front suspension and steering to be 100% sure that the driver won’t have safety issues with the car, this isn’t just for aesthetics, it can hurt you very badly if it’s not done the right way, so take you time, and do it right the first time.
Also one other part of the steering that I don’t think that i mentioned here is the steering box, this would attach to the sub frame of the car, and the pitman arm would attach to it, you need to look closely at this also, if it has a lot of play in it, or it’s hard to move the ste
ering, you should replace it. My biggest concern when I restore is that I make sure that it will be a safe reliable mode of transportation, something that the people who drive it can depend on, or if it’s just a show mobile, a car that can take a prize at the show.
Camaro Suspension & Steerig Restoration