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Old 07-18-2006, 06:51 AM
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Camaro clip spring question

I have finished installing a '77 Camaro clip in the front of my '57 Chevy truck. I completely rebuilt the clip before installing it, with the exception of the coil springs. With everything reassembled and the truck resting on all fours, I had originally lost about 2" in height from stock (I used 2" box tube between the frame and subframe) and the truck sat level. Now, 3 days later, the suspension has settled, the driver's side is lower than the passenger side and I have lost another 3" in ride hieght for a total of 5" lower than stock.

Obviously I should have installed new springs. Is it possible to use coil springs from a '74 Trans Am in the '77 Camaro subframe? I figure the big block 455 springs would have a stiffer rating and therefore less sag. Any other suggestions? I would really like to raise the truck back up those 3".

-Joe

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Old 07-18-2006, 01:22 PM
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The firebird springs woll definately fit in your camaro clip. Any of the gm metric(74-81 camaro\firebird and 75-79 nova)clips wil swap between eachother. This includes the trans corss members as well. You can get a set of springs from just about any big manufacture for a big block for around $150.
Hope this helps out some.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:08 PM
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I kinda thought they might. I was looking for something with a stiffer rating to offset the heavier truck front end. Does anyone know the spring rates, diameter, etc for the stock '77 Camaro springs vs. the big block Trans Am springs?

-Joe
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:31 PM
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Camaro springs are gonna be in between 89-127 lb/in for 1977, z/28 springs being the most stiff(if you can call them that!).
I cant seem to find any info on the 455 springs but im sure they are higher to hold up the old pancho. I say give her a try and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the input, 53. It'll have to wait for a few weeks. It's WAY too hot to do anything right now (no shop to work in), and I have a gremlin in the TBI system that needs to be addressed.

-Joe
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:10 PM
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After researching the web, calling Just Suspension in North Carolina, and Jegs, it looks like GM coil-over conversions from QA-1 are the best answer. Just Suspension could provide 2" taller coil springs for the mid-70's Camaro front clip with a spring rate of 419 pounds per inch. Stock Z-28 spec out at 345 pounds per inch and 455 Trans Am springs spec at 330 pounds per inch.

With the taller, stiffer Camaro springs, I would be able to get back 3" to 3 1/2" of lost ride ride height, but over time these springs would settle too. Not bad for $150, but I'd rather do this once and be able to know the truck will be where I want it. Jegs offers Coil-Over conversion shocks for GM applications from QA-1. Opting for the heavier big-block kit will run $456, but will allow me to adjust the ride height where I want it and I'll be able to ensure that one side does not sit lower than the other.

Has anyone had any experience with these units?

-Joe
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:17 PM
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I have some experience with the Jegs coilover kits. Great IMO, they really offer alot more than they charge for. Consider this, big block springs from the major manufactures are roughly in between $140/$170, and a good set of shocks(koni, bilstien) are a about $100 a side. Add it up and your at $350 or so. For a hundred or so you get ride hight and valving to play with. Cant get any better than that if you ask me.

On a side note, I never thought the z/28 springs would be stiffer than the big block firebird springs GM never ceases to amaze me!!
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:05 PM
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Thanks 53, I was really surprised myself. I've worked around both chassis back when I raced at one of the local dirt tracks. The Poncho for the same year was always more stout in the way it was built compared to its brother. Oh well...learn something new.

Glad to know the coil-overs are the way to go. I had pretty much made up my mind to go that way after talking to the suspension people about springs. I just wanted to get a little more feedback before I committed to dumping $450. I really was not looking forward to the prospect of spending $150 and 1/2 a days work, only to have the same problem to a lesser degree.

I am going to hold off a bit longer before I make the final commitment. I need to get insurance and tags back on it and get the front end weighed. I'd feel more comfortable knowing exactly the load I am working with (not that there is an option on the spring rates for the coil-overs other than big block or small block for the GM conversions.

-Joe
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:20 PM
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Chevys are known for that sag on one side. There is a kit for S10s, which have a very similar frame, that evens out the ride. I've seen S10 spring cups, and have a Camaro clip on my truck, and I see no difference in the upper cup. I can't remember who offers the kit, but its essentially a spacer for the coil.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:15 AM
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Like I said, the coilovers are awsome. I have a set on my 77 camaro and the work flawlessly. Good luck.
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