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Old 08-28-2004, 11:38 PM
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Lightbulb Converting solid Rear To independant rear

I have a 1996 Chevy Camaro, And I am putting together a list of all i want to do to it. on my list is to make it Independant rear so It will hug the corners a little better (I am a road couce guy driving a Camaro...) But despite the fact that a conversion like this is Chevy Herracy, I want to do it all the same and was wondering if anyone knew a company that would sell a setup for this kind of conversion, so I don't have to spend so much time Fabricating one of my own. All input will be apreciated

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Old 08-29-2004, 05:55 AM
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On a "bang for the buck" basis, an IRS should be way, WAY down on your list. Yeah, it looks cool on a rod in a car show, but, if your priority is a good handling on a street car, it's very difficult to justify.

The only advantage of an IRS...as far as handling is concerned...is that the unsprung mass is reduced. This can be very beneficial if you're racing over a fairly rough road, but I also live in Orlando and, except for an occasional sinkhole, all the streets I drive on are nice and smooth. And, as for disadvantages, well, talk to an early Corvette owner about things like torque steer and component wear, for instance.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm actually a fan of IRS. I have a '65 Sprite with a Jap drivetrain and I'd LOVE to have an IRS! With that narrow track and all that torque, it's presently tough to keep the right rear on the ground, but an IRS would immediately solve that problem.

But, in your case, I'd say spend the money on tires and wheels first. Then, visit your friendly Chevrolet parts man and ask to see the racing options catalog. No, before you do that, go to an SCCA slalom race. There's one every few weeks here in the Orlando area. There are always a few Camaros involved. Have a talk with the drivers and see what they're running for tires, springs, shocks, etc. If there are 3 drivers, you'll get at least 4 opinions, but you should be able to learn something worthwhile. If nothing else, just go with the setup that's quickest on that day.
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Old 08-29-2004, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
The only advantage of an IRS...as far as handling is concerned...is that the unsprung mass is reduced.
I'm not sure thats a correct statement. Having an IRS allows you to camber your rear tires in (negative camber). So that when you go through a turn, and you begin to roll out to the outside tire it actually sits upright like it should. When this is done, the tire has the most contact patch available on the wheel doing the most work through the turn. A solid axle will not allow you to do this. I believe this is the biggest advantage you will find with an independent suspension.

That said, I don't believe it is cost effective to put one on a camaro.
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Old 08-29-2004, 11:17 AM
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IRS

I do understand the advantages and disadvantages to such a conversion. But do you all know where I could find a bolt-on IRS or Pre-fab Kit?
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Old 08-29-2004, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmc12mk3
I'm not sure thats a correct statement. Having an IRS allows you to camber your rear tires in (negative camber). So that when you go through a turn, and you begin to roll out to the outside tire it actually sits upright like it should. When this is done, the tire has the most contact patch available on the wheel doing the most work through the turn. A solid axle will not allow you to do this. I believe this is the biggest advantage you will find with an independent suspension.

That said, I don't believe it is cost effective to put one on a camaro.
That's right. You caught me in an unwarranted simplification. Some of the NASCAR boys have been caught "tweaking" the housings to get a little negative camber on the outside tire. When I first heard of this, I found it hard to believe. But, that's how important that "unfair advantage" can be to those guys!

And, on a smooth surface, I'd agree that this ability to add a little negative camber could be the "biggest advantage" of an IRS. On a rough surface, of course, the difference in unsprung mass can be decisive.

Which reminds me of another funny story from my youth. (Oh, no! Not another one!) Five of us were carpooling in a small Mercedes sedan with a swing axle. At the time, I weighed close to 250, as did the other two guys who were crowded, with me, into the rear seat. As we stopped at a light, a car pulled up along side. The driver, Trant Jarman, rolled down his window. He was laughing so hard that tears were literally streaming down his face. All he was able to get out was: Boy, are you guys negative!
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Old 08-29-2004, 07:50 PM
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Cain,

Have you checked out Heidts

http://www.heidts.com/heiirs.htm

They make a generic IRS unit. Don't know if it would work in your Camaro. It's a cool $4,200.
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