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Old 01-17-2011, 02:01 AM
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Half leaf coilover suspension

Hello, I would like to get some feedback to my suspension plans.

I have just finished bodywork of my '68 Camaro and next thing to do is rear suspension. I would like to do something like Fatman Wonderbar. I already have new Caltracks with split mono leafs. I have widened rear wheelwells to inside by 2" so I don't have upper stock shock mounts. Rear end is GM 12-bolt, 3:08 or 3:42, eaton truetrac. Engine will be ~600cid NA V8, 800-900hp, TH400 trans, around stock weight. It will be a street-strip car - going fast on dragstrip is more important than street handling or comfort. I can use ET Street or drag radial tires with maximum of 10.5" tread width and I can't go faster than 10.0sec ET and I'm racing on old concrete airfield - looking for 1.5-1.6sec 60ft times. I can't use ladder-bars or four-link.

First I had a plan to do something like Detrot Speed Mini-Tub Kit - relocated rear end mounts, offset shackles, narrower fuel tank. Then I discovered Fatman Wonderbar setup and I like it alot:
* I don't have to relocate rear end mounts.
* I don't have to make or buy offset shackles.
* I don't have to narrow my fuel tank or buy new - I want to use stock tank or something with stock look.
* I can adjust my ride height easily - I like that ALOT!
* I have more room for fuel and exhaust system around fuel tank area.

Basicly only things to do is shock/coilover mounts which I have to do anyway and panhard bar. I have searched for topics like that but I haven't found many and before buying a new set of coilovers I would like to get answers for some questions:
* How does this setup(split leaf, coilovers, panhard bar, Caltracks) work for dragracing - compared to full leaf springs and Caltracks?
* Most important - How safe it is? Does it handle safely that kind of usage I'm intending to do with it? - 10.0 seconds on dragstrip and some donuts on parkind lots!
* Is there something I have missed or misunderstood? Any suggestions?

Some pics of the progress, haven't updated lately - Link.

Thank you!

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Old 01-22-2011, 05:47 AM
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This is essentially what Steve Magnante did with his Cadillac powered Chevette when he was tech editor at "Hot Rod." He just torched off the back of the leafs and added coilovers and a Panhard. Saw it run at the strip and it seemed OK. You can probably find some pictures at the "Hot Rod" site.
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