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1badLemans 05-14-2011 06:45 PM

How to lift the rear on a 1971 camaro?
Hey guys, I just bought a 71' camaro that the previous owner put huge tires and exhaust exiting in front of the rear tires. I have a steep driveway and the pipes scrape when driving into my garage which is annoying as well as scraping over speed bumps. I haven't had anyone in the back seat yet but previous owner says tires will rub if adults are in the back. He did install air shocks with electric compressor and switch to activate but I see no lift just stiffer suspension. Ok, what would be the best way to raise the back about 2 or 3 inches? I would like to acomplish this not only for clearance, but I love the raked look of a muscle car. I've heard that air shocks are crap and to just toss them but in favor of what? I've done some research and think extended shackles woud be the cheapest and easiest way to do this. I know handling would suffer but this is a weekend car and I don't like driving fast around corners, that's how you loose control. Drag racing in a straight line is my taste of racing. What would you suggest?, thanks.

Altec 05-14-2011 07:26 PM

Longer shackles, and correcting shims for the pinion angle?

Another possible option is some sheet metal work. This is what we (My Father, and myself) did to tuck up the exhaust up on his '69 Camaro.

matts37chev 05-14-2011 08:16 PM

i'm thinking smaller tires and different exhaust would be better

and then to get the "raked looked of a muscle car" lower the front a little :thumbup:

1badLemans 05-14-2011 08:54 PM

Any idea on how much I can lift before it drastically affects pinion angle?

oldschool hero 05-14-2011 09:12 PM

Longer shackles and shock extenders. :thumbup:

Altec 05-14-2011 09:20 PM

Best thing you can do is lift the back of the car up with a floor jack (Not from the axle...) enough to get the weight off and unbolt the shackles. Then jack the car up to the desired height. Slide jack stands under the car, and crawl under and measure the pinion angle, and measure the transmission while you are at it. You can figure out if you are within spec from there. If not, shims will do for your purposes.

Next I would pick up some flat bar stock and cut it into 4 equal length pieces, and drill a bunch of holes every 1", or so. These will act as test shackles so you can figure out how long of a shackles you need for the desired height. From there you can either buy, or make a set for the desired length/hole spacing.

Pantaz 05-14-2011 09:39 PM

If you want to keep the existing ride height, you can install air-bag "load helpers" with on-board compressor (the compressor is really small). Just pump the suspension up temporarily to get in your driveway, or over speed bumps.

cobalt327 05-14-2011 11:00 PM

For the scraping exhaust, reroute it and tuck it up under the car properly. Nothing looks cheesier than the exhaust/mufflers hanging below the car- well, except air bags that jack the tail end up to clear too wide/wrong offset and/or backspaced wheels that extend out past the rear quarters. If the wheels don't hang out, a slightly longer shackle can give you some clearance, but isn't the ideal solution.

If the tires are scraping on the inner fender lip. the lip can be rolled back to give some extra clearance. If the scraping is on the inner side of the wheel, scraping can be reduced using thin spacers- but they have to be thin, as in 3/8". If this isn't enough, the wheels should be swapped for the correct size.

eloc431962 05-15-2011 06:12 AM

X2 you need the correct fitting parts if you want it to ever sit right JMO
Post a pic of what you have going on now with it would be nice. :thumbup:


poncho62 05-15-2011 06:40 AM

New springs.................

eloc431962 05-15-2011 08:21 AM


Originally Posted by poncho62
New springs.................

Yep that too...... :thumbup:


1badLemans 05-15-2011 02:51 PM

Car kinda looks like a challenger T/A exhaust which I personally don't find cheesy at all Cobalt. Tires are fine and don't rub at all like I said until I maybe have people in the back seat. I will try to post pics as soon as I can, but shackles and shock extenders seem like a good route.

1badLemans 05-15-2011 03:14 PM

Bye the way, Cobalt please explain why shackles would be ideal??? And no, tires or wheels don't stick out at all. The guy just wanted as much tire contact as he could being that this car was going to be built as a street/strip car.

Altec 05-15-2011 04:41 PM

For your use, the shackles are fine.

I can't find a lift spring for a 1971 Camaro... So you would either have to have yours re arched which give you a crappy shackle angle, and will ride like a dump truck. Or you can get a custom set made, and deal with the sore rear end when they bend you over, and still have ride that isn't ideal...

poncho62 05-15-2011 05:12 PM

Chances are the leaf springs are old and sagging....New springs will bring it back to proper height.....If not, add one leaf.....That's not expensive....and its not rocket science.....

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