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1971 Chevy Chevelle BMR Fabrication's L...
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1971 Chevy Chevelle BMR Fabrication's Level 4 Brake And Suspension Package Upgrade - Turn & Run
Creating a Corner-Carving Chevelle With BMR's Level 4 Suspension Package
Photography by John Nelson
Chevy High Performance
January 01, 2009
The BMR control arms are designed to work with the ATS front spindles, making this upgrade a direct bolt-in. Forged from lightweight and strong 6061 T6 aluminum, they also use Corvette sealed-bearing hubs, which have a higher load capacity than stock, and incorporate C5 wheel speed sensors, if you want to run ABS. This is accomplished without changing the Chevelle's wheel fitment or track width.
The BMR control arms are designed to work with the ATS front spindles, making this upgrade
The arms are then equipped with bolt-on anodized aluminum steering arms in the same manner as the originals, though of course much more advanced. The tie-rod mounting point is relocated to reduce bumpsteer, while their greater strength makes for more responsive steering.
The arms are then equipped with bolt-on anodized aluminum steering arms in the same manner
As we mentioned, the ATS spindles come with a Corvette hub assembly, making installation of matching C5 calipers a snap. The kit includes the Vette dual-piston calipers, of course, as well as 13-inch slotted and vented GM discs and high-performance pads. All mounting hardware is included, sans brake lines.
As we mentioned, the ATS spindles come with a Corvette hub assembly, making installation o
The nearly complete front end setup looks good. Installing upper and lower BMR front control arms cuts 10 pounds off the front of the car, with less flex than the originals. The front springs have a 520 lb-in rate and lower the car 1 inch in addition to the 1-inch drop of the spindles. The stainless steel brake lines shown aren't part of the brake kit, but are recommended, so we installed a set.
The nearly complete front end setup looks good. Installing upper and lower BMR front contr
To finish up the front end of our subject '71, Matarese bolted on the package's front swaybar, which is cold-formed from 11/4-inch solid steel bar. BMR says this piece is four times stronger than a stock 7/8-inch bar. It bolts right on using Energy Suspension mounting bushings and endlinks.
To finish up the front end of our subject '71, Matarese bolted on the package's front sway
Out back, Matarese first stripped off the Chevelle's stock suspension pieces, then went after the car's differential bushings. It takes a bit of extra work to drive out the old pieces and install the new polyurethane bushings, but this step is important for reducing bind in the upper control arms and making the most of the Level 4 handling package.
Out back, Matarese first stripped off the Chevelle's stock suspension pieces, then went af
The frame-mount sides of the upper and lower control arms utilize spherical bearings to eliminate any binding and allow both arms to fully articulate during hard line driving. This is an aggressive setup, aimed right at track action, while the poly bushings at the other end retain some damping and street civility.
The frame-mount sides of the upper and lower control arms utilize spherical bearings to el
Matarese continued the suspension conversion by inserting the BMR lower control arms, which are created from 1 1/2x3-inch rectangular steel tubing, greatly minimizing the torsional flex found in the factory stamped pieces.
Matarese continued the suspension conversion by inserting the BMR lower control arms, whic
With both control arms and the adjustable BMR reinforcement braces in place, all those bright red pieces clearly illustrated the configuration of the Chevelle suspension. Also note that our test car's owner had installed C5 rear disc brakes to match the binders we installed, so we'll be able to bring you the scoop on this full brake conversion pieces as well.
With both control arms and the adjustable BMR reinforcement braces in place, all those bri
The back end provides for a good look at the Afco double-adjustable shocks used in this kit. Both compression and rebound damping can be independently adjusted, by hand and on the car. With 40 settings at each adjuster, the flexibility is enormous. These cool aluminum dampers are also designed with a large-diameter shaft for the higher forces seen in extreme driving and road racing. The rear springs lower the car 2 inches and have a spring rate of 200 lb/in.
The back end provides for a good look at the Afco double-adjustable shocks used in this ki
BMR upper rear control arms allow for the car's rear tires to be centered, as well as for on-car pinion angle adjustment. Once the tires were correctly set in the middle of the car's rearend, we measured the arms and used those figures as our starting points for setting the rear pinion angle, which was adjusted to -1 degree.
BMR upper rear control arms allow for the car's rear tires to be centered, as well as for
These pieces are fabbed from 1 5/8x0.120-inch steel tubing. The adjuster is a beefy 1 1/8 inches in diameter. To guarantee alignment, the upper control arms are created as one piece. The tubing section is then cut in half and the tube adjusters welded in.
These pieces are fabbed from 1 5/8x0.120-inch steel tubing. The adjuster is a beefy 1 1/8
The rear setup is very attractive and trick to boot. The 1-inch solid rear sway bar is clearly visible, as are the Nitto NT01 gumballs we bolted up to make the most of this setup. We employed 275/35ZR18s up front and 315/30ZR18s out back. These tires are DOT-approved competition radials, created to provide sharp steering response and accurate feedback for the weekend racer. Once we've outfitted this Chevelle with a steering setup that matches the rest of this aggressive package, we'll return to the track and get the real story of this performance-handling package.
The rear setup is very attractive and trick to boot. The 1-inch solid rear sway bar is cle
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Nitto Tire USA
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By John Nelson
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