Second-gen Camaros aren't exactly well known for their all-out, performance-oriented suspension. In fact, GM used a lot of carryover suspension components from the first-generation to second-generation Camaro. By doing so, it's safe to say that our '81 disco-era Camaro was rolling on 14-year-old technology even when brand new.
If you recall, we have almost completely revamped the entire underside of this Camaro. Our June '09 issue featured a full PST steering rebuild ("Breaking It Down") while in our most recent issue ("Stiff Upper Lip," May '10) we illustrated a front to rear replacement of the shocks, coil springs, and rear leaf springs with all new PST polyurethane body bushings up front. In our efforts to stiffen up the aging subframe and body we had one last upgrade to complete.
The owner of this Camaro already has a 496-inch iron sledgehammer that makes well over 500 hp. While this Camaro is destined for heavy street use, owner Michael Consolo has every intention of hitting up weekly grudge nights at the dragstrip. It's because of this that we questioned the Camaro's ability to adequately handle the massive torque from the big-block.
Right out of the box, the PST subframe connectors are ready to be installed. If you prefer
The good news is that there's a wide variety of components available these days and the need for a one-off or custom component aren't necessary to get the job done. The best part is, since they're off-the-shelf parts, costs are cut and it helps to keep build tallies on the lower side because no fabrication is required.
Taking advantage of the current suspension offerings in the aftermarket, we opted to add a set of subframe connectors from PST to finish up our suspension revamp. These connectors are simple to use, extremely affordable, and once installed the flimsy chassis is instantly rigid, emulating a full-frame sled.
To complete the project, we went back at Lou's Performance in Sun Valley, California, where Lou and the gang got down to business installing our new pieces. While these subframe connector kits from PST are completely bolt-in, we decided to weld them in instead for a more permanent fitment.
What We Did
Add structural rigidity to our '81 disco Camaro
Eliminated chassis flex on a budget
To begin, Juan Arreola laid the connectors into what would be its new home to check for cl
Once sized up for fitment, we needed to clean the entire area. Arreola whipped out an air-
Arreola again test-fitted the connectors underneath the Camaro to make sure there was enou
With the sanding complete, Arreola lined up the connector's boltholes with the factory hol
It's crucial to remove anything that would prevent the welds from penetratintg the metal.
When welding in the connectors, be sure to remove some of the powdercoating from the insid
Fit several times and weld once. After a final mock-up, Zamora made sure the holes were li
After the subframe connectors were lined up, Zamora fired up the welder and filled in all
With the welding complete, our last step was to apply black spray paint to the unprotected