Jay's Independent Front Suspension Philosophy

Although there are a number of independent front suspension kits available for classic pickups, a tried-and-true method for upgrading GM pickup suspensions is still using a front clip from a donor car.  Let’s face it, not all of us can afford a Mustang II suspension with disc brakes and polished tubular control arms.  The front clip method is a perfect way to upgrade!

 

There are many types of donor clips available but I like to use Camaro clips (1975-1980).  The Camaro front clip is an independent front suspension with eleven inch disc brakes, springs and shocks.  The steering box is 2½ turns full left to full right and has a variety of applications for mounting a power steering pump to GM or aftermarket products.  The Camaro clip is great for a variety of motor mount applications small block, big block or LS motors.  The clip provides an updated suspension system that can be easily grafted to the chassis of many model year GM pickups.

 

I have perfected this method over the last twenty years.  I have clipped over forty-five pickups and have a solid method in place.  The nice thing about the Camaro clips is that you are using original factory components for your GM pickup.  For example:  headers, steering pumps, hoses and brakes for the Camaro work perfectly within the confines of a clipped pickup without any clearance problems.  Furthermore, should you decide to install a 10 or 12 bolt Camaro or Nova rear end in your GM pickup I have a successful formula to match the Camaro front suspension to the rear..  This will ultimately allow you to use the factory master cylinder and other components to make your brake system work properly. 

 

The compatibility of the Camaro with the pickup is a beautiful match.  Each weighs 3400lbs and has the proper width.  Some aftermarket independent front suspensions tend to run narrow and are a little too light. 

 

Questions:

 

Are there any modifications that need to be done to the original sheet metal?

Answer - Yes, relief to the left and right side inner fenders to accommodate clearance for the Camaro A-arms.

 

Do you use the original front frame rails of the pickup?

Answer - Yes, when I am finished everything bolts right back up like it did originally.  (bumper, bumper braces, core support)

 

Why does the engine set so low in the engine compartment?

Answer - It is one inch lower than original V8 mounted in the pickup.  I like to keep a low center of gravity to offset the tall cab.  These trucks do not lean in the corners with a Camaro clip in them. 

 

Changes after the quote.

Answer - Remember if you change one thing – you are going to affect three others that most likely will need to change too and the price goes up. 

 

How long does it take?

Answer - It varies as every job is different.   As a rule, it takes 2½ to 3 weeks.  Please remember that if I have jobs stacked up you must put a deposit down to hold your spot. 

 

Transportation:

Answer - I am willing to haul your project to and from the shop within reason.  I will consider longer distances for a fee. 

 

Why do I use the Camaro

  1. They RIDE, HANDLE and DRIVE
  2. Parts availability
  3. Variety of sway bars and springs
  4. Ease of locating motor mounts
  5. Parts costs are reasonable
  6. It is all GM