New H-body IRS, 9", & front suspension - who's interested?

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New H-body IRS, 9", & front suspension - who's interested?

Postby mahoy78spyder » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:36 pm

Hey everybody I wanted to gage interest to see who’d want to purchase new custom-made, bolt-on H-body suspension parts from a nationally known hot rod shop.

Kevin Tully and Chad Hill have successfully run Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle (http://www.hotrodchassisandcycle.com) for the last 12 years in the Chicago area and then 2 years ago created their Skunkworks Racing Division of the shop as well (http://www.hotrodchassisandcycle.com/skunkworks.php) , specializing in racing suspensions, components, and complete race cars. Some of you may know the ’64 Raybestos GTO-R car they built back in 2011. More recently they built the Craftsman Mercury Comet-R and a ’64 Plymouth Valiant. (pics in the links above) They’ve proven their work with numerous magazine spreads, SEMA show and TV appearances as well.

What they’re interested in finding out is would there be interest in front upper and lower, completely adjustable tubular A-arms, front K-member with mounts for either a Flaming River rack & pinion (or a race rack if preferred), or a bolt-in IRS that can either come complete with the cradle, rear diff, and outers (no brakes) or just the cradle itself, allowing you to fill it with whatever components you’d prefer. The IRS would be built to accept 2006-up GTO rear diff, with LX outers (Charger/Challenger). The front A-arms (at this point) would likely be made to accept Corvette C6 spindles.

A mule H-body is being delivered to their shop soon, thanks to a fellow H-body nut, Michael Allen, and with any luck we’ll see some prototypes come out in the near future.

Question is, how many would be in line for products like these?
Last edited by mahoy78spyder on Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby mahoy78spyder » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:40 pm

Cool video of their two latest road racing creations here: https://youtu.be/AlZCL8NIXi4
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby hammerdown7 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:08 am

Just a quick comment on the C6 spindle use, I think this means you would have to run at least 18 inch wheels and then the offset of the wheels might pose a problem. It will be interesting to see the prototype pieces mounted and fitted with wheels/rubber.

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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby zeke » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:42 am

Something simple like a 9" or 12 bolt conversion kit would be of interest to more owners maybe?
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby Kenova » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:35 pm

I don't see much of a market for products geared towards the 'Vette spindle.
A better marketing strategy would be front upper and lower control arms available for Monza, S10, and
early A/F/X ball joints. Throw in a choice of bushings or rod ends and coil springs or coil overs, they may
sell enough to make it worth the effort.

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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby monzaaddict » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:41 pm

I am certainly interested but how many people are going to buy a high end suspension like they are suggesting. 18" rims are proportionally too big in my opinion. Are they talking about cutting the entire rear floor out of the car or will this bolt to stock chassis points?
They should look at 69 camaro spindles with front facing abody or custom steering arms with stock steering linkage along with the option of going to a rack. Lots more brake and tire options - from stock discs and 15" rims to c5 discs and 17" or 18" rims. Do not use s10 spindles!
A complete torque arm suspension using a 8.8 fox body rear and a torque arm like maximum motorsports builds along with a properly sized swaybar, springs, lower control arms and panhard rod (or watts link similar to the fays 2 design if they think they can manage to fit dual exhaust over the axle.) I also want my stock gas tank
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby cjbiagi » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:11 pm

Where were these upgrades 30 or 40 years ago? I would guess the vast majority of H bodies that still exist have already been "built" or are drag cars. The other issue has been an age old one, most H body guys are frugal and probably not willing to spend 1000's of dollars on suspension pieces. If 18" wheels are required you could also be talking a couple thousand dollars in wheels and tires on top of the suspension cost. Hopefully I am wrong and there are enough folks to prove it to me and suspension options will flourish, but how many cars are out there waiting to be built?
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby Monza Harry » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:32 pm

I too would be interested, but I am fearful that would be out of my budget for at least, [wishfully thinking] 5 years. My wish list would be 15" wheel capable, and since were talking about things I can't afford, the Vette transaxle would be over the top SWEET. That would add some rear bias to the nose heavy V8 cars in a way trick way. Harry
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby mahoy78spyder » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:53 am

hammerdown7 wrote:Just a quick comment on the C6 spindle use, I think this means you would have to run at least 18 inch wheels and then the offset of the wheels might pose a problem. It will be interesting to see the prototype pieces mounted and fitted with wheels/rubber.

Dick


Dick,

I wondered about this too, but the C6 spindle has the same size knuckle as the C5, so you could put 17" C5 brakes on this if you wanted.
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby mahoy78spyder » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:05 pm

These are all good comments guys and I appreciate the input and the honesty. The one thing I told Kevin right off the bat was that many of us own H-body's because we are more budget-minded than most, otherwise we'd own a Copo, or Hemi. The other point I made was that for anything to be marketable, it's got to fit within the stock fenderwells/dimensions of an H-body.

For the moment, I seem to have talked them into building a DeKon-style IMSA Monza that they will road race, which is exciting, but some of the prototyping they would be doing would be for a car with a wider track width than our stock 54", so I hope what they learn on that car is transferable to ours as well. As Kevin mentioned on the phone a couple days ago, "width makes traction."

Will the IRS be affordable? Depends on what your budget is. :wink: But it won't be cheap - it's a LOT of development work and time and materials. But for a serious road racer, it would obviously be ideal. I think the sweet spot for Kevin, Chad & team is to concentrate on the adjustable front A-arms, K-frame, & steering. Those would all be bolt-on items that fit within the stock fender wells and could be more mass marketable.

Either way, I will pass on all of your comments above, including the ideas for additional products that I didn't mention in the original post, and see where it goes. The car should be delivered to their shop sometime next week, and then the process of prototyping and hand-crafting begins, so this is a long term project.

Keep those comments and questions coming... Good stuff so far!
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby mahoy78spyder » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:09 pm

monzaaddict wrote:I am certainly interested but how many people are going to buy a high end suspension like they are suggesting. 18" rims are proportionally too big in my opinion. Are they talking about cutting the entire rear floor out of the car or will this bolt to stock chassis points?
They should look at 69 camaro spindles with front facing abody or custom steering arms with stock steering linkage along with the option of going to a rack. Lots more brake and tire options - from stock discs and 15" rims to c5 discs and 17" or 18" rims. Do not use s10 spindles!
A complete torque arm suspension using a 8.8 fox body rear and a torque arm like maximum motorsports builds along with a properly sized swaybar, springs, lower control arms and panhard rod (or watts link similar to the fays 2 design if they think they can manage to fit dual exhaust over the axle.) I also want my stock gas tank


Just out of curiosity, is there something structurally bad about using S10 spindles? I've never heard anyone speak out against them before? Would love to know what it is that makes them unsuitable as I have a pair I may use - but won't if I can be convinced they're inferior somehow.
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby Skunkworks » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:57 pm

Guys, Kevin here from HRCC/Skunkworks. I'm all about helping out with new parts, and greatly appreciate your input as to what you want. I need to know that I'm going to sell parts, or there's no point in me making them.

The IRS will be bolt in. And at $250-500 for a 2006-up GTO IRS diff from the salvage yard, and around $150-250 for the outer assembly from a Chrylser LX platform car (300/Charger/Challenger), then you supply your own half shafts from Drive Shaft Shop or your local builder, you'd have IRS in your car for under $3k. But I don't think I can do that for the really narrow track width.

That said, a 9" axle with new lower control arms, torque arm, new trans cross member for the torque arm and housing with shafts is no problem. Chevy brakes and bolt pattern? No problem.

The front control arms are up in the air right now. I agree using a 2nd Gen Camaro spindle would be best for the stock body cars. For the wide body cars (IMSA kit) the C5/6 knuckle makes the best sense. There is a wide range of aftermarket brakes (actually) as well as some pretty decent stock Z06 stuff for the budget minded that can still be had from the local parts store. This also opens up the availability of the SKF Racing Hub for C5/6 knuckle.

Thoughts?
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby avewhtboy » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:57 pm

One thing that was brought up to me is the Weight of the S10/A/F/X/ all other Factory spindle and brake,rotor, caliper. I would venture to say each front corner assembly
weighs about 60 pounds. With aluminum spindle, calipers and whatever other factor lightening parts can be used would be helpful for drag racers and road racers.

I would think a spindle along the lines of the Lou Ghillati would be the best. It works with 15 inch wheels and lowers the car at the same time it helps the front
steering geometry. If you could get a cheaper setup like that I would think your market could be bigger.

I am building a "corner carver" myself using C5 spindles I would have been in the market for this stuff several years ago but I went full custom.

It would be great to see something available but this may be a case of if you build it they will come.

I hope you do build the stuff.

https://www.lgmotorsports.com/lg-corvet ... ndles.html

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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby Skunkworks » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:07 am

Woah. Those are nice spindles, but $3k? Damn.

If you're drag racing, the C5/6 knuckle with a 15" wheel is a moot point (I would think), as you're running a a wheel with only 1.5-2" backspacing, and the C5 brake caliper is very low pad as it's a single sided piston type. That's all talking out my ass a bit, as I'd want to mock it all up and make sure that worked. Since the hubs are the same front and rear, I'm sure a smaller rear rotor could be used, with the single piston rear caliper, which should allow more clearance. I have all those parts, and could mock it up. I'll have to see if I have a 4.75 bolt patter wheel to check fitment.
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Re: New H-body IRS and front suspension - who's interested?

Postby avewhtboy » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:27 pm

Yes those spindles are really expensive,but the "geometry" may be what is most needed for the H-Body cars to allow a smaller wheel than 18 inches. My point being, the C5/C6 spindle may not be the best spindle to use as others have mentioned.

I would definitely be interested in a two inch longer pair of upper and lower control arms with S10 ball joints, maybe tall upper joint, that would allow me to remove
the 2 inch spacer required to mount C5/C6 high offset wheels on the S10 Blazer spindles or if I could use the C5 spindle that would be great as well. Either way
the control arms would need to be around two inches longer than stock. The problem I have with Blazer spindles are, A) The steering arms are slightly longer than the H-body, which
makes the Ackerman worse, B) If you want to use S10 Drop spindles the tie rod end gets in the way if you want a wheel any wider than 7 inches. and C) The weight on each corner is
really ridiculous considering the light weight of these cars. 2400 lb car with 200lbs per corner for wheel/tire/brake package

I would love to see what you guys come up with I for sure may be interested in some of what you end up producing.

Specs on these pictures:

1973 Vega with 1977 "recessed" pocket lower control arms
S10 ball joints in upper and lower control arms using welded sleeve for lower
1998 S10 Blazer Spindle, rotor, dual piston caliper
17x8.5 wheel with 6.56 inches backspacing
2 inch wheel spacer
Tire size is 235/40/17
Ridetech Coilover Shock
QA1 Tapered coil over spring (500Lb)

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and my Astre with C5 front suspension components and Z06 wheels

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