Tech Spotlight: Joe’s Elco – Rear Suspension & Rollers
Text and Photos by Mike Finnegan
The first half of this tech feature gave you some insights into a new attitude towards A-Body and took a comprehensive look at the front suspension of Joe’s Elco. In the most recent post we looked at how to get more stopping power and also got started on the rear suspension. Now check out the rest of the rear suspension process and Joe’s new rollers!
Just like the front end, the bushings are so worn that they aren’t even round anymore.
The new links bolt into the stock locations using the original hardware.
Although the replacement coil springs look quite a bit shorter, the increased spring rate will only drop the car 1 inch from stock height.
Bell Tech’s Street Performance dampers are an excellent replacement for our leaky factory air shocks. The days of Joe’s Elco hauling anything more than ass are over!
Just like the front end, we are adding a Hellwig anti-sway bar to control the body roll during cornering maneuvers.
A pair of end links is assembled. These will attach the bar to the chassis of the car.
The bushings, as well as the inner and outer sleeves, are all lubed before being inserted into the end links. This will prevent squeaks and smooth out the pivoting motion of the links.
The bushing mounts that connect the bar to the rear axle are also lubed before installation.
The chassis doesn’t have holes for the end links but there is a pair of holes to register the provided drill template to. The holes are right above the exhaust hangers. New holes are added and then the upper link mounts are bolted in place using grade-8 hardware.
After setting the car on the ground to preload the suspension, the end links adjusted and then are bolted to the sway bar.
Wheel Vintiques is one of the only company’s out there that builds old school Rally-style wheels in sizes that are larger than stock. We went with 17 x 8 68 series chrome wheels with disc brake hubcaps up front and 17 x 9s in the rear. Backspacing 4.5 inches tucked nicely up front, and 5 inches cleared the rear fender lips with no problems.
BF Goodrich G-Force T/A radials filled out the fender wells and provide awesome grip in nearly all driving conditions. Size 255/50R17s worked well in the rear, and 245/50R17s were chosen for the front wheels.
Here is a look at the completed rear suspension.
That’s about it! Be sure to check out the first three parts of this tech spotlight for a comprehensive view of Joe’s Elco! Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
KW Automotive North America Inc.
Belltech Sport Trucks
1075 North Avenue
Sanger, CA 93657
BF Goodrich Tires
P.O. Box 19001
Greenville, SC 29602-9001
16237 Avenue 296
Visalia, CA 93292
McGaughy’s Suspension Parts
5680 West Barstow
Fresno, CA 93722
121 Sunnyside Ave., Suite 204
Clovis, CA 93612
Wheel Vintiques Inc.
5515 E Lamona Ave.
Fresno, CA 93727