When Outlaw 632 competitor Brett Newell found himself with traction and handling issues with his beloved ’69 Camaro — through a combination of age, wear and tear, and the stress of more and more horsepower — he decided to take action. Newell called on Rick and Rickie Jones and the team at RJ Race Cars and Quarter-Max Chassis & Racing Components to help him find a solution, and transported the Camaro from Florida to RJ Race Cars’ facility located in Galesburg, Illinois.
As Rickie Jones shares, upon arrival the team at RJ conducted a thorough inspection of the car and all of its suspension and safety components, and found it was a really nice car that just needed to be updated with stronger components to handle the stress of the power and the weight being applied to it. At 3,000-pounds and producing 1,800-plus horsepower, the upgrades included a whole new rear suspension from Quarter-Max, including a 2-inch splined anti-roll bar, four-link brackets with doubler plates, 1-5/8-inch four-link bars and rod ends, custom fabricated floater rear end housing with billet adjustable shock mounts, axles, brakes, wishbone with 1-1/4-inch slide tube and billet mounts, wheelie bars, chassis X bracing, and a new larger safety window net.
After fabrication, paint, and assembly was finished, the RJ team performed a complete chassis setup which included the four-link, shocks, struts, ride heights, ballast adjustments, scale sheet, and front end alignment.
In order to tune the chassis better at the racetrack, a front ride height laser sensor along with shock travel sensors in the front and rear were added to the car’s existing Racepak data system. The new sensors were installed on the car and then programmed into Brett’s laptop while he was on site.
Watch Brett Newell's reaction when he first sees all the updates completed by RJ Race Cars to his steel body 1969 Camaro!Posted by Quarter-Max Chassis & Racing Components on Tuesday, August 4, 2020
With that, Brett’s car is now beautifully updated with all of the suspension components needed to be solid, safe, and consistent, with the adjustability and the data required to manage all that power between the framerails.
“There are so many old cars like this. This is real car with a steel-body and a chassis from 15 years ago, and it’s heavy. There are so many racers upgrading the engine, and upgrading the engine again, and next thing you know, you’ve added all this power and it’s not going faster, or it’s all over the place,” Jones explains. “And sometimes when you really get underneath them, they’re not safe. This car was actually starting to egg-shape the holes in the four-link brackets…we’ve seen other cars rip a four-link out, because they just had old brackets on them and weren’t built for the power.”
“This car showcases what we do — that we don’t just build Pro Mods, but that we can take cars like this and work on them,” Jones continues. “The customer was actually hesitant to call us and ask, because the thought we were were builders for Pro Stock and Pro Mod cars and that he was just a nobody. He said, ‘you probably don’t even want to work on my car,’ and I said, ‘no way, we absolutely want to work on it.’ There were a few things that were starting to fail on it, so we went through and updated everything that we saw a need for. This car is like his baby, and a lot of racers are they way…their car is them. They ant to enjoy it, they want to keep it, and he was at a point that it was no longer fun. because he was struggling. And the last thing you want to do is get frustrated and not want to go racing and sell the car you love. And we love working on those cars, to make them safer and more reliable.”
Quarter-Max Parts List
- Anti-Roll Bar https://quartermax.com/extreme-pro-series-2-splined-anti-roll-bar-kit-universal/
- Four-link brackets (customized/modified it to fit his frame) https://quartermax.com/extreme-pro-series-4-link-chassis-brackets-4130/
- Four-Link Bars https://quartermax.com/extreme-series-4-link-bar-kit-1-5-8/
- Custom Floater Rear End Housing https://quartermax.com/rj-pro-4130-custom-9-fabricated-floater-housing/
- Billet Adjustable Shock Mounts https://quartermax.com/billet-adjustable-double-shear-shock-mounts-3-4-wide/
- Extreme Wishbone 1-1/4 https://quartermax.com/extreme-pro-series-wishbone-kit-1-1-4-slide-tube/
- Wheelie Bars https://quartermax.com/80-pro-mod-double-x-wheelie-bar-welded/