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Zeta II (Camaro) FRONT suspension swap info!

62659 Views 158 Replies 43 Participants Last post by  Jimal
Alright guys (and gals). This has been a while in the making, but I have finally got it (just about) done. Front Camaro spindles and struts installed on the G8. Sounds easy enough, right? Well it is now.

First off, why would you do this?
1.) Zeta II got stronger components and better geometry (stronger control arms, ball joints, spindles, hub bearings, strut mounts, etc...)
2.) Direct bolt on Brembo upgrade (unless you already have CTS-V or GXP Brembos, and I will get to that.)
3.) Strut selection - holy hell there are a bunch available for the 5th Gen.
4.) Parts availability - no explanation needed.
5.) Cool factor

If you have a higher mileage car and need some front suspension work anyways, and have maybe been considering upgrading to the Brembos and better struts, now is the chance to do it all at once.

What you will need:
2010-2013 Camaro spindles w/ hub bearings and ABS wiring, lower control arms, radius arms, rotors, calipers, G8 upper strut mounts, and the Camaro strut of your choosing. You could use the stock Camaro FE3s if you wanted, and that was my original plan, but I ended up with BC coilovers for the adjustability instead. You will also want to get all of the Camaro bolts and nuts just to make sure you have what you need. All three of the strut mounting bolts are different sized from the G8.

Now the kicker. Because the ball joints on the Camaro are all larger, including the ones on the outer tie rods, we have to swap outer tie rod ends. No big deal - get the 2010 Camaro ones. New ones are cheap, and you probably needed them anyways. However, as you will see in the pictures, there is a difference in length. The G8 uses a short inner and a longer outer tie rod then the Camaro does. The combination of the short G8 inner and the short Camaro outer does not leave enough thread to safely connect the two. So we need the Camaro inner - but the threads where it connects to the rack are larger than the G8. $#%&@!!!!!
So began the hunt for a solution. I didn't want to have to replace the rack and get that deep into it not knowing what else I would run into. I didn't want to have to machine the rack or tie rod ends to make it work, because that would be a PITA for most people to repeat. After hours on the internet searching and chatting with Moog tech support, then talking to them on the phone, then digging through their catalog, I found an inner tie rod that has the correct thread on both ends and is long enough to do the job. Wouldn't you know it - it's off of a Camaro. Moog PN# EV260 for the 2002 Camaro (and about 11 billion other GM vehicles) has the 14x1.5mm outer thread, the 18x1.5 inner thread, and the length to get the job done. As a matter of fact, it's about .75" longer than the 2010 Camaro inner tie rod. You will probably have to shorten it about .5" to get enough adjustability to get your toe alignment right, but anyone going this far should have no problem doing that. That's it. That is the magical part that makes this all work on our cars.

You can reuse your G8 brake line if you choose, and it fits in the bracket on the Camaro strut, but you might have to zip tie it to make sure it stays.

You will have to splice the wiring for the ABS sensor because the plugs are different, but this is two wires (+ & -) and is very simple. I am waiting on the body side Camaro pigtails now so I can cut the ends off of my stock G8 sensors and make short jumpers between the G8 body wiring and the Camaro sensor. Then it will be plug and play, and will keep me from having to cut my body harness or the sensor harness for the sensors that I'm using. Then the car COULD be returned to stock if needed. (Picture added on page 3)

My parts pile - I will be doing the rear cradle/ diff swap in the next couple of weeks. Thanks to those who have already blazed that trail.
How-to here: http://www.g8board.com/forums/showthread.php?t=96529

The Camaro uses a taller spindle (by about 3") and a shorter strut. Camaro sway bar endlinks are a little longer than the G8 to make up for this, but I was able to rotate the stock sway bar up far enough to keep the G8 links for now. I will update if there are any interference issues during suspension travel, but it was only about 1.5"

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The control arms are the same length as the G8, but the Camaro uses an I-beam lower control arm instead of the round ones that the G8 uses. The Camaro also has a little different geometry on the radius arms. Again, the ball joints are all larger than the G8. The Camaro guys don't have near the amount of issues with the lower control arms that the G8s have reported.

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Here are the tie rods. As you can see, the G8 uses a combination of a shorter inner and longer outer. The 2010 Camaro uses a short outer and longer inner. You will need the outer from the 2010, and the EV260 (or equivalent) inner from the 2002 Camaro (possibly shortened some) to make this work.

** I did end up shortening my EV260s .5" to get the proper adjustability for toe alignment. **

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And here it is installed in the car. From my measurements, the track width appears unchanged, and there is plenty of adjustability for a proper alignment - even with the coilovers adjusted down lower than my old Eibachs. If the alignment shop has any issues next week, I will post back here. I will also post pictures of the car on the ground with everything installed after I get the final ride height set. I still need to install my braided brake lines and splice the ABS connectors, but overall, this is not a difficult swap.

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Very cool post. I am a big fan of replacing worn out parts with OEM, but improved, parts as a general rule. In for final pictures!
One more thing. As we all know, the Camaro Brembos use the larger 14mm caliper mounting bolts and the G8 uses the 12mm. If you are getting the Camaro calipers with the rest of your parts pile to do this swap, you will not have any issues bolting them to the Camaro spindles. If you already have the CTS-V or GXP calipers like I do, you will need to make one small addition to your parts list. You will need to install bushings in the spindles so that they are snug around the smaller bolts. There are a couple of options here. You can source your own 9/16" OD tubing and make your own (good luck), or you can purchase some already made up for the 2004 to '05/'06 GTO brake upgrade swap. JHP sells them (expensive) or there is a vendor on ebay that sells them under the name of:

I am trying to verify measurements on these, but they should be what we need.

05-09-14: Received a reply on the bushings. They are 12mm inner, 14mm outter, and 20mm long. Should work perfect. Have a set on order.

05-15-14: These work fine:
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Great work so far!!
Impressive work! Good luck with the alignment and hope everything is perfect so that others can do this.
Awesome work! I assume you used Camaro coilovers? So anyone looking not to use coilovers should be looking at using the stock Camaro struts?

I was wondering if the stock Camaro struts/springs were used, what that would do to the G8 ride height? Lower? Taller?
amazing swap!! Great Job OP. Sub'd
I believe that the Camaro struts could be used, but I didn't get the old ones with my parts order at the local salvage to test ride height. You would have to use the G8 upper mount and spring seat. I'm sure they would work though. Because the Camaro spindle is so much taller, I'm pretty sure that you would want to use a drop spring for the G8 with the stock Camaro struts.

I ordered the Camaro coilover kit knowing that I was going to do this swap. Figured that if I jumped in with both feet, I would have to find a way to make it work.
Subscribed cuz this is F*%[email protected] awesome!!!
Subd. The amount of suspension options for the camaro is insane. Awesome work op.
Sub'd for results... Thanks OP, will look to do the same next summer.
Very innovative op, nice job! Thank you, this has to be mod of the year or something. Great work!
Wow amazing! Great work. Sub'd
Awesome project, after doing my lca's a week ago, I hope there are no clearance issues with the radius rods at full lock. The clearance bend in the G8 rod seems deeper and in a slightly different position
crazy thought , what about using a bump steer kit , instead of all the work to the rack ?
I just read elsewhere that gm is going to sell the Z28 suspension in a kit. Would this mod allow us to use it?

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I just read elsewhere that gm is going to sell the Z28 suspension in a kit. Would this mod allow us to use it?

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That is the complete opposite of what I have been seeing.

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