Select Page
Frequently Asked Questions
Front control arms (A-arms)
Q) When should I fully tighten my A-arm, trailing arm, shackle and hanger bolts?
Answer: Tighten the bolts with the full weight of the vehicle on the ground.

Q)
Will the Hotchkis part number 1103C work with my stock spindles on my 64-72 A-body?
Answer: No, they will not work with the stock spindle. Our 1103C tubular upper a-arms require the use of late model taller spindles and brakes, for improved suspension geometry and stopping power. In order to run our upper a-arms Part # 1103C you do have to change the factory spindles to the B-body spindle (1978-1996 Impala, caprice ect) or F-body spindle(1970-1981 Camaro, Firebird). For the stock spindle applications use item #1102.

Q)
Do the Outer tie rods have to be changed with the 1103C?
Answer: Yes they do. (See listing below)
Your Year and Body What you need
64-70 A-Body 78-88 G-Body
71-72 A-Body 73-77 A-Body
78-88 G-Body 78-88 G-Body

Q)
Will the B & F Body spindles lower vehicle?
Answer: Yes, 3/4″ of an inch.

Q)
Will the B & F Body spindle widen track width?
Answer: Yes, 3/8″ of an inch per side.

Q)
What are the alignment specs when running the Hotchkis part number 1103C?
Answer: 4+ DS and 4.5+ PS and 0 Camber and 1/16 total toe.

Q)
What are the advantages from running the Hotchkis upper and lower a-ams vs. stock a-arms on my first generation f-body?
Answer: The Hotchkis upper a-arms are precision CNC manufactured, equipped with smooth operating Delrin® bushings, 4130 chromoly offset cross-shaft for increased camber adjustment, and removable shims for caster adjustment.
The Hotchkis lower a-arms are equipped with smooth operating Delrin®bushing, and polyurethane spring cup with adjustable ride height shims.
Both a-arms are 100% tig welded and bolt’s on in stock location.

Q)
What are the advantages from running the Hotchkis upper and lower a-ams vs. stock a-arms on my 1964-1972 A-body?
Answer: The Hotchkis upper a-arms are precision CNC manufactured, equipped with smooth operating Delrin® bushings, 4130 chromoly offset cross-shaft for increased camber adjustment and built in positive caster. The Hotchkis lower a-arms are equipped with smooth operating Delrin® bushing, and polyurethane spring cup with adjustable ride height shims. Both a-arms are 100% tig welded and bolt’s on in stock location.
Chassis Brace
Q) What size exhaust can I run on my first Generation F-Body convertible using your “Sport Cross Brace” part number 1404?
Answer: It is designed to work with up to 3 inch tubing FlowmasterTM systems or any other popular dual exhaust systems.

Q)
Where does the trailing arm mount brace go?
Answer: The trailing arm brace connects the upper trailing arm mount to the lower trailing arm mount, connecting the two points together reducing chassis flex.

Q)
Are your sub frame connectors visible after installation?
Answer: Yes, they are slightly visible, but not the lowest point under the car.

Q)
Do I have to cut the floor board of my first generation F-body to mount the Hotchkis sub frame connectors?
Answer: No! The Hotchkis sub frame connector follows the contour of the floor board. No cutting needed!
Shocks
Q) Why should I use the HPS 1000 shocks over the “off the shelf” BilsteinTM?
Answer: Shocks need to be tuned with spring rates and vehicle weights in mind, that’s why one valve fits all or universal shocks just don’t optimize performance and often sacrifice ride comfort for performance. Tuned in house and manufactured by BilsteinTM, this shock offers a seamless transition between comfort and control. Each shock is specifically engineered and tuned to offer the ultimate performance ride.

Q)
Do shocks come with your TVS kits?
Answer: No, they do not. You still have a choice of what shocks you prefer. We strongly recommend the HPS 1000 shocks so you will be using matched product.
Springs
Q) Which side goes towards the top when installing my springs 1901F/1916F?
Answer: The flat side goes towards the top!

Q)
What direction should I install my springs?
Answer: You will want to install your springs with the part number right side up, unless special instructions are included with the item.

Q)
Do the springs settle?
Answer: The springs settle within the first 5 miles of driving the vehicle.

Q)
Will weight reduction to my vehicle affect ride height?
Answer: Yes. Any weight reduction from factory parts will affect ride height.

Q)
What coil springs/TVS kit should I buy if I have a 67 Chevelle big block with aluminum heads?
Answer: Buy the small block springs/ TVS kit.

Q)
My front springs on my 67 Camaro 1907F (small block) did not lower the car the car 2″ like it was supposed to. I took the original springs out and installed the new Hotchkis springs and only lowered it 1″ Why?
Answer: The springs are supposed to lower the car 2″ from factory ride height. An original spring is already sagged and that is why you cannot expect 2 more inches from that height.

Q)
I want to lower my car, but do not want to give up my ride quality; will Hotchkis springs ruin my ride characteristics?
Answer: Our engineers are familiar with the balance of optimizing handling while maintaining ride quality. Our springs will provide the handling and precise vehicle responsiveness and stability with little effect to the ride quality.

Q)
Is it necessary to have my vehicle aligned after installing a Hotchkis spring kit?
Answer: Yes. Any time you work on the suspension system and after the ride height, it is necessary to check and adjust the alignment of the vehicle. By lowering the ride height, some camber and toe may be affected.

Q)
What shocks or struts should I use with a Hotchkis spring Kit?
Answer: Shocks need to be tuned with spring rates and vehicle weights in mind, that’s why one valve fits all or universal shocks just don’t optimize performance and often sacrifice ride comfort for performance. Tuned in house and manufactured by BilsteinTM, this shock offers a seamless transition between comfort and control. Each shock is specifically engineered and tuned to offer the ultimate performance ride.

Q)
Will I have proper tire clearance with a “Larger” wheel & tire package after installing a Hotchkis spring kit?
Answer: All Hotchkis suspension kits are designed and tested around the vehicle’s original wheel and tire combination. It is best to work with a reputable wheel and tire dealer that is knowledgeable in the proper wheel size (width and offset) that is correct for your vehicle in order to prevent clearance problems caused by improper wheel and tire packages.

Q)
How do I measure ride height?
Answer: Using a tape measure, measure the height from the fender lip to the ground.

Q)
Will lowering my truck with the Hotchkis Leaf spring affect the towing capacity?
Answer: Anytime you lower a truck regardless of what you use (springs, shackles ect.) you will loose towing capacity. The reason being is that you loose travel. What happens is that when you lower the vehicle 4 inches, you become closer to the bump stops. Then when you load up the bed with a load, now you are on the bump stops. No more travel. Not good for the truck. The fix to this situation would be to use an air bag assist to help with towing.

Q)
Where will my Camaro sit with the Hotchkis springs?
Answer: The measurements listed below are sample heights to be expected with Hotchkis Springs or TVS kits. Vehicles are all stock Camaro’s equipped with 225/60/15 wheel and tire packages. Measurements are taken from the ground to fender lip on a level ground.
Year Front Rear
67-68 25 1/8 27
1969 24 25 ¾
1971 25 ½ 26

Q)
I have an F&X -body with a mono-leaf rear. Will the Hotchkis leaf springs part number 2407C work on a mono-leaf car even though the Hotchkis leaf spring kit is a multi-leaf spring?
Answer: Yes, the Hotchkis leaf spring is designed to work with a mono or multi leaf car.
Sway Bars
Q) I’ve read a lot of conflicting information about rear sway bars. Since my Camaro is rear wheel drive and has a solid axle with leafs out back, why do I need a rear bar and what does it do?
Answer: First let’s think about how a sway bar controls body roll and control. The sway bar is attached to the left and right suspension and chassis. It controls body roll by twisting in torsion. Think torsion bars and you get the idea. The more the body wants to roll in heavy cornering, the more resistance, twist, the sway bar provides.
Years ago the feeling was that a Camaro only needed a front sway bar. Back then the best tires were skinny with relatively soft sidewalls. Today people are packin’ super sticky tires on the rear of their Camaro. These tires produce some serious grip and are miles better than yesterday’s race tires. Your Camaro will be the quickest and most comfortable around a track or down your favorite twisty road with a neutral handling balance. This is achieved when the car is neither loose nor tight (excessive understeer or oversteer) but balanced with the front and rear tires doing equal work. Providing that the springs are of sufficient rate to keep the car from bottoming out, the handling balance is tuned with the front and rear sway bars. We generally engineer the largest front sway bar possible that doesn’t overpower the front suspension and then tune (change roll stiffness) with an adjustable rear sway bar.
Some people recommend running a stiff rear spring combination without a rear sway bar. In this case the heavy spring rate keeps the chassis from rolling thereby eliminating the need for a rear sway bar. This is fine if the passengers wear kidney belts and interior rattles are no problem. For the rest of us we want a comfortable ride with great handling. Adding a rear sway bar solves the ride quality issue and creates an optimum handling balance. The rear spring rate can be softer for better ride quality and corner exit traction because the rear sway bar (not the springs) is controlling the rear body roll.
We have conducted extensive street/track testing over the past 15 years and continue to refine our suspension systems for the optimal balance of on-track handling and comfortable street driving. We find that our latest generation of lightweight strong, hollow sway bar packages with adjustable rear sway bars provides a full range of handling balance tunability for all types of performance driving.

Now you have some tuning options!


Q)
I have a squeak coming from one of my sway bars? What can it be?
Answer: Urethane bushings often make noise when the temperature is cold or they are not adequately greased. Try greasing the sway bar bushings with any non-lithium based moly grease. A Special silicon grease for polyurethane can be purchased from Hotchkis. Item 3101.

Q)
My Audi sway bars will not fit! I have got the car on jack stands what do I do?
Answer: You need to have your car on a four point lift. The suspension needs to be loaded as if the car was on the ground for Audi sway bars to fit properly.

Q)
Will your sways bars for Acura RSX work on my Honda Civic?
Answer: RSX sway bars will only fit Honda Civic Si models. Needs to be an EP3 Chassis!
Q) What are the advantages of the extreme rear bar 2282R over the 2202R?
Answer: The 2282R Extreme Rear Sway Bar offers a few advantages over the 2202R standard upgrade bar. The 2202R bar is designed just like the factory bar where it is bolted between two trailing arms. The problem with this design, is without the use of end links, the bar causes binding and is sometimes prone to breakage. Knowing this, we designed the Extreme Sway Bar. This design clamps to the axle tubes using the supplied brackets and stainless steel u-bolts, while it attaches to the trailing arms using dog bone links. This design allows us to get better articulation from the suspension and less bind. A second advantage to this design is the adjustable bar. This allows the user to pick between two different bar rate, and stiffness’. The third advantage is the light weight tubular design. This allows us to create a strong, lightweight product that allows years of service.

Q)
Do you make custom sway bars?
Answer: No we do not make custom sway bars.

Q)
What can I use to clean the excess grease off my sway bars and bushings?
Answer: With WD40 you can clean off excess grease from the bushings and sway bar.

Q)
Are solid sway bars stronger than hollow sway bars?
Answer: No. Sway bars work off of torsional force (twisting motion). Therefore, the material in the center of a solid bar plays little role in the resistance of torsional force. With this in mind, we have eliminated some of the center material and also moved some to the outside of the tube, where it is most effective. In turn, this produces a sway bar that is lighter in weight and just as stiff, if not stiffer than solid. For example, a 1’3/8″ hollow bar is equivalent to a 1’1/4″ solid. But the 1’3/8″ hollow bar is 6% stiffer and 43% lighter than the 1’1/4″ solid. Interested in finding out more about Hollow Sway Bars?

Q)
Why do you sell sway bars only in pairs? (For the exception of some applications)
Answer: To get the optimum handling performance out of your car, it is imperative to use both the front and rear bars together. Our “hands-on” road-testing behind our bars indicate that both the front and rear sway bars must be used to produce maximum handling results for your vehicle. Thus only using one bar is not recommended when trying to achieve the best results.
Rear Suspension Trailing arms and Pan Hard Bars
Q) What is the purpose of the pan hard rod?
Answer: To keep the axle centered and prevent lateral movement.

Q)
Should I wait until the vehicle is on the ground before tightening the bolts?
Answer: Yes. As a rule of thumb you should always tighten suspension bolts when the full weight of the vehicle is on the ground.

Q)
Will your trailing eliminate wheel hop?
Answer: The Hotchkis trailing arms will reduce wheel hop but may not eliminate wheel hop on every vehicle. There are many factors that affect wheel hop on cars. Tire Pressure, Tire Type, Shock Technology, Spring Rates, and Vehicle Height all affect wheel hop. Pinion angle is also a factor which would cause wheel hop and drive line vibration. Some high horse power cars could need additional traction devices, but as a good rule of thumb, the best place to start is by upgrading your trailing arms with a Hotchkis Adjustable Rear Suspension Package.

Q)
Is there an optimum pinion angle?
Answer: Due to the nature of an automobile chassis, the various angles are constantly changing, which adds to the complexity of obtaining optimum pinion angle. Engines may not sit squarely in their motor mounts, motor mounts may not sit properly between the frame rails, cross members may not sit straight, and where the rear end is positioned. Despite all these factors affecting the positioning of our drive trains, they seem to work well enough in most cases, at least on the street in basically stock applications. We owe this functionality to the universal joint, which, by design, corrects for slight misalignments between the driving components (crankshaft and transmission) and the driven components (driveshaft and differential) of the drive train. (Please see the tech section to learn how to set your pinion angle.)