Custom truck enthusiasts have been lowering their rides for decades, but currently, we're seeing many of the lowered trucks being transformed into serious G-machines and owners and builders are pushing their trucks to the limit (and having a blast doing it). Performance trucks don't pertain only to late-models, but also early-model classic trucks with updated suspensions, big brakes, and quick-ratio steering boxes.

Making a strong appearance in the handling arena, the '67-72 Chevy C10 and GMC trucks are sprouting up in force. What makes this platform so attractive when it comes to lateral handling? Easy-it's their independent front coil spring suspension and rear trailing arm coil spring suspension. NASCAR Sprint Cup racecars have had a similar front and rear suspension design since the '50s and it's still being used with much success today.

Hotchkis Performance, in Santa Fe Springs, California, has been a leader in suspension parts for decades. The racing and suspension design experience of John Hotchkis, and the entire Hotchkis Sport Suspension team, help produce high-quality suspension components for fullsize trucks that deliver maximum performance both on the track and on the street.

The Hotchkis' '67-72 C10 Total Vehicle System (TVS) was designed and tested on the track, but is also street friendly for everyday driving. Up front, a pair of tubular upper and lower control arms extend the wheelbase 1.8 inches and increase the caster alignment up to +9-degrees. Any time you lower a truck, bumpsteer is an issue and Hotchkis addressed this by including a new centerlink assembly and heavy-duty tie-rod sleeves, and by improving the camber curve. Helping reduce body roll and bringing the C10 down a few inches, Hotchkis engineered a pair of 4-inch lowering springs and 17/16-inch front sway bar. Ensuring the ride is compliant, yet able to respond to heavy lateral-g loads, Hotchkis-tuned Bilstein shocks and shock re-locator brackets are a major part of the TVS. The rear suspension has an adjustable full-length track bar setup and an adjustable antisquat bracket system. You may be asking, "What is an antisquat bracket?" Simply put, it improves the truck's instant center for maximum traction, helping to eliminate rear wheelhop and keep the truck pointed in one direction. Out back, Hotchkis uses 6-inch lowering springs to drop the center of gravity and a 3/4-inch blade-style sway bar helps to reduce rear bed roll. Also used in the rear, Hotchkis includes shock relocators to keep the proper geometry and specially tuned Bilstein shocks to handle the newfound performance.

To see if this kit was as impressive as it seemed, we visited Hotchkis in Santa Fe Springs, California, to document the installation of their TVS on a '67 Chevy C10 that was scheduled to compete in our inaugural Throwdown. With the kit installed, each of us slipped in behind the wheel for a flogging session. Follow along, as we learned how the Hotchkis suspension worked and how easy it was to install.

HIGHS
Unbelievable grip, handling like a 'Vette, good ride

LOWS
Expensive, install is in-depth, it only fits '67 to '72 C10s

FROM THE DRIVER SEAT
Comparing the before and after handling performance of the '67 Chevy C10 pickup was like comparing night and day. The Hotchkis Sport Suspension System greatly improved the lateral load transfer when entering a corner and hitting the apex. With the new confidence, you could explode out of the exit much faster than before. Coming off the corners, acceleration bite was increased due to the anti-squat system that allowed the power to be planted to the ground instantly with no signs of wheelhop or axlewrap. As the Hotchkis Sport Suspension System components worked in unison with each other during braking, cornering, and acceleration, it transformed the C10 into a sports car-like machine. This kit is expensive, but it's not your typical drop kit, rather it's a real performance upgrade. If you enjoy pushing your truck to the edge of its limits, this kit is worth every penny. Everyone who gets a single minute of seat time always gets out the truck shaking their heads in outright disbelief of this C10's capabilities.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Time Spent Working: 6 Hours
Degree Of Difficulty: Intermediate

Tools Needed:
Three-pound sledge hammer, floor jack, assorted sockets and wrenches, air impact gun, welder

Parts Used:
Hotchkis Sport Suspension Total Vehicle System for '67-'72 Chevy/GMC trucks 80390 $5,280.95

Total: $5,280.95
(Price does not include tax, shipping, or labor)

SOURCE
Hotchkis Performance
12035 Burke Street
Suite 13
Santa Fe Springs
CA  90670
877-735-6425
www.hotchkis.net
  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • View Full Article