Chevy pickups from the 1960s, ‘70s and ’80s are becoming more popular than ever as enthusiasts are picking up these timeless trucks and turning them into high-performance street and track machines.
How can you get an old ranch truck to handle better than a new Corvette? The Harmola brothers from Aldan American Suspension in Los Angeles, California, set out to answer that question.
Starting with a 1971 C10 Super Cheyenne bought off eBay, the brothers used this truck as their canvas for developing a streetable, track-ready pickup truck.
“My brother and I have always been into trucks and decided to build our first race truck as a platform to test and develop new coilover, shock and suspension products for Aldan American,” said Garrett Harmola, president and owner of Aldan American.
There are several ways to improve a vehicle’s suspension. One method is to run an adjustable coilover shock setup. Coilover shocks allow greater adjustment of a vehicles ride-height, along with fine tune shock damping adjustments (the speed at which the shock operates) allowing for better handling and control. Aldan American coilovers are fully adjustable and allow the ability to interchange coilspring rates for different track types and road conditions.
For the Harmola Brothers’ C10, one primary goal was to remove the stock suspension and convert to a coilover suspension with disc brakes and drop spindles for a lowered stance and drastically better handling. Using the highest quality, U.S. made parts and components on the suspension was a must for these California-born brothers.
Updating the stock C10 suspension to use Aldan coilovers, the Harmolas chose a Scott’s Hot Rods independent front suspension (IFS) for the front of their C10’s suspension. The Scott’s kit is designed to run coilover shocks, drop spindles and offers stiffer sway bars and tubular control arms – delivering greater performance gains over a stock IFS.
For the rear suspension on the C10, a custom trailing arm setup was developed using parts from Performance Online.
“We used POL’s custom trailing arms and adjustable crossmember to help us achieve the rear ride-height we were looking for. I fabricated brackets to run the Aldan coilovers on the outside of the frame allowing greater clearance and traction by getting the shocks as close to the rear tires as possible,” said Spencer Harmola.
To dial in the perfect ride height, and to keep their ultra wide tires planted at speed and under heavy cornering, the brothers’ set up the front and rear suspension with Aldan’s Regulator Series, single adjustable coilover shocks. Made in Los Angeles, Aldan’s Regulator Series coilovers offer 11 positions of rebound adjustment, which allows fine-tuning of the shock speed.
Controlling the shock damping helps the shocks keep the tires planted on the ground for better traction and improved ride quality. Aldan’s high travel, cold wound coilsprings were fitted on the coilover shocks. Coil spring rates were selected for a comfortable street ride and will be swapped out for heavier spring rates for autocross and road course events in the future.
A Watts-link setup was installed on their built 12-bolt rear end to help keep the rearend centered under heavy cornering. With the suspension install completed, next up was installing the WilWood disc brakes and performing an LS motor swap with a T-56 6-speed manual transmission out of a late-model Chevrolet Camaro. Wheels and tires were mounted and the truck was sent off to paint and final assembly.
For more info on coilover shocks, suspension and updates on this custom C10 build, check out www.aldanamerican.com