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Home > LATEST STORIES > Fourth-Gen Fix—We help Street Outlaws’ Derek Travis make his real street car hook on the street or track with the help of BMR Suspension

Fourth-Gen Fix—We help Street Outlaws’ Derek Travis make his real street car hook on the street or track with the help of BMR Suspension


Written and Photographed By Pete Epple

In the world of fast street cars, no group has become as popular as quickly as the cast of Street Outlaws. In the past six months or so, the insanity of what these guys do has escalated with addition of or upgrade to full blown Pro Mod chassis being used on the street. As the cars raced on TV become less and less relatable to most normal human beings, it’s no surprise that most of the cast members have actual street cars that are much more relatable to you or I.

Derek Travis’ 1999 Camaro SS is as much a real street car as they come. Some of the factory stamped-steel components are still in place, while others have been replaced with aftermarket parts on unknown origin. The lower control arms have been changed at some point to a tubular set of arms. With enough power to go mid 11s and more on the way, the mismatched suspension components needed to go.

One such cast member is Derek Travis. In the off-season, Derek’s silver Third-Gen Camaro (nicknamed the Silver Unit) was stripped down to nothing more than a factory roof and rear quarter panels for the cars next iteration. While this car had gone way beyond what even the most hardcore street guys would consider a street car, Derek also has a real street car that he tells us is way more fun and enjoyable–a 1999 Camaro SS.

Derek’s Fourth Gen is every bit of real street car. It rolls on stock-style wheels, has no weight reduction, sports a pretty killer stereo system, and is motivated well into the 11-second zone on 17-inch radials by a mildly modified LS1 with some nitrous. It even has a stock 4L60 transmission with a stock converter!

The factory torque arm still transfers torque to the tailshaft housing of the factory 4L60 automatic transmission.

When Derek bought the car, it had a blend of stock and unknown aftermarket suspension components on it. In the near future, the LS1 is coming out for a little work, and when it goes back in it should have no problem propelling this Fourth-Gen well into the 9’s. That being said, Derek wanted to upgrade the suspension in order to adequately handle the power to come.

For this he turned to the pros at BMR Suspension in Seffner, Florida. The parts list included adjustable chromoly lower control arms, lower control arm relocation brackets, an adjustable chromoly Panhard rod, a torque arm, a torque arm relocation cross member, and a set of subframe connectors. All of the parts are either adjustable or lightweight, and some are a combination of both. This suspension package will give Derek the ability fine tune the suspension, so hooking up on the street or track won’t ever be an issue.

The suspension is being upgraded with a slew of lightweight and adjustable components from BMR Suspension.

Derek invited us to his shop in the outskirts of Oklahoma City to document the installation of the goodies from BMR Suspension. Follow along as we help take Derek’s ’99 SS to the next level of suspension performance.


BMR Suspension

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The first addition is BMR’s four-point bolt-in subframe connectors (PN SFC019). These attach to the front and rear subframe, as well as the driveshaft tunnel brace and rear lower control arm mounts. BMR supplies threaded inserts that slide into the frame. These allow you simply bolt the subframe connectors on using factory bolt holes.

Next the rear lower control arms are removed. BMR supplied a set of double-adjustable chromoly lower control arms (PN MTCA003). Derek adjusts the length to the arms that he just removed. This will be a good starting point for arm length.

The lower control arm relocation brackets are next (PM CAB002). The installation requires the brake line bracket to be trimmed in order to install the BMR brackets.
With the brake line bracket trimmed, the CAB002s slide onto the rearend. These give you three mounting positions for the lower control arms. With this you can adjusts anti-squat and instant center for hard launches on the street and strip. BMR’s CAB002 are a bolt-on design and require no welding. They simple bolt on with supplied hardware.
Next to be installed is the new Panhard bar. BMR matches the Panhard bar to the lower control arms with a double-adjustable chromoly bar (PN MPHR003). The lightweight Panhard bar allows you to perfectly center the rearend housing under the car. This is especially important if you have lowered or plan to lower the car.
Derek removes the factory stamped steel torque arm in preparation for the new tubular torque arm and torque arm relocation crossmember.
The factory transmission crossmember simply unbolts and is removed.
The BMR transmission relocation crossmember (PN TCC007) allows you to mount the front of the torque arm to the crossmember instead of the transmission tailshaft housing. This can prevent damage to the transmission when big power is applied to the chassis. The new crossmember also gives you multiple mounting positions, allowing for instant center changes. The TCC007 simply bolts into the factory location using the factory hardware.
Next, the Derek bolts on the BMR torque arm mount to the rearend housing.
The adjustable torque arm (PN TA001) slides into the polyurethane front mount and attaches to the mount of the rearend with heavy-duty red ends. With the installation now complete, all of the adjustable components will need to be set, the rearend housing will need to be centered, and the pinion angle will need to be set. But Derek doesn’t plan on doing this right away since the engine is about to come out for its refresh.
The finished product looks great! Derek now has all the strength and adjustability needed to put big power to the ground. With a new LS1 and some more nitrous on the way, we can’t wait to see how well the car will work.