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V8 and V6 Transmissions / Driveline (6L80 / 6L50 / TR6060 / AY6) Driveshafts | Differentials | Gears | Rearends | Clutch | Shifters

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Old 04-14-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
55Designs

 
Drives: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Our first DSS 9 Inch Conversion and Detailed review.

I figured I would post up a detailed review of the DSS Ford 9 inch conversion for the 5th Gen Camaro. We didnít bother snapping photos because I didnít think it was necessary after seeing how smooth the install went and the fact that a few other members did a super job on the photos of their install. We also have two guys from the board visit us to see the parts and install and we think they will be doing it quite soon.

We have been watching this upgrade from the start in fall of 2010 and to be honest we were skeptical at first if this would even fit or work properly. In the interim we have used the DSS products on cars we built and have been pleased with the driveshafts and axles and most importantly the customer service we received. So for the most part customers seem to want to upgrade their drivelines or they just love to pay us to continuously install OEM axles and driveshafts which to be honest is fine for our service business but more than annoying doing repetitive tasks on the same car over and over. What I am trying to say is its not saving the end customer money doing this and for anyone with a built car or even one suffering from issues the DSS kit is the most practical solution. We have done a number of OEM differential conversions using various Richmond gears only to be left down from their failures and other customer complaints. Itís a tough diff to work on and to be honest from the first time we had the Camaro up on the rack we never liked the driveline layout or the parts used. The OEM diff design sucks if you ask us regardless for the guys who are getting lucky with them thus far.

Based on that alone we have hundreds of hours of experiences on this new 5th Gen especially in the suspension and driveline and doing any upgrade to us is a breeze and being in this business for 20 years it is rare when a big conversion like the DSS kit actually will work and fit as a direct bolt in from the aftermarket.

I will state for anyone looking to upgrade to any DSS driveline part donít be afraid to tackle the job yourself it really can be done with minimal tools and a little patience in hand. The only suggestion I would make to Frank at DSS would be to ship each kit with a detailed instruction sheet with photos, and step by step install tips along with tool selection and torque specs for the job. I think this will make the DIY much more comfortable with the job and it shouldnít take long for DSS to make up an install pamphlet.

Well first off when we unboxed the parts I have to say the fabrication work is flawless, the tig welding is just sweet and we have our own fabrication shop and machine shop on premise. The design of the axle stubs was neat and I think this is a massive improvement alone over the OEM design after making videos and seeing how the axles rotate poorly on the OEM diff. DSS also ships the axle stubs with the bearings already pressed on so this saves some install time and for any DIY itís a good thing. Another thing we worried about was fitment and clearance throughout and this kit was properly designed all around that there is not a single issue from the driveshaft to the CV at the rear hub assemblies.
Our carrier arrived from Strange rather quick and we all know the products from Strange and Moser are they best out regardless and the design and quality has been proven for a long time.

With the car broken down and ready we had the entire install done in about 2+ hours. I donít suggest to anyone it will go this fast but two techs working on a familiar car really makes the job a piece of cake. I suggest having two guys because the diff is HEAVY so for anyone trying to do this alone at home please call a friend before you get hurt.

Our driveshaft was a carbon fiber single piece. Very unique composite crossbanded design and I never saw one like this before but it looks very strong.
We filled the carrier up with some Royal Purple did a mild heat cycle on the lift then cleaned up shop and went for a drive. I will first say the impression just from backing up was obvious. On every Camaro we always had the rear end clunking and the engagement would be jerky all the time whether a car from the dealer lot or a modified car.
With the DSS kit the car has ZERO clunk and the engagement is positive and precise like it should be. There is barely any gear whine at all and since the 9 housing is so solid it does not transmit the resonance or sound into the cabin like the weak aluminum OEM diff. We have done differential bushings on these cars with the OEM diff, OEM driveshaft and they all exhibited noticeable gear whine no matter what poly durometer we choose. To be honest that always made us annoyed and to customers as well because lots of guys hate the trade off with noise on a brand new car. Most of the cars we work on are exotic luxury cars and clients have Muscle cars for just a toy so coming from a Bentley or a AMG Mercedes our clients are picky and have a right to be so comfort is of the upmost importance to what we offer.

So going into this DSS kit I was thinking Holy Crap if this kit makes these cars louder than the stuff we have been using its not going to be something we can push to customers. The DSS bushings are firm yet they donít create a single trade off in the cars comfort. The car drives 100% smoother than the OEM parts if you ask us, the car feels amazing now in every situation. Even though we are still in break in mode we have no fear of this kit failing whatsoever. The driveline now feels whisper smooth and itís the greatest feeling knowing its so bullet proof now.
The Strange posi unit also kicks ass the car feels so planted now in the corners and the grip is so tenacious that it tossed my 310lb tech out of the seat during a test drive.

I will conclude that there are many options out there to choose but think about several things not just cost before you do decide to upgrade. So far the DSS kit is the only true proven kit on the market to date while others play catch up and guys like LPE release their aluminum kit which I still do not know why they invested in tooling such a kit as to using a 9 inch conversion. If there is a reason based on some engineering please let me know but I can not see how anything can be better than the DSS kit all around itís just the way to go. This isnít rocket science guys the Ford 9 kit is a proven design for as long as I can remember and its perfectly suited for a modern muscle car. If anyone has any questions you are more than welcome to PM us directly.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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Great post!! I am loving my DSS Conversion. After a few more miles, and a fluid change. I will be ready for the 3500 2step car launches!!
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:24 AM   #3
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nice review,its the same way i felt when we drive the Hendrix engineering Car. thanks
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