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  #1171 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2009, 08:36 AM
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Thanks For Feedback

hey 57halfton,
thanks for the feedback Gene, this is exactly what i'm looking for. people giving honest impressions of different spring packages they have tryed. kind of like a car & driver review. if i can sort through what works and doesn't work, i'll be able to 1)order a spring package that i'll be satisfied with. 2)work with the original spring package and maybe improve upon it. 3)try something different that maybe no one has tryed or not made public. this is educational to me, i've never made any suspension modifications to any of the vehicles i've ever owned,just fixed what was there ie.(new ball joints,tie rod ends, bushings,shocks,etc). it seems that some of the aftermarket springs fit and get the vehicle lowered(or raised) to the desired height, but with little regard to getting the spring rates correctly matched to the vehicle weight and desired ride comfort.for instance,maybe i'm not planning on ever hauling any significant weight in the bed, so do i need the same spring rate that the factory put there or maybe decrease the spring rate and make it ride smooth like a car. look @ doubledick, he used a coilover shock that carries the vehicle weight around smoother with the leaf springs providing weight carrying capacity kind of like a overload. if we could communicate with more folks like him that sort of think outside the box, maybe there is a setup that is ultimate for these old trucks. i have some ideas, but don't have the cash to try them all. could be a really sweet spring package is right there under my nose but people will try to sell you anything,with claims of "you'll love this setup", but i'd rather have my feedback from buyers not sellers. thanks again for your feedback. oh, what brand monos did you try that were too bouncy? i'll be around,later, nolan

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  #1172 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2009, 09:17 AM
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OLNOLAN On my 58 I don't like the lowered look and I live in snow country so a lowered truck would only be a snow plow.With that in mind I used stock springs on the front and added the coil over shocks to pick up the extra weight of the big block.I took off the stock shock mount and traced it onto a piece of 1/2 inch plate steel.You cant see it in the picture but the bottom bolt is counter sunk and has a carriage bolt in the hole so it wont hit the coil spring and the top of the bracket is offset 1/4 inch.(put top of bracket over top of another piece of 1/2 inch plate and hit it with a 10 pound sledge to get the bend)I like the way it rides.It is firm so it does not dive when you hit the brakes hard but not bouncy.In the rear I split the leaf pack and added a heavy overload spring in the middle.I got the spring off a stack of 3 overloads I picked up at the wrecking yard for 20 bucks a set.The heavy leaf stopped the wheel hop problem I only added the traction control bars to make it launch better at the drag strip and take some of the stress(I broke one)off the front of the spring.I used coil over shocks in the rear with no modification to the mount.I pull a trailer from time to time and generally have a half ton in the bed most of the time so I need the extra leaf.The truck rides about the same as my 98 1500 chevy truck,firm not bouncy.With the front and rear sway bars it handles better than the 98 chevy too.
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  #1173 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2009, 09:51 AM
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Nolan
If I remember right the mono leafs I used were made by Durrant. I just used them in the rear. What are you thinking you would like to do with your pickup?
Gene
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  #1174 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2009, 05:02 PM
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REPLY TO DOUBLEDICK & 57HALFTON

Hey guys,
I appreciate bench racing with ya'll. Gene, in response to what i'd like to do with the truck. I would like it to ride like a cadillac, handle like a slot car, run the quarter mile in 10 seconds, top out at 223 miles an hour(which is the theoretical top speed@5000rpm with 3.73 gears and a 0.5:1 sixth gear). Now back to the real world, it ain't ever gonna ride that smooth nor handle too good. It would probably require about a 1000hp to go 10's and I'll never be able to get the old brick to pull 5000 in 6th gear, much less hold it on the road if it would. The original idea was a real low buck hotrod truck. You know,small block with a big cam,four speed, 4.56 gears, bigs & littles with a gasser look(high in front). Then along came the Lt1 engine, 6 speed transmission, computer and engine harness combo I picked up cheap,cheap. Then, I was able to go back and get the chassis harness,steering column and pedal assembly for free.Then I decided to go ahead and set it up nice with some creature comforts(a/c,stereo,ps,pb,etc.) The harness has the setup already there for power windows,power door locks,power seats etc. So why not? Well down to the suspension, after I researched independent front suspensions, four link rear suspensions etc., I came to the conclusion that I was getting farther and farther away from my original plan of just building a fun hotrod truck and the original suspension would be totally butchered out to try and make it ride like a cad. The truck is just too solid an original to modify in such a fashion that would take away the original design and the patina(new word for old look) I'd like to find a spring,shock and sway bar package that i could just bolt in and love, but I don't think its gonna happen. I was thinking soft spring,big swaybars,firm shocks. I want to run stock height in rear, lower the front 2-3 inches to give it a little rake which will close the tire gap in front to somewhat match the rear gap. Probably going with 15x7 crager ss wheels and a 28" tall tire package(235-70 front 255-70 rear),second choice full polish centerline drag wheels. Monos seemed the way to go, but i can't seem to get a good testemonial on any specific package. More than once I have read they are too stiff on rear and more than once I've read they are too wiggly. Go figure! Now, on Doubledicks truck he is still running stock leaf springs with big swaybars and the coilover shocks and stated that it rode as good as his late model pickup. This got me thinking maybe I'm overlooking the obvious. Engineers designed this spring package and maybe it's not so far off that it can't be refined to personal taste or characteristics desired. If I go way back, 35 years ago I had a '58 3100 that didn't ride that bad, but I was like DD and always had alot of weight in the back. Back then, the cheap spring mod was to disassemble the spring packs, clean,spread grease between the leaves and wrap with tape to waterproof, then enjoy a much better ride due to friction reduction. Then, there were folks who put teflon strips between the leaves to accomplish the same. I recently found some interesting specifications on these old chevys. DD, maybe your truck doesn't weigh as much as you think. According to '58 chevrolet specification manuals your truck is technically a model 3134 (1/2ton 114" wheelbase fleetside) or a 3234(1/2ton 123.25"wheelbase fleetside)It's hard to tell from photo if yours is long or short box. The curb weight(accessorized weight) on 3134 is front 2014# rear 1401# for a total curb weight of 3415# hence the GVW tag on the truck 4000#(585#passengers and junk)GVW loaded 5000#(1/2 ton added). So you figure a straight 6cyl or small block v8 weighing about the same (sbc 575#), you add 110# with a big block(685#) this puts an additional 55# on each front spring, you figure in a little spring wear, then bolt on some coilover shocks to assist a little and you have a good riding truck in front. So maybe the factory spring rate is pretty close on front. On the rear you said you hauled 1/2ton (1000#) around all the time, walla, good ride!(spring rate matched to anticipated load) So, considering I'm not planning on any load in my bed, if I can match my rear spring rate to the anticipated load(stock should be +/- 1401# + 1000#(1/2ton load)=2401 divided by 2=1200# per spring) with no load 1401 divided by 2=700# per spring, walla, good ride! I'm thinking the multi leafs provide progressive rate dampening vs. mono leaf straight up dampening (bouncy). It may be that I could just get a stock leaf pack w/reversed eyes to get the drop in front and find a 700# multileaf for the rear,do the sway bars and maybe a fast response shock like bilsteins. Now that I've smoked ya'll ears, let me run, tell me what you think. later Nolan
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  #1175 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2009, 11:28 AM
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Nolan
Check out Posies super slide springs, this guy has been doing springs for a long time and does some smooth riding springs for street rods and 50's Chevys and Ford pickups. He offers a 3 inch drop for both front and rear.
Go to www.superslidesprings.com then online catalog page 39.
Gene
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  #1176 (permalink)  
Old 04-21-2009, 07:42 PM
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I Like It When A Plan Comes Together

Hey Gene, I started this message once and it went poof. Here I go again, you and I are thinking along the same lines. Posie's was on my A list but I think I'm gonna bump them to the B list after finding these guys;http://www.eatonsprings.com/ they are either off the shelf or custom manufacture, the price might scare the crap out of me, but at least you can talk spring tech with them. Interesting the shelf springs they offer are rated (yes, they actually have ratings) The fronts are 865# per side,rears are 1150# per side(STD)1425# per side(HD) This puts my reverse engineering numbers a little on the high side on front and way low on the rear, but they are figuring some load carrying capacity. So I'm gonna call or email them to talk. They do lined leafs, tip caps, any ride height,etc. Check them out, man, wouldn't it be sweet if I could get ride quality close to independent suspension. Maybe they can rubber bushing them for vibration isolation, viola, cajun cadillac.Watcha think?
NOLAN
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  #1177 (permalink)  
Old 04-22-2009, 12:03 PM
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I think i'll check Eaton spring for new springs for my Chevelle. It needs to be brought back to the stock ride height.
Gene
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  #1178 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2009, 02:31 PM
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Hey Gene, I believe Eaton is gonna be the right choice. What year Chevelle do you have? How about some photos? I'm really like the '66 Chevelle. Funny story, in '66 my late father went new car shopping with my big brother. Big brother was about 14 yrs old. He was pretty hip on the hot cars of the day. My daddy liked fast cars, but as a carpenter he wasn't too good mechanically. Big brother said they looked at a beautiful blue '66 SS396 Chevelle 375hp/4speed. Daddy got the keys to do a test drive, they jumped in and cranked it up. Daddy complained right off about the noisy valvetrain, it stalled the first couple of times he tryed to take off, had to warm it up. Big brother said every time he took off he smoked the tires and every time he shifted he chirped the tires. He didn't drive it far, brought it back, told the salesman maybe he wanted something a little smoother. Wound up buying a '66 impala with a 327/powerglide. Man, big brother was disappointed. He did however buy a '68 ss396 chevelle two years later when the body style changed. Get this, it was a 325hp/396 with a bench seat and a three speed on the floor with steel rims and dog bowl hubcaps, bought right off the dealers lot, it was a real sleeper. Big brother did alot of street racing in it, when he was supposed to be "out on a date". Daddy sold it in late '70 when he got tired of buying tires for the rear. Replaced it with a 6cyl chevy pickup. Man, what a bummer, I got to learn how to drive in a 6cyl p/u and had to wait until I was 16 to get a drivers license,due to big brothers collection of driving awards. Later friend.
Nolan
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  #1179 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2009, 09:09 PM
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Hey Nolan
I have a 69 Chevelle SS396 , we bought it about 12 years ago it was a numbers matching car but soon after we got it , it pucked a motor so we rebuilt the 396 with a 454 block and 396 crank .030 over bore so we came up with a 430 inch rat motor , this sucker really pulls hard. It's a lott'a fun I gott'a be easy or it's going to get my 59 year old *** in jail !!!!!!!!!!!
Gene
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  #1180 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2009, 09:40 AM
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Wow you guys have been busy.The information on spring rates is good to know
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  #1181 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2009, 10:18 AM
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Do I need to remove the factory crossmember?

Hey Guys,
I started back on my truck this weekend. I mated the engine and transmission together to see if I needed to remove the factory crossmember. I hung the combo in the place it would mount and saw that I do need to remove the crossmember. So I ground all the rivetheads and punched out the rivets. I was hoping to remove the crossmember in one piece. But I had to cut it in two to get it out. I also removed the clutch pedal sleeve that is riveted to the frame since I won't need that any more.

I then unmated the engine and tranny and did a quick paint job on the engine. I am making a daily driver so no fancy paint stuff here!

mmmm. I forgot how to post pics....i'll research and post them.
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  #1182 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2009, 01:35 PM
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Crossmember Question

Hey Gator, I'm leaving mine in. My opinion is that it adds alot of structural strength to the frame. It is located right at the leaf spring bracket and you know that the springs really work the chassis going down the road. I notched mine to clear the transmission and plan to weld a new top section in. See photos at page 78 post 1167. Again, just my 2 cents. Nolan
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  #1183 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2009, 01:40 PM
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old online manuals

DD, glad to have you back,check out:http://chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com/ great info. nolan
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  #1184 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2009, 01:46 PM
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poor man's 427

Hey Gene, quick way to do a 427, sounds cool. So now that we are all droolin, when you gonna stop teasin us and post some photos of your truck and the chevelle too. nolan
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  #1185 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2009, 04:38 PM
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This is going to sound really lame BUT I never figured out how to post pictures.
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