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Old 08-03-2013, 11:46 AM
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Coil Over Shocks

I am building a 1934 Ford Coupe Street Rod and the Chassis was built by Carlos at Atlanta Street Rod and the body is of unknown company. I am at the point where I need to get Coil Over shocks and I am not sure how to determine what size to get.... It is a full fendered fiberglas car...Stout Chassis, Small Block 350 Chevy, 700R4 transmission and so far I have been told to get (Front) 450lb Springs (4 inch travel) and 200lb Rear Springs 5 inch travel....Then again I have been told several other sizes...Is there a way to figure this out that is not rocket Science?

Thanks....Bob

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Old 08-03-2013, 11:52 AM
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In my notes about my 1934 Ford Coupe Kit Car suspension, I forgot to mention that I am a 250lb guy, I am over 60 and will use the car for cruising...No racing just old guy city and highway driving and my wifes wants the car to ride soft and not springy....And as we all know, If Mama Ain't Happy ani't Nobody happy.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:24 PM
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Bob - for sure a street rod suspension is not rocket science. The travel figures quoted are probably correct, but you do have to know what brand MI IFS the chassis builder used for the front to really determine the travel length. Most seem use a 2-1/2" inside diameter x 10" long spring if it's a TCI/Heidt's or similar. The 400 pound capacity may or may not be correct as you do have to determine the incline of those springs. That 400# may in fact be only 300# if they lay at 30*. The rears as well need to have that final rate figured out, both using this chart as a starting point: http://static.speedwaymotors.com/ima...rts/AFCOIL.gif My guess is that a 2-1/2x12" spring has been suggested for those rears, though 10" will probably work too as long as you have the correct shocks.

I ask this question - didn't the chassis builder give you a spec? Or did he just assemble a frame?

As a note, there is currently a photo in the scrolling lineup below this thread of my '31. Those are on a steel roadster body, fiberglass front fenders, steel rear fendered car with a SB Ford (lighter then a Chebbie) and have AFCO 325# fronts rated 300@13*, rears are AFCO 200 rated 188@13*
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:30 PM
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Thanks

The sad story about my frame, chassis and car is that the owner of Atlanta Street Rods passed away before I got the information from him and after his death the entire shop was closed...So I am flying without a net.

The Front suspension is Ford Mustang II, if that answers the question for you....Again, thanks...Bob Marquitz
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Marquitz View Post
The sad story about my frame, chassis and car is that the owner of Atlanta Street Rods passed away before I got the information from him and after his death the entire shop was closed...So I am flying without a net.

The Front suspension is Ford Mustang II, if that answers the question for you....Again, thanks...Bob Marquitz
Bob - there are MII suspensions that look like the original with a coil spring over the upper control arm, then there are those aftermarket/street rod versions that look like this:

If you have this style, then it's a fairly easy arrangement.

Then the rears - pretty conventional arrangement and something you can fairly easily determine:

Of course, there is that 'last straw' - remove what you have and find a good known replacement. I really like my TCI set up and just had it out for a quick ride around town.

As far as your age and building a street rod - you're just a kid

Dave W
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:09 PM
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Suspension - Coil Over Shocks

I will try to send along a picture...I haven't figured this out yet but lets give it a try.

Bob Marquitz
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:12 PM
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Further explanation

You will see in the picture that I have what they here in Nashville refer to as a simulator and I call a place holder in the place of the front shock...See if this makes any sense to you. I will go look for a rear shock mount picture to send along....Thanks for all of the help...Bob Marquitz
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:21 PM
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Here is a picture from the rear of the chassis and you can see the Simulators in place and you can see that there is very little angle to the shocks....The simulator on the rear is 13 1/2 inches center bolt to center bolt. I am not sure if you can easily see these pictures but MAYBE they can give you some idea of what I am working with on this frame.

Thanks....Bob Marquitz
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:51 AM
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Hi Bob - nice looking chassis they built for you. Too bad they had to fold when the owner passed away.

OK - since you have the mock ups, I'll "assume" that the chassis builder supplied them to ship it so - and am guessing - that they are about the right length as the overall length of the shock assembly. The fronts probably have a 12" mounting length and use a 10" spring. While the rears may be the same at 10", it's possible they are a bit longer and are a 14" mounting length and use a 12" spring.

This gets you to brand names. I have to caution you that there are some that are duds and you need to do good research. I have TCI's All American brand and supplied with my car's chassis. They are fine, and there may be others that are better and for sure some that just don't hold up well and are duds. Also, there are progressively wound (variable rate) springs. I pulled them out and replaced mine with conventional springs as they were too 'strong' for my little 2300# roadster though might be a perfect choice for your use.

A suggestion for posting future pictures - open up a free Photobucket.com account and use their version. Their photos post closer to full size vs the thumb nails this site uses plus will allow you to look at them in sequence rather then having to click on each thumbnail. The ones I posted above are Photobucket. Unfortunately that site is not as intuitive as it used to be but does work well once you figure out how. This is from Photobucket:

Dave W
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Marquitz View Post
I am building a 1934 Ford Coupe Street Rod and the Chassis was built by Carlos at Atlanta Street Rod and the body is of unknown company. I am at the point where I need to get Coil Over shocks and I am not sure how to determine what size to get.... It is a full fendered fiberglas car...Stout Chassis, Small Block 350 Chevy, 700R4 transmission and so far I have been told to get (Front) 450lb Springs (4 inch travel) and 200lb Rear Springs 5 inch travel....Then again I have been told several other sizes...Is there a way to figure this out that is not rocket Science?

Thanks....Bob
I'd say the front rates would be correct (not accounting for geometry as Dave stated), but I'd think the rears may be a bit stout. I have 450# Afco front's in my '72 Maverick (light car with aluminum LS-1) and it's perfect. The little '63 Rambler American I'm building right now has an Alston rear clip and their recommended 175# springs. Since it's still a build in progress, I have no feeling for it, but I did voice my concerns over the lightness of the rate and was told it would be the best suited rate given my situation.

Russ
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:20 PM
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Thanks Russ

I really appreciate you taking the time to share your info.....The 34 is extremely light on the front and my wife wants a soft ride so I make back it down to 400 lbs and back the rear springs down to 175 Lbs as well. You and Dave have really helped me clarify what I want to do. Another friend suggested I call Speedway Parts because they sell about a zillion different sizes...Have you had any experience with their products?

Bob
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Marquitz View Post
I really appreciate you taking the time to share your info.....The 34 is extremely light on the front and my wife wants a soft ride so I make back it down to 400 lbs and back the rear springs down to 175 Lbs as well. You and Dave have really helped me clarify what I want to do. Another friend suggested I call Speedway Parts because they sell about a zillion different sizes...Have you had any experience with their products?

Bob
Bob - their online catalog is really easy to wander through. Most of what they sell are their AFCO line which I have had good luck using as well as QA1: coil over shocks from Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop (this is 25 pages of info)

Dave W
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:21 PM
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Thanks for the information and advice

I really appreciate it...I will do some homework this week and we will see what happens.

Bob Marquitz
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