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Old 10-05-2011, 03:51 PM
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Coil-overs

I'm building a "40 Ford pickup ratrod and plan on putting coil-overs on the back. It' going to be very low so there won't be much suspension travel. I'm wondering which type spring to use; a progressive spring or a standard spring. I always see progressive springs in lowered cars, my understanding being they are made for shorter than stock suspension travel; give a normal ride on good roads and stiffen up on bumps. Since I'm 'going low' I would think that 'progressive' would be the way to go...but wait... I've talked to a couple of shops that do chassis work and they say to go with the standard spring' saying the progressive spring is for competition. It just dosen't seem right. So...is there some one out there who has hands on experience with this?
Thanks, Dave

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:15 PM
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I think you will find that progressive rate coilovers are overrated for a street rod. The cars don't weigh much, the "progressive' rate really isn't and as far as ride, you can tailor what you want pretty easily with standard springs. I pulled the progressives out of my '31 last year as they ..... weren't worth the effort. I have AFCO standards in there now, much better all around as far as ride and handling, 325's in the front and 200's in the rear with a 13 degree adjustment which makes them actually at 300/188 lb in.

Find the shocks you like, add the spring compression rate suited for the cars' rear end weight and you will be happy.

This is the AFCO spring rate guide
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:43 PM
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Irelands child,
Thanks. I feel better about choosing the standard springs.
Dave
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:49 PM
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yup... like mentioned above I think you will be much happier with the correct spring rate to begin with. Progressive rate springs are typically pretty average spring sent with some of the popular chassis manufacturers because they simply dont know how you are going to finish your car when you order a crossmember or a chassis. At that point they try to get you covered no matter what your final combo is.
Another thing you need to be aware of is your axle travel... if you are wanting a good ride quality but you are going to limit the axle to no movement then you are going to have to either over shock or over spring it to literally keep the suspension from actually working... To have any hopes of getting a descent ride quality you are going to want a minimum of 2.5" on light cars ( small coupes ect ) to 3" ( on medium cars ) of compression stroke and 1.5+ of extension stroke. If you cant get that... then you will not get any ride out of it.
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