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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2009, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCiscoKid
... How do I find lighter shocks, they seem to be listed by lengths.
One option is to invest in a set of Carrera A1 adjustable shocks. I put a pair on my '32 pickup and saw a noticeable difference. You can dial them in to fine tune your ride quality. I used them because my Pete & Jake's shorty shocks just wouldn't hold the tires to the road and I badly scuffed a set of tires at just 12K miles. Since switching to the A1 shocks, my tire wear has been vastly improved and the car ride smoother. These shocks are pricey, but in my experience, worth it.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2009, 10:07 AM
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I can say a few words about the QA-1's. They were my dream shocks for when I became weathy. Fortunately ??? Summit has (d) them on sale recently so I broke down and got the QA-1 Must 2 front single adjustable coil overs with the softest spring...375. Now, my Willys only weighs 2600 pounds with 1400 on the front so I thought it would be a much better ride than the goofy stock springs. Well it is better but certainly know Caddy ride. They even recommended the 500 springs which would not have compressed much at all. I have parallel to slightly up at the outer a-arm setting for ride height. I also thought a sway bar would be in order.

Well scratch the sway bar. The only one available and common to all mfg is about 1 inch dia and so stiff that there is almost no give side to side. Great for road racing but way way too stiff for a light car. I have very light rear springs 165 I think. With the narrowed prostreet rear end I have to run about 1 inch pre load or wedge in both the left front and right rear to have any control of the right rear tire. This seems to be about the max adjustment as any more affects turning too much.

I run on #6 on the adjustment screw to get rid of the pitching and bouncing in the front end. So far the ride is much better but still not what I expected or wanted.

The Must and Pinto were both much heavier cars than my Willys but I sure don't remember them as being rock hard riders.

I agree that there needs to be better springs/shocks for our lighter cars.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCiscoKid
How do I find lighter shocks, they seem to be listed by lengths. For Mustang 2,Napa showed only a regular shock and a gas shock that was more than twice the money, KYB Gr2 literature said they ride better than original, but I didn't notice any difference against the worn out shocks.
QA1 adjustable shocks are a great choice, as are other single and double adjustable shocks. To find the right shock at a parts store can be a crap-shoot. Usually the lower cost the shock the softer they are. High pressure gas shocks (the ones that expand on their own when compressed like the KYB Gas-a just) are usually stiffer than low pressure gas (KYB Gr2) or plain oil shocks for the same application. I am also curious as to how you determined the old shocks were "worn out"?

Another point regarding spring selection. To help determine what springs you need for the front end, you need to do a little math. If you know the rate of the springs currently in the car it makes it pretty easy. Measure the height of the spring at ride height (installed height), then remove the spring and measure the height while it is sitting on the garage floor (free height). With these two dimensions you can determine how much weight the spring is supporting. Subtract the installed height from the free height and multiply by the spring rate. For example, if you had a 350lb rate spring and it is compressed 2" when installed it is supporting 700lbs. If you want to install a lighter rate spring and keep the same ride height, you would have to have for example, a 300lb spring with a free height that is about 3/8" longer so it is supporting the same 700lbs at the same installed height.

If you also want to lower the car and the rate, you just need to adjust your spring dimensions. For example, to lower the car about 1/2" and reduce the spring rate to 300lbs, install a 300lb spring that is only about 1/8" or so taller than the 350lb spring it replaces. Because the spring is mounted inboard of the tire/wheel, the effect of the reduction in height of the spring is multiplied by about a factor of two when adjusting ride height. Example, a 1/4 inch reduction of installed height of a front spring will lower the car about a 1/2".

If you can't find what you need off the shelf, contact Eaton Spring Co and tell them what spring you need. They will need to know the free height, installed height and the spring inside dimension you are after. DON'T BUY CHEAP SPRINGS! Good springs won't settle more than about 1/2" ever.

Andy
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:37 PM
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I was just playing with the old shocks, one seemed easy to push in and pull out, the other shock was hard to push in and popped back out.No oil leaked out, guess the shock was just bad.
I used TCI and Chassis Engineering springs, don't know if they're cheap.The KYB GR2 shocks were double the price of a Munroe etc.
My A-arms sit just a bit above level, ride not too bad with 325lb coils.I think I'll take a leaf out of the back and see how it rides then.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentwings
Well it is better but certainly know Caddy ride.
I just wanted to follow up on bentwings' insightful observation here to make sure no one got the impression from my recommendation of the A1 shock that it would be some sort of cure-all for obtaining the perfect ride. Shocks are never going to overcome an inappropriate spring rating choice. On the other hand, you can have a nearly perfect spring rating choice and ruin it with a poorly matched shock. What the adjustable A1 shocks do, is simply allow you to fine tune the SHOCK portion the equation without having to totally replace the shocks each time you want to take a step or two towards "firmer" or "softer". But you have to get the SPRING portion of the equation dialed first...and that, in my estimation, is the more difficult task.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2009, 04:51 AM
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One thing nobody has mentioned is tire pressure. Tires don't have to be run at the max pressure. On my 38 Ford pu with MII setup it rode very harsh with the tires at max pressure. I dropped the pressure 5# in the front and it rode much better.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:55 PM
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. DON'T BUY CHEAP SPRINGS! Good springs won't settle more than about 1/2" ever.

Andy[/QUOTE]
My CE leafs settled to a negative arch, their literature even says so.I can't understand why make an arched spring that settles flat. I phoned CE, they said take out the second leaf, tried couldn't do it myself, so went to a spring shop.He said my coils wire was pretty thick and didn't like the CE leafs at all, said flat springs ride like crap ( I noticed).The CE springs are like super stock springs, leafs are long toward front of car to prevent axle wrap.The shop guy suggested cutting back the second leaf at the front to let the main leaf flex more. That's the plan when I go back ,I may ask to re-arch the springs also.
I'm aiming to match the ride of my '02 Malibu instead of a Caddy. :o)
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