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Old 03-12-2009, 10:04 PM
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Leaf spring setup

What is the best way to determine how much, if any, pre-load should be in a leaf spring setup. I'm helping one of my son's friends make a V8 rear wheel drive Ford Probe. If it were me I would do this with a four link and coil overs but he is building this car just for fun and with minimal $$. We are tubing the rear half. The rear axle assembly is a Ford 8.8 and the springs are out of a S10 with the lower stiffener removed. I thought about putting the rear axle assembly under the car, temporarily fixing the front of the springs in place, let the rears float and then jack up the axle until the car starts to raise then take a measurement to determine rear shackle placement. What do you think?

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Old 03-12-2009, 10:43 PM
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What you're thinking is the only i can think of if you don't know the spring rate or the weight of the rear half of the car. Easy to do as you are saying as you fabricate along. Just remember to think of the final finished weight(floor, gas tank w/full load of gas, interior, exhaust, etc) when you build the mounting points. Fab up some slapper bars that contact directly under the spring eye.

I've often thought of the same build technique for some of the neater-looking front drive cars out there, should be a nice simple way to build a durable street/bracket car, especially for a young driver. This style of build should easily be capable of running as fast as the 10-second bracket(if you've got the power and roll bar) without having to redo much on the chassis as the driver grows.

If this is a street car only, I'd still recommend at least a simple 4-point roll bar because you are altering so much of the floor. Even circle track thickness tubing would be a lot better than nothing.

Kudos to the young man for thinking outside the box Should look pretty sharp when complete. Post up some pics if you can.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:43 PM
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Thanks for the input! Great minds think a like A four point cage was already in the plans. He's picking up a rebuilt 350 and a 700r4 to drop in for the short term then maybe put together a 383 stroker motor. That 8.8 is a 3.73 LSD. Combine that with the 700r4, decent exhaust, mild cam and 2200-2800 stall and I think he will be buying a lot of tires.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:06 AM
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if your wondering, the spring rate of the s10 leaf springs are 1350lb. on the 4 leaf and 1100lb. on the 3 leaf. thats with the lower stiffener.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runn141
if your wondering, the spring rate of the s10 leaf springs are 1350lb. on the 4 leaf and 1100lb. on the 3 leaf. thats with the lower stiffener.
You sure that's the spring rate, and not the capacity or something?

If that's the rate, can you say "buck-board?"

Even WS6 Pont. T/A leaves are something like 180-200 lbs/in., IIRC. Eaton (Detroit Spring) rates the HD leaf spring for T/S's @ 126, standard duty @ 97 in./lbs.).

WS6 T/A rear leaf springs are what I had in an '81 Camaro- worked fine for drags and street w/adjustable drag shocks front and rear. Nice and firm, w/o beating you up.

I can't imagine what 1,000 plus lbs./in. springs would ride like.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
You sure that's the spring rate, and not the capacity or something?

If that's the rate, can you say "buck-board?"

Even WS6 Pont. T/A leaves are something like 180-200 lbs/in., IIRC. Eaton (Detroit Spring) rates the HD leaf spring for T/S's @ 126, standard duty @ 97 in./lbs.).

WS6 T/A rear leaf springs are what I had in an '81 Camaro- worked fine for drags and street w/adjustable drag shocks front and rear. Nice and firm, w/o beating you up.

I can't imagine what 1,000 plus lbs./in. springs would ride like.
your right, its more like the capacity but thats on each bundle.
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:06 AM
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Well if that capacity is correct then I think those springs should work. The Probe has a curb weight of aprox. 2900lbs. I'll see how they react with those lower stiffeners removed.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjack
Well if that capacity is correct then I think those springs should work. The Probe has a curb weight of aprox. 2900lbs. I'll see how they react with those lower stiffeners removed.
i always remove the stiffener just to get that much more threads on the u bolts for lowering blocks. i dont notice much difference in the ride.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:29 PM
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Thanks guys for the information and advice.

runn141, I assume you have an S10 could I ask you to do me a favor and check the dimension from the front fixed spring bolt to the rear bolt at the shackle with the truck on the ground. I just need a ball park number. The short side of the spring is forward of the axle correct?
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjack
Thanks guys for the information and advice.

runn141, I assume you have an S10 could I ask you to do me a favor and check the dimension from the front fixed spring bolt to the rear bolt at the shackle with the truck on the ground. I just need a ball park number. The short side of the spring is forward of the axle correct?
52 inches and the rear shackle is straight up and down right now because the bed is off. and the short side of the spring goes to the front.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:06 PM
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Thank you so much!
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