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Old 08-15-2010, 06:47 PM
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raise the rear suspension

I just replaced the rear leaf springs and shocks on my 74 nova. It does sit higher than it did with the worn out suspension. It does not have that muscle car stance I am looking for. What else do I do to the suspension to get there? I want to do it right, I dont want to put lift blocks under there if it is not the correct way. I am also thinking of lowering the front 2 inches. I dont think it will affect the rear at all. Any advise? Thanks.

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Old 08-15-2010, 07:13 PM
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So are you saying you want to raise the rear more and lower the front?
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:52 PM
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Dropping the front won't raise the rear at the rear wheelwell, but it will raise the rear bumper due to the "teeter-totter" affect of the body pivoting at the rear axle.

You can't use lift blocks because the axle tube is below the spring, adding a block will lower it.

Two ways to raise the rear. One is a longer spring shackle set at the rear of the spring, this will raise the rear 1/2 of the amount added to the shackle. Downside of this is a slight decrease in cornering stability, and the fact that if you go very long with the shackles it looks really dorky.

Second way is to take the leaf springs to a spring/suspension/truck shop and have them rearched to make them taller. This is the more correct way to do it.

Don't even consider airshocks, they are a poor way to go for several bad reasons.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:48 PM
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2 more suggestions, 1.Coil over shocks work. 2. If you add shackle extensions
cut them off just below the first hole and round the edges with an angle grinder. I had a lot of people ask me if my car came with them from the factory because they looked so neat without all the excess hanging down.
You really don't want to go passed the first hole like Ericnova said handeling will suffer and it will stress the leafs from the axle to the shackles over time and produce negitive arc.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:37 AM
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Add a leaf spring to your current spring pack, this will raise the car and not affect the stability. Shackles look too “joe dirt”, air shocks are risky and support the car via the shock which the shock mounts were not intended to do and the other solutions like air bags get pricy.

Get a set of springs the same width as yours from a junk yard or swap meet.
Take the junk yard springs apart
Take the main spring with the eyelets and cut the eyelets off with a cut off wheel
Take the springs off your car
Replace the SECOND spring off your car with the new spring you made from the junk yard set
The only other thing you will need is a new set of center bolts which will be under $10

I’ve done this on 3 different cars now and have always had good results. It’s simple and easy, working in my little (22x20) garage I think I spent less than 4 hours total to do the last one.

Ken
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:43 AM
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You calling me "JOE DIRT" really hurt man!
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:49 AM
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Sorry Dude, no offence intended. My best friend does all his cars that way and in some cases it dosen't look bad I just don't personally like it.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTXKen
Add a leaf spring to your current spring pack, this will raise the car and not affect the stability. Shackles look too “joe dirt”, air shocks are risky and support the car via the shock which the shock mounts were not intended to do and the other solutions like air bags get pricy.

Get a set of springs the same width as yours from a junk yard or swap meet.
Take the junk yard springs apart
Take the main spring with the eyelets and cut the eyelets off with a cut off wheel
Take the springs off your car
Replace the SECOND spring off your car with the new spring you made from the junk yard set
The only other thing you will need is a new set of center bolts which will be under $10

I’ve done this on 3 different cars now and have always had good results. It’s simple and easy, working in my little (22x20) garage I think I spent less than 4 hours total to do the last one.

Ken
Wouldnt this make it really stiff?
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazymonkeymech
Wouldnt this make it really stiff?
Yes, just like adding coilovers with the leaf springs or adding air shocks will.

That's why rearching the spring is really the only proper way to do it and maintain the designed ride quality.

If you are drag racing the adding of a second main leaf like suggested will often work well, but you sacrifice ride comfort. It is sometimes also done where only the front half of a second main leaf is added, cut off a couple inches behind the center pin. This stiffens the front half of the spring to control the spring wind-up that results in wheel hop without impacting the ride so much.

Basically with leaf springs the front half of the leaf spring pack locates the axle and transfers the thrust forces into the chassis, the rear half controls the ride quality.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
Yes, just like adding coilovers with the leaf springs or adding air shocks will.

That's why rearching the spring is really the only proper way to do it and maintain the designed ride quality.

If you are drag racing the adding of a second main leaf like suggested will often work well, but you sacrifice ride comfort. It is sometimes also done where only the front half of a second main leaf is added, cut off a couple inches behind the center pin. This stiffens the front half of the spring to control the spring wind-up that results in wheel hop without impacting the ride so much.

Basically with leaf springs the front half of the leaf spring pack locates the axle and transfers the thrust forces into the chassis, the rear half controls the ride quality.
I agree to a point, the extra leaf does stiffen the suspension but not that bad, my GTX does not have an uncomfortable ride at all, but mopars have long leafs, not sure if they are longer than a chevy.

Coilovers or air shocks are much worse for the car though. The upper cross member where the shock bolts to is not intended to support the vehicle and adding either of the above has it doing just that.

you have all the options
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:23 PM
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Thanks for the Advice.

Well i am now going to find a suspension company who can rearch my leaf springs. Im hoping I can find a local shop that can perform this. If any one know where I can go to get this done let me know.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazymonkeymech
Well i am now going to find a suspension company who can re-arc my leaf springs. Im hoping I can find a local shop that can perform this. If any one know where I can go to get this done let me know.
Sounds like "add a leaf" is just what you need. Google it and check it out.
several places to get them and the price varies as much as 20 bucks between sites. A lot of guy's add them to the front of 4x4's and from what I've seen, they work real well plus, you don't have to take the springs off again. They go right in the stock leafs mounting location.
PS: Not helper springs that look tacky but leafs that look factory.
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