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-   -   Rear suspension help: raise and soften ride - 39 Buick Hotrod (

quantumspores 02-20-2013 07:18 AM

Rear suspension help: raise and soften ride - 39 Buick Hotrod
Hi Folks,

I'm looking for some rear suspensions advice. I have a 1939 Buick Special hotrod. The rear-end is from some 70s-ish Ford (currently unknown) and is comprised of two large coil springs and shocks. The springs are about 18.5" long uncompressed, 14.5" long with the vehicle sitting on the ground, a spring diameter of about 0.65-0.7" and an total diameter from the outside of the spring of close to 7". The current shocks are Gabriel Guardian (part #: 81878) with 17.7" extended, 11.2" compressed and 6.6" stroke length.

In an ideal world I need to do two thing.
(1) soften the ride
(2) raise the rear-end about 1-3"

I've looked for other coil springs that are longer, I found some from MOOG but their have a very high spring rate and would likely make the ride much stiffer. I have considered going with something like RideTech 8000 Series ShockWave, but they are expensive!

Any suggestions would be apprecated. Thanks!

- shockwaves: ShockWaves :: Universal Styles - - Suspension Specialist - Online Store
- current shocks: Gabriel Guardian/Shock/Strut - Front (81878) |
- mood springs: Moog Suspension Parts - Universal Coil Springs

OneMoreTime 02-20-2013 07:41 AM

First thing that is needed is the weight on the rear axle in order to estimate the spring rate needed..There are companies like this for springs:

Pohl Spring Works, Inc - Coil Springs

there is probably one like this in your area..On the shocks the shock valving has a great deal to do with ride quality so adjustable shocks are in order to tune the ride..

Hope this helps.


quantumspores 02-20-2013 07:44 AM

I agree that the it is extremely useful to have the weight at the rear axle, even more so to have a weight calculated at each of the rear wheels. But, I'm not able to get that data easily so i'm looking for more generic's and guestimates based on a full 4dr 39 Buick with 9" rear-end and standard frame.

OneMoreTime 02-20-2013 09:12 AM

All you need to do is go to any truck stop with a certified scale and ask for some help and they can weigh the whole car and each axle and then you have the data.


aosborn 02-20-2013 07:57 PM

I am curious how you know the Moog springs you are looking at are stiffer if you don't know what the rate is of the springs that are on the car now.

The rate can be calculated if you carefully measure the wire diameter, spring diameter and count up the number of active coils. If we can determine the rate and the free height and the height at ride height (which you have already given) we can then accurately determine the spring load. With that information you should be able to go through a spring catalog and choose one that will give you the height you want at a softer spring rate, even without knowing the weight of the car.



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