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Old 01-07-2005, 06:02 PM
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Rear suspension/shocks setup for drag use?

OK - I'm building a (you guessed it) 46 Chevy pickup for 1/8 mi drag and "sometimes" around town play. My question is on the rear suspension - I'm about to start on a Ladder bar and coilover setup for the narrowed rear end, and didn't know how much suspension travel to allow for. the cars at the track that seem to be set up well at launch etc -- have very small clearances (tire to fenderwell lip) and little to no "squat" that I can detect. Anyone have any experience in this area ? I didn't know if the travel was limited by "bumpers" and a normal shock/spring rate - or if they were using hard core rear spring rates & shocks to get the ideal stiffness. This is my first "race" oriented project and ride comfort is not as big a concern as getting this old girl to hook up and fly straight. I'm going to be hitting it pretty hard off the line - using a Turbo 400 trans with transbrake and 5.39 rear end ratio with 14.5" DOT street slicks.
Just didn't know where to go for this specialized application -- and the car I really admire at the track - hasn;t been there for about 3 months and I just can't wait forever (the bug is eating me up .. Thanks eveyone !!

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Old 01-08-2005, 11:35 PM
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Rear end "squat" off the line is controlled some by spring rate, some by rear shocks with adjustable internal valves, some by limiting the amount of front end lift, some with wheelie bars, some with rear suspension tuning, some with weight distribution of the car, some with tire size, many factors are involved in getting a race car to do what a race car does. Best start would be to buy a chassis tuning book (Like Jerry Bickel's Complete Guide to Chassis Performance for example). Read and learn all you can before you spend too much money and time on parts. Having a plan ahead of time will save you plenty of headaches down the road.
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Old 01-09-2005, 06:14 PM
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Yes - I'm beginning to realize the complexity of a 'non stock" and special purpose suspension.. On one hand it is very liberating to be able to create whatever you want (I have "RESTORED" a 62 Fairlane 500 - stock down to the last nut -- hey that NUT would be ME !! ha ) but then you don't have the "factory" engineers to help either... A BIG learning curve for a dog my age... I am following your advice and have found a couple of suspension books - one in particular on "drag" suspension engineering - I appreciate your sound advice - and feel more confident this will ---- go my way.. !!! ha .. Thank You Pro70z28
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