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Old 06-18-2004, 10:51 AM
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A shocking story

My 37 Plymouth has a 1972 Chevelle 10 bolt rear end in it supported by the original springs. I'm using conventional stock gas shocks. My setup allows about 2 1/2" of vertical travel before the axel hits the axel bumpers. I'm having trouble with the axel bottoming out. What kind of shock absorber can I install that is stiff enough to limit vertical travel?
Someone had suggested a racing shock.
Someone else suggested a coil-over shock or helper shock.
I don't want to fool with the springs. I just had them reconditioned and I don't want to fool with them again.

Thanks for your advice.

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Old 06-18-2004, 11:12 AM
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A shock can't limit the travel or you will bottom out the shock too. The shock can only slow down (dampen) the movement. You might try a HD (race damped) gas filled shock or maybe even an air shock to keep the axle off the bumpers.
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:06 PM
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As Bob has inferred, a shock change is really not the answer. Like it or not, you're going to have to "fool with" the suspension. (Of course, an air shock IS an increase in spring rate, but, unfortunately, this is usually associated with a change in ride height.)

You might try something I mentioned in another thread: Add "helper" leaf springs, using fabricated spacers to "grab" the ends of the helpers, making them, in effect, a part of the main leaf pack. I've done this and it's a cheap and easy way to add rate to a leaf spring car.

This will make the handling of the car a little "looser," but probably not enough to be objectionable. If it is, you'll have to go to a heavier sway bar at the front.
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Old 06-18-2004, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the advice Billy. I will talk to my local spring source about your suggestion. I don't have a sway bar on the front yet, so making the car a little loose is something I'm not crazy about doing since it is already a little loose.

Would adding a helper spring over the shock help? Would that approach be similar to adding a leaf or strapping the free ends of the leaf spring?
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Old 06-18-2004, 02:26 PM
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is there a certain reason you don't want to mess with the spring? If I were in that situation...I'd bolt up some air shocks... If you put just enough psi in to "help" the spring but not too much that it lifts the whole car up...they work fine.
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Old 06-18-2004, 02:38 PM
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I think I'm going to look into a set of air shocks. It cannot hurt.
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Old 06-19-2004, 05:39 AM
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Yes, I agree with Gemini (and Bob), the air shocks can help even if you don't add any extra air. Just bolt 'em up, cap 'em off, and go! And, they'll look a lot nicer than the kluged arrangement I suggested.

On my '64 Ford Sprint, I was after a bit more of a rate increase than I felt the air shocks would give me without affecting ride height.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:34 AM
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I'm going to go to sears and look at a set of air shocks. I'm wondering if the air shock travel distance is similar to a typical shock. My present shock measures 15" when parked at the curb. Are there any guidelines that I should follow when selecting an air shock to replace my standard shocks?
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