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Old 05-02-2004, 06:59 AM
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stiffen suspension

Hi Guys. I want to stiffen the suspension in my 49 ply rod. I used the stock rear leaf springs and shocks with a nova differencial. The front end and suspension is stock except for the addition of disc brakes and a power rack and pinion steering system. All the coil springs are stock (55 years old) and undoubtably lost some of their tension. The car rides nice but has quite a bit of body roll. I don't want to spend alot, but i do want to reduce the roll as much as possible. Will air shocks lessen the roll if kept fairly firm but with enough pressure to still provide a good ride? Will new coils all the way around with a combination of new shocks and maybe a new sway bar on the front end (if i could find new OEM replacement) help. Or what ? any ideas considered. Thanx Doc

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Old 05-02-2004, 11:43 AM
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Re: stiffen suspension

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Originally posted by jdockham
Hi Guys. I want to stiffen the suspension in my 49 ply rod. I used the stock rear leaf springs and shocks with a nova differencial. The front end and suspension is stock except for the addition of disc brakes and a power rack and pinion steering system. All the coil springs are stock (55 years old) and undoubtably lost some of their tension. The car rides nice but has quite a bit of body roll. I don't want to spend alot, but i do want to reduce the roll as much as possible. Will air shocks lessen the roll if kept fairly firm but with enough pressure to still provide a good ride? Will new coils all the way around with a combination of new shocks and maybe a new sway bar on the front end (if i could find new OEM replacement) help. Or what ? any ideas considered. Thanx Doc
Stock shocks? I hope you don't mean that they are 55 years old. If so, new shocks may help some. I don't feel that air shocks would be the answer. They generally will stiffen or raise the ride. I would consider the sway bars on front and possibly rear, along with new shocks. The springs are old, but if they are holding the prpoer ride height, I wouldn't automatically replace them. If the body is stock, I believe that they had a pretty high center of gravity. The sway bars may do the trick. Get some measurements and check at some yards to see if you can find something to use. I would look for something off of a full size car or possibly a pick-up, because of the weight.
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Old 05-03-2004, 06:24 AM
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Definitely sway bars front AND rear!

And, if you've a limited budget, here's a trick I used on a '64 Ford Sprint many years ago: From J.C. Whitney's catalog, I ordered a set of "helper" springs. These are leaf springs intended to pick up the load when the trunk is overloaded or the stock springs are "tired." After installing these, I then used threaded rod and steel plate to make some clamps which captured both the stock spring and the added leaf. In this way, the added leaf became a fully functional part of the leaf spring package. Also added an aftermarket rear sway bar. Quite a handling improvement!
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:30 AM
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If it's body roll that you want to control, it is "sway bars" you want. I would recommend front and rear. If you are otherwise satisfied with the ride quality, especially considering the desire to keep costs low, this should be all you need.

Shock absorbers ideally won't have any affect on suspension travel, only on ride quality.
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