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Old 08-27-2010, 06:16 AM
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Upgrading Suspension(s) ?

Need some discussion/advice/comments on some suspension changes I am considering on my pick up and coupe. A little back ground: The 36 Ford Pu presently has Fatmans MII front end with spring towers, but Carrerra Coil overs. The rear has Air Ride Technologies triangulated 4 bar with QA-1, non adjustable coil overs. Presently handles and rides pretty good but I think there is room for improvement. The 36 Ford Coupe has Fatmans Stage III front end with Carrerra coil overs and the rear is parallel leaf (Mustang II with one leaf removed) shocks and a sway bar. It also rides and handles pretty good, but can be improved. I have been told by a local rod builder that air ride is the way to go and will see noticeable improvement (he has never ridden or driven either vehicle). I do not want to be able to raise and lower either vehicle so if I did go with air suspension, it would be very basic schreoder valve T ed between the shock pairs. Once I determine which pressure setting gives me the best performance, it will stay there unless I change the load significantly. I have checked the stiff prices of the air suspension products and am still tongue tied over the figures.

So here is what I am leaning toward at this time so help me out. Up grade the coil overs on the Pick Up to QA-1 to the newer adjustable (externally adjust the valving on the shock rate) This only requires removing and replacing. On the coupe, remove the leaf springs and installed a 4 link with panhard bar. (the coupe body will not allow the upper bar installation on the triangulated set up). I will initially use the rear QA-1s from the PU to keep the overall cost down and later change them out if I think the adjustable ones will improve it. May or may not use the sway bar. Present exhaust system will have to be modified on one side to clear the panhard bar.

I don't take either vehicle to the track, but do live in the mountains where handling is important to me and at an old age, ride quality is high on the priority list but only relative to street rods, not the family car/truck.

Trees

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Old 08-27-2010, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees
Need some discussion/advice/comments on some suspension changes I am considering on my pick up and coupe. A little back ground: The 36 Ford Pu presently has Fatmans MII front end with spring towers, but Carrerra Coil overs. The rear has Air Ride Technologies triangulated 4 bar with QA-1, non adjustable coil overs. Presently handles and rides pretty good but I think there is room for improvement. The 36 Ford Coupe has Fatmans Stage III front end with Carrerra coil overs and the rear is parallel leaf (Mustang II with one leaf removed) shocks and a sway bar. It also rides and handles pretty good, but can be improved. I have been told by a local rod builder that air ride is the way to go and will see noticeable improvement (he has never ridden or driven either vehicle). I do not want to be able to raise and lower either vehicle so if I did go with air suspension, it would be very basic schreoder valve T ed between the shock pairs. Once I determine which pressure setting gives me the best performance, it will stay there unless I change the load significantly. I have checked the stiff prices of the air suspension products and am still tongue tied over the figures.

So here is what I am leaning toward at this time so help me out. Up grade the coil overs on the Pick Up to QA-1 to the newer adjustable (externally adjust the valving on the shock rate) This only requires removing and replacing. On the coupe, remove the leaf springs and installed a 4 link with panhard bar. (the coupe body will not allow the upper bar installation on the triangulated set up). I will initially use the rear QA-1s from the PU to keep the overall cost down and later change them out if I think the adjustable ones will improve it. May or may not use the sway bar. Present exhaust system will have to be modified on one side to clear the panhard bar.

I don't take either vehicle to the track, but do live in the mountains where handling is important to me and at an old age, ride quality is high on the priority list but only relative to street rods, not the family car/truck.

Trees

I have the adjustable shocks on my willys, and just put a set on that 49 ford I just pro street-ed.. Them adjustable knobs do make a different.. (Not as good as the air bags would) But do make a difference..I bought mine at Art Morrison's.. Being your not racing, I would put the Four Bar, Not the four link.. There's a difference's,, And The four bar is usually cheaper..Hope this helps you..
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:41 AM
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Thanks, NI. You are saying the air system is better, I think. Four bar and four link not the same? I never thought of that so will have to educate my self on the differences. Do you think the air suspension is better because you can get better performance and ride or because you have infinite adjustment features with the full up system?

Trees
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees
Thanks, NI. You are saying the air system is better, I think. Four bar and four link not the same? I never thought of that so will have to educate my self on the differences. Do you think the air suspension is better because you can get better performance and ride or because you have infinite adjustment features with the full up system?

Trees
The air system is better for a softer ride.. A lot of people don't realize there is a difference in four bar and four link.. And a lot of people sell a four bar as a four link.. The four link has more adjustment.. For pre load.. The four bar has adjustment only for the pinion angle.. On a street car with no track time, the four bar or triangulated four bar is the way to go... If you set up the triangulated four bar you don't have to run a pan-hard bar.. Parallel four bar is what I have on my willys.. And I can say I'm not disappointed with the way it hooks up on the street.. So its up to you what you want to use.. Most street-rods today are set up with the triangulated four bar..Hope this all make since...

When you set a car up with air ride, It feel's like your floating over the road..
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:12 PM
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NI, are you using sway bar(s) on your Willys?

I have the trianglulated 4 Link on the pickup now (according to Air Ride Technoligies, but I have always called it T.4 Bar. I like the fine tuning adjustments it offers and it hooks up like a dream. The only reason I am going with the panhard bar on the coupe is the way the body fits down over the frame where the upper bars must attach. I would have to modify this corner of the body and do not want to remove the interior in order to do that. Also do not want to remove the body from the frame.

Guess I will have to locate a street rod with air ride suspension to get a true comparison to what I have now.

Trees
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees
NI, are you using sway bar(s) on your Willys?

I have the trianglulated 4 Link on the pickup now (according to Air Ride Technoligies, but I have always called it T.4 Bar. I like the fine tuning adjustments it offers and it hooks up like a dream. The only reason I am going with the panhard bar on the coupe is the way the body fits down over the frame where the upper bars must attach. I would have to modify this corner of the body and do not want to remove the interior in order to do that. Also do not want to remove the body from the frame.

Guess I will have to locate a street rod with air ride suspension to get a true comparison to what I have now.

Trees
I think they mean to say,triangulated 4 bar.. As far as I know there was never a ''true'' triangulated 4 Link ever built.. I do know how ever one advertise them..

I have never had to use a sway bar on any of the cars I set up.. Do they make a difference,, I'm sure they did.. But I go for more of a cleaner look. But some people love them.. I do under stand about not wanting to cut the car.. I don't worry about that.. I will cut right now. But thats me.. Like I said I truly understand.. But I do think if you look at the shows you will see some done.. I wish I had a picture to show.. I have seen your work, And do know you will pull it off.. Behind every great build, There was a great plan.. Any thing I can do to help out, I'm here..Good luck, And I'm looking forward to seeing it ..Randy
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:24 PM
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The philosophy I go by is soft spring big bar..the sway bars are there for body roll control which we need for corner carving..You can get the torsion bars. mounting tubes, arms and bushing needed from the speedway sprint catalog..the trick is to get them stiff enough and then the right balance front to rear to control either push or loosness of the car..with sway bars one can then reduce the spring rate to get a better ride and still turn corners..Air bags can make life a bit easier as all one needs to do is vary air pressure in the bags..

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:19 PM
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I spent some time under the coupe today forming a plan of attack. I will be able to use the existing sway bar. Might have to do a bit of fabricating to mount it to the axle housing but that is not a big deal. NI, I would not hesitate modifying the body to fit the Tri 4 if it were in the build stage, but to start whacking on a finished ride that is under going a suspension upgrade is not in the cards. Since there is no more than 350 ponies under the hood, I am not concerned about the differences in the Tri 4 and the 4 link with panhard bar. Rerouting the exhaust to clear the axle, panhard bar and the cross member will be a bit of a challenge for the muffler guy, but he can handle it. I could remove the old cross member and install a new one to create more room and provide a more favorable shock location. That makes the upgrade a bit more challenging for me with all the fuel line, brake lines and wiring I would have to disconnect and get out of the way of the plasma cutter and welder.

Trees
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