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Discussion Starter #1
My 35 Ford has a Heidt's M II front suspension with stock shocks and 57 Chevy rear springs with a dearched main and air shocks. While front and rear push down and rebound nice and the ride is really isn't all that bad, I think it could be better. The air shocks only have 60 lbs and installed because I am thinking of pulling a small travel trailer or travel with a full load of passengers.
Advise is all over the place concerning ride using dearching vs lowering blocks and air vs coil over.
I was considering replacing front shocks and springs with air bags and replacing rear air shocks with Bilstein coil over shocks.
What I'm looking for is those commercials where the car stays level and the suspension is taking all the bumps. Am I dreaming trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.
 

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In a word....YES! You didn't mention what body you have but by the "full load of passengers" comment I guess we can eliminate everything but Tudor or Fordor Sedans, can't we?
Do you have bottoming problems with rear suspension as it is without the air shocks inflated, i.e., are you using the air shocks as suspension rather than bounce dampeners? Is this a problem with 2 passengers as well as 4 or 5?
If so, you made a mistake in the design of your rear suspension, not enough spring for the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
35 Ford suspension

It's a two door sedan. I think it would bottom out without the air shocks but it has 5 new leafs now althought the main was dearched. I ran this system for 15 years until I tore the car apart 12 years ago. Actually I had 6 in the car including one really heathy young girl and it seemed to ride better and with only me on a smooth road rides good. It is a old car with mix matched parts and maybe I'm expecting too much. Takes alot of trial and error to get all the stars in alignment. What's your thoughts on dearched springs vs lowering blocks?
 

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I guess I disagree with several things posted.

First I am pretty sure you said that you have a 35 Ford on rear leaf springs and MII front with coils. :)

Let me comment that air shocks are 50/50 action and usually valved stiffly. I have them on the rear of mine because I want a stiff shock, but for a different purpose and they ride very smoothly in my use. I run mine with 10 psi unless I have a load. I use my air shocks to control body lift when launching as well as ride height with a load.

If you want a better ride, I would look to Posies for super slide springs, or definitely install teflon sliders into your springs.

I don't like lowering blocks. Lowering blocks are for looks, not function. Lowering blocks add significantly to axle wrap/wheel hop when launching.

Dearching is a second consideration that lowers the car but also removes decent spring action and harshens ride because your are sitting heavily on the shorter leaves all the time. The shorter leaves are to give you a progressive spring rate. In essence a dearched spring approaches the action of a monoleaf.

I prefer first that the spring eyes be reversed or made mid-eye to get lowering while maintaining the arch/ spring progressive rate.

If price were no object, I would air bag all 4 corners by A.R.T. Period.

Added: I have determined that ride harshness is USUALLY caused by to too stiff of shock valving.

You can't necessarily have a canyon carver that rides like a TownCar and works well with one or 6 people in it.... but the air ride comes close.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the input. Air ride seems the way to go but will take some design work on the rear since the guy put the springs on the outside of the frame since the 57 Chevy springs were so long and I never changed it. I think I'll get a kit to mount under frame to get rid of the dearched springs. Deep down I never really thought that was the way to go. Don't ask me why I did it.
 
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