I'm in Rogers Ar. and need to check my springs. Would you happen to know anyone in my area that could "smash" my springs?
Makes since that this is an early crossmember since the rod was built 15-20 years ago. I'll keep the control arm angle in mind when swapping the springs, not sure what the actual angle is since the car is so low and has been in my small garage since I bought it. All I have is the one picture to go by and the angle it was taken at could affect the perception.What you have is an early aftermarket cross member kit. A stock crossmember has a rolled edge to strengthen the spring tower. Also the tie rod ends have been lengthened to accommodate a longer spread distance from one side of the frame to the other. The lower control arm should be angled down from the pivot bolt. When it is level, you are 3/4 of the way through the stock travel.
Today I was able to drive the car a much longer distance. Rides much better than I thought- the roughness was flat spots in the tires that went away after a while. Did bottom out on a large speed bump, but does have some travel. Still a bit stiff and could use some improvement, but not bad and perfectly acceptable for a street rod. The lower A arms, looking under the front for the first time, are exactly parallel with the pavement. I believe it was you that posted they needed to go slightly downhill from inside to outside pivot?Start with the given. From the center of the spindle to the floor is about 12 inches, look at the car and see what the tire/ wheel clearance is to the fender opening. You can go with a longer spring/shock setup and then put a set of dropped spindles to bring the ride height down. Ideally the lower control arm pivot bolt should be 12in To put the control arm in the proper place.
From the picture, there’s a lot of work to be done. It is almost worth it to start over with a newer cross member setup. The first attempts at cross member kits were not that good. That’s why I stuck with the oem cross member. The first one I did was 1976. 1936 Plymouth sedan. 13 years And 147k miles. Sold it to a friend who is Still driving it.
Very useful info. Theoretically the weight of my car should be very close to yours, but will find a scale to make sure. One my car, the bottom of the stamped steel arms is parallel to the ground.I have a similar setup as yours in my 46 Ford Coupe (stock mustang II with coli over conversion). I'm sorry that I can't help you with spring rates since I can't remember the exact springs I used. It's been in service for over 20 years.
My car weighs about 3900 lbs with me and a half tank of fuel. I'm pretty sure I used the heaviest springs that I could get at the time. Seems to me that I started out with 500 lb springs, but they sagged pretty quick and started looking like yours. I think I went to 600 lb springs after that, but I notice that they might need to be replaced on the next freshening up I do on the car.
What I can tell you for sure is that removing the shocks and springs from mine is a more difficult than just unbolting them and dropping the control arm with a jack due to the deep construction of the stock stamped MII control arms. The strut rod rubber bushings will not flex enough to allow them to come out this way. I have to unbolt the struts from the lower control arm to get enough travel. I seem to remember having to break the lower ball joint loose, too, but it's been a loooong time since I had to pull them out.
You may have a tough time getting good suspension travel and keeping the ride height that you have now without going to dropped spindles. you can adjust the control arms for good travel and still get 2" lower ride height. Just a suggestion.
Also, I have looked at several stock MII's (the actual Ford car) and they all have the lower control arms running slightly downhill toward the tire when viewed from the front. This is because, on the stock stamped CA's, the center of the pivot bushing is not directly in line with the center of the ball joint ball when the CA is level. Having "level" control arms means having a line drawn though these pivot points level. Tubular CA's are not made like this and they will be level to the eye.
With the adjusting nut on the bottom, all that will do is lower the ride height....it won't change ride stiffness at all. To change ride quality, you've got to change the spring rate.So can someone tell me what would happen if I simply adjusted the coil over adjustment nuts downward, say an inch? Obviously suspension travel increases, but what happens to ride height and lower control arm position? Right now the bottom of the stock arms are exactly parallel with the pavement.
So adjusting the nut downward will lower the height? I assumed the reason they were adjusted so far upward was to get the car down on the ground. Also, it seems to me like the spring characteristics will change as the nut is adjusted down - coils will open up, suspension will have a lot more travel, and ride should improve. A compressed spring with little travel should have a rougher ride.With the adjusting nut on the bottom, all that will do is lower the ride height....it won't change ride stiffness at all. To change ride quality, you've got to change the spring rate.
It doesn't work like that exactly.So adjusting the nut downward will lower the height? I assumed the reason they were adjusted so far upward was to get the car down on the ground. Also, it seems to me like the spring characteristics will change as the nut is adjusted down - coils will open up, suspension will have a lot more travel, and ride should improve. A compressed spring with little travel should have a rougher ride.
So now you have to decide what your want. A softer or stiffer ride? The same ride quality but not bottoming out?
If it's just ride height and you're okay with the quality then you need 3-4inch longer spring in the same rate so the adjuster nut can have more upward travel to set the ride height where you want it.
This is the brake kit I used, it's a true bolt on. Only install tip is to sand the paint some from the outside of the replacement oil seals so they install easier and don't distort, read the reviews on the website. They also offer the kit with a Ford bolt pattern.As it turned out, my problem with the ride was mainly flat spots on the tires from 15 years storage. After driving a mile or so and getting used to the fact that it doesn't ride like a stock '48 Lincoln (a mobile sofa), I'm OK with the ride. And the ride height is perfect. So I guess what I have to decide is whether the suspension has adequate travel, and I'd say it's an inch or two short of that. And if I change the springs, I might as well soften the ride a notch or two. The trick is figuring out what spring to buy- I don't want to do three trial and error tear down and rebuilds of the suspension. While I'm at it I'll replace the pathetic 9" brakes with 11".
Thanks for posting that, without a recommendation from someone buying a kit is just a shot in the dark. Price is great too!This is the brake kit I used, it's a true bolt on. Only install tip is to sand the paint some from the outside of the replacement oil seals so they install easier and don't distort, read the reviews on the website. They also offer the kit with a Ford bolt pattern.