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Username Post: Rear Leaf Springs - Shock Questions        (Topic#353361)
KOOL57 
Member
Posts: 175
KOOL57
Loc: Fargo, ND
Reg: 01-04-03
10-08-18 07:48 PM - Post#2748186    

Rear leaf springs.
Bought a pair of rear leaf springs this summer. Hoped to raise the rear end of my 57 Belair 2-3 inches
by replacing the original 5 leaf springs. They raised the rear bumper 1/2inch! Damn. Probably sag 1/2in
after a week. Put old springs back in.
I had bought these springs from a well known vendor who has sold a lot of them, so......

Q #1. Is there a difference in quality of springs? I see online there are $199, $299, $399 springs.
Q #2. Would load leveler shocks raise the rear 2-3 inch?
Don't know what to try next.

"If it ain't got fins, it ain't a real car!


 




Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4376
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
10-09-18 12:23 AM - Post#2748197    
    In response to KOOL57

Hi Kool, Spring making is a dark art and I have had very little luck calculating and getting what I expect.
It's usually just suck it and see. But that gets expensive.

I really dislike air shocks as it alters both the performance of the shock and moves the suspension loads to a part of the chassis or trunk floor they are not supposed to be.

If your shock absorbers work don't try and use them to alter ride height. If you want to pump the back up using air then you want the separate chassis mounted airbags called helper springs or load levelers.

I have put up an image of one type. You normally find them on PU trucks with slide on campers etc.

The advantage for ride height is it is both adjustable and tuneable to your current load.
They work just like bigger versions of the air capacity in air shocks only they are more robust and don't alter shock function.

Cheers Kiwi


Attachment: firestone-ride-rite-ill.jpg (41.26 KB) 2 View(s)




48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

"They made a desert and called it peace." Tacitus


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11069
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
10-09-18 08:15 AM - Post#2748215    
    In response to KOOL57

Passenger cars originally came with 4 leaf springs. If you car had 5 leaf, it's probably already higher than stock, so stock springs aren't going to raise it. Link to springs.
Take it to a frame and spring shop and they can rearch your springs to what you want.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 10-09-18 08:16 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27461
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
10-09-18 12:27 PM - Post#2748235    
    In response to acardon

Ride height with replacement springs is a crap shoot.

Going from 4 leaf to 5 leaf springs won't affect ride height if they aren't made to (unless they are made wrong). But if you add a leaf to an existing spring it will raise the ride height.

I've been struggling with lowering springs and think I've finally made some progress, but obviously that's not the way you want to go.

Re-arching a new set of springs at a good spring shop that understands what you want is a good way to get there. Or buy them there. Again that's not easy because spring shops are not numerous, just like radiator shops.




 
56sedandelivery 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5449
56sedandelivery
Age: 67
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
10-09-18 01:52 PM - Post#2748244    
    In response to Rick_L

My Delivery has SEVEN leafs in the pack (???); I have no idea why; maybe it was raced at some point? It also has coil wrapped, overload shocks in the rear. Currently, I like how it sits, and the ride is not rough at all. I have a pair of six leaf, leaf springs, with the second leaf as long as the main leaf, that I had made up a few years ago for my other Delivery, that I have since sold. If you decide to go with air shocks or overload shocks, I'd suggest an aftermarket shock bar, so the shocks are't bolted to the floorboards. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.




 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27461
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
10-09-18 05:29 PM - Post#2748278    
    In response to 56sedandelivery

In the past I've added a leaf to an existing spring by using the main leaf from another spring and sawing the eyes off.



 
KOOL57 
Member
Posts: 175
KOOL57
Loc: Fargo, ND
Reg: 01-04-03
10-10-18 01:35 PM - Post#2748349    
    In response to Rick_L

Hmmm. Adding a leaf .....
Regarding acaron's link = they list:
57 4 leaves
57 5 leaves (hvy duty) (exc Sta Wgn)
57 5 leaves (hvy duty) (includes Sta Wgn)
57 6 leaves (extra hvy duty) (includes 9 pass Wgn)
And Butch has 7 leaves! (A Delivery is probably considered a truck).
My 2dr HT must be the stock 5 leaf HD. I'm sure they are the original.

Regarding Rick L post = Adding a leaf - Shoulda tried that. But sold them. Figured they were Made in Ch--- and were "inferior".
Will adding a leaf affect the ride? And are any of these made in USA?

Shock bar. Made one of square tubing, so no problem there. Hate to put weight where it isn't supposed to be tho.
Re-arching. I've read that isn't a good idea. Springs will eventually go back to where they were. "Memory effect". And may not be equal.

So, maybe try load levelers. Anyone have them?
Or buy another set of 5 leafs. Just feels & almost looks like I'm driving uphill.

"If it ain't got fins, it ain't a real car!


 
5Larry7 
"15th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1942
5Larry7
Loc: Dallas, TX
Reg: 05-17-04
10-11-18 02:04 AM - Post#2748399    
    In response to KOOL57

Contact Eaton Detroit Springs and tell them what you want and they will deliver. I did exactly that and when I installed the springs I got from them, the ride height was what I wanted.

'57 210, 327 cid, Holley MPFI, 700R4, A/C & more.
'51 Studebaker Starlite coupe, 350, TH400, GV OD.
'96 Replica of a 1950's Teardrop Trailer.


 
56sedandelivery 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5449
56sedandelivery
Age: 67
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
10-11-18 10:59 AM - Post#2748438    
    In response to KOOL57

  • KOOL57 Said:
Hmmm. Adding a leaf .....
Regarding acaron's link = they list:
57 4 leaves
57 5 leaves (hvy duty) (exc Sta Wgn)
57 5 leaves (hvy duty) (includes Sta Wgn)
57 6 leaves (extra hvy duty) (includes 9 pass Wgn)
And Butch has 7 leaves! (A Delivery is probably considered a truck).
My 2dr HT must be the stock 5 leaf HD. I'm sure they are the original.

Regarding Rick L post = Adding a leaf - Shoulda tried that. But sold them. Figured they were Made in Ch--- and were "inferior".
Will adding a leaf affect the ride? And are any of these made in USA?

Shock bar. Made one of square tubing, so no problem there. Hate to put weight where it isn't supposed to be tho.
Re-arching. I've read that isn't a good idea. Springs will eventually go back to where they were. "Memory effect". And may not be equal.

So, maybe try load levelers. Anyone have them?
Or buy another set of 5 leafs. Just feels & almost looks like I'm driving uphill.



I have't seen 6 leaves on anything stock, not that they did't come that way; can't say I've ever looked under a 9 passenger Wagon however. My 7 leaf springs had to be added somewhere in it's life (racing?); Deliveries normally came with 5 leafs, same as Wagons. When I had my springs made with the full length second leaf, I had that done because the traction bars attach to the front of the springs just behind the spring eye. Many stock springs, when used with snubber type traction bars, actually get bent where the snubbers contact the springs; and a pretty significant bend at that. These cars went through an awful lot in the 60's-70's; everyone did something different to them, used them up, and sent them to the wrecking yards. I'm just glad so many survived to this day. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.





Edited by 56sedandelivery on 10-11-18 06:12 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Rick_L 
Honored Member
Posts: 27461
Rick_L
Loc: Katy, Tx, USA
Reg: 07-06-00
10-11-18 03:53 PM - Post#2748455    
    In response to 56sedandelivery

4 leafs were standard on everything but wagons, 5 leaf was heavy duty option.

5 leafs were standard on wagons, 6 leaf was heavy duty option.

The 5th leaf was really short, only about 12-15" long, added on the bottom of the stack.

OEM springs follow a mathematical progression on the length of each leaf. I don't know what the formula is. The progression maximizes each leaf's capacity and makes the stress on each leaf similar to the rest. I don't know how bad it is to violate that progression - probably not much. Remember that it's easier to deflect a long spring than a short one.

The best way to handle Lakewood or other slapper bars is to lengthen the bar so that it hits under the spring eye.





 
notcamero 
Senior Member
Posts: 949

Reg: 08-02-03
10-12-18 04:58 AM - Post#2748491    
    In response to Rick_L

Sort of a recap of what others said. I'd put the new springs on with an extra leaf from the old springs. Take out the lowest small spring from the new pack, not used here, put in the old leaf next to the main leaf or cut the old main leaf's ends off, put under the main on the new springs. Make sure to clean the old leaf and maybe grease it some at contact points. Those leafs (leaves?) have to slide some to give a decent ride.

Air shocks, load levelers, do put stress on the body as the mounting points are on the trunk sheet metal instead of the actual car frame - unless it's been modified.



 




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