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Suspension Some times the most over looked

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Old 04-21-12, 07:39PM   #1
keith
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Default Spring selection - 1971 Formula 400

Considering options available for re-springing my Formula. She's in pieces now and this will be the catalyst for returning her to all fours. I liked the way new springs made my 66 Star Chief "sit". Looks like a new car stance ... the way it did back in the day. A time machine Those were the correct springs from Ames in NH, meant for a standard restoration.
The Formula may be the recipient of some extra ponies eventually ... I still like the new fresh factory look but want to be able to effectively use Cal-Trac bars and would still like the car to handle as well as possible with as wide an ET Street as I can fit at the track and possibly L60/15 Pro-Trac for the street if I can find and fit them without cutting. It looks like my options are something like ...

1.Standard replacement multi-leaf 3 or 5 130-300$
Ames
John R Spring - others
Custom made local

2.Drop springs multi leaf 3-400$
Belltech - others
Custom made local

3.Monoleaf ?$
?
4.Split mono-leaf 400$?
Calvert

Just wondering what others have used and been happy or unhappy with and why so I can make a good decision. I was looking at using John R Spring out of Michigan as an American made multi-purpose spring vendor. I noticed their products in JC Whitney and on Ebay and was thinking maybe. Also, what is the thing with "drop springs" ... hotchkiss this or that ... Edelbrock handling package ... so on. You still have 2 leafs in the rear, 2 coils in the front and front and rear anti-sway bars no matter what. I dont feel fancy control arms are warranted , mine aren't rotten and I have a full PST poly kit front end- subframe-rear U-bolts dont have the motor mounts yet. I guess the Calvert split mono might work better with Cal-trac bars ?? but you can use them on multi-leaf as well ?
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Old 04-21-12, 08:32PM   #2
PontiacKid73
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Im running the stock multi-leafs in my car with cal tracs, It works well. Calverts mono-leafs are more drag-oriented rather than street handling but work very will with the cal-tracs as they are designed for it. You may not want to get the drop springs yet. My car doesn't have that much wheel well lip clearance with a 28" tall radial. If you want to later you can always put a spacer in the mounting pad to drop it. 275-60-15 fit into the wells easily. I may try to get 295's into mine.

There are several handling packages for the second gen birds out there and i haven't tried any but from what i have heard they aren't that great for the money. Essentially what they consist of is much stiffer springs and stiffer roll bars. They make the cruising ride much harsher but the handling is better. My car handles great and this is what i have into it. Energy suspension bushings all the way around, stock springs front and back, cal tracs, stock front and rear sway bars, frame connectors ( big change there) stock t/a radials up front and Mickey 275-60-15's in back. It does very well fro a 4000lb boat lol
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1/4 11.28 @ 117mph
455 ci
4000 lbs

If its got Tits or Tires its going to be a problem
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Old 04-21-12, 08:36PM   #3
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Im running the stock multi-leafs in my car with cal tracs, It works well. Calverts mono-leafs are more drag-oriented rather than street handling but work very will with the cal-tracs as they are designed for it. You may not want to get the drop springs yet. My car doesn't have that much wheel well lip clearance with a 28" tall radial. If you want to later you can always put a spacer in the mounting pad to drop it. 275-60-15 fit into the wells easily. I may try to get 295's into mine.

There are several handling packages for the second gen birds out there and i haven't tried any but from what i have heard they aren't that great for the money. Essentially what they consist of is much stiffer springs and stiffer roll bars. Overall they make the cruising ride much harsher but the handling is better. My car handles great and this is what i have into it. Energy suspension bushings all the way around, stock springs front and back, cal tracs, stock front and rear sway bars, frame connectors ( big change there) stock t/a radials up front and Mickey 275-60-15's in back. It does very well for a 4000lb boat lol
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1/4 11.28 @ 117mph
455 ci
4000 lbs

If its got Tits or Tires its going to be a problem
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Old 04-21-12, 10:24PM   #4
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Also i might add with my stock ride height i will drag my header collectors over bumps and ramped entrances to parking lots etc so you may not want to lower the car any until you se how it sits at stock ride height.
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1/4 11.28 @ 117mph
455 ci
4000 lbs

If its got Tits or Tires its going to be a problem
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Old 04-22-12, 01:36PM   #5
keith
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Glad you replied, had wanted to ask if you if your car is paint code 53 53 as mine ... and whether you had correct date code block and heads for sale. Thought you were building a monster custom engine or had one in there. Guess I figured I wouldnt part with my original parts even if I had a nice built non-original motor just in case I wanted to switch back, you probably wouldn't either. I sent to PHS for this Formula and have a nice little packet and factory photo showing stance on Firestone Wide Oval tires. Right now I have a set of Keystone Classics and 235/60 I believe installed on the rear end and waiting for the front. I will see how they look with fresh Quezal gold paint. I really am watching pennies. I will call John R Spring in Michigan and see if I can get any kind of customer service from them. If I can I will probably get springs both leaf and coil from them.

I know I dont want something I have to worry about speed bumps with, that might rule out drop springs. Maybe headers too ... darn I really wanted to say my exhaust is Hookers hooked up with a pair of Purple Hornie's Might have some boys in blue follering me around with that setup tho and a dozen Subaru's popping popcorn I have a pair of frame connectors that dont look like much, but my racing buddy says if installed right will do the trick. Rolling chassis by winter sealed and primed.
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Old 04-22-12, 04:08PM   #6
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In all honesty i have no idea what the paint is on my car. I think i have the paperwork but i have never checked it out. If you are really watching pennies stock springs will do just fine. The headers only drag if you go to fast over big bumps. Just be cautious and you will do fine. I sold the original engine out of it about 3 weeks ago. I never really cared about numbers matching and all that. Here is a pic of mine on the stock radial t/a's and stock height. It is an old photo and i have the mickeys on back now.
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1/4 11.28 @ 117mph
455 ci
4000 lbs

If its got Tits or Tires its going to be a problem
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Old 04-23-12, 04:01PM   #7
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Your car seems to sit slightly nose up and tail down more than the stock photograph I have. Having computer issues and am on the laptop spare or I would scan it in and show it in the avatar thingy .. really ive never learned to do that Im not too computer saavy I was considering using a spring set out of a later TA parts car ... I have a 78 4-spd car that the body is really pitted on, was used for drag racing. Kinda itching to draw and quarter something, its a likely candidate as I'm trying to reduce my yard inventory without wasting anything. Might try to save the front springs too, the spindles and disc brake setup for my 64 GTO. I could save the 2 subframes, block them up and hang something heavy on short chains from the bottom of the springs to stretch them out. I dont think they lose flexibility from sitting .... just shape. I could be wrong.
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Old 04-23-12, 05:04PM   #8
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You don't want to do that to the springs. The do loose some of their mechanical properties over time but not that much. If you were to try and stretch them out it would severely deform them and they would not work correctly again. I.E. their spring rates and elastic properties would be shot. Either use them as they are or buy a new set.
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1/4 11.28 @ 117mph
455 ci
4000 lbs

If its got Tits or Tires its going to be a problem
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Old 04-23-12, 06:50PM   #9
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I demo derby big Chryslers and part of the routine that works is to leave the rear end hanging from the springs when the rest of the car is done till derby time. It does bring up the tail end of the car so itll slide over the bumper of "victims" Havent tried it on a road car.
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Old 04-23-12, 08:28PM   #10
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It may work for a derby car but if you are shooting for street performance you don't want to do that.
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