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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I'm building my narrowed rear frame rails. Soon I'll be building my rear suspension and was hoping you guys could add pics of what you are using. Plus any pics of other cars for references. I'm debating solid long traction bars, ladder bars, or??? It'll be coil springs and seperate shocks (not coil overs). Thanks for any pics that you can share. Mark L
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hey guys, any pics of your gasser rear suspensions, or any from other sources? I'd sure like to see how they were done back in the day, just for reference. Been trying to get in my head how I could make a long ladder bar type traditonal old school ladder bar suspension but still retain some suspension articulation for bumps and driveways etc. Without the stiffness of locked up ladders. I was thinking of building a long, straight four link suspension, with parallel bars. The bottom bar looking like a traditonal girder ladder bar but the top links would be bars up out of sight of the same length. It would give the look and the lift of a single ladder bar but the articulation of a four link. ?? Any thought from you guys on my idea? It would still need either a panhard, a watts, or a cross link for side stability. Possibly using a Johnson Joint at the front mount points. Or could that leave it too loose? Remember this is for a street strip car. Steve, any thoughts? Mark L
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Dave. Not sure if you're asking about the stock suspension or my modified suspension? Factory is a GM four link with coils. I'm building a narrowed frame rail and ladder bars using the original spring configuration probably using some station wagon springs for some stiffness. Then seperate shocks. Mark L
 

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LONG ladder bars, and rock crawler joints at the front end of the ladders. Ditch the coil spring idea and run coilovers with heim ends. Triangulate your ladders and use a wishbone locater bar. Should give plenty of articulation.
 

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I don't like to use the springs as a tuning aid.... I use the correct spring to support the car, then tighten or loosen up the movement with the shocks... Stiffer springs in the rear can be a detriment to weight transfer..... One other thing we used to play with on coil spring rear cars was to run the regular drag shocks on the rear, then add an air shock on the right side, forward side of the housing to use to preload the right side a tad....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll start out with the original cars springs and go to station wagon springs if I need stiffer. Mark L
 

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I went with Comp Engineering ladder bars and coilover shocks with a panhard bar. I don't have a ton of miles on it yet, but so far it handles really nice. No wheel hop, and even decent cornering for a gasser. Really smooth down the freeway at 70 mph too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
str8xle. Stopped at a local 4X4 store and looked a the front joints. I may do that. I remember seeing what was called a johnny joint?? But can't remember where i saw it. It was a Hot Rod type place (on line). Or is that the same thing as the rock crawler joint? Just a different name? Mark L
 

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I use a standard true 4 link that I built myself. The bars are 17 inches long dictated by the chassis design....pro street I also use a panhard bar that is as long as possible. I made a special mount on the rear end offset to one side for max length. A little run thru my stress calculator finished it off. I also made a very stiff anti-roll bar. Call it a sway bar if you want....it prevents rear chassis roll. Believe me with a narrowed rear end and the coil overs mounted way inboard there is very little rear roll stifness. A little testing with an open rear end proved this. Instant blow off of the right rear tire. The anti roll bar is pre loaded a bit and the left front coil over adds a little wedge. It took a couple tests to get it right but even with an open diff I could launch straight with both tires just hazzing. Then I added the Locker for strength. works great. You just have to be careful going around left hand turns. Cloverleafs work great however. I since have backed off a little on the wedge since I put 99% of my miles on just crusing. I can always add a few turns wedge if I hit the track.

I also tried a diagonal track bar or diagonal link if you want to call it that. This caused a spooky handling situation that I didn't want so I removed it and went back to the panhard bar. Tested back to back by the way. I don't have any room at all for a wishbone. I think the slider part would wear with all the driving I do in the rain and dirt roads. Bad enough the way it is.

I also tried a front anti roll bar. All of the stock Must II ones are way too stiff for my little car so I plan on building one this summer just to try out. I have plenty of front roll stiffness as it is but clover leafs tend to load up the front end and I'm pretty low to the ground anyway so it may help some and definitely would help on the left hand turns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good info guys. keep it coming. Anyone have some monster ladder bar pics. I'm thinkingof going with 48 inchers. Especially with my loooooong 120 in wheelbase. Mark L
 

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You might also consider altering that llloooonnnnggg wheelbase. It would fit the period nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is the only '63 altered wheel base car I know of. It just looks wrong for this car. I like the full wheelbase much better for the '63. The 48 inch bars should look good with the long wheelbase.



Mark L
 

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I had some bars that were at least 48" long. I copied a setup that I saw on a drag truck. The front pivot is because I have leafs and didn't want it to bind. I'm not sure how a 4-link setup's geometry is effected by a traction bar, like is the pivot necessary? I have since changed my setup by moving the springs under the frame, so this setup wouldn't work. I am now using cal-tracks. under the stock leafs. Here's a shot of what it used to look like.

Later,

Mike
 

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I've decided to run a 42" bar with leaf springs and housing floaters, but a slider on the rear instead of a shackle.
 
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