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#2534418 - 08/10/18 10:16 PM Rear suspension question, er, help!!
codfish Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4223
Loc: Newfoundland
When I got my 37 Dodge coupe, it came with what I was told is a rear out of a 95 Camaro. It has coil springs. It is a project.

Problem is, the coil springs are NOT holding the frame high enough from the rear. Looks like a mis measure by previous owner.

Anyhow I need to correct it. How much clearance should I aim for between frame and rear axle housing? I will not get into notching the frame or anything like that. I will first try spacers between spring mounts and frame I guess. 2" and go from there. I don't want to have the rear sitting too high.

Not sure what my question is, but any advice ideas would be appreciated. Can coil springs be reworked to achieve extra height? Perhaps air shocks as well?

Pic attached of current ride height.

Also, the frame isn't touching the rear itself, but some added "rubber bumpers", which are about 2" thick. Also, if I lay under the rear of the car I can actually raise it by bench pressing it, so the springs must be helping quite a bit. I'm not that strong lol

Thanks
codfish


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Edited by codfish (08/10/18 10:20 PM)

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#2534426 - 08/10/18 10:56 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
poorboy Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 6315
Loc: Freeport IL USA

Coil springs are not that complex. Either the springs are wrong to start with, or someone cut/modified them, or the spring mounting is messed up.

Did the previous owner cut the current coil springs? Lots of guys will hack off a coil or two (or more) in an attempt to lower the car. New coil springs are not that expensive, you should be able to buy them longer or stiffer then what you have now. You will want to talk with a good spring guy, then buy from him.

It also may be easier to correct a spring mounting issue then it could be to try to cobble something to make it work. Pictures of the springs/mounting brackets would help. Gene

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#2534550 - 08/11/18 11:15 AM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: poorboy]
moparx Offline
Dreaming of implants

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 8975
Loc: north of coder
i agree with gene. pics of what you have for rear suspension would be very helpful, and springs are not that hard to either replace or re-engineer the mounting points. have you driven the car any at all ? can you get the rear tires to touch the body by bouncing the car ?
beer

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#2534664 - 08/11/18 03:24 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
John_Kunkel Online   content
I Live Here

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 19472
Loc: Rio Linda, CA
Put air bags in the coil springs.
_________________________
I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

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#2535260 - 08/12/18 06:17 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: John_Kunkel]
codfish Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4223
Loc: Newfoundland
PICs


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#2535264 - 08/12/18 06:22 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
codfish Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4223
Loc: Newfoundland
In one of the pics you can see the added rubber bumper on the frame rail that is touching the axle, so no I cannot bounce the car up and down as there is currently no downward motion possible.

There are rubber bumpers inside the coil spring as well, top and bottom. The distance between those as it sits right now is 6".

I was kinda thinking about air bags inside the springs, or different springs of course.

codfish


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#2535271 - 08/12/18 06:29 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
Supercuda Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13436
My advice? Put a new rear suspension in it.

Looking at the shock placement, they are virtually useless.

The panhard rod should be parallel to the ground at ride height.

It looks like a 5 link without any upper links. Am I missing the upper links?

The cross member is "interesting". If you drop the cross member down to increase ride height you will mess up the LCA angles.

I am not a real big fan of 5 links but whomever did this had no clue.

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#2535401 - 08/12/18 10:46 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
poorboy Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 6315
Loc: Freeport IL USA
Supercuda, did you miss the trailing arm that is attached to the side of the axle housing running forward to the center of the trans crossmember ( presume)? Looks like a late model Camero rear axle assembly through under the car, but someone tried to lower it by cutting off about 1/2 of each coil spring. The coil springs are a definite problem, but they may not be the only problem.

No doubt the shocks are worthless as installed, they might even be bottomed out, and the rear sway bar is useless. The lower bars might be too short as well.

I think I would start out by getting the frame up on jackstands until you get 3"-4" of clearance between the top of the axle and the frame, then see what will need to go, or what can stay. You might get lucky and get away with a set of new springs (or air bags), or you may want to start all over.
The rear suspension may have been installed correctly, but they hacked the springs too much and then added rubber between stuff to get the height needed to pass the car on. Gene

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#2535410 - 08/12/18 10:59 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
Supercuda Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13436
Yes I did, till you pointed it out. Which is why I saw no upper links, none used in this type suspension. I had 4/5 link in my head not torque arm. Thanks

that forward pivot point on that trailing arm should be aligned with the front U joint center line. If I am not mistaken it is substantially further aft of that point. Make for an interesting bind

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#2535421 - 08/12/18 11:32 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
poorboy Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 6315
Loc: Freeport IL USA
Yep, the torque arm looks a little short...Kind of like the number of coils in those springs, just a little short. Gene

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#2535533 - 08/13/18 09:15 AM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
earlymopar Offline
super stock

Registered: 01/30/03
Posts: 834
Loc: Oregon
The angle of the shocks looks to be around 45 degrees which if true, is about 15 degrees beyond the maximum they should ever be to allow proper function.

- EM

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#2535538 - 08/13/18 09:24 AM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: earlymopar]
moparx Offline
Dreaming of implants

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 8975
Loc: north of coder
that deal is a mess, and i'm just not sure how much you can re-use. if it were me, i would think seriously about coil overs and ladder bars. might be the easiest and cheapest to do. now for the million dollar question. don't get hurt feelings, but if the rear is screwed up like it is, what about the front suspension and steering ? also, how is the chassis as a whole ? looking at the rear installation, it brings real concerns about the rest of the build. the paint looks very nice however.
beer

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#2535869 - 08/13/18 07:47 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: moparx]
codfish Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4223
Loc: Newfoundland
Thanks for the replies guys. And the concern lol.

I've installed the full Calvert setup on my Dart in the past, but that is the extent of my knowledge and experience when it comes to rear suspensions, so I appreciate the comments and suggestions. I am gonna explore some cost effective options for the rear. May even end up putting leafs in it and be done with it. The added boxed frame rails are parallel so that would be any easy way out. But will look at a ladder bar setup as well. Shock mounts to be reworked as well for certain. That was planned from the start.

The car has the complete drive train from a 95 Camaro. Fuel injected 350/6 speed trans, and the rear and it's associated suspension parts.

I know I know. I didn't put it there. But the engine and trans work great so it stays for now.

As for the front end, it comes from an 86 Monte Carlo. All tight and neatly done. I did add a set of adjustable upper a arms that I had though.

Not looking for anything fancy for the rear. Just something safe that works. The rear suspension and interior is what needs to be done to get it on the road. And maybe the rear fenders with smaller wheels and tires out back. I plan on swapping in a Mopar drive train after I get it on the road.

codfish

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#2537759 - 08/17/18 04:06 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
codfish Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4223
Loc: Newfoundland
Anyone with a similar car have any idea as to what the rear of these cars would weight. I know it depends on any mods and what not, just looking for ballpark for when I start looking for springs and what not. Battery is in trunk.

Internet search shows 2900 lbs total.

Thanks
codfish


Edited by codfish (08/17/18 04:09 PM)

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#2537802 - 08/17/18 05:12 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
Supercuda Offline
I Live Here

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 13436
You could probably weigh yours and get a better idea. Got to be a scale somewhere nearby you could put just the rear tires on.

I had a 38 Plymouth years ago, but I've no idea what the rear weight was and it was bone stock in the back.

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#2537825 - 08/17/18 05:55 PM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: Supercuda]
codfish Offline
master

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4223
Loc: Newfoundland
Unfortunately the nearest weigh scales are about 45 minutes away, and the car isn't street legal yet. Close but so far away lol

codfish

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#2538044 - Yesterday at 08:32 AM Re: Rear suspension question, er, help!! [Re: codfish]
moparx Offline
Dreaming of implants

Registered: 09/03/03
Posts: 8975
Loc: north of coder
my 38 plymouth weighed right around 3450. it was a 360/727 stone stock E58 setup. i don't know what the weight distribution was.
beer

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