IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

Make your Cougar run faster, handle better, and jump higher... okay maybe not jump higher. If you feel the need for speed, this is the place.
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bob hess
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IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#1

Post by bob hess » 17 Mar 2018, 00:10

My friend and I are considering ( amateur / 2-3 times a year ) scca type road racing ( his 302 4 speed 68" ).
Since we are dealing with a 50+ yr. old " unibodied car " , to start with . And lets face it ,it was already in 68" using out dated " Ford Falcon suspension parts off the showroom floor . We need to do A LOT of upgrading .

At the risk of asking to have my cake and eat it too . I'm willing to sacrifice MOST of the comfort ride wise . ( ie .: max.= 75% race / 25% street ). So ALL OUT RACING ( bone jarring ) suspension modes are a bit much for these old guys . That said we plan on a full roll cage , sub frame re-enforcement kits.
Most Boss 302 trans -am shock tower wielding tricks , 17" / 7" rims - 235 R 60 tires etc.
Three question have us at odds at this point .
#1 : Would there be a big disadvantage to going to a max. set of roll bars ? 1 1/4 in. Front / 3/4 or 1 in Rear . Poly bushings ( yes , I know they squeak a bit ).

#2 : Are the tube a arm / coil over shocks set ups worth it , Vs new upgraded springs and adjustable Koni shocks and new " stock " a arms.?

#3 : I've seen coil overs used in the rear WITH stock leaf springs , Good / Bad idea ?

90 % of the time the car will be a weekend driver. But we would like to have that "race car" feel , once we are on the track.
PLEASE note for the purest among us . WE ARE NOT CUTTING UP A CLASSIC ( beloved ) CAR . Just upgrading. Even the roll cage is set up to be able to be removed , if some day a new owner wants to restor it.
NO HATE MAIL .... Please ! Are we not all here to help with each others questions ???

SPLINEHEAD
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Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#2

Post by SPLINEHEAD » 17 Mar 2018, 07:59

While I can't answer your queries above, I do think this community will respect the way you are going about upgrading your car, have fun with it.

Gary Hill
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Caleb
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Location: Abbotsford B.C. Canada

Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#3

Post by Caleb » 17 Mar 2018, 09:48

I don't know anything about road racing but know there's a few guys on here that love it. Try taking a look at the opentracker racing site. They sell all the reinforcement parts, suspension, and steering parts.

Caleb
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Location: Abbotsford B.C. Canada

Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#4

Post by Caleb » 17 Mar 2018, 09:49

Also post up pictures when you start the build. Sounds like a ton of fun

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JETEXAS
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Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#5

Post by JETEXAS » 19 Mar 2018, 08:01

Are you going to switch to a rack and pinion setup or stick with the original steering gear?
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wish
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Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#6

Post by wish » 19 Mar 2018, 10:05

#3 : I've seen coil overs used in the rear WITH stock leaf springs , Good / Bad idea ?
I've seen this debated a couple of times and the end result is always on the bad side. The way the springs will work together is just too big of a variable to properly select/tune the shocks from. If you could guarantee a fixed rate spring on both of them then you would be better off probably, but with an angle on the rear shocks the wheel rate from the coil over will be decreasing on compression while the leaf spring would ideally be static but probably won't be, thus giving you a questionable wheel rate at any given amount of deflection ...

You can probably get "close enough" for a street car, but could end up with some odd behaviors on the track.
Just my $.02
wish
69 Cougar, That 70s Truck, 84 Cherokee Chief 2dr, 88 Grand Wagoneer, 95 Grand Cherokee,96 Mustang

tinman
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Location: CT

Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#7

Post by tinman » 19 Mar 2018, 11:30

The nice thing about tubular upper front control arms is you can usually lower the pickup point 1 3/4" I think to get the best geometry without using angled ball joint spacers. (1" is the usual "Shelby drop "with stock UCA's)
Mike

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Royce
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Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#8

Post by Royce » 19 Mar 2018, 12:09

Big anti roll bars, great shocks, and sticky tires will make your car handle great. You should not need crazy stiff spring rates to get a good handling vehicle.

Spring shocks can be used on the back only if you upgrade the upper mount. The upper mounts are stamped sheet metal from the factory. The whole floor pan cracks if you add springs without providing a new structural mount.
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wish
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Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#9

Post by wish » 19 Mar 2018, 13:33

Big anti roll bars, great shocks, and sticky tires will make your car handle great. You should not need crazy stiff spring rates to get a good handling vehicle.
I know this was the prevailing thought for a while, but most have gone to run the spring rates you need to keep things in line/off the bump stops and then use sway bars to fine tune it. Of course "great shocks" tuned to provide artificial spring rate could provide the same result.

Edit: Tires will always be the biggest gains until you get to a fresh set of full R compounds.

Does the staggered shock bracing provide enough support for coil overs ? Also with a cage in there you could tie the upper shock mounts to that with a little bit of work and planning possibly.
Just my $.02
wish
69 Cougar, That 70s Truck, 84 Cherokee Chief 2dr, 88 Grand Wagoneer, 95 Grand Cherokee,96 Mustang

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93RGTE
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Re: IS it Spring ( rate ) time yet ???

#10

Post by 93RGTE » 19 Mar 2018, 14:35

No hate, just something to consider. If yours is an original 4-speed car it is quite rare.
You might research the modifications done back in the day to the TransAm cars by Bud Moore.
As I recall they weren't terribly radical, and those cars got around the track rather well.
Don't put poly bushings on your original strut rods if you value your life.
Gary

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