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Author Topic:   Ride height adjustment question
futurattraction
Gearhead

Posts: 108
From: Iowa City, IA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 08-19-2002 11:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for futurattraction   Click Here to Email futurattraction     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry for the length of this post...

Iím looking for some suspension insight that obviously Iím lacking. I just finished installing a tubular k-member and a-arms, as well as coil-over struts on my Fairmont. I have encountered some puzzling results since I got things put together. When setting on a level floor, with preliminary coil-over settings, the c/l of the passenger side front fender to floor was 23Ē and the driver side 22-7/8Ē. As cool as it looked, that setting didnít provide enough distance between the top of the strut body and the bump stop. (This is intended to be a street/strip car so more or less "normal" suspension travel is the goal). Although there wasnít quite a 1:1 correlation between spring seat height changes and ride height change, I raised the spring seat on each side up to where fender-to-floor dimensions were 23-1/4Ē on each side. This still didnít strike me as good enough for street use, so I adjusted the spring seats up to where I should have, in theory, gotten close to 23-3/4Ē fender-to-floor. After I got it all done, it still sets at the same height as it did before: 23-1/4Ē. The springs are rated 175 lbs/in and are QA1, as are the struts. 250 lb springs are available. The a-arms are urethane bushed and the mounting bolts at the a-arms were snugged down pretty tight, though they havenít been torqued. I've read and heard where the mounting bolts can be snugged up but not tighted, then double-nutted to avoid loosening, which decreases suspension bind. It would seem as though if the springs werenít up to handling the weight, they would have allowed the struts to bottom out against the bump stops, yet that doesnít appear to be the case. Iím puzzled over the lack of change in the ride height after my most recent attempt. Are the bushings binding enough to "limit" these changes, or is it something altogether different? Any ideas? I hope it's something simple that Iíve overlooked, but am curious about anybody elseís thoughts... Thanks!
Scott

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1979 Fairmont Futura, 351C w/Aussie heads, Comp Magnum 280, ProMustang headers, 3" exhaust w/Flowmasters
C6 w/10" converter
9-inch, 31 spl w/3.70s & trac-lok
suspension changes coming.

http://www.avalon.net/~spopham/futurattraction.htm

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futurattraction
Gearhead

Posts: 108
From: Iowa City, IA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 08-19-2002 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for futurattraction   Click Here to Email futurattraction     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Forgot to mention one bit of information. The car has about 1700 lbs of weight on the front end.

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 27499
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 08-20-2002 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really think that you need some stiffer springs.

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

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futurattraction
Gearhead

Posts: 108
From: Iowa City, IA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 08-20-2002 08:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for futurattraction   Click Here to Email futurattraction     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Alex... Just to add some new info to the mix, I measured the compressed height of the springs on the front of the car tonight and as best I could measure, they're at 9-5/8. Their free length is 14" which means they're compressed 4-3/8. Taking that measurement times 175 equals 766 per side, which equates to 1531 lbs of support up front, about 170 shy of what the approximate weight should be, based on my getting it weighed last year at a local grain mill.

The other thing I discovered is that the front end has crept up a bit from 23-1/4 to 23-3/8. Is it possible if the car is driven with this setup for awhile that through suspension cycling things will loosen up and let the ride height increase? Reasonable or unreasonable to think that?

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Fordwiser
Gearhead

Posts: 442
From: Metamora, Illinois
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 08-21-2002 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fordwiser   Click Here to Email Fordwiser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't have any answers to give you, but I was wondering if you had the car to the track before you took off the stock parts? I've checked into that set up for my T-Bird, was wondering how much it would help the 60ft. times
Roger

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futurattraction
Gearhead

Posts: 108
From: Iowa City, IA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 08-23-2002 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for futurattraction   Click Here to Email futurattraction     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No I haven't Fordwiser. Things didn't work out that way. I'm hoping to get to a track yet sometime this year...

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jsracingbbf
Gearhead

Posts: 2954
From: Batesville,MS. , U.S.A.
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 08-24-2002 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jsracingbbf   Click Here to Email jsracingbbf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott,
If it moves at all I think it will "settle" and make the car a tad lower after it is run awhile. Unless the suspension is in a binf now and after running it you free it up. I wouldn't want to find out that way though. Every time I have put new springs on any car,the ride height either stayed the same or "settled" a 1/4 inch or so. Just my .02 cents. Good Luck

------------------
Jerry Smith
69 Mustang Pro ET Drag
"Even a blind hog can find an acorn every now and then "

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futurattraction
Gearhead

Posts: 108
From: Iowa City, IA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 08-25-2002 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for futurattraction   Click Here to Email futurattraction     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your response Jerry. Makes perfectly good sense... I talked to the guy who's going to do the alignment. He suggested that I loosen up the lower a-arm bolts to see if they are causing it to bind. I've since done that, but it doesn't seem to have made much difference. I'm hoping to drive the car a few times around town and see if letting the suspension cycle itself a bit will loosen things up before I go in to have it aligned.
Thanks again!
Scott

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