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Sagging rear end & Shock Absorbers

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  • #16
    I'll see if I can find a picture. My answer comes from owning about 50 squarebirds over the past 40+ years. I'm pretty sure I'm correct.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #17
      Taken from the Ford Illustrations catalog.
      Attached Files
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • #18
        Thanks John, i see it now. If I go to switch that around will I have to completly remove the leaf springs to get it up there or simply remove or loosen a few bolts? Thanks Eric
        Yellow98Cobra
        1960 Thunderbird HT
        Data plt# 63A Z 56 15 H 3 4
        There are 4 pictures of her here, plus a couple of my namesake.
        http://squarebirds.org/yellow98cobra/resized/

        Comment


        • #19
          I was planning to do it on my '59 but haven't gotten around to it. Someone else on here did it and said you only have to remove the shackle and possibly the lower shock mount. I'm sure you have to put a jack under the body to keep it from dropping. Hopefully someone else who's done it can chime in.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #20
            This is how I did it; but my '58 is a Franken-mobile that had '59-'60 leafs retrofitted onto it.


            Support the rear of the car's body/frame with jackstands.

            Leaf spring will have to be unbolted at the axle, and at the rear shackle. Also un-bolt the shock absorber. There is no reason to remove the leafs at the front end.

            (only do one side at a time)

            Reverse the shackle and then reattach.

            Last thing left to do is to bolt the leafs to the axle. It may be necessary to use a floor jack to lift the spring up enough so that you can start the nuts on the U-bolts.

            Also reattach the shock absorber.

            How the car "sits" is a matter of personal preference. I like 'em raised a bit in the back!
            http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...ryNumber=33517

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            • #21
              Sagging rear springs cheap fix? Helper springs.

              I've driven multiple sqbirds for decades, including 14 years as daily drivers in the late 60s through the early 80s. My quick trick was to install cheap leaf helper springs (easy to find) on the rear, which raised the car a bit, plus added some much needed stiffness to the too soft (imo) factory springs. That tightened up the handling as well as adding load capacity. The first time I tried helper leaf springs was after I added a continental kit to my daily driver in '69, which really made the rear end sag (I carried two spares which didn't help) and made the handling mushy. Adding the helper springs really helped.

              Or try booster spring ("load-leveller") rear shocks, either built-in (hard to find) or booster springs over your existing shocks (easy to find). I recently put Monroe gas-charged load-levellers on a '58, which are notorius for too soft rear coil springs that sag & sway.

              I've never tried new springs. I've seen cars with new springs or re-arched springs that either sat too high or still sagged, so I always stopped short of spending the big $ when the outcome was iffy.

              I also put front load levellers on the front of a couple of sqbirds that sagged in front. That really helped on a 430 (every 430 I've ever seen sags in the front due to the extra weight of the big engine & tranny).

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              • #22
                air shocks

                I have new air shocks on my 1960 bird, work great. especially nice since the lakes pipes were hitting every bump in the road!!

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                • #23
                  can you post up the manufacturer, and maybe even a part number for those air shocks please?
                  http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...ryNumber=33517

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Dakota Boy View Post
                    can you post up the manufacturer, and maybe even a part number for those air shocks please?
                    I would also be curious which shocks you used. Here is a ebay link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1959-1963-Ford-Thunderbird-Monroe-Air-Shocks-Rear-ext-17-625-Compressed-11-/380437935466?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year %3A1960|Model%3AThunderbird|Make%3AFord&hash=item5893de356a& vxp=mtr
                    I used to also see a auction for Gabriels, but I can't find it now.
                    Nyles

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                    • #25
                      I'd be interested in the air shocks you used too. I know that some don't like them, but had on Squarebird owner tell me it was like floating.



                      Originally posted by Tbird1044 View Post
                      I would also be curious which shocks you used. Here is a ebay link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1959-1963-Ford-Thunderbird-Monroe-Air-Shocks-Rear-ext-17-625-Compressed-11-/380437935466?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year %3A1960|Model%3AThunderbird|Make%3AFord&hash=item5893de356a& vxp=mtr
                      I used to also see a auction for Gabriels, but I can't find it now.
                      Nyles

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                      • #26
                        My next door neighbor (God rest his soul) was a retired trucker. He had a Granada that he added one leaf to. Mind you, he never carried anything heavier than a fishing pole and a tackle box, but that was the ride he loved.

                        Rather than adding shock helper springs or air bag shocks, you may consider adding a leaf to your car.

                        Leaf springs for our cars are very common and available. I found them easier than I thought to change. Come to think of it, I had one front bolt that really didn't want to come out so I cut it in half.

                        Anyway, start with new springs. If you want a stiffer ride, let the shock absorbers do that. The springs offer suspension and the shocks offer ride. I'm using large-diameter SUV shocks on our Galaxie. They're GREAT! The suspension finally does what it was intended to do. The ride is not mushy like most classic shocks give, it's just smooth like a modern rear wheel drive vehicle. - Dave
                        My latest project:
                        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                        --Lee Iacocca

                        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post

                          Anyway, start with new springs.

                          If you want a stiffer ride, let the shock absorbers do that. The springs offer suspension and the shocks offer ride. I'm using large-diameter SUV shocks on our Galaxie. They're GREAT! The suspension finally does what it was intended to do. The ride is not mushy like most classic shocks give, it's just smooth like a modern rear wheel drive vehicle.

                          - Dave
                          Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away...

                          ...one could buy differing shock rates, i.e. STD, PREMIUM, HD and XHD. Those options are gone now and fitting heavier shocks to an application as Dave has done is about the only practical solution.

                          The key is having quality springs that are calibrated properly to the application (taking into consideration there is no frame sagging/collision damage and all suspension parts are within specifications).

                          -EATON DETROIT SPRING-

                          Just a word of caution. Air shocks will put greater stresses on the shock mounting points (especially with worn springs) so watch for fatigue. They (mounting locations) may have to be reinforced.

                          Here is some information that Gary sent me to post on Auxiliary Air Spring Kits. To zoom in use Ctrl +

                          http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/Auxili...SpringKits.jpg
                          Last edited by YellowRose; April 20th, 2013, 09:03 AM. Reason: Additional Information

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                          • #28
                            Do it up right and get some air springs.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Yadkin View Post

                              Do it up right and get some air springs.
                              In all actuality, if the rear suspension cannot be returned to specs (or greater) or one cannot afford the necessary parts, air bags are about the only way out. They can be regulated to whatever ride quality one desires.

                              Fooling around with worn out springs is not the way to go about it (IMO).

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Reversed the shackles car looks better?, rides better...

                                My ride height is now = (352 non-AC)
                                Fender lip to center of hub cap
                                Rear 7"- 8"
                                Front 15 1/2" - 16" this height gives it a tail dragger look, with consensus being 14" - 14 1/2" as being normal I guess I can live with this for now.
                                I dont know why it sits so high unless maybe a previous owner installed bigger springs (it looks as if someone has done work on the front end in the last 10 or 20 years, the car had sat in storage for 6+ years when I got it).
                                I installed Monroe #5801 Sensa-Trac Passenger Car shocks on the front. Dont think that would give the front end any extra lift
                                Shock spec's
                                Compressed Length 9.250"
                                Extended Length 14.375"
                                Travel 5.125"


                                With the shackles hanging down there was a hard bounce going over speed bumps. That is now gone and it goes over speed bumps smoothly.
                                Yellow98Cobra
                                1960 Thunderbird HT
                                Data plt# 63A Z 56 15 H 3 4
                                There are 4 pictures of her here, plus a couple of my namesake.
                                http://squarebirds.org/yellow98cobra/resized/

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