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  • #46
    Rear shocks-help! I'm in need of shocks for my '59 bird. Like Simplyconnected, I don't like the mushy ride of the classic shocks listed everywhere, so I would like to use the larger diameter SUV shocks he used on his '59 Ford. Any body researched what fits/works with our squarebirds? Front shocks seem easy enough to find, using Monroe Sensa-Trac. But they are not available for the rear. So, what are people using here. Don't really want to use the Monroe Matic, as they seem to be just a 'light duty' shock.

    Comment


    • #47
      Sagging rear end

      I have found the best way to combat the "Sagging Rear End" problem is to stop eating all that junk food and ice cream, and then start an exercise program! But in the case of my '59 Tbird, it has air shocks on the rear.. and that seems to help. And... I cant tell you whose they are now because it is to cold and raining out there for me to get outside and get under the car... Besides, they are probably covered up with road grime and I probably could not see the brand name anyway..

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
      "It's Hip To Be Square"
      Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

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

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Thunderherd View Post
        Rear shocks-help! I'm in need of shocks for my '59 bird. Like Simplyconnected, I don't like the mushy ride of the classic shocks listed everywhere, so I would like to use the larger diameter SUV shocks he used on his '59 Ford. Any body researched what fits/works with our squarebirds? Front shocks seem easy enough to find, using Monroe Sensa-Trac. But they are not available for the rear. So, what are people using here. Don't really want to use the Monroe Matic, as they seem to be just a 'light duty' shock.
        I have a number for you: MONROE 37191 OESpectrum Light Truck Rockauto.com - $25.79/ea.

        Compressed Bumper Stop: No
        Compressed Length: 13.000"
        Dust Shield Material: Metal
        Extended Bumper Stop: No
        Extended Hydraulic Lockout: No
        Extended Length: 21.625"
        Upper Mounting: Stem Mount - Stem Length X 3/8"-24
        Lower Mounting: Stem Mount - Stem Length X 3/8"-24
        Parts Pack(s) (2) P1134
        Travel Length 8.625"

        These shocks are designed for Range Rovers but should work perfectly on your Squarebird. Just make sure your rear shocks have stems on both ends.

        Features:
        All Weather Fluid: Contains special modifiers to reduce friction and ensure smooth rod reaction.
        Full Displaced Valving: Tuned specifically for each application, this valving automatically adjusts to road extremes to provide consistency and ride
        Fluon Banded Piston: The fluon band provides consistent sealing between the piston and pressure tube which delivers better control and increased durability.
        Twin Technology: Impact Control Valve (ICV), delivers exceptional control under virtually all driving conditions, and patented Low Speed Tunability (LST) piston design that isolates impact-related noise, vibration and harshness.
        Nitrogen Gas Charged: For improved ride and handling, helps maintain tire to road contact by reducing aeration.
        Special Seal: 'Self-lubricating' fluid seal designed to retain gas without excessive wear or friction.
        1-3/8 inch (34.9 mm) bore.
        5/8-inch (15.9 mm) diameter piston rod.


        Don't forget to use the 5% coupon code that Rockauto offers our members. CLICK HERE It's not a lot but it helps to pare shipping costs.

        I hope this helps. You may cross-reference this number to another brand if you prefer.

        As a side note: Shock absorbers are not supposed to lift your car, springs do that. Absorbers simply keep your wheels on the road and they smooth out the ride without your car bouncing all over. - 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

        Comment


        • #49
          Well, I must say 'thank you' to Mr. Simplyconnected. I checked around on the shocks he recommended. Although the specs said the mounts were right, every place I went and checked the pictures showed a different mount. I finally went to Advance Auto. They called Monroe directly and verified the mount was the studs sticking out at each end. I had forgot the price you listed on here for Rock Auto, And paid about $12 more dollars per shock. But I got them, checked them, they looked right. Mounted them, and also got the Monroe's for the front. The old front shocks were VERY stiff. Rears were terrible easy to push in and out. New shocks all the way around now. Test drove it yesterday and it drove and rode just great. Thanks.

          Comment


          • #50
            You're certainly welcome, Jimmy. After I found a good part number, I tried to save you some money on these premium shocks through Rockauto. They will ship a pair to my front door in Detroit for $56.40 (including the discount and shipping charges). They also come with Monroe's Lifetime Warranty. (Little do they know our cars last fifty years.)

            I guess the bottom line is you have them on your Squarebird and you like the ride.

            Please tell others if they should get them or not because vendors don't help us much. I guarantee, this topic will come up again and someone will want part numbers.

            Here is Monroe's video about these shocks: CLICK HERE

            You discovered that all the picture-examples were wrong on every site you visited (including rockauto). They show 'rings' on both ends, not 'stems'. That is precisely why I gave all the specifications for Monroe's part number. Honestly, if I saw a picture that showed a different part, I would 'move on' because there is nothing worse than ordering the wrong part online. Thanks for holding Advance Auto's feet to the fire.

            When I cross reference shocks, I really don't pay much attention to brand names. More importantly, I want a part 'in-production' that will fit a modern vehicle about the same weight, and the part must offer 'better than OEM' service. The 'standard' shock selection offered by everyone on the market for our classic cars is sadly sparse at best. Vendors will rarely spend time to dig into the books.

            A couple years back I searched for a set of 'heavy duty' rear shocks for our '59 Galaxie (yes, it's a very heavy Fordor) and I ran into the same problem; 'classic ride only and there is no such thing as heavy duty'. Just by chance I found a set from a seller on eBay but they were 'CarQuest' brand (now I'm shootin' dice). After closer inspection, this guy's shop was four miles from me. He bought a warehouse full of old stock. My shock number was discontinued so I paid him a visit. Sure enough, he had exactly what I wanted.

            These shocks are much larger, 3-1/2" in diameter, than OEM (stock) but there is plenty of room and they ride beautifully with our new rear springs. I figured, if load-leveler or air shocks fit, so will SUV shocks. - 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

            Comment


            • #51
              Toddgilroy and I have been PM'ing about these shock absorbers and I want everyone to see his questions. He said:

              "I did order the OESpectrum 37191 you recommended for the rear from Rock Auto, and also ordered the OESpectrum 5801 for the front. All for less than $100, including shipping!

              Do you think having light truck/SUV shocks on the rear and passenger car shocks on the front will cause issues?

              I did find an old thread referring to Gabriel Ultra shocks (G63375 & G63398) that worked on a 60 SB, and their OEM use included older police and taxi cars and more current HD trucks and vans. Wondering if having "matching" shocks would be better?

              Thanks!
              Todd"

              As a side note, Todd expressed his heartfelt 'thanks' to John Pizzi for all his help. Furthermore, Todd said it is very evident that John is a great mechanic for many years. He may have said a few more nice things about you John, but I'm trying to prevent a massive kudos-syndrome attack of high emotions during the holiday season.

              Todd, I like to put things in perspective. Back in the day, it seems like everyone sold shocks (mufflers, tires, brakes...) for our cars because there were millions on the road. Most places gave upgrade choices that proved to be better than OEM and backed by a warranty.

              Now that our classic cars are few in numbers, so are parts choices. If an auto parts store doesn't move parts fast, he lets the warehouse put them on their shelf, not his. It is rare to find cross reference books that include cars from the '60's.

              Our classic cars are heavy. New cars are not. The closest vehicles (in weight) to our cars are some SUVs, minivans and crossovers. These vehicles use parts suitable for our cars. So the question, 'will our cars ride like a truck with new SUV shocks?' Not at all. Your springs hold up the car and provide 'bounce'. Shocks regulate the stroke rates by metering oil, both up and down.

              OEM shocks only lasted about three years but they were inexpensive. More money buys better parts that lasted much longer. We are limited by space for the front shocks but not rear shocks. SUV shocks have a large piston and the outer diameter is 2-1/2" which allows these shocks to last longer. They are capable of more severe service than a Thunderbird demands.

              It is probably best to 'match' the ride front-to-rear, but I don't think it's critical because both are different systems; independant and solid axle. - 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

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                As a side note, Todd expressed his heartfelt 'thanks' to John Pizzi for all his help. Furthermore, Todd said it is very evident that John is a great mechanic for many years. He may have said a few more nice things about you John, but I'm trying to prevent a massive kudos-syndrome attack of high emotions during the holiday season. - Dave
                I'm not sure what I did to deserve Todd's kind words but I'll certainly accept them. Thanks Todd.

                John
                John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

                Comment


                • #53
                  Great info guys - thanks!

                  My car rides very nice (new Monroe shocks about 10 years ago). Only complaint is when I hit a big dip or bump on the interstate (70ish MPH) the first rebound is like not having shocks (big bounce) then it recovers nicely.

                  And if you look at my Avatar - that is the Tbird stretching it's legs on a race track this past summer! Talk about some body roll......

                  I'll be looking into a set of these shocks for sure.

                  Eric

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by DKheld View Post
                    ...My car rides very nice (new Monroe shocks about 10 years ago)...
                    Did they come with a lifetime warranty?
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by DKheld View Post
                      Great info guys - thanks!

                      My car rides very nice (new Monroe shocks about 10 years ago). Only complaint is when I hit a big dip or bump on the interstate (70ish MPH) the first rebound is like not having shocks (big bounce) then it recovers nicely.

                      And if you look at my Avatar - that is the Tbird stretching it's legs on a race track this past summer! Talk about some body roll......

                      I'll be looking into a set of these shocks for sure.

                      Eric
                      I got a pair of shocks for the rear of my '66 'bird from a supplier about seven years ago, it might have been T-Birds by Nick that I got them from.

                      After removing the leaky air-shocks and fitting the new ones it improved the ride and handling 100%.
                      But I notice if I go out to the garage and the car has been sitting for a a day or two and I bounce the rear end down and up it takes one cycle before the shocks are firm again, that first bounce is like they have gone soft.

                      However as out roads aren't as smooth as yours the shock are always working - so they stay firm when driving.!
                      A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Sorry, haven't been on here for a couple of days and missed some of this discussion. First, a little background about me. I'm not all that computer savvy, so please bear with me. I've been a mechanic of one type or another all my life. US Navy 4 years, as a hydraulic/airframes mechanic ('71-75). Worked several mechanic and welding jobs for a few years and finally settled down as a hydraulic mechanic at the telephone company (GTE, which finally became windstream). So, hope this qualifies me for my opinion on this. Anyway, thanks to Dave's research, I got those rear SUV shocks, and used the Monroe Reflex shocks on the front, as listed for the T-Birds. I think they work very well together. Drove it over about a 25 mile test drive, curvy, 2 lane country roads. Handled great. Not a real firm ride, but really just fine for me. I don't like that floating type ride you get with a big Cadillac, and these shocks don't give that. Someone mentioned a big dip and not much shock action when first hitting a big bump. These don't do that. If you hit a big dip, or bump, like first going onto a bridge say, and a a pretty fair speed, the shocks will give enough to be real comfortable, then rise back up and settle there. No bouncing. Just down then back up. Lots better ride than my 05 Mustang or my Jeep GrandCherokee.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Thanks Jimmy, for your critique on Monroe shocks.

                          Originally posted by Thunderherd View Post
                          ...I got those rear SUV shocks, and used the Monroe Reflex shocks on the front, as listed for the T-Birds. I think they work very well together. Drove it over about a 25 mile test drive, curvy, 2 lane country roads. Handled great. Not a real firm ride, but really just fine for me. I don't like that floating type ride you get with a big Cadillac, and these shocks don't give that. Someone mentioned a big dip and not much shock action when first hitting a big bump. These don't do that. If you hit a big dip, or bump, like first going onto a bridge say, and at a pretty fair speed, the shocks will give enough to be real comfortable, then rise back up and settle there. No bouncing. Just down then back up. Lots better ride than my 05 Mustang or my Jeep Grand Cherokee.
                          Jimmy, I can't thank you enough for your response. I hope this guides many Squarebird owners toward the ride they are looking for. With your mechanical background and experience, you already know how 'good shocks' should perform, and you also know what 'junk' to avoid. I agree with you that there should be NO bounce, but a controlled damping to stick the wheels to the road for better braking and handling.

                          Two main factors caused me to mention these shocks; price and performance. I also look at 'warranty' as an important part of the price. I find that good durable parts usually come with a decent warranty at no extra charge.

                          I found about six candidates but all were more expensive. This is one of those rare instances where 'the cheap one' IS what you really need.

                          I am upset with Monroe. They are (or were) based in Monroe, Michigan (so was Gen. Custer), just south of Detroit. They have a great reputation for producing quality shock absorbers for over fifty years. Now, they don't seem to care about misrepresenting their products by showing a wrong picture. I was so upset, I emailed Monroe. They never returned my email, so far. My concern is, I'd like these shocks to be around for awhile. If folks don't know this is the right part, nobody will buy them. - 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

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            I got the Monroe shocks installed last weekend and after waiting for the snow to melt and roads to dry up, I took it for a short drive around the neighborhood today. New shocks (plus some torque box repairs) make a big difference stopping, cornering and going over the neighborhood speed bumps.

                            I put Monroe 5801 on the front and Monroe 37191 on the back.

                            To keep things in perspective, I think my 12 year-old daughter could probably expand/collapse the old rear shocks with her hands...they were shot! Front weren't much better.

                            Can't wait to do the springs and sway bars next (front & rear on both). Original upper ball joints will be replaced, too, along with the control arm bushings, etc.

                            Thinking about doing the disc brake conversion while I have it jacked up and torn apart.

                            Thanks for the suggestion on the 37191.
                            Todd Gilroy
                            1960 Tbird Convertible
                            Thunderbird Registry #54651

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Thanks Todd, that reconfirms our findings. Kentucky and Nebraska say that their Squarebirds run great on Monroe 5801 shocks on the front. After digging, I found this shock works on ALL Squarebird front ends when mounted in the center of the springs.

                              Monroe 37191 shocks work well on the 'leaf spring' Squarebirds (1959-60). I am still looking for good rear shocks for the '58 'birds.

                              The other good news is, these shocks are in production and as such are inexpensive. Rockauto.com sells them both:
                              Monroe 5801 -- $21./ea X 2 = $42.00
                              Monroe 37191 - $26./ea X 2 = $52.00
                              $52 + $42 = $94 (minus 5% discount $4.70) = $89.30 + shipping. - 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

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                I spoke with Pablo at Monroe (down in Mexico, not in Monroe, Michigan) and rockauto.com.

                                Monroe says they will fix their picture.
                                rockauto.com says that Monroe discontinued the 37191 shock absorber BUT they still have 40 shocks in stock. Hurry and get your order in before they're gone.

                                rockauto.com was very specific about fitment. They said, 'that information comes from the manufacturer' and they will not simply add a part to our car's listings. RA said they make the manufacturer take responsibility even if the parts fit (whatever that means). The guy was very 'guarded' in his conversation and he really had no help or alternatives when I asked if Gabriel has a replacement. Like always, we're on our own. - 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

                                Comment

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