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  • Ride quality

    No idea how old the shocks are on my bird, but i´m not too happy with the ride quality. I expected at least a more floating ride, but instead its quite stiff. Is this normal for a 58 bird, or will other shocks help? Any brand/type which will increase the comfort?
    sigpicFrank
    1958 T-Bird "Trovăo Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
    Thunderbird registry #61670

  • #2
    Franco: The 58 had coil springs ( made by Budd one year only 58 and then went to leaf springs ) Apparently Ford approved this for production for that year but quickly went to leaf springs in 59 and subsequent models. The 58 also has rear trailing arm suspension/ with a pan hard bar ( sway )
    The ride in my wife's 58 is quite smooth and not the " stiffness " that you are indicating. Remember that coils being made of metal are now some 45+ years old and get brittle / crack after all that load bearing use. Have you had them checked and also your front shocks?
    Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
    Thunderbird Registry
    58HT #33317
    60 HT (Sold )

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    • #3
      Thanks for the answer Dan.
      Is there any info available regarding the standard ride height? The rear springs still have some color markings on the black paint, so it looks that they have been replaced during the Restoration in 2012.
      sigpicFrank
      1958 T-Bird "Trovăo Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
      Thunderbird registry #61670

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      • #4
        Franco: The height from the garage floor to the back fin on our 58 is 34" and the height from the garage floor to the roofline is 52.5"
        Conversely the height from the garage floor to the back fin on our 60 is 36" and the height from the garage floor to the roofline is 54"
        Coil springs vs leaf springs...
        Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
        Thunderbird Registry
        58HT #33317
        60 HT (Sold )

        Comment


        • #5
          Franco: Check out Automotive Mileposts website for specs.

          automotivemileposts.com
          Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
          Thunderbird Registry
          58HT #33317
          60 HT (Sold )

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the info Dan, will have a look at that site.
            sigpicFrank
            1958 T-Bird "Trovăo Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
            Thunderbird registry #61670

            Comment


            • #7
              Didn´t check the site yet, but measured the height of the fin at the rear wheel. It measures 38". I presume that you also measured at the wheel?
              sigpicFrank
              1958 T-Bird "Trovăo Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
              Thunderbird registry #61670

              Comment


              • #8
                Franco: Yes measured at the wheel as well. What is your measurement from the ground to your roofline?
                Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
                Thunderbird Registry
                58HT #33317
                60 HT (Sold )

                Comment


                • #9
                  A little late reply, but the measurement from the ground to the roof line is 54", the same as your 60 bird, but 2" higher then your 58.
                  The rear springs are quite new and i think that they installed longer springs, most probably to clear the chassis from the immense traffic bumps we have overhere.
                  I don´t know a thing about springs, but would it be possible to get "softer" springs, to make the ride more comfortable?
                  sigpicFrank
                  1958 T-Bird "Trovăo Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
                  Thunderbird registry #61670

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                  • #10
                    Ride quality comes from shock absorbers. Springs suspend the body while shocks and struts dampen the bounce. If you want a stiff ride, buy stiff shocks. Most shocks for classic cars at too mushy for my liking. - 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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                    • #11
                      Thanks Dave. Any good brand/type of shock to give a comfortable ride you would recommend?
                      I´m not a racer, so I prefer more a comfortable ride then a bumpy one.
                      sigpicFrank
                      1958 T-Bird "Trovăo Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
                      Thunderbird registry #61670

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Frango100 View Post
                        Thanks Dave. Any good brand/type of shock to give a comfortable ride you would recommend?
                        I´m not a racer, so I prefer more a comfortable ride then a bumpy one.
                        I would have to chime in and say, the last thing I have thought was the ride was stiff in my 58. If anything it's way to mushy for my liking.

                        I am running KYB Gasadjust shocks on mine and it did help but the car is still way to soft for my liking, but then again I tend toward stiff suspension on most of my cars.

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                        • #13
                          I agree, most 'classic ride' shocks are too mushy for me.

                          Back in the day, we used to buy 'heavy duty' shocks. Somehow, they aren't made any more. So... I looked on Gabriel's site and matched my shock's dimensions with modern shocks.

                          The fronts are easy because we only have a small hole to fit shocks through. So, sensitrack shocks it was. The rears are a bit wider in choices because there is lots of room back there. I ended up buying shocks made for a Cadillac SUV (front shock) on the rear axle of our '59 Galaxie. With the new leaf springs, the car rides beautifully. The new shocks are much wider and they give much better control (in my humble opinion). - 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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                          • #14
                            But i was just wondering about the springs. If you put too strong (thicker metal) of a spring in there, wouldn´t that make the ride more bumpy? It would take more effort (force) to compress the springs.
                            sigpicFrank
                            1958 T-Bird "Trovăo Rosa" - "Rose Thunder"
                            Thunderbird registry #61670

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Frango100 View Post
                              But i was just wondering about the springs. If you put too strong (thicker metal) of a spring in there, wouldn´t that make the ride more bumpy? It would take more effort (force) to compress the springs.
                              The springs will definitely create a harsher ride. I'm not sure of the amount of coils in a stock spring but you might want to count yours. In an effort to stop the wallowing in corners when driving a classic car people put too stiff a spring rate into the car. Creates an effect like driving with no springs, doesn't matter what shock you have at that point since there is no dampening to be had with too stiff a spring. The fact yours might be sitting taller makes me believe someone put in a bigger / stiffer spring and you'll never get a cushy ride. But it'll corner better or should as there won't be as much side to side wallowing.
                              Scott
                              South Delta, BC, Canada
                              1960 White T-Bird, PS, PB that's it
                              Red Leather Interior!
                              www.squarebirds.org/users/sidewalkman
                              Thunderbird Registry #61266
                              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_g...ibrary/trl.htm

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