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Front Suspension -- Need Help ASAP

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  • Front Suspension -- Need Help ASAP

    I have the front suspension apart on my 60 HT with 430 and AC.

    There is a thick bottom rubber spring insulator on each of my springs. I don't see those showing in any exploded parts view, or listed at any vendors. I do have the thin top insulators.

    Alexander, DGS, or anyone that has done the front end rebuild -- did you have a thick bottom insuator???

    Also, the vendors sell a "Metal Spring Shim 1/4 inch" that is supossed to go on the drivers side top spring for AC cars only. Did any of you have that???

    I'm stuck until I can get answers to these.

    Thanks
    Last edited by bcomo; February 4th, 2008, 06:33 PM.
    Bart
    1960 Hard Top/430
    Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

  • #2
    That is a good question Bart. My 1960 had NO insulators, nor a left spring spacer when I rebuild my front end a while back....
    sigpic
    The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

    VTCI Member#6287.

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    • #3
      I am about 100% sure that my 58 hadn't been apart and it didn't have any spacers, shims or anything on the top or bottom when I had it apart.

      From looking at a few seems like the front end is the same 58~60 isn't it.



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      • #4
        Ya having fun yet?

        No bottom insulator or shim on mine, but I've got the 352 and no AC. What do your springs measure?

        Rusty - Those Wilwood brakes look sweet. That's the first I've seen the outside the spring shock mount too. I wondered how that worked.
        DGS (aka salguod)
        1960 Convertible - Raven Black, Red leather
        www.salguod.net

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        • #5
          Doug -- Yes, I'm having a wonderful time, Ha, Ha.

          My spring height measures 15 1/2", and the spring diameter is .71, which is correct for the 60 430 with A/C.

          I know that the ball joints were changed in the past because they have nuts, not rivets. My ROT sheet shows heavy duty rear suspension (7 leafs), and my car has always had a slight rake in the back.

          The bottom spacers on the front springs are as big as Bagels -- no lie. I could not find any part number or marking on them. The height with these bagels under the spring, increase the spring height by 1/2" (16" total).

          My guess is that somewhere along the line, someone didn't like the excessive rake with the extra leaf spring, and may have installed these Bagels during a front end rebuild to bring the front up a little.

          Even with the Bagels installed, my car sits with the front wheel wells very close to what we came up with in the "Ride Height Poll" that we did awhile back. If I leave them out, it will go 1/2" lower; I don't want that.

          I'll take a photo tomorrow and post what these rubber bagels look like.
          Bart
          1960 Hard Top/430
          Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

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          • #6
            Nope, no shims or insulators in mine. Adding shims is common to adj ride ht (Did it w/my 87 Monte Carlo)

            According to our ride ht comparison, mine is std ht in frt and 1.5 low in the rear. Again, I've found convertibles sit lower in the rear.

            You may want to consider a new (or different) set of frt coils.
            John Byers
            1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
            sigpic

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            • #7
              On another note, "if" you want a new set of those spacers, we have them at my work (GM parts)87-89 Chev Caprice used them, a few others did too. Measure your coils (across), and I can get you the right diameter (5/8 thick aprox)
              John Byers
              1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Instructions on how to rebuild the front end are the technical section.
                Alexander
                1959 Hard Top
                1960 Golde Top
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  John: I assume that those would be metal spacers for the top of the spring?

                  Alexander: Did you re-install the top metal spacer that you found under the top rubber insulator?

                  P.S. I can't find the Front end rebuild in the tech section.
                  Bart
                  1960 Hard Top/430
                  Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dgs View Post
                    Ya having fun yet?

                    No bottom insulator or shim on mine, but I've got the 352 and no AC. What do your springs measure?

                    Rusty - Those Wilwood brakes look sweet. That's the first I've seen the outside the spring shock mount too. I wondered how that worked.
                    Well, I guess it goes to show what having no clue will do for you on the shocks. The car had the outside spring shock on the car when I started and I didn't even realize till later that I could run shocks the other way. We lowered the front of the car 2" during the rebuild and spent a good couple of hours figuring out what shocks to run up front with the lower ride height.

                    Now I need to find some heaver sway bars for the car... well, acutally I need to find a good sway bar for the rear and a very stout one for up front.

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                    • #11
                      Both sway bars are available from Thunderbird Southwest in Texas (talk to Lance) or Larry's Thunderbird Supl in So Cal.

                      I have em both (frt & rr 1-1/8") on mine. They work great !!!

                      On the insulator question . . . No they are not metal. You don't want metal. Just something else to squeek & creak.
                      These are thick neoprene or some compound like that. Very durable. I saw that spring measurement. I can figure out what size you need from that. I can get them for you, or give you the GM part # so you can order them locally.
                      John Byers
                      1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        I found the insulators

                        I'll be able to remove the rubber bagels that I found in the bottom of the coils, and replace that height with the same 5/8 " thickness at the top.

                        The top insulators are made by Energy Suspension. It is their heavy rubber "Hyper-Flex Coil Spring Insulator"
                        http://www.energysuspension.com/pages/sboots.html

                        I ordered them from Auto Zone for $20 for the pair, and no charge for shipping.
                        Bart
                        1960 Hard Top/430
                        Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

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                        • #13
                          Good info. Thanks

                          So now what discbrake setup is that? See how the calipers face the right direction? That's where mine is wrong.

                          I mean, it's in there now and works . . . But waaaaaaaaay more hassle.

                          On another sway bar note; If you want one custom made, contact Addco Suspension. They have a good website. They will custom make a swaybar to your (exact) specs. They'll return emails right away. Good company.
                          The one the TBird suppliers offer for 58-60 for the front is kind of funky. It mounts to the bumper bracket to frame bolts. They give you aluminum hardware (gright silver) with bright red neoprene bushings. Jumps right out at you.
                          I never installed that kit.
                          John Byers
                          1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            The top thick metal insulator was installed in A/c cars.
                            Alexander
                            1959 Hard Top
                            1960 Golde Top
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              I sure don't remember them on my 1960 430cid A/C bird...?
                              I'll have to dig up some old pictures I guess...LOL!!
                              sigpic
                              The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                              VTCI Member#6287.

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