1958 Rear Suspension
I want to know more about this:
Our '58 Squarebird owners have been living with this forever. Many have noisy or broken linkage. Neither is acceptable, especially when there are alternatives.
With respect, I believe some owners get to a point where they are 'happy with the situation' and they never get back to let the rest of us know what they did. - Dave
Hi Dave, yes i forgot to reply back on this. The clappers are empty now on my Bird. The suspension is now nicely soft, as i wanted it. I drove the Bird several times and a few hundred miles city and highway and iīm quite satisfied with it. For some strange reason the clappers are now more closed without the bolts then they where before with the bolts. I have no explanation for this. The only downside is that when i go over a traffic bump and the rear comes down, the clapper will close completely and a metal to metal noise is the result. I did glue the old hockey pucks in the clappers, but already lost one. Will have to find some other piece of rubber to put in there. But normally i go slowly over a bump, so wonīt hear a thing.
Previously i almost couldnīt push the rear of the car down, while now it is realy free to move. I didnīt encounter any wheel hop or other ill side effect of this modification. Iīm not a racer and most of the time iīm just cruising around, but once in a while i put the "pedal on the metal" and all behaves well.
The Bird is at the moment out of service with a leaking radiator,
a starter motor rebuild and a transmission service, but waiting for the parts to come in. The radiator i just got back with a new 4 row core.
Canīt wait to have it driving again.
Thank You Frank, for getting back with this valuable information. A few things come to mind.
Did you replace your rear springs? This would set a new height to the rear of your Squarebird.
In my opinion, the reason you could not push the rear down with urethane in the clappers is because there was restriction of motion caused by the clappers. This caused the rear axle assembly to roll which transfers torque to the upper arms. That is bad because it caused so many upper arms to tear out of the frame. Rear end motion should be straight up and down in a linear motion. The parallelogram arms should have freedom to accomplish this throughout the full range.
Full extension of the axle should be limited by your shock absorber stroke, not clappers. I see NO good reason for the clappers whatsoever. Instead, I do see how they are a direct cause for damage to rear end parts. Honestly, if I had a '58 Squarebird, I would cut the back half of the clappers off so that the axle regains full freedom of motion.
The clappers do not offer any strength to the assembly and they should not determine the ride of your Squarebird. The ride is determined by your shock absorbers and springs. Clappers restrict motion by binding. Does that make sense to you? It sure does NOT to me. - Dave
Yes, i did replace the springs with new springs from Carl. The springs which where on there where non original springs which i thought where the reason for the harsh ride. But even after changing the springs, the ride was still not what i expected. Even then i could hardly move the rear up and down by hand. When the suspension is at full stroke, the clappers are fully open and with the suspension against the bumpers, the clappers will be fully closed.
This reminds me that i have to change the exhaust system, since the axle is hitting the exhaust pipe before even reaching the stops.:rolleyes:. And thinking about this, this is probably what is causing the metal to metal noise after going over a traffic bump and not the contact of one or both clapper halfs. Already thought it was strange that i didnīt see any paint damage on the clappers due to contact.
Regarding the axle roll, that will (must) continue to happen, since there is a difference in lenght of the upper and lower control arms.
The only reason i think the clappers are there is to reduce the change of wheel hop by reducing the axle roll with the rubber pucks. (my thoughts, but i can be wrong). Probably with soft rubber pucks you can still get a soft ride while reducing the axle roll, but you will put more strain to the upper and lower control arms, were the upper arm is the weaker part .
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