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Old 10-04-2012, 03:54 PM   #1
dimebag
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Default 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

Hey Guys I am trying to figure out the best and cheapest way to solve my bottoming out issues. First a little bit about the car... 53 Bel-Air with 350/350 and a posi rear-end out of a S-10, Fatman dropped spindles in the front and 2 1/2 lowering blocks in the rear, and lastly L-78 www tires all round. If I am driving around by myself no issues, but if I put a passenger in the back-even a child and another full sized-did I forget to mention that I am a "husky" boy, the car bottoms out really bad-and I mean even a small bump and its hitting the frame, floors and it looks like possibly even the tires are hitting the top of the wheel well.

I took the car to the local spring shop and they are known for doing great work, they checked out the rear suspension and told me that I could always add a leaf or 2 but it will raise the rear buy 2" or more which is what I am trying to avoid. I could always take out the blocks, but the car sits perfect!! So any great ideas would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
Mr48chev
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

This is going to call for a C notch and a raised driveshaft tunnel. That is pretty standard procedure on a lowered car that has some tired springs to boot.

Modify or keep rubbing or raise it a bit, those are the options. On my 51 Merc I almost wore a spot through the tunnel because the driveshaft rubbed so much.

As Alumslot mentioned above a pair of air shocks might be the simple fix. you could get a pair and rob the compressor and leveling switch out of a late 70's or 80's Caddy and set it so it maintained one ride height all the time with a bit of tinkering.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
dimebag
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

The whole c-notch thing is the ideal, but then we are talking air bags and at least 5k in parts and labor....little out of my price range!!! The spring shop told me that even new stock springs or even lowered springs are not heavy enough to solve this problem, or it will just lift the ass of the car which is what I am trying to avoid....and I have thought of air shocks but are they more of a duct tape type of fix???
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
bgaro
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

start cutting, man.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
john~N~dallas
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

you can do a C notch with out doing bags, it will solve the problem of hitting the frame, but will not solve the problem of tires hitting the wheel well.

although you will have to cut the trunk at that point you might as well fix the wheel wells and/or get new leaf springs.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:11 PM   #6
Hellfish
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

How about changing the springs out for ones with a different spring rate? Work with your spring shop.

The temporary solution is to keep the adults in the front and the kid ONLY in the rear. There is no need for anyone to sit back there with her after a few months of age. They make a seat mounted mirror so you can keep an eye on a kid in a rear-facing seat.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #7
GREASER815
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

I am running a Chassis Engineering rear leaf kit with 3" lowering springs, and 3" blocks in my 50, I dont bottom out......how tired are your springs?
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #8
GREASER815
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

But, the new springs are alot stiffer.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
JAKE'S-Pumpkinella54
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

lose weight ? j/k .... dude you want low ... you got low. nice ride is extra . haha .
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
53choptop
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

You are where I was a couple of years ago, same situation with the rubbing and bottoming out. If you want to go real low you have almost no option but to notch the frame.

How I started:
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=475665

I had to bite the bullet and notch the rear end of the Olds. If you look at it from a cost standpoint, it wont break the bank because you are doing it in steps.

Fortunately or me, I saved some $$ because I did the work. If you can weld (correctly), then you are golden, even if you can't, getting the notch done should not set you back too much.

Notch:
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=494897

I have the full spring pack what I did was just flatten them out on a press. I also had to tunnel the floor. I don't have bags on the car yet, I have them sitting in the garage waiting, I have been buying everything to bag it though, 4 link, bags, valves, tank etc.

There is no way around the notch, the air shocks will fail and springs will sag and you will end up in the same place.

I drive the hell out of my car with no rubbing issues at all, that is why I have not bagged it yet, almost no need to. My rear bumper takes a beating though.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

Why not just add air assist bags to the rear leafs and fill them up when you have passengers? It may ride a little stiffer with passengers but at least you wont bottom out. This could easily be done for under $500 with some basic fab skills and a shraeder valve for filling.

Oh and if the wheels are hitting the fenders, a notch will not solve that it will probably make it worse.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

you must have modified springs as well if you are bottoming out with 2.5" blocks. did you cut down or replace the snubbers with shorter ones?

as for tires hitting the inner fenders... get some shorter tires.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
'Mo
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dimebag View Post
The whole c-notch thing is the ideal, but then we are talking air bags
They were C-ing frames LONG before they were bagging them!

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
54fierro
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

Mine is the same way, it is fine without anybody riding in the back but bottomed out with any load. I added some air shocks to stiffen up the ride some and its alot more tolerable.

Idealy it would be best to notch the frame and tunnel it or even have the spring shop make you some springs with a higher rate. maybe both. Cesar
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Mo View Post
They were C-ing frames LONG before they were bagging them!

agreed a c-notch came way before bags.. im pretty sure he is thinking a step.. if you step the frame then yes i would go all out and bag it with a 3 or 4 link.. a simple notch is easy thou.. also like mentioned before if your tires are rubbing it will only make it worse..
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:44 PM   #16
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Default

Your springs must be real bad or something. I have 3" blocks out back in my '50 Chev with a stock closed driveline and don't bottom out, even with the original springs.




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Old 10-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #17
Boones
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

A small C notch (half of a 4" diameter pipe) welding into the frame will help with clearance or you can go with a bigger one like gambino sells. it just gives extra clearance, it does not lower or raise the car (no bags required). you would want to add bump stops also. you probably need a bump in the floor above the rearend center pumpkin to gain more room. if the driveshaft is rubbing, then a raised rear section of the trans tunnel (under the rear seat) might be needed.

I am running a sbc and a 8" rear in my 51 cehvy. I have 3" dropped rearsprings from Walton fab and 3" blocks. I rarely hit in the rear and that is with a trunk load of shit, (the front does with 3" dropped coils)
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:01 PM   #18
TexasHardcore
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

Did you remove leafs from the spring pack? Our '53 had 3" blocks and never bottomed out, but when I ditched a few leafs out of the pack, the axle is now kissing the bottom of the frame rail. I'm going to do a mild step notch for clearance, and if I decide to bag it later on I won't have to mess with the frame again. Personally, I won't be bagging it to lay on the frame rails, but just to give a softer ride out back while still riding a few inches lower than stock.

If you're not planning on bagging it or you don't want to go any lower, a typical C-Notch will give you the clearance you need.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #19
carlos
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

Pair of air shocks ,a pump,a gate valve,and a switch and relay,.want to take someone a ride turn on the pump-open the gate valve let her pump a few minutes-shut the gate valve turn off the pump. Friend has the very same set up on a 54 ford custom works great
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #20
19blockhead72
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Default Re: 53 Bel-Air Bottoming Out-Help Please!!!

I wonder if a set of those spring helpers like they sell at Autozone would help without raising it up. I'm talking about the short one that u-bolts to the front half of the spring. Anybody ever use them?
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