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65 Comet suspension

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fisher, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. fisher
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 139

    fisher
    Member

    I have a problem that has me stumped. I'll try to give you as much background as I can and hope that someone may see what I may be overlooking. Car sets about 1" low on the drivers side rear(very close to level at the front of the car). I have experienced this before but never on a uni-body car. I replaced the rear leafs,shackles and bushings as they showed signs of wear and age. Lifted the rear end 2" but still drivers side was 1" lower. Rear shocks were replaced by PO and appear new. I then replaced the front coils,shocks, and spring pivots. Raised the fron 2" but still lower on the drivers rear. Took the car to a reputable frame shop and he varified the body was to factory spec ( and charged me nothing for his time). All body lines are even and no signs of buckles or twists. Rear quarters are original sheet metal. No signs of poor body work or alignment He recommended I take it to a spring shop to "adjust the rear springs". I haven't followed his advice yet knowing that it leaned with the old leaf springs as well as the new ones. I removed the front sway bar thinking it could be tweaked but still no change. The only thing I have not done is rebuild the front suspension. Can this impact the level of the car this way? Any other suggestions?
     
  2. 65COMET
    Joined: Apr 10, 2007
    Posts: 3,086

    65COMET
    Member

    fisher;WOW,you touched about everything.The only things that I feel could be wrong would be bad upper control arm bushings or bent lower control arms.I would also check the spring towers,make sure they have not cracked down by the frame,allowing that side to move.Also check the rear subframes for rust out,especially if the Comet is from the rust belt! ROY.
     
  3. fisher
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 139

    fisher
    Member

    I will inspect/rebuild the front end next. I'm concerned that I am spending a great deal of cash with no visible results so far. Would hate to spend all this money on a car that just will not set right. Kind of like remodeling a house with a bad foundation. Thanks for your thoughts
     
  4. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,131

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

    This won't cost anything or much and may help lead to the problem.Ask around and try to find a roundy round racer with a good set of scales and scale the car to see what the weight is on all 4 corners.
     
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  5. Check the circumference on all 4 tires to see if you have an oddball there. Look at the front springs, make sure the lower coils are seated in the spring perch recess. Are the perches symmetrical?

    Not have seen a Comet spring in many years, is there any registry where the top of the spring seats in the shock tower?

    Also look for a bound-up shock on any corner.

    From there I'd be tempted to swap the front springs side for side.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  6. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,469

    greybeard360
    Member

    What is the measurements from the ground to the top of the wheel opening for all 4 wheels? Take the measurement at the center of the wheel.
     
  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,166

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If the unibody is not twisted and is to factory spec then you can fix this.

    You say the left rear sits low, does the right front sit high? If the unibody is straight, it pretty well has to.

    You say the rear springs are new with new bushings, and shackles. So you would have noticed if one of the springs was more arched than the other, or if one had more leafs. So let's say the problem is not at the rear.

    If the front suspension is worn and the springs old, it could be one side is higher than the other. Why you notice the difference at the rear not at the front I could not say.
     
  8. fisher
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 139

    fisher
    Member

    Front and rear springs are new and equal.
    Old springs set the same.
    All tires are same brand and size
    Measurements taken at frame rails and at wheel well openings. All reflect 1" low rear driver corner.
    Front passenger sits slightly higher than driver side....maybe 1/4"to 3/8"
     
  9. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,469

    greybeard360
    Member

    May sound like a dumb question.... where is the battery???
     
  10. Let's take the front end out of the equation. Jack the car up dead center in the front and then measure the rear. This will tell you if it is a rear only and or spring problem.
     
  11. fisher
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 139

    fisher
    Member

    That is the kind of help I was looking for! Simple methods to determine the problem. I'll jack up the front this evening and let you know what I find.

    Thanks.
     
  12. jcm65
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 31

    jcm65
    Member
    from Santa Rosa

    Might be helpfull to measure the distance from the top of the tire to the fender when the suspension is at full droop (in the air)

    If it still differs from side to side then you know its not a weight issue.
     
  13. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,131

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

    We use a large socket or piece of round stock on the jack pad to prevent the jack pad from trying to level the load.

    The spring pivot on the upper Arms may be bound up and the spring has to seat on that pivot just right or could cause it to be un even.

    Don't rule out scaling the car if you know someone that races and has a set. The corner weights will tell if you have a spring rate issue more than likely.
     
  14. fisher
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 139

    fisher
    Member

    Lots of good info coming in....thank you. lifted the front end with a bottle jack on the centerline of the front cross frame. Front wheels were entirely off the ground. This is the results measured at the lip of the fender well to the floor on the centerline of the wheel: driver front 31", driver passenger 31 1/2", driver rear 19 3/4", and passenger rear 20 3/4".

    Next I will jack the rear completely off the ground with the rear axle hanging loose and measure from top of tire to the top of the inner fender well to see if the dimensions are equal.

    Keep the suggestions coming. I gotta find out what is wrong!
     
  15. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,469

    greybeard360
    Member

    Has the car been modified in any way ? I noticed from your measurements the rt frt is higher and the lft rr is lower, just like it is sitting on the ground.

    That is why I was asking about the battery location. From the factory is was on the right front. If it has been relocated to the trunk... weight shift.

    Just looking for anything to explain it since it is sitting the same as it did with the original springs.

    Now... bringing out the old parts man in me. Back when I was in parts dept at Ford dealers, when someone needed a spring we had to have the spring code off of the car. Both front spring and both rear spring were normally different. Different rates depending on how the car was equipped. We could order springs up or down the chart if needed to raise or lower a corner to level a car.

    That said, aftermarket springs... you buy front or rear. That's all. Maybe options on engine size, but no left and right. It is possible that someone had changed the springs in the past and upset the balance of things.

    If you have a shop near you that can make coil springs or re-arch leaf springs, get a spring made for the front to level it or have one of the rear springs re-arched to level it. I have had to do this many times to get a car sitting level. You could also add a horseshoe spacer to one of the front springs (even trickier because a 1/4 spacer may change it 1//2 to 1 inch !).
     
  16. AlbuqF-1
    Joined: Mar 2, 2006
    Posts: 910

    AlbuqF-1
    Member
    from NM

    Try measuring from the front eyes of the rear springs, to the ground, same for the shackle hole in the rear (in the body).
     
  17. fisher
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 139

    fisher
    Member

    I jacked the rear end up and let the axle hang free. Both sides from the top of the axle tube to the frame member just next to the snubber measured 11". Measured from the wheel well opening lip to the top of the wheel at the center line. Passenger side measured 6 1/2", the driver side measured 6". Re-inspected the body and no signs of rust/ripple or bends in the spring mounting area. Any thoughts?
     
  18. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,355

    BJR
    Member

    I be your rear quarters are not the same. I fought a door to front fender fit problem on my 49 Buick. I tried for many hours to get even gaps and still get the hood to fit. I found out that the left front fender was 3/4" shorter then the right front fender. That explained all my problems.
     
  19. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,166

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    "Measurements taken at frame rails and at wheel well openings. All reflect 1" low rear driver corner."

    Your unibody is twisted. I don't know how the frame shop missed it but they did.

    You could double check by measuring to the suspension mounting points in case the wheel well is off.
     
  20. frankenfords
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 278

    frankenfords
    Member
    from SoCal

    Just to rule out the frame being twisted (hopefully not confirm it), get the car off the ground supported by jackstands at 4 places, 2 in the front, 2 in the rear, then start measuring. Tires should be off the ground (or off the car), and the ground must be relatively level. Just to be certain, make sure the jack stands are the same height side to side at each end by measuring them first.

    Also, start paying attention to panel gaps. If the gaps between fenders, trunk lid, hood, rear quarters, doors, etc, are not even top to bottom and side to side, start looking for a trend.
     
  21. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,410

    Muttley
    Member

    Passenger side, between the core support and wheel well if its stock.
     
  22. I can't say for sure on your Comet , but I can tell you that in early mustang ( very similar front end ) the front coil springs are NOT the same length side to side . It may be that a previous owner has swapped yours over , not realizing there is a difference ??



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