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Technical Does your hot rod or custom ever bottom out?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. My old Deuce never does when we travel with all the stuff we carry on trips, ice chest,suitcase,tools,chairs, canopy,etc. but Sunday afternoon we picked up some friends and went out to eat, darn near ever bump we heard the excruciating sound of the frame coming in contact and axle.

    Now our friends are not petite and I would guesstimate they weigh in slightly less than a sbc :rolleyes:,

    I have QA-1 coil overs and I suppose I need to raise them up at the lower axle shock mount, they also have the adjustable valve.

    The wagon on the other hand never bottoms out regardless of the load. HRP
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
    Lil32 likes this.
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,197


    My lowered wrong 48 with the 54 frame under it bottomed out all the time on both ends. To the point on the rear that it broke the frame over the axle.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,294


    My Chevy II might, but I don't notice.... :)

    I've had a few others that did. I like the high ride, because of them.
    HOTRODPRIMER, Lil32 and Deuces like this.
  4. When I first got The Judge ('49 Shoebox) on the road, I would bottom out allllll the time. I had zee'd the frame about 6") when I put the S-10 front clip in, and naturally, I also installed a pair of 2" dropped spindles. Well, 2" dropped spindles on an S-10 clip/frame installed in a Shoebox allowed the tire to rise up far enough to hit the fresh air duct on the top of the tire before the suspension hit the upper bumper. So, begrudgingly, I put the stock spindles back in and raised the XJS rear suspension too to get the rake halfway decent. Well, I've gotten used to her being high all the time, but she behaves much better now,.. .hahah...(dual meanings).....
    HOTRODPRIMER and williebill like this.

  5. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 662

    from Motown

    Dragged the running board brackets on my F100. It would depend on the bump and speed. If it was a nice truck I'd raise it. But that is where it looks best. That's the main joy of driving a beater.
  6. My 33 pickup will bottom out a nasty hard bump, but 98% of the time its fine. Same with the 55. Taboo doesnt get driven on the street so, who knows.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  7. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,215


    I've done 3 impromptu engine oil changes in my life.
    First one shouldn't have happened but my oil pan found a pointed mound of concrete in the grass outside Trepaniers shop.
    Another I was messing about at about 3 times the speed limit and there was a nasty dip in the road.
    Third was a car bought and hadn't got around to a redo on that element. It's done now!

    lemondana, HOTRODPRIMER and Lil32 like this.
  8. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,847

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I thought that was all part of having a hot rod or custom. Pretty sure most of mine have bottomed out at least on occasion...some more than others. I know my daily bottoms out some hauling 300 lbs of feed in the trunk. I would like it lower, but it has to be used as my truck right now too. :D
  9. The cabriolet rear bottoms, rear axel to frame snubbers, on a good dip in the road.
    I generally build my cars lowered, but not to the extreme, and no bags.

    the 51 will scrape tailpipes on a lot of driveways, but since the last rebuild, has not scraped the lakes. They are just at the scrub line.
  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,069


  11. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,684


    In the spring I took out a huge chunk of road asphalt that had risen up with the thaw with my front axle on the Tudor. All I heard was BANG! :(
    Had I been either side of it, I would have been ok but no, right over the middle of the hump!
    I have had 3 occupants including me in it and that weight was fine.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  12. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,150

    from KCMO

    My front spring has settled enough on the 46 that the shocks were bottoming out on gnarly pot holes hard enough that it ripped the shock mounts off the car. Pretty gnarly damage.

    so faced with lifting the car up some or changing the shock situation I obviously made taller shock mounts.
    Joined: Jan 24, 2010
    Posts: 2,263

    from IDAHO

    My Olde Ford Is Adjusting The Terrain And Vice Versus... 116479529_2705918136399117_1871412057110210156_o (1).jpg
  14. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,627

    from Michigan

    That's why I love Gassers....:D:rolleyes:
    I'll go hide under a chair now to avoid all the flak....:eek:
  15. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,144


    HOTRODPRIMER and Deuces like this.
  16. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,798


    My OT (M-word) scrubs the passenger side rear wheel when the back seat has riders. (and I hit a dip)
    When welding in new patch panels in the rear quarters I failed to roll the fender lip on that side.
    The tire just barely touches it but it sounds like a'wildcat-with-its-tail-in-a-grinder'!!
    Pretty annoying but not bad enough for me to do anything about it...(could be laziness....I don't know!)
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  17. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,445

    silent rick

    ah, those dark spots on the highway, the telltale signs that a dip in the road is coming up. i see one approaching and my butt cheeks clench. i go over it and "ting" and think to myself that wasn't bad. it's those ones that sneak up on me and "scraaaape", now that was a bad one.
  18. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,847

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I used to drive slightly OT (by a couple years) lowered pickups daily. The worst hit I ever had about threw me through the windshield when both a-frames hit the ground in an unexpected terrible rough spot. It ended up bending one of the a-frames bad enough the front bushing fell out... That happened about 100 miles or so from home after checking out a running/driving 64 vette roadster that was for sale for $4500 if I remember right. Still kick myself for not buying that vette. :(
    HOTRODPRIMER, Deuces and Tim like this.
  19. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,150

    from KCMO

    Ya know @guthriesmith if you didn’t drive like such a hoodlum and respected the rules of the road I’m sure you’d simply have no problems at all!

  20. 56MercMan
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 114


    Drove a lowered 1961 OT car that starts with a V and ends with a W. Someone was doing work on the hill beside the road. Knocked a boulder loose and I hit it. Ended up breaking both the trans and motor cases. Trans and engine oil everywhere.
    dirty old man and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  21. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,847

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    I thought that was part of this hot rod deal too @Tim :rolleyes:
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,740

    Jalopy Joker

    wife's '50 Chevy PU won an award called "Roadkill Express" for being so low, without bags - when leaving show left some marks in driveway surface - had a OT Fairlane GT that hit the pavement so hard flying on HWY 101 that chunks if asphalt ended up on battery
  23. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,627

    from Michigan

    Bet that hurt....:confused:
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  24. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,953


    On my 32 roadster which has transverse mono leaf in front and tranverse leafs in rear I get rear end bangs on a poor surface. The front rides well. I think I have too many leafs in the back and need to take more out. Pete and Jake shocks in the rear helped to give a softer ride after a couple of leafs taken out but still not great. 2U3A6668 (Medium).jpg
  25. Lil32
    Joined: Apr 4, 2012
    Posts: 2,366


    I have to watch out for speed bumps as my sump
    plug does not like them if too high
  26. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 8,141


  27. You can hide under a straight axle car :D and you don't need a Jack to get under them ;)
  28. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,007


    Only once did it bottom out and hit the bump stops; 2 x adult males will do that when both are seated over the rear axle in the tub. Time then to replace the rear shocks with new . Since then I've had no issue(s) whatsoever even with loaded up with people or luggage. I still need to be aware of the oil pan drain plug when traversing speed bumps. Monroe gas in the front with Boge in the rear make it drive like a car and not a tractor.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
    HOTRODPRIMER, Deuces and Lil32 like this.
  29. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,069


    I have timbren overloads on my 36 , they were meant for a mini truck of some sort, they are soft hollow rubber bumpers attached to the frame above the rear axle. Been there for years with no wear, take serious bumps without destroying your back.
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,429


    1957 Long Beach Teenagers


    With the new cut coils up front, my brother’s 51 Oldsmobile was very low in front and slightly higher in the back with different blocks. But, when he had a car load of teenagers in cruising mode, the whole car was illegal for a CHP check anytime. The early law started when teenagers in a lowered car had a leaking tire, started scraping the ground with whatever was lower than the rims and then broke a hole in the gas tank.

    A fiery situation started and from that point on, the rules were drastically changed to making it a law that nothing was going to be accepted below the lowest rim. So, mufflers, Traction Masters, exhaust pipes or exhaust cut outs, etc. were all fair game. At first, the CHP and the local police stopped and made everyone get out. That was a mistake as the car now was raised up to legal limits. Then, the police got wise and made the people stay in the car when measuring. That caused them to write more tickets and possible confiscation for having a dangerous vehicle.

    Nothing could be lower than the rim. The idea was the the rim would hold up the car until it was moved to the side of the road. But, it was hard to tell anyone, especially hot rod/custom guys/girls that they could not lower their cars very much. Even with the legal lowering, when a car load of teenagers got into the lowered car, it now became illegal, despite it being legal before those teenagers piled inside the cab.


    My friend’s lowered rake, 1957 Chevy was a great example of legal lowering when he and I were in the Chevy Bel Air Hardtop. But, allow more teenagers to get in the back seat and a girl in the front, made the whole sedan so low that it was illegal. The drive was fine, as long as there were no dips in the intersections and parking lot speed bumps. The drive-in movie scene was out of the question unless a side listening post was available.

    So, not to be snotty or aloof, but we had to keep the passengers in the back seat down to a minimum or none at all. A double date was ok, as we did measure and made sure it was legal when cruising around. But, we did know that 5 boys in his 57 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop or even in my 58 Impala was not going to happen as the weight made it too low.

    The solution would be those air shocks that were factory installed in my 1965 El Camino. It was primarily used when I knew motorcycles were going to be loaded in the back for our desert racing journeys. The other times, the air was let out to a comfortable ride height. Too much air was uncomfortable and squirrely. Too little made the shocks bottom out. So, it needed just the right amount of air pressure to make it ride well, with or without a heavy load in the back.
    This custom air pressure gauge worked quite well when in need for extra air at the right amount for each heavier than stock weight was being used. Today, there must be better air shock technology to meet everyone’s needs. And those “extra” weights… using an auxiliary pump, air is available anytime for any added weight. Monroe, Gabriel and even AC Delco brands have the extra air shocks.

    If my wife and I were to get an older station wagon, those auxiliary air shocks would be the first things we install in the rear. Those stories of cars catching on fire are a real event when cars are overloaded. A few years ago, we saw an old 4 door 55 Chevy on fire next to curb with beach/camping stuff stacked on the sidewalk. The family of 6 were standing on the sidewalk.

    The rear seat area and trunk had the biggest flames and black smoke we had seen in a long time. The occupants were standing away in a safe distance with the CHP cars directing traffic. Yup, the sedan was lowered and got much lower with the extra loads. Flat tires, burned rubber, and the paint was now wrecked… YRMV

    Lil32, HOTRODPRIMER and 41 GMC K-18 like this.

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