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Technical Dropping the rear of a 1955 Ford Customline

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Roothawg, May 26, 2018.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    I have acquired a set of Aerostar springs for the front of my 55 Customline. Now, I need to replace the rear springs. They are worn out and basically flat. I read that Jamco sells some rear springs, but they are priced pretty high.

    I had pondered having a set made, but I need to know spring rates etc. I figure I could have a set made and save enough to buy good rear shocks etc. I would love to be able to lower it without having to use blocks. I have a set or 2 of different heights. Just don't want this bottoming out if I take friends along.

    Anything factory that will interchange, like the Aerostar front springs?
     
  2. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 23,654

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Posies makes leaf springs for those that are 3 inches lower than stock
     
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  3. Might try Eaton Detroit Spring(s)...... They're pretty good, and know what's what with stuff.......
    Jamco- well, i'de read up on some threads here before I would drop my CC #.....
    As far as a replacement/bolt in, Sorry- I have no info. Good luck.
     
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  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    Thanks. I'll look at both.
     

  5. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    Looks like Eaton is out of my price range. They have one spring for $279 plus add $40 to lower it. Man, am I reading their price sheet right?
    That would be $600 without u bolts or shocks plus freight, which won't be cheap. Dang.......

    Update****
    Looks like General Spring may be the winner. Figured I would post his for those that have never used them.
    https://www.generalspringkc.com/product_p/42-201.htm
    They are stock height, but I am going to call and see what it ould take to have them remove some arch.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  6. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,504

    0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Member

    Don't mean to sound like an ass, but the days of $100 springs are long gone. Both Eaton and Posie have been around for decades and both have always catered to the hot rod after market. Going to your local spring shop if you can find one and asking for info on a custom application is like asking the guys at the local parts store for a small block Chevy part for a 34 Ford, it is not their area of expertise and should not be expected to know what you need. Hope you get what you need but Rock auto, Amazon and ebay will not be your friend on this one. Again not being an ass, I am a retired Rod & Custom builder and have been at this rodeo before. Best of luck with your build Larry
     
  7. Call St. Louis Spring in St.Louis, Mo. They have a website. They do all of our springs at work.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  8. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    $100 springs may be long gone, but $129 are still here apparently.:)
     
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  9. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 23,654

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I would just use stock springs and blocks. think about it, no matter what method you use the rear axle is going to be closer to the bump stops. there is no "less bottoming out" with dearched springs than there is with blocks. assuming the amount of drop is the same. the only problem there could be is possibly a scrub line issue , I have never had a problem with any of my lowering block cars....
     
  10. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    I've always been concerned about fatigue using blocks. I make my money as a QC Manager in the aviation field, so I have a tendency to overanalyze...

    Is there a maximum height on blocks? I had a machinist make me a set of 3" solid blocks. Overkill? Of course...
     
  11. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 23,654

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    3" are real common. it is usually a requirement to c the frame with much more than that. I have had lowering blocks in cars for decades, no problem
     
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  12. Chris....unless you're going to run a big block with slicks on the strip you have no worries about running lowering blocks and long U-bolts. When I use really long ubolts, I drill the spring plates and use bigger [1/2" or 9/16ths"] U-bolts. Never had a problem even with 4" blocks.
    Rockbox@demoines1993.jpg
     
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  13. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

  14. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,408

    atomickustom
    Member

    Only problem with blocks is your springs are already 63 years old!
    Are there any genuine spring shops around you? They can de-arch and/or flip the eyes and I bet if you walked in the door with you original springs they could make up new main leafs using you originals as patterns for rate.

    I put Posies on my '53 years ago and they did NOT improve the ride but DID $#@% up the handling compared to the original leaf springs that I had flipped and re-arched by a local spring shop for $100. That was an expensive lesson to learn regarding marketing hype.
    (The handling issue is probably unique to 1949-54 Chevy: they reverse the rear eye but not the front, which puts the leaf on an angle, which introduces rear-steer induced understeer.)

    Got off on a tangent, didn't I? Point being, I recommend replacing the springs with new ones but don't fall for the expensive b.s. Blocks or re-arched leafs both work fine.
     
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  15. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    That's why I am wanting to replace them prior to adding blocks. I don't have any spring shops anymore. They have all closed down or relocated to another town. Closest one is Tulsa, which is about an hour and a half away.
     
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  16. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,179

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Way back in the archives of the 1952-59 Ford Group the guys found new springs through J.C. Whitney for $189 a pair. But I ran across these: https://www.generalspringkc.com/product_p/42-201.htm
     
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  17. flathead41ford
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 383

    flathead41ford
    Member
    from Mentor OH

    I also used St Louis spring on my 55. 4 inch taken out of ride height. Rides great. I use St Louis spring for most of the old cars that come through the shop. I also use General Spring but mostly for pick ups. image.jpeg
     
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  18. pgj
    Joined: Dec 24, 2010
    Posts: 139

    pgj
    Member
    from aurora co.

    What are you trying to accomplish ? Is it too low now with the original springs? Are there broken leafs? Seams silly to buy new spring to set it back up and then lower it again, If it sits good now i'd put new shocks on it and see how it drives.
     
  19. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    I called STL Spring today and they said they could build me a 4" dropped spring and have them done by tomorrow. They were around $135 each. The part number was 42-201, which oddly enough is the same p/n that KC Spring uses. You have to specify the drop amount.
     
  20. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,021

    Roothawg
    Member

    The springs are 50 years old. I am sure I am getting close to the end of useful life cycle. I am sure that if I disassemble I will find at least one broken leaf. The ride height is ok, but it's because they are worn out. I am getting ready to swap motor/trans, rear end etc. I want a good spring if I am going to spend all this time setting it up. It has new shocks and doesn't drive bad, it's just a safety precaution.
     
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  22. Old-Soul
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,656

    Old-Soul
    Member

    I did the Aerostar coils and blocks method on my '49.
    Eventually the rear springs were so sagged out it was more like having a 4"+ drop out back haha. I had planned on new springs but sold the tudor before I got that far. If I recall it was cheaper for me to buy them from St. Louis and ship them to the border than it was to have our local shop make them, even after exchange.


    [​IMG]
     
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  23. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,383

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I have to agree. For starters you can reverse or increase the size of the shackle and get a pretty good drop without ever actually changing the spring. The rest you can make up with blocks. The biggest issue is going to be driveshaft clearance under the tunnel. I had to pull out the rear seat and recess the floor, which wasn't a huge deal, but I almost wiped out the driveshaft before I took those steps. As stated, regardless of how you go about it, nothing is going to reduce the amount of "bottoming out" if you're going that low. If you're really concerned, a good set of shocks, strong snubbers, and maybe even a big rear sway bar, would likely help reduce the frequency or severity of bottoming out.

    As for the strength of blocks, I've absolutely hammered on my car for years with 3" hollow blocks from AutoZone in there and never had any sort of issue. I shattered the spider gears in my 9" carrier with a 6000 rpm 1-2 shift, but didn't damage the blocks. I've got easily 100 passes on it too without any issues. The one thing I will say is that a loose leaf pack in conjunction with a tall block will tend to act like a lever arm and try to wrap the spring up. But that's only under full throttle with a big block and a built trans, and even still it was fine. Not sure what drivetrain you're running but I'm sure you'd be fine.
     
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  24. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 14,008

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Another spring company is McVieghs Chris.. used them on my 57...around $260 for a set
     
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  25. Bounder
    Joined: Oct 31, 2011
    Posts: 251

    Bounder
    Member

    I got mine from ESPO Springs and Things. in Danville, Pa. Remake of stock springs cost $379.25 with shipping. Only problem was they raised the rear 4 inches. Seems the old ones were not only broken but worn out. Now I've got to put 4 inch blocks under it to get it back down. Don't like the "California Rake" look. haha
     
  26. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,330

    Lone Star Mopar
    Member

    Just a heads up I've used Posies drop springs on the rear of my 52 Chevrolet and they raised the the car. I've heard the same complaint from others.

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  27. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,679

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Roothawg, if your talking about “ Tulsa Brake and Spring” I can testify that they do good work. Used them many times back in the day. Didn’t know they were still in business.

    Bones
     
  28. St. Louis is the place I use. They might even tell you who they sell their springs too. 4" drop is likely a reverse eye.
     
  29. Finnrodder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,967

    Finnrodder
    Member
    from Finland

    An another vote for St.Louis Spring company.I bought a pair of lowering leafsprings for my shoebox and the price was a really decent.
     
  30. Old-Soul
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,656

    Old-Soul
    Member

    Did you install them upside down??

    I kid, I kid.
     

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