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How low is too low for stock 53 chev car suspension?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TommyLeDouche, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. TommyLeDouche
    Joined: Apr 16, 2007
    Posts: 62


    I am planning on lowering my stock 53 chev car over the weekend and was wondering how low can I go before having ride issues with the stock suspension. This is a car I will be driving a lot and I was planning on cutting the coils and using blocks in the rear. Anyone have any experiance doing this, advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. newstranger
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 583


  3. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


    I am pulling the entire rear suspension on a '54 this weekend that was not thought out. They seem to have removed a leaf and relocated the rear shackle mounts, then added a 3-4" lowering block. The result is springs in a bind and the axle bumping the frame occaisionally with heavy driveline vibration at various road speeds.

    We are going back with the CE kit that mounts a Camaro/Nova axle using all new mounting hardware and springs. I'll re-evaluate the blocks after that. In my opinion, you can only drop it 3-4" using a block. You should never remove a leaf due to lost spring rate. You should also be very careful with pinion angle when modifying one of these cars. The driveline looks very flat.
  4. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,331


    till it hits the tunnel....:D

  5. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,500

    from covina CA

    3-4 inches tops
  6. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    with out a C notch..and stock set up..probably pushing it at 4"
    than tunnel tap and scrub line issues will come into play
  7. TommyLeDouche
    Joined: Apr 16, 2007
    Posts: 62


    Some good advise so far. I was thinking about 3 inches, I'll have to go with that.
  8. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,816

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    The rear hits the frame before anything else if you go too low. These cars really need a "C'd" frame in the rear to sit low and ride OK. It's not the suspension, really. IF you "C" it, you can run de-arched springs, and fine tune it with lowering blocks to get it 5-6 in. lower. Without the "C", as the others said, 2-3 in (with your already worn springs) is all you can get away with.
  9. Cody&Lauren Mohr
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 211

    Cody&Lauren Mohr

    If you cut the front springs, 1 coil usualy means about a 2" drop. Also, if you need shocks, go ahead and do THAT first. I've seen new shocks raise it up as much as 1/2 inch. As for the rear, I agree. 3"-4" Blocks are about as much as you want to go. You may be able to look into drop shackles. When all is done, have a good mechanic true up the pinion angle. Good luck, post pictures.
  10. DJR13
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 116

    from Venice, Ca

    Lowered the rear of my 53 with 3" blocks and then I reversed the eyes of springs for another inch or so (tech on HAMB). I also have 14" wheels with 185/75/R14 tires. Which dropped it more. Left the front stock height. May cut a coil. I like it draggin' ass though... :cool:

    Car is my daily driver. Tail pipes are getting a beating. I avoid big bumps and potholes like the plague. Drives nice. Still doesn't look low enough, though. :eek:

    Air shock are my next addition. Don't want to spend the money for a real air ride.
  11. Fitzworld
    Joined: Oct 1, 2005
    Posts: 106


    [I've seen new shocks raise it up as much as 1/2 inch. ]
    Cody&Lauren, what kind of shocks are you using that raises the vehicle?
  12. creepyjackalope
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 560


    Shocks are not load supporting. This makes no sense.
  13. oilslinger53
    Joined: Apr 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,500

    from covina CA

    I went 4 in the back with blocks, and have no driveshaft issues, but with my tall tires it puts my "U" bolts below scrubline, so I'm gonna have springs made with 3 1/2" less arch than the originals at some point. The front I cut about three inches out and it works great, but big potholes cause a frightening "THUNK" because it now only has about 3.5 inches of travel now. If yoiu live in a place with shitty roads and plan on driving it alot I would be cautious and lower it a little at a time in the front... and oddly enough I have no bumpsteer issues?!?!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  14. Like the others said more than 3" blocks you run into scrubline issues anlong with not much travel before you hit the frame. If you put a small notch in the frame you could go with taller blocks (check the scrubline).
    you can also revrse the spring eyes and pull a leaf or two and get a few more inches lower. Up front you van run dropped uprights and cut 1 or 1-1/2 coils. In addition you could step the a-arms for some additional drop.
    Here is a tech article on dropping a arms. Todd

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