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Technical New leafs or full leaf kit?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chris Vander Mey, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Hi folks -

    I'm new to the HAMB so please forgive me if I'm asking a question y'all have answered before.

    I have a 1956 Chevy 3100 truck. 383 SBC, Heidts front clip, lowered pretty significantly - the rear GM 8.5" with drums is flipped to above the stock 7 leaf springs so it sits pretty low. Generic white shock absorbers. When I hit a bump the front rides OK but the rear end goes WHAM - hard - on pretty much any bump.

    So I'm thinking about either putting in new monoleafs ( and some gas-a-just shocks OR a full TCI leaf spring suspension: The latter is definitely more work and cost - but it's not clear to me that it will make any difference replacing all the brackets.

    Anyone have experience with this or thoughts on the matter? My goal is street ride quality, I don't lug anything. 'Cept maybe a 6-pack of IPA...

  2. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,132


    It sounds like it's the axle hitting the underside of the frame...
    The guys here will want to know how much space between the top of the axle tubes to the bottom of the frame.

    If you have very little space there, you need to either raise the rear, or c-notch the frame, ( or stiffen the heck out of the springs....that will make it ride like a brick). Go measure and post what you have for space.

    BJR likes this.
  3. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,219

    Atwater Mike

    <<'Cept maybe a 6-pack of IPA...>>

  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,924

    Rusty O'Toole

    Good advice to check the clearance between the frame and axle. You want about 5" for a decent ride. Are the rubber bump stops still there? They cushion the blow if you bottom out. On a lowered truck you might want to cut half off.

    Once that is seen to, take the truck to the local spring shop and tell them your problem. They can recondition the springs, take out leaves, or replace leaves as necessary. I haven't had this done in a while but should be no more than $200 to $300.
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  5. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 726

    from kansas

    Check shock travel, make sure your not bottoming out the shocks too.
    BJR likes this.
  6. ...if your rear springs are all stock and the rearend is on top of the leafs, you probly don't have much space til the rear axle hits the frame, can flip the rear shackle mounts to the top of the frame, with the shackles hangin down, this mite solve your problem..
    ...this mock up pic shows extended shackles, these were replaced with the originals and the lowering block removed...moving the mount like this does not interfere with the bed.

    55 chev pu 121.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  7. Great advice - you were all right. I only have 2.5” and no bump stops. This was obvious - truck was just lowered with an axle flip, which I gather drops about 7”, leaving only 2.5. I may do a shackle reverse to pick up another inch or so.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,087

    from Oregon

    Ouch!!!! 2.5 inches I bet that was not a good ride . I had an old Dodge truck that you could feel every stone on the road. Only two times it road like a Cadillac. Once with load of cut down trees about 10" round and second wasw two cubes of bricks in the bed. :D It seems there is always a trade off. Oh sorry back to your problem:p Hope you get it fixed to your liking.
  9. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,203


    C notch the frame seems doable. My 51 in my avatar was lowered big time. I can see the same thing. No clearance. Looks cool as heck lowered though.he he he

    Attached Files:

  10. That 51 is amazing. I love the lines. Good choice!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  11. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,203


    hey hey Chris . Thanks ...whats the update on your rear end set up.

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