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Technical Rear end setup on my ‘48

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by boy_named_sue, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    Hey all, haven’t posted in here for a while. Had 3 kids, got older, finally got a 48 chev sedan so I can put car seats in the back. Gotta sell the truck.

    The sedan has a mustang II type front end. When I took it on a maiden voyage last week, I slowly rolled over a speed bump in a parking lot while turning around. Front went over quite nicely, and the rear literally threw my dad (who was in the back seat) into the ceiling. Eventually he stopped cussing and I stopped laughing, and he even pointed out “I was impressed with how smooth the front handled that bump”. Driving it home on the freeway it definitely had a shake rattle ‘n roll ride whenever the pavement wasn’t completely smooth.

    Looks like old springs in the rear (maybe original?), with maybe an s10 rear end?? I’m still learning this old girl, and trying to figure out how to make it a family driver on a tight budget for now. Y’all are much smarter than me. Any good cost-efficient ideas for how I could make the ride in the rear a little smoother? I don’t know much about suspension options.

    Thanks, and cheers.


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  2. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    Oh, and here’s a few pics IMG_2801.JPG of the sedan. Exactly what I was hoping for and a price I couldn’t beat.

    IMG_2770.JPG IMG_2721.JPG


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  3. How about a side shot?

    You might try a good set of gas shocks for the rear & depending on how the car sit's now you may be able to remove a leaf spring to soften the ride. HRP
     
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  4. Good looking Chevy,get it on a lift to be able to check the rear.
     
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  5. Weedburner 40
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 613

    Weedburner 40
    Member
    from California

    Side view would be helpful, as would a picture or two of the rear suspension.
     
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  6. MMM1693
    Joined: Feb 8, 2009
    Posts: 440

    MMM1693
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When I built mine I used a Chassis Engineering rear spring kit. It was with there springs, hangers, shocks and brackets. The problem is C.E. was sold to Heits Inc. I am not sure just what their doing with C.E. product line, but give them a call. I am very happy with the way the car rides. It looks to me like your's sits a little high in the back and could use a little wider rear end. My car is the one in my avatar. It is also in the cars for sale section if you want better pictures of how it sits. It was originally built with a 10 bolt GM rear end from a 79 Impala wagon but now has a 9in of the same width. Tires are 225's on 7x15 ralley wheels.
     
  7. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    IMG_2775.JPG

    This is the best I got for right now. I’m at work and the car is at home. I don’t have any underbody shots yet. Gas shocks probably aren’t too expensive... how do they mount? Any recommendations?


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  8. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    Thanks for the reply! Yeah I think it sits a little high in the rear too, wife followed me home and said “I could see all the way under your car!” A little afraid of dragging the pipes, but need to do some measuring. Wider, huh? Hadn’t thought of that. Will check for width next chance I get. Good thought. Also I’ll look up that chassis engineering brand, thanks for the tip!


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  9. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 331

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I agree with HRP, the back looks a little high, could be too much spring in the rear making it ride high and rough. I'd see how many leafs are in the pack and if you could lose a leaf, and also check on your shocks to see if they are working accordingly.

    Nice looking car
     
  10. Jokester
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    Jokester
    Member

    It also looks like the rear axle is forward about 2 inches in the wheel well. Sometimes you have to drill a hole further forward on the axle pads for the spring centerbolt to nest in. If you do this, double check the driveshaft yoke depth.

    Also check the condition and mounting angle of the rear shocks.
    .bjb
     
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  11. vinfab
    Joined: Apr 18, 2006
    Posts: 131

    vinfab
    Member

    As the rear tires are not centered in the rear wheel wells, my guess is it still has the original springs. These had an offset locating pin and when used with a newer rear gives the look your car has. They are 70 years OLD. I used a Chassis Engineering kit but removed one leaf to help the ride. The original springs are narrower than what is used today so just replacing them is not an option, you need to use a kit or create new hangers.
    Edit: Looks like I need to pick up my typing speed.
     
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  12. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    Thanks guys! This is so helpful to read. I kinda thought the wheels looked forward too, but also noticed a lot of rods looked that way and I thought “maybe I’m just nuts.” Which, I am. But nonetheless, that makes sense Vin if it’s a common new-rear-old-springs issue.

    Removing a leaf would also lower the ride height, correct? Sounds like an all-around win to me. I could probably make hangars, but for the time investment I’ll see what a kit costs. Lunch break now so I will look for that C.E. Brand you guys speak of.

    And don’t worry about typing speed. I’m just glad you’re typing. If I can’t come spend the day in your garage asking all my questions and BSing, I’m thankful to get to take you all to work with me. A strong second best.


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  13. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    through Summit looks like the C.E. Rear end kit for my car is $750. Does that sound right? Includes springs, spring mounts, shocks, upper shock bar, lower shock mounts, shackles, u-bolts, spring pads, slider spring, and hardware.


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  14. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 816

    Happydaze
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If I'm not mistaken the '48 is either similar or the same as a '41 (I have a '41) and if so it is possible, or too easy, to install the rear springs incorrectly which will give an incorrect rear ride height - there is a curved bracket off the frame and the spring shackle should point up into the space between the bracket and the bottom of the frame rail. It will install with the shackle pointing downwards (in a more conventional style, hence why it is easy to get in wrong!) raising the ride height by double the hanger length, more or less. This was done on mine by a previous owner.

    I have Posies rear springs #201A (they lower the car and relocate the axle) and custom made lowering blocks (about 2"). The ride is nice (no soft) and is sort of matched to that of the front, which happens to be the same replacement at the OP.
    Before and after pics.

    20160126_093137.jpg

    Note - the shackle (giving additional height), old, flat spring (reducing height), huge lowering blocks (trying to get it where it needed to be!). Inverted and butchered shocks!!

    20160126_093137.jpg 20160509_202100 2.jpg

    Note - shackles correctly installed, new, happy spring, old lowering blocks - subsequently replaced.

    Chris
     
  15. You have to know what you have there first before buying anything. Also take a wheelbase measurement both sides, get someone to follow you to see if it crabs. Try to assess what rear is under it, the springs too. It definitely looks like the tire is off-center in the wheel opening.

    I bought my springs from this guy on eBay, McVeigh's. Pretty good to deal with on the phone. He may have the specs on what your car came with.
    https://www.ebay.com/str/mcveighstrucksprings

    Good tutorial from Eaton Springs, how to measure for them.
    https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/how-to-measure-leaf-springs/
     
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  16. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 431

    irishsteve

    Air down the tires to 25psi.Remove a leaf if possible. Take the remaining leafs ,and taper grind the ends where they contact the next leaf that way you don't have a squared off end trying to dig in to the next leaf .By making the underside of the leaf look like a ramp its easier for each leaf to begin movement.
     
  17. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    Awesome thanks for the thoughts and pics, Chris. Did you wind up re-installing gas shocks or going without? And your rear wheel sits back more in the fender than mine does now?

    Don’t worry bobss, I like to WAY overthink most everything before spending any money on the rod. That’s why I thought i’d start this thread. I need to fight with Ol Mr. Edelbrock under the hood to get er out and moving again, then deal with it’s many leaking problems before really addressing the ride issue. But as I pick around I’d like to know what I’m looking at and thinking through as I’m crawling around down there, and so far you guys have been most helpful! I printed that spring measurement sheet from Eaton, looks great. Thanks for sharing. The front end is not properly aligned at all, but wife said she didn’t notice anything weird following me home on the freeway last week. Maybe I’ll have a mechanic buddy follow me though to get a more “professional” eye.

    Tapering the edges seems logical, hadn’t thought of that. Any integrity of the spring compromised in doing that?

    Also, how might I go about IDing my rear end? (That sounds funny) Besides, you know, just taking a picture and posting it here for you guys to tell me :)


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  18. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,142

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    on my 41, I removed a spring, ground the ends, greased the whole mess, slipped a bike innertube over the pack and slapped it all back together. also redrilled the perch to get the tire centered in the wheel opening. I was using a 9", but the procedure is the same. replaced the shocks with the cheapest I could find that fit. whole thing came to about 30 bucks. ride was improved 200%.
     
  19. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 778

    chevyfordman
    Member

    I used Chassis Engineering rear spring kit on my 48, it rides like a truck over bumps, they suggested to remove second leaf from the bottom, it still rides rough over bumps. A friend used Weedeater rear spring kit on his 48 Ford and it rode beautiful.
     
  20. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 1,951

    David Gersic
    Member
    from DeKalb, IL

    Does it bounce at all if you jump on the rear bumper? I had a shock fail on my DD, locked it up in to a solid bar. That thing bounced crazy all the way home, with no rear suspension travel.



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  21. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,750

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    I think your best bang for the buck would be rebuilding the stock suspension ( replace the bushings, add good gas shocks, re-drill the centering pin location to center the axle, smooth the spring friction surfaces, etc.) and remove a leaf. You could have frozen bushings, shocks, rusted springs....lots of things cause a rough ride. This would be cheapest route in my book.

    SPark
     
  22. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 816

    Happydaze
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes, shock fitted but not in that pic. Wouldn't and shouldn't be without them. You weren't contemplating such a sin were you? ;)

    Yes, wheels sit nicely in the fender.

    Chris
     
  23. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    Ok... after nodding off multiple times whilst trying to finish and turn in this school assignment, I stayed up even later just for you guys to snap a few pictures. (Ok Maybe it wasn’t entirely altruistic ). Note that the car’s not sitting on its suspension, so I couldn’t jump on it to see if the shocks compress. Springs definitely look old. I didn’t try to squirt any grease in them cuz I was still in my work clothes. Haha I had to wipe down my creeper so I could lay down and take some photos.

    Any special tips for redrilling? Or is it just as simple as pick the spot you want and make an appropriately sized hole?

    When you “remove a leaf”, do you just take the smallest one out?

    I’m liking the ideas of a rebuild. Sounds cost effective until I can afford a kit. Do you think these old springs would handle it? They look pretty flat to me without any load.

    IMG_2823.JPG IMG_2824.JPG IMG_2825.JPG


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  24. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    Don’t worry Chris, shocks good. :)


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  25. Looks like a lot of leaves for sure and is it sleeved with something? Take a picture of the rear end cover, probably the best way to ID it.
     
  26. boy_named_sue
    Joined: Apr 9, 2006
    Posts: 120

    boy_named_sue
    Member
    from Dayton, OH

    On second thought, I had the rear sitting on the diff in the jack cup, so the weight of the car was actually on the suspension. Right?? Er... now I’m second guessing that. More coffee while I wait for you to tell me.


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  27. Drop a plumb line from center of rear fender, then measure off of that to the axle/wheel center to find the amount you need to move the axle pad hole.(you may want to this after you play with the springs and sit at ride height)
    If the bushings look good, just remove all of the leaves, clean them up, grind any sharp edges smooth. I usually install the next longest leaf, then alternate with leaves after that. The spring pack will be softer, and not as tall.
    If you still need to lower rear, a lowering block and will get you to the ride height you desire. It's also easier to use the lowering block to get the rear centered as you can drill the offset holes in it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  28. We used to make up lowering blocks with an offset on the driver's side, to make the wheelbase shorter on the left side, stock cars only! But the concept is the same in this case, get the wheel base where you want it.
     
  29. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 816

    Happydaze
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pics seem to show the springs either flat or bending the wrong way - might be the pics or they're just very tired?

    Shocks look to be getting close to bottoming out - add some weight (Pops in the back seat for instance) and you'll quickly reach their limit. Probably explains your harshness? Add tired springs into the mix and it gets worse.

    Lower shock mounts are on the axle, so lowering blocks will make things worse from a shock travel perspective. You have a non stock crossmember that the shocks mount to. I see lengthened lower shock mounts in your future (probably extended forwards some also?) the and longer shocks, and lowering blocks. And maybe springs?

    And whats with the lump of nonesence at the rear bracket where the shackle attaches? A clump of muck? Or a horrible (looking) welded repair?

    Axle looks to possibly be a Chevy item (10 bolt) but I'm no expert!

    Chris
     
  30. 270ci
    Joined: May 17, 2010
    Posts: 348

    270ci
    Member

    Maybe I'm not seeing it correctly, but it appears that your rear shackles are welded solid and cannot swing as they are supposed to. If that's the case, your spring cannot flex, so it would feel like a solid mounted rear and would explain the extreme bounce you're getting going over a speed bump.
    Have someone bounce on the rear bumper while you look under the car to see if you shackles actually swing. If they're bound up in some way (welded), your spring can't work.
     
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