Rear suspension options for an F body wagon ?

Classic Mopar Racing Forum

  1. tubtar

    tubtar Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2020
    Location:
    St. Paul , Mn
    I have an '80 Volare wagon that is getting a 408 " stroker motor and 727 up front.
    I am looking at just re-doing the front suspension with stock parts and adjustable shocks.
    In back , I am still on the fence.
    I have a nearly new set of 002 - 003 Super Stock leafs and I think they could be made to work with a longer spring hangar in front.
    I also have a set of 32 " ladder bars , shock mounts and forward bar mounts that would work , but would need a good pair of adjustable coil overs to finish.
    I have a 9 " Ford housing that will get what ever perches or brackets are required.
    It will be a street car for the most part , so this isn't my first choice.
    But I am new to the F body platform , and would like to hear some opinions from guys who have some experience in these matters.
    I come from the open headers and slicks screwed to the rims school , so a rough or noisy ride would scare me less than the price for a set of Cal Tracs and mono leafs.
    Which I run on a '65 Dart , and like.
    I am trying to get this done with as little out of pocket as possible , and will be doing all the work myself except narrowing the rear end housing.
    Thanks in advance for your insights.
     
  2. 79410aspenrt

    79410aspenrt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    137
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    i had cal tracs and monos on my black R/T, didn't really care for them much. i will never waste my money on them again.
    i would defiantly go with the ladder bar setup. i like the way my car hits with the ladder bars. i have a very mild 360'' and it hits fairly hard.
    my thoughts are if you are gonna do it, do it once and use the ladder bar setup.
     
    tubtar likes this.
  3. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    235
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    Can't comment on ladder bars, but Dad has cal tracs on his 408 powered Diplomat coupe. Took the car from launching squirrelly to nice and straight. No mono leaf, using a five leaf pack. Only real bad thing I can say about it is the ride is a bit harsher with the solid spring bushing, but I don't think you would mind. Paid $350 for them I think.
     
    tubtar likes this.
  4. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    Likes Received:
    525
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    Location:
    Iowa
    I have SS springs on my Volare Coupe with a long shocks, on the street there fine on the track I've run 1.39 to 1.43 60 ft times with a 30x10.5 slick. On the street nothing but smoke in any gear without the slicks. This is with 645 hp 620 ftlb torque.

    If you have less power, SS springs will work. When the car had less power I used slapper bars I made from 2"x3" 1/8 wall using the shock plate for the mount and the front spring eye for the fulcrum point, stock springs. With this setup the car pulled the front wheels 10" with 500 hp.

    This is foot brake no transmission brake.

    I guess I'm saying keep it simple, it works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    MBDale, tubtar and SuicideRider like this.
  5. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,200
    Likes Received:
    1092
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I have two pair of 440/Hemi B-body leaf springs in my garage – which I would love to install into my cars once big blocks get installed. These springs have 5 and ½ leaves on one side and 4 with 2 half-leaves on the other side. The problem I have is figuring out how to make 'em fit (yet).

    FMJ leaf springs are 58” long.
    The front segment is 24”
    Rear segment is 34”

    The ('66-73) B-body springs are also 58” long.
    Front segment is 22”
    Rear segment is 36”

    If you get a longer front spring hanger (2” longer) then the center-line of axle will remain in same position – which is a good. The problem is the rear if spring will be 2” father back which will cause geometry problems with the rear spring hanger.

    I have been thinking about making new rear spring hangers – that have 2” offset (to the rear) and has wider tubes to use police spring shackles. The problem there is, I would die if welding something would save my life (ie: I can't do it).

    20160703_000014.jpg
    20160815_103233.jpg
    Non-police FMJ rear hangers (what 99% of FMJ's currently have on them), above. Police version shown below:
    20160703_000204r.jpg
    The police version would be nice to upgrade to if making a car capable of making harder turns.
    The rear hanger (police or non-police) is an FMJ only part.
    The trapezoid shackle was also used on '84-95 minivans - but a person will need to modify the rear hanger to make the wider shackle to fit (about 1/2" wider on each side).

    An E-body leaf spring fits the front segment fine (if using a longer front hanger) – but you would still need to modify the rear hanger, for it to work.

    For reference (in inches, and sorted by overall length):
    Annotation 2020-04-01 153319.png
    These are all of the 2½” wide leaf springs Chrysler used from '63 to present.
    Pickups and vans used 3” wide springs – so not included in the list above.
    I don't have much documentation on leaf springs used before '63 but even then – those springs might be hard to find, anyway.
    BudW
     
  6. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    235
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    If you need springs look up John R Spring. I bought a 5 leaf pack from them with bushings for $250 and used Firm Feel's shackle kit.

    20190331_161943.jpg
     
  7. tubtar

    tubtar Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2020
    Location:
    St. Paul , Mn
    I appreciate your input gentlemen.
    I could certainly weld a pair of spring sliders back there.
    I puzzled over this very issue , and wrote down the various spring segment lengths.
    I think the S/S springs all used a 20 " front spring segment if what I read is accurate , so the 2" longer hangar doesn't quite get there.
    Calvert will make a mono leaf to fit , and I have Kramer Spring near me who will whip up what ever you think you might want too , and one of these options are making more sense as I get closer to moving on this.
    But I am keeping all options on the table so far.
    Thanks , and stay well !
     
  8. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    Likes Received:
    525
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    Location:
    Iowa
    What the stock class racers did for years was to use the stock main leaf and the bundle from ss springs. Bud this would work great for your springs.
     
    SuicideRider and tubtar like this.