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Road / Track Suspension Discussion

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BackInBlack View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07-April-2011 at 3:34AM
I started this thread to continue a discussion that started under the Weight thread.   I'm mostly interested in turning corners as a primary requirement with the drag strip a second priority.  Intend on keeping the cleveland, switching it to a manual, and lighten the front end as much as possible without hurting it for street driving.
 
Ride Height: 
Retaining the stock height or lowering 1".   I might go lower if I can get the exhaust tucked up tighter, but that will be a lot of custom oval tubing and custom headers (not likely).   I'm not cutting the frame to feed the exhaust through like that Pure Vision car.
 
Front:
Bushings: Planning to use Energy Suspension poly bushings to tighten up the front
Box the control arms.  Was looking at the TCI front bushing if the poly moves to much.   Found on the trailing arm that mounts to the lower control arm.   TCI has this bushing for the mustang suspension kit.
Springs:  Been thinking around 850 lbs/in would be a good starting point.
Sway Bar:  Adapting a circle track/ Nascar solid bar.   These cars are really nose heavy.  I was thinking something between 1 1/2" to 2" front sway bar.
Shocks:  Open issue...probably do the same thing Ron did, have Bilsteins revalved. 
Tires:  275 sized tires...I dont want it to rub.  295 looks like it might rub a little under compression.  Still undecided
 
Rear:
Boxing the lower trailing arms
Poly bushings, except that it appears that the lower trailing arm where it mounts to the frame will need a spherical bushing due to the compond motion of the trailing arm.
Springs:  Stock is a variable rate 192lbs/in spring.   Thinking of sticking something close to  stock rate.   200-225 lbs/in or use the Station wagon springs.  Not sure yet.  
Sway Bar:  Using the Addco 7/8" bar will probably be sufficient.   My GTS has the handling package.  It has the 5/8" bar stock.
Shocks:  Probably the revalved Bilsteins or equivalent.
Tires:  295 sized tires.  
 
 
Any advice, feedbacks, words of wisdom are surely welcome.   As a point of reference I found this track car built by Jack Roush for the Bondurant Driving School.   The CV is a close cousin in size and weight.
Pics:
 
Instructor Car
1999 Police Interceptor Crown Victoria
ENGINE: 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra 4.6L 4V. 320 HP.
Full length Cobra windage tray with modified Mark VIII oil pan.
Emissions controls removed.
Custom Bondurant engine calibration.
Custom H – pipe with catalytic converters removed.
Borla custom dual exhaust system.
Custom cooling system including production 6.8L V10 water pump and radiator, engine driven fan with custom shroud and an 18” electric cooling fan.
1995 SVT Mustang Cobra R engine oil cooler.
Battery relocated to trunk.
WEIGHT: 4,800 Lbs.
TRANSMISSION/ 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra T-45 5 speed with carbon fiber blocking rings.
DRIVETRAIN: B & M Ripper Shifter.
Custom steel drive shaft with safety loop.
3.73:1 axle ratio with production limited slip.
FUEL SYSTEM: Custom 22 gallon racing fuel cell.
1999 SVT Mustang Cobra fuel pump.
Custom stainless steel and braided fuel lines
SUSPENSION: Front:
Eibach 1000 lb per inch springs.
Monroe Shocks with custom calibration.
Winston Cup style 2” diameter solid front sway bar with custom links.
Modified alignment settings:
Camber 1.8 degrees negative
Caster 7.0 degrees positive
Toe 0.0 degrees.
Rear:
Eibach 160 lb per inch springs.
Monroe shocks with custom calibration.
Production .708 diameter solid sway bar.
Production Watts linkages.
BRAKES: Production Crown Victoria disk brakes.
Performance Friction 90 compound race brake pads.
Baer Brakes custom steel braided brake lines.
Custom brake cooling ducts.
WHEELS/ 1995 SVT Mustang Cobra R 17 X 9” wheels.
TIRES : Goodyear Eagle HP Ultra 275/40/R17.
INTERIOR: 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra instrument cluster.
Four point safety harnesses at all four seating locations.
Six point fully integrated Roush safety cage.
10 lb dry chemical fire extinguisher.
Halon fire suppression system with four nozzles.

Regards,
John
 
-John
1973 GTS
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 3:44AM
Aren't there two schools of general thought regarding suspension? Soft springs/shocks and BEEFY AS ANYTHING sway bars... and stiffer springs and shocks, with no rear bar. I feel like I read this somewhere, I wish I remember where. 

You'd probably want to look at 68-72 Chevelle handling packages available aftermarket, as they are almost identical, chassis wise, as a midsize. 


Edited by Psquare75 - 07-April-2011 at 3:45AM
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 4:07AM
Originally posted by BackInBlack BackInBlack wrote:

I'm mostly interested in turning corners as a primary requirement with the drag strip a second priority
 
the better you set up for turning corners, the more you'll hurt weight transfer & straight line traction and vice versa
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 5:01AM
Drag suspensions vs road/street are completely different...which is why I started this thread.   Most torinos I see are setup for the drag strip.  I guess that I'm in a minority.   I want to make my car a sleeper yet handle like a new Mustang.   My approach to drags...if i'm not making the time I want then I need more horsepower, but I wont sacrifice the ability to take a fast turn.   What I hate teh most in a car is one that wallows around corners. Soft springs/bad shocks taking you for a ocean ship ride.
 
There are hardly ever any Torinos at the local car shows, especially the 72+ years.  The ones that do show up are all setup for the drag strip.   I think its pretty cool to see one of these old forgotten muscle cars in street battle trim.
 
Regarding Psquare...I agree except that I've reached the limit of common size sway bars.  Can you imagine a 3" front bar.   It gets a bit impractical.   I like to use as much sway bar as possible before cranking up the spring rate.   Granted these cars are at a disadvantage due to the weight and the long wheelbase, but I believe they can handle like a new car.   I'm trying to build a street bruiser not a full track car.  
 
What Ron Earp is doing with his is really close to what I want to do with mine,   Since we are in a minority its been hard to get any real data or real track experience.   
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 6:09AM
That 2" bar sounds like a good starting point. 
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
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79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 7:47AM
I use the sway bars from PST.  Don't really recall the size.  1-1/8 front 7/8 rear?  The car hangs the corners nice and flat on the road course, which is so far beyond any kind of driving you could do on the street it's just silly.  If anything the rear bar could stand to be smaller.
 
In my opinion, you're overthinking it.  These cars actually handle quite well with very few simple mods, but getting one to handle on-par with a new Mustang or Corvette is going to be a very long and costly exercise in futility.
 
On tires, you're not going to find any 15" street tire with a big enough diameter for these cars that's anything but a high mileage radial with rock hard rubber.  17" wheels will really open up the selection.  For the track, you're pretty much going to be limited to 275/60-15 Hoosier Bias ply or Goodyear Eagle racing tires (Blue Streak Special 26.5x8.0-15).  They do have a tread and some people do run them on the street, but they're not DOT approved.
 
Here's a video of my car on the road course with 255/50R17 Riken Raptors.  My biggest issues that day were lack of real racing tires, unable to grab 1st gear in the slow turns, and factory brakes.  Suspension was NOT the limiting factor.
 
 


Edited by Carl - 07-April-2011 at 7:55AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 8:22AM
I've decided to go the handling route with my '76. It will never be a scorcher at stop lights, so handling is going to be it's forte. Where I live there are so many curvy hilly roads, they just beckon you to drive them hard. I have received some great advice by reading what you guys have done and benefiting from your experiences, so I know where to start. Seeing as I've had this car since 1980, I doubt I'll ever get rid of it, so I've planned to go even further with the goal of a sleeper. Lots of material removal, 17 inch wheels/performance rubber, lightened and modified bumpers, deletion of non-vital options and items not essential to the normal operation of the car. All with backyard ingenuity and fabrication - guess I'll see where it ends up, LOL.
Joe
1972 GTSquire Wagon
1972 Torino Wagon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS122 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 9:58AM

I'm thinking of the improving the handling of my '76 Gran Torino as well. 

I think if we could adapt off-the-shelf AFCO or QA1 coilovers, we would be off to a great start.  I particularly like the idea of easy springrate changes and ride height adjustments along with a rebuildable/revalveable shock. 
 
Anyone ever look into this?
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Regul8r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 10:17AM
Originally posted by PS122 PS122 wrote:

I'm thinking of the improving the handling of my '76 Gran Torino as well. 

I think if we could adapt off-the-shelf AFCO or QA1 coilovers, we would be off to a great start.  I particularly like the idea of easy springrate changes and ride height adjustments along with a rebuildable/revalveable shock. 
 
Anyone ever look into this?
WELCOME to the board!
 
Please drop in on the Welcome forum, tell us about yourslef, your story and hopefully some pics of the car.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 302ford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 11:54AM
The adjustable qa1 shocks helped quite a bit for ride quality in my car. I would like to put in the qa1 rear coilover setup this year if funds allow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 5:34PM
Coil overs are certainly nice...no doubt.  I thought about coil overs but decided to keep it sleeper stock looking.   Its real easy to swap springs in the rear.   Front is a different story.   I believe that Pure Vision Torino used QA coilovers.   Mounts easily in the front spring area, but the rear Steve Strope put a Morrison rear clip in which included rear coil overs.  That is the only Torino that I've seen with coil overs.   I'm sure others have done it...I just haven't seen it.
 
Here is some of the comments from the other Weight thread for reference.
Ron Earp:
I'm thinking higher rates will have to be used now, maybe 975 front at 350is rear. But, I need to scale the car with all the parts on (hood is missing now and bumper) to estimate.
 
Rear suspension - I have poly bushings in there now and I ran the suspension through the range of travel without the springs or shocks and I had no bind. Up and down it was 100% fine, no binding.

BUT, and big but, this was static on the lift and not with any side load. It might very well bind up while side loaded and compressed. So until it is driving I can't make the decision on how to handle the rear, hence the poly bushings for now.

I hope to get some real data soon, ie drive this thing, and figure out what to do. If sphericals are needed I know of no source but they aren't hard to make if you have a lathe. Select the proper spherical bearing and then machine sleeves to hold it captive in the arm.

BTW, I did get some Bilsteins re-valved for the weight and estimated springs so the car is wearing those now. You might want to look into that as well. Stiff springs but wet noodle KYB or other "muscle car" shock isn't going to work well as a secondary dampener.
 
 
Here is a link for a late model mustang trailing arm with a poly bushing in one end and the other end with a spherical bushing.  
This is what I believe is needed for the lower rear trailing arm for the Torinos.   If you look at how the trailing arm is mounting it angles from the outside frame toward the center of the car.  As it travels upward, the lower trailing arm will twist as the one side of the differential compresses and moves upward.  I believe a spherical bushing will be in required for the Torino lower control arm (front), poly in the other end, with a panard bar. This is more for track use; for street driving this is probably excessive. This all depends upon how much that trailing arm twists under compression with loading.
 
There are several rear 3 link and 4 link kits available for Mustangs that use the front leaf spring eye for a lower trailing arm front mounting point.   In those kits the lower trailing arm uses a spherical bushing in the front mount and a poly in the rear for the same reasons.  Crown Vic Police interceptors dont have this issue because the trailing arms are vertically stacked.  The move up/down only and the Watts link keeps the rear end centered.  
 
 
Ron,
I'm wondering if you jacked up one side and left the other side at normal height or extended.   My car is out getting some work done so I can't check it at the moment.   I will be taking measurements to see how much twist there is on the lower arms and deflection.   And...as you mentioned the side loading effects.  A panard bar is probably in order.
 
 
Carl said I'm over thinking it....guilty!  I'm pretty detail oriented.  Its is curse.  LOL.
 
 
BTW: here is a good book for reference.   "Chassis Engineering" by Herb Adams  
Helps explains topics like Ackerman angles, bumpsteer effects, suspension geometry, anti-dive, bushings, traction, loading, etc  


Edited by BackInBlack - 07-April-2011 at 5:40PM
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BackInBlack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-April-2011 at 5:43PM
Originally posted by Psquare75 Psquare75 wrote:

Aren't there two schools of general thought regarding suspension? Soft springs/shocks and BEEFY AS ANYTHING sway bars... and stiffer springs and shocks, with no rear bar. I feel like I read this somewhere, I wish I remember where. 

You'd probably want to look at 68-72 Chevelle handling packages available aftermarket, as they are almost identical, chassis wise, as a midsize. 
I'll check the Chevelle sites....thats a good idea.  Thanks.
-John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Regul8r Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-April-2011 at 2:06AM
For me on the one I want to build it is getting Thunderbird SC 4 wheel independent suspension.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-April-2011 at 2:26AM
Even my daily driver Cavalier has a solid rear axle LOL.. 4 link midsized cars don't hop NEARLY as much as an Fseries P/U though...
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-April-2011 at 4:25AM
AMEN TO THAT BROTHER. Nothing like the rattle your teeth get when you are in 4 Bbl and the FMX decides to hit 1st again at 25 mph...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS122 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-April-2011 at 6:41AM
Originally posted by 302ford 302ford wrote:

The adjustable qa1 shocks helped quite a bit for ride quality in my car. I would like to put in the qa1 rear coilover setup this year if funds allow.
 
Are you using the "Stocker Star" non-coilovers or have you adapted one of the race-based coilovers on you car?
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 302ford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-April-2011 at 12:07PM
I have the single adjustable "Shocker Star" shocks with stock springs right now. But would like to use a rear weld-in coilover setup this year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PS122 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-April-2011 at 8:40AM
I'd really like a set of coil-overs like QA1 offers for Chevelles.  Since we don't have the numbers that the Chevelle guys have we may have to improvise.  Think something like this could be adapted to our cars?
 
 
Time for me to pull a wheel and start studying the front suspension...
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-April-2011 at 8:42AM
As long as the mounts are the same..... I'd be concerned about the lower shock mount ripping out the lower control arm mounting points, but that's a minor issue IMO.
Paul
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78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
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