Best $24 I've spend on my suspension - lowering blocks installed! Can it go lower?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering and Chassis' started by MRGTX, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. MRGTX

    MRGTX Well-Known Member

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    Well I've gotten a lot of work done (by my standards) over the past three years on my Dart with the goal of trying to make it drive and handle a bit better.

    After basically a full suspension overhaul (with performance oriented components), it wasn't until I installed the 1.5" lowering blocks that I actually felt a serious improvement to the quality of the driving experience.

    So the stock torsion bars and rear leaf springs were pretty worn. When I installed the Hotchkis "lowering" springs, I shouldn't have been surprised to see the car sitting a tiny bit higher than it was with the 45 year old pieces. I snapped the first pic (below) last summer after getting the new wheels (but before the suspension swap)...but this is basically how the car sat even with the new components, until this weekend. Second pic (I tried to recreate the first one from memory and almost nailed it :D ) is after the blocks were installed. Immediately, the lower CG was obvious and it seemed to put the power down a bit better too. The car just feels better already.

    I'm even more excited now to get the torque boxes and subframe connectors welded up so I can start pushing this thing through some corners and getting the most out of those awesome Radial T/As (har har).

    2 questions:

    1) Could I have gone with another 1/2" drop? They do offer 2" blocks... I don't care about the look but would there be handling benefit to going a bit lower anyway? The header collectors (Doug's) are getting pretty close to the ground in the front so I'm not sure if I'd be able to drop the front much more to match.

    2) The bulge of the sidewall 255s (on 8" wide, 4.5" backspace wheels...not ideal, I know) now rubs slightly when I hit just the right kind of bump...so I'll need to roll the fender lips. Can you guys recommend a tool for doing this that's decent but on the cheaper side? It seems like they range from $40 to $200...and it's a tool that I will probably only use for this one job.

    Dart summer 2017.jpg Dart 9-8-18.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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    • 1994redram

      1994redram FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Do a search on Google for fender roller rental. Friend of mine owns one and it's a nice tool to have access to.
       
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      • R4Sedan

        R4Sedan Life in the Fastback Lane FABO Gold Member

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        Looks like it has a nice stance.
         
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        • vntned

          vntned Well-Known Member

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          Watch your pinion angle. I got my dart too low at one point and the vibration was bad! I ended up lifting it back up some.

          IMG_20180112_122234~3.jpg

          MVIMG_20180221_151905~2.jpg
           
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          • MRGTX

            MRGTX Well-Known Member

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            That looks fantastic. Cool wheel choice too!
            Good call on the pinion angle. Surprisingly, I think the pinion angle is better on my car now...it was a bit louder before the drop. Go figure.
             
          • JoeSBP

            JoeSBP RLTW!

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            @MRGTX your inbox is full, can I get details on them sweet wools??
             
          • MRGTX

            MRGTX Well-Known Member

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            Joe,
            I cleared up some space.
            Fire away!
             
          • QuickDart360

            QuickDart360 Well-Known Member

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            Mr GTX on the rear wheels. You have 4.5 backspace. My question is you would be better off with 4.25 or even 4.00 backspace to clear inner wheel well? I too own a dart sport and am curious to know. Mine has an 8.25 rear.
             
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            • 1975abody

              1975abody Well-Known Member

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              What brand and model of Minilite style wheels are those?

              Very nice stance also.
               
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              • MRGTX

                MRGTX Well-Known Member

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                They're Rota RKR and they're initially pretty cheap, relatively light weight wheels but I'll level with you: there's no cheap way to get the Minilite look on an A-Body. I picked the RKRs because I liked the look and the matte "magnesium black" finish. I thought it was a classic look but not a straight up copy of what other folks have done...so I went for it. I had to spend a chunk of extra cash sending a pair off to Weldcraft to have them narrowed to 15x7 (because they weren't offered) and they're still not ideal specs as the +10 offset still gets them a bit too close to the fenders which limits your tire size a bit...but at least they don't hit the control arms.

                If this is a look that you want to go for, the current "best bet" would be Superlites from Trans Am Race Engineering. They're offered through Summit, etc. for around $200 each but their 15x7s that you'll need to run on the front just do not look right to my eye. They almost look like hubcaps. The RKRs had he right depth (in my personal opinion). Wheel aesthetics are highly subjective so try to check them out in person if you can.

                Thanks to @72bluNblu your 8.25" axle should measure 56.75" which means that you'll actually be a little more than 1/3" closer to the inner fenders/springs than I am with the 8 3/4. So you might want to look for something with a -10mm offset (~4.85" backspace???) to put them in the same spot as mine. Are these ideal? I don't think so. I think folks would suggest spring offset shackles/rolling fender lips to get 275+ back there.

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