Hotchkis Sport Suspension Leaf Springs

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. 72Duster440

    72Duster440 Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody here run these springs on a Duster? I am looking at replacing all of my spring bushings over the winter and debating on just getting new springs. Mine are currently a hodge podge of B body SS springs with some leafs removed, so I do not know how the ride height would compare to stock.

    If someone has them, could you take a measurement from the center of the wheel to the wheel well directly above the axle? They claim they lower the ride height 1", but I have no idea where mine currently is and do not want to go any lower.

    https://www.hotchkis.net/product/19...cted-leaf-springs/?mk=43&yr=1972&md=363&sm=20
     
  2. devilchicken

    devilchicken FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I have this kit on my 71 Scamp so I cant help you with the fender well measurements but I can tell you they did lower the rear. The lowering of this kit is accomplished with the supplied front spring hanger so I would imagine that you could get this kit and use your stock front spring hangars. The Hotchkis kit uses a 1/2 inch bolt for the front spring mount to spring, so if the stock spring hangar uses a 1/2 bolt you should be good
     
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    • 72Duster440

      72Duster440 Well-Known Member

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      Thanks for that info. My car is mini tubbed and the front hangers that were welded in have multiple mounting holes.
      Are you happy with the ride quality of them? My front suspension is all QA1 and I have 1.02 PST bars with the RCD Bilstein shocks all around.
      Would you say the height is comparable to this? I know its hard to tell, that's a 26" tall rear tire on a 17" wheel.

      20200925_204100.jpg
       
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      • Red Stripe

        Red Stripe Well-Known Member

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        It'll will be a bit lower than the car above. Here's a shot of my car with a 25.5" tire. I'm happy with the height and ride quality but I do expect them to sag in the coming years. I had a set on a b body and it sagged another 1.5" over the 7+ years I had them.

        duster side 102.jpg
         
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        • autoxcuda

          autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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          the springs contribute to lowering too. The front and rear spring eyes are a mid-eye design that lowers the rear too.

          The drop front spring hangers were too much for my car. And it was plenty low without them. Lower than 50 year OE springs. Also the pinion angle would have needed a lot of shims to get it right if I used the drop hangers.

          make sure to check pinion angle after you change springs

          my tires are only 24.6” diameter

          copy-of-pict2072-jpg.jpg

          attachment.jpg
           
          Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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          • 72Duster440

            72Duster440 Well-Known Member

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            I like that stance, but I don't think I can pull off that height. Between my headers and oil pan, I think I would be bottoming out all the time. I drag my collectors occasionally as is.

            Any chance you could grab a measurement from the center of the wheel to the wheel well? The top of your rear tire looks just about flush with the wheel well opening, mine has about an inch gap. Any idea how much of a gap you have between the leaf spring and the frame rail, if you were to look at it from the side? Mine is mini tubbed with the springs under the frame rails, but I have a 3" exhaust pipe very tightly packed in there, if I close up that gap any, I would have to redo my exhaust as well.
             
          • Red Stripe

            Red Stripe Well-Known Member

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            There is about a 3/4 inch gap from the tire to the wheel opening on mine. I'm sure with the leaf springs moved in you might run into some issues with the exhaust.

            Here's a couple photos, let me know if that helps.

            wheel opening 1001.jpg wheel opening 1002.jpg wheel opening 1003.jpg
             
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            • autoxcuda

              autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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              23 7/8” in rear to top of wheel lip on my 68 cuda Notchback.

              23 3/8” in front to top of wheel lip.

              I have 24.6” diameter tires. So you will need to add the difference in radius to compare

              hotchkis leafs installed 2010. But with stock front hangers

              also… by digital scales I have 1371 lbs in the rear wheels

              4E7BC7E7-2070-4902-B880-DB21F643964B.jpeg

              33B3983D-FC7B-43ED-B374-715C5F980913.jpeg

              CudaScale1_17_15Sm09.jpg
               
              Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
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              • BergmanAutoCraft

                BergmanAutoCraft FABO Vendor FABO Vendor

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                I tried a set of these a couple years ago on my Dart which is heavier than most 108” wheelbase cars. The results weren’t good. Lots of sag and wrap up. I had to take them off. I’m assuming they have changed them since.
                I’ve had good results with the B/E springs.
                 
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                • racerjoe

                  racerjoe Well-Known Member

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                  I don't have any complaints about the Hotchkis leaf springs. They will mess with your pinion angle, which is challenging to fix. I believe it is mostly due to the rear end yoke being higher than the transmission yoke. I was able to shim my transmission up which helped greatly. It still has a vibration that starts around 90mph, but I'll likely have to to some "massaging" to the floor to get the trans (TKO-500) higher.

                  If you have a problem with your headers bottoming out, these springs aren't for you, unless you plan on replacing them.

                  moparty.jpg
                   
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                  • BergmanAutoCraft

                    BergmanAutoCraft FABO Vendor FABO Vendor

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                    That’s not the leaf springs fault. Typically, the TKO fitment is the problem as none of the “perfect fit” kits put the trans angle where it belongs.
                     
                  • 72Duster440

                    72Duster440 Well-Known Member

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                    It looks like my current ride height is the same as Red Stripe's, mine is currently at 26" with a 315/35r17 tire, so I can't see why changing to these would change my driveline angles at all. Unless the part of the spring the axle rides on isn't flat like my current springs. Autoxcuda is a good bit lower, I would be in trouble if it rode that low, but I assume it's because it's a different shape wheel arch on his car.
                    Axle wrap is a concern too, I have an adjustable snubber, but running out of room to lower it and not have it smash into the body over rough roads, which most Michigan roads are.

                    Thanks guys.
                     
                  • 72Duster440

                    72Duster440 Well-Known Member

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                    Any chance either of you guys could snap a good pic of the front mount they come with? My car is mini tubbed, so I wouldn't be using their front mount, I'm wondering how the vertical hole location compares to mine.

                    Also, if you have a few kids or an adult sit in the back, does the rear sag a decent amount? I know they are softer springs, and I usually have 2 kids and car seats back there, about 130-140lbs total. I'm leaning towards these not being the best springs for my application.
                     
                  • racerjoe

                    racerjoe Well-Known Member

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                    Thanks for reassuring my thoughts on this. I was going crazy shimming my rear end trying to get it right. After drawing my angles out on paper I figured the only way to fix it was to raise the transmission. Unfortunately, I can't get it any higher with shims.
                     
                  • BergmanAutoCraft

                    BergmanAutoCraft FABO Vendor FABO Vendor

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                    Thats usually the problem which is why I can bs on the "perfect fit" nonsense.
                     
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                    • autoxcuda

                      autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                      Hotchkis hanger on left
                      Stock on right.

                      Notice the bolt hole is much higher. Changing just that and nothing else will change pinion angle.

                      upload_2021-9-23_10-9-40.jpeg

                      Other pics for reference. Notice Mid-eye design front and rear.

                      upload_2021-9-23_10-10-44.jpeg

                      upload_2021-9-23_10-10-59.jpeg

                      upload_2021-9-23_10-11-21.jpeg
                       
                      Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
                    • 72Duster440

                      72Duster440 Well-Known Member

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                      oh wow, awesome, thanks for the pics! that helps greatly
                       
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                      • autoxcuda

                        autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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                        I’ll see if I can get a picture with measurement of Bottom of K-member to ground.

                        my car is really low. I have to really be careful with parking lot speed bumps. I have TTI full length 1 3/4? headers and Milodon Road Race oil pan.

                        The smaller diameter tires hurt the ground clearance. Notice my front top of wheel lip measurement is a little higher than rear. I did that for clearance. At first I had the from lip matched to the rear and it was even too low for me. So I just cheated it up a little.
                         
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                        • leechris81

                          leechris81 Well-Known Member

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                          I have a Swinger with the Hotchkiss so I can’t help with your tire size questions. However, I’ve had my 8 year old and a grown-ass-man in my back seat and had no issues. Had to be at least 230 lbs on the conservative side. Couldn’t tell that it changed at all. IMO, quality shocks make these springs.
                           
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