Rear ride height without air shocks.

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. 72valiant

    72valiant Well-Known Member

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    My '66 Barracuda has had air shocks lifting the rear since I bought her. I've never been a big fan of air shocks but the car was running fine so I didn't worry too much about them. Yesterday I noticed the car was sitting at about stock level ride height. I tried to put some air in the shocks but I can hear it hissing and it immediately starts falling back down to stock level.

    I'll post some pics of before and after the air shocks went bad.

    I need some info (I'm a bit of a novice) on what my alternatives are in getting the ride height back like it was with the air shocks but without the air shocks. I contacted Espo and they can do leaf springs that are a +1 or a +2. I can't tell from the pics if a +2 is going to be to high or if a +1 will be lower than I want. Has anyone used a 5 leaf spring with the +2 inch option? Does it get the rear height at about where mine was? DSC_0603.JPG DSC_2567.JPG
     
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    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      It looks like about a 2" difference. Now if the sprAngs are worn and sagging from stock, that 2" + spring may raise it too high.
       
    • 72valiant

      72valiant Well-Known Member

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      My springs seem to still be good. They have a nice arch to them. DSC_2572.JPG
       
    • RustyRatRod

      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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      Then leave it like it is and put regular shocks on it.
       
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      • 72valiant

        72valiant Well-Known Member

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        I may have to do that for the time being. Espo has a 4 to 6 week wait before they can ship the springs out if I get them.
         
      • 65Val

        65Val Average Length Member

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        New set of air shocks... Under $100...probably in stock at your local parts store.
         
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        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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          Oh so you want it higher. OK. Just fix the air shocks. An air line probably got onto an exhaust pipe. Get under and actually look at something and you can figure it out.
           
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          • MoparLeo

            MoparLeo NRA BENEFACTOR LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FABO Gold Member

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            Just install a good set of regular type shocks. Probably won't hurt to do the fronts as well if it has been this long since they were done.
            Only air shocks will change the height.
             
          • Syleng1

            Syleng1 Karma is real and Life is short... FABO Gold Member

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            AND the ride quality. Air shocks are cool for that 70’s “ass in the air” effect but they stiffen the suspension pretty hard.
             
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            • chrgdrt

              chrgdrt Well-Known Member

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              Looks like +2. If you want to get rid of the air shocks I’d go +2 and if it raises it too much you can either flip the front hanger or put a lowering block btw the spring and axle.

              btw to me the stance looks better in the second pic.. Jmho.
               
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              • CFD244

                CFD244 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                Get your springs re-arched?
                 
              • 72valiant

                72valiant Well-Known Member

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                Can anyone recommend a good pair of air shocks if I decide to go that route?
                 
              • 65Val

                65Val Average Length Member

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                Monroe or Gabriel.
                 
              • RustyRatRod

                RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                I agree but only if you get stupid with the pressure. Up to about 50 PSI, they ride really good and raise the car a nice amount.
                 
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                • toolmanmike

                  toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                  I used to run Hi Jackers back in the 70's. I grew up and like the ride of new springs better. I put a pair from Espo on my 66 Dart. I even screwed up and ordered the wrong ones. (stock height but 5 leaf instead of 6) With some 70 series 15" tires I get the look and the smooth ride without messing with leaky air shocks.

                  10-18-19d.jpg

                  10-18-19c.jpg
                   
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                  • cudamark

                    cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    I like your 2nd photo better than the 1st. I'm not a fan of air shocks myself. If you want more of the stink bug look, I'd either get some new springs with whatever height you seek, add a helper spring, or put on some coil-over shocks. Keep in mind that some coil-overs have too big a diameter spring that will rub on the fuel tank. You may have to look at a few first to get ones that fit right without rubbing anything.
                     
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                    • RustyRatRod

                      RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                      I do too! It looks a lot better to me sitting stock.
                       
                    • toolmanmike

                      toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I had the old clamp on helpers on my first Dart back in about 1970. I bounced over some rough railroad tracks at 60 mph and lost the tank. Damn overload coils grabbed the lip of the tank and peeled it out from under the car.
                       
                    • MoparLeo

                      MoparLeo NRA BENEFACTOR LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FABO Gold Member

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                      Take a good look at the upper shock mounts. Check for bent/damaged areas.
                      They were never intended to support weight, only to hold the top of the shock and take the gradual loading of compression cycles.
                       
                    • cudamark

                      cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Always a good idea regardless of which shocks you use.
                       
                    • 72valiant

                      72valiant Well-Known Member

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                      I'm torn over what to do. It looks nice at stock level but I also like the raised rear end look too. The easiest option would be to just fix the air shocks. But I think I would be happier with standard shocks and have the leaf springs adjusted to give the rear a boost. If I put standard shocks on and drive it some I may wind up liking the rear at stock level and just leave it like that. I'm gonna put a lot of thought into it this weekend and hopefully figure something out.
                       
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                      • cudamark

                        cudamark FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Whichever route you take, I would have the front end alignment checked too. It can change with ride height changes.
                         
                      • 72valiant

                        72valiant Well-Known Member

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                        Looks like the problem I'm having with the air shocks comes from the driver side hose getting to close to the exhaust pipe. The pipe burnt a small hole into the hose. The shocks are a pair of Gabriel HiJackers part number 729706. Does anyone know of a place to get a replacement hose? I'm digging around the internet but there's a lot of different part numbers I'm seeing and I'm not sure which is compatible. Thanks.
                         
                      • RustyRatRod

                        RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                        Leaf springs are not adjustable. They can be rearched, but they never last as long as originals.
                         
                      • RustyRatRod

                        RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                        Your internet skills are lacking.

                        Gabriel Air shock hose kit with the single fill valve option #500483 | eBay
                         
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