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  • fiberglass rear springs

    has anyone used fiberglass rear springs on their studebaker? stan gundry talks about them in his excellent book dealing with avanti. at the time of printing, they were available from a company called flex-a-form in anderson, s.c. their web-site is down and i'll try and call them tomorrow, but i was more interested in any experience any of you might have had. thanks
    gfperry

  • #2
    I have the Flex-a-Form springs on my Avanti...no reservations at all recommending them. They take a lot of unsprung weight off the car...nearly 100 pounds. Flex-a-Form is a good company to deal with. I talked to someone there on the phone and he said they have the pattern...just a matter of making them. They were delivered in the time he said and they fit perfectly.

    If theres any negatives at all, it's that they take weight out of the car on the wrong end...the rear when there's already a heavy forward weight bias, especially in an Avanti. I don't consider it a problem, but it does help in breaking the rear tires loose easier if you want. It just took some getting used to feathering the throttle to keep from smoking the tires, but I also have a more powerful engine installed as well.

    Again...no hesitation in recommending them.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    • #3
      The web page comes up just fine
      http://www.flex-form.com/Default.asp

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      • #4
        thanks for the info. i called them and talked with the owner. readily available. should improve the ride .
        gfperry

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        • #5
          I need a set for my Lark. I also may try their flex-trak springs.
          At the moment, my Lark hops like a kangaroo.
          Jamie McLeod
          Hope Mills, NC

          1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
          1958 Commander "Christine"
          1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
          1955 Commander Sedan
          1964 Champ
          1960 Lark

          Comment


          • #6
            Any ideas on cost?
            Jim
            Often in error, never in doubt
            http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

            ____1966 Avanti II RQA 0088_______________1963 Avanti R2 63R3152____________http://rabidsnailracing.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              Interesting, never heard of fiberglass springs!! I am restoring my '57 Golden Hawk, and was looking at the springs. How do you know if the originals are "tired" or not? Are there any dimensions for unsprung height or something to reference?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bsrosell View Post
                Interesting, never heard of fiberglass springs!! I am restoring my '57 Golden Hawk, and was looking at the springs. How do you know if the originals are "tired" or not? Are there any dimensions for unsprung height or something to reference?
                Keep in mind that Studebakers up to '57 (I believe at least 53-57 are the same) use a different spring than 58-66. Rear springs, mounts, etc. changed to asymmetric in '58 so the springs that others are discussing in this thread are different from the ones that you would want. That doesn't necessarily mean that your springs can't be made, but it's worth knowing that before you call the mfgr.

                good luck

                nate
                --
                55 Commander Starlight
                http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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                • #9
                  Corvettes have used composite rear springs since about 1980. It was done originally for weight savings and they've also found that the composite springs last longer and give fewer problems in service. Replacement composite springs are also available in numerous spring rates for different purposes...racing, better handing, better ride, etc. All done during the molding process rather than adding or subtracting steel leaves of various tensions.

                  I bought the composite springs for my Avanti four years ago...cost was about $400 if I remember...that was about $30 more than new steel springs from Eaton, and that difference was more than made up for by reduced shipping costs...two eight pound springs compared to two 45-50 pound units. I did check with an auto spring shop which quoted me somewhat over $200 to rebuild my original springs. I considered the options and costs and benefits and went with the composite springs (weight savings was a big plus), and sold my original leaf springs on Ebay.

                  As far as determining if your current leaf springs need replacing, does your car sit level front and rear? Of course, your front coils and rear leafs could be equally sagging, so it hard to tell if you don't have specs for ground clearance...maybe someone here can guide you on that. Are any leaves broken? Do the springs have any arch left to them or are they sagging with an upward curve? What condition are the bushings, bolts and attachments?

                  Remember, your leaf springs are over fifty years old, so take that into account...metal fatigue could be an issue. Of course, they could be just fine as well.
                  Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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                  • #10
                    i just ordered a pair for my '64 avanti from flex-form. mark is very good to deal with. he tells me they have sold many sets for the avanti, and can give you spring rate choices. in my case, i am looking for the best possible ride. cost was $425.00 plus $7.50, delivered from s. carolina to my door in vermont.
                    gfperry

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                    • #11
                      I know my Lark springs are worn out. I can put a screwdriverin the trunk and the rear of the car drops a couple of inches.
                      Jamie McLeod
                      Hope Mills, NC

                      1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
                      1958 Commander "Christine"
                      1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
                      1955 Commander Sedan
                      1964 Champ
                      1960 Lark

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                      • #12
                        Since the Avanti frames were originally Lark frames, would the spring measurements be the same for my Lark? (63 2-door sedan)
                        Jamie McLeod
                        Hope Mills, NC

                        1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
                        1958 Commander "Christine"
                        1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
                        1955 Commander Sedan
                        1964 Champ
                        1960 Lark

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          yup, just pick your spring rate and you're good to go. All 53-57 are the same and all 58-64 are the same dimensionally (but not the same as each other.)

                          nate
                          --
                          55 Commander Starlight
                          http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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                          • #14
                            Thanks Nate!!
                            Jamie McLeod
                            Hope Mills, NC

                            1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
                            1958 Commander "Christine"
                            1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
                            1955 Commander Sedan
                            1964 Champ
                            1960 Lark

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              FWIW, I've got a set of fiberglass rear springs for '53-57 cars. These were made by Vette Brakes and Products. They are slightly stiffer than the stock springs. They improve the ride and handling, stop wheel hop and get the rear end back up where it belongs. I'll ship them anywhere in the US for $400.

                              jack vines
                              PackardV8

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