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Rear ride height on 59 hawk

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  • Frame / Springs: Rear ride height on 59 hawk

    I think the 59 hawk we have may sit a little low in the rear. Especially with passengers in the rear seat. Most of the pictures I have seen the rocker appears to be nearly parallel with the road. Our's is not. How is the correct way to correct this? I don't want a rough ride from addition of another leaf. Has anyone had good long lasting results with "spring re-arching"??

  • #2
    Spring sag is the natural order of things. Entropy never sleeps.

    Yes, spring re-arching helps. No, it doesn't last indefinitely. The more load carried, the sooner it sags again.

    New springs from Eaton will last longer than most of us will be driving our Studes.

    Yes, pretty soon someone is going to suggest air shocks which can be increased in pressure when rear seat passengers are carried. It solves the problem, maybe. The downside is the rear crossmember to which the top of the shocks mount wasn't designed to be load-carrying. Seen more than one fail when used with air shocks or spring-type load levelers.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RDWEAVER View Post
      I think the 59 hawk we have may sit a little low in the rear. Especially with passengers in the rear seat. Most of the pictures I have seen the rocker appears to be nearly parallel with the road. Our's is not. How is the correct way to correct this? I don't want a rough ride from addition of another leaf. Has anyone had good long lasting results with "spring re-arching"??
      If you get your springs re-arched be sure to go to a shop that has a furnace. If the springs are not heated to a certain temperature the re-arching will not last very long at all. Many spring shop use a big press to re-bend the springs, this method is a waste of money. Springs are made of spring steel and require high heat to reset the spring arch.
      One alternative is to install over load shocks, you know, the ones with an external spring. This will give you an inch or two of lift and if you buy the shocks at Orielly's or other similar store you can get a lifetime warantee. . Another option is to buy a single spring from a spring shop long enough to reach the ends of the original top leaf. Spring shops sell individual springs just about any length and width. This is what I'm going to do to my Silver '59 Hawk.
      Good Luck,
      Treblig

      Comment


      • #4
        They used to make bolt on springs that were a half leaf long. I put some on the sagging rear of a 52 rambler and it improved the ride height. Over time, it will probably bend the leaves more, but it's working for now. Newer versions are full leaf, but do not require taking the original leaves apart.

        Heliwig is a good company for this type of thing. Here is a picture of something similar.

        http://www.jcwhitney.com/hellwig-ez-.../p3055504.jcwx

        http://www.sdtrucksprings.com/index....oducts_id=1249
        Last edited by RadioRoy; 12-03-2015, 09:17 AM.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Treblig View Post
          If you get your springs re-arched be sure to go to a shop that has a furnace. If the springs are not heated to a certain temperature the re-arching will not last very long at all. Many spring shop use a big press to re-bend the springs, this method is a waste of money. Springs are made of spring steel and require high heat to reset the spring arch.
          One alternative is to install over load shocks, you know, the ones with an external spring. This will give you an inch or two of lift and if you buy the shocks at Orielly's or other similar store you can get a lifetime warantee. . Another option is to buy a single spring from a spring shop long enough to reach the ends of the original top leaf. Spring shops sell individual springs just about any length and width. This is what I'm going to do to my Silver '59 Hawk.
          Good Luck,
          Treblig
          I'm going with single spring option for my 62 GT as well. I am heeding the warnings about using air shocks or spring over load leveling shocks because of the potential for damage at the upper mounts. They weren't designed to carry that much load. I've also been told the full length extra spring will raise the car somewhat but without creating the harsh ride that a shorter stiffer spring might. Anyway, that's what I've been told, for what it is worth!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kato View Post
            I'm going with single spring option for my 62 GT as well. I am heeding the warnings about using air shocks or spring over load leveling shocks because of the potential for damage at the upper mounts. They weren't designed to carry that much load. I've also been told the full length extra spring will raise the car somewhat but without creating the harsh ride that a shorter stiffer spring might. Anyway, that's what I've been told, for what it is worth!
            I'm going the single long spring for the same reason. I don't want to lose the nice soft ride. I just happen to have a used set of 67 Mustang leaf springs. I removed the top spring (the one with the eyes) and cut both ends off so that it just reaches to the ends of the Stude upper spring. I'll drill the 5/16" hole in the correct spot and it should be fine. If it still sags I'll install the next leaf off the Mustang stack (next one shorter). Once I install new spring clamps It should keep the springs from sagging and since the Mustang spring is used it shouldn't be too stiff either.

            PS - Good point about the upper shock mount strength!!!

            Treblig

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all your help. I don't want air shocks and I am afraid coil over or the addition of more springs will change the ride. Anyone want to ballpark guess what new ones may be worth in today's money?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                Spring sag is the natural order of things. Entropy never sleeps.
                Yes, spring re-arching helps. No, it doesn't last indefinitely. The more load carried, the sooner it sags again.
                New springs from Eaton will last longer than most of us will be driving our Studes.
                Yes, pretty soon someone is going to suggest air shocks which can be increased in pressure when rear seat passengers are carried. It solves the problem, maybe. The downside is the rear crossmember to which the top of the shocks mount wasn't designed to be load-carrying. Seen more than one fail when used with air shocks or spring-type load levelers.
                jack vines
                Did you notice a difference in your ride height in the rear? Did it raise up a bit? My 1959 Lark has some considerable sagging after removing the air-shocks and installing the oem style shocks. I used to have some larger tires on the rear so the air-shocks were necessary. I since went to a smaller tire that tucks up into the rear quarter. After I installed the oem style shocks in the rear and I lowered the car back down, the rear really sags. The leaf springs even look straight with no arch in the anymore. I assume it should have a bit of an arch. Mine look parallel to the road with no arch whatsoever. They are 50+ years old now. The overall stance of the car is the rocker panels are not parallel with the road, the rear sits low, almost like a "gasser" style. Also, did the 6cyl cars have lighter springs than the V8 cars? If so, that is also a cause since my car came from factory with a 6cyl and I replaced that rear with a Chevy 7.75" rear, but kept the factory leaf springs. It also has a 259ci V8, which makes no difference, but bottom line, it is now a Lark VIII.

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                • #9
                  On several Studes, I have simply removed the longest leaf from a spare set of springs, and added it. I did that on a 56J many years ago, and it still sits and rides well. The ultimate fix is a new set of springs. The last ones I bought were from Dave T-bow for the wife's 63GT. They fit perfectly, and the car sits and rides well. If buying new, be sure to get the HD version. If buying NOS, the HD versions are all but unobtainium. NOS standard duty springs are fairly common, but I would not install a set if someone gave them to me.

                  I had a bad experience with Eaton Spring Co., and would not buy from them again. To fix what they sent me for the 62GT, I had to add an extra (longest) leaf from the old springs. The self proclaimed expert on the phone insisted they had sent me the right rate springs, but he was FOS. Those springs would bottom out if driven over a horse turd.

                  If cutting an extra main leaf, to length, be sure to allow a few inches on each end. If cut too long, it will butt up against the eyes on the original spring, and effectively lock the suspension up. Also, be sure to taper the ends, or they will eventually cut through the main spring.

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