hotchkis 3 leafs really a direct replacement for monos? - Team Camaro Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions, Steering & Handling

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 02, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: rockville, MD USA
Posts: 23
Post

OK, I have waded thru nearly all of the relevant threads that popped up in response to a couple of different search phrases and I am still not 100% sure about what I want to do.

I have a 68 with stock monoleafs and I am strongly leaning towards replacing them with the hotchkis 3 leaf kit (#2407C). I have decided to do the work myself to save money, but I really don't want to drill anything or add any pieces of metal or whatever to get new springs to fit; I have read about all of these things and more being done when going from monos to multis. (NOTE: I am forwarned about the clip problem and the other potential un-install issues - that's why it would be nice to not have install issues)

Is the hotchkis kit really a direct replacement without needing any mods to the mono perches or the front/rear mounting points?

I have seen conflicting information on this forum and would really appreciate if someone that has done this would reply with their experience
nasadude is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 02, 06:23 PM
Senior Tech
John
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,099
Post

not pertaining to the Hotchkis pieces themselves, but you mentioned problems with the front clips during removal. Several of mine had broken (that is, rust had separated the nut from the frame clip part that holds it securely). This caused the nut to spin freely as I tried to tighten down the bolts. Might want to just replace them... they are cheap and not hard to install.

That is, taking it apart was no problem, but putting it back together was without the new frame clip nuts.

[This message has been edited by boodlefoof (edited 01-12-2002).]
boodlefoof is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 02, 11:09 PM
Rich253
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I replaced the mono's in my 67 with so called direct replacement 3 leafs. As far as I'm concerned it is not a direct replacement. Crawl under your car and take a look at your spring perches. Notice that they wrap completely around the sides of the mono spring's so that the sides of the bottom perch is contacting and tightening up againts the sides of the top perch. Now imagine a three-leaf spring in there. The sides of the perches are no longer going to contact each other because of the extra thickness of the three-leaf. There is going to be a gap and when I started to torque the bolts, it seemed to me the perches were bending. I made spacers for mine to fill the gap, but I think a lot of guys just tigthen them down and let it go at that.
As far as mods to the front or rear mounting points, it was a direct swap in that regard.
Rich

[This message has been edited by Rich253 (edited 01-13-2002).]
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 04:04 AM
Senior Tech
Scott
 
choptop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,988
Post

The answer to your question is no. There is some modification you must do to make the setup work properly. This is a "conversion" kit, not direct replacement. The conversion, however, is not difficult and will be relatively minor with the right parts and a little elbow grease(you can use regular U bolts instead of the Hotchkis supplied 5/8" bolts- thus no drilling. I would buy multileaf shock plates though). I installed mine with a buddy helping me in an afternoon (including trips to the harware store etc. for tools).

This is really not too hard, just take your time and it will work out just fine. You will like the results !

------------------
See my '68 RS/ZZ4 at http://www.100megsfree.com/choptop/camaro.html
choptop is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: rockville, MD USA
Posts: 23
Post

Rich253 said: "I made spacers for mine to fill the gap..."

I think I read on another thread that someone didn't use one of the perch pads, but this doesn't seem like the best thing to do. Did you put the spacers between the spring and the pad or between the pad and the mount? Would it matter?

choptop said: "...you can use regular U bolts instead of the Hotchkis supplied 5/8" bolts- thus no drilling. I would buy multileaf shock plates though."

Are the u bolts supplied in the hotchkis kit not dimensioned correctly for a mono perch?

As for the shocks, I have gotten this much from the threads: the lower mounting point on a mono shock plate is different from a multi shock plate. It also seems that a multi shock is longer but I thought it was because of the different shock plate geometry (mounting point is lower down on multi). So it seems the kind of shock you buy (multi or mono) is dictated by the shock plate you have, not the springs. What is the reason the shock plates are different?
nasadude is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 09:20 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Columbia, MO USA
Posts: 21,341
Smile

GM just changed to a single through bolt from a double bent plate shock arrangement, thats all, plus staggered the shocks later to hold hop to a minimum! Use plates that point the same as stock '67 so the shocks will set right. You will need two of the side from a '68 or later car that sets them this way! I hope I don't have this backwards??? pdq67



pdq67 is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 09:22 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Columbia, MO USA
Posts: 21,341
Smile

Sorry, back again. I had to trim the poly pads because the springs are tooo wide in the middle to fit right. No big deal, but don't cut yourself if you use a box-knife to hand trim the pads . pdq67



pdq67 is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 09:35 AM
Rich253
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nasadude:

I think I read on another thread that someone didn't use one of the perch pads, but this doesn't seem like the best thing to do. Did you put the spacers between the spring and the pad or between the pad and the mount? Would it matter?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nasadude,
I think you have the wrong idea about the spacers. Once you have the 3-leaf in the upper perch you will begin to bolt on the bottom perch. The leaf spring and rubber pads will all be sandwiched tightly between the upper and lower perch. There will be no need for a spacer because everything will be compressed tightly together when you torque the bolts holding it all together. The place where I made spacers was on the sides of the perches. These sides used to contact each other with the mono leaf in there, but the extra 2 leafs that you will be putting in there will prevent them from doing so. Like I said before, I think most guys just torque them down tight and just run them as is. Maybe that's all that's needed but I decided to make something to give a little extra support.
Picture two flat pieces of plate steel sandwiched around a leaf spring. Then imagine putting four bolts at the corners thru the plates to hold it all together. If the plates weren't strong enough, they would bend in toward each other as you applied torque to the bolts. You could prevent them from bending if you put some spacers around the bolts between the two steel plates. This was the concept of the perches with the mono's installed, that is, the sides of the perchs bottomed out against each other so the perches would not bend. When you install a spring that has two extra leafs, that added height, will prevent the wrap- around sides of the perches from reaching each other because they were designed to only reach around a single leaf, not 3. Now I'm not saying that the perches aren't strong enough to hold up on their own, I really don't know for sure, it was just my preference to support them with my homemade spacers.
Rich

[This message has been edited by Rich253 (edited 01-13-2002).]
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 09:49 AM
Senior Tech
Scott
 
choptop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,988
Post

No, the supplied Hotchkis U bolts are too large in diameter for the mono perches. If you want to use the Hotchkis bolts you will have to drill out the perches and plates with a 5/8" bit. I did this to mine...the perches drilled easily- the multileaf shock plates however were tough (slow going). Since installation I have been told the 5/8" parts are overkill. Save yourself some time, go to the parts store and get the regular size U bolts (3/8" or 1/4"?). Take the old T bolt with you for comparison. Make sure the new bolts are long enough though!

The main difference in shock plates is the mounting point for the shock (lower on multis) and the thickness of the plate. Multileaf plates wont bend (easily) as the monoleaf plates will when you tighten the u bolts. I used multileaf shocks and included both spring pads (upper/ lower) on my install. So far so good. pdq67 is right, be careful trimming the pads. I used a belt sander to grind down the edges on mine.

I think i might be adding a lowering block (1/2 aluminum stock I cut/ drilled to fit) since the rear seems a little high to me.

Good luck!

------------------
See my '68 RS/ZZ4 at http://www.100megsfree.com/choptop/camaro.html

[This message has been edited by choptop (edited 01-13-2002).]
choptop is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: rockville, MD USA
Posts: 23
Post

Rich253 - I understand what you are saying now.

All in all, it doesn't sound like that big a deal to make this work, so I'm about 90% sure I'll go for it and do it myself.

Thanks to everyone for their input.
nasadude is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 11:24 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Columbia, MO USA
Posts: 21,341
Smile

My multi spring stock '68 Firebird U-bolts are 1/2" and work fine.

Boy, a 5/8" U-bolt is one big bolt!! He, He!!!, Imho, you would only need one per side. pdq67



pdq67 is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 02:27 PM
Tech Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 87
Post

if you like dumping the clutch at all,the 5\8 u-bolts would be a nice upgrade. i snapped a 1\2 u-bolt on the driver side once.the tire went back and stopped up against the wheelwell.lucky it didn,t ruin the quarter.
figmandz302 is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 02, 03:07 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Columbia, MO USA
Posts: 21,341
Smile

Thx, I wouldn't a thought so. Of course, I installed two U-bolts per side. pdq67



pdq67 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome