Leaf Spring choices? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 17, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Anthony
 
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Leaf Spring choices?

Hello,
I am working on a 69 396 car. This topic has been beat to death but still cant find my answer.
The front end is all fairly new and I went with 2" Hotchkis springs (had to install some Global West spacers to bring the front end up 3/4 of an inch) along with their Fox shocks on all 4 corners. Plus their sway bar and I bolted on sub frame connectors. Now its time to address the rear leaf springs which is the only untouched piece of the suspension. They don't look bad but the car "really" sinks down in the rear when I nail it. This is where I am confused. Right now the ride height of the car is dead on IMO.
Front: From ground to wheel well lip is 24 3/4, center of hub to lip is 13".
Rear: From ground to wheel well lip is 25", center of hub to lip is 12.5".
Front Tires: 215/65/15 26" tall
Rear Tires: 255/60/15 27" tall

So my million dollar question is, what leaf springs do I buy to maintain the ride height I have? Also, do not want springs that are so stiff that my teeth chatter. Would like to stay away from spacers in the rear if I can.
I really like the Hotchkis stuff. I called them and the guy said to use their 1.5" lowering springs and it would be dead on. But after lots of reading I am questioning this. I want to avoid doing this swap twice if possible.
*Keep in mind I did use spacers on the 2" lowering front springs to get up about 3/4 of an inch because it was scraping a header and it just didn't look right.

Does anyone have a similar set up that can lead me in the right direction?

WAC

TX
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 17, 03:48 PM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

Im paying close attention to your post Anthony. Im in the same boat. I actually had 255/60/15” and switched to 255/45/18” which is also 27”. Im 24 3/4” in the front and in the rear 25 3/4” passenger side and 25 1/4” the other. I really don’t want the rear to sit any lower. Ideally it would sit about 26” and just cover the tops of the tires. I spoke with Hotchkiss today also and basically got the same advice on the 1.5” drop springs. But I don’t wanna do it twice also. I live in Ocala Fl and am about a 5 min ride from NPD and they have the Hotchkiss set as well as a variety of OE springs with varying spring rates. I also don’t want the car to ride to stiff. Not sure what to do.

69’ Camaro convt. Metallic grey, Blueprint Engines roller 383 stroker 445hp/465tq. Edelbrock Air Gap intake. Holley Terminator EFI. Hooker stainless headers. Tremec TKO-600 5 speed, 3.55 posi rear, Vintage Air, March Performance, TMI Interiors
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 17, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Anthony
 
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

This is one of those topics that is heavily debated. Maybe someone has already done this and has the ride height we are trying to achieve.

WAC

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69 Camaro SS/RS X22 L78, 4spd, Hugger Orange, Houndstooth Interior
70 Chevelle SS LS5 w/ 77k Original Miles, #'s Matching, Auto, Cowl Hood, Buckets, Tripple Black
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 17, 06:50 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

Without making them look obtrusive, I wish the Hotchkiss shackles were just a little longer and had a few sets of holes for adjustability. Or somehow turnbuckles would be pretty cool. How much of the tops of your rear tires show Anthony?

69’ Camaro convt. Metallic grey, Blueprint Engines roller 383 stroker 445hp/465tq. Edelbrock Air Gap intake. Holley Terminator EFI. Hooker stainless headers. Tremec TKO-600 5 speed, 3.55 posi rear, Vintage Air, March Performance, TMI Interiors

Last edited by JohnnyD; Aug 30th, 17 at 06:52 AM. Reason: Add info
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 17, 08:36 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

Well. It's not a bad thing that the car sinks in the rear when nailed.

You may be able to lessen the effect with a different choice shocks.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 17, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

If I knew how to post a picture I would. But the tread of the tires front and back are just below the chrome fender lips all the way around. BFG's has that line around the side of the tire right below the tread. The car sits right at that line. Sits perfect IMO.

Changing out rear shocks might be a good option but I don't think it will be a enough. I am running 4.10's with a Muncie and this ole L78 will squat back quite a bit when I hit it. Seems to excessive to me, but it hooks up great with all things considered.

WAC

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 01:35 AM
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Arrow Re: Leaf Spring choices?

There are several leaf springs for '69 broken down by coupe/convertible/ Z28... some 4 leaf, some 5. I wonder if a factory Z for example is suppose to sit higher in the back?

69’ Camaro convt. Metallic grey, Blueprint Engines roller 383 stroker 445hp/465tq. Edelbrock Air Gap intake. Holley Terminator EFI. Hooker stainless headers. Tremec TKO-600 5 speed, 3.55 posi rear, Vintage Air, March Performance, TMI Interiors
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 02:28 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

I agree....shocks make all the difference

I'm thinking to just save the money and shock swapping, just get a set of DA Vi-king's and dial in your ride ?

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 04:36 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

I could be wrong, but as far as I know, shocks (except air shocks) should not effect the ride height, only the quality of it.

69’ Camaro convt. Metallic grey, Blueprint Engines roller 383 stroker 445hp/465tq. Edelbrock Air Gap intake. Holley Terminator EFI. Hooker stainless headers. Tremec TKO-600 5 speed, 3.55 posi rear, Vintage Air, March Performance, TMI Interiors
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 04:38 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

Just another opinion. My all original 55K is 9" to the bottom of the rocker(this is how the AIM measures the height). With stock 14" wheels and 225/70 tires the top of the wheel well is 25" in both the front and rear. Of the current 69's this is the most comfortable to drive. The other are teeth chattering and you can't drink a coffee! Another close to new stock suspension has air shocks and am very happy with these Monroes that have been on the car for 10 years and several compos of tires and wheels. Ride is good. The third BB with after market suspension and lowered is not a good ride, but looks cool. It rides one inch lower than stock and has "2" lower suspension. . .go figure. I guess these cars were low to begin with and most "stock" springs bring the car higher than stock. The 2 cars with the original springs ride the best and sit the best, the other not the case. Just another perspective in a confusing issue that has been beat to death and each car seems to be different.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 05:54 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
There are several leaf springs for '69 broken down by coupe/convertible/ Z28... some 4 leaf, some 5. I wonder if a factory Z for example is suppose to sit higher in the back?
The factory Z springs sat lower than the rest of the cars, that is why the Z's came with the bumper guards that went above the bumper to meet minimum ride height requirements.

Jeff
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

Its funny, the way my car sits now is the way my Survivor 69 Z sat almost exactly. Its strange how in the aftermarket world that 2" drop spring is dropping these cars 2" from factory. The reality is that these cars sit closer to stock with 2" drop springs. Its very hard to get the correct stance on these cars due to the aftermarket. Most of the restored cars I see sit like 4x4's because they went with "factory aftermarket springs" etc.... Very interesting......

But back to the original topic. I wonder if Z28 springs will keep my rear at 25"? My tires are 27" in the back.
For me its keeping the stance I have now but making it stiffer so when I get on this thing it doesn't look like a gasser taking off

WAC

TX
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 10:35 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

Hey Anthony, so yours is a Z and it sits a bit lower than a regular coupe or vert? Its so confusing what to do. The stock OE spring for a vert is rated at 85. Coupe 89. I don’t want the car to squat to low every time I get on it. Hence I was thinking about the Z spring at 103 rate. Incidentally, the 427 equipped ’69 had a 126 rate springs. I also don’t want it bottoming out over bumps. Then the other even harder to predict, where the rear sits. I like a stance where the back sits a little higher than the front. I don’t want the car level or on top of the tires. So it appears that throws out the Z spring. Ughhhh

69’ Camaro convt. Metallic grey, Blueprint Engines roller 383 stroker 445hp/465tq. Edelbrock Air Gap intake. Holley Terminator EFI. Hooker stainless headers. Tremec TKO-600 5 speed, 3.55 posi rear, Vintage Air, March Performance, TMI Interiors
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 17, 10:39 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

If anyone has the 1.5” Hotchkiss drop springs and can throw up a pic along with the tire sizes that would be awesome!

69’ Camaro convt. Metallic grey, Blueprint Engines roller 383 stroker 445hp/465tq. Edelbrock Air Gap intake. Holley Terminator EFI. Hooker stainless headers. Tremec TKO-600 5 speed, 3.55 posi rear, Vintage Air, March Performance, TMI Interiors
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 17, 04:29 AM
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Re: Leaf Spring choices?

I usually select the next lower spring that is called for. My BB has SB AC springs and sits the same as a 2" drop or stock height as has been discussed. The rear I put 1.5 lowering blocks, as the new leaf had the car sitting too height. Good luck.
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