Shock install trouble What am I missing here? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

I have my 68 up on jack stands on all 4 points ( on the frame ),
I have installed new Eaton rear springs, and am trying to install new rear Bilstein shocks. My problem:
The rear axle and springs are hanging too low to install the shocks, the shock upper rod will not reach the shock mount hole.
I have put 2 floor jacks under the leaf spring mounts ( left and right ) and lifted the car up by the both equally. This just lifts the whole car up higher but does not move the axle up enough.
If I lift one side at a time it will move the axle up closer but I worry that if I connect the shock on one side, when I lift the other side it will force the first side down and may put too much pressure pulling on the shock and damage it.
I have checked and my leafs are not torqued down and the shackles will pivot when I bounce the car.
I have tried sitting the axle tubes on the jack stands but the whole axle assembly just evens out without getting any closer.
Is my weight shift all wrong here? What am I doing wrong?

Thanks
Ray
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 11:19 AM
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

Shackles should be loose. Is the body fitted out, meaning seats, carpets, gas in gas tank, quarterpanels on, etc.? If not enough weight to compress the springs, you could jack it to the moon and never get there.

Rear springs too stiff?
Rear shocks too short?

I would attach the stud first, then the spring plate last.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

Hi Everett#2390

Yes body/interior and engine is complete, Leafs are new , ordered from Eaton springs and ( suppose to be ) rated for the car. I would drop to the ground with tires but I also am installing the drum brake hardware and parking brakes. Right now the parking brake cable will not reach the frame mount because of the distance of the rear dropped down. I checked the number on the shocks and they are listed as for the car.

Ray
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 11:34 AM
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

First make sure the shackle bolts and the front spring eye bushing bolts are loose. These should only be tightened with the full weight of the car on the springs.

Are you using multileaf shock plates? They will place the lower shock mount a little higher than the monoleaf plates. You might also consider shock extenders for upper shock mounts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ray moore
If I lift one side at a time it will move the axle up closer but I worry that if I connect the shock on one side, when I lift the other side it will force the first side down and may put too much pressure pulling on the shock and damage it.
Go ahead and attach them one at a time. It will in no way damage your new shocks.

It is also possible you got the wrong springs and your car is just sitting way to high to connect the shocks.

Steve

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 11:50 AM
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

If you support the car on jackstands somewhere near the spring pockets so the rear suspension hangs freely, the fully extended shocks should be an inch or so short of bolting right up if you have all the right parts in place. Verify that before going any further. From there you should be able to jack up the pumpkin and raise the rear end (loading the suspension) enough to finish installing the shocks.

Just to add to what Steve has said, if you are just changing shocks there is no need to loosen the shakles. If it's a new install of springs don't tighten the shackles until you have the car on the suspension...

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

About an inch short is about right, this is from the end of the shock rod to the hole in the shock mount, These are new leafs. 5 leaf multi which was what the car had in it before. Everything is new, Poly bushings, spring mounts etc. The shackles are bolted in and will move if I rock them. I can take a wrench and turn the bolts so I know they are somewhat free. I did tighten up the front spring perches because I cannot get the head of the bolt when everything is mounted. I can try as suggested and bolt in one shock at a time by lifting each side one at a time.


Thanks
Ray
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 12:11 PM
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

You should have enuff weight with the seats out to drop the car or bring the two connecting points together , unless you got too much springs even if they are new. Could you shocks be incorrectly too short? I do know that if you lift body , the shocks will top out and not allow rear to totally drop out. I got Koni's in place with car on axle jack stands but I have factory 4 leafs and factory curb height.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 12:22 PM
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

Put all the weight back on the axle tubes or the pumkin either one and measure from the center of axle up to the wheel well lip. This sould tell if the springs are not compressing enough. My '67 sets a little low but I'm thinking the measurement is about 15.5 inches. I'm sure someone can chime in with a stock measurement or a quick search would turn it up.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

I'll put the jack stands under the axle tubes and check. I matched up my old shocks with the new and they look the same length. I know that new leaf springs have a settle in time for them to drop a little. When I recieved the springs from Eaton I matched the old and new up side by side and the new was only about 1 inch shorter.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

I think I may know what is going on. I floor jacked the drivers side up by the spring perch enough to bolt the shock up. When I let the jack down onto the stand under the drivers side of the axle tube the car stopped before hitting the jack stand. The car is being supported by 3 stands, two on the front frames by the firewall and one under the passenger axle tube.
The car has a BB 396, I think I have shifted the center gravity point of the car by having the jack stands so much further back than the front wheels. With the weight of the BB so far forward of the pivot point I am not getting enough weight to the back end to do anything. Does this sound right.

Ray
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 06:59 PM
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

Yes, that makes sense. You kinda got a tetter totter going there. Move the front stands forward and you'll probably be okay. Glad you figured it out.

Robert

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 06, 07:09 PM
 
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Smile Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

Gas-assist shocks??

You did cut the heavy plastic straps didn't you??

I realized I had to when I put my new Gas-Adjusts on my car is why I mention it..

None of the old shocks were this way, way back then, so it was new to me!!

He, he!! The first one I cut went up so fast, I missed the hole!! I was a lot quicker on the second one and was ready for it!! It's a drag callapsing them once all the way out to re-insert one....

pdq67



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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 06, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shock install trouble What am I missing here?

Hi PDQ67,

I looked for the straps originally but no straps. I finally did get them installed. It was my weight shift that was causing the problem. I popped the front wheels with wheel stands and THEN I could get the weight on the rear with enough force to push the leafs up.

Thanks to all for the help and suggestions.

Ray
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