Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's a quick rundown. I was in the process of rebuilding my front end with all new bushing and inner and outer tierods disc conversion. While I was doing that i wanted a stiffer front (new springs) I wanted to buy or make some roller spring perches and add some better shocks. 100 a piece for shocks,100 for new springs and 40-200 for roller perches. Had to be a better option so I started looking at coilovers and the cheapest I found was 600. I know QA1 coilovers are cheap and work well from my experience so I measured shock compressed and extended length, and also spring diameter. Then I started looking through QA1 website and found QA1 501C for 70-'81 Canaro/Firebird. So to not drag it out anymore I paid 400 got rid of the perches and have adjustable ride height and shock valving . Here is the pics of the install. Any questions about anything just ask




This is the shaft/mount that was originally in the spring perch. The shocks poly bushing is for 3/4 and the perch mount is 7/8. I had access to a machine shop and turn the shaft down to 3/4" about 2/3 across the mount and then machined in a groove for a snap ring. QA1 make a T-bar that is 5" instead of 3" that comes in the kit but i never measured the distance between mounting holes on the upper A-arm. Another option would be to drill out the bushing to 7/8


The shocks poly bushing allows the mount to spin freely by hand so no binding from the solid rubber mount of the original perch
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,935 Posts
Very clean! Did you make that bottom piece that replaces the perch? Also, what allows it to pivot, is it a spherical bearing on the bottom of the shock or a rubber bushing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Very clean! Did you make that bottom piece that replaces the perch? Also, what allows it to pivot, is it a spherical bearing on the bottom of the shock or a rubber bushing?
I updated my post to explain it
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Great idea! What spring rate did you use? Is your car small block or big block?
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Great idea! What spring rate did you use? Is your car small block or big block?
Thanks
After a lot of searching I ended up going with 450. After reading about 620 (true rate 550 or so) and about the stock springs I went in the middle
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,867 Posts
It is a great idea! And did you do anything to modify the upper shock mounting mount to take the added stress? I would think it require something?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It is a great idea! And did you do anything to modify the upper shock mounting mount to take the added stress? I would think it require something?

These aren't a "true" coilover so the weight of the vehicle still rides on the spring bucket and not the shock stem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Great work researching the dimensions and making it fit! I would love to do this on my 63.

how long are your shocks? compressed and extended? Also the inner diameter of the coil springs
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
69 Posts
Extended -16.1 inches

Compressed - 10.34 inches

Inner diameter - 4.5 - 4.625 inches.
Looks like the extended length of the QA1 GM 501C is 15", so a bit shorter travel. That should not be an issue. But the inner diameter of the coil spring is 4.1". Might need to make a plate at the top to make sure it has a good seat and center it. A 1/2" to 1" piece of 4" OD pipe should center it on the plate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Looks like the extended length of the QA1 GM 501C is 15", so a bit shorter travel. That should not be an issue. But the inner diameter of the coil spring is 4.1". Might need to make a plate at the top to make sure it has a good seat and center it. A 1/2" to 1" piece of 4" OD pipe should center it on the plate.
Yeah you're not going to miss 1" of down travel. Check the diameter of the stock bucket. You may not need the pipe
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
So I installed the QA1 shocks and springs on my 67. I think c91X deserves a round of applause for coming up with this!
I followed his instructions with a couple of minor changes.

#1 the bolts that hold the shaft and spring perch to the upper control arm are serrated like a wheel stud so they have to be pressed or hammered out. Spent 15 minutes trying to remove them...duh. I used the bolts that were supplied in the shock kits for the new install.
#2 On the shaft going through the shock eyelet I cut 2 snap ring grooves instead of using a shoulder on one side like c91X did. I like the shoulder idea better.
#3 used the old rubber spring pads at the top of the springs to try and reduce the noise.
#4 I used a 400# spring as my car has a small block, fiberglass hood, battery is in the trunk, aluminum top end on the engine and I don't have any a/c, p/s or p/b.

From start to finish it took about 5 hours including machine work. Not too bad.

What do I think about the change? It's great! Of course my old shocks were junk and the previous owner used a torch to heat the front springs to adjust the ride height. My car rides much smoother and doesn't clunk from the harsh ride of heated coil springs. I started off with the ride height 2 1/2 inches lower on each side but it was a little too low (see first picture of car). I ended up setting it 1 inch lower than before the conversion, seems to be just right in my opinion (see second picture of car).

What would I change? Probably would drill the polyurethane bushing out on the shock eyelet and use the 7/8 diameter shaft mount, still would have to cut grooves for larger snap rings. So it's works fine either way.

In conclusion it's a good upgrade for shocks and springs on the front of these cars and may work on Mustangs, Falcons etc.

Thanks again to c91X
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,935 Posts
Any noise from the bottom of the shock? Seems like some compression would be needed on the bottom bushing or it will move around and wear out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So I installed the QA1 shocks and springs on my 67. I think c91X deserves a round of applause for coming up with this!
I followed his instructions with a couple of minor changes.

#1 the bolts that hold the shaft and spring perch to the upper control arm are serrated like a wheel stud so they have to be pressed or hammered out. Spent 15 minutes trying to remove them...duh. I used the bolts that were supplied in the shock kits for the new install.
#2 On the shaft going through the shock eyelet I cut 2 snap ring grooves instead of using a shoulder on one side like c91X did. I like the shoulder idea better.
#3 used the old rubber spring pads at the top of the springs to try and reduce the noise.
#4 I used a 400# spring as my car has a small block, fiberglass hood, battery is in the trunk, aluminum top end on the engine and I don't have any a/c, p/s or p/b.

From start to finish it took about 5 hours including machine work. Not too bad.

What do I think about the change? It's great! Of course my old shocks were junk and the previous owner used a torch to heat the front springs to adjust the ride height. My car rides much smoother and doesn't clunk from the harsh ride of heated coil springs. I started off with the ride height 2 1/2 inches lower on each side but it was a little too low (see first picture of car). I ended up setting it 1 inch lower than before the conversion, seems to be just right in my opinion (see second picture of car).

What would I change? Probably would drill the polyurethane bushing out on the shock eyelet and use the 7/8 diameter shaft mount, still would have to cut grooves for larger snap rings. So it's works fine either way.

In conclusion it's a good upgrade for shocks and springs on the front of these cars and may work on Mustangs, Falcons etc.

Thanks again to c91X

Glad some of my information was useful. I've got 1300 miles on mine since finishing them and have had no problems. The coilovers along with the 4R70W swap I did have made this car so much more enjoyable to drive. Your car looks great btw
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Any noise from the bottom of the shock? Seems like some compression would be needed on the bottom bushing or it will move around and wear out.
Are you asking if the shock moves back and forth on the mount? If so thats what the snap rings are for. My front end doesn't make any noise and the shocks haven't moved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Hi.
Im new to this forum, this was a great tip.
I guess these parts would work on my mercury comet 1967, am I right?
Where is the best place to buy these parts?
I will need to have them shipped to sweden.
Thanks.
/Mikael
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,935 Posts
Are you asking if the shock moves back and forth on the mount? If so thats what the snap rings are for. My front end doesn't make any noise and the shocks haven't moved.
Cool thanks, that's what I was asking. Most lower shock bushings are designed to be compressed a bit and usually have a steel core to limit bushing compression and allow you to tighten the bolt.

I was concerned the rubber may be able to walk around, but I'd guess the shock is designed for it looking at their standard lower cross bar
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
104 Posts
Hi.
Im new to this forum, this was a great tip.
I guess these parts would work on my mercury comet 1967, am I right?
Where is the best place to buy these parts?
I will need to have them shipped to sweden.
Thanks.
/Mikael
Mikael, Yes the 67 Comet is the same as a Fairlane of the same year. I purchased mine from Summit Racing.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hal-gs501-10400c

You will want to chose your spring rate based on how your car is equipped and what you use it for. Big block or Autocrossing/Road racing will require a stiffer spring than what I used.
Good luck, Kelly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Mikael, Yes the 67 Comet is the same as a Fairlane of the same year. I purchased mine from Summit Racing.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hal-gs501-10400c

You will want to chose your spring rate based on how your car is equipped and what you use it for. Big block or Autocrossing/Road racing will require a stiffer spring than what I used.
Good luck, Kelly
Thanks alot.
I got a 347 stroker with aluminium heads.
Previous owner had installed new shocks and replaced all bushings. But I think the suspension is way soft.
I just want better handling in the turns, lots of small roads here around.
Been looking for some bigger swaybars also, but maybe I should start with the shocks.

//Mikael
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top