Low Rider suspensions
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    1. #1

      Low Rider suspensions

      I attack a lot of areas at the same time when I am restoring a car, as I always get road blocked with waiting for parts or tracking down issues. One thing that I knew right away was that I wanted the stance on my ES to be somewhat lower than stock, with perhaps the addition of more wheel/less sidewall on the tires. I know this topic generates a great deal of angst on some old school hot rod and classic car forums, and I dont mean to stir things up (okay maybe just a little), but what are some options out there?

      Pics of various stances and wheels, stock or otherwise please!

      Here is my stock "Before" stance:



      Here is dman27's beautiful ES, lowered with VPD springs and custom valved Bilsteins. Looks like it pulls the stance just down into the wheel wells, and looks better than stock IMO.

      Last edited by jclars; 11-18-2016 at 01:20 PM.

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    3. #2
      Okay, and to let the cat out of the bag, here is an example that might be my target, if I can figure out how to keep the exhaust from scraping off...I think airbags might be the key.

      Does anyone know this car and suspension spec?


    4. #3
      Junior Member 68EFIvert's Avatar
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      I am not sure about that car but if you are looking for a Ridetech Air Pod assembly I have one. I purchased it for a Mustang project I did but didn't end up using it. PM me if you want more info.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Darreld

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    6. #4
      Thanks Darreld - I studied those when I did my truck. They are a quality system for sure. It will come down to fit, as it did for my truck. If you have data sheets on the system, can you e-mail them to me at john@fellerheating.com ?

      John

    7. #5
      Junior Member 68EFIvert's Avatar
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      I sent you the info John. Keep us posted on the build. I would love to see how you end up doing this.
      Darreld

    8. #6
      Hi John,
      regarding the ES you have pictured, there is a bit more reference about owner and suspension spec on the source:
      http://www.superfly-autos.com/featur...-volvo-1800es/
      Regards,
      Phil
      Volvo P1800E Jan/1971 (US-Version now running in Germany)
      http://www.volvo-coupe.de

    9. #7
      John:

      I would be curious as to the distance from the bottom of the pinch-weld to the ground for your car.

      While I am not trying to go much lower, I do see a bit more fiddling around with tire profiles to get the look I want. At a glance, your tire to wheel well is quite similar, but the look is quite different. I might come down another inch at the most, but I hate scraping or worrying about speed-bumps.

      [IMG][/IMG]
      [IMG][/IMG]

    10. #8
      Hi Peter - I first had to look up what a pinch weld was! Currently I have the front up on blocks as I am rebuilding all the brakes, but sitting on my lift is a good level surface and I will measure when brakes are back together.

      That said, I found the front tires to be rotten. Actual chunks falling out of the tread! So I am using some used ones I got from an Australian MGA that travelled the globe and had some good tread left. They are 195/65 (5.07"), so it will be slightly lower profile but much wider than current tires. In the pic, the fronts are 185/70 (5.18" sidewall), while the rears are 165/80 (5.25" sidewall).

      Phil - thanks for the link - Just makes me to go for that look that much more! I need to figure out how he did air bags! Now that I rediscovered the tire stash I mentioned above, the economical side of me says sit pat for now! Dmans car pictured in the post above, sits nice with the spring mods he made. And may be more comfortable than air bags in the end.

      John

    11. #9
      any chance these items would help your project? They are surplus to my needs and headed for the landfill.

      [IMG][/IMG]

    12. #10
      Unfortunately, those pieces are the only "like new" upholstered pieces that came with my car. How about some front buckets? The dash?

      Hey, wait a minute. What are you doing inside that car?!?!?

      And don't give me that purist spiel...

    13. #11
      Going to keep it simple and go for this look.

      [IMG][/IMG]

      The interior decor might be one of the easier parts of this project. The deck takes car of a lot of it. Another large chunk is just Miata carpet and plastic corner pieces for the footwell and behind the seats. I love Miata seats and it so happens they bolt in along with the seat belts and the console.

      The dash is going to be the fun part of the interior. I could have adapted the Miata part to work in its entirety without too much trouble, but that wont work visually for me. (There is that Volvo purist thing again) Instead I am going to build an entirely new dash that will look as close to this picture as possible. ( wood to match the rear deck). I want people to have to take a second look to figure out that something aint right with this car.

      [IMG][/IMG]

      The new dash will have to deal with all the Miata HVAC components and console depth. Instrument and switch selection will also be fun as a lot has moved to the Miata stalk controls. Will be using a thinned out Miata wiring harness to wire the car. Fun times ahead.

      My two goals when done are to try and sneak past the entry gate into the Volvo meet undetected and to convince the people manning the Miata corral gate at the Mitty to let me park in there.

      Pete

    14. #12
      Okay, selective purism.

      Looking like a fun challenge.

      BTW - I mentioned your melding of Miata unibody over on the MGExp site (MGA). Someone asked about putting a Miata "frame" into an MGA.

    15. #13
      Quote Originally Posted by jclars View Post
      Okay, selective purism.

      Looking like a fun challenge.

      BTW - I mentioned your melding of Miata unibody over on the MGExp site (MGA). Someone asked about putting a Miata "frame" into an MGA.
      Something along those lines has been done. Knowing what I know now, I would be tempted to have done the Miata chassis under the MGA skin.

      [IMG][/IMG]

      I actually posted in such a thread on the MG experience MGA board way back in 2011. I cant find the picture off-hand, but the wheels stuck out of the stock MGA wings by about 3" and it was not flattering. (You also posted in that thread)

      http://www.mgexp.com/phorum/read.php?2,1796617

      PS How are you liking the MGA Coupe with the Miata drivetrain? Are you driving it any more than before? I still have the MGB GT, but honestly, the drivetrain just does not inspire me to drive the car.
      Last edited by NOHOME; 11-29-2016 at 10:53 AM.

    16. #14
      Peter - why dont you repeat the above post (Miata/MGA Frame) over at MGExp? I think that is an answer to what the original post was requesting.

      The Miata twin cam with 5 speed made my MGA so much more fun to drive! Doubled the HP. AND it now starts every time and runs smooth from the git go! Plus doing my part in reducing oil deposits on driveways.

      Its my time machine! It made me feel young to drive it before. It makes me feel even younger now!

      John



      Last edited by jclars; 11-29-2016 at 05:55 PM.

    17. #15
      Junior Member sweediron970's Avatar
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      I've been thinking of an air-bag setup for my 71' E also, would be interested in watching a build thread on one. I had my rear diff out Monday and was curious of travel with my 17x7 & 215/50r17 wheel pkg without springs installed. went up till the "pinion bump stop" hit. It tucked the tire 1"-2". With a 35ET wheel it put the rubber almost on the fender lip towards the rear of the arch. If it were "slammed" you would probably have to cut into the floor boards to clearance everything, and run a narrower wheel tire, or different offset. Fronts would be more complicated, needing a tapered bag probably.

      Found this pic randomly the other day, made me drool...just a bit


    18. #16
      Trouble is, like my MGA, you'd have to put in another power plant to make it go as fast as it looks! Nice stock wheel look on that thing! Anyone have any leads on who/where possible car details might be had?

      Swedeiron, Do you have picks of your wheels with stock springs in place?

    19. #17
      Junior Member sweediron970's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by jclars View Post
      Trouble is, like my MGA, you'd have to put in another power plant to make it go as fast as it looks! Nice stock wheel look on that thing! Anyone have any leads on who/where possible car details might be had?

      Swedeiron, Do you have picks of your wheels with stock springs in place?
      the slammed one I just stumbled onto via google images, think it was a pinterest thing(which I hate because I can never track any info). I would love a wheel like that, nice an dished looking. its probably easier if you have the early 5x4.5" bolt pattern.


      The photos I have with the 17x7 wheel is with John from V-perormance's "street" springs. Keep in mind I did engine swap this one, and it sit's probably a half inch lower in the front than it should. I used a tire wheel size calculator to keep the overall diameter of the wheel&tire within half an inch of stock.




    20. #18
      Just to finish this post, I thought I should share the results I ended up with. Wheels are 17"x 7.5" from a Volvo S60. Tires are 205/50/17 which end up matching the stock diameter almost exactly. Springs are 40mm from Classicswede.


    21. #19
      Junior Member 68EFIvert's Avatar
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      That looks great! Nicely done.


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      Darreld

    22. #20
      These are the shocks used to accommodate 40 mm lowering. Selected based on best travel vs. length. Not based on manufacturer.

      Rear are the KYB stock match as there was enough travel as-is. After I replaced the front shocks, which were originals, it became evident the rears were also original and needed replacing.



    23. #21
      Quote Originally Posted by jclars View Post
      Okay, and to let the cat out of the bag, here is an example that might be my target, if I can figure out how to keep the exhaust from scraping off...I think airbags might be the key.

      Does anyone know this car and suspension spec?

      This belongs to one of my customers and was doen a couple of years ago. I made new suspension arms for it and he had the air ride kit fitted. There are more photos of it on my FB page


      Have to say your looks right on the 40mm springs

    24. #22
      I agree. In the end, I could not get myself to do the air bag route. I did it on my rat rod PU, but I changed IFS and IRS to make it happen. (Jag front/T-bird SC rear).I just like the stock technology on this Volvo. AND it is a comfortable ride. I have changed my road trip vehicle from the truck to this ride. More leg room and covered storage!

      Thanks again to ClassicSwede for the perfect look!

      John

    25. #23
      Quote Originally Posted by jclars View Post
      These are the shocks used to accommodate 40 mm lowering. Selected based on best travel vs. length. Not based on manufacturer.

      Rear are the KYB stock match as there was enough travel as-is. After I replaced the front shocks, which were originals, it became evident the rears were also original and needed replacing.
      Hi jclars - great looking ES, the stance looks perfect to me and I agree about your nod toward comfort ! I have a '71E coupe and was wondering how you went about figuring out the specific shocks needed. I figure I might not be able to use the exact KYBs that you posted (E vs ES). Did classicswede recommend these or was it your calculations? Also, just to be sure... are those the 40mm spring on all 4 corners?

      Finally, do you know what your tire/wheel combo weigh? I love the look but had been considering searching out the lightest stock size wheels possible to improve the unsprung weight.

      DougC

    26. #24
      Hi Doug,

      Yes 40mm all the way around. You may want to head over to my build thread about my oversight on the panhard rod which Neil (142guy) was kind enough to point out. So I am working on a solution for that just now.

      The shocks were an exercise in show 'n tell by my local NAPA store who was kind enough to bring a few sets in to compare. It seems the way the shock manufacturers list their dimensions varies slightly. The key is the travel length. I put the stock front shocks back in place and let the weight push them down so the excess stem protruded. That gave me an idea of the net loss in travel. (about 2"). It will vary depending on how tired your old springs were, but short shocks with long travel is somewhat of a contradiction...

      ClassicSwede was somewhat aware of the requirements, as they told me that the stock rear shocks had excess travel length to absorb the 40mm drop, and could be reused.

      The tire/wheel combo weight was just discussed on the S60 post. I believe the deduced weight was about 43 lb. That does not include any wheel spacer that may be required to adapt to the difference in offset. However, someone stated that the stock steelies with tires would be in the 50 lb range, so I think it would still come in lighter.

      John

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