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 Post subject: Coil over suppliers?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:00 am 
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama
Just got back with my 'new' chassis and drivetrain. About the only thing missing that I can't get at a local parts store is coil over shocks. Does anyone have specs on what works, sizes, and reasonable places to get them?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
I plan on ordering mine from Coveland. At $600+ a set they are the most expensive part of my build. I believe thay are the GAZ adjustable units.

They are also available direct from the UK but the price isn't that much different.

I've also heard of people using QA-1 coil overs from Summit racing. They are about $170 a piece last time I checked.

Some folks on this board use motorcycle coilovers that can be found on Ebay cheap. I think the R-1 shock is a popular choice.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:53 pm 
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama
chetcpo wrote:
I plan on ordering mine from Coveland. At $600+ a set they are the most expensive part of my build. I believe thay are the GAZ adjustable units.


OUCH!

Quote:
I've also heard of people using QA-1 coil overs from Summit racing. They are about $170 a piece last time I checked.


smaller ouch!

Quote:
Some folks on this board use motorcycle coilovers that can be found on Ebay cheap. I think the R-1 shock is a popular choice.


more better! Is R-1 some brand or size of shock? What experience have folks had with bike shocks?

My limited knowledge with springs makes me think that they are measured in pounds. What size springs are folks using? Since my car will have full fenders and you will not be able to see the suspension, a true coil over is not necessary. A shock inside a coil would work just as well.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:12 pm 
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Location: Lethbridge Alberta
R1 is a motorcycle, people use the rear shock on all 4 corners.
might not be ideal, but its the way I'm going.

thought about using these adjustible coil overs meant for a vw beetle, I think they would be about right for the front, perhaps alittle stiff for the back, but they're $75cdn for a pair


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:48 pm 
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama
Sounds good. Which bike is it exactly, For example, a 96-99 crotchrocked extreem...

I looked on ebay and didn't see anything but googled a bit and found this at JC Whitney:


4-WAY ADJUSTABLE SHOCK ABSORBERS


Customer Review:Read the review

Image

Restore the handling ease and performance lost due to work shocks and springs
Enjoy a smoother, more stable ride
Dual chrome-plated springs look as good as they perform!
High-gloss black painted showroom shine and black plastic top spring cover. Black plastic shield protects painted shock body against scratches.
Shocks and springs are custom matched to your cycle. No mistakes when matching up shocks with springs.
4-way preload adjustment lets you easily adjust shocks from soft to firm. Simply adjust cam with shock wrench (sold separately)…no need to demount shock, no dismantling and no changing of springs.
Springs are made of strong heat-treated spring steel to relieve internal stress and resist fatigue.
Self-adjusting nylon-band piston seals form a positive seal to reduce bind and compensate for temperature variations. Also help lock out dirt.
Multistage velocity-response valving controls fluid flow during compression and extension.
Multistage replenishing valving for instant response to rebound with better dampening control.
Hydraulic rebound stop (cushion of oil) helps prevent topping out on extension stroke to ensure smooth energy absorption.
Low-viscosity index oil damping fluid is compounded to reduce wear, control aeration and resist fading even under the worst conditions. Shocks have 1-1/2" diam. body, smooth inner cylinder walls for less friction and increased shock life and polished metal top spring clip. Each shock has an upper and lower spring, each with a different rating. Dual springs (instead of one) ensure a more effective response, better shock absorption, longer spring life and a more comfortable ride. Springs can be adjusted from 160 to 190 lbs. Sold in pairs only.

$80 a pair but they still need the year, make and model of the bike.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:37 pm 
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Location: SoCal
I've had my rant (amoung others) regarding using any old shocks on cars. Unless someone's done it before, And you're using the exact same suspension geometry, And your opinion of a "proper" ride matches the fellow who has done it before, you're just guessing.

Shocks are extremely expensive, but they're also extremely important components. You can't just put any old shock in a car like it's a bolt or screw. They have to be calibrated and matched for the spring rate they're used with. Also, as part of the high price, they're double-adjustable. Sure, bike shocks can have different springs installed, to handle the heavier weight of a car, but now the internal valving is wrong.

BTW, if you do not use shocks with adjustable spring perches, how will corner weight be adjusted?

Welcome to car design!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:58 pm 
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Posts: 340
The spring and shock combo is an important thing to get "right" when building the car. Like many other things...just about any old shock or spring will hold the car off the ground and maybe even let it drive down the road safely, but if you want to really benefit from the potential of a seven type car this is an area that you don't want to totally cheap up on. IMO the GAZ combo with single adjustable shocks and springs it probably the best value out there for our type of cars. If you look at what decent performance shocks AND springs cost seperately...it is a pretty good deal.

SkinnyG documented his shock building experience and found out it was not so cheap...maybe he can shed some more light for you as he hangs around this place some...

http://us.geocities.com/g_wellwood/auto ... nsion.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:28 am
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Location: Sunny-Okanagan, Canada, eh?!
Well, yeah. Buy them already done. Really.

I've been looking into drilling a hole in my rear shocks and changing the oil to something thinner, but they are gas charged, which apparently won't respond well to a lack of pressurization. So I may have to buy some AFCO (or equiv) shocks after all. I can only hope they make them as short as my Monroe shocks, as that's what I built the car around.

Having raced on "wrong" shocks in the past, the shocks are probably the single most significant part on your suspension. Don't mess around. Save your pennies and do it right.

Of course, if you want to cheap out, I can give you a pretty good deal on my suspension, which would soften the blow of ~me~ doing it right.....

G

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:31 pm
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Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama
Ok, let me rephrase my question and make a statement. Statement first. I have absolutely no plans to race this car. I might punch it once in a while showing off but it won't ever be driven hard. I'm too old to drive in a rigid buckboard.

The chassis is a 442 and the suspension appears to be book. The drivetrain is 85 Toyota GTS with the 4AGE motor, 5 speed, and limited slip rear. Disc brakes on all corners.

I understand that this was a popular donor configuration when they were available.

Given all this, what do others with similar configurations use?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:03 pm 
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Posts: 340
Kerry,

Not sure if you have "the book" or not. Even in there they show the car built with coilovers by Spax or AVO which are roughly the same cost as the GAZ units. CMC when it was still around was using the GAZ units on thiers and many others used them.

For live axle and "book" control arms, and shock mounting locations, starting spring rates for a "good" ride would be around 250-300 lbs/in up front and about 150-175 lbs/in in the rear.

When sizing the shocks for length, get the suspension in it's ride height position and measure the distance between the mounting centers. This is roughly where the center of the stroke should be Take the total stoke and divide it by 2. Add this to your mounting center distance and that should give you roughly what the extended length should be. If it is not dead on...error on having less stroke on the compression side. Many people set them up with 1/3 travel for compression and 2/3 travel for rebound (from ride height)

The shocks that you picked out above *may* work fine, but they may not either. They are limited by the amout of adjustability they have for ride height. They may not be able to be adjusted to just the right spot once on the car...then you will be stuck. With a fully threaded shock body that uses common sized springs, you should not have to worry about running into that problem. The way that everything is packaged on these cars tends to limit one to a coilover design. There are just are not many real cheap + good options that I have seen. Maybe someone else has the ticket.

HTH


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:20 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Another contribution from George Cushing, utilizing the el-cheapo coilover conversions found on EBAY and an S-10 damper. The result? A $25 coilover.

http://www.georgecushing.net/Cheapo.html

I know suspension compromises are the devil and all, but they are also something that is easy to go back and retrofit with some re-engineering if needed. In the meantime, you can change the spring rate by altering the mounting angle and get your build roadworthy. Once she (the car) and you are ready you can always take some corner weights and order a proper set of coilovers.

Jim at Coveland even went as far as suggesting that the builder just fab up a solid steel contraption made from a turnbuckle to use until the car was finished.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:20 am 
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I bought 2 sets, 8, of R6 coilovers which I have been told are 550 lb. They appear to be rebuildable and are revalveable. By using a pushrod assembly and varying the fulcrum point of the rocker I should be able to get the needed rate. The plus side is that I have less than $200 in all 8. I will probably go to a shock tuner to have them dynoed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Wow, glad I found this thread! I just looked on eBay and this may be one of many things saving me a lot of money on my build.

edit: AND THERE ARE SPHERICAL BEARINGS ON BOTH ENDS!!! :shock: :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:10 am 
Middy Tim wrote:
AND THERE ARE SPHERICAL BEARINGS ON BOTH ENDS!!! :shock: :D

I'll have to look tomorrow but the ends are not spherical bearings but rather roller bearings (I think). You will have to keep the attaching bolts moving in a paralell plane.


Just looked. The ends have a somewhat sealed needle bearing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:56 pm
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Location: Armpit Alabama
Those bearings are sealed needle bearings, and will not hold up to the extra weight. Keep in mind that those shocks were designed around a bike that weighs in at 500lbs.

While the spring rates are changeable on the better motorcycle units, and most of them (even factory units) are revalveable, the cost to have them reworked and purchase springs that will work for our purposes is going to end up costing more in the end than the GAZ units.

I know this because I am a bike nut, and have been riding for many years.

The cheaper bike shocks that were posted here have no height adjustment whatsoever. The have a spring load adjustment in the form of a stepped cammed seat under the spring. While you can make them stiffer, you can't adjust ride height by more than a fraction of an inch.

Having played with a few cars that handle well, 600 bucks for a set of adjustable coil overs is pretty cheap. I know GAZ sells good stuff, and that price is really pretty damn good for the set. I have spent more than that on one shock for a mono-shocked rear for a bike......bikes are not cheaper than cars.....false economy.

Doc

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