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 Post subject: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 23, 2018, 7:22 pm 
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Joined: January 17, 2017, 2:17 pm
Posts: 3
I'm looking for cheap coilovers, buid from chevy front shocks


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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 23, 2018, 9:46 pm 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 5921
Location: SoCal
Kinda short and terse, but okay.

Will the shock valving - designed for a 3-4000 lb car - be correct for your build?

If they're based on Ford, Chrysler, or any import mfg, they're unacceptable?

And define "cheap"

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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 24, 2018, 2:38 am 
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Joined: May 27, 2006, 9:46 pm
Posts: 1887
Location: BC, Canada. eh?
SkinnyG, a long-term member & builder here, did a set of DIY coilovers once upon a time. You can find references to them on his build site - http://www.gwellwood.com/project-cars/the-lethal-locost/lethal-suspension/

He was away from the board for a time, but he's back now. I'm sure if you contact him he'll be happy to give you sage advice. He's a very sociable & helpful guy!

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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 24, 2018, 10:36 am 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 5921
Location: SoCal
SkinnyG wrote:
Quote:
...I initially cheaped out and tried to make my own coilovers, fabricating non-adjustable sleeves and spring perches. I tried to make it all work with coil springs of dubious origin... I’ve since made enough changes that I broke down and ordered AFCO sleeve kits ($180US), and proper size/rate 1-7/8″ ($180) springs, and I’m sure it’s not over yet.

The next one will be much better….

The problem is using sealed OEM shocks intended for far heavier cars; the valving will be way too stiff in a much lighter car, plus it locks you into using a given stroke. One way to cheat is to purposely design the car with an installation ratio such that the shocks "see" loads which require OEM spring rates. Doing that though designs in all sorts of compromises that aren't really desirable. If there's one thing on the car where you get what you pay for, it's shocks, but there you go.

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Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 24, 2018, 2:00 pm 
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Joined: May 27, 2006, 9:46 pm
Posts: 1887
Location: BC, Canada. eh?
I'd have to agree with KB58 - as the coilovers are so overwhelmingly important, not only to the car's handling qualities but to the very safety of its operation, I wouldn't be tempted to go cheap there. It's kind of like building a high-performance car (which we all are, really) and equipping it with old, used, dried-up tires. It's just not a good idea, IMHO.

We went so far as to have our GAZ shocks custom-made in the UK for our specific needs. Yes, it's costly, one of the single most-expensive items in the build along with the custom-made Weber carbs, but there are things you can scrimp on, and things you just shouldn't.

This is not to say it can't be done, of course. It has been done, I believe, but the amount of experimentation required would probably cost nearly as much in the end as reasonable-cost, ready made items suited to your build.

If you're looking to save money on coilovers, you might consider visiting your local Harley shop. In my experience, many of these shops get customers who want their brand-new bikes customized before they even take delivery, resulting in these shops having piles of brand new, take-off parts like shocks, mufflers, etc. which no one wants to buy for their Harleys. The rear shocks off the rear of a Harley, designed to cope with an all-up weight of 1200-1400 lbs., might be a good start.

Just sayin'...

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http://zetec7.webs.com/


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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 24, 2018, 8:47 pm 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
Posts: 1448
Location: central Arkansas
Southwest Speed sells a grooving tool for $60 that will put the right grooves for round wire lock rings into twin-tube shocks. Or you can make a similar tool from a Harbor Freight pipe cutter if you have access to a lathe. Southwest has the spring mounts, caps, and bits at reasonable prices.

Early VW Beetle rear shocks have an eye on each end; after you cut the sheet metal guard off the top, they're suitable for Locost purposes.

Damping rate and ratios change by manufacturer and product line; there's no real way to tell what you're going to wind up with until you try it. But for a street car you can do a lot of experimenting for less than the price of one racing shock.


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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 24, 2018, 10:57 pm 
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Joined: September 30, 2005, 1:28 am
Posts: 1245
Location: Sunny-Okanagan, Canada, eh?!
*cough* You rang?

My Locost was completed in 2006, has clocked over 20,000km's, driven down to Vancouver and back three times (about 900km round-trip), autocrossed both locally and at the Provincial level including the Canadian National Autoslalom Championship. It's been my daily, has driven in sun, rain, AND snow, and has proven itself to be a very acceptable suspension setup.

I chose 1975 Corvette rear shocks for the front, as they used about the same spring rates as I was using. The valving is VERY good. I chose 1985 Chevy Sprint rear shocks for the rear, as they used about the same spring rate as I was using. The valving is VERY good. The car is very composed and handles very well. The secret is to pick shocks in applications that were designed for about the same spring rates you will be using.

Having said all that....

Would I do it again? No.

You're not really saving all that much money, really, once you add proper threaded collars and spring mounts. And proper shocks would probably safer ones, because the Monroe and Gabriel shocks I am using are not really designed to support the weight of a car.

My NEXT locost (currently hanging from the ceiling to get it out of the way for now) will use something proper, not cheaped out as I did. AFCO is good, QA1 is good, KONI is good. There are others. Just contact them and tell them what you're doing, and see what they recommend.

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The Lethal Locost 2 - Even More Lethalerer


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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 25, 2018, 9:25 pm 
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Joined: January 31, 2012, 12:49 pm
Posts: 1529
Location: Louisville KY
Is this the time to ask about motorcycle coilovers?

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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: January 25, 2018, 9:27 pm 
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Mid-Engined Maniac

Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
Posts: 5921
Location: SoCal
The OP specified Chevy shocks for some reason and doesn't seem to have visited since.

Regarding bike shocks, it all comes down to the installation ratio and whether they give enough stroke.

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Midlana book: Build this mid-engine Locost!, http://www.midlana.com/
Kimini book: Designing mid-engine cars using FWD drivetrains, http://www.kimini.com/book_info/


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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 9:47 am 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 7:59 pm
Posts: 369
I made my fronts using the 75 corvette shocks but used two piece locking collars for the base of the spring to sit on. Just clamp it loosely over the shock and then slide it down to the weld ring and it will never move.
Dale


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 Post subject: Re: cheap coilovers
PostPosted: February 14, 2018, 11:21 am 
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Joined: February 8, 2014, 10:47 pm
Posts: 492
Location: Cornholio OR "Where the magic happens"
Build your own custom coil overs

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/shop/bilstein-sg-series-monotube-small-body-shocks~8205-10015-1175-566-7556

Choose valving and shock length and add a coilover kit https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Bilstein-B4-BOA-0000187-Small-Body-Steel-Coilover-Kit,6871.html

Add some springs

Done

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