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Leaf springs for handling

70chall440

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So I am researching leaf springs for my 71 Charger and have looked at pretty much most of the brands out there. I am wondering who is using what or perhaps what recommendations you might have. I want to lower the rear 1" and I want the car to handle. I have considered going to a triangulated 4 link but already did that on my Cuda but I am not ruling it out, that said I am favoring sticking to the factory design (not the factory parts per se). So far I have looked at;
Hotchkiss
General Spring (cheapest)
Firm Feel (seems to be more for drag racing)
PST (expensive)
Eaton (seems reasonable)
Mopar (seems to be more for drag racing)
Springs N Things (very reasonably priced)
Calvert split mono leaf (don't really mention handling, more drag focused)

Appreciate any constructive input you might have (no I am not keeping it stock...)

Thanks
 
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I think the ESPO (Springs & Things) can give you a well designed product. Tell them what you have/expectations and what you want.
 
Have 6 leaf on the runner from General spring. Thought they might be to stiff. But once car was loaded and fuel in the tank it rides well. 2 1/2 inch recurve. One thing where rusty in places so took them a part and painted them. LOL. Each to his own but just my two cent's.
 
I'm also interested in this, I have stock/worn out everything small block/auto with intentions of 440/727 swap pro touring style build. Trying to buy one time, would like it to be balanced front to rear, using T-bars and leafs.
 
I'm also interested in this, I have stock/worn out everything small block/auto with intentions of 440/727 swap pro touring style build. Trying to buy one time, would like it to be balanced front to rear, using T-bars and leafs.

The ESPOS from Springs & Things will set you up just fine. The leafs that were on my Satellite cruiser were great, especially after I swapped the KYB shocks for Comp Engineering drag shocks. That smoothed out the street ride so much. Amazing. Call Springs & Things and see what they have to say. Good luck figuring out what T bars to use for a touring car.
 
Surprised you didn't mention Calvert split momoleafs.

Actually I did look at them too and just forgot to list them. In fact they were one of the first ones I looked at. My feeling is that Calvert are designed for drag cars, they don't really say much about handling. Can anyone comment on how Calverts perform from a handling/cornering aspect?
 
I have had a lot of leaf spring cars over the years but really never paid a lot of attention to the handling side of things. I went to the MATS way back in like 2011 or 12 and the Hotchkiss cars were running hard (68 B body and a 70 E body) using leaf springs and were tearing up the autocross. So, that is where by head is at for this car, I want it to handle well.

I am not against (or for) really any of the companies/products I listed (to include the Calverts) but I want to get the most for my money. I just don't know if the Hotchkiss springs are worth $700 whereas the EPSO springs are $300, question is "are they that much different?"

I'd rather spend the money one time but with the price difference I am just not sure, hence this thread.
 
FF is mostly handling oriented on their products as I remember. What have you done on the front end? If you can swing it, it would be beneficial to get the car on some scales so you can get total, front to back and corner amounts. This will help you nail down your spring rate requirements better than winging it. Know any roundy round, road race or serious drag types? They may have scales. I got my 65 scaled years ago at a GoodGuys show by Ridetech. Those specs I gave to Dick at FF so I could get my rates at a good point to start with. He pretty much knew what it would weigh, duh as thats his bag, but I was really surprised at the weight. I figured 34-3600 lbs. It was 3941 without me in it.
 
I am very familiar with FF, have their parts on my 70 Challenger and 73 Cuda and have met with Dick several times. That said, I am in the planning phase of this build as the car is completely dismantled and on a rotisserie so I cannot really weight it, but I get the point.

This car will have a crate 5.7, TTI headers, Borgeson steering box, and TKX trans in it (have all of this except the steering box right now). I want this car to be a very reliable, comfortable and fun driver, might not even paint it if I can figure out how to make the patina even on all panels (has a new quarter and hood).

For the front end I will be using mostly FF parts except the box and sway bar. I will be using FF tubular UCAs, poly bushings throughout, chassis stiffening (SFC, under fender braces, torque boxes, rad core brace), adjustable struts, etc. I just ordered QA1 single adjustable shocks for it all the way around. I will be running a 8 3/4 with probably 3.55s (haven't decided on that yet).

It will be awhile until I actually build this car, I am doing a 69 Ply wagon for a client right now that seems to never end and then I am building a 70 RR for a friend in Australia (572, TKX, etc) but I want to keep researching all aspects of the car and make good decisions so that when the time comes I am ready.

I agree with the weight issue but right now I cannot do much about that plus I would have to find some scales or buy some, however the car should be relatively similar to a SB equipped car I would thing albeit heavier by perhaps hundred pounds due to the bracing and such.
 
I have the Mopar Perfomance HD springs with a small lowering block in the rear of my 69' Bee. Added sways (F+R) and upgraded the front end with bigger T-Bars. It handles pretty good and is very predictable out on the track.

IMG_04246.jpg
 
So I am researching leaf springs for my 71 Charger and have looked at pretty much most of the brands out there. I am wondering who is using what or perhaps what recommendations you might have. I want to lower the rear 1" and I want the car to handle. I have considered going to a triangulated 4 link but already did that on my Cuda but I am not ruling it out, that said I am favoring sticking to the factory design (not the factory parts per se).
Appreciate any constructive input you might have (no I am not keeping it stock...)

Thanks
Did you know that the E cars had splayed rear springs? It's not much but it was supposed to help in the turns. Early day rear steer.....wasn't much though. Had planned on doing that with my 66 Belvedere but the wheel housing are already tight and with big tires there's not much room to move the springs around....
 
I had read that someplace else (about the splayed springs) but never gave it much thought. As I recall the TA and AAR also had more arched springs than standard E bodies.
 
I have the Mopar Perfomance HD springs with a small lowering block in the rear of my 69' Bee. Added sways (F+R) and upgraded the front end with bigger T-Bars. It handles pretty good and is very predictable out on the track.

View attachment 1185405

Exactly the type of info I am looking for, thanks. I guess the real crux of the question is whether Hotchkiss springs (or some of the other more expensive springs) really offer any benefit that warrant the cost. It seems like there are essentially 3 levels of springs as it relates to price; low (General Springs = $260, Mopar = $282, ESPO = $300), medium (Calvert = $459, Firm Feel = $585, Eaton = $590) and high (Hotchkiss = $719, PST = $805) NOTE: some of these prices might not be super accurate because some of the companies want you to call in with your specifics which may include an up charge).

I don't think I want to use a lowering block but am not totally against it and I do tend to prefer Mopar parts "but" if there is something better suited to my intended use, I'd rather start there.
 
I had read that someplace else (about the splayed springs) but never gave it much thought. As I recall the TA and AAR also had more arched springs than standard E bodies.

As I recall, very slightly more arch. Maybe 1/2". Don't think any E bodies had splayed springs. That started with the '71 B bodies I think.
 
As I recall, very slightly more arch. Maybe 1/2". Don't think any E bodies had splayed springs. That started with the '71 B bodies I think.
When I read about it I thought it was kinda odd but I have several E body cars over the years and at one point I have 3 at the same time.....so I got under one and measured it and sure enough they were wider in the rear and so were the others. Measured my Belvedere to see if it was different too but the front and rear eyes were very close to being the same.
 
When I read about it I thought it was kinda odd but I have several E body cars over the years and at one point I have 3 at the same time.....so I got under one and measured it and sure enough they were wider in the rear and so were the others. Measured my Belvedere to see if it was different too but the front and rear eyes were very close to being the same.
How much wider were the E bodies at the rear?
 
Exactly the type of info I am looking for, thanks. I guess the real crux of the question is whether Hotchkiss springs (or some of the other more expensive springs) really offer any benefit that warrant the cost…..

Here’s a link to my build. Somewhere in there is part numbers and prices….

[URL="https://www.forbbodiesonly.com/moparforum/threads/b-bodies-and-road-courses-my-super-bee-setup.220738/"]B Bodies and Road Courses - My Super Bee Setup[/URL]

I recommend keeping it simple and inexpensive, unless you are looking to compete in an actual race. My recipe for my Bee works great and is confidence inspiring. I typically go to track days with a Challenger club. I’m running a 2:30 lap time at Thunderhill, about the same as the fastest guy in a newer 5.7 R/T Challenger. The Scats and Cats are about 10-15 seconds a lap faster but they kill me in the straights. Lol. Guess I got work on my motor recipe next.

59CB132A-70F9-4A35-9C8B-CE643E07DDB3.jpeg
 
Here’s a link to my build. Somewhere in there is part numbers and prices….

B Bodies and Road Courses - My Super Bee Setup

I recommend keeping it simple and inexpensive, unless you are looking to compete in an actual race. My recipe for my Bee works great and is confidence inspiring. I typically go to track days with a Challenger club. I’m running a 2:30 lap time at Thunderhill, about the same as the fastest guy in a newer 5.7 R/T Challenger. The Scats and Cats are about 10-15 seconds a lap faster but they kill me in the straights. Lol. Guess I got work on my motor recipe next.

View attachment 1185812
Once again, thank you for the link and information. I agree with you about the simplicity aspect after doing a lot of research and talking to a couple of people (to include you). I have a set of Hotchkiss springs here for a build I am doing for a buddy and I am going to take a hard look at them, I also have a few sets of stock B body springs so my plan is to build the car with what I have (perhaps modified) and see what I get. If it doesn't work out to my liking I can revisit it then.

Awesome car and I am very jealous that your able to track it
 
@Superbeemike - I just read your thread, great read and again awesome car. I appreciate you posting on this thread. When I finally get a chance to build this car I will start a build thread on it. I am looking forward to it. My Cuda is radically done with a 4 link, Viper front brakes, full bracing, etc. but i have not had a chance to track it yet.
 
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