71 Rear Leaf Questions [Archive] - Nova Tech

: 71 Rear Leaf Questions


mobbs
Mar 13th, 11, 12:43 PM
Hey everyone just had a question about my 71' chevy nova's rear suspension. Not knowing much about rear suspensions myself, I've encountered a few problems with it since I bought this nova a few years ago from a friend in my platoon. He got it from someone else out there in CA and I know he never really did any work on it himself so the owner before him must have done these suspension mods.

Attached are the pics of the mono leaf rears, to me they look like they are sagging pretty bad and need to be replaced. I'm hoping this fixes my rear tire rubbing issue. Also in the pics are some shocks I had to throw on there in a hurry because while I was moving from CA to NC I was on a ride when my air shocks ruptured, had to get an emergency fix because I was moving out the next day so I threw on some regular shocks in the air shocks place.

Looks like the shackles he/she used are very long to raise the rear quite a bit. Is the position its bolted to the highest position in terms of ride height for the rear? I'm trying to decide whether or not I should go with a multi-leaf conversion or stick with a new set of monos. Also I don't see a U-bolt and in every leaf spring install kit I see it comes with U-bolts, did the stock monos not come with U-bolts mounted on 71s??

Sorry for the ignorance, slowly but surely figuring my way around the car and eager to learn more :)

Big Dave
Mar 13th, 11, 01:51 PM
Mono's used T-bolts instead of the more expensive U-bolts. Your mono's are over 30 years old, and well worn. The fact that your car has extra long spring shackles and air shocks to clear wide tires as this was the late sixty solution to tire rubbing.

Mono's are not a performance spring. They were designed to a be a unique solution to an production problem; how to make a cheap spring to work with low torque four and six cylinder engines to give a soft ride for an economy (cheap) car. I strongly recommend a multi leaf spring as each leaf can be customized to make any spring rate you want.

Big Dave

wrenchmech
Mar 13th, 11, 02:02 PM
with addition to the new multileaf springs make sure to get all new bushing for the shackles they look pretty dry rotted.

mobbs
Mar 13th, 11, 02:14 PM
Now with a multi leaf, there are other things I need to swap out to make the conversion, correct? I think most kits come with all the necessary hardware but I remember reading somewhere that I needed shock extenders?

Also in addition to replacing everything in the leaf assembly, should I get rid of the extended as well?

Big Dave
Mar 13th, 11, 02:36 PM
Biggest thing to change with multi-leaf springs is the spring perch welded onto the axle. You can buy replacement spring perches from the aftermarket anywhere from $20 to 75 dollars. You can also buy a compromise solution from J C Whitney in the form of a three leaf multi spring that will bolt in place of the mono.

The extra long spring shackles are as I said old school. Today's solution is to move the shocks inboard of the springs and to maximize the existing room you move the springs inboard as well if you need more room. The aftermarket currently now has mini tubs for your year Nova if you feel you need even more room, though often the limiting factor is now the outer fender well lip and wheel arch which many are reluctant to modify.

Big Dave

mobbs
Mar 13th, 11, 03:03 PM
The main thing I'm concerned with is the tires rubbing. Its been bad lately and I'm nervous to take it out at all anymore until I get this suspension fixed. Once thats fixed I can grab some new rear tires and start driving it again. Will the multi leafs conversion fix the rubbing do you think? Are they sagging that bad?

Big Dave
Mar 13th, 11, 03:15 PM
Sagging yes, fix the rubbing I don't know. If your trying to stuff some GoodYear D2550 (17.5" by 36") drag slicks under there I don't think a new set of springs will help.

Big Dave

brian oneil
Mar 13th, 11, 03:16 PM
If you not looking for a stock type bushing I recommend polyurethane bushings for your leaf springs and shackles. If you are trying to regain the factory stance ditch those shackles and find some stock types and lose the air shocks. As Big Dave stated you can relocate the shocks inboard and CE has a kit just for that as do some other company's. I have done this on my car and I have also relocated the leaf springs. This is not a difficult task as long as you know someone who can weld for you. It will also provide some extra tire clearance without mini tubbing, but you will need new rims as your back spacing would need to change to set the tires more inboard to utilize the extra room you gained if you go that route. Either way if it were me, air shocks go in the trash and a polyurethane bushings all the way around on the springs and the shackles.:thumbsup:

mobbs
Mar 13th, 11, 04:25 PM
Any recommendations on online shops I can find for shock relocation? I am not sure I want to relocate the springs quite yet unless there are some handling pros.

The tires I have on there now are P 235/70R15, those aren't too huge I don't think?

brian oneil
Mar 13th, 11, 06:00 PM
If you are rubbing with those tires you need different rims with the back spacing to set the tire back in the wheel well a lil farther. 69-72 will handle 275/60-15s with the proper back spacing.
Relocating the springs inboard is pretty straight forward with a kit.

PART # REPLACEMENT PARTS
C3417 Coil-Over Shock Bracket, Right
C3419 Coil-Over Shock Bracket, Left
C3414 Coil-Over Housing Bracket
C2046 Upper Coil-Over Shock Mount Kit

Instructions

http://www.competitionengineering.com/catalog/images/c2046_inst.pdf

http://www.competitionengineering.com/catalog/images/c2047_inst.pdf

mobbs
Mar 13th, 11, 07:45 PM
Thats what I think now that I took a close look at it, the tires are rubbing on the outer sidewall not the inside where mini tubbing would normally fix it. Looks like new leafs with different wheels it is...thanks for the help.

brian oneil
Mar 13th, 11, 08:15 PM
The parts I posted are to relocate the shocks. Since you are not running a very large tire, no need to move your springs inboard. If you want to run something larger than a 276/60-15, then you may want to consider relocating the springs and possibly mini tubbing. :thumbsup:

JAYARTER
Mar 14th, 11, 12:10 AM
Your tire problem is a height proplem not how wide they are...you can run a 215/65r15 tire or 235/60r15 and have a wider tire, but not has tall. and most likely no rubbing. I switched from mono to multi-leaf springs on my 69 Camaro. (same set-up) working good almost 3 years of street driving. jay

mobbs
Mar 14th, 11, 06:03 PM
I think its more than just a height problem, I think multiple parts need to be changed out for my rear suspension to be in nice working order again. So far we're looking at new tires (because the old tires are almost shot from all of the rubbing), different rims, multi leaf springs with all new bushings, bolts, shackles, etc. we'll see how it all works out but im probably gonna have to stretch this out a bit because thats more money than i was expecting to be spending. =0

Hotchkis
Mar 19th, 11, 02:46 AM
Hey everyone just had a question about my 71' chevy nova's rear suspension. Not knowing much about rear suspensions myself, I've encountered a few problems with it since I bought this nova a few years ago from a friend in my platoon. He got it from someone else out there in CA and I know he never really did any work on it himself so the owner before him must have done these suspension mods.

Attached are the pics of the mono leaf rears, to me they look like they are sagging pretty bad and need to be replaced. I'm hoping this fixes my rear tire rubbing issue. Also in the pics are some shocks I had to throw on there in a hurry because while I was moving from CA to NC I was on a ride when my air shocks ruptured, had to get an emergency fix because I was moving out the next day so I threw on some regular shocks in the air shocks place.

Looks like the shackles he/she used are very long to raise the rear quite a bit. Is the position its bolted to the highest position in terms of ride height for the rear? I'm trying to decide whether or not I should go with a multi-leaf conversion or stick with a new set of monos. Also I don't see a U-bolt and in every leaf spring install kit I see it comes with U-bolts, did the stock monos not come with U-bolts mounted on 71s??

Sorry for the ignorance, slowly but surely figuring my way around the car and eager to learn more :)


Mobbs,
Switching to multi-leaf rear springs is the better way to go. Youíll get much better and safer drivability as a hot rod or a family sedan.
You have a good idea about changing the wheels and tires before changing out the springs to a better option. When changing from the mono-leaf springs to multi-leaf rear springs you need to address the leaf spring perches on the axle. As mentioned by another member, you can cut the perches off your housing and install new ones or you can replace your leaf springs with a set that doesnít have the centering pin (or center bolt) sticking up on the top of the spring.

http://www.procarcare.com/images/shar/encyclopedia/8852MG43.gif

Hotchkis leaf springs (http://www.hotchkis.net/6769_camarofirebird_sport_leaf_springs.html) donít have the pin sticking up so they can be used in multi-leaf and mono-leaf rear axle housings. The bolt and nut protrude out of the bottom of the spring so the lower shock plate will keep the rear housing from sliding forward and backwards on the spring.

To deal with the lower shock location you should change to multi-leaf lower spring/shock plates. They allow you to use standard height shocks without an extension and they are stronger than mono-leaf plates. There will be a gap between the spring perch and lower shock plate. Donít leave this as an air gap, install some spacers to take up the gap or youíll bend the plate and run the risk of bending/breaking the bolts.
http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt75/caninefive0/DSC00618.jpg
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http://www.hotchkis.net/_uploaded_files/products10promo_pic.jpg