’32 Update: Rear Suspension Setup (article 2, archived)

Originally posted June 2007 on our old website.

OK, grille me again for not having the camera ready. We put a 2×2 steel tube on top of the frame, with tie down straps used to hold the rear end at the height we wanted it. This height was determined when we had the rear wheels mocked up in the wheel wells. The other (and most important) thing to consider when you’re setting up the rear end is the coilover (or ShockWave in this case) designed ride height. If you don’t, you could be bottoming out or topping out your shocks. That’s bad.

Parts shown:
Rear end: Currie Enterprises
Shockwaves: SKW7001, Air Ride Technologies
Rear Crossmember: Welder Series

This is Air Ride Technologies’ ShockWave. It is an airbag with a shock running up the center. At 4″ diameter, it’s not much bigger than a coilover, and we can adjust the spring rate from the driver’s seat. That’s a lot easier than trading springs. Adjustable shock valve dampening, 13″ ride height with 4.1″ stroke, set it up the same as a coilover but have a lot more adjustability. We put a Schrader valve in so we can inflate it to ride height without installing the tank and compressor right away.

You can see the Nine-Plus 11″ drums on the rear in this picture.

Parts shown:
Drums: Currie Enterprises

12 Studs

I had to title this picture that way…. Here we’re mildly straightening out the studs in the housing. It doesn’t take much misalignment and the diff. won’t slide smoothly over the studs. We threaded the front panhard bar (it has 3/8-24 threads) over the studs in question, and using a square tweaked them all so they were perpendicular.

I’ll let my dad hold the engine in place, and I’ll worry about the diff. We got the whole shebang; 3.89:1 gears, axles, carrier, differential, plus the 9″ housing kit from Currie Enterprises.

Notice how nicely the carrier is sliding over the studs?

Installing the 4-bar rear axle brackets was easy – just measure the distance between the frame brackets, measure flange-to-flange on the rear end, subtract the four-bar frame dimension from that, and divide by two. The pieces for these brackets come with the Welder Series WS2220 rear four-bar kit. It’s designed for a ’32 Ford but is really easy to use in a lot of frames.

Parts shown:
Rear four bar kit: WS2220, Welder Series

Mr Billet Boy (you know who you are!): aluminum axle, aluminum hubs, aluminum caliper brackets, aluminum calipers, aluminum heads & intake- if we used aluminum wheels, we wouldn’t be able to keep the front end down at a launch! It’s strategic. Now I hope the baby moons will fit over those hubs!

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’… Now we can move to the body for a while.

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