Dear Welder Series…
I just purchased a 1950 Chevy 3100 truck where the seller installed WS21906 in the front and WS318500 in the rear of the original frame. I was hoping you could suggested an affordable set of coil overs that would work with this setup. Unfortunately I have no idea as to what I should be looking for in terms of the stroke, lengths, dampening, etc.. Thank you.
Congratulations on your new project! These are great looking trucks.
I suggest blocking the truck at ride height to establish coil-over ride height.
If the upper mounts for the front shocks have been installed, the ride height for the coil-overs will be the center-to-center distance between the mounting holes on the lower arms and the brackets. If the frame plates have not been installed, click here for the manual…pages 2 and 13 will help.
If the rear crossmember has been installed to mount the top of the coil-overs, the truck’s ride height you have chosen with the mock-up will give you the coil-over ride height. If there isn’t yet a place to mount the top of the coil-over, please consider the crossmember
The coil-over mounting angle is discussed here. The coil-over ride height can be determined when you mock up the crossmember and mounting points.
Regarding the coil-over stroke, generally longer is better as it will offer more suspension travel. Other factors or interference points also come into play. Viking, RideTech and other North American companies make quality coil-overs.
I hope this helps with your decisions.
Dear Welder Series…
Thank you so much!
Getting the ’40 ready for the road again, we decided to change the bushings on the coilovers because they hadn’t been done (that we could remember). The first challenge was loosening the lower mounting bolt. It’s not that it wouldn’t turn; it had attached itself quite strongly to the inner tube, and the whole assembly would just spin and spin. We soaked it, we hammered it, we impacted it… nothing was going to break the love that this little 1/2-20 bolt had with the tube it had got to know so well. We gave up being civil and cut the bolt in two.
Once the bolt was free (but severed), we popped the bushings out and here’s the damage:
Over time (though it would probably be more accurate to speak of “miles”), the bushing had worked itself into the grooves in the Aldan coilovers which are there to give you the option of running spherical bearings instead of bushings. The grooves are for a C clip to hold the bearing in place. No harm done; we just replaced the bushings and will go for another xx,xxx miles. I’m not sure exactly how long these coilovers have been installed, but it’s probably in the 30 000 mile range or more.
Moral of the story: check your bushings. Cold flow happens.
Dear Welder Series…
Hi, I intend to order the frame rails and body next month, and I am sorting parts lists. One question for a coil over kit. What will the normal coil over length at ride height and what spring rate works with a Hi boy, I have a sbf and a bbf, and will open up the bbf to see if it is rebuidable soon. ? Any mfg. recommended?
Sherman, a good coil-over ride height is 13″. Several companies have coil-overs with an open dimension of about 14-1/2″ and a closed dimension of about 10″. It would be best to ask the coil-over people about spring rates. Some have progressive would springs, others have linear rates. An example a 200 pound linear rate is that it takes 200 lbs to compress the spring 1″ and 400 lbs to compress the spring 2″. A progressive wound rate would be that it takes 200 lbs to compress 1″ and possible 500 lbs to compress the spring 2″. The rate you will want will depend on many factors: actual weight on the rear, shock mounting angle, ride quality that you want, etc. Heidt’s, QA1, Aldan, and Total Cost Involved are good sources.
This is the axle bracket assembly we used on the '32 Build.
...the only reason to adjust the lower threaded collar is to achieve the "designed ride height" for your coil-over, which is compressed 1/3 of the stroke from full open...