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Stiff rear suspension


pgadler
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Hi all,

I recently bought a Riv 65' non-GS. It is not all original, but still not re-engineered as I see it.

One of my issues I need to deal with, is a very stiff rear suspension. I have already exchanged the installed Monroe Max-Air, to original shocks.

And I have exchanged the 255/50-17 tires to 235/75-15.

But still stiff, so much it is almost unbearable to ride in.

When looking at the rear springs, they look ok, not broken, of heavy-duty kind or so.

I will measure ride height as described in the service manual, but viewing the car from the side it can be max one inch low in the rear.

Now to my questions.

- Has anyone experienced stiff rear and found out why?

- Do You think one inch compressed/worn rear springs can give this as result.

- Can an incorrect upper control arm restrict the rear axle movement so much it can result in this?

Best regards,

Patrik/Sweden

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Hello Patrik

I responded to your question earlier but it didnt post here....hmmm

First, I just installed new springs on my 65 Riviera GS. I ordered the springs with +3/4" height and before I did that, I installed +2" springs. Neither one of those made the rear end "stiff"...only set the car up higher.

When I installed my new springs I was careful to ensure the upper and lower control arms were loosened (nuts/bolts) to allow the suspension to sit on the springs only...no binding from other components. No shocks installed either. Once this is done, and your rear end is still stiff, then it could only be your springs.

Does your car have a trailer hitch? With air shocks and stiff springs one usually finds a trailer hitch no too far away.

Let us all know what you find

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Thank's for good input. I'll loosen the control arms and see if there is a change.

No, no tralier hitch or signs of ever having one. Max-Air can be the result of other considerations. When I un-installed them, the preassure was low, perhaps not stiffer than original shocks.

As said, both wheel size and shocks were non-standard when I bought the car, so a non-appropriate control arm setting can perhaps be the source.

I'll let You know.

/Patrik

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Thank's for good input. I'll loosen the control arms and see if there is a change.

No, no tralier hitch or signs of ever having one. Max-Air can be the result of other considerations. When I un-installed them, the preassure was low, perhaps not stiffer than original shocks.

As said, both wheel size and shocks were non-standard when I bought the car, so a non-appropriate control arm setting can perhaps be the source.

I'll let You know.

/Patrik

Patrik

Maybe the previous owner was carrying around some fat Swedish chicks in the back seat:confused:

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Hum sounds like someone changed up the suspension....

Are the control arm bushings rubber or noeprene? As the wheels and shocks were changed, bushings might have been, too. Seems like if these were the tell tale red, you would have noticed, but neoprene bushings can be had in black as well. Neoprene bushings will change the ride. Might be something to investigate further.

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Are the control arm bushings rubber or noeprene? As the wheels and shocks were changed, bushings might have been, too. Seems like if these were the tell tale red, you would have noticed, but neoprene bushings can be had in black as well. Neoprene bushings will change the ride. Might be something to investigate further.

Will check.and revert.

Best,

Patrik

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

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Ok, now I've been at it.

No neoprene, only rubber.

Loosened control arms made no difference. The arms travel freely.

I've ordered new springs from oldbuickparts.com. I see no other possible culprit...

Thank's all!

Hi Patrik,

keep us update, what is the situation after coils replacement.

ps. and greetings to all yours back seat chicks !

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Not related to the question asked on this thread, but I just had to add in as to how much I love Swedish women! I have got to visit your country someday. As hot as the women are here in Miami, we just rarely get to see slim, blonde, Scandinavian women here.:D

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  • 3 months later...

Hi again all!

I have now swapped the rear springs to new ones from Cars.

Unfortunatly only some/little difference, but not much.

So shocks and springs exchanged to original spec. Next I will disconnect sway bar, but I dont understand how the sway bar may effect the ride like this.

As a further step, I will remove springs andd shocks to check control arm travel upwards. Downwards movement is smooth/ok, from neutral position.

Hm... but it corners like a sports car :-)...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

I have now ordered rear control arm bushings. If the rear control arms move reluctantly, this may be the solution. I checked movement, as said, by raising the car with stands on the frame and lowering the rear axle on the jack. This was OK, but could of course be to slow/dampened movement.

While preparing, reading the service manual, I noticed the section saying, that before installing new bushings in the rear lower control arms front end (!), check for burrs in the frame bracket, and if so, remove them.

Why would there be burrs in the bracket?

If there are burrs on my car, once I get the new bushings and remove the control arms, this could perhaps be a reason to limited movement upwards for the control arm.

But still, how could burrs occur?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

Problem solved. Today many small pieces ended up in an finished puzzle. The pieced were:

- Stiff rear, as descibed here.

- Former owner a TV-program, who in their show described that the car, when they bought, had raised suspension.

- The TV-show changed front springs to bring the height down to original. Nothing more.

- When I bought the car, the height in the rear was OK, but stiff.

- The exhaust was home made.

- The only rust repairs I found was a 2-inch square in the frame curve over the rear axle (!).

Well, what the prevoius owner did, was to fix new top mounts for the shocks in the rear. As said earlier, they were Monroe Max-Air when I bought the car. They pumped these up to raise the rear. The TV-show only let out the air to reduce height. When I changed to originial spec shocks, they, as the Max-Airs, were so compressed that they bottomed out.

The home made top mount had took all beating, the springs none. They were now bent.

When fixing the shocks to their original mounts, I had to cut away the home made exhaust, because it passed over the rear axle just were the shock should be.

So, now I have a nice ride, suspension wise. Only have to build new rear ends to the exhaust.

Here is a pic:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7203/6886171488_224323d784_z.jpg

Edited by pgadler (see edit history)
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