Beemon

1956 Buick Rear Coils

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My front coils are fine per the frame measurements in the shop manual, but the rears are out of spec. When the car was apart, the engine sat in the front without anything but the block on it. The heads were stored in the rear with a bunch of other junk as the car became a large tool storage/cabinet from 1978 to 2010. Does anyone have any dimensions for the rear coils in terms of uncompressed spring height and spring height under load? I know they're pigtails on both ends. I'm trying to find a Moog counterpart. The coils on the market are $200 a pair for anything 50s, but you move to the 60s and they're $50-70 a pair, it's almost criminal. I'm sure anything out of a mid to late 60s full size GM car would fit just fine. I'm thinking it's 9-10 ride height from spring end to end with ~130lbs/in. I know Cadillac rear leaf springs have a capacity of 1190lbs according to one distributor.

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Beemon (see edit history)

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Eaton Spring has the standard pair for $169.00.  Plus shipping.  I purchased a pair and it included the rubber insulators.  I'm not sure on the 56 but the 54 has a tight coil on the ends so a metal cap/nut can secure the spring to axle/body.   I don't believe 60-70-80 coil applications has the tight coils for the metal cap and nut to secure the spring to the axle and body.  

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)

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Check with ESPO Springs and Things. I've been way satisfied with their suspension stuff...............Bob

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On ‎3‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 8:43 PM, Airy Cat said:

Rear springs are interchangeable from 1954 to 1956

Just be aware that there are a number of different part numbers for rear springs depending on the model you have. My Buick Master Chassis Parts Book lists 7 different part numbers for 1954 rear springs and 6 different numbers for 1955. Unfortunately, my parts book only goes through 1955 so I can't say anything conclusively for 1956 except that while other springs may fit, I would think your correct ride height will depend on your getting the correct springs for your particular year and model.

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We thought the back end was a little soft when we've got 3 or 4 people in the back seat, but empty the car sits fine.  We simply put in air shocks.  Give it a little boost of air when the back seat & trunk are full, bleed it off when we get to the show.  $70/pair, simpler than a spring change, easy to adjust.  Monroe also makes coil-overs for the rear, but I like how easily the air shocks are adjusted.

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I have air shocks right now but I don't really care for them. I have them raised up so high the rear end is stiff going over any type of bump. 

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,,,, might not agree, but if mine, I would install a known good used pair otherwise the new springs are gonna make the rear rise up a little too much compared to the front.  Ask me how we know this….  If you install new front and rear and getting the right spring set can be difficult because the spring metal composition today is inferior than that of yesteryear and what tends to happen even with the right identical specs and coil windings, the car ends up looking like a 4 wheeler….

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But a few bodies in the trunk.  You'll be fine.   I have only replaced the rear coils on mine.  I compared ride height with known factory photos.   No change that I can really see.  I would think installing a good used pair will provide the same result.   Coils that are not up to the task any longer.   

 

 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)

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Getting the spring just right will be a lot of work. On a 56, you get nice shock mounts- I would just add in adjustable coil overs. I bet you could find a set that fit the existing shock mounts.

IMG_1496.JPG

56frameback.jpg

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I replaced the springs on my '59 with those from Detroit-Eaton. I still thought the rear end was a bit soft. After installing the Monroe Coil-over shocks, handling is improved significantly and she no longer bottoms out when fully loaded.  I skipped the springs and just did the coil-overs on the '58 and was equally impressed with the improvement.

I wish I could find a pair that fit the '65 Wildcat.

Edited by bhclark (see edit history)

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What coil overs did you use? I have adjustable air shocks right now but when the temp drops the car leans to one side and I just want to be done with anything "adjustable." I've done so much early on with this car already that I just want to keep it as simple as possible (KISS). Do you think a pair of HD shocks in the back would have solved your issue?

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I had similar problems with people in the back seat and a trunk full of luggage with my '84 Riviera.  The factory load leveling didn't work and it was going to be really expensive to rebuild the entire system, so I opted for a set of regular shocks and a set of cargo springs.  I got the same ride as before but when the load got a little heavy, the cargo springs more than made up for the extra weight.  If they're available for you car look into them or perhaps station wagon springs from the same year might be as effective as cargo springs.

 

Ed

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On 3/29/2016 at 0:36 PM, Beemon said:

I have air shocks right now but I don't really care for them. I have them raised up so high the rear end is stiff going over any type of bump. 

 

Then let some air out!  Just because they can take 120 psi, it doesn't mean you have to run them like that.  The Monroes want 20 psi min, and that's a pretty stock feel.

 

Monroe also has non-adjustable coil-overs (58567).

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48 minutes ago, SpecialEducation said:

 

Then let some air out!  Just because they can take 120 psi, it doesn't mean you have to run them like that.  The Monroes want 20 psi min, and that's a pretty stock feel.

 

Monroe also has non-adjustable coil-overs (58567).

If I let the air out, the rear end drops almost an inch and a half lol

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3 hours ago, Beemon said:

What coil overs did you use? I have adjustable air shocks right now but when the temp drops the car leans to one side and I just want to be done with anything "adjustable." I've done so much early on with this car already that I just want to keep it as simple as possible (KISS). Do you think a pair of HD shocks in the back would have solved your issue?

Monroe Sensa-Trac - Shock Absorber 58567 from Amazon.

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One thing you can do is order springs by specification.  Your NAPA and/or  others should be able to help you.  Just count the turns on yours, and measure the diameter, and we know the pigtail ends top and bottom.  If you want a stiffer ride, just get a thicker diameter material, if you want it raised, add another turn. 

 

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3 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

One thing you can do is order springs by specification.  Your NAPA and/or  others should be able to help you.  Just count the turns on yours, and measure the diameter, and we know the pigtail ends top and bottom.  If you want a stiffer ride, just get a thicker diameter material, if you want it raised, add another turn. 

 

Yeah that's the route I was planning on going for the time being. When money presents itself again, I had cross-referenced some springs from Moog, but with the car still in the shop for the differential, I just don't have it to measure the diameter of the springs, height, etc.

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On 4/8/2016 at 2:41 PM, Beemon said:

If I let the air out, the rear end drops almost an inch and a half lol

 

Sounds about right, if I run them up to 120 PSI, the back end sits about 1.5" too high...

 

If lopsidedness is an issue, just buy an extra installation kit and run different pressures on each.  Put minimum pressure in the high side, then run the low side up until the car sits level side to side.

 

Obviously, having the correct springs with the correct springrate is the best solution, but if money is tight and you already have airshocks installed, adding some extra tube and an extra valve is a cheap and easy workaround.

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