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Stance/rake


Ron Dame
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I'm close to pulling the trigger on two A IIs. Just happenstance.  But I like the rake or stance on the originals better.

What is the best way to improve the rake? cut a coil off? Different front springs? Is there any negative impact on handling by dropping it? One is a '79 the other an 81.

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I had new rear leaf springs put on mine which put it up a bit high.  I then put on 1 1/2 inch lowering blocks under the back end which brought it down to a nice height.

110.JPG

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You could put an extra leaf in the rear springs and remove the aluminium ring under the front coil springs. Don't know about handeling. I did add a leaf in the rear springs. That improved the stance a lot and did not alter the handeling.

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5 hours ago, Kodjo said:

You could put an extra leaf in the rear springs and remove the aluminium ring under the front coil springs. Don't know about handeling. I did add a leaf in the rear springs. That improved the stance a lot and did not alter the handeling.

Is there an aluminum spacer under the front coil springs?

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Thank Nate Altman for saving the Avanti and blame him for taking out the original rake.

Problem with lowering the A II via front spring shortening is the Studebaker kingpin suspension does not have sufficient adjustment range.  As the front is lowered, it lessens caster and there's not enough adjustment to get it back.  This will make the steering feel more darty and lessens straight line stability.

jack vines

Edited by PackardV8
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4 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

Thank Nate Altman for saving the Avanti and blame him for taking out the original rake.

Problem with lowering the A II via front spring shortening is the Studebaker kingpin suspension does not have sufficient adjustment range.  As the front is lowered, it lessens caster and there's not enough adjustment to get it back.  This will make the steering feel more darty and lessens straight line stability.

jack vines

Well, that sounds scary. I wonder if just removing the spring spacer will cause any problems?

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I suppose that another option is to remove the stacks of spacers between the body and frame that were used eliminate the rake in the first place.

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15 hours ago, pantera928 said:

Well, that sounds scary. I wonder if just removing the spring spacer will cause any problems?

Can imagine that this will give problems. You could at least pick the thinest on from the parts list.

 

1 hour ago, Jim78 said:

I suppose that another option is to remove the stacks of spacers between the body and frame that were used eliminate the rake in the first place.

This is not possible, the engine will not fit under the hood.

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I only wish I knew the secrets of Tommy Thompson, in New England many years ago. I heard from a very reliable source that he lowered the A II's to the original rake and it wasn't rocket science.   Alternatively, Jim Pearce, from Florida installed a 700R4 and a SBC in his R1 and didn't mess with the rake at all.  I have his notes and he did use undersize crank pulleys to get his way.  His car is as perfect as any original. 

I tried many years ago to get my 70' RQA-0381 back down in front.  I had thought about using a Toronado intake manifold get some space, as they were as flat as a pancake.  Finding one tho, proved difficult.  I have a Paxton with an R3 airbox on a Jasper Class II 350 ( 330 HP)

I did use the dum-dum putty on top of the Airbox and dropped the hood closed to see how much wiggle room there was.  Then,  removed as many of the body shims that were needless and did achieve a drop of about an inch or more.  Next was the most cost-UNeconomical exercise ever, when I took the airbox to a machinist and had 3/16" removed from both top and bottom at the mid point sealing joint.   That gave me another 3/8".     Then the Paxton and mounting hardware were removed and some additional home made mount parts dropped the Paxton another inch,  resulting in the shroud having to be notched for the belt travel.  Finally, the 350 is different in the exhaust area and we had to deal with those ram horn exhausts, so things stopped there.      

Looking to lose more shims only proved out that you have to be very careful at the radiator support vs the firewall mounts, as this span has to be finely tuned when figuring out the number of shims.  It's a long span and too few at the radiator will produce that crack on the top of the fenders at the firewall.  With all the radiator shims  removed, you can carefully lift up on the nose of the car and see the arch of the fenders bow in and out.  So, be generous at the radiator to avoid that crack, as that span is important. 

The last thing I did was to install a pair of CC655 springs in front, without any spacer on the bottom and it looks fairly good.  The height of the original spring and spacer was 14.675"  and without the spacer was 13.875".  The CC655's alone are 13.0"   The tires are 215/60R16 and the distance from the ground to the top of the wheel arch is 27.5".  There is a pleasing rake of sorts, so I decided to move on to other things.   Moving the chassis around  didn't appeal to me because of what Jack said, raising or arching the rear springs more would effect the caster, which is really should not be touched.    That said, I have to mention that when I purchased the car ( new) in 1971, the dealer was a shop in College Park, Md, who was in the business of manufacturing Formula race cars.  Mine was used as a demonstrator and never titled.  I had taken it to a shop to have it looked over and it was pointed out to me that the alignment was reworked using shims under the lower A-arm rear bolts and the upper A-arm forward bolts, in effect tilting the kingpin rearward at the top and  increasing the caster significantly.  The car drove very nicely, although the steering was just slightly firmer.  The front end was never taken apart until 140,000 miles later, in the late 90's when everything was renovated.  

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On 2/20/2022 at 1:22 PM, silverstude said:

  That said, I have to mention that when I purchased the car ( new) in 1971, the dealer was a shop in College Park, Md, who was in the business of manufacturing Formula race cars.  Mine was used as a demonstrator and never titled.  I had taken it to a shop to have it looked over and it was pointed out to me that the alignment was reworked using shims under the lower A-arm rear bolts and the upper A-arm forward bolts, in effect tilting the kingpin rearward at the top and increasing the caster significantly.  The car drove very nicely, although the steering was just slightly firmer.  The front end was never taken apart until 140,000 miles later, in the late 90's when everything was renovated.  

I've done this for years on several Studebaker suspensions, but have always hesitated to mention it on the various fora, as not everyone understands the forces involved, the geometry involved and there's always the guy, "If some's good, more is better and too much is just right."  Adding shims requires longer bolts and a really competent alignment shop.  The good news is it allows the original caster adjustment to be returned to the center of travel, removing any stresses.

jack vines

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16 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

I've done this for years on several Studebaker suspensions, but have always hesitated to mention it on the various fora, as not everyone understands the forces involved, the geometry involved and there's always the guy, "If some's good, more is better and too much is just right."  Adding shims requires longer bolts and a really competent alignment shop.  The good news is it allows the original caster adjustment to be returned to the center of travel, removing any stresses.

jack vines

Jack

I am just a little confused. What allows the original caster adjustment to be returned to the center of travel? Adding shims?

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1 hour ago, pantera928 said:

Jack

I am just a little confused. What allows the original caster adjustment to be returned to the center of travel? Adding shims?

i'm curious two! Don't see how this can be done with shims.

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The Studebaker kingpin doesn't flex; the caster adjustment at the top does not have enough travel to gain positive caster.  When run to the full rearward position, sometimes zero caster is all it can get.  By placing shims as described, positive caster is gained and the adjustment can then be returned to the mid-point.

jack vines

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13 hours ago, PackardV8 said:

The Studebaker kingpin doesn't flex; the caster adjustment at the top does not have enough travel to gain positive caster.  When run to the full rearward position, sometimes zero caster is all it can get.  By placing shims as described, positive caster is gained and the adjustment can then be returned to the mid-point.

jack vines

So we are talking about placing shims between the front A-arm bolts and the frame to get more positive caster? Both upper and lower as mentioned above?

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On 2/23/2022 at 6:30 AM, pantera928 said:

So we are talking about placing shims between the front A-arm bolts and the frame to get more positive caster? Both upper and lower as mentioned above?

Yes.

It's a bit complicated, as the front A-arm mounting bolts are not as far apart as the lower, care must be taken with different thickness shims to insure they remain in the same relationship.  I had one alignment shop refuse to touch such a project.  "You may not know what you're doing and we sure as hell don't know what you're doing."

jack vines

 

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Thank you everyone, this is all good. For whatever reason, every single email letting me know there is a response went to my spam folder, so only now am I seeing all of the responses.

I will be looking at the car in question this next Saturday.

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18 hours ago, Ron Dame said:

Thank you everyone, this is all good. For whatever reason, every single email letting me know there is a response went to my spam folder, so only now am I seeing all of the responses.

I will be looking at the car in question this next Saturday.

Good luck. What year and what color?

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