rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

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methos76
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:20 pm

rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by methos76 »

yes im trying to find a pair of rear shocks that would bring the rear up a little, cant afford new springs right now and air shocks are too rough riding. is there anything out there
dgalietti
Posts: 215
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:44 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by dgalietti »

I'm not sure about the helper shocks... but have you had a look at your bushings? They are cheap to replace and more than likely the cause of your rear end being too low.

I would start with some standard shocks and new bushings, and see how things look from there. It also give you a chance to do a good inspection of your leaf springs and see if they have any excessive corrosion, broken leafs, etc.
methos76
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:20 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by methos76 »

dgalietti wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:07 am I'm not sure about the helper shocks... but have you had a look at your bushings? They are cheap to replace and more than likely the cause of your rear end being too low.

I would start with some standard shocks and new bushings, and see how things look from there. It also give you a chance to do a good inspection of your leaf springs and see if they have any excessive corrosion, broken leafs, etc.
haven't checked them but I will, they are probably the original ones from the factory
bbogue
Posts: 775
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by bbogue »

Maybe this will help, although as has been noted, shocks typically don’t change ride height very much.
New springs would be the only repair that I would be confident would raise the car. Still, I have a story about slight lift from new shocks that may be of interest.

When I had issues for several years with my aftermarket-from-a-TBird-supply-house-made-by-Bilstein heavy duty front shocks wearing out bushings frequently on my 61, I discovered that my shocks were shorter than the standard replacements (Monroe). Consequently whenever the suspension extended, the bushings were overly compressed. With the shocks removed, I took measurements with the suspension extended and at full compression. I discovered that even the standard Monroe replacements would be a little short, but longer than my heavy duty replacements. Still wanting the stiffer dampening of heavy duty shocks, I was able to find a listing on-line of KYB Gas-a-Just mono-tube (stiffer than OE) shocks which showed dimensions and type of end connections. In the listing I found shocks with dimensions longer than my first replacement shocks and in compression and extension almost the same as the Monroes. Further research indicated the shocks were replacements for mid-1950s heavier Fords. This gave me some comfort they would be suitable for my 61 TBird. The KYB shocks enjoy a good reputation and were much, much less expensive than my first replacements, about $30 each for te KYB’s. I used polyurethane bushings for the installation. Although I wasn’t expecting any ride height change, with the new shocks the front wheel well is 1/2” to 1” higher than before which I can only put to the design of these shocks. This isn’t an issue for me since I’m running 15” wheels and 225 tires. The look is fine and the car sits very nearly level when checked at the door sill.
Best of luck.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers
joelhutchison
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:39 pm
Location: Las Cruces, NM & Nashville TN

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by joelhutchison »

https://www.autozone.com/suspension-ste ... D6EALw_wcB

I put a set of these helper springs on a 1965 Falcon convertible where I needed clearance for a tire/wheel combo I was using. They lifted it enough that I didn't wreck the sidewalls when I went around corners. It may help get yours up at least until you can afford new/rebuilt springs. Of course the additional TON+ of weight (2381/4468) of the 65-66 T-birds will also make a difference as to how well they work. They are inexpensive though so it'd be worth a try. The trick is to lift the car slightly, put jack stands under the front leaf mounts and let the rear axle sag back down to sort of fool the helper into thinking that is the normal right height.

Coil overs and air shocks tend to put to much stress on the upper shock mount that isn't intended to support the car only dampen the "bounce" so to speak. I've seen air shocks shoved completely through the body panel where the mount is located because of a combination of too much air and too much load.
methos76
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:20 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by methos76 »

I bought a pair of extra heavy duty shocks for the rear, they get put on this week. im thinking about putting the same on the front and maybe trying helper springs till I can get new leaf springs
loud41
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:46 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by loud41 »

I just put helper springs on my TBird, and it greatly improved the height of the rear end for about 2 weeks. Then the helper springs finally settled in and I am right back where I started. Unfortunately, spending the roughly $800 to replace the rear springs, bushings and such seems to be the only real fix. I suspect our TBirds are just too heavy for any bandaid fixes. Grab yourself convertible springs while you're at it and they should last a lot longer.
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TbirdIntender
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:56 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by TbirdIntender »

I would like a little more ride height too--car sometimes drags on steep driveways, etc.

My mechanic is very enthusiastic about the air springs idea. He says the suspension is not worn out enough to rebuild, but just needs a little help.

So, I'm thinking hard. Do you guys think this will do it? Will it hurt the ride quality? Are the things worth the money overall?

Any wisdom will be appreciated.

Thanks.
1966 Town Hardtop in sapphire blue
Terry64HT
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:02 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by Terry64HT »

I'm not sure what you mean by "air springs", they come in all types. All the weight at the rear of the car is transferred to the frame by the leaf springs, so any help would need to be from the spring to the frame. I've heard of (and seen one) cases of air lift shocks tearing through the body mounting into the trunk.
Good luck, let us know.
Terry
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64ZCODE
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:41 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by 64ZCODE »

Hey guys. The "old school", no cost way to raise the rear end is to flip the rear leaf spring shackles, increasing the distance from the spring to the frame.

Doug
IMG_20210407_104732.jpg
1964 TBird Hardtop
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TbirdIntender
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:56 pm

Re: rear shocks for a 66 t-bird

Post by TbirdIntender »

Yes, sorry--air shocks is what I should have said.

Thanks.
1966 Town Hardtop in sapphire blue
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