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Owned my car about a year now. It is an older but meticulous restoration. I am familiar with 30's,60's & 70's cars so this era is new to me. My question is how does your stock car ride? I would say mine rides fairly hard. Meaning I feel the bumps, almost contradicts the luxury looks it has. Here is what i noticed but not sure if it will matter much. The tires are low miles but older Coker models, the shock are low miles but older, the body bushings look original despite appearing to be a full frame off once upon a time. Perhaps they put the old ones back! Anyway, do you guys enjoy a smooth ride or is a bit rough par for the late 50's? What have you done to smooth your ride? thanks- John
 

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All my cars ride firm, except my '69 Suburban that seems to glide along over rough roads. Of course I built them to be firm, as I prefer the handling, and performance of firmer suspension.
I never worried too much about old cars riding firm, as they're never daily drivers for me.
 

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1957 Bel Air sport sedan
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I will find out soon how my 57 rides, but my 60 Pontiac rides like it’s floating on a cloud.
 

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100% stock '57, and ride is not all that different from my daily drivers. Stock springs, stock replacement Monroe gas charged shocks, Coker reproduction wide white bias ply tires.

Stock tire pressure for bias ply tires is 22-24 PSI (yes, you read that right). Don't know what's appropriate for radials, though it would be higher. But, I'm guessing 35 PSI on radials may be too much. 30+ for bias ply is waaay too much.

So, the ride itself is fine. Cornering - it corners like a school bus. :) But the ride itself is fine.

My car had 5 leaf rear springs when I bought it instead of the 4 leaf it should have. The ride was crap and the cornering weird. Put in 4 leaf, and it's fine.
 

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1957 2 door 210 Delray Club Coupe with 1973 corvette 350 and turbo 350 automatic transmission
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got rid of air shocks ,and replaced rear springs now much better
 

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When my 57 was all stock, it was not a pleasant ride for me. It was harsh to say the least. Corning was down right scary. I thought I would flip the car in a turn at 25 mph. I installed the complete Ride Tech Street Grip Suspension system and can not be any happier. It handles great and the adjustable shocks allow you to find the exact ride to your Liking.
 

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Owned my car about a year now. It is an older but meticulous restoration. I am familiar with 30's,60's & 70's cars so this era is new to me. My question is how does your stock car ride? I would say mine rides fairly hard. Meaning I feel the bumps, almost contradicts the luxury looks it has. Here is what i noticed but not sure if it will matter much. The tires are low miles but older Coker models, the shock are low miles but older, the body bushings look original despite appearing to be a full frame off once upon a time. Perhaps they put the old ones back! Anyway, do you guys enjoy a smooth ride or is a bit rough par for the late 50's? What have you done to smooth your ride? thanks- John
I have 2 inch dropped springs and it rides firm. One thing to remember is there is no rag joint in steering or anti-dampening so you feel the bumps. driver notices the road more than the passangers.
 

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Well I have owned my 57 for 45 years. It drives a little rough as it always has. Cornering you take your time with. Bumps you know you are going over one, pot holes, damn that hit is hard, lol. Stock suspension, Koni gas charged in front, Monroe load levelers out back, 5 leafs. I broke a four leaf when I was younger and they were replace with five leafs so that is what is still on the car. BFG radial rwl tires.
 

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🐔County, TN. 55 Bel Air Sport Coupe
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Mine road very rough and I believe the wheels oscillated up and down when hitting bumps. The entire car vibrated and rattled. Tried a few different shocks and it was the same or worse. Just a week ago I put on Bilstein shocks and it's a world of difference. It's firm, but it doesn't shake and vibrate at every bump in the road. About $100 each and worth double that, easily. If you look up your shocks to see all the applications and they are good for more than 55, 56, 57's, then they aren't made for YOUR car. They are generic. The more cars they list that they fit, the worse their performance will be. The Bilstein's state that they are made for my car with STOCK suspension. I can't get over the difference. A good cross reference resource is Oriely Auto. https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...-chevrolet-bel-air?q=shocks+and+struts&pos=10 Scroll down and click on Compatibility, then click on Chevrolet (the only choice) and you will see it's only lists our cars. Do the same with other shocks and you will see how generic they are.
 

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Sounds like you are used to a new car ride. It's a preference of the driver. Myself, I like the firmer ride and better handling. I use big block Chevelle sorings in the front, slightly modified at the bottom, to fit the 57 control arm. I also use polyGRAPHITE bushings in place of the stock rubber bushings that deteriorate pretty quickly. Also a 454 Chevelle sway bar that I fabricated mounts for on the frame. The rear is simple, just 2 main leaves to add stiffness, and the wagon goes around corners very well. If you want new car plush ride add weight to the car.
 

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My 57 Belair 2-door hardtop is stock and numbers matching. It does not have power steering or power brakes. It has drums at all 4 corners and bias ply tires. I tell people all the time that there is a reason there's no cup holders in the car - you have to drive it. The ride is smooth and comfortable. Cornering is what you'd expect for a 65 year old car with bias ply tires. Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

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It's really not that hard to isolate a rough ride. I can tell you that a completely stock tri-five suspension will not have a harsh ride. Its cornering is less than spectacular, but it doesn't have a rough ride.

A guy I know was complaining about poor ride in his just-purchased 1953 Packard. It had bias ply tires inflated to about 35 PSI when it should have been 24 or 25. I let some air out of the tires - problem solved. Given that Packard and Cadillac were direct competitors should tell you something about what the ride should have been like, and how much tire pressure impacts the ride with bias ply tires.

Count the leaves in the rear springs - 5 for station wagons, 4 for everything else. Check front suspension height per the shop manual - a little weird, but accurate. Too high means stiff front springs.

As I mentioned earlier, I use premium grade stock Monroe shocks, which give a good ride without floating all over the place. (Cornering on repro bias ply tires with no factory sway bar will always be substandard, so adapt your driving style accordingly if you're staying stock.)

Tires more than 10 years old should be replaced on general principles. Check for dry rot - another reason to replace them.

You'll note these are generally listed in order of ease to diagnose and cost to fix.
 

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🐔County, TN. 55 Bel Air Sport Coupe
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My 57 Belair 2-door hardtop is stock and numbers matching. It does not have power steering or power brakes. It has drums at all 4 corners and bias ply tires. I tell people all the time that there is a reason there's no cup holders in the car - you have to drive it. The ride is smooth and comfortable. Cornering is what you'd expect for a 65 year old car with bias ply tires. Frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
A front sway bar was an add on option, standard on police vehicles and taxi's. Even the smaller diameter OER bar should make a world of difference in the cornering.
 

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The ride on my 57 sport coupe is amazing and probably better than my modern passenger cars and equivalent to my truck. But I also have replaced the upper/lower a arm bushings, all 4 ball joints, control arms, body mounts, and put new inserts and grease on my leaf springs. I also have a front sway bar and use radial tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The ride on my 57 sport coupe is amazing and probably better than my modern passenger cars and equivalent to my truck. But I also have replaced the upper/lower a arm bushings, all 4 ball joints, control arms, body mounts, and put new inserts and grease on my leaf springs. I also have a front sway bar and use radial tires.
thanks for all of the input. I think the tires are old and possibly hard. Kevin has given me hope. Is there a preferred white wall of choice you guys are using these days?
 

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🐔County, TN. 55 Bel Air Sport Coupe
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The ride on my 57 sport coupe is amazing and probably better than my modern passenger cars and equivalent to my truck. But I also have replaced the upper/lower a arm bushings, all 4 ball joints, control arms, body mounts, and put new inserts and grease on my leaf springs. I also have a front sway bar and use radial tires.
It sounds like your newer cars have problems if they ride close to how the 57 rides. Unless "newer" isn't late model cars at least 2000 or later models. Most everyone here rebuilds the entire front end and new body mounts, that's standard practice.
 

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It sounds like your newer cars have problems if they handle close to how the 57 rides. Unless "newer" isn't late model cars at least 2000 or later models. Most everyone here rebuilds the entire front end and new body mounts, that's standard practice.
He didn’t once mention handling in his question nor did I in my answer 🤦🏼 Unibodies will always be superior in handling.
 
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