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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

I want to lower my stock 56 convertible (See pic below) and have some questions about leafs vs blocks.

Back story: I was going to go with drop spindles and thus disk brakes (all around) but that kept growing in complexity and cost since I would have to move my power steering pump to accommodate the new larger master and have new wheel bearings pressed on etc. All taking me further away from my end goal of a virtually stock 56 with a level lowered stance and tires/wheels with a modern fitment that retain the old school vibe.

1) Drop leafs vs blocks? Any difference beside looks?

2) Does the convertible require the four or five leaf springs? Can't tell if it fits into the 'heavier' category of not. Leafs on Speedway motors

3) I am thinking 2 inch drop coils and 3 inch drop leafs would level the car. Currently with my tires (225/50/17 and 245/50/17) the rear seems to sit about an inch higher (measuring the bottom of the rocker panel closest to each wheel.) However, since the actual drop amount seems to vary some, and that technically I don't think the numbers say the rear should be a whole inch higher now, I am considering a 2 inch drop leaf with a one inch block in case the 3 inch drop leaf is too low. Is that silly?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Can not help, but you have a very beautiful car. :congrats::bowtier:
 

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Yep, sweet looking car!

If you have a difference in tire height front to back, then I imagine you would want that reflected in the rake, otherwise you might create the illusion of it actually lower in the back – almost like lead sled.

And possibly having the smaller hubcap, which brings more colour to the rim and wheel well, makes the car look higher. Maybe grab a Belair cap from somewhere and just hold it in place and photograph it (with and without) to see the difference.

Are you doing the work yourself? I recently did similar work to my 57 2DHT and had the suspension shop do it all – not too expensive, and they were pretty accurate. (There's a bit to account for with these cars being old and sagging on the driver's side etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yep, sweet looking car!

If you have a difference in tire height front to back, then I imagine you would want that reflected in the rake, otherwise you might create the illusion of it actually lower in the back – almost like lead sled.

And possibly having the smaller hubcap, which brings more colour to the rim and wheel well, makes the car look higher. Maybe grab a Belair cap from somewhere and just hold it in place and photograph it (with and without) to see the difference.

Are you doing the work yourself? I recently did similar work to my 57 2DHT and had the suspension shop do it all – not too expensive, and they were pretty accurate. (There's a bit to account for with these cars being old and sagging on the driver's side etc.)

Thanks for the compliments on my car. Just got a front bumper accessory guard back from the chromer's too. Should look even nicer next week! ;)

John1T: I think what you're saying in the first paragraph about reflecting the tire difference in the rake is what my question is really. The current rake is due to the tire size difference is why I am wondering if I need to go with an extra inch drop in the back. I want it to be level with no rake. The front and rear wheels are the same diameter but (on paper) the tire diameter of the front tire is about .8 inches less causing the current raked stance. However, because the math only adds up to .8 inches difference but the blocks come in flavors by the inch, should I do the 2 inch leafs and 1 inch block to be safe?

I am not going to do the work this time. On my 56 2DrHT I did the disk brakes, a-arms, blocks and spindles myself. Been there, done that. I am going to pay someone this time. :)

Funny you mention the driver's side sag. Both mine have/had it. Nice to know my head wasn't just crooked.
 

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I had a front end shop install my extra set of front coils, minus one coil dropped front end about 1.5 inches, not expensive. Love your convert, looks like it could stand a bit of a rake.
 

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leaf-blocks

:Hi Tri fiveguy, I have 3" Posie super slides in the back , 1" drop coils & 2" drop spindles in front, Sits real nice ,only problem so far is tail pipes lightly drag on steep drives, I have a pair of lowering blocks ,never used , I,ve heard the cars handle better with the drop leaf springs, if any one wants to buy a pair of lowering blocks pm me , I will post pics soon,, Dick,:sign0020::anim_25:
 

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try the lowering blocks

1st, ( for the rear)
2in or 3in, to see what your looking for,
I put 2in lowering spindles in front, and new stock springs,
it sat to high, so I cut a coil from the new springs,. and used a 3in block in the
rear, to achieve what I wanted, (using a 4 leaf spring, on a 210 2 dr)
eventually I'll install new rear springs, but for now ( and for the last 20 yrs) the lowering blocks have worked fine.
 

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T5F, is your car like the pic posted or like your avatar? I.e., Belair hubcaps, fender skirts?

I know with my car, since I have skirts and sill moldings, I wanted the car dead level. Factory GM pics show the 57s actually had a slight rake (normal) but I actually wanted mine a little lower in the back so as to make the sill moldings 100% level – and that is accentuated by the fender skirts as well.

If you know 100% the look you are after, then a good spring/suspension place will be able to achieve that for you. And you can test out the look by standing back on the sides and having a couple of friends push down front and back so simulate the stance. Then measure the differences off the ground before and after – chassis to ground. (Make sure you are on a dead level floor, of course.)
 

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The advantage to dropped spindles is you retain the suspension travel, with shorter springs you lose travel.
Jim
 

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Beautiful '56 Rag-Top.:tu:tu:tu

I like the stance the way it is.:):tu

:bowtieb::bowtier::bowtieb::bowtier::bowtieb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
John1T: I have been wondering if stock 56s had any rake to them and if so how much. My old 56 was dropped 3 in the rear and 2 in the front and it looked level but the tire and wheel sizes were not the same as on this one. Both cars are mine but I removed the skirts and stock wheels shown in the avatar. I appreciate them but the look (and ride on those narrow tires) is not for me. I for sure want it level.

Jim57: I totally understand that which is why I initially said I am 'reluctantly' going with shorter springs. From what I understand though, the springs which are pre-shortened by design are slightly stiffer to compensate for the shorter travel so you don't bottom out like you would with cut stock springs. Makes me feel a little better but still...i know what you mean.

'56 Sedan: Thanks. Leaving it alone certainly would be the cheapest option. :)


All:Still wondering about whether I need four or five leaf springs for a convertible. Anyone at least know where i can find the weight of each 56 model to see how it compares to the models I do know need a five leaf?

Thanks.
 
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