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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NEW APPLICATION ANNOUNCEMENT!
RideTech StreetGrip For 1955-1957 Chevy (Tri-5)
Now Available For Pre-Order!

Ridetech has recently released the Tri5 StreetGrip kit. I know a few of you have been asking about some of it. The StreetGrip kit is designed to be bolt-in and greatly improve the handling while providing a nice ride. I personally know the owners of the cars we used for development, to say they were blown away would be an understatement. They couldn't believe how well they rode and handled. Mike said he didn't know you could make a 55 drive so well and his is even manual steering. There are some bullet points at the bottom of this post that went out in our newsletter, but I wanted to talk about them a little more.

We replace the the OEM leaf springs with a composite leaf spring. The Composite leaf is well proven in Corvettes and other vehicles. It won't sag or take set, it is very predictable in spring rate and ride height. We use a Delrin Bushing setup to eliminate flex and allow for free movement at the bushings. Freeing up the movement of the bushings helps with ride quality. The material we use for the bushings is Teflon infused to provide self-lubrication. I have had this bushing setup on my big heavy Suburban for several years now. We used it for one of the test mules due to it being big and heavy.

We use a Dual Rate Coil Spring in the front, it is designed to ride around on the softer rate, but transitions to the stiffer rate when you hit a big bump or roll into a corner. Hyperco builds all of our springs, they are the leading coil spring manufacture in the United States.

We use Delrin bushings in the control arms to replace the OEM rubber bushings. This eliminates deflection and frees up the suspension movement. Once again, free suspension is better riding suspension.

We use a tall upper balljoint to improve the camber gain on the front suspension. Improving the camber gain helps to improve the handling of the car. The more tire tread you keep on the ground in the corner, the better the car will handle. Back in the day when these cars were designed, they used bias ply tires and handling wasn't as big of a concern as it is today.

The kit comes with an 1 1/4" diameter sway bar and the bracket to bolt to the OEM arms. We use a Delrin liner in the sway bar bushing to allow the bar to move freely in the frame bushings.

All of the StreetGrip kits come with our HQ Series Smooth Body shocks. The HQ Series is a Single Adjustable Monotube shock. The Monotube has a large piston for better suspension control and less impact harshness. Plus, all of our shocks come with a 1,000,001 mile warranty. The biggest improvement we made on the Tri5 is the rear shock setup. We built a staggered shock setup to help eliminate wheel hop. They came with both shocks in the front which done nothing to control axle twist. GM eventually switched to a staggered shock setup on the performance cars that had leaf springs. The main reason for this was to control wheel hop. The brackets are bolt in and use the OEM location as a reference point. The only thing we use the original hole for is a locator.

This isn't a universal kit, it is designed specifically for the Tri5. I have also posted some links to our website that go into more detail about the kits. Be sure to click on the other videos at the end of the main video. It talks more about the specific parts.

http://www.ridetech.com/store/streetgrip


TRI-5 KITS SCHEDULED TO SHIP MAY 2016

These are some bullet points we sent out in our newsletter, I posted them in case I missed something. :)

• Easy to install - direct replacement for factory suspension - no other modifications necessary
• RADICAL improvement to ride quality and handling performance
• Vehicle-specific dual-rate front coilsprings offer the best of both worlds...ride quality AND crisp handling
• Delrin front control arm bushings eliminate unwanted movement and stiction in front suspension
• Composite rear leaf springs offer linear spring rate and saves 70lbs of unsprung weight!
• Delrin leaf spring bushings regain lateral stability missing with rubber or poly bushings
• Tall balljoints dramatically improve OEM camber curve to give your car a much more stable feel through the corners
• Larger front and rear swaybar minimizes unwanted body roll through the corners
• Delrin swaybar bushings eliminate unwanted movement and stiction in the swaybar to improve ride quality and handling performance
• Vehicle-specific RideTech HQ series rebound adjustable shocks offer the ultimate in ride quality and handling performance
• Staggered rear shocks eliminate wheel hop; upper mounts are reinforced for extra strength
 

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just looking quickly at the kit it seems to be about 30% overpriced for what it is. JMHO. not all trifive guy's are farting $50 bills
 

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I'd be very interested in a description of the ride height with the Street Grip front dual-rate springs. As compared to stock or the stock replacement Moog 638's.

(Got a recent report where a person changed out an old set of original front springs on his '57 for a set of Moog 638's and it only raised the car 1/2".)

The Moog 638's have a spring rate of 328. Originals ranged from 285 to 340 depending on the model and engine choice. They also varied in height some too so there isn't really a single number that can be used for "stock ride height".

What can be expected with the RideTech dual rate springs for ride height and what are the 2 rates? Comparing to the Moog 638's may be the most helpful answer.
 

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I would like to know more about the dual rate front springs too. I would love for mine to ride a little softer and still handle about as well in the corners. I see on your website that there are 2 choices, big block and small block. Can we get data to compare these to the Moog 638 and 656? Data I would like is spring rate(s), etc similar to the Moog data below (copied from CT) so I can determine about where my car would set with these:

638 &656 moog have tangential ends on spring

numbers for 638 spring
ID=3.625
wire dia.=0.630
load height=11.125
load=1725
rate load height=327
free height=16.393
--------------------------------------
numbers for 656 spring
id=3.625
wiree dia.=0.640
load height=11.187
load=1940
free height=17.359
rate load height=314

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd be very interested in a description of the ride height with the Street Grip front dual-rate springs. As compared to stock or the stock replacement Moog 638's.

(Got a recent report where a person changed out an old set of original front springs on his '57 for a set of Moog 638's and it only raised the car 1/2".)

The Moog 638's have a spring rate of 328. Originals ranged from 285 to 340 depending on the model and engine choice. They also varied in height some too so there isn't really a single number that can be used for "stock ride height".

What can be expected with the RideTech dual rate springs for ride height and what are the 2 rates? Comparing to the Moog 638's may be the most helpful answer.
This is the reason we provide a dimension on our site. Depending on how much the car sagged over the years is going to depend on how much it changes the height. The best results are going to be obtained by running our complete kit. I will go into this more on the reply to 56mark, below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will the staggered rear shock setup work for those of us with rear shock bars in place of floor mounts?
Jim, most likely not. We went back and forth about this when we were designing the kit. There wasn't a perfect answer for this problem, some guys have bolt in ones, some have weld in ones, some are eyelet top, some are stud top, there wasn't going to be anything that worked for everyone. Knowing that, we decided to stay with our staggered shock setup, because it was a solution that works. It's the same reason GM eventually went to it on their leaf spring cars, it does a better job controlling wheel hop. We all know that wheel hop is a common problem on these cars and this does a better job of controlling it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would like to know more about the dual rate front springs too. I would love for mine to ride a little softer and still handle about as well in the corners. I see on your website that there are 2 choices, big block and small block. Can we get data to compare these to the Moog 638 and 656? Data I would like is spring rate(s), etc similar to the Moog data below (copied from CT) so I can determine about where my car would set with these:

638 &656 moog have tangential ends on spring

numbers for 638 spring
ID=3.625
wire dia.=0.630
load height=11.125
load=1725
rate load height=327
free height=16.393
--------------------------------------
numbers for 656 spring
id=3.625
wiree dia.=0.640
load height=11.187
load=1940
free height=17.359
rate load height=314

Thanks
56Mark, we are working on the final details of our spring with Hyperco, but at the moment it is 1500lbs @11.188". Our initial rate is 500lbs per inch. I know that sounds like a lot compared to the Moog's, but when compared to a stock car with rubber bushings, it isn't. We aren't looking for a "Cadillac" type ride. We are looking for handling and ride, a harder combination to hit than just ride quality by itself. The biggest difference between our setup and stock is, free movement. The Rubber bushings induce spring rate that is often overlooked, when you hit a bump the spring and the bushings come into play. With our Bushing setup, there isn't any induced spring rate and we rely only on the spring. This translates into a higher spring rate at the spring. Our shocks come into play here too. We run very,very little compression damping and a lot of rebound to control the spring. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the more of our components that are ran together, the bigger the smile on your face.

The owner of the 55, that we did some of the original design on, brought it back yesterday so we can some more testing. I talked to him for a little while, he told me that he finds himself driving the car a lot more now that it has our kit on it. He said that it is fun to drive now. The amount of "smile per mile" tells us how a car is doing. :)
 

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Jim, most likely not. We went back and forth about this when we were designing the kit. There wasn't a perfect answer for this problem, some guys have bolt in ones, some have weld in ones, some are eyelet top, some are stud top, there wasn't going to be anything that worked for everyone. Knowing that, we decided to stay with our staggered shock setup, because it was a solution that works. It's the same reason GM eventually went to it on their leaf spring cars, it does a better job controlling wheel hop. We all know that wheel hop is a common problem on these cars and this does a better job of controlling it.
That is unfortunate. My guess is most who resto-mod their trifives (those most worried about wheel hop) opt to add a shock bar for more support. Also, there are a lot of trifives out there that have damaged trunk floors due to failed weak stock shock mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is unfortunate. My guess is most who resto-mod their trifives (those most worried about wheel hop) opt to add a shock bar for more support. Also, there are a lot of trifives out there that have damaged trunk floors due to failed weak stock shock mounts.
Jim, we aren't using the stock mounts to mount the shocks. We use it for a locator for our brackets, but that's it. We convert to an eyelet top shock instead of the stud top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got pictures of how your upper mounts work?
1st picture is of the Driver mount, 2nd the Passenger, 3rd is of the backer plate that is in the trunk. We sandwich the stock floor using the OEM Shock hole as a locator. The plates help spread the load instead of having the load on a small area.
 

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1st picture is of the Driver mount, 2nd the Passenger, 3rd is of the backer plate that is in the trunk. We sandwich the stock floor using the OEM Shock hole as a locator. The plates help spread the load instead of having the load on a small area.
Thanks, Rodney. Now I understand how your new upper staggered mounts work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We are doing a live install Thursday May 5, 2016 on a 69 Camaro as part of the Cars N Cones tour. We selected one of the cars on the tour to do an install on Thursday while the tour is doing the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. I know the car isn't a Tri5, but it uses similar components. The only real big difference is the staggered shock setup we use on the Tri5, the 1st Gen has it factory. It uses a composite leaf setup similar to the setup we use on the Tri5 and I know a few of you have been curious about them. The install will start around 8:00 AM Eastern Time. I have posted a link below. If you get a chance, check it out. You will be able to ask questions through the link during the install.

http://livestream.com/BangShiftLIVE/events/5295341
 

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I'm agreeing with jswilke (Jim) on this one. I don't care for the staggered shock setup for the rear where they are mounted to the body.
I also don't care for the fact that the dual-rate front springs have such a high rate. I think that's going to roughen the ride.

I think it's going to be a hard sell. I just see the Street Grip kit as not versatile.

If I still had a stock suspension and was looking at upgrading, I'd rather go to with Shockwaves (where I can adjust the height and compensate for load) in back and either RideTech coil-overs (where I can choose the rates and adjust the height) or stock springs and smooth-body shocks for the front. A person who wants lowering springs can choose those along with the rates as well.
 

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Would like to know what the stock motion ratio and wheel rate is on these cars with stock suspension vs. aftermarket control arms with these higher rates.

That would give a better apples to apples comparison.

And while the compressed shock rate at over 1100 lb/in is a lot, that's likely near the end of the shock/spring's compressed travel meaning that you'd never feel that rate just driving around town. You'd need to be going hard in a corner for it to be there. 500 lb/in isn't really that high with delrin bushings (which allow better articulation of the a-arm as opposed to rubber, which adds to the twisting resistance)...I had 450 lb/in shocks on my '56 for a while and it was firm, but not crazy. 350 lb/in on these cars makes them ride like a Buick...I guess if you want poor handling that's what you'll get with a cushy ride.
 

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1st picture is of the Driver mount, 2nd the Passenger, 3rd is of the backer plate that is in the trunk. We sandwich the stock floor using the OEM Shock hole as a locator. The plates help spread the load instead of having the load on a small area.
That arrangement provides for the staggered shocks, and lessens the possibility that the floor of the vehicle will be torn/damaged, BUT.. it preserved the major problem with the original design (transmittal of shock/vibration directly to the body of the car). Did you consider designing your staggered shock arrangement mount directly to the inside of the frame?

Did you design this system to be used with a stock frame? or do you recommend reinforcing/strengthening the frame for reduced torsional and longitudinal flex?

Your article referencing front AND rear anti-sway bars, but only one is shown in the Tri5 photo, so I assume it's the front only? Was that choice a reflection on the need for different sway bars for wagons vs non-wagons?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Would like to know what the stock motion ratio and wheel rate is on these cars with stock suspension vs. aftermarket control arms with these higher rates.

That would give a better apples to apples comparison.

And while the compressed shock rate at over 1100 lb/in is a lot, that's likely near the end of the shock/spring's compressed travel meaning that you'd never feel that rate just driving around town. You'd need to be going hard in a corner for it to be there. 500 lb/in isn't really that high with delrin bushings (which allow better articulation of the a-arm as opposed to rubber, which adds to the twisting resistance)...I had 450 lb/in shocks on my '56 for a while and it was firm, but not crazy. 350 lb/in on these cars makes them ride like a Buick...I guess if you want poor handling that's what you'll get with a cushy ride.
hutchenc, you are exactly right! People don't consider the spring rate rubber bushings induce. How many times have we all herd that someone replaced the rubber bushings and tightened them with the suspension hanging. They are stout enough to hold the car up. If you put a stock spring in with Delrin bushings, it's going to be really soft due to the free movement of the suspension. You are also correct on the springs, it is designed to be on the soft rate when normal driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm agreeing with jswilke (Jim) on this one. I don't care for the staggered shock setup for the rear where they are mounted to the body.
I also don't care for the fact that the dual-rate front springs have such a high rate. I think that's going to roughen the ride.

I think it's going to be a hard sell. I just see the Street Grip kit as not versatile.

If I still had a stock suspension and was looking at upgrading, I'd rather go to with Shockwaves (where I can adjust the height and compensate for load) in back and either RideTech coil-overs (where I can choose the rates and adjust the height) or stock springs and smooth-body shocks for the front. A person who wants lowering springs can choose those along with the rates as well.
That's why we have options. Some customers want simple, the StreetGrip is designed for the guy that wants more out of his car without going full blown CoilOver or ShockWave. Our goal is to have some type of suspension for everyone. The StreetGrip kit is a very good mix of ride and handling. The car we designed the first kit on is owned by a gentleman that is in his early 60's and is not a guy that is in to modifying the suspension on his cars. I was kind of surprised he even let us do this to his car, but I can tell you that he wouldn't go back. His exact words were "I didn't know you could make a 55 ride and drive like that". You will never see CoilOvers or ShockWaves on any of his cars, he is exactly the kind of person this kit fits perfectly. Keep in mind, you will get the best results out of the StreetGrip when it is ran as a complete kit.

Roger, I know from dealing with you that you're the kind of guy that is going to keep at it until you get the results you are happy with. I'm the same way, but not everyone is. That's where the CoilOver and ShockWave shine, they both have the flexibility to achieve the owners desired results as long as you are willing to play with them.

The staggered shock kit works really well with a leaf spring setup. It is mounted to the body, but the brackets are designed to spread the load. We all know that wheel hop is a common problem on the Tri5s and we knew that was something we were going to have to look at during development. If you look at the leaf spring cars after the Tri5s, you will notice they have staggered shocks. GM did this to let the shocks help control the axle which helps control wheel hop. GM runs staggered shocks on leaf spring vehicles still today. If you know something works, why not go with it?
 
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