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Air shocks?

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  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Air shocks?
Posted by smhardesty on Friday, March 10, 2017 2:19 PM

 

I’m eventually going to be doing some builds based on 1:1 cars I had and my buddies had “back in the day”. Several of these cars will include a change of wheels & tires with the rear tires being good, old L60s. Some of these kits will require lifting the rear to allow for the larger tire size. I’ve read a couple posts and articles on lifting a kit, but I haven’t run across anything about “air shocks” like we used to get the needed lift. Does anybody make an aftermarket set of shocks/air shocks that could be installed? Trust me when I say I’m probably not going to be able to “build” a set of air shocks from scratch unless it’s so easy a little kid could do it. I’m not the most creative to begin with and then I have some trouble with feel and coordination in my right hand.

If no air shocks exist, what is the all out easiest way to lift the rear of a build? I know there are a few different ways of doing this and probably several of you guys are going to suggest different ways to accomplish the task, but please keep in mind that I’m looking for the easiest, cleanest way to do it. My builds will be on display in cases so there won't be any handling of the car after it’s built and I’ll never be entering these cars in shows or contests. That might allow for some “quick & dirty” way to get the lift I’m going to need.

 

Also, while discussing this topic. I’m eventually going to do a build of my own Barracuda. On that car I ran Cragar SS wheels on the front with (I think) F70 tires. On the back I had a set of steel truck wheels that I found in a junk yard that were wide enough to accommodate a set of Mickey Thompson N50 tires. I painted the wheels gloss black. I’m going to want to replicate those wheels and tires for my build. Does anybody know of wheels & tires that would closely replicate those I had on my 1:1 car?

 

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: arlington, tx.
Posted by rusty32rod on Friday, March 10, 2017 3:33 PM

    FIREBALL MODELWORKS has the mickey thompson N50 tires you're looking for. real rubber, 1/24 and 1/25 scale, and VERY nice. $6 pr. his tires are very well worth the money.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, March 10, 2017 4:28 PM

rusty32rod

    FIREBALL MODELWORKS has the mickey thompson N50 tires you're looking for. real rubber, 1/24 and 1/25 scale, and VERY nice. $6 pr. his tires are very well worth the money.

 

And there are several sets of wide steelies available in kits and aftermarket. Perhaps the best is the rear wheels from any of the MPC 78 Monaco police cars, which have been released in one form or another numerous times over the years (the front wheels are the same size, but you will have to drill out the wheel bearing dust cap). Many police car builders don't like these wheels because they are too wide for a proper police car build and so they replace them, but they would be perfect for your project and likely someone on the forum will have a set for you.

I have some comments on lifting the rear as well, but no time to respond right now. I'll post up something later.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

  • Member since
    August, 2015
Posted by htown2 on Friday, March 10, 2017 4:46 PM

One way we used to lift the rear back in the day was extended rear spring shackles on the back ends of the springs.  These would be real easy to replicate with a little scrap plastic.  You might need to change the shocks a little too.

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Friday, March 10, 2017 7:47 PM

Steve, shocks ARE ridiculously easy to make. Some styrene rod and tubing is all you need. Find a tube for your oversized "Gabriel Hijackers" upper body and a rod or tube that is a slip fit inside. Cut short pieces of tubing and attach to top and bottom to mount to locating pins (wire) in rear axle and shock crossmember. Don't glue the upper and lower portions of the shocks together so you can adjust them to the exact installed length. Some white paint and simulated air hoses and you're good to go. I use this method on nearly all of my builds to get the correct length shocks for my modified suspensions. Give it a try: they really are very simple to make and add a lot to the detail compared to the "skinny" shocks in most kits. For an example use the search function to find  "1968 Dodge Dart Street Racer" and check the under-car photos.

chucky

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Saturday, March 11, 2017 11:48 AM

Raising the rear on a model is done similarly to a 1:1 car. As mentioned above, extended spring shackles were very common and pretty easy to create, and as chucky said, air shocks to accommodate the raised height are easy to make as well.

Basically, you need to study the rear suspension assembly of your kit and work out what needs to be done to increase the distance between the axel and the frame. How do the 1:1 guys do it? Extended shackles, re-arced springs, or in extreme cases (mostly trucks) putting the axel below the spring, or on coil spring cars; longer springs or altered spring mounting.

However, on a 1:1 air shocks are used to raise the suspension by forcing the existing springs into an extended condition, but it won't work this way on a model. Air shocks are dynamic but a model is static. On a model the spring leaves won't slide against each other, the shackles won't articulate, and the shocks do not have a compressed air supply to extend them. On a model you will need to modify the suspension to a raised condition (arcing the springs and/or extended shackles) then making the shocks to fit.

A lot of it also has to do with how accurate you wish to be. Keep in mind that the 'cleanest' and teh 'simplest' methods are at opposite ends of the spectrum. If chassis detail is not important, raising is as simple as adding scrap plastic between the spring (either coil or leaf spring) and the frame. If you want precise detail, researching methods for your specific application and developing some scratchbuilding skills may be needed.

Once you get a model on the bench and parts in hand, the problems for your specific application will be come apparent. Then post some photos and specific questions, and solutions to your particular problem can be provided.

 

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Saturday, March 11, 2017 12:18 PM

rusty32rod

    FIREBALL MODELWORKS has the mickey thompson N50 tires you're looking for. real rubber, 1/24 and 1/25 scale, and VERY nice. $6 pr. his tires are very well worth the money.

Outstanding! Yep, those look awfully familiar. Thanks big time for the tip on these tires. I’m going to browse their site a bit and might contact them about a couple things I saw while looking for the N50s. Can’t thank you enough, rusty!

 

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Saturday, March 11, 2017 12:33 PM

 

Trevor,

Thanks for the tip on the wheels on the Monaco squad cars. Those kits are fairly reasonable in price so wouldn’t sting too much. I don’t mind at all getting a few extra dollars wrapped up in the Barracuda build. Not gonna tip my hand yet, but I might have a really big surprise in a couple days. More on that later.

 

Trevor/Chucky/htown2,

Yeah, I was aware of how to raise a 1:1 car. I was just looking for easy ways to raise the model. Modifying the springs or shackles on a model will require a modified shock, or air shock, most likely. That’s why I was wondering if there were any places that had some type of pre-made air shocks. It’s also the reason I asked about the easiest way to raise a model. I’m not REAL concerned with how the bottom side of the chassis looks. Like I said, my builds will be on display inside individual cases and won’t be handled. I do at least want whatever I do to not look butt ugly. I need some easy AND clean way to raise the car slightly to allow for the wider tires. On my 1:1 Barracuda I only raised the air shocks enough to keep the tires from being cut. I never raised that car up to the familiar 60s & 70s drag racer, street rod stance. One of the main reasons was that I had a couple different sets of gears for that car and with the right gears I could run that little beast up into the 140 – 150 mph mark on long, curvy, fun to run, roads. Didn’t want the rear end up in the clouds for that.

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Podunk, Illinois
Posted by smhardesty on Monday, March 13, 2017 2:02 PM

Got my surprise! I was bidding on a '69 Barracuda Notchback resin body on eBay. Won it late last night. I owned a '67 and really wanted to build a replica of that 1:1 car. The '67 and '69 are close enough that very few will know the difference. I posted photos over on the What Did You Get Today? topic. Tickled to  death to get it. Now it's time to start shopping for those little extra parts for that car that were different than stock. And a big thanks to glooz!

Steve

On the bench - Right now, a mess.

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Monday, March 13, 2017 8:06 PM

I have the '67 notchback bumpers, header/grille assembly, hood, fenders, trunk lid and taillamps to make the conversion. Too bad they're all 1:1! Smile, Wink & Grin (I have yet to find a 1:1 body in need of same.) I also have the complete nose to a '74 Dart Sport which I have been told used the same hood. (They do look the same.) Good luck with your search: that notch has great potential. I also prefer the notchback to the fastback. A friend had a '67 Formula S 383 automatic notch which he stored while away for Uncle Sam. Upon his return, the 383 was replaced with a 440 topped with Max Wedge heads and intake setup (and, of course, fenderwell headers). I absolutely loved that beast! I'll be looking for your buildup of this one. 

chucky

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