The Search For Supple

Sep 23, 2013 update on Roland444's 1971 Ford Pinto

Mark Donohue’s iconic book, The Unfair Advantage, mentions the breakthrough softer springs gave him in developing the TransAm Camaros. I really wanted to try that approach for myself with the Pinto.

It was apparent that cut down OEM coils were a dead end & so I canvassed the ‘Net for a softer pair. With some guesstimating a rate about 40-50% lighter seemed about right, and after some great (and educational) emails from Mike at Eaton Detroit Springs, a beautiful pair of custom-wound coils showed up about 2 weeks later. James & I spent an afternoon trimming them to the right height and adjusting the Konis to the #2 rebound position.

When I finally went for a spin, I was blown away…I couldn’t believe it was the same car. There’s a nice “driver’s corner” on the way home and this time when I approached, the brakes snuggled the car down predictably, the front end bit and I went through the turn like a tarantula on velcro. No muss, no fuss. Even with the brakes in “Vintage NASCAR” spec (drum all around) there’s really good feel and it feels very nice - firm, but supple and it just glides over most bumps. It was a real thrill when the car finally responded to mods like I thought it should…..(!)

Eventually I’ll be adding front discs & sway bars (natch), but the rear suspension is overdue for some work next, and maybe a header as well….


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