Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,713 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First off the car will see limited track time. It will be mostly be street driven so I do not want mono leafs. 1966 coupe with a 418, 500hp and a T5 trans. Looking at a 3.70 to 4.10 rear gear. Hoping to stuff a 315 out back. I’ve already installed the DSE mini tubs and relocated the leaf springs inboard.

My searching is finding GW or Maier leafs are the best. My question is what leaf is best with CalTracs, 4, 4.5, 5 leaf packs and or standard, mid or reverse eye leafs? I do plan on lowering the car up to 1.5-2 inches.

I had the Grab A Trac leafs on my old 65 fastback and thought they were pretty good leafs.

I’ve also read that a leaf to stuff can hurt it’s performance by not transferring weight to the rear. With CalTracs I shouldn’t need super stiff leafs?

Second part of my question is can one use a poly leaf spring bushing instead of a solid bushing with Caltracs? I also may make my own Caltracs and I have access to a path and mill and a strong machining background.

Thanks in advance for any and all help. I spent over two hours tonight trying to find answers to my questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,713 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Finally got a reply back from Caltrac, I can use any of the leaf springs I had mentioned above. The only thing is I will have to specify which spring I have like standard or mid eye leaf springs. Each spring type will require its own Caltrac set up. Caltrac mention the spring rates but did not elaborate on if the higher rate or lower rate spring would be better. They also mentioned ride height but I think they may have just been giving me advice on what to look for when buying new leaf springs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I would suggest you pick your spring on what height you want first (ie standard, lower, way lower, etc) and then whatever Caltrac recommends. Also there are compromises. Do you want a car that leaves the absolute the best on the strip or one that can take a corner without scraping the door handles? Pick your spring rates accordingly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,713 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I would suggest you pick your spring on what height you want first (ie standard, lower, way lower, etc) and then whatever Caltrac recommends. Also there are compromises. Do you want a car that leaves the absolute the best on the strip or one that can take a corner without scraping the door handles? Pick your spring rates accordingly!
Yes I know and that's the tough part. It's never as easy as black and white. lol

Caltrac said they prefer stiffer springs for drag racing. The springs they sell have a rate of 200. If memory serves me correctly I think I had 4.5 or 5 leafs from Mustang Plus on my old fastback and loved them. So I am pretty sure I will stay in that range. the car will be lowered 2 inches. I'm in the process of returning the stand MII spindles for 2 inch drop spindles. After my mock up of the front suspension it is clear I can drop 2 inches. For the rear I have to keep in mind the axle tube is larger than the stock 8 inch so that will lower the car a little more as well. Now it's just deciding on which manufacture of leaf spring I want to go with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Yes I know and that's the tough part. It's never as easy as black and white. lol

Caltrac said they prefer stiffer springs for drag racing. The springs they sell have a rate of 200. If memory serves me correctly I think I had 4.5 or 5 leafs from Mustang Plus on my old fastback and loved them. So I am pretty sure I will stay in that range. the car will be lowered 2 inches. I'm in the process of returning the stand MII spindles for 2 inch drop spindles. After my mock up of the front suspension it is clear I can drop 2 inches. For the rear I have to keep in mind the axle tube is larger than the stock 8 inch so that will lower the car a little more as well. Now it's just deciding on which manufacture of leaf spring I want to go with.
That's a good point about the axle tube difference. I hadn't thought about that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,200 Posts
Don't know how soon you are looking to get some springs but I'm planning on getting rid of a set of 5-leaf mid-eye springs off my car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,713 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Don't know how soon you are looking to get some springs but I'm planning on getting rid of a set of 5-leaf mid-eye springs off my car.
Was looking at having the wife pick them up for xmas, hence the reason for the post was to narrow down my search. Sending you a message or is it now a conversation. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
I can't answer your question on which is best with Caltracs. However, I can tell you for certain that the difference between the Mustangs Plus (Grab-A-Trac) and Maier Springs aren't even in the same world. I'm not putting 500 HP to the ground but my axle wrap was all but eliminated with Maier leafs and the compliance is night and day difference. I never thought the car would be that different just based on leaf springs but I would almost suggest just trying a set of Eaton or Maier before you install Caltracs, over to you of course. I also have his panhard bar and the car handles phenomenally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,713 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I can't answer your question on which is best with Caltracs. However, I can tell you for certain that the difference between the Mustangs Plus (Grab-A-Trac) and Maier Springs aren't even in the same world. I'm not putting 500 HP to the ground but my axle wrap was all but eliminated with Maier leafs and the compliance is night and day difference. I never thought the car would be that different just based on leaf springs but I would almost suggest just trying a set of Eaton or Maier before you install Caltracs, over to you of course. I also have his panhard bar and the car handles phenomenally.

What rate spring are you using? Your reply brings up another question. To run caltracs or not. For me I plan on running them no matter what as I feel it will be the best traction I can get from a leaf spring setup. My plan or thought process was not to use caltracs to eliminate wheel hop. So I guess this is where I may not have been clear enough or simple don't understand myself.

Given I will be installing Caltracs then would I be okay with a lesser spring or would the better spring compliment the caltracs? Caltrac said they prefer the stiffer spring rates so I may as well go with the Maier springs as they seem to be prefered leaf spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
You can get springs that will eliminate wheel hop without the Cal tracs, but that is not the only benefit of them. They also help plant the tires as they turn the torque that wants to wrap up the springs into forcing the tire down.
That said I think the feedback from SR 1032 is a pretty invaluable observation of the difference between springs, "night and day" Cal trac says they prefer stiffer springs for them to work to their maximum potential. You have to figure they are talking about super stock cars or dedicated drag cars. I don't think that is what you are going for. My bet is you would pick "compliance" on the street in SR 1032s words over the last possible tenth on the dragstrip. Especially if you aren't running slicks or want it to handle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
What rate spring are you using? Your reply brings up another question. To run caltracs or not. For me I plan on running them no matter what as I feel it will be the best traction I can get from a leaf spring setup. My plan or thought process was not to use caltracs to eliminate wheel hop. So I guess this is where I may not have been clear enough or simple don't understand myself.

Given I will be installing Caltracs then would I be okay with a lesser spring or would the better spring compliment the caltracs? Caltrac said they prefer the stiffer spring rates so I may as well go with the Maier springs as they seem to be prefered leaf spring.
The springs are 165LB. As for whether or not to use Caltracs I think it depends on what your goal is. Caltracs make the car considerably rougher and harsher and weren't really designed for cornering as there is always a bit of preload on the springs with them. A good set of springs and a watts or panhard will allow the rear end to move without preload.

IMO for a driver I would find a good set of springs and narrow your focus on what you really want out of the car, just my 2 cents :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Have you looked at the Mike Maier Mod springs? They are asymmetrical, so they are something like five leafs in the front and a few to one on the back. They claim they eliminate axle wrap without needing traction bars while planting the tires into the ground on acceleration. If I get new springs, that's likely the way I'm going even though I like the cal tracs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I had 4 1/2 mid eye grab a tracks and the first trip to the track I wheel hopped so bad I stripped the u bolts. I ordered the full Calvert suspension setup and it made a world of difference. I street drive my car alot and dont find the mono leafs too harsh, even with preload on the caltracs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,713 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I want maximum traction if and when I need it. I do not think the car will ever see a road course and if it does it would be at a decent pace and not pushing the car to its limits. At the drag strip the car will be run hard and I would like to slap a pair of slicks on it but thats way down the road.

With that said its safe to say that my dreams and actual use of the car may be two different things. The car will see way more street driving to shows and such than it will see of any kind of racing. If I had the cash I would have went with the DSE four link set up.

Based on the great advice from everyone I think I will buy a set of the more expensive springs like maiers, drive the car like that and go from there. I can always add the Caltracs at a later date and for now use those funds to on other priorities in the build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
That makes a lot of sense. Try the springs first and see if you even still want the caltracs.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top