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1955 Crown: Correct-fitting shocks???

Posted By bergmanj Last Year
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bergmanj
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Folks,
Just "picked-up" a nice '55 Crown and am looking for current information on what shocks to use for best fit -- front and rear, travel (enough "drop" to allow for rear tire changes); and, with "helper springs" for the rear.
Manufacturer and part numbers would be appreciated. Rear end is low with Continental kit on it & cannot afford to do anything with rear leafs at this time. Going-in for an alignment in two weeks and would like to install new shocks at the same time.
Regards, JLB

55 Ford Crown Victoria Steel Top
Lou
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I would not replace the shocks until i was ready to replace the springs and do front and rear springs. Replace the rear springs with 6 or 7 leaf springs.
Do a Google search for "overload shocks", found my local parts store has them.
bergmanj
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Thanks for the reply, Lou.

What you suggest is the "right-thing" to do; however, funds are simply not available to do that now; so, I still need information on shocks.
No one else??

Regards, JLB

55 Ford Crown Victoria Steel Top
1/8cavman
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 You are lucky to find a nice 55 Crown that is affordable. I would not waste money on an alignment at this point. A-arm bushings, idler arm, tie rod ends, should be closely checked and replaced, if needed. KYB gas-a-just shocks are a good choice for shocks and are on sale quite often on Rock Auto. The ball joints are almost always ok, if they have been greased as they should. As far as the rear springs, don't flip the shackles to raise it up. Replace the front and rear bushings, they are almost always worn out. Look for some station wagon rear springs or try to find some leaf springs that are very similar and cut the spring eyes off the main leaf and add to your spring pack. Also when you have the spring pack apart grease the pads on the end off the leaves to get a smoother ride. This comes from 25 years of suspension and alignment on all kinds and off-road vehicles.   Ist Cav Man  
miker
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How about looking for a set of old fashioned air shocks? I’ve got a buddy with a 56 scrubby Nomad that has an old but good set on the back. When he loads it up, he adds air to bring it level. Doesn’t make much difference in the ride, just works. No compressor on board, he just airs them together thru a fitting in back. You could use the trunk, or hide it under the Connie kit.

You might need to find a good counter guy, or get into the online catalogs to check dimensions (extended/compressed) and car weight, but I’ll bet they’re out there in Monroe or Gabriel (or whoever owns them now). Might even try the Ford barn and see if the Courier guys have a lead.

Those would let you level the car now, and would possibly replace the helper springs when you replace the main springs someday. There weren’t many Connie kits on the full size cars, so likely the replacement springs will either need help, or have to be custom made for the weight. Wagon springs maybe?

miker
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Kent, WA
Tucson, AZ
bergmanj
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Thanks, folks,
I'm still looking; does anybody have the compressed/extended length specs (especially extended!)?  I know that this was discussed here quite some time ago; but, I wasn't able to find through "search" function.
Many places sell shocks (supposedly) for this car; but, I also know that some folks on here and elsewhere have had problems with the extended length being too short to allow tire changes without letting air out of the rear tires - I'm trying to totally avoid that "pain".
Regards, JLB

55 Ford Crown Victoria Steel Top
Ted
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See if one of these links to past threads helps.
http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/FindPost74608.aspx
http://forums.y-blocksforever.com/FindPost74631.aspx


Lorena, Texas (South of Waco)


bergmanj
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Ted,
Thanks; It looks like good information - I'll check it out further.
One of the threads referred that Gabriels had 3" more travel than KB's; I'll look at their respective spec's.
If anyone else has specific experience, I'd like to hear bout it too.
Regards, JLB

55 Ford Crown Victoria Steel Top
DryLakesRacer
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I have the stock shocks on my 56 and it is not lowered. My rims are 15-6” instead of the original 5” width with 215-75 series tires. The original bumper jack works fine. Since your only jacking up one side it comes down at an angle and the tire is tight but comes out. The stock 5” wide spare goes in easy. I do use a small scissor jack under the axle to just barely raise the wheel off the ground for protection. I have also left on the bumper guards so the bumper jack will not slip. I also use towels to protect the chrome.

I will say if my car is on a rack at a shop I request to be there when it comes down as the shackles will flip and are a real pain to get back one at a time with a long pry bar and 2 jacks…

56 Vic, B'Ville 200 MPH Club Member, So Cal.
MoonShadow
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I have those Gabriels on my lowered 56 and they helped a lot. With 8" rims and stock tires they change easily. 

Y's guys rule!
Looking for McCullouch VS57 brackets and parts. Also looking for 28 Chrysler series 72 parts. And early Hemi parts.

MoonShadow, 292 w/McCulloch, 28 Chrysler Roadster, 354 Hemi)
Manchester, New Hampshire


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