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Discussion Starter #1
Global west makes a bolt in front coil over kit using their tubular lower control arms. Speedtech makes a bolt in coil over kit for the rear.

Wondering what results any of you have had with these sorts of bolt in coil over kits strictly performance/ride quality speaking? The ability dial in ride height seems really nice to me, but my experience with retrofit coil over setups in the past (mainly QA1) is the handling and ride quality left something to be desired versus a well matched coil spring and shock setup. that may have just been because QA1 setups were geared mainly towards drag racing, and I haven't tried anything using these new Viking coil overs that are used in so many kits these days.

So who's using them?! Am I going to be downgrading in performance and ride quality vs my Koni single adjustables and PPM auto x springs?
 

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I've got the full SpeedTech/Viking double adjustable setup in my wagon both front and rear. Have not driven it yet (targeting this spring) but will update here when I do. I'm hoping that with both rebound and compression damping adjustments along with preload/ride height adjustments I can get it to be everything I want.

I opted for the weld in version for the front with the "Chicane" upper brackets, but they (ViKing) do make an OEM replacement version with the stud/rubber bushing mount just like a regular shock absorber. Not sure if SpeedTech sells this option or if you need to go directly to ViKing. I'd also consider reinforcing the upper shock mount as it won't be too happy trying to support the weight of the car. Looks like the global west kit must use a conical spring that mounts in the factory upper frame location and tapers down to sit on the adjust nuts on the damper? The Chicane kit is not difficult to install and you remove very little material from the frame (basically just the "jack-o-lantern" teeth from the upper spring perch) so I'd recommend that. Springs from ViKing are relatively cheap ($50/each) so if you want a different spring rate it's not a huge investment to change it. Does not look like there is any choices with the Global West kit?

I can say that at full "open" on both the compression and rebound they are relatively easy to move by hand and will fall as fast as you can lower a jack with the spindle/hub bolted on the control arms (no spring installed). That is encouraging that they'll be soft enough. If you close the valves down they're really stiff to move by hand (can't really move them...).

The rears don't exactly bolt in to a Roadmaster wagon...they'll work, but you have to do some clearancing of the frame and tilt the shocks a bit so they line up with the bolt on adapters. You do get 3" of ride height adjustment with the lower bracket by flipping it over, plus what you would get with the coil over adjustment so lots of adjustability there. I'm guessing there are some frame differences in a wagon vs sedan, so you shouldn't have any troubles there.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you run everything through the full range of motion (without springs) before you actually put it on the road. I've run into a handfull of issues that I wouldn't have thought of before hand. If this is your daily driver, make sure you have a backup plan in case things go a bit off track in the middle of the install.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've got the full SpeedTech/Viking double adjustable setup in my wagon both front and rear. Have not driven it yet (targeting this spring) but will update here when I do. I'm hoping that with both rebound and compression damping adjustments along with preload/ride height adjustments I can get it to be everything I want.

I opted for the weld in version for the front with the "Chicane" upper brackets, but they (ViKing) do make an OEM replacement version with the stud/rubber bushing mount just like a regular shock absorber. Not sure if SpeedTech sells this option or if you need to go directly to ViKing. I'd also consider reinforcing the upper shock mount as it won't be too happy trying to support the weight of the car. Looks like the global west kit must use a conical spring that mounts in the factory upper frame location and tapers down to sit on the adjust nuts on the damper? The Chicane kit is not difficult to install and you remove very little material from the frame (basically just the "jack-o-lantern" teeth from the upper spring perch) so I'd recommend that. Springs from ViKing are relatively cheap ($50/each) so if you want a different spring rate it's not a huge investment to change it. Does not look like there is any choices with the Global West kit?

I can say that at full "open" on both the compression and rebound they are relatively easy to move by hand and will fall as fast as you can lower a jack with the spindle/hub bolted on the control arms (no spring installed). That is encouraging that they'll be soft enough. If you close the valves down they're really stiff to move by hand (can't really move them...).

The rears don't exactly bolt in to a Roadmaster wagon...they'll work, but you have to do some clearancing of the frame and tilt the shocks a bit so they line up with the bolt on adapters. You do get 3" of ride height adjustment with the lower bracket by flipping it over, plus what you would get with the coil over adjustment so lots of adjustability there. I'm guessing there are some frame differences in a wagon vs sedan, so you shouldn't have any troubles there.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you run everything through the full range of motion (without springs) before you actually put it on the road. I've run into a handfull of issues that I wouldn't have thought of before hand. If this is your daily driver, make sure you have a backup plan in case things go a bit off track in the middle of the install.
Thanks for that awesome writeup!

As far as the shock mount, that's exactly what I was worried about with the chicane kit. I didn't like the idea of applying the sprung weight of the car to someplace other than where it was designed to be supported by. I've seen this backfire first hand in ways I never would have expected on kits that converted torsion bar front ends to coil spring setups on older mopars. With the new way the sprung weight was being applied through the K member, it put all the weight/force of the car on the K member mounts and would actually bend the chassis of the car up. Because of this, I just get worried about the unintended consequences of completely altering the way the force of the front suspension is applied through the chassis. I really liked the global west kit because the only change in where force is being applied to is in the lower A arm, which i'm not too worried about being made out of tube steel.

As you mentioned, reinforcing the spring pockets would be a must if I went that route, but i'm trying to avoid any more welding on the car as I already painted my whole chassis, fogged the inside of the rails with chassis paint etc... If I decide to cut and weld on it again, it opens up a can of worms for me because then I'm going to want to setup a watts link for the rear while i'm destroying my beautiful paint job LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One of the problems I have had with researching these coil over setups is it seems like most of the guys who are running one brand or another are doing them strictly for looks in the ability to adjust ride height on slammed cars with big wheels. I haven't come across anyone performance oriented who autocrosses, road races or otherwise drives their car hard who is running a coil over setup yet, which is unfortunate.

I mean in theory the only difference should be travel, as coil spring setups usually allow for more travel. Other than that, with the adjustability, you SHOULD be able to optimize spring rates and rebound/compression rates pretty easily and fine tune them to your particular car/sway bar setup better than any off the shelf shocks and spring package. In the pre viking days I've heard many people over the years say they weren't happy with QA1 conversion setups on street cars that were geared more towards corner carving. I have installed them and used them on drag cars with great results though. I wonder how the Vikings do as they seemed to be hailed by all to be a superior coil over for handling. Looking forward to hearing your results!
 

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I'm definitely NOT going for the slammed look - I want modern handling in an older car with the ability to adjust ride height easily without risking life & limb putting standard coil springs in. No plans to road race or auto cross or anything, but also don't slow down for curves much either :) and enjoy a nice curvy back road just for fun.

Understood about the painted frame and not wanting to weld on it. Regarding the loading of the frame with the Chicane kit - it's right in line with the original spring pockets and well distributed across a pretty wide (3"+) area both top and bottom so I'm not expecting any issues with strength of the frame. I might see if I can fill in the triangle shaped area toward the back and connect it to the weld in bracket just to give the upper control arm mount a bit more strength. Easy enough to do while I'm there.

As shown below the upper shock mounting point is about 3/4" too high. I'll be cutting the tack welds, trimming the bracket by ~3/4", lowering the mount down and re-welding it on.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
That does look nice! I'm sure it'll work fine, but I'd be much more comfortable if they designed something that sat over the 'ring' of the spring pocket, around the circumference of it, so that the force was being applied to the exact same area as before.

I don't see that being an issue though. Looking forward to hearing how you like the setup once it's up and running. hurry up! LOL
 

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SSandman - I saw this in the scrap bin in the shop last weekend and thought of your desire to have a more perimeter loading of the frame instead of the bracket shown above. I believe this is off a Dodge or Ford 5500/550 front damper (only) so it only sees the damper forces, not the whole weight of the car. But in concept, I think this is what you were getting at.

Sorry, nothing particularly useful here...but might be an inspiration or idea for someone?

 
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